The WAR on Foundation

Maybe it’s that I’m a makeup addict. Maybe it’s that I can’t find a foundation I love. You decide.

WARNING: This is a lengthy post.


The past few years I’ve tried MOST of the foundations on the market. I have a very lovely skin color. One so lovely that on more than one occasions make up consultants/artists/associates whatever you call yourselves have exclaimed something along the lines of “Wow! I don’t think any lines make your color!” Not so exciting. I’m pale and usually categorized as beige…except I have neutral undertones that are more yellow. Yellow undertones are too yellow and neutral undertones are not yellow enough. Not even kidding. I also have “dull” skin (sometimes grey cast) and am prone to acne.

I spent a lot of time perfecting this picture obviously...

Anyhow, here’s a quick “review” of some of the foundations I’ve tried.

Loreal True Match-
Made me break out.

Revlon Colorstay-
Whitecast? Anyone else?

MAC Pro Longwear-
They’re not kidding, this stuff is LONG lasting. The first few days I used it it sucked my face in like a mask. And lasted A LONG time. MAC is just TOO yellow or TOO pink it doesn’t look right on me. And isn’t that great for your skin. I didn’t break out but I’m not sure I wouldn’t in due time. I got a lot of compliments on this when I blended a lot. But I'm on a mission to find the perfect match!

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer-
I received many comments on how “healthy” my skin looked. But again, not my color and not much coverage. I don’t want to look cakey just don’t want to see scars underneath. On a day to day basis, I’m not spending a good twenty minutes covering and blending.

Makeup Mat Velvet Matifying Foundation-
Not enough “glow” for me. My dull skin looked like I was ten years older.

Makeup Forever HD-
I LOVE this stuff! The coverage is pretty good, it’s easy to apply another layer. I always felt beautiful putting this on. But at the end of the day, I couldn’t use 1-2 pumps like Sephora suggested, the price tag is HIGH to be buying so often, AND it wasn’t my exact color. If my boyfriend says your makeup isn’t blended in, not worth the $40+.

Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation-
A lot closer to my skin than most other choices. However for a line that boasts having an exact match for every skin tone…where’s mine???? Besides that, I’d look in the mirror and feel heavy/slimy after a few hours. Probably an amazing choice for a lot of people just not for me.

Clinique Even Better Makeup-
Looked great in store. Sunlight is another story. I wore this for a few weeks but always felt/looked slimy.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation-
This stuff made my skin burn. Not a great sensation. Also not my color. There aren’t as many colors to choose from.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation-
Doesn't cover that well and oxidizes like WHOAAAAAAAA!

Bare Minerals-
About five years ago when I was working at a salon an esthetician recommended I use this for my acne. I tried it but eventually got over the whole powder thing. Sometimes I just felt like liquid foundation just LOOKED better. I don’t remember too much about this first experience in my old age ;) but I do remember getting compliments.

A few months ago I bought the Bare Minerals starter kit (great deal & you get brushes!!) I liked how the color matched ALMOST perfect to my skin color. But when I went on my lunch I noticed that the powder was clumping where I was oily. I’d try to use the mineral veil to reapply but it didn’t really spread the clumps. I’m a pretty busy person and don’t want to be re-doing my makeup from scratch to avoid clumps multiple times a day. I don’t remember this happening five years ago, but didn’t really have time to mess with it so I gave up on Bare Minerals.

A few months ago I started getting some bad hormonal breakouts on my chin. This is probably another post in itself if you’re interested in what happened but basically I needed to switch to a non-comedogenic makeup to help assist in my skin recovery.

Cover FX is one of the options, I just didn’t like how it looked after a few hours & the way it made my skin feel.

I decided to go to the Bare Escentuals store (not Sephora...shocking I know) and see if they had any suggestions for the clumpiness.

Here’s what the chica sold me, a heavier covering brush (Heavenly Face Brush) which would help cover where I needed and focus in on rubbing that powder in, my original powder foundation (I ran out), a COMPACTED touch up mineral veil (final step or “setting powder”) which is better for touching up, and a lighter brush for powdering the under eye (Blending Brush.)

