I have always been skeptical about drugstore foundations but I have to say I really liked Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Foundation ($6), a gem I discovered when I was in college.
The foundation contains caffeine to perk up your skin and micro-pearls to give your skin a more radiant look. It felt very moisturizing on my dry skin and has a super creamy, blendable texture. Coverage is medium to heavy and the SPF 18 is also a huge plus.
The only downside is the color range. While the foundation comes in 12 shades, I have to mix Classic Ivory and Sandy Beige to get the right shade for my NC30 skin. Despite that, I would still repurchase.
With a built-in brush attached to a liquid foundation, Yves Saint Laurent Perfect Touch Radiant Brush Foundation ($52) is the first-ever brush foundation to deliver a flawless finish in a simple and unique way.
The brush design is not only genius and easy-to-use, but it also saves you from getting your fingers dirty and helps to achieve that airbrushed look in no time and with no streaks!
The foundation itself is very creamy and dries super fast to a semi-matte finish without ever looking cakey. I use #Sand for my NC30 skin and the coverage is medium with decent staying power. The result is super natural, just like real skin with a subtle glow. No wonder this foundation was voted as Editor’s Pick for Best Foundation by InStyle magazine! Highly recommended!
Containing “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!
MAC Studio Finish Satin Foundation ($20) was my first liquid foundation and is now discontinued. It is water-based, emollient-rich and comes with a SPF value of 8. The ma told me this contains a derivative of Vitamin E and would be good for normal to dry skin but it accentuated my flakes and made my face look really dry. It is also supposed to deliver “a fresh, velvety finish with light to medium coverage” but it did not cover well for me either. Thumbs down for this one.
Voted as one of the In Style Best Beauty Buys, Gorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($55) has long been a favorite among makeup artists and beauty gurus.
The foundation comes in a great selection of shades to suit different skin tones and #4 is a good match for my NC30 skin. It feels very lightweight on the skin and thanks to its silicones, the texture is uber silky just as the name suggested. It is also pretty hydrating and works beautifully on my normal to dry skin.
The coverage is on the sheer side but definitely buildable. My skin just looks healthy and glowy when I wear this. Highly recommended!
||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