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?
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i hardly wear foundations. it’s so difficult to get the right colour!
i dunno wat’s my undertones, and i am not sure which category am i in, fair? medium?
in the end, i skip foundation and take good care of the skin… 😛
@plue : Lucky you to be able to skip foundation! I have been using powder foundation for years to even out skin tone and to give a good base for makeup (especially blush) rather than to cover up anything.
Sorry to stray off the foundation topic but you could try Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. I’ve been using it in Nude shade, for years and has served me well. Coverage is good and I like the assurance that it’s moisturizer on my skin rather than foundation who often clogged up my pores and gave me a pimple or two. Having said that, it’s all about self-preference at the end of the day. What might work for one might not work for others 🙂
Great thoughts on foundation–I’ve always wondered which is best!
I’ve only ever tried liquid, powder and stick.
So far I alternate between the liquid and powder as I find stick to be a little uneven in application. I like liquid, but like you, I have trouble finding a good colour match. I generally end up looking half a shade darker or lighter–grrrr!
As for powder, it’s good coverage, though I tend to look a little caked on when I use it…I think I just haven’t found the right powder foundation! So my favourite is still liquid, even if I have to put up with the non-perfect colour match.
Ms. Blacklace says
I ordered a few sample baggies from lumiere. Haha. Finally got a debit card that could order stuff online.
Anyway, I thought that if I couldn’t my shade, I’ll just use the pure silk powder to control my oily face.
You mentioned their quality isn’t consistent… It’s a bit sad though. Did you give email them feedback?
Hey Ms Blacklace.. Just wanna know which debit card you got that allows for online purchases?
PB, i have freckles and pores and blackheads, but foundation wun cover them to what i like… i use only concealer when i am feeling a bit hardworking, but then again, i go au naturale 😛
everyone got bad skin days, so dun care dy 😛
i am so lazy~~
Powder or liquid? This question still lingering in my head, PB. My blemishes almost clear off, leaving patches behind…I found my face oilier with liquid too! But, liquid does has luminious gorgeous effect compared to powder. I’ve problem with colour matching, esp powder. Good tt you don’t have any. 🙂
Great post you have here! I have tried the three types of foundation you mentioned above, but I prefer mineral makeup the most. There are many pros for me since I found my perfect match easily from them =) The only con is they make my dressing table messy which is really not good haha =P
Aiyo! I have tried them all at some points in my life PB! Had pimple scars on my face for many years and now that I have hit 30 and the pimples have given my face a rest I can cut back a little on the coverage. Tried the mineral ones from Lumiere and Revlon (from the US) – I had breakouts and did not think they covered as much as they were hyped up to do. Color matching is also another nightmare for Indian skin tones – yoo hoo make up creators…..we are here and wanting to wear makeup without looking too fair/white! (Nudge,nudge.)
I’m still between my compact powder and mineral though I think I prefer mineral better cos of the coverage. It’s just a matter of getting the right one…and that can be tough.
Powder foundation works well on me too! I use POwder foundation 80% of the time, the rest, during those “Dry skinned” days, i would get my liquid foundation! 🙂
I’ve tried all three also.
And I think I pretty much agree with you. I don’t like the feel of liquid foundation and find that it makes me look oilier. But then again I haven’t really tried a lot of brands yet.
I love powder foundation! It makes life so much easier. I’m a huge fan of Dior Sublissme! 🙂 I adore the packaging and how easy it is to achieve a really polished look. Strangely I’m not so sold to MAC Studio Fix.
As for mineral make-up… I really have to admit that I’m hooked to shopping online and ordering samples and swatching them. Receiving a package is almost like opening gifts. >_< I’ve tried Lumiere as well but I don’t really like it. I find that it doesn’t apply as smoothly as other brands and I thought it made my face look dull. But I probably got the wrong shade. However, I do like Monave, Bare Escentuals and Everyday Minerals a lot.
I love powder and mineral foundation! Liquid foundation is too much of a hassle for me and colour matching is a nightmare. Colour matching powder/mineral foundation for me is easier. My HG foundation is The Body Shop Nature’s Minerals foundation in shade 02 (I think this is pretty much a universal shade for us Asian Chinese!), but I use Silk Naturals Oil Control Primer beforehand and Make Up For Ever Super Matte Loose Powder #12 to finish.
Honestly mineral foundation doesn’t really make your face look oily- it’s supposed to make your skin look “radiant” but it just ends up looking oily! I experienced it too- hence the use of the primer and loose powder to set things 😛 Being extremely allergic to ingredients and having very sensitive skin, I find mineral foundations a safe bet for me. Tried Shiseido’s Supplist Poreless Foundation and that worked fine for me too though.
@Angie : I’ve heard a lot about Laura Mercier’s tinter moisturizer and I guess I’ll have to try it some time. Thanks for your thoughts!
@Monstro: Maybe you are applying the powder too thickly. Try a brush. It diffuses it some.
@Ms. Blacklace: The Lumiere silk powder is awesome! My problem with mineral foundation in general is color matching and quality because not all are consistent.
@plue : haha… Well I only use foundation when I go to work and never on weekends!
@Natalie: Persevere. You’ll find your colour match at some point 🙂
@Cyndi: Yes the powder does tend to fly everywhere doesn’t it?
@JackieA : Breakouts is a common problem too with mineral foundations. Perhaps its an ingredient that doesn’t agree with you? Does Bobbi Brown do a dark enough foundation?
@Sesame: Yep, finding the right mineral foundation that matches skintone is my biggest nightmare. Coverage I can handle.
@Nikki: Yep, powder foundation is just so convenient!
@Tasha : Liquid foundation is good if you want a flawless look. Once set with a good loose powder, one always looks awesome at dinners etc. Not for long wearing though. As for mineral powders, Everyday Minerals broke me out and I didn’t bother trying many else 🙂
@Stephanie: Its good to know that mineral foundations work for sensitive skin. Some people find it actually breaks them out too! I have been curious about the one from the Body Shop. I should check it out except I already have a ton of foundations to work through lol…
Love this post. I’ve tried both liquid & powder, but I prefer liquid b’cos of the luminous effect and coverage. Ironically, I find it easy to apply.:) No doubt, it does look a bit oily after half a day(I have combination sensitive skin), but a piece of oil-blotter will do the job.
Powder always have this “patchy & flaky” effect on me and it looks dry 🙂 Guess I don’t effoliate enough.
@Ant : This is clearly an example where we are all different! Thanks for your input.
After a few months of mineral foundation, I can safely say I’m finally out of that phase now. Shall blog on the reason soon 😉
At the end of the day, it’s back to liquid foundation for me. I still haven’t found a good powdered one yet which I like yet.