The search for the perfect foundation

I started wearing makeup in middle school, on and off. By the time college rolled around though, I was wearing makeup everyday. And when I get bad acne at about 20 (yes, what a cruel joke that is) foundation became an absolute necessity. The problem is, there’s probably about three million foundations out there from $6-$100. How do you figure out which one is for you without completely emptying your bank account? I have tried a lot of foundations, from Wet N Wild to Chanel and I’m still searching.

I currently have my drugstore go-to, Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation ($6) and I have a sample of Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation ($47) that I recently fell in love with and am probably going to order by the end of the week.

Photo Focus smells like literal paint at first, which is off-putting and seriously confusing. Honestly, what the fuck is in it that smells like that? But, it does go away and the coverage is ridiculous for $6. It’s not perfect, though, but I don’t think a perfect foundation exists unless you already have perfect skin.


I got Lancome with a few different samples from Sephora and this one was a great match. It’s not full coverage but it covers without looking cakey or dry. It makes me feel kind of luminous which is not something I’m used to having such dry skin.

I loved Tarte Hybrid Gel Foundation, but I don’t even think it’s sold anymore, weirdly. The problem with this stuff is when I saw it for the first time it was $27 at Ulta, and I wasn’t even looking for a foundation at that time, but I love Tarte and wanted to give it a try for that price. When I went to go buy more however, I realized it was just on a special because it cost more like $40. Now I can’t even find it. I also tried a sample of Rainforest of the Sea ($39) and liked it a lot, but I had my mom check it out in natural light and she said it actually highlighted my dry patches and was very obvious I was wearing makeup. That’s why I ultimately went with Lancome.

I’ve tried the popular Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able ($55) and it was AMAZING. I mean, that coverage is bomb. But it highlights dry patches soooo badly. I can handle that a little bit with a $6 foundation, but for $55, I don’t know about that. I’m still debating buying this as a special occasion makeup because it covers so damn good, but that’s a lot of coins.

Like the rest of the world, I was excited for Fenty Beauty ($34) and was so disappointed when I finally put the foundation on. It’s marketed as a foundation for every skin type, but when I returned it to Sephora the woman said it’s definitely not for dry skin. From far away I looked really pretty. Up close, I looked so cakey and dry. It was bizarre. I’ve never had a foundation match my skin tone so perfectly, but it was not worth it.

I was a loyal user of It Cosmetics CC Cream ($38). It’s perfect for dry skin because it offers coverage without drying you out. You look put together but not cakey. Unfortunately, I had an odd experience. One day I started to notice it looked super orange. Something it didn’t look like for at least 6 months prior. I mentioned it to my mom who also uses It and she said the same thing happened to her. (And we wear different shades.) It was like it oxidized inside the tube. I contacted the company and after several emails back and forth and sending them pictures and batch numbers, I was told I was wearing the wrong color. If a color was fine and then the next day it wasn’t, I feel like I didn’t get multiple shades paler overnight? I hate a shitty product and I hate shitty customer service even more, so I’ve given up on them. And not to mention their atrocious shade range.

I used Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua ($50) for a few months. It’s incredibly light so you don’t feel at all like you’re wearing makeup and I think it did make my skin look radiant, but at that time my acne was out of control and it was not giving me the coverage I needed. I might give this one a try again since my skin has cleared up a lot, but like other high-end brands out there, it’s $50. Ooof. No wonder celebrities look so damn perfect.

After I started following the YouTuber RawBeautyKristi, I decided to try Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation ($12) at her high praise. The first problem is their shade range. The lightest shade is too dark and their darkest shade is too light. Covergirl is not some indie brand. They have no excuse for a shade range like that. Despite the awful colors, I decided to give it a try. The coverage is alright, but I paid $13 for this, which to me is way too much for a drugstore brand. Especially considering the $6 Photo Focus knocks this out of the park.

This is just a sample of all the foundations I’ve used over the years. If I could actually remember all the ones I’ve tried, and added up how much I’ve spent on foundation, I might actually vomit. Thankfully you can go to Sephora and ask for samples without making a purchase so you can at least get a few, wear them for a day or two and see how they work in real life. I recently got a promotional email from them to get nine foundation samples with a $25 purchase, so obviously I bought some moisturizer I’ve been dying to get so I could play with even more makeup this week. I’ll post about that when I get it. What about you guys, what kind of foundation do you use?

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