A little while ago, I never gave Drug Store foundations as much as a glance mainly because I could not find any that matched my skin tone at all. It's only recently that many drug store brands have realised that they indeed have a market among darker skin ladies. When Maybelline Fit Me foundation (review here) launched and I received a sample to try, I was shocked to find that it was a perfect match for my skin. I loved it so much and I promptly purchased the full size. It definitely set the standard for other foundations and that pretty much ignited my interest in drug store foundations.
Some drug store brands are still quite limited in their shade range because they only have my shade as the darkest so if your skin is darker than mine, you may have to stick to only Revlon, Sleek and L'Oreal. I know in the US many of these drug store brands stock foundations for darker skin and I really wish they could do the same here in the UK :-(. I hear it's the same thing for paler/very light skinned ladies as they also struggle to find a suitable foundation shade that doesn't make them look too yellow, pink or completely washed out. It's a common struggle! I still love my high end foundations and I will definitely favour them over many drug store foundations. However, there are still really good drug store foundations that are perfect for everyday use.
The presence of a pump in the packaging definitely influences my purchase as I can't deal with foundations (high end or drug store) that have no pumps. I made an exception for the Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation because it has a pipette/dropper/wand applicator. I have rounded up all my drug store foundation for mini reviews and I hope you find it useful..
L'Oreal True Match Foundation (£9.99) (N6.5)Of course, I had to start with my favourite drug store foundation of all time. I have gushed about this foundation over here so I would try not to regurgitate everything. Long and short story- it's the best drug store foundation I have ever tried. L'Oreal released more than 20 shades of the True Match Foundation so you are very likely to find your closest shade, if not, your true match. It's great as an everyday foundation and offers medium coverage which can be built to full coverage without looking caked on. It is long lasting with a semi-matte finish but it's not drying. Some people have said it breaks them out but I haven't had any and I think it may be best if you have normal, combination and/or oily skin.
Barry M Flawless Matte Finish Foundation (£5.99) (Tan-5)
Barry M is the most unlikely brand I would look to for a foundation so you can imagine my shock when I tested this instore and saw it was a good match for my skin tone. I have to say I am impressed with this foundation because I didn't really expect much from it. My shade is Tan 5 which is the darkest shade (they only have five shades by the way). It is a matte finish so if you have dry skin, this may not be the best for you. It is a light to medium finish but I try not to build it up too much because it tends to look cakey. It's perfect for weekends if you just need a light but matte coverage. I have a review here. It is super affordable and the packaging is really cute; a little too girly for me but it has a pump and that's all that matters.
Rimmel Lasting Finish (25hr) Foundation (currently £4.99 in Boots) (400 Natural Beige)
Rimmel is another brand that has some great foundations but they don't really cater to darker skin tones as much. I only picked up the Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation from Boots because they were having £3 off this range. I have to mention that the way it looks in the bottle does not translate to how it looks on the skin so a swatch in daylight is necessary. I actually like this foundation a lot more than I thought I would. It also has a semi-matte finish, almost velvet-like, which you know I love by now. I am not about the dewy finish life at all. It claims to have a 25 hr lasting time/longevity; I don't think anyone would wear foundation for that long. However, it really lasts for a long time and I dare say it's the longest lasting drug store foundation within my stash. It also offers full coverage but still looks natural which is really impressive. The texture is slightly creamy to touch but it's easy to blend and lightweight once it hits the skin. I love it !
Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation (£8.99) (Sun Beige-48)
This is my most recent purchase and I have not completely made up my mind about it yet. It's the only drug store foundation within my stash without a pump but at least it has an applicator. I really like the packaging because it looks so different and very portable even though it's made of glass. It only contains 20 ml which is a little annoying because it makes it really expensive in the grand scheme of things. The shade range is very limited as well which is odd because Maybelline always caters to a good range of skin tones but I guess they may be releasing some more shades soon. My shade is Sun Beige 48 which is a close match to my skin tone. It has a very liquid texture and when you shake the bottle, you can literally hear the foundation swishing about in the bottle. As expected with any water-based foundation, it feels really light on application and it is super easy to blend. It has a funny texture when it sets; it reminds me of the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipgloss and I have no idea why. I like the matte finish and it offers good coverage (maybe light to medium) but I don't like building it up past its normal coverage because it looks funny and unnatural on my skin. A full review will be up soon but these are my initial thoughts. Nevertheless, I really like it and I am keen to see how it would fare during Spring/Summer.
Revlon Photoready Foundation (£12.99) (Caramel)
I left my least drug store foundation at the end of this post (sorry Revlon!). I already have a full review of this foundation here and I know it is a firm favourite for many people. However, it's not for me mainly due to its finish and how dull my skin looks when I use it (I have no idea why). I have tried several primers underneath, used it on its own, set it lightly, even used my Chanel Healthy Glow Powder to set it but all to no avail. You may have noticed from all the foundations finishes above that I lean towards foundations with a matte, semi-matte or velvet finish and I am not a fan of glowy or dewy foundations at all. My combination/oily skin just can't seem to handle it at all. If I need some glow or dewiness, I spray MAC Fix Plus or any makeup spray and I am good to go. This Revlon Foundation is actually a good colour match for me and it offers really good medium coverage for my skin. The packaging is lovely and may even be one of the sturdiest among my drug store stash. I still use it every now and then but I think I may be passing it off to a better home.
That's all folks! There are other lovely drug store foundations like the Revlon Color Stay Foundation (it has no pump so it's not an option for me), Sleek Foundations (I could not find a proper shade for my skin tone) and Bourjois Healthy Mix/Serum Foundation (No proper match for my skin tone). I have heard many good things about them. What are your favourite drug store foundations? Let me know any other good recommendations in the comment box...See you in my next post...xx
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