Foundation can be the perfect way to give your skin a pick me up but with such a huge range on the market it’s hard to know which to choose.
Finding the right foundation for your skin type and tone can be difficult and overwhelming, let alone deciding what’s worth the money.
Stores including Boots and Superdrug have a large selection available ranging from bargain buys to luxury brands, and of course you can buy directly from beauty websites and Amazon.
With prices ranging from as little as £5 to designer brands that seriously blow the budget, do the cheaper alternatives really work or is it worth splashing the cash to get the results you’re after?
We tried a range of foundations to see how the bargain buys compared to the big guns. Take a look at the results below and let us know your favourite face mask in the comments below.
Max Factor Radiant Lift
I rarely wear foundation and only tend to put it on for a night out, of which there haven’t been many in the last year. I’m not keen on anything that feels heavy on my face and prefer a dewy finish rather than a matte look, so this foundation appealed to me.
It promises to refresh skin with a ‘natural, healthy glow’ and is infused with Hyaluronic Acid to ‘lock in moisture’, plus it contains SPF 30.
I applied it using my fingertips, but you could use a brush. Two pumps was more than enough, in fact I had to tissue off some of the excess on my hands before continuing to smooth over my face, so it went on evenly.
My skin absorbed it well, and it gave an instantly bright coverage. It felt light and looked natural, yet smoothed over any redness and those dreaded dark circles. The rest of my make up went on seamlessly and it gave good coverage throughout the day, without drying out or cracking in places.
If you want a lightweight foundation, with a brightening effect I’d recommend this product.
Price: £14.99 at Boots (prices vary)
Bare Minerals Original Foundation
After years of using heavy liquid based foundation, over the past few years I’ve opted for something lighter on my face from BB creams to tinted moisturiser and I decided to try a powder foundation.
I opted for Bare Minerals Original foundation in number 12 Medium Beige which looked the closest to my skin tone.
To apply, you twist open the jar and tap some powder into the lid and use your brush to apply to the skin.
I always use a primer first so I let that soak in first before applying the powder. You only need a little bit at a time and tapping any excess on the brush back into the lid.
I like this foundation because it has great coverage which you can build it up gradually – it also has SPF 15 too which is great for the sunny weather.
Price: RRP £29, but it’s reduced to £23.20 at Look Fantastic.
Estee Lauder Double Wear
I noticed recently that my usual foundation wasn’t lasting as long or sitting as well on my skin and decided things up a bit – and I wish I hadn’t.
After a lot of deliberation and scrolling through many reviews I settled on the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place foundation.
The foundation comes in more than 60 shades and aims to last 24 hours. According to the product description the liquid is matte, oil free as well as being sweat, heat and humidity-resistant and waterproof.
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I noticed from the first use that the foundation is easily spreadable, buildable and quite a good match to my skin tone.
However, I also noticed that it was somewhat cakey and didn’t last anywhere near 24 hours – four, at most. The foundation clumped into the smallest of creases in my skin, particularly around my eyes and mouth.
This quickly made me lose confidence in using the product, and I didn’t feel my normal self when out and about wearing it.
I was disappointed considering the £34 price tag and will be trying something different instead.
Too Faced Born this Way Foundation
I’ve tried a lot of foundations over the years in my quest to find something that looks natural while providing decent coverage on the horrendous and painful spots that have become a frequent feature on my chin.
Fun and cruelty-free brand Too Faced came to my rescue with its Born This Way foundation, an oil-free foundation which offers medium to full coverage for a natural and “flawless makeup look”.
The liquid foundation boasts a vegan formula and also utilises coconut water to help replenish moisture levels.
I adore this foundation – though I don’t think it’s quite full coverage and is definitely closer to medium. If I have a particularly luminous spot, I do have to put concealer over the top but it’s completely worth it for the natural and dewy complexion this product creates. A little also goes a long way so it’s well worth the £30 price tag.
If you prefer a matte finish, a quick sweep of powder over this dreamy foundation will do the trick – and it’ll make your makeup last longer, too.
I met with friends the other day and got quite a few compliments on my skin and it’s 100% down to this foundation because without makeup, my face is practically a dot-to-dot of bright red spots.
This is my favourite foundation and I love the way my skin looks and feels while wearing it. I will definitely be repurchasing.
Price: £29 (prices vary)