Solo Traveler #13: Foundations

Welcome to 2017 Puffins! How about we start 2017 with a solid foundation? Heh.

Foundations are hard for me. Because I require full coverage, I haven’t tried anything but liquids. I can’t color match anything to save my life. Lately, I’ve been relying on a sales lady at Sephora. She has color matched me 3 times and hasn’t been wrong yet.

I own 6 different liquid foundation or foundation-like products. Here they are from worst to best. This is a long one. Be prepared.

Sassy + Chic BB Cream in the shades light and medium are easily the worst foundations-like products I’ve ever bought. Granted, they were $1.00 ($1.00/oz) at the Dollar Tree. I should have known better buying a BB cream anyways. I want full coverage. Anything less than that isn’t worth taking the time to put it on for me. I scored this BB cream a 6.

First of all, I bought 2 different shades, light and medium. Medium is incredibly fair. It made my face look dull and pale gray. I don’t think even Kid 2, being very blonde and fair, could wear this. Side by side, these shades are the exact same color to my eyes. There is no yellow or orange to this… it is just ashy white.

Worse though, the consistency of coverage is awful. I tried rubbing it in with my fingers. Streak city. I tried a beauty blender. The product disappeared. I tried using a brush. Streak city again. Ugh!

I couldn’t judge wear time because I wiped that crap off.

Because I promised Kid 1 and 2 that I would stop throwing makeup away and let them have first dibs, both of these are in the box of shame. They need to be in the trashcan. Never again.

NYC Smooth Skin Liquid foundation in shade regular nude also came from the Dollar Tree. It was $1.00 ($1.01/oz). After the BB Cream, I shouldn’t have bothered.  It scored slightly better than the BB cream at an 8 despite the fact that it has a very strong chemical smell. The smell fades but yuck.

Before we get to the product, I really need to point out the included applicator. I assume because this product is rather thick, NYC included the paddle wand attached to the cap to fish the foundation out. It is literally a flat plastic paddle on the end of a stick. Although, as thick as this stuff is, I can’t imagine trying to tap it out. You’d go from 0 product to all of it in a few shakes.

The product shade, regular nude, was definitely a miss. I know that there are people whiter than me out there but this product is too light. Regular nude is not a good description. It is closer to chalk than nude. I’m going on a limb and saying the color was wrong at manufacturing and that is why it ended up at the Dollar Tree.

My last criticism is that it doesn’t last. It breaks up after about 4 hours despite face primer.

Due to its thickness and color, I would say this product would work well as stage makeup so long as the powder application on top was heavy to withstand the lights. Otherwise, don’t bother.

Despite all of this, this product is not in the box of shame. I use it to tone down the orange in the next foundation. Keep reading.

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat foundation is a good full coverage foundation for the price. I have the shade soft beige. It was $7.49 ($6.35/oz) at Ulta. I scored it a 16.

My biggest complaint about this foundation is the shade range. With 20 options, I feel like there should be more POC options available. I see 2 shades for dark skin. I see maybe 3 shades for lighter brown skin. Then there are 15 shades of white girl including paper, sunburn, and spray tan. C’mon NYX, you can do better than that!

It doesn’t smell bad and it lasts about 10 hours before you can really see the breakage. An odd point lost was due to how it photographs. This product doesn’t handle flash photography well. I don’t know what the deal is but every flash photo I’m in wearing this product, my skin looks horrible. It looks… I don’t know… crispy? Not wrinkly. No textured. Just kind of crispy around the edges, like around my nose and my ears. It doesn’t show up in non-flash photos though. Very strange.

No matter how much powder I use to set this, it transfers. I’ve accepted that and have been careful not to wear light colored shirts or hats when I use this foundation.

Since I’m new to makeup, I’m a bit mystified by matte and non-matte foundations. This one doesn’t make me look less oily 4-hours in than any of the others I’ve tried. When set with mattifying powder, I still don’t see a difference. Maybe it’s just me.

The shade I picked up is a bit on the orange side on my skin. If I try it again, I’ll probably go with Natural instead. To tone down the orange, I’ve had to mix in a small amount of the lighter NYC foundation. Maybe that is why this NYX foundation looks bad in flash photos. At any rate, I will probably try this one again at a later date.

