Foundations and Concealers for Pale / Fair Skin

Happy spring everyone! It’s almost time for the Sephora sale in April and rumor has it (aka I begged my local store for info) there’s going to be another 20% Ulta coupon in June.

So it’s the time of the year where I dive deeper into trying to find my “perfect” foundation! Foundations are expen$ive so I always like to purchase mine when I can get a good deal. In an effort to find a good foundation I’ve been swatching and wearing all of my current stash to see what colors work. I also just came back from a fruitless swatching visit at Ulta. My local Ulta recently redid their interior and it’s super fancy now. There are even full Lancome and Estee Lauder counter/wall areas. So of course I swatched their foundations too.

Long story short, let the swatches begin!

I’ve done a pale/fair thread before, and you can find those foundations and concealers swatched here. That was in October, aka before the November Sephora sale. You see the pattern? 🙂

For reference my skintone is (???) who knows. Haha, sorry I’m unhelpful; I’m still learning a lot about undertones. I know I’m pale, neutral-ish maybe yellow leaning? My arms are a bit paler than my face but it’s close enough that I can usually guesstimate how things will look on my face when I swatch on my arms. I have surface redness to my face that was confusing for undertone-matching for years, but now I really strive to match my neck which to me is pale neutral, with a bit of yellow-leaning and maybe some muted greige thing going on? Undertones are VERY confusing to me.

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pale foundation and concealer swatches

  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer Chantilly – “true ivory shade for fairest complexions” – I find this slightly warm toned yellow-ish, but it’s very neutral on my face. It’s oxidized a bit on my arm. Medium-high coverage.
  • Sephora Bright Future Concealer Bavarian Cream – This is more peach than Chantilly. Light-medium coverage. A slightly ‘dry’ formula, at least on my dry skin.
  • Tarte Shape Tape Fair – “very fair skin” – It’s oxidized here, but it’s not quite as bad on the actual face. Yellow-warm leaning color. High coverage. I do NOT find this buildable. It’s really dry (probably because of the coverage) and it gets cakey fast.
  • Lorac Porefection Concealer PC1 Fair – Definitely yellow toned. Doesn’t oxidize, medium-high coverage. You only need the tiniest amount.
  • NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Siberia – “light w/ neutral balance of pink & yellow undertones” – Not that you can tell here, but this is my current closest match. Literally everything oxidizes on my arm more than my face. Matches my neck pretty well, like it’s totally doable and it’s my best match thus far. There’s something about it that’s too… “clear”. Like it reads almost… white/blue? Hard to describe, but there’s something “bright” about it where I feel my skintone has a tiny bit of “muted” to it that this is lacking. I also HATE THE FORMULA SO MUCH. I’ve tried a million primers, different methods of application, different foundation mix ins… But I cannot get this foundation to not separate into my pores and make my skin look dry. How I wish this worked better on me 😦
  • CoverFX Natural Finish Foundation N0 -“For fairest porcelain skin with neutral undertones” – This is what I ended up buying in the last Sephora November sale. It’s okay but not perfect. The color is too pink for me and reads almost white-based “pastel” pink applied to my face. Also the formula isn’t smooth and accentuates dryness. The next shade N10 is too peach and a little too dark. I wish there was a G0 I could try, it might be more yellow.
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pale foundation and concealer swatches

  • Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer in Fair – Totally not a primer; it actually has some decent coverage. This is a GREAT match for me. Leans yellow, blends in very “soft”, fills in pores. It doesn’t last very long though and it looks a little melt-y after a few hours. If only this played nicely with the NARS, that would be an ideal coverage situation.
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin 0.5 – “very fair porcelain w/ subtle pink undertone” – I wore this for a few years, when I had more of an outdoor living. Now my love for sunscreen and indoor job keeps me too pale for this. It’s also too warm peachy. It’s a nice formula though- I really wish one of their foundations was a decent color match. 0.5 plus white mixer is still too peach, and 1.0 (the “yellow” one) plus white is still peachy too.
  • Kardashian Beauty Liquid Makeup Ivory – now discontinued, no idea if you can even buy this anywhere. It’s actually a nice smooth medium coverage, but too peachy and dark.
  • BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Opal – does NOT play well with others. It pills up if you blend it wrong, it doesn’t like primers under or concealers/foundations on top. Also it’s too peachy for me. It’s super sheer, so it’s not too bad, but it makes my face look too warm.
  • Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream 21 – The greige side of this peachy color makes it doable, but it’s too dark and doesn’t play well with white mixer.

