For a few years now, one of the most commonly asked questions I get is regarding my foundation routine. There’s some backstory here though… Rewind to 17 months ago before I did accutane. I used to have crazy oily skin with large pores, blemishes, scars, etc. It was horrific! I dealt with this type of skin for over a decade and never had any lucky with any of the medications doctors tried on me. Luckily, I realized if I just invested into a good foundation I could hide a lot of the darkness and scarring. (Oh, keep in mind I’ve always taken very good care of my skin – despite all of the issues I had.) Anyway, once I started using the right types of foundations, I would get comments and e-mails asking what foundation I was using – because I was able to hide ‘it all’ so well. Which brings me to today, I now have pretty normal skin (its not perfect tho). It’s not super dry or oily, the pores are still there (ugh) but smaller in size, and I’ve had treatments done to fade some of the scarring & reduce crater size. I will say this – I have melasma on my upper lip – so annoying and I still have a scars that are darker in color. But over all, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum with skin & I’ve tried hands down EVERY foundation out there (drug store / high end). I figured I’d share a review of the ones I have liked / disliked – and a reason as to why OR who they may be good for in my opinion!
Just a note though, I watch a lot of YouTube videos so I am constantly seeing people try products and I always am up for trying them as well if they look promising. Some of these (pictured above) were a hit for me and some a miss. But there are a couple that I would recommend… (these are in no particular order)
*I always use THIS primer and/or THIS primer – and I always use THIS brush. (I truly believe the primer, moisturizer, and brush you use make a HUGE difference.) And the primer I am most loyal to is THIS one – a bottle lasts me 12-13 months so that’s how I justify the price point! On more thing, if you are worried about fine lines or oil control, I highly recommend using this product – I’ve seen it sell out of our local SAKS bc its so popular.*
First things first, this one claims to be 12HR wear – and I do consider it to be long wearing, but not THE most long wearing. (But hey it only claims 12HR, not 24HR.) This product is a bit on the pricy side, but I really think a lot of you would like the product. If you are needing coverage, this is buildable, meaning that you can do a couple of layers and cover all the dark spots/flaws. This foundation is great if you are more on the dry side, I personally like it in the winter. If you are super oily, I probably wouldn’t lean towards this one. The pros to this foundation are that it’s very, very natural looking. It looks like your skin, but better. It doesn’t look heavy or cakey in the least.
Really quickly, I have looked everywhere and I don’t see any ‘hourly’ claims – I only see that it wears ‘all night’. If you are haven’t heard of this foundation yet, it is fairly new (compared to some others). Tons of YouTubers rave about it which is how it got on my radar. Online it claims to be ‘waterproof’, matte (oil-free), blurs flaws, absorbs oil. That being said, I think I would have really loved this foundation BEFORE accutane when I was an oily mess! This foundation is probably best for someone who needs full coverage, SUPER long wearing, oil control… I did try this foundation out for ab a week and it is FOR sure long wearing. Like holy guacamole. You put this on, and it is going to stay put. However, if you are dry in the least, you may not like how this wears. Also, I found that it changed colors or ‘oxidized’ on me. I would go as far to say it actually got darker as I wore it… :/ SO, just a heads up to not buy your exact shade unless you know what color it will dry into… But really, if you have troubled oily skin, I recommend this one.
Many of you have probably tried Double Wear (DW) at some point because for years I swore by this product alone and people would e-mail me telling me how happy they were to find it on my blog. I think this foundation is one of the most popular foundations on the market – bc it suits those w/oily or dry skin, acne prone or not acne prone, etc. This foundation is a good place to start if you are just now on the hunt for an amazing, long wearing foundation that will cover your flaws. Really quick, online it claims to be 24HR wear – and I will give it that. It doesn’t wear as long as #2^ but it definitely stays on well, even if you are crazy oily. Before Accutane, this stuff was my holy grail, it literally hid all of my flaws, all day long. However, not that I am not as oily, I don’t know that I consider it as much of a holy grail product. I think it looked better on me when I had a little bit of oil – it looked more natural I guess. I think this product is best for someone who has needs good coverage, long wear, and a matte finish – but if you have dry patches, I may stay away from this one.