Elf Flawless Finish foundation was the first foundation I ever bought. It has SPF 15 which I adore in any moisturizer, foundation, concealer, etc. I picked up shades porcelain and sand for $6.00 ($8.82/oz) each at WalMart during that fateful shopping trip in July, 2016. I couldn’t figure out which shade to get so I got both. Dropping $12 on 2 products made me dizzy but I’m glad I did. The mixture of the 2 is a decent shade for me, especially now that we are coming into winter. This product scores a solid 16.

This is not a full coverage foundation like I thought it would be. It can be built up. However, it will get cakey if you are heavy handed. When I use this foundation, I do a single layer on my full face. Then, after that has had some time to get a bit tacky, I do a 2nd layer as a spot treatment. If you try to go all over your whole face a 2nd time, it will crease in fine lines and powder will cake over top of it. Just a heads up.

Like the NYX foundation above, this product transfers no matter how much setting powder I use. Again, I’ve accepted it and moved on. It is only mildly annoying at this point.

The shade range needs a huge improvement. Currently, Elf only offers 6 shades of this formulation. They have other foundation formulas with broader ranges. The wear is comparable to the NYX foundation. I get about 10 hours wear from this on good days.

Mom has this foundation in buff, 1 shade darker than sand. She is used to CoverGirl foundations so she thinks buff is too dark. But she isn’t used to seeing any color on her face aside from green eyeliner so she is prejudiced. It looks fine to me. Kid 1 couldn’t wear the darkest shade, Coco, in this foundation. She is biracial and dark skinned. Coco made her skin look gray. She was unhappy to say the least. I’m pretty sure she threw it away in a fit of rage. Kid 2 hasn’t graduated to foundation yet. She is starting to play around with Mom’s old bottles but she isn’t interested in her own. Porcelain might be a good match for her fair skin though.

I will purchase this again at some point.

When I gave up on trying to color match my own foundation, I went to Sephora and the sales lady matched me with Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour foundation in shade light-medium neutral. I about fainted at the price of $39.00 ($22.94/oz) but I dutifully paid it.  It scored a 23 because it wasn’t on sale and no one specifically has said something about my foundation. I’m vain, I know.

There isn’t anything majorly negative to say about this product. It works great. If I color correct before, I only need 1 layer of foundation. Without color correcting, I do have to do some spot maintenance to hide heavy rosacea flushes. I get full coverage that lasts 12+ hours. It doesn’t smell and it applies smooth. I seem to be less oily midday with this foundation. Did I mention this has SPF 15? I ❤ that.

If I had to change anything about it, I’d say I wish it came in a pump. These squeeze bottle foundations are such product wasters for me.

The same Sephora sales lady recommended Kat Von D Lock-It foundation in Shade 48 light neutral. It costs $35.00 ($35.00/oz). I watched her do a product demo for another customer and wanted to try it out. This product scored a 22. It is a full coverage and works with just 1 layer.

Considering the light-medium neutral was a color match for me in Tarte, I was skeptical that light neutral would work out in Kat Von D. But it did. That lady is a color genius. She really knows her products.

I love this particular foundation because of the pump. Just having a pump is awesome. But even better is this product is on a spring so each pump moves the spring up just slightly more. You end up using nearly every single drop of the product with this kind of pump. I really appreciate that in a product.

It scored 1 point lower than Tarte because no one has complemented my look at all in person with this foundation. It is newer than Tarte though so that score might go up if I re-review it at a later date. Again, vain.

This product does not have SPF. I really wish it did. But otherwise, I can’t make a complaint about this foundation. It is smooth, creamy, lasts forever, and has great coverage.

It is hard to say which of the 2 high-end foundations are better ultimately. Tarte costs $4 more but you get a lot more product. Kat Von D is 1 ounce and Tarte is 1.7 ounces. That is a huge difference. However, that squeeze bottle of Tarte is annoying while the Kat Von D pump is dreamy. I can get by with 1 layer from either of these products on good days. Tarte needs a 2nd touch-up spot maintenance on flair days while Kat Von D does not. Tarte has 25 shades but only 2 or 3 are light brown skin friendly and maybe 1 is dark skin friendly. Kat Von D has 32 shades that is slightly more diverse but still not great. With the money behind these brands, I know they can do better. I get oil control with both and they apply perfectly. It is a tossup. I use both regularly so I’m saying they are both the best that I own.

What is your favorite liquid foundation? Who has the most diverse line of foundations?


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