I remember the very first time I applied foundation or base as we called it back in the day. What an absolute disaster! I resembled something mixed between the Oros man and pancake face. I knew zero about blending, and even less about colour matching. The year was 1997, and even back then, like now, it’s all about the base.
Finding the perfect foundation has never been an easy task. And for some reason, as soon as I do, the brands like to discontinue my shade. It’s as if they have a personal vendetta against me.
After years of searching and testing. Enduring the abovementioned pancake face, flashback on photos, I have indeed found a few staples that, touch wood, fingers crossed, are very much still on the shelves. I do mix the colours together at times to find my perfect shade, perfect coverage, and just all over perfect look and feel.
I will share my pros and cons of my favourites with you, price point, where to find them, and hopefully, make laying the foundation a little easier for you.
I am a shade golden beige. I bought this little goodie after having seen many great reviews on the Wet n Wild brand on Facebook, and I needed an everyday cheapy. You know the quick and easy foundation, that doesn’t cost an arm and leg, but that still does the job.
My views – it is a medium to full coverage foundation, great for normal to dry skin. It works on oily skin, and although it claims to be 100% matte, I didn’t find it to be completely true. However, in essence, it was pretty lightweight on the skin, blended well, and colour-matched well.
From a price point, it is a drugstore brand and fits the pocket well. Readily available at around R119.95 for 30ml from Clicks.
For those of you who are only starting out with foundation, looking for a new one, or just not in the market for anything too expensive, this is a good buy.
I am a shade NW20. This was the first-ever foundation that I bought that actually matched my skin tone. I had started with the cream foundation in the same shade and moved over to the fluid as I find it blends better, and is especially forgiving if your skin is a little drier.
My views – it is a medium buildable coverage foundation, which means, you can add on until you get the perfect fit for you. It is a matte finish, and if you are lucky, like me to not have many blemishes and scars or acne-prone skin, you won’t need to build too much.
The foundation feels light on the skin, and it does give you a smooth and flawless finished look. It blends well with either a beauty blender or a brush. I prefer a brush, only because I then really get in there, and I still am pretty dof with that beauty blender…I’m sure you need a degree to operate the bounce technique.
From a price point, it is a higher-end brand, so it is obviously going to hurt your pocket a tad more. However, it is totally worth the splurge and I would say it is my mid-range expensive foundation coming in at R530 for 30ml. It is available online at Mac cosmetics.
I am a shade 1W1 Bone. This was my first splurge foundation, or so I thought. My gran introduced me to Estee Lauder. I could only justify buying it, once I felt like I really knew what I was doing. I started using it when I reached my early thirties. Spoiler alert – I still didn’t know what I was doing. But as they say, fake it till you make it.
My views – It lives up to the hype. Long-wearing, long-lasting, no creasing, or settling into fine lines (not that I have any). Oil-free, so it doesn’t cause breakouts. It literally lasts for up to 15 hours. I have put it on in the morning and gone out at night and not needed to touch up my face, it is THAT good.
With 60 shades, you will find your perfect match and undertone – it’s like the Tinder of foundations, except you don’t leave disappointed. It is full coverage, so you can cover anything even that tattoo that you don’t want your mom to see at Sunday lunch.
Price point, it’s Estee Lauder, so it’s not cheap, but it’s not an arm and leg either. Coming in at a respectable R655 you can get it online at Takealot or in-store at any Estee Lauder counter.
I am a shade 3 light/medium. Although this is by no means sold as a foundation, I personally put it in my foundation category, because it ticks all the boxes a foundation should.
My views – promoted by Charlotte Tilbury as a complexion booster to give you a youthful glow, to be used as a highlighter or primer, or to be mixed in with your foundation. I use it on its own. It literally makes me look like an Instagram filter. It smooths the skin to make it look radiant and flawless. The colour matching is unfortunately not an exact science, but then again it isn’t a foundation. I can live with a little bit of mismatch, as enough blending fixes everything.
My only irritation, it is a very stupid bottle, and you battle to get the liquid out. It is also not readily available in South Africa, so you need to find it on the online stores that import Charlotte Tilbury. I find that more often than not, the price is over-inflated due to customs and taxes, and it sells out faster than you can grab it. You can order online from Cult Beauty in the UK, who ships to South Africa.
The price point from Cult Beauty is around R750 before shipping and taxes and customs. It is definitely worth the purchase, however, you will be hooked for life.
I am a shade, honey. My love affair with Laura Mercier started in 2018 when I visited New York. I received a sample of the setting powder from Sephora with one of my purchases, and ever since I was hooked. After searching high and low, I finally found a store in Sandton city that stocked the product range, and it was as if I could hear the angels sing.
My views – it is a very light foundation. So if you are looking for full coverage, this will let you down. What it will give you, however, is the option of building it up to the level you want. It leaves your skin with that soft luminous glow, exactly as the name suggests. A dewy look. It’s not the best for oily skin though and can make you look a little oilier by the end of the day. This is combatted with setting powder, so you can still wear it.
It is available in-store at Skins Cosmetics or you can order from their online store. With 24 shades available, colour matching is fairly easy. I like to mix this with my Mac foundation for those days where I want fuller coverage.
Price point – now this is the upper-class Rolls Royce of foundations, and will obviously start making you cry just a little. At R1440 for 30ml, it may seem very expensive but for the perfect selfie one has to ask yourself, is it really?
I am a shade 400C Cool Medium. I was introduced to By Terry foundation through another beauty blogger Kiss, Blush and Tell on Instagram about 2 months ago, and I can honestly say, I have never looked back.
My views – this is definitely the most amazing foundation I have ever bought. Metropolitan cosmetics based in Sandton and Hyde Park Corner is where you will find this little gem. The foundation is a thin liquid that you apply with a dropper. You can then build it until you get the perfect coverage. It leaves your skin feeling light and almost as if there is nothing on it. It completely “filters” it, minimizing pores, fine lines and just leaving you looking smooth and radiant. The hyaluronic component hydrates the skin and plumps out any wrinkles making it great for dry skin. And it’s Vegan. Literally ticking every box.
Price point – R1375 for 30ml may seem a little steep but you will look like you’ve just stepped off of a plane from an exotic overseas trip, and I mean who doesn’t want that, right? Buy in-store or online at Metropolitan cosmetics.
It is true what they, It’s all about the base after all. What’s your favourite foundation?
Let me know in the comments below.
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