I am an (un)certified product junkie, and it doesn’t help that some of my closest friends are the same. We are always swapping advice and ideas about what the best new products are, what eyeliner to use for the best wing, and which powder is the best for baking. But our most important discussions always center around what the best foundation is because… well, it’s the foundation. It sets the precedence for everything else!
Now, there are different kinds of foundation – powder, liquid, cream, powder-to-cream, etc, etc – but I generally gravitate towards the liquid end of that spectrum. Liquid is easier to manipulate when it comes to coverage (light to full, depending on your preference), and a good water-based foundation will work with even the oiliest of skins.
I’m no makeup guru, but with advice from some of the ones in my life and my own testing skills, I have whittled the list down to my three favorites:
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $62
While a certain Kardashian (*cough* Kim *cough*) may have butchered the designer’s name in her frustration over them discontinuing her favorite foundation, I completely get her angst. I don’t know what exactly Giorgio puts in his foundations, but whatever it is makes this one of my definite go-tos.
- Pros: Smells heavenly! It is lightweight and buildable – so you can decide on how much coverage you need. It really does have a silky finish and pairs well with other products. It’s breathable and you actually don’t even feel like you’re wearing foundation! It also comes in a variety of shades, though I use 14, and that’s the darkest one in the US at least. It is long-lasting as well, but…
- Cons: Look at that price though! 🙁 Definitely not one for every day use if you’re balling on a budget like I am, but great for that special night out, wedding, or a photoshoot. It also requires setting, because it doesn’t stay put as much as I’d like, and it will get everywhere if you’re a face toucher like I am (someone give me some tips on stopping this!). It’s also NOT mattifying, so get your matte primers out for this one if you’re prone to oily skin. AND if you’re darker than me, you’re out of luck here 🙁
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear, $47
This baby is the holy grail of all foundations. I have been using her for the past two years and will be until I breathe my last breath – given that she doesn’t get discontinued. It is thicker than the Armani, so gives more of a medium-to-full coverage, but is still buildable. Can work with or without a setting powder, though I always recommend one, and it does exactly what it says – lasts 24 hours. Again, it’s not as silky as Armani, but also stays put better and gives more of a matte than a luminous finish.
- Pros: Definitely more affordable that Giorgio. With daily use, at three pumps, it’ll last you 3 months on average (yes, I calculate my foundation usage… you don’t? lol), so work that out with your budget. It is long-lasting, works well with other products and is very blendable. A variety of shades of which I am NOT the darkest (won’t He do it!). I wear a 550C suede, and I believe I have seen up to 560C (2 shades darker), so GO Lancome! Very color-friendly.
- Cons: Still up there in price… Other than that I can’t think of any other cons for this one. She is my golden child!
KIKO Milano Skin Evolution Foundation, $19
So given that my two favorites are up there in terms of price, I was on the lookout for something affordable that I could use for everyday purposes. Drugstore makeup is too confusing for me when it comes to shades etc, and I can’t exactly test it out, so I went to check out KIKO with my friend Menee and she purchased this for me to try – and I love it!
- Pros: It is MATTE. Forget the setting powder, this baby isn’t going anywhere on your face lol. This may or may not be a pro depending on your skin type, but for oily/combo skin, this is great. It is a full-coverage foundation, so no need for concealer if you have blemishes of any sort. It’s AFFORDABLE. If you’re looking for a minimal, everyday, wear-to-the-office-because-I’m-going-to-be-behind-my-computer-all-day foundation, this is it.
- Cons: I don’t really like the smell – this might be a personal bias – but the work it does makes the smell worth it. It’s very thick, so not exactly buildable or blendable. I don’t think it would work very well with may other products, but then again it could be that I’m just too lazy to try LOL. The color spectrum is kind of weird too – warms and neutrals – and my shade is the darkest.
Those are my current faves – let me know your thoughts on any of these, or if you have any other faves in the comments!