Last Christmas, I was given a very generous gift from my aunt and uncle – a $50 gift certificate to Nordstrom. That wouldn’t cover much in the way of clothes there, but it does match the price of most super high end foundations. I’ve decided to use this opportunity to test out all the foundations I’ve been curious about, and trust me, that’s a long list. I’ve always heard that foundation is where you should really spend your money, but I haven’t followed it in practice.
In high school I bought cheap stick foundation – you know, the kind that looks like lipstick tubes? I was confused why I had such trouble finding the right shade, but most drugstore pale shades are pink-based, not the yellow base I need. One of my first fancy purchases was Clinique’s City Block tinted moisturizer but I accidentally purchased the sheer version, which doesn’t cover much. I found that if I combined it with Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Foundation, it made a surprisingly good franken-foundation.
Like many women, I became entranced by Bare Minerals Original Foundation. Those informercials! I loved the color match (Fairly Light was perfect), and the ease of use (you can apply foundation while walking around your room), but eventually I grew sick of the somewhat cakey skin texture. Time to upgrade!
I’ve always felt intimidated by beauty counters. I’m generally a no-budget browser, and I feel bad wasting the saleswomen’s time when I know they work on commission. But with this gift card, I decided to get matched. The first time was a disaster. My friend recommended Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing, and I was matched by a friendly saleswoman. It looked nice in the store lighting, but unfortunately it oxidized and looked like an orange mask in natural light.
Luckily Nordstroms has a good return policy, so I can try my luck again and again as necessary. Here’s what I’m looking for: a sheer to medium coverage foundation for normal skin (not super moisturizing or mattifying), with a natural finish that can build coverage (in case my skin is acting up). The saleswoman recommended Burberry Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation. She said that Burberry foundations tend to oxidize a little bit, so she chose a foundation that was slightly lighter than my skin.
First she applied Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base, which doubles as a luminizer and hydrating primer. It has a nice cream-gel finish that adds radiance to a foundation. I liked it, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with oily skin. Next she applied the foundation, which has a strong rose scent which comes from rosewater as an ingredient. Then she applied Burberry Light Glow blush in Tangerine which she said was one of their best-selling products. It may have been my favorite product of the look! I loved that it had a peachy base, so it didn’t emphasize any redness around my nose. She finished the look with brown mascara, an eyebrow pencil, and coral red lipstick. It was a very natural, fresh look that works well with the British sophisticate look of Burberry.
While I liked the finished look, I didn’t love the foundation. The color match was very good, but not perfect, and I found a few spots where the foundation seemed cakey in texture. In the above picture, look at the slightly powdery finish on my nose and the poorly blended spot between my eyes. For $50, this had better be the perfect foundation, and I found it lacking. I’m not the only one – it got a 3.8/5 on Makeup Alley, which is slightly below average for high-end foundation.
I think this foundation would be better suited to someone with drier skin, and foundation is incredibly Your Miles May Very, so it’s worth checking out. If you want to check out swatches of every color to see what might be a good match, I’d recommend these two articles.
What’s next on the list? I started to write down what I’m curious about and got a little overwhelmed. Armani, Bobbi Brown, Guerlain, Chanel, Hourglass, Nars, Laura Mercier, YSL, Makeup Forever, Korres, Shisheido, Dolce & Gabbana … Any recommendations? Hopefully I’ll find the winner before I make it to the end of that list!