This post has been a long time in the making! I have been trying to find my perfect, ‘holy grail’ foundation for such a long time. I’ve tried so many different brands of foundation, but I am going to review for you two of the best and two of the worst. Spoiler alert: I’ve found my holy grail!
Here goes, from the two worst to the two best I have tried:
MUA Matte Foundation (Shade 1 – Soft Sand)
The black packaging is basic but functional, with a screw top lid. The foundation squeezes out and allows good control over the amount you use. Being black, the tube gets quite dirty, with smudges of foundation on it. For the price, I think it’s completely fine.
Ugh. I bought this specifically because it was a matte foundation. I know a lot of people prefer the dewy look but I can never quite pull that off, and just prefer to be matte with no hint of shine! Unfortunately, it just didn’t come out matte on my normal to combination skin. It had that feeling of just never quite being ‘dry’, like it always had a slightly oily sheen to it. I really didn’t like the finish on my skin and would find myself reapply powder repeatedly!
The actual foundation texture is very thick and creamy-looking, which is quite appealing. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t translate to a good finish.
Sadly, this foundation also didn’t provide very good coverage. Any blemishes or uneven colour were still visible after application. It claims to provide ‘a creamy texture that blends beautifully for that perfect velvet finish and long-lasting matte complexion’. It certainly didn’t have a velvet finish, although I had no issues with the blending. I stopped using this foundation after about 4/5 uses and swapped it for a different one.
Value for Money
Price: £2 for 30ml. This is the only redeeming feature for me (apart from the shade, which was fine). However if you can afford even just a fiver more, there are many ‘drugstore’ foundations which are so much better whilst still being affordable. (Side note, this is my only really disappointing product from MUA, I love their other makeup and they do fab Pro Base concealer palettes, so don’t let this review put you off the whole brand!)
Superdrug B. Even Oil Control Foundation
The foundation comes in a tall glass bottle with a sturdy pump and a silver cap. It is functional and stands up on your makeup dresser which is useful. I prefer pump dispensers to other types, as they are more hygienic.
This foundation is slightly runnier than the MUA one, but still quite thick and creamy. It provides a medium coverage, so does cover some things like uneven skintone, but you would still need a decent concealer to cover blemishes and under-eye circles. It blends easily. It claims to be a “buildable, natural finish foundation; controlling excess oil whilst still keeping skin hydrated”.
This is where the foundation fell down for me. I stopped using it after 3/4 uses and gave it away for two reasons:
1) I got the lightest shade available. I am pale, but nothing unusual… generally just the lightest or second lightest shade in most base colours. I got the lightest shade in this foundation (010 Linen) and it’s about 2 shades too dark for me!! It is unfortunately also an orangey tone, so just looks really obvious on your skin. When I was wearing this, my mum said she “saw my foundation coming before she saw me”! I think they could do with formulating a lighter shade, as I know a lot of people a similar colour to me.
2) Note the foundation is called “B. Even Oil Control”… well sadly this foundation, much like the MUA one, really didn’t leave a matte finish on my skin. It was very shiny and felt sort of greasy to the touch. I don’t have super-oily skin, so if you did, I think you would have a real problem with this foundation.
Value for Money
Price: £10.99 for 28ml. I really wanted to like this foundation as it’s cruelty-free and I’ve liked all the other B products I’ve tried, but I just don’t. I think the price is reasonable though, if you do like the product. You also gain Superdrug Beauty Card points.
No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation (Calico)
The foundation comes in a solid plastic upstanding tube, with a pump dispenser and a black lid. It’s very similar to the B. style of packaging but the plastic rather than glass means it’s lighter if you’re taking it away with you. It also contains a sort of pressure push up bit inside, so that as you use the product up, it gets pushed further up the tube (in theory so that you use every last bit, I assume). Sadly I was a bit duped as due to the level steadily going up as I was using it, I thought I had all the way to the top until it was finished, but the actual product ran out whilst the ‘level’ was still a third of the way from the top! This is fine, but it did mean I wasn’t prepared with a replacement and was left with no foundation briefly!
The foundation is similar to the two I have already mentioned, relatively thick and creamy, maybe slightly runnier. Application is great – it goes on evenly and is very easy to blend. It claims to “minimise oil production whilst minimising the appearance of blemishes”.
The finish of this foundation is gorgeous. It was actually my favourite foundation until I discovered the Estee Lauder Double Wear! It is very matte, which is not for everyone, but is definitely how I prefer my foundation. It covers blemishes and uneven skintone very well and leaves a lovely, natural looking finish to the skin. As No7 colour match you in-store, you will get a shade which really suits you and is a close match to your natural skin colour. The shade I use (Calico) is the lightest shade and is a perfect match. If I catch a bit of sun, I can just warm it up with a bit of natural bronzer.
Value for Money
Price: £13.50 for 30ml. This is still pretty reasonable, and No7 often have 3-for-2 offers on. You also gain Boots Advantage card points. I love the next foundation I’m going to talk about, but would 100% buy this one again if I needed to save some money.
Estee Lauder Double Wear (Shell)
This is a short, square frosted glass bottle with a gold screw lid. It is simple but looks a little more high-end. However! It does surprise me that they don’t include any pump dispenser or dip-in wand. You literally have to pour the foundation onto the back of your hand (it’s very runny). At the price of this foundation, I find this a bit strange – and I imagine they must have had similar feedback from other customers. A pump would be much appreciated!
When I first saw the formulation of this foundation I really didn’t think I’d like it. It is VERY runny and thin-looking. I couldn’t imagine it having good coverage with that texture, but I was wrong. It applies like a dream, only taking seconds to buff into your face. It blends extremely easily and is the most natural but flattering coverage I have ever had from a base. It also strikes me how little I have to use, definitely less product than any other foundation I have used before.
The finish is perfect. I have found my holy grail foundation! It is a matte finish, without looking drying. It covers all my uneven skintone and blemishes, and even almost covers my dark under eye circles (this is an achievement as mine are really bad since I got ME!) I got the lightest shade, Shell, and it is a perfect match for my skin colour. On applying, you think it might be too light, but it blends out to a perfect, natural shade. I just love this foundation! The brand itself claim the foundation provides “flawless finish which stays fresh and looks natural through heat, humidity and non-stop activity”.
Value for Money
Price: £29.50 for 30ml. The only downside to this one! This is way more than I have spent in the past but I truly think in this case that you get what you pay for. Of the many foundations I’ve tried in the last 15 years, this is my favourite by far. I usually buy almost solely budget/drugstore makeup but will happily keep repurchasing this foundation whilst ever I can afford it. I have heard that Revlon Colorstay is a great dupe for this at a fraction of the price, so I’ll try it at some point and let you know if it’s a good dupe!
Which foundation do you use? Do you prefer a matte or dewy finish? Let me know in the comments box, or follow me on social media!Never miss another post from me! Click below to follow me on Bloglovin. If RSS or social media are more your style, check out my sidebar! Follow