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Drugstore Foundation Reviews!

June 29th, 2014 · No Comments · Cosmetics, Reviews

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Four Drugstore Brand Foundation Reviews

We all know how hard it can be to pick and choose a foundation. In department stores (and Sephora) you can ask for a sample to take home to test for a few days. At your local CVS, Walgreens, etc. that is just not possible. Of course, at certain drugstores (like Rite Aid) you can buy, try out and return any cosmetics that just don’t work. But, you have to go thru the whole hassle of buying the cosmetics and then remembering to return them within 30 days. And if you misplace the receipt — bless your little heart…

So, here are some reviews of drugstore foundations to make your search a little easier:

1. COVERGIRL outlast stay fabulous “3 in 1” foundation + ensulizole sunscreen (broad spectrum SPF20); price paid: US$12.79

CoverGirl Outlast Foundation

First off, you are probably wondering about “ensulizole.” I did an online search and came up with this from the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Just reading that has made me want to return this stuff asap, but I digress. Why does CoverGirl use ensulizole as the suncreen in this foundation? Probably because it is water-soluble and feels light and non-greasy on the skin. Perfect for adding to a foundation. So, do your own research and decide if it’s something you want to apply to your skin. This foundation contains 3% ensulizole.

On to the review! This foundation comes in a 1 fl. oz. (30mL) glass bottle  with a pump. Yay! I think glass bottle/pump is the BEST foundation packaging ever. No worries about contamination plus no concerns about chemicals leaching from the plastic bottle/container into the product. One star just for that!

The color I tested is number 865 “TAWNY” which I would call a golden brown. If you tend to use foundations in the “caramel” range, this color might work for you.

CG Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation in Tawny

CG Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation in Tawny

CoverGirl’s claims:

  • “Lasting power of primer, coverage of concealer and blendability of a foundation (3 in 1). Shine free.”

I think it does have some lasting power and the blendability factor is there. It goes on nice and light…and smoothly. It feels like a light lotion when rubbed between the fingers. No greasy feel AT ALL. It does seem to be shine-free as I had no break-thru shine even though I have combination skin. In fact, I think it might be a little too matte. Now, regarding the “coverage of concealer” claim, I beg to differ. I can load up this foundation over some hyperpigmentation on my face and I can still see the dark spots. They are somewhat less noticeable, but still noticeable.

Once rubbed in. It is slightly more orange than my skin, but it's hard to pick up on camera.

^^^^^^^^^^My natural skin tone (left of photo).  CG SFF once rubbed in. It is slightly more orange than my natural color.

This feel of this foundation is great once it dries (which takes less than a minute). It dries to a sort of powdery finish, so no additional powder is necessary. When you touch the skin where you have applied it, you feel absolutely nothing! It’s like you don’t even have foundation on! However, I find that it looks best when used lightly; the heavier you apply the more matte and unnatural it looks. This color, though it was a very close match to my facial skin tone, did not match exactly. It seemed to look more natural and golden-toned in sunlight, but seemed to have a gray/dark caste under indoor lighting. (When applying to half of my face, the side without the foundation looked lighter indoors.)

TCS verdict (3.5/5 stars): Since it didn’t match my complexion well enough and it did not really cover hyperpigmentation, I will pass on this one. If the color had blended more seamlessly into my skin, I might have kept it. But, I felt like it rubbed some of the natural glow of my skin and left me with a much too matte look. But, I think it is a fabulous foundation for the right person! It is definitely worth a try. For those chicas who do not need major coverage and just need something light to even out their skin, this may be a keeper! It will probably work best on younger skin; under 30-35.

TCS Tip: I have heard that the CoverGirl QUEEN All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation is basically the same formula, but just marketed to women of color. So, if you can’t find your color match in the Outlast foundation, try the QUEEN version as it has a range of 14 darker hues. I intend to check out the QUEEN’s colors myself when I can make it to a Target store.

2. L’OREAL True Match LUMI Healthy Luminous Makeup, octinoxate sunscreen (broad spectrum SPF20); price paid: US$12.99

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Health Luminous Makeup

Since I talked about the sunscreen chemical used in the CG foundation above, it’s only fair I direct you to the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database page regarding octinoxate. Click here for the info.

