There are so many brands of foundation on the market and so many types too. How do you choose the best product for your skin type? When you are ready to go shopping for a good foundation, how do you go about analysing each one? I've reviewed 5 products from Chanel, Guerlain, Dior, Giorgio Armani and the Korean brand Laneige. A good range of formulas and each have good points and bad points. Read on to find out which few make the cut out of this lineup.
Following on from my post How to Choose Makeup Based on Your Skin Tone and Undertone; I thought it would be the perfect time to review some foundations. This post is also a reader request and since I don't wear foundation usually during the day this was a bit of a challenge for me. I normally wear full foundation and/or powder for special events and going out to dinner. Gone are the days when I can spend time putting foundation on every day... I prefer something I like hearing other people refer to - the 5 minute face.
Remember, NEVER go to an online store/bricks and mortar store without doing some research on brands and foundations first. Go to a good impartial review site like makeupalley.com and search for something you have found or heard of before buying anything. Consider what other people have said. Is the foundation right for your skin type?
How to Choose Foundation for Your Skin Type
Choose a formula that works best for your skin. If your face is dry, a liquid or stick/cream foundation will help as it will be the most moisturising. If your skin is oily you should probably go with a powder foundation that'll help absorb excess shine. Combination skin or mature skin is sometimes tricky and this is where BB cushions can help. You can apply these as they are lightweight over your whole and then layer powder over any oily patches. Avoid powdering near any deep wrinkles as that will make them appear worse.
My skin is dry and oily around the nose. I am also maturing and I would rather not make my existing lines around my eyes look worse. For this post I am reviewing various liquid foundations as these are best for me.
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet SPF 15
This was by far the easiest product to pick in my colour as I have a concealer by Chanel already. I chose 22 Beige Rose for the purpose of this review however I think this foundation needs to be a little lighter in colour for my skin. The beige rose was the right shade for my cool undertone though. I compiled an initial thoughts paragraph on this foundation before I started applying it to my face because I had to test it on the inside of my arm for a skin reaction. I suggest this to everyone when trying new products especially those with sensitive skin.
Firstly; this foundation smells so much when I put it out on the top of my hand. It has a strong overpowering floral smell and I already feel that because of this, this won't be the product that I like out of all of these foundations. I rub the bit that I put on my hand in with my fingers and it has a sort of powdery finish after a while.
Reviews suggest this product is an excellent foundation for combination skins however really oily skin will need a powder over the top. It is also recommended for people who want coverage with a natural look. Which is totally me because I don't like my freckles however I would rather not look like a doll. I am also warned that this formula dries really quickly.
Because I knew the Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet SPF 15 dries really quickly I decided to apply it with my fingers very quickly to my whole face. I start by putting it out on the back of my hand and then dabbing four big blobs on my forehead, 2 cheeks and chin. Then I get to work really quickly. The smell is waaaaaaaay too much for me already and it only seems to get worse as I blend it in around my face. It doesn't seem to disperse. But that might just be because I am really quite sensitive to fake floral fragrance. I don't react like this to natural essential oils.
The Chanel blends really easily but does dry really fast to a powdery finish. The coverage was good and it didn't make my skin feel oily. I like the powdery finish at the end and I would say that the finish was dewy - which is a great balance in my opinion. It didn't sit in my lines however my eye area looked a bit more wrinkled than I would have liked. Like a few people said in reviews, the Chanel clung to my dry areas so this is not the perfect foundation for my skin type. I also think that my skin wasn't 100% happy because of the fragrance. No allergic reaction though. My face feel weightless with it on. I am not sure you could build this very successfully because it dried a bit too quickly.
Another downside to this foundation is the price. It's $73AUD on Strawberrynet and while I do get a loyalty discount I am not 100% satisfied with this price. I say this because it clung to my dry patches, but also because it comes in a small square/rectangular black plastic bottle. I mean come on! 30mL for $73AUD! AND this packaging is the MOST disappointing out of all the products I am reviewing in this post. For Chanel prices that is a bit rich if you ask me. That said, it does come off really easily and it is not uncomfortable to wear...
Guerlain Parure Gold, Gold Radiance Foundation Rejuvenating Effect Liquid SPF 30
The Guerlain Parure Gold, Gold Radiance Foundation Rejuvenating Effect Liquid SPF 30 is by far the most expensive product in this review. At $104AUD I have high hopes for this one and I am not disappointed packaging wise. The bottle comes in a 'double box' and the bottle is the weightiest of all the products I am reviewing. Like the Chanel it is also 30mL, and even though it is even more expensive, I am not as disappointed because the product is presented in a much nicer way. When you take the lid off the bottle - it has a nice serum like pump with gold accents. The Chanel only has a standard twist top and nib.
