BEST DRUGSTORE FOUNDATIONS - by DrugstorePrincess
I’ve created this list of mini reviews for you keeping in mind every skin type and specific need. These foundations are liquid or cream, and include only options from the major drugstore brands. Yes, it is a lengthy list (in no particular order, mind you) and different foundations will work better for different people. I’ve tried to list all of the pros, color ranges, and other details, as well as any notable cons for your consideration. Hopefully this list will be helpful! Enjoy!
Revlon ColorStay - $8-12
This is my personal HG foundation, and it is so for many reasons. Firstly, it comes in two different versions - one, for Normal/Dry skin types, and the other for Combination/Oily skin types. In my opinion, the one for Combo/Oily skin is much better than the other one, and I would not recommend the Normal/Dry formula for people who actually have dry skin, as it is not moisturizing enough and can cling to dry patches. This foundation dries quickly, and has a satin-matte finish (controls shine, but doesn’t make your face look powdery or flat) It provides medium coverage that can easily be built up to full coverage with just another layer or so.
Revlon ColorStay comes in 20 different shades for Combo/Oily skin and 12 shades for Normal/Dry skin. The lasting power of this foundation is phenomenal - probably the best in the drugstore, and it beats most high end foundations as well. Although I wouldn’t ever suggest wearing it for 24 hours, despite it’s claims that it would last that long, I would venture to say that it lasts between 9-12 hours with minimal fading. It does not smudge or transfer onto your hands or clothing, and really looks like skin.
L’Oreal True Match - $7-9
If you have a difficult time finding your color in a drugstore foundation, then I highly recommend trying out this one! L’Oreal True Match is unique in that their shades are divided into three categories… warm undertone, neutral undertone, and cool undertone (don’t know what your undertone is? click here) There are 33 shades in all! It is an oil-free, longwearing formula that provides medium, buildable coverage. The finish is smooth and doesn’t feel greasy, but mimics skins natural texture. It is also fragrance free. True Match contains SPF 17 but in all of my flash tests it leaves little to no white cast in photos! Definitely one of my favorites, and the foundation that you’ll find in my professional kit.
Maybelline SuperStay - $7-9
This is very similar to Revlon Colorstay, in that it has buildable coverage in a longwear formula. This foundation works really well with oily skin, and has a matte, slightly powdery finish that keeps you looking fresh for most of the day before any shine begins to show through. SuperStay comes in 12 shades, which may seem underwhelming after both Revlon and L’Oreal, but the shades available are very varied, from the very light to the very dark, and will likely suit most skin tones. This foundation won’t transfer onto clothing either, and is also oil and fragrance free.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact - $9-11
This is a cream foundation that can be sheered out to very light coverage, or built up to cover even the most significant imperfections in the skin. It is a dry skinned persons dream, as it is rich and moisturizing. It also has broad spectrum SPF 55, which might not be ideal for flash photography, but will be a godsend for people who are outdoors often! It comes in only 8 shades, so it will not be good for people with dark skin (the darkest shade is more of an olive tone), and I would also not recommend it to people with oily skin (as it’s a cream). For all day wear, set with a powder, but keep in mind it is not a longwear foundation. But if you have skin that is uncomfortably dry that will get flakey with regular foundations, this will make your skin look and feel flawless.
Revlon Photoready - $7-10
Photoready is an amazing, “soft-focus” foundation that contains light-catching particles to give your skin a gorgeous glow and also deflect light from imperfections. This foundation provides medium coverage and is a very close dupe of MUFE HD foundation! Although it isn’t very buildable, it does significantly hide redness, hyperpigmentation, darkness and other skin issues with little effort. It is oil free and contains SPF 20 (despite the name, it’s not awesome to take pictures in, but it looks airbrushed in real life). I wouldn’t recommend this for people with very dry, flaky skin, as it will accentuate those dry patches, and I also wouldn’t recommend it for people with very oily skin (because the dewy glow it provides will only intensify oil). Even though it is very “glowy”, that can very easily be toned down with a mattefying powder, and it lasts for many hours before it begins to fade. Also, this foundation comes in a bottle with a pump for easy dispensing!
Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous - $8-11
This is a 3-in-1 foundation (primer, concealer, foundation) that provides SPF 20. This is a very strange but good quality foundation - it provides medium-to-full coverage, and has a pretty noticeable silicone slip when applied that fills in enlarged pores, fine lines, etc. But it dries to a very pretty satin matte finish! Despite the sunscreen, this doesn’t leave too much of a white cast on the skin, and has great staying power comparable to Colorstay.. maybe about 8-9 hours. It is matte, but doesn’t control oil for the entire day (that would be impossible). The packaging is a convenient pump bottle, and a little goes a long way because it comes out very thick. One thing I’ve noticed is that it dries about two shades darker than when you first apply it (strange, I know). There are 14 shades in all.
Wet n Wild Coverall - $3-5
This is my pick for those of you on a really tight budget. It isn’t the best foundation out there by far, and it’s definitely not at the top of this list, but it is by far the best foundation in the $5 and under range!! It provides a lot of coverage, and is easily blended, because it is a thick cream consistency. It dries to a matte finish and has pretty decent staying power for the low price. Unfortunately there are only three shades, and those shades will only cater to those of you with medium-toned skin (not the pale or the tan-dark). The packaging is a nice squeeze tube, which makes for easy dispensing, and a little goes a very long way.
Almay TLC Truly Lasting Color - $9-12
Almay is definitely the drugstore brand to go to if you have sensitive skin, and this is the foundation to buy. This foundation provides medium coverage that can be sheered out or built up. It dries really quickly on the skin so should be applied fast, but once it sets it lasts for several (5-7) hours before it starts to fade. The finish is satin matte, and doesn’t settle into pores or fine lines. It does have SPF 15 in it, and there are 8 shades available. It is fragrance free and safe for people with certain allergies that prevent them from wearing most other brands.
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