Stila Illuminating Liquid FoundationContaining “moisturizers infused with vitamins and whey protein to encourage supple, healthy skin”, Stila Illuminating Liquid Foundation ($35) is one of my favorite liquid foundations to brighten up a pale complexion during the winter.

The foundation comes in a heavy glass bottle that is cute but not very practical. For my MAC NC30 skin, I use 30 watts, a yellow-based shade suitable for light to medium skin tones.

The texture is slightly thick for a liquid foundation and can feel a little heavy, even on my dehydrated combination skin. But it is packed with tiny shimmer particles that create such a pretty yet natural-looking glow! Coverage is also light to medium and plenty enough for me.

Definitely a great foundation for the colder months!

Max Factor Pan-stik stick foundationMax Factor Pan-stik ($5) used to be my go-to concealer back in my college days. It is a cream foundation that comes in an easy to use, swivel-up stick.

The packaging is slightly tacky but the product is da bomb! The texture is very creamy and it provides light to medium coverage. On my good skin days, I could just apply this under my eyes and around my nose, blend and I would be good to go.

Highly recommended if you are looking for something simple, cheap and effective!

Bobbi Brown Foundation StickAvailable in 20 yellow-based shades to fit a wide variety of skin tones, Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick ($28) is a cream-based foundation that comes in a stick for easy portability.

According to the Bobbi Brown website, this is not recommended for very oily skin and I can totally see why. My skin is on the drier side yet this still feels oily and heavy on me.

The color I have, Sand, is also a little too yellow, even on my warm Asian skin. I ended up using this only as a concealer.

Chanel Vitalumiere Liquid Satin Smoothing Fluid Makeup SPF 15 ($50)
Shade I use: Clair
This is the liquid version of the Vitalumiere cream foundation. Despite the word liquid, this feels very rich and almost creamy on my skin. It is definitely great for the winter and it does deliver a glowy look. The coverage is medium to heavy and it can feel a little thick so remember to apply sparingly.


MAC Select SPF 15 Foundation ($24)
Shade I use: NC30
Like the MAC Studio Finish Satin Foundation, this is water-based and it is supposed to provide a “natural, matte finish”. I like that it has SPF 15 but again, I find it too dry for my skin and it accentuated my flakes. I would only recommend it to those with combination or oily skin.

MAC Studio Mist Foundation ($28.50)
Shade I Use: Light Medium
After ERA’s Face Spray Foundation and Dior’s Airflash, MAC has finally come out with its own version of spray makeup. This foundation comes in a sleek, portable aerosol can which is great for traveling. What is weird about this product, however, is that it is not meant to be sprayed directly onto your face – you are supposed to “spray onto hand or palette, then apply with a brush”. Having said that, I think this whole idea of putting a foundation into an aerosol can is kind of redundant. Despite that along with the limited color range, the foundation itself is not bad. When I first sprayed it onto the back of my hand, I thought it was kind of runny but it glides on easily and blends like heaven. The coverage is sheer and it imparts a dewy finish. The foundation is also suitable for all skin types.

Redpoint Transformative Dual Foundation ($42)
Shade I use: Medium
Unlike most foundations you see in the market, this comes with two custom blendable shades that can mixed together or used separately for highlighting and contouring. It also contains anti-aging ingredients like Elastimide Amino AC and light diffusing pigments work to blend away fine lines, wrinkles and create a youthful look; and is made with an unique Liquacreme formula so that it would glide onto the skin and provide full coverage that feels “so weightless, it’s almost like you have nothing on at all!” Texture-wise, it is very similar to Redpoint’s NOC-Out Cover-Up Compact. It feels slightly waxy and goes on really smooth but dries almost immediately to a matte finish without leaving your skin all powdery. The coverage is medium and it does feel very lightweight. I have worn this as a concealer and all over as a foundation. The former worked beautifully while the latter was a disaster. With this all over my face, it looked really unnatural and cakey. I am going to save this as a concealer.

Check out the following entries for foundation tips:
Mineral Foundation Reviews
Tools For Applying Concealer And Foundation

Salamandax requested some recommendations on brushes for applying foundations and concealer so here you go – sorry it took me so long! I have also included other tools that you can use, hope you guys find it useful.

* Brushes
Using a brush can make application less messy and is perfect for smaller areas that require more precision like the inner corners of the eye, around the nose and on zits. You also end up using less product. The downside is you have to wash them regularly and a good set of brushes can cost up to a few hundred bucks. Check out these tips on how to take care of your brushes so they can stay in good shape.

To apply foundation, I like MAC #190 Foundation Brush ($38) and MAC #187 Stippling Brush ($42).



For concealer, pick a synthetic brush with firm bristles. My picks are Sephora Concealer Brush ($16) and MAC #194 Concealer Brush ($18).


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Below are a few Q&A on foundations:

xbabygirl said: Hello! I was wondering (if possible) if you could do a post geared towards foundation color and foundation products aimed at Asians? I have trouble buying foundation because they’re always off and it’s not like I can walk out of the store and see if the color suits me well or not bc they would think i’m crazy lol. I tried doing samples, but not every product I want can provide me samples =(.

Answer: To check what undertones you have, look at the underside of your arm. If you have green veins, you have warm undertones. If have you blue, you have cool undertones. For people with warm undertones, go with a foundation that is yellow-based. Those with cool undertones should choose a foundation that is pink-based.

Most Asians tend to have yellow undertones. MAC, Bobbi Brown and Stila all make foundations that are yellow-based. You might also want to try Prescriptives. They offer custom blending so you can definitely get the right shade. Another thing you can always do is to keep the receipt every time you purchase a foundation. That way, if the shade is not right, you can go back to the store for an exchange.