As a good, thorough ending to my Oily Skin Series, I am now going to briefly go over all the foundations I’ve used, and am currently using.
I’ve done more in-depth reviews of some of these foundations already (which are linked in the list just below here), and I fully intend on doing them for the rest of the foundations that I currently (not previously/didn’t work for me) use.
The ones that I’ve used, but didn’t work out for me will be reviewed more in-depth here, since I don’t really like doing negative reviews on things.
It’s been quite a journey, figuring out which foundations work for me and which ones I like. It’s been expensive, but fun.
Before I go in-depth into everything, I’m just going to list my coloring for all the foundations shown in the picture above just as a reference. Some of them don’t match me perfectly, but I go into that later in the post.
- Bare Minerals: Light, Golden Medium, Medium Beige (not photographed above)
- Cover Girl Clean Foundation: Buff Beige (it’s too pink for me… think NW25)
- Nars Sheer Glow: Fiji – Light5
- Nars Sheer Matte: Punjab – Medium1
- Mac Mineralize Satinfinish: NW25 (again, too pink for me)
- Mac Studio Fix Fluid: NC25
- Mac Prolongwear: NC25
- Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet +: 40
- Make Up For Ever HD Foundation: 127 (not photographed. idk where it why lol)
- Chanel Mat Lumiere: 20 Clair
- Laura Mercier Silk Foundation: Bamboo Beige
- Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer: Sand
If you’re more curious as to how I line up with other foundations, I typically correctly fall into the NC25/30 category on Temptalia’s Foundation Matrix, where there’s a whole list of foundations in a grid with your corresponding color. I don’t fall perfectly, but it’s pretty darn close to perfect.
So, if you’d like to know more about my experiences with these foundations, go ahead and click the link 🙂
I’m going to start off with the ones that didn’t work/that I don’t use anymore and then slowly transition into the ones that I use now, frequently.
Like I stated in the video, I started off not knowing anything about makeup, and then as I started on YouTube, and started researching more into everything, I started to understand skin types, skin tones and formulas and brands that worked for me.
“For me” is key because everybody is different. Nobody has the exact same skin type or tone so different brands, formulas, shades, and all the other variables will work differently for everybody. A great example is the Nars Sheer Glow foundation – plenty of people with oily skin have said that foundation works great for them. For me? NOPE. It didn’t work at all, and I also had some personal preferences that it just didn’t succeed in.
So, all that being said, let’s get started!
Matte: $28 / 0.2 oz
Original: $26 / 0.2 oz
My very first “real makeup” kit was the Get Started kit. My grandmother took me shopping and we went to a Bare Escentuals store and she bought me the kit for medium skin tones. I thought I was so cool because I got that makeup that was in the infomercials that just instantly made women of all ages, and skin tones look amazing.
I went home, opened up the box, and suddenly I had my first foundation, bronzer, blush, Mineral Veil, “primer”, a big fluffy brush, a concealer brush and it was so exciting.
At the age of 16/17, that was all I really needed. This foundation isn’t a heavy coverage, which was perfect, it had SPF in it (not that I really cared), and it evened out my skin tone. I didn’t use it everyday or anything, just when I wanted to.
I took this with me to college, and again, it was really all I needed.
It wasn’t until I got my first liquid foundation and started getting into makeup that I realized that there was so much more I could do with makeup. I started using this as a setting powder and it worked like it needed to.
When the matte formula came out, I had at that point realized my skin type (at least sort of) and so I got it in a specific color (instead of just “medium” I got “golden medium”) and started to set my foundation with that instead.
It’s not that this foundation didn’t work for me anymore, it’s that I started to branch out more. For a teenager, this foundation was perfect for me. It was quick, easy, and really affordable considering the Get Started Kit was $60 for all of those products.
I think as a place to start it was great for me. For people that simply want a light coverage, this is great. It comes in a large variety of colors, all with specific undertones as well.
Cover Girl Clean Makeup
To give you a hint as to how old his bottle is (it’s now just a nostalgic reminder as to where I used to be… I don’t use it, don’t worry lol), they no longer make their products like this. And there are 2 other variations of the Clean Makeup formula, one for sensitive skin and one for oily skin.