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  • Wet’n’Wild Photofocus Foundation Porcelain – This is pretty close to Nars Siberia. Porcelain is a bit darker and a bit peachier. This formula is just as sucky as Siberia though. It dries powdery but also never sets. Even if I lightly touch my face, it comes off on my fingers. But adding setting powder and spray makes it look cakey. I’ve only had this a couple of weeks so I can still play with it, but meh. Smells STRONGLY like paint but that does evaporate.
  • Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation 213 – This is a WONDERFUL formula! Very moist, hydrating, smooth on my drier skin type. 213 is too dark and a bit too warm.
  • Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation 213 plus white mixer – This is a better color. My NYX white mixer sadly makes the foundation more matte, and I’m not sure how to combat this. It’s still a touch too warm. 213 is the most “olive” shade (according to the internet) but I think it’s a warm olive and I might need something more cool-grey-olive? Undertones are crazy.
  • I did try KGD 002 and 112 as well. Both are too peachy and a bit too dark. 002 is almost a good shade without any mix in; it’s fair enough. But it definitely looks too peach and there’s a clear line if I don’t blend it allllll the way down.

I sadly do not have photos because I was in a hurry but what I swatched today (on my chin and arms) at Ulta was:

  • Lancome Teint Idole 90 N – I found this too pink.
  • Lancome Teint Idole 100 N – Too peachy. Why can’t neutral mean BEIGE?! Aka a mix of warm and cool??
  • Lancome Teint Miracle Radiant 140 N (my store didn’t have lighter on display) – a nice formula (feels moist!) but too peachy and oxidized on my face.
  • Clinique Super Balanced Silk – Literally couldn’t find a match that wasn’t too peachy/warm.
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Fair Beige – Despite fair beige being described as “fair w/ pink undertones” and fair sand as “fair w/ yellow undertones” I found that fair sand looked really pink/peachy and beige was….well more neutral-beige. This was a better match in terms of undertones, but it was too dark and oxidized warmer/darker on my face.
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear 1N1 – Formula seems nice, weirdly not as high coverage as I thought. Oxidized on my face, sadly, and looked way too peach and bit too dark.
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear 1W1 – Even peachier than 1N1, also oxidized.
  • Too Faced Born This Way in Snow – oxidized but also started too dark, also too bright yellow.

Y’all, I’m dying. I know I may be expecting too much to find something I don’t have to mix every single dang morning, but I really don’t want to have to “settle” on a foundation when it’s my favorite and most important part of my makeup! If my foundation looks perfect, I feel like the rest of my eyes/cheeks/lips look better as well. I tend to wear blush more often and bolder lips when my face is all ~flawless and smooth~ looking, haha. Gosh dang it, where is my holy grail? I want one too!

Anyways, next on my list to sample:

  • Marc Jacobs Remarkable Ivory – I’ve tried this once and found it really thick/cakey, but maybe it would be a good mix-in?
  • Hourglass’s new colors!!!! Hourglass is coming out with three lighter shades of Immaculate, a formula I sampled once and enjoyed but found way too dark.
  • Also maybe Hourglass Hyaluronic foundation. Shell was way too dark but the undertones okay, and the formula was nice. I mean, I’m already considering buying the expensive as heck Koh Gen Do and mixing in white everyday, but ugh. I would like to avoid mixing.
  • A foundation stick?? Maybe Anastasia or Hourglass? I’ve heard wildly different reviews on them.

Also I should mention I’ve tried MUFE and found it kind of drying and KVD is a thick dry mess on me. Also MUFE Y205 is weirdly pale pink and KVD 41 is weirdly grey white pink. So yeah. I have weird undertones.

If you guys have any suggestions for medium-high coverage foundations that are very fair and have a neutral-beige-yellow undertone, hit me with the ideas! 🙂 ❤

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7 thoughts on “Foundations and Concealers for Pale / Fair Skin

  1. TheMakeupCase17 says:

    Have you tried the Hourglass stick foundation? It’s supposed to be ok for all skin types but heard some with dry skin really like it. I have oily/combo skin and it’s nice but the shade they sent me thru Influenster is a little too dark for me.

    Or what about the Armani Luminous Silk ? Revlon Colorstay in the dry skin formula? The new NYX dropper foundation? Tarte Rainforest of the Sea water foundation? Just some suggestions.

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    • swatchlette says:

      Thanks for the suggestions! Hourglass seemed thick when I swatched it and the associate seemed unwilling to slice a little off to make me a sample, but I may try it again when that particular lady isn’t working.

      Revlon sadly broke me out, which is unusual. The NYX dropper was too drying/cakey. But the Tarte RotS should be next on my list to try, I’ve heard good things about it 🙂 I’ll probably grab a sample before the Sephora sale to test it.

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      • TheMakeupCase17 says:

        I heard the Josie Maran Vibrancy foundation is great for dry skin. Have you tried the Bobbi Brown Skin foundation or the Marc Jacobs Genius Gel? How about Maybelline Better Skin or Fit Me Dewey & Smooth? Rimmel Lasting Finish?

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      • swatchlette says:

        The Bobbi skin is nice, but it’s definitely a bit sheer-er than I usually like. I wish Genius Gel wasn’t so strongly fragranced! That was a turn-off from me.

        Maybelline I haven’t tried in a while. I’ve had such disastrous luck with drugstore foundations (every single one I’ve tried oxidises on me) so I’ve definitely been hitting sephora more often thanks to their generous samples and return policy. I’ll look up reviews for those, and check them out 🙂

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