This foundation also comes in a 1 oz. glass bottle with pump. Props to L’Oreal for that. The color tested was “Soft Sable” which is #C6. It is considered a “cool” color. (L’Oreal separates foundation colors into Cool, Warm and Neutral.)

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Makeup - Soft Sable

L’Oreal True Match LUMI Makeup in Soft Sable #C6

The feel of this foundation on the fingers is somewhat light but with a little bit of a greasy feel. (Think of some of the lighter weight sunscreen lotions; it feels something like that.) It feels more like a typical foundation when compared to the CoverGirl foundation reviewed above.

L’Oreal’s claims:

  • Improves complexion the more you wear it; contains 40% water, plus antioxidants and Vitamin C & E for improved clarity and skin tone… “Liquid Light Technology” for an instant, luminous glow. Skin is illuminated instantly. Lightweight, buildable coverage that lasts up to 8 hours.”

Hmm, okay now. Of course I cannot say whether this will improve skin tone over time, therefore I will not debate them on that. However, I must say that my skin is NOT instantly illuminated with the foundation. If anything, I find that my skin looks duller with the slightest gray cast upon first applying this foundation. Only after it has settled (maybe 15 minutes or so) do I see the luminosity. But, only in certain lighting. It actually looks GORGEOUS in bright light (indoors or sunlight). Looks a bit more makeuppy in dimmer lighting.

I can also feel the foundation on my skin. Now, it’s not the worst feeling when I compare it to other foundations I have tried over the years, but my fingers don’t glide over my skin while wearing this. And I can feel a “coating” of foundation on my skin. It may be a light coat, but it is still a coat.

The L'Oreal Lumi Makeup once rubbed in. It was just a tad bit darker than skin...with a glow.

The L’Oreal Lumi Makeup once rubbed in. Looked like I had a tan…with a glow.

Regarding the “buildable coverage”…again, I piled this stuff on to see if I could get some dark marks to completely disappear. No such luck. I put on three coats and still cold see some of the dark brown spots on my face. They were now lighter, but STILL there. Bummer.

I must say that compared to the CG foundation, this foundation looks more natural even when you apply excessive amounts since it is not as matte. Due to its luminosity, it doesn’t give you that super matte masky look — but it can still look a little mask-like if you don’t have a great color match. The more I built this up on my face, the more I looked like I had just come back from a Caribbean vacation.

TCS verdict (3.5/5 stars): This is a good foundation and I’m sure it will look great on the right face. I just prefer a much more natural-looking coverage as opposed to the “What kind of foundation do you have on?” look. Chicas who need fuller coverage will understand where I’m coming from! :)  If you don’t mind the feel of foundation on your skin, give this one a try. Just remember to give it some time to develop the glow, don’t expect it to cover dark spots and marks and don’t use too much.

 3. Revlon NEARLY NAKED Makeup (broad spectrum SPF20); price paid: US$10.49

Revlon Nearly Naked Makeup-Caramel

This foundation uses octinoxate (3.5%) & titanium dioxide (1.9%) for sunscreen. Titanium dioxide is a physical sunscreen (as opposed to a chemical sunscreen). Titanium dioxide sometimes cause a slight whitish/gray cast on darker skin tones.

Okay, my first impression — this stuff STINKS. Boy, this foundation has a strong chemical smell. All the foundations I’m reviewing today have somewhat of a chemical smell but this one takes the cake! While the others I had to get close to my nose to pick up the scent, this Nearly Naked stuff is much stronger.

Revlon’s claims:

  • Naturally flawless complexion…creates a fresh, even look and covers flaws…blends seamlessly with buildable coverage for a natural finish
Revlon Nearly Naked Makeup in Caramel (#260)

Revlon Nearly Naked Makeup in Caramel (#260)

The texture of this is on the lighter side with a very, very slight greasy feel. If you apply just one layer on your skin, you hardly feel it. Keep building it up and it becomes pretty tacky. With one layer on, I could hardly tell I had on foundation if not for the terrible color match. I picked this foundation up in the color “Caramel”, #260. I wear “Caramel” in several other makeup lines, but this one was a no-go. It gave me the weirdest yellow tinge in some lighting. Bad. Really bad. Though it looked like a perfect match in other types of lighting.

