The search for a great foundation seems to be eternal. I dread to think of how much I’ve spent on affordable foundations down the years only to be disappointed; they definitely stop feeling affordable after a while. I know that I’ve taken risks in the past buying foundations online, but I’ve always accepted that it probably won’t work out.
Buying cheaper foundations in Boots feels similarly hazardous at times. Sure, you can swatch them on your hand and jaw. How many of us can take a sample of them home though and test them out there? That privilege seems to be limited to the higher end products. I know there are people who will bring their own containers and sneak some Rimmel foundation home (and really, more power to you), but most of us aren’t that brave. It’s hard to gauge in-store how effective a foundation is. I for one would pay anything for a foundation I really loved, so long as that foundation isn’t over €40. I’m eager, not wealthy.
I’ll be honest, I don’t have a whole lot of experience with higher end foundations. The idea that “you get what you pay for” applies to foundations intrigues me. Are they really worth it? Should I be investing in a high end one? After all, if I found a decent expensive one that was perfect for me, it would probably save me money in the long term considering how much I spend a year on cheaper foundations. So I picked up 4 samples of expensive foundations and hoped for the best.
Oof, this one is heavily fragranced. It has a thin consistency and goes on fairly sheer. I needed to apply two layers for medium coverage, so I’m confused as to how it can claim to provide medium to full coverage. I think it would look cakey if you built it up to full, but I digress. It leaves a nice satin finish which is a huge plus for those of us who hate matte foundations. It didn’t last forever on my skin, but it didn’t dry it out either which is a plus for me.
I liked this foundation. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin and it blended out nicely. Is it anything amazing? No. Would I spend nearly €40 on a foundation that requires two coats to achieve medium coverage? Absolutely not. You could absolutely get a foundation that performs just as well for a quarter of the price.
This is a thick foundation which is fine if you’re used to one, but I’m personally not. I found it awkward to blend out with both a makeup sponge and a foundation brush. It took work. I even found it took longer to remove than any other foundation I’ve used. This has a strong smell, also.
It does provide high coverage but naturally as a result feels heavy on the skin. This also oxidises fast so that’s something to consider when picking a shade. I will say though I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t cling to my dry patches considering it’s a matte foundation.
This was my second least favourite of the bunch, it’s just too high maintenance for me. My first and probably last interaction with a YSL anything really.
I was initially disappointed to be handed two sachets of foundation to sample, assuming both wouldn’t cover my face, but was pleasantly surprised to see that one sachet was plenty. This foundation sets on the face quickly so you have to move fast. I found it easier to use a sponge than a brush. It provides decent coverage and while you can definitely feel it on your skin, it’s not uncomfortable. Plus, no smell! I did notice that after less than an hour, it had oxidised. I sort of expect that now from foundations so it’s not a dealbreaker. It does, however, sink into pores. That’s not great.
It starts out impressive, if a little difficult to blend, but it doesn’t take long to let you down. Would I spend €40 on it? Heck nope.
I saved the worst til last! First and foremost, the container I received the sample in was barely enough to apply one fine layer of product, so I can only judge the foundation based on that. It seems a bit ridiculous to have such stingy samples considering that Estee Lauder owns basically everything and isn’t hurting for money. As a result, the coverage was barely existent.
Secondly, it didn’t take long before the foundation both oxidised and sucked the moisture out of my skin. Within a couple of hours’ wear, it had separated on my forehead. I applied moisturiser and primer before putting on foundation, and set it with setting spray after, and still it couldn’t wait 3 hours to ruin my face.
I don’t think there are any real winners here. If I absolutely had to pick a favourite, I’d go with the Lancome Teinte Idole. It’s not the mot inspiring foundation ever, but the best of a bad lot for me. Double Wear Light can jog all the way on.
Have you tried out any of the above?