So this is an interesting product because it isn’t a real foundation per se – more like little drops of pigment. Depending on the day or occasion, I would recommend these- but not for every day use. You can add 1 – 4 drops into your daily oil, cream, or mattifying primer, lotion, etc. and have a custom foundation that is perfect for you. The drops are literally straight pigment meaning that they are there to cover your skin / flaws, yet mixed with your choice of primer/moisturizer you can control your finish. Also, if you have bad skin day and need extra coverage, you can drop a 1drop into your regular foundation & bam, it takes it up a notch. It will give you a little more coverage & in my opinion it wears super well. There are no ‘long wear’ claims online, but I would consider this to be a good all day option.
Oh, this is my baby lol! I would probably cry if they discontinued this! Much like #4^, this product is straight pigment. So a little goes a long way. I have been using this weekly (at least) for about 14 months now. The packaging is terrible and so hard to travel with, but it covers my melasma so well and wears for several hours. Online it claims to wear 24HR… I don’t know if it really would wear that long, but I do think 14-16HR for sure. (I touch my face a lot though.) This product may be intimidating at first since it is straight pigment, but I’ve found it works best for full coverage needs + not so oily skin. I have seen a lot of mixed reviews- some love this, some despise it, but if you are in a pickle and have tried everything, I would recommend this one.
This one claims to be 24HR wear and “retouch free”… and I’m like HMMMM (w/that little emoji that has its finger on its mouth!) This foundation is one I would not recommend. I tried and tried so many times over the years to love this foundation or to see it’s benefits but I just can’t. However, I’ve heard people rave about it, so I had to include it. I didn’t feel like it covered my flaws well… so if you have minimal flaws, it may be better for you. I tried it before and after Accutane and never did fall in love… in fact I think I even returned it to Sephora! One of the reasons I felt the need to mention this though is because Lancome has an under eye concealer from the makeup gods!! This stuff is literally heaven sent – it covers like no other AND it is water proof. Under eyes can be tricky, so I have to give Lancome props bc this one is SO so good.
This foundation was my JAM a few years ago.. this is serious stuff!! Really quickly, online it claims to be 24HR wear and that I definitely agree with… I used this when I was as oily as oily could get – and this foundation keeps you matte and definitely locks up after application. It covers VERY well – it is full coverage so don’t play around with it! (known for covering tattoos!) I’ve known people to go swimming w/this on, and come out of the pool w/flawless makeup still. However, I quit using it because it is a very thick formula and can look a little cakey. Also, if you are dry in the least, this may not work for you. BUT, if you are on the struggle bus and need all the help you can get, TRY this.
I actually got this in a PR package earlier this year and didn’t think to test it out until I heard Casey Holmes (youtube) raving about it. Casey has rosacea pretty badly (so she says) and her skin always looks amazing w/foundation on so I grabbed this out of my PR box and tried it. (They sent me two shades, both were a bit darker than I needed.) I tried to love it over and over and I couldn’t fully get on board. But I had to mention it because I know a lot of people who love it! Personally, I think the fact that it is a hydrating foundation w/no oil is what makes it so beautiful on some people, but not everyone. It is 15HR wear and I can attest to that. It also does a pretty good job at covering flaws, however, I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a lot of darkness or pigmentation.
This product has been around for years and truly is a long wearing, full coverage foundation. It claims to be a 12HR wear foundation and I can agree with that. It is not for those who want minimal coverage though! This product reminds me a lot of #7^ – it is a bit thicker in formula but does a great job. I personally liked this better when I was more oily (before Accutane). Out of the 9 I am talking about today, this one wouldn’t come AS recommend as the others, but I had to mention it because at one point, I really loved it. I just think a few of the others I’ve mentioned are better!
PS. Check back later today – I may update this post with a photo of my skin before foundation and after so you can see what I am talking about – leave a comment below if you’d like that!