It feels like it’s been forever since my last post. I’m 99% settled into my new apartment but still trying to figure out the best configuration for all my makeup and vanity things…. It’s hard when you have a small space! 🙂
Today I have a big post for you: all my foundations and concealers swatched! I’ve never been properly matched at MAC, but from reading a lot (and I mean a lot) on reddit MakeUpAddiction and PaleMUA, I would put myself in the NC5-10 ish range. I think I’m more of a true neutral than strongly warm or cool.
I keep buying new base products to try because gosh darn it! It’s so hard to find something that matches perfectly!
I have quite a few products amassed over the last few years. Sadly, none of these match perfectly. I currently use the NYX white mixer with all my foundations and it makes it slightly better, but most of these are too pink/warm. A lot of pale foundations turn too pink on my skin. This has been especially prevalent lately! Not sure whether my undertones have changed or not, but I suspect it’s because I went from a job where I did a lot more commuting/walking to a job that keeps me inside during most sunlight hours. I’ve gotten paler, oops!
- Urban Decay Naked Skin – 0.5
- NARS Sheer Glow – Mont Blanc
- Covergirl Tru Blend – L1 (ivory 1)
- Kardashian Beauty Liquid Makeup – Ivory
- Make Up Forever HD Foundation – Y225 (Marble)
- Sephora Bright Future Concealer – Bavarian Cream
- Nars Creamy Concealer – Chantilly
- Lorac Porefection Concealer – PC1 Fair
- Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation – Shell
- Hourglass Illusion Hylauronic Skin Tint – Shell
- Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream – 21
- theBalm Balm Shelter tinted moisturizer – Lighter than Light
- BareMinerals Complexion Rescue – Opal
- Miracle Skin Transformer – Medium
SO MANY BASE PRODUCTS! Hahaha, clearly you can see my slight desperation in finding something that matches!
^ These swatches were in sunlight. They appear quite warm because its bright afternoon sun!
^ These were indoor, indirect sunlight. They’ve been slightly corrected in photoshop to more accurately reflect their colors. You can also see the blue-green tint to my veins, which is (according to the interwebs) an indicator of my neutral undertones.
Now almost all of these look quite dark, and that’s because they are! Some of these base products oxidize darker than they swatch too (I’ll talk about that in a second).
Of course, arm swatches should never tell you what foundation matches your face. For me at least, because of an indoor job and my dedication to sunscreen every day, my face is pretty close to the same shade as my arm. I have surface redness on my face as well as some acne scarring (brb, crying forever) so I tend to match my foundation to my paler neck rather than have my face look like a floating darker shade.
- Urban Decay Naked Skin – 0.5 – I actually wore this one quite a lot, there’s only about 1/4 of the bottle remaining. This was purchased in 2014/2015 and it’s a little too dark and pink, especially now. With a white mixer I can get it closer to the right shade but the tone is still wrong. I love how lightweight it is, easy to apply, and it does have a skin-like finish. Lately though, my skin has been quite dry and this really clings to any dry patches. And, since it looks best over bare skin, it’s been a bit of a struggle to get it to look even. This one is water-based and it does not irritate my skin.
- NARS Sheer Glow – Mont Blanc – Another I purchased around 2014. There’s about 1/5 left in the bottle. This used to be a really good match, and now it’s a shade too dark and too pink. I think my previous matches were a bit off, like maybe the sales associate was matching too much to my pink over-tones, and not really understanding the more neutral/yellowness that is more obvious in my neck. This one is buildable coverage, more buildable than UD Naked, but I think it looks more ‘like foundation’. I did like it a lot when it matched, although it doesn’t last quite all day. This one also clings to dry patches, but since it is more silicone based it plays nicely with primers.
- Covergirl Tru Blend – L1 (ivory 1) – An impulse buy in late 2015/early 2016 when I started to really realize how off my UD and Nars were. This one separates really easily and it’s quite watery. It’s thin but somewhat buildable. I haven’t been able to get this one to apply nice and evenly; I don’t know the “trick” to this foundation yet. It’s not a terrible match, although it oxidizes a bit too dark.
- Kardashian Beauty Liquid Makeup – Ivory – I bought this one last week, haha. Ulta discontinued all their Kardashian makeup online and when I saw this in-person at my new Ulta location near me, I grabbed it without thinking. I had heard on MUA that it was a pretty good match for light skin tones. This has yellower undertones than UD or Nars. Despite it being a little too dark, it’s nice mixed with the NYX white mixer. This foundation is quite matte and a little thick. When added with the white mixer it’s too matte, so when I use this I actually mix equal parts foundation to white mixer to MAC’s strobe cream, to make it a bit creamier and less matte. It’s fine for $10 and has pretty decent coverage.