You can't see the yellow tinge on my arm, but my face was another story!

You can’t see the yellow tinge on my arm, but my face was another story!

One thing I did notice was that it definitely had buildable coverage! Though you would think a “nearly naked” foundation would only provide the slightest coverage, this foundation actually surprised me. The more I put on, the more my dark spots were disguised. And it did all this without looking mask-like! I’m really in awe right now. This makeup just LOOKS nearly naked, yet it gives good coverage. I like that it is not matte which can look “fake” and not glowy which can make oily/combo skin look greasy after a few hours. It just looks like skin.

Despite the smell, I would like to try this foundation in a better color match to see how it looks. It doesn’t feel as lightweight as the CG foundation, but it gives a very natural look for a liquid foundation. If you like a natural look, but need your foundation to even out your skin tone, definitely pick this up. All Revlon’s claims about this makeup are true!

TCS verdict (4/5 stars): Natural-looking foundation that allows for buildable coverage that remains NATURAL-looking. How can I complain about that? Can’t get 5 stars though cause the aroma is not great. And I still need to see if they have a color for me without an extra serving of yellow!

4. Maybelline FIT ME Foundation (No SPF); price paid: US$5.59 on sale/$7.59 regularly

Maybelline FIT ME FoundationI picked this foundation up in color 340 a.k.a. “Cappuccino”; it is an oil-free foundation. I had been seeing the FIT ME line for a few years without ever buying any of the products and Maybelline happens to be my favorite drugstore brand for foundation. According to the bottle, 340 is a new shade. Not sure how new. It is one of the three shades without sunscreen; 15 of the shades contain SPF18.

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in #340 (Cappuccino)

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in #340 (Cappuccino)

Maybelline’s claims:

  • “Natural, Light to medium coverage that leaves skin the way it was meant to be. Fresh, breathing, flawless. Exclusive transluscent base and lightweight pigments allow skin’s natural highs and lows to show through. New shades formulated specifically for women of color contain revolutionary 5-D pigment technology to balance your skin’s authentic tones and highlights.”

This foundation is funny. When I first put it on, it seemed just too mattifying (and too deep in color). After applying just one layer, it seemed to suck the life/glow out of my complexion giving me a stoic mask-like look instead. Me no likey. But THEN, a few minutes later, I looked in the bathroom mirror again and my skin looked more natural…kinda pretty actually. I still had a slightly tanned look when I looked at my face away from bright light. Thought the finish was pretty and dewy and pretty natural (in bright light), the coverage was lacking. I could see all my dark spots and blemishes right through this stuff. I would say this foundation makes your skin look smoother and flawless (from a distance), but just doesn’t really conceal even slight variations in tone unless you apply more product.

Once I started layering it over a few dark spots, they became less noticeable. However, the foundation then became MORE noticeable, less natural.

Instant tan! LOL

Instant tan! LOL

This makeup is similar to Revlon’s Nearly Naked, but I think NN gives better coverage without building up to become mask-like. FIT ME definitely seems to look masky the more you put on as it becomes very matte. FIT ME Foundation looks very nice if you plan to apply it lightly, but if you try to build it up, you might be walking around looking “extra.” The under 30’s can probably get away with this, the over 30-35’s will just look older. And who wants to look older other than the under-21 crowd?

The makeup itself does not feel bad on the face. You can feel it, but it doesn’t feel heavy even after I applied another thick layer. The consistency is similar to CG’s foundation reviewed above.

TCS verdict (3/5): This foundation is pretty nice. It gives a nice, natural dewy look when used with a light hand, but because it gets very “makeuppy” when you try to camouflage imperfections and does not contain any SPF, I had to give it 3 stars.

Well, that’s it, chicas. More makeup reviews coming up soon.

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