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Anyway, onto the good stuff. I thought I’d go a bit more in-depth with a few things I only touched on in the first post. First up, let’s have a talk about face basics – primer and foundation.
First of all, do you really need primer? The short answer is no. You don’t need it, and a lot of pro makeup artists don’t believe in it. However, I think that’s because they are wizards and sorcerers who have sold their souls for flawless base application every single damn time, UGH! Ok not really but they have had a lot of training and/or practice to make their bases look flawless. I haven’t, and maybe you haven’t, so I like to use a primer. This is also because my pores can be seen from Saturn’s rings. And not just the outer rings or anything – the inner ones. Realtalk. And you know what? That’s fine. That’s how my face is. It’s no big deal. But it sure makes my makeup look a bit funky if I don’t put some heavy duty spakfilla on first.
The other thing about primer is that if you are someone who has oily skin, like me, primer is another layer between your skin and your foundation. Like you know how people are talking about getting that “summer glow” at the moment? My entire life is that, and it’s called being a sweaty oily mess. Anyway, primer to me is another layer that the oils in your skin have to fight through before they start messing with your foundation. Some would say that adding layer upon layer to your skin isn’t the best idea anyone’s ever had but for me, it works. For you, it might not work. If you aren’t going to use a primer that’s fine, but I would still really recommend using a moisturizer all the time – makeup or not. Foundation really shouldn’t go straight onto bare skin.
Anyway, as for WHICH primer to use, well, it depends on your needs. And I actually only have one drugstore primer. There’s no really good reason for this: I’ve had a few travel size higher end ones that have taken me a long time to get through and that means I haven’t had a lot of reasons to try drugstore ones. But the one that I have used, I freakin’ LOVE. It’s the NYX Pore Filler primer. Let’s talk about it.
I love this stuff! If you’ve used the Benefit POREfessional, this is a fantastic dupe. In fact, IMO this one is actually better. It’s a little bit lighter, and a little bit less “gummy” and sticky, so I think it meshes a bit better than the POREfessional. It’s still quite thick though. Observe.
You want to apply this with your fingertips, smoothing it across your skin. You don’t want to dab it onto your skin. If you think about how pores are shaped, you want to fill them in with this so you want to slide the product over them to create a flat surface. I hope that makes sense!
That’s the only drugstore primer I have, so let’s move on to foundations.
So can we just talk about the BEAUTIFUL peonies my parents-in-law have growing in their front garden? The bush itself is covered in these huge, lush blooms and it’s just the best, they kindly let me take some last night after dinner. Love! Anyway.
I’m not going to talk about these in any particular order. The first one is the Bourjois 123Perfect CC cream that I mentioned in my last post.
It’s a great option if you want something that’s very easy to use but still has decent coverage. CC stands for color correcting, so it’s also great for people who have pigmentation or redness. It’s not too much, but not “just” a tinted moisturizer style coverage either. It’s a great option for everyday wear, particularly for beginners. The finish is matte-natural, but it’s not cakey. The tube labels it as luminous but it’s not really, you could make it luminous but in its original state it is more towards matte and can be made further matte with some setting powder. The tube is good too, it’s just a screw top tube with a pointed nozzle. This is about $25 from Priceline in Australia, or $20 from Amazon in the USA. I wear shade 32 (beige clair).
Next up is also from Bourjois, it’s the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation.
This was the first drugstore foundation I ever bought, and it was on the recommendation of Lisa Eldridge who is one of my favorite professional makeup artists. She has an amazing YouTube channel where she posts tutorials. Check it out here. Healthy Mix is fabulous because it has pretty darn good coverage but still manages to feel quite seamless on the skin. I consider it to be a matte finish, well, matte-ish, it’s not as matte as some but I would not call it particularly glowy though the description on the bottle is “healthy glow & flawless complexion, hydrated & luminous skin”. It’s another good everyday foundation if you want a bit more coverage but still a relatively natural finish. It for sure has more coverage and a less natural finish than the CC cream, but that is self explanatory – it’s a foundation after all. It has nice solid glass packaging with a pump and a sturdy lid. Not great for travel because it’s so heavy but the packaging is really nice for a drugstore foundation. It’s $20 from Amazon in the USA and $32 in Australia from Priceline. I wear shade 52 (vanille).
Next is the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte foundation. I am actually not sure if this is available yet in Australia so that’s something to keep in mind. It is relatively new here. The name intrigued and attracted me, you know me, I love my matte finish foundations because my t-zone can get so oily, and because matte finish usually means lots of coverage and that is also my jam.