When I decided I wanted to first get a liquid foundation, I was so intimidated and scared of what it was and what I was going to do with it, that I just went to the Cover Girl stand, quickly picked my color in the first liquid formula I could find and ran out of the CVS. And the reason I went to Cover Girl is that I was watching America’s Next Top Model and they use Cover Girl.
It’s amazing, to think about it, how far you’ve gone when you think of your first “big” makeup purchase. This purchase was big for me – not pricewise but product wise.
The Cover Girl Clean Foundation didn’t work terribly for me. It was smooth, and stayed on the face pretty well. It wasn’t a great color match for me. It was too pink, but in the right shade area (medium toned). It has a particular smell to it, which I believe is Noxema, so there is some benefit in using the Clean formula (I guess).
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
This wasn’t necessarily one that I went to after my Cover Girl (it was actually Mac, but that’s lower in this post). It’s one that everybody on YouTube went a little gaga over, especially those with oily skin.
Too bad it didn’t work quite that well for me.
It’s very sheer, and it definitely isn’t made for oily skin. You can definitely build it, but for me the coverage just still wasn’t what I wanted from a foundation.
For a brief 2 minutes, it does look rather nice on my skin, but then my oil kicks in and it doesn’t last at all.
The undertones for this foundation are a little on the pinker side as well. This is supposed to be a shade with yellow undertones, but still, I can tell that it wasn’t yellow enough for me.
Nars Sheer Matte
In hopes that this would be better for my skin type, I got the Sheer Matte. I also got it in a color that was better for me, hoping that this would be my holy grail foundation.
Still wasn’t good enough.
It was again, too sheer for me and still not a yellow enough foundation.
You’d think I would have understood that having “Sheer” in the name would be some sort of turn-off, but I had heard such good reviews of the Sheer Glow that I figured the matte version would be amazing.
It does finish pretty matte, but it dries quickly so you have to work quickly. I found that it’s sort of a problem when you want to build the coverage, since it can end up a little on the patchy side.
For $42, and this goes to both the Matte and Glow foundations, I think it’s a little too pricey for me to recommend at all. Some of the other foundations I have are also along these lines but I still have reasons to recommend them because they have other benefits that some foundations just don’t have. It’s a little bogus to buy a sheer finish foundation because you can simply sheer out more expensive foundations by adding moisturizer to them. It’s the same feeling that I have with tinted moisturizers… for a sheer finish it’s not worth the high price.
Mac Mineralize Satin Finish Foundation
Mac describes this as:
A fluid foundation that blends the natural light-reflecting properties of micro-minerals with a smooth satin finish. Provides a low-to-medium buildable coverage with a slightly luminous look. Contains antioxidants vitamins C and E. Provides everyday SPF 15 sun protection. Long-wearing. Suitable for normal-dry skins.
That pretty much covers it lol… This was my first high end foundation. I got it matched to me late at night, in the dark of Nordstrom’s beauty counters, and I still had no idea about my skin tone or type. I requested a dewy finish and this is the one she came up with.
This foundation has little mineral particles, that you can actually see if you go look at it in person. It’s a nice foundation actually, just not for me.
It was the wrong shade, the wrong formula and it just didn’t work at all. It did wear a long time for me, and I liked that it came with the pump. Why don’t all their foundations come with a pump?
Again, you want to be careful with mineral particles in foundations because they will flash back light. If you’re going to be photographed heavily, then I don’t suggest this foundation at all.
If you have dry skin and like a lighter coverage though, this would probably be a very good foundation for you.
Mac Studio Fix Fluid
This was the first liquid foundation that I really fell in love with. After Satinfinish, I realized all the wrongs in that foundation, poured over the Mac foundations on their website and settled on Studio Fix Fluid.
I’ve heard that it breaks some people out, but it didn’t break me out at all.
It’s a pretty decent (medium to heavy) coverage, dries matte and stays on all day. There’s an SPF, and it feels nice on the skin.
A modern foundation that combines a natural matte finish and medium-buildable coverage with broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15. Comfortable and long-wearing: lasts for up to eight hours. Applies smoothly, builds coverage quickly and easily. Contains specially treated micronized pigments and soft-focus powders for a super-smooth look that helps minimize the appearance of imperfections. Absorbs and disperses oil. Contains special skin-conditioning ingredients. Oil free.