- Make Up Forever HD Foundation – Y225 (Marble) – Free sample from Sephora, #blessed. I have really been wanting to try MUFE’s foundations for a while and made sure to time my Sephora order to when they had this as a promo. This is too dark on me, but the yellow undertones are nice and with white mixer this is a decent match. There is a slight chance my skin hates something in this foundation though. I’ve taken some time off from wearing it (it’s been a couple weeks) but I’ll be going back to trying it out. I’m really desperately trying to find a good match in time for the Sephora 20% off sale, haha.
- Sephora Bright Future Concealer – Bavarian Cream – I really like this concealer! I use it more under my eyes/on my cheekbones than as a true spot concealer. It matches my face pretty decently and has neutral, maybe slightly pink undertones. It’s too dry to use all over my face like foundation (of course I tried that, haha) but it is closer to the lightness I need in my base color.
- Nars Creamy Concealer – Chantilly – Caved in and finally bought this a few weeks ago. Gosh darn it, I wish I had this years ago. This is a super match for my face. It has neutral, slightly creamy yellow undertones. If I’m having a really good skin day, I can wear this concealer and some powder and it’s a good base. I need to find a foundation closer to this color.
- Lorac Porefection Concealer – PC1 Fair – A favorite from 2015. It’s thick and really good at concealing. It’s a drier formula and so it’s a bit finnicky. The tiniest little amount is all you need!
- Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation – Shell – Rarely do I include sample pouches on my blog, but this really blew me away. You think anything labeled “powder” or “mattifying” would be terrible on dry skin, but this was surprisingly nice! It looks like skin with a natural finish. I did not need to set it with powder on top. It dries really really quickly though, so you have very little time to apply and blend. You can go back in with a damp beautyblender and spread it out a bit more afterwards. This color Shell is too dark and a little orange on me, but I used up the whole sample and I’m curious to try a lighter shade! I am worried about the sunscreen content since sunscreens in foundation tend to break me out. So another sample in a lighter color is likely in my future. (Pricey though!!)
- Hourglass Illusion Hylauronic Skin Tint – Shell – Another sample that blew me away! Not a tinted moisturizer at all; it’s really thick and has amazing coverage. Shell, once again, is too dark and a bit too orange. This one mixed with NYX white mixer and a drop of MAC strobe cream has been really awesome. It’s great coverage and makes a concealer unnecessary. It does get slightly dewier and oiler by the end of the day, and I think that’s because of the moisture content. There’s only one shade lighter available, but I’m really curious about it now.
- Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream – 21 – From 2015. A wee bit too dark, but there is a shade above this, #13, that might be a little better. This one isn’t bad though, and the slight grey neutral undertones are good. I’m not 100% sure if my skin likes the ingredients or not. I need to test this more consistently.
- theBalm Balm Shelter tinted moisturizer – Lighter than Light – From 2015. A good color match but this formula hates dry patches. It’s watery and really easily blended down, but because of that doesn’t offer super coverage. It’s nice and lightweight. It doesn’t feel like much on the skin and is quite dewy. It does smell like sunscreen though.
- BareMinerals Complexion Rescue – Opal – I bought this last month. It’s a decent color match, since it’s light enough but it is slightly too dark when it oxidizes. The formula kind of hates dry patches, but looks good if I apply it immediately after moisturizing. It’s quite dewy and almost like another moisturizer step rather than a foundation. Does not have good coverage though. It’s truly a lightweight tinted sunscreen rather than a foundation. I can get away with this, concealer, and powder as a “running errands” light kind of face.
- Miracle Skin Transformer – Medium – Too dark and ever so slightly too warm. I got this in a set from Costco but I kind of wish I had waited and tried the Light shade first. It’s a silicone-rich texture. It’s a little thick but sheers out easily. I haven’t worn it in a while though, since it’s too dark and doesn’t really mix with a white mixer nicely. It has decent sunscreen and nice coverage for an easy lazy day look.
Well, that was a lot of words! Sorry about that.
TL;DR: It’s hard to find a very neutral foundation amongst my stash and I’m on the prowl for a new one 🙂 Closest matches are the Kardashian Ivory with white mixer or Nars Chantilly.
I hope these swatches are useful to some of you! I know it was useful for me to swatch them all next to each other. It’s interesting to see how widely different various “light” or “ivory” shades will be depending on the brand.
Have a good weekend!