I love the light, flat packaging, can we just talk about how great it is? No messy pump that can get clogged (I like pumps and all but doesn’t that piss you off? When the foundation dries and clumps in the nozzle?), no dipping your finger or a q-tip in the jar, no tipping out the foundation just a handy tube that is flat so it travels super well. Bravo, L’Oreal! Anyway, they are NOT kidding, this foundation is matte as HECK. I love it obviously. The coverage is medium-full. One thing I will say about this is that it sets fairly quickly so it pays to apply this in sections before it dries rather than dotting it on your face if that’s something you normally do. I sometimes powder just a tiny bit on my oily parts and might need to do this as the day goes on but if I can’t be bothered then I don’t. I apply all my foundations with a brush, this one I think really does well being applied with the Real Techniques sculpting brush. Don’t ask me why! It just does. This foundation is getting a lot of good reviews from beauty bloggers and youtubers and I totally get why. It’s super matte but manages not to be thick and cakey, which is remarkable especially for a drugstore foundation. In the USA you can get this one for around $11-15 from CVS, Walgreens, KMart or anywhere that sells L’Oreal. Hopefully it’ll turn up in Australia soon! In the meantime I believe you can pick it up on eBay or on Amazon. I wear shade 102 (shell beige).
[It’s worth noting that the matching powder foundation (which I use to set this foundation and others) is available in Australia, but not the liquid. Weird. There is the 24 Hour Infallible Stay Fresh foundation as well but I cannot confirm if these are the same or even similar foundations – would love to know though! At the moment L’Oreal (and Real Techniques!) are 3 for 2 at Priceline so you could pick up some other great things like the L’Oreal Infallible eyeshadows which are wonderful.]
Another great L’Oreal foundation though further to the other end of the scale in terms of finish, is the L’Oreal True Match foundation.
This one is a very cool foundation for someone with normal skin who is a little bit scared of foundation matching. It is hard, right?! Well you get quite a lot of wiggle room with this one. With a lot of foundations, particularly drugstore ones where the shade range might not be so great, you really have to get it as spot on as possible. Not with this lil baby, it has color blending technology that means that even if you don’t get it exactly right, it will match your skin fairly well. Not to say that this means you should just do whatever and pick up whichever shade you want – just that it won’t be a huge disaster if you don’t get the exact right shade or even if you don’t think they have a shade that suits you.
This one is definitely more of a natural-satin finish rather than a matte finish, so like I said I think it’d be perfect for normal / combo skin or even dry skin. For oily skin I think this needs quite a bit of powdering which isn’t always the best look, so perhaps skip this one if you are quite oily. The packaging is glass with a pump, so a little bit heavy and not ideal for travel. The coverage is medium. You can grab it in Australia for $30 at Priceline or in the USA at any drugstore that sells L’Oreal for about $10. Bargain! I wear shade N2 (vanille), but could probably go a shade darker.
I’ve saved my latest love for last. It’s so weird. I never buy or even look at CoverGirl. I think it seems cheap and boring. But a few bloggers that I love and follow religiously did reviews of the CoverGirl Outlast Stay Luminous foundation and they were, for lack of a better word, glowing. So I was like, screw it, it’s cheap, why not. EVEN THOUGH it’s a luminous finish and a medium (at best) coverage. I know. I’m a rebel and a risk-taker. And you know what? It frickin’ owns.
I love it! It’s really, really comfortable. That’s the best way I can think to describe it. It is definitely less coverage than what I’m used to, and also much less matte and more luminous. But for summer I think it’ll be really lovely and fresh without being sweaty. I heard that applying this with a patting motion with the RT sculpting brush was a good technique and I do agree, it seems to work well for this foundation. I usually give it a bit of a buff in at the end anyway, just to make sure everything is blended nicely.
I actually took some pictures of this one. For accuracy and honesty, I used the “bad side” of my face (lol), for some reason the left side of my face is more heavily scarred and has worse acne marks than the right side. It might be something to do with sleeping on the left side? I don’t always sleep on that side but majority I probably do. I don’t know! Anyway here is the before and after:
So you can see it’s not a heap of coverage, it’s not cakey and thick and it doesn’t completely mask the skin – your natural skin still comes through. It just hides the worst of the red acne marks (why do those stick around so long?!) and I’m into that! I don’t have anything else on but this. No powder or concealer, just the foundation.
Interestingly, in the USA MaxFactor and CoverGirl are basically the same thing. MaxFactor isn’t sold in the USA anymore, instead their products were merged into CoverGirl. Anyway, that’s just a weird tidbit. I can’t see that this CG foundation is available in Australia yet, but you can get it here in the USA for around $11 anywhere that sells CoverGirl. I wear shade 825 (buff beige).
I hope that helps! I am going to do a higher-end foundation post a bit later, I’m testing out some at the moment so I just want to make sure I give those a good go before I post that roundup.
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