Not kidding, the heavier covering brush, along with her instructions to “buff” the powder longer have eliminated the clumping issue. It looks SO natural. My skin feels GREAT. It covers my acne scars. I’ve noticed I’m a lot less oily. The compacted mineral veil is a great way to touch up later on in the day—and actually helps with oil! It’s the cornstarch in it. Yes, I said cornstarch. Google it. Most of your powders have it! I do use the under eye brush and it's much better than using what's provided in the starter kit, but I still have been using an under eye concealor on top and blending it. I just love the way it looks! And it's pretty darn close to my skin color!

Before you go run out and get Bare Minerals…

If you do buy it and haven’t used it before, WATCH the video. There is a difference in swirling and buffing productively. SOME people have an allergy to some of the ingredients in mineral makeup. I’ve read some great results with people who have acne and in rare occasions, it makes some people break out.

It is non comedogenic though so it shouldn’t clog your pores like a lot of liquid foundation. 

For now, I’ve won the war on foundation. Dun dun dun.

DISCLAIMER: A lot of the foundations I've tried have great results with other people, they're just not for me personally.


  1. Great review Hollie! I am actually pretty lazy about wearing makeup, but when I do make an effort I'd like to try something like bare minerals. I've had some skin issues around my chin before too, so hopefully this would be a good match for me as well!

  2. Wowee you know your stuff!!! I have been through a heap and got given a Nude by Nature set - it has been amazing. so so good, looks and feels great and has gotten rid of a lot of bumps and that type of business from my face!

  3. I LOVE Bare Minerals make up! I have been using it for a few years now. It has actually helped clear up my skin and I love how it looks on me. I have really pale skin so it has been hard for me to find something that looks natural on my face.

    I'm glad it's working out for you and I will definitely watch the video to make sure I'm doing it right :)

    Hope you have a great week!

    <3 Jamie

  4. Well, I just so happen to be on the look-out for a new foundation. I planned on going with a liquid foundation because I'm too in love with my Sigma foundation brush to make the switch to powder. So, we'll see what I end up doing. I'm so glad you wrote up these quick reviews! I wish the Makeup Forever HD wasn't so darn expensive. I doubt I'll ever actually try it just because of the price tag, ha!

  5. Looks like you've had a nice little sort through collections haa! I have to agree with bare minerals clumping - it made me so patchy and self concious. x

  6. Love bare minerals, but you definitely need the right brushes!


  7. Yay Bare Minerals :)
    I love it!

    Glad I didn't have to go through as many foundations as you did to find it...ahh!
    But hey, at least you won right?!


  8. Love Bare Minerals! So glad you found something that works for you. I have never worn foundation - always bare minerals. It's so light!
    Yay for winning the "battle!"

  9. I'm glad you finally found something that works for you!

    I prefer a lighter coverage because of my freckles…there's no point in trying to cover those up so I like the tinted moisturizers, but there's a new one that Bliss came out with that I want to try. Only 3 shades, but it supposedly adjusts to your skin tone once you've applied it.

  10. I loved this review! And I feel like i've tried almost (not quite.... YET) as many as you. I don't hate bare minerals, but I typically do my make-up on the run and the powder is just NOT convenient (read; too messy because i'm so clumsy and always spill).

  11. Ever since I bought Bare Minerals, I haven't gone back to liquid or anything else for that matter. I just love it.

  12. whoaa, that IS a whole lot of foundation. but i do agree that it's crucial finding the right one. BENEFIT just released a new line and i bought myself one. it's been pretty satisfying thus far. maybe give it a go?

  13. Holy cow you sure have tried the gamet of foundations. I'm glad you found one you liked. I'm still trying to find something perfect. I have a question for you on the bareMinerals. Does it settle into your acne scars? I've found that with mineral makeup even using a primer I get it settling into my scars and lines and it makes them more pronounced and drives me insane. Has this happened to you?

  14. You definitely did your research, I'm glad you found one that works! My skin is really dry so powder foundations like Bare Minerals don't look all that great on me. I've been using Olay's tinted moisturizer for a few years but started needing a little more coverage lately. I got married this past October and a friend of mine sells Mary Kay, which I always thought was for old ladies :P, but she got me to try it and their moisturizing foundation works great!

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Thank YOU for your comments. <3