I honestly could not tell you if it conditions the skin, but it definitely didn’t hurt mine.
I’ve gone completely through one of these, and the one I have I’m about halfway through it. I still use it once in a while. It builds the best of all the foundations I’ve used.
If you set it, it lasts 8 hours. For those with more oily skin, it doesn’t last on it’s own for 8 hours.
It’s also $3 cheaper (perhaps it’s the pump that makes the other foundations more expensive?) that the other foundations by Mac I’ve included.
Mac Pro Longwear
This is one of the newer foundations. It’s a lighter coverage than the Studio Fix. It’s also got a different finish. It’s got a more natural finish, therefore it doesn’t finish matte.
A long-wear foundation that gives up to 15 hours of wear in any environmental condition. Lightweight and creamy, applies smoothly to provide sheer to medium coverage. Even in hot and humid conditions, controls oil to keep skin fresh, natural and flawless. Provides everyday SPF protection.
It definitely does last a very long time. I wouldn’t say in “any environmental condition” as I’ve set it before, and stood at the pool I work at which is indoors and very humid, and the foundation definitely starts to move. It doesn’t completely control oil in humid conditions. It does do very well in it though.
Even though this is “sheer” it is easily buildable to a coverage past medium, and stays creamy as you’re applying unlike the Sheer Glow and Matte foundations by Nars.
I used this quite a bit after I purchased it, which was in the winter and worked great. My skin doesn’t get too dry in the winter so this was a good “natural” finish foundation when I didn’t need to much coverage and when I didn’t want to look completely matted out.
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
I actually don’t know how much is in the tube. It doesn’t say on Sephora or on the Laura Mercier site.
This is a much thicker consistency foundation. It’s also got a slight green tinge, which is great for if you have a lot of red in your skin. That being said, it doesn’t make you look sickly if you don’t have a reddish undertone in your skin.
It’s oil free, but isn’t the greatest for oily skin. The luminous finish can work against you at the end of the day, but if you set it nicely with a powder, it will last you a good 6 hours.
The foundation itself has a pretty good coverage. It’s consistency is for sure not really a liquid but like a really heavy creme. Almost like a concealer in a tube, just not as heavy. Because of that, you don’t need all that much in order to cover your whole face.
The only con I have to say about it is that it didn’t come in very many colors. It’s definitely limited to those with lighter skin tones.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free
Again, it’s a little silly that a sheer coverage product is the same price as a very heavy coverage product. This tube is quite a bit larger than the Silk Creme, but still the consistency is much thinner so if you take that into account you’d probably have the same amount of use out of both products.
I really bought this just to use in the summer. It’s a darker shade so I really can only use it in the summer. I figured when I go to swim meets and need to touch up makeup/need SPF I can always take this.
It’s got a pretty heavy coverage for a tinted moisturizer, so really if I were to compare price to value then it would rank pretty high. It’s definitely not a product I would completely recommend because you can so easily thin out your foundation by yourself.
Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
This is the last foundation I’m going to talk about here, because I actually have full posts of the other two foundations.
This is probably my favorite one currently. It’s amazing. AMAZING.
It’s also $2 cheaper than the Nars and Laura Mercier. $2 may not seem like a lot, but if you consider all the pros of this foundations, then it means quite a bit for me.
It’s got a medium coverage to start with, but builds very nicely. It applies well with all types of application – sponge, fingers, and different kinds of brushes.
It’s oil free. It doesn’t look heavy on the skin, when you apply it heavily. Things sit very nicely on top of it. It’s just simply the best.
It dries pretty matte, but not completely so it keeps you looking evened out and oil free without it looking TOO matte.
I mixed it with some of the Mat Velvet + (below) and it was even better for me. It was matte, flawless and stayed on all day.
It is definitely on the pricey side, as Make Up For Ever is not a cheap brand. If you have the money for it, it definitely is worth the price though.
I really do wish that the Make Up For Ever foundation colors either matched all the way through or had names. I’m #127 in the HD series, but in the Mat Velvet + I’m a 40. Annoying, right?
These two foundations I have linked in the list at the top of this post. I have full reviews of them so in order to keep this post short, go check out the reviews there 🙂