I also love the language in the leaflet in the box and on online reviews. It has a subtle alchemy of gold pigments and a collegen booster complex. It is supposed to revive your complexion, while wrinkles and signs of tiredness are smoothed away. The formula includes silica beads plus oil of myrrh... I mean, who knows if I can believe all that hype; it definitely sells the product to me though.
Reviews suggest this product is easy to spread around your face and that it has great coverage. The Guerlain Parure Gold also gets rave reviews from older consumers and those with dry, dehydrated skin while those with oily skin should steer clear.
I bought shade 02 Beige Clair for this review and I misjudged the shade but not the colour. This product will need lightening for me to wear it comfortably - however I knew shade 01 Beige Pale would be too light for me. There was a 00 that wasn't available online too.
Guerlain Parure Gold, Gold Radiance Foundation Rejuvenating Effect Liquid SPF 30 doesn't smell overpowering like the Chanel. It sort of has a powdery smell which is not unpleasant. It also doesn't dry as fast as the Chanel which is great. So I actually applied this with my fingers and blended with a beauty blender. (No I didn't buy THE Beauty Blender - that is way too expensive for a little bit of sponge)... It was also thicker than the Chanel Foundation. Once I had the Guerlain on my face, it seemed heavier than the other formulas I have reviewed. Although that doesn't surprise me because the coverage was really really good.
The Guerlain doesn't make my skin feel oily and it also didn't sit in my lines; it did sit in my pores though. I don't have massive pores everywhere, only a few on my cheeks which are left over from my pustular acne. I also felt that this sit in my pores quality and the thickness of the formula meant that the Guerlain was harder to take off. However if you want coverage you'd live with how this product came off - it wasn't super super difficult in the end.
Once the Guerlain Parure Gold, Gold Radiance Foundation Rejuvenating Effect Liquid SPF 30 came off my face my skin felt ABSOLUTELY amazing. The coverage is long lasting and there is definitely a real rejuvenating effect. Plus, even though this bottle is expensive. I only used one pump for my whole face. So I expect this product would last me ages. Unlike the Chanel that dried so quickly; I needed more and more product.
Diorskin Nude Air Serum, Healthy Glow Serum Foundation SPF 25
The Diorskin Nude Air Serum, Healthy Glow Serum Foundation SPF 25 is approx $74.50AUD. I am slightly disappointed by the fact that there are only four shades in this foundation. I bought 02 Light Beige for this review and the shade is not quite right for me.
This foundation is a serum foundation and it includes plant based oil filled bubbles that evaporate instantly, which means that the formula sets to a satin matte finish. Again something that I think I will love. I am a sucker for marketing spiels aren't I...
Reviews suggest that this foundation is good. It will give me medium coverage and since it doubles as a serum, it will be incredibly lightweight. I also am told that it will absorb really quickly, so I should put in on a palette rather than the back of my hand. The Diorskin is great for combination skin and I should use a brush to apply it.
I don't have a palette so I had to put it on my hand - not ideal I know. The Diorskin foundation smells like floral oils. Not bad and not overpowering - I am confortable using this formula. It's not as horrible and overpowering as the Chanel. I work quickly because I know it absorbs quickly before I start. It blends well however the colour is a bit too yellow for my cool undertone. The coverage is great and this formula is the most comfortable so far. It was also the formula that made my skin look the nicest out of all the liquid foundations in this review. My skin doesn't look oily and the Diorskin Nude Air Serum, Healthy Glow Serum Foundation SPF 25 didn't sit in my lines or pores either.
I think the Diorskin blends the nicest out of all the formulas and smoothes my skin almost too well. You remember how the review said the formula dried really quickly? Well it may be that my skin is super dry so it was sucking the Diorskin up... But I didn't even get my whole face covered before it dried... So the fact that the colour wasn't quite right and the face that it dried waaaaay too fast was a big draw back. I think you would need practice applying this formula.
