I have been doing an experiment lately with foundation. I’m trying to see which type of foundation suits me best and which I prefer to use. After much experimentation, I’ve found my answer.
For me, the answer is powder foundation. In Asia and in Asian brands, you might see a reference to a 2-way foundation. Its essentially a powder foundation that you can use dry or wet (damp).
Liquid: My preferred method of applying liquid foundation is with my fingers. Other methods are with a foundation brush or a sponge. Maybe I’m not too good, but I find it too slow to get a good non-streaky coverage. You have to set the foundation with loose powder after applying.
Powder: I usually use the sponge that is provided in the case, or sometimes, a powder brush. Application is quick and I find it easier to get the desired coverage and smoothness. I sometimes dust some loose powder over to help with oil control and keep the powder on longer. Sometimes, if you aren’t careful, powder foundations can go on too thick.
Mineral: I use a kabuki brush but I find that mineral foundation application is very messy. I tend to get the powder all over the table and because it is pigmented, it has stained my lovely black vanity table. It is quite easy to get the coverage I want, but the swirling and buffing can take a while.
Liquid: I think its a personal feel but I find that my face tends to feel oilier throughout the day with liquid foundation on.
Powder: My skin doesn’t feel oily throughout the day and it holds up well.
Mineral: I find that about halfway through the day, mineral foundation seems to have worn off or my skin has started to feel oily. There were some exceptions. When I first used Lumiere Mineral Foundation, together with the silk powder, it lasted the whole day.
Liquid: I have a bit of a problem with high end liquid foundations. Make Up For Ever oxidised quickly on me, turning a perfect shade into one too dark and none other fit. Giorgio Armani did not have a perfect colour match. I have less problems with lower end foundations from L’oreal and Sana surprisingly!
Powder: I don’t have a lot of trouble with colour matching from previous experience. Most light shades work for me from most brands so buying foundation is a less painful affair. That said, I have a preference for lower end foundations (Revlon, Maybelline) because they work for me and they are affordable!
Mineral: Colour matching is a bit of a nightmare, if you can’t test them in person. I thought I found my perfect shade in Lumiere Minerals but it turned out I was mistaken or the quality had changed in my next order. Those that can be tested in person here are commercial brands (L’oreal Mineral foundation and Revlon Mineral Foundation) and are expensive.
Liquid: As I can’t seem to find a good match in high end liquid foundations (either too dark or too yellow. Although I’m Asian, I don’t have enough yellow tones to wear most yellow based foundations) I have to turn to the pharmacies or drugstores. For now, I’m using L’oreal True Match or Sana and its fine thus far. Also, very little is used at any time so a bottle can last a long while. Cost-wise its decent.
Powder: Like liquid foundations I don’t have a problem with pharmacy or drugstore brands, as these are affordable and offer me a good match. However, powder foundations can finish quite quickly with daily use as the sponge does pick up a lot of colour without you noticing. Using a brush to apply the powder foundation helps prolong the life and cost of your powder foundation.
MIneral: Mineral foundations are usually quite cheap if you buy them online. That said, it is only cheap if you have found your colour match and product quality is consistent with every order. If you are in the stages of looking for a foundation that suits you or a colour that matches you are in for an expensive ride. It looks cheap initially but the costs do add up in the end.
I do keep liquid foundation on hand for those days when I am more adventurous or have time to spare in the mornings getting ready. Also, for the night, liquid foundation seems to look better, offering a softer more luminous effect.
However, my daily to-go foundation will have to be powder foundation. I like the ease of application and how it looks on me. I always get compliments when using powder foundation which is really strange! It is also easier to travel with especially now that airlines have a restriction on liquids carried on board.
As for mineral foundations, I’ve almost given up on them for the time being. Colour matching is just too much of a hassle and I never experienced anything special when I was using mineral foundation. Many people said it was better for their skin, but I never noticed anything exceptional – in fact, I’d even broken out from a mineral foundation! I might look at the mineral foundation from The Body Shop to see how it fares but first we’ll have to see if its a proper mineral foundation or a powder foundation with mineral content.
So, powder foundations are my choice. What’s yours?