I would actually really like to try to adjust the colour of the Diorskin Nude Air Serum, Healthy Glow Serum Foundation SPF 25 because I really like the way my skin looked when I had this formula on. The Diorskin came off easily too.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation SPF 20
I also have high hopes for the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation SPF 20 because this has been recommended by some of the beauty bloggers that I follow. So when I knew I was going to review foundations, this was first on my list. I also know that this will be good for my undertone and skin tone. I purchase shade 5 Warm Beige from Strawberrynet for $76AUD. I also know I will be wanting to use a beauty blender to put this on because I have read quite a few reviews on this product. I am still a bit skeptical that I will like this because it has a matte finish. As I get older I feel that I need a dewy look so that I look and feel younger.
Reviews suggest that the Giorgio Armani has a beautiful silky texture which blends unbelievably well. It will cover every blemish, all my redness and even my dark circles. It will have a velvet-matte finish and I won't need setting powder. Apparently it has some clever 'fabric technology' - "which is a new generation of extremely lightweight and highly luminous formula that presents colours and textures in a new and different way. It will offer seamless application and incredible softness and comfort".
I applied this foundation to the back of my hand and used my fingers and a beauty blender to blend into my skin. The bottle is pleasant to use and I really like the streamlined black serum pump top. The little Giorgio Armani symbol to close it is a really nice touch. The Luminous Silk Foundation is the least fragrant (except for the Laneige) of the products I have reviewed. Which you will probably realise by now, is what I prefer. This formula goes on really well and feels really light. It blends well too. The coverage is ok - as you can imagine, if the formula is lightweight the coverage is not going to be as good as the Guerlain for example. You'll need extra help under the eyes with this formula.
The colour was pretty perfect for me and I am tossing up whether I like how this Luminous Silk went on and blended better than the Diorskin. It wins hand down on the not drying super fast though. The Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation SPF 20 sort of felt matte when it dried down however a big draw back was that it clung to my dry patches. I mean I don't really have dry patches and low and behold this foundation found some. The Luminous Silk foundation made my eye area look at least 20 years older than it was. That said it came off really easily, didn't make my skin feel oily and didn't sit in the lines on my face. I think the main reason I don't sing extra songs of praise for this foundation is that it is just too drying.
Laneige B.B Cushion Pore Control SPF 50+
There aren't many reviews on the Laneige B.B Cushion Pore Control SPF 50+ compact compared to the other products in my review. I actually wanted to try this foundation out and compare it to my Lancôme Miracle Cushion compact. I use the Lancôme Miracle Cushion compact every day and I love that it can be built up and doesn't dry my under eye area.
The Laneige B.B Cushion boasts quite a few features. Obviously you can tell by the name it gives good pore control - it also has good coverage, a cooling sensation and a dual powder formula that ends up as a semi matte finish without greasiness.
The few people who reviewed this product on makeupalley.com had mixed feelings about the Laneige B.B Cushion Pore Control SPF 50+ compact. Two or three of them said they got rashes from it so I tested it on my arm first.
Firstly, let me start off by saying that the packaging isn't as solid as the Lancôme Miracle Cushion however the price is much nicer. I actually got the Laneige compact and a refill for less than the Miracle Cushion compact. I am a big fan of the Laneige box with holographic details on it and the refill is really nicely packaged too.
The Laneige B.B Cushion Pore Control SPF 50+ doesn't smell of anything really and I really love this about Korean cosmetics and skincare. They are mostly not irritating. Which is why I was surprised that people said they got a rash from this. This formula goes on really well however it does dry a little bit faster than the Miracle Cushion. Definitely not as fast as the Diorskin though! The Laneige has good coverage and you can build it so it really could be quite heavy coverage if you wanted. I totally agree that this controls oil and has a cooling effect. My cheeks were soothed. Sometimes I get a bit rosy in the cheeks and like cooling serums and products. Not rosacea prone no, only a bit rosy.
I actually really love this product. The Laneige B.B Cushion Pore Control SPF 50+ didn't sit in my lines and it was great around the eye area too. My skin felt amazing after I took this off and although it was harder to get off than the Lancôme Miracle Cushion compact; I wasn't worried because the coverage was more.
So after all of that you are probably wondering which products are my picks? I really like the Laneige B.B Cushion Pore Control SPF 50+ however this would be a night/going out foundation for me. So I will stick to my Miracle Cushion for day. I liked everything about the Armani except the dryness so if you have skin a little bit more oily than mine this would be good for you. My other pick is the DiorSkin and I am wanting to perfect how quickly I can apply it and alter the colour slightly.
A BIG thumbs down for the Chanel. I am also thinking that the Guerlain isn't worth the money for a younger consumer.
Which foundation do you use? Why do you love it? Comment at the end of the post! I love hearing from you all!