How do you know when you’ve found the perfect foundation?

I don’t know about you but I usually feel if I’ve got my foundation right then I’m going to be happy with my make up overall. But this isn’t such an easy task – not least because what feels right on any particular day can depend on: the weather; if I have a tan or not; whether I’m going out, where to, and who will be there – the list of variables goes on.

In general I’m inclined to repurchase products that have been successful before, and by successful I mean that the shade is right, I like how it looks on my skin in the mirror and in photos (this blogging game can make you vain you know) and, on occasions, when I’ve been complimented. But, and this is when things start to get really complicated, the product I like best, and have repurchased the most isn’t even a foundation it’s BB cream. (It’s the La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur and I’ve reviewed it here if you’re interested.)

Even confining my search to foundation it’s still a challenge. I still need to decide on coverage, and whether I want a matt, luminous, or dewy finish. I need to consider my budget and what current opinion is from bloggers, MUAs and brands. Phew I’m exhausted already!

So each time I run out of my favourite foundation I spend a couple of days revisiting other foundations in my stash before finally conceding that it’s time to lay out cash on something new. And so my quest begins.

This time around, I checked out my foundation wish list from a while back, googled best foundations, and read a blog post or two before deciding I’d like to buy the Laura Mercier Soft Candleglow Foundation. I also made a back up list of Chanel Les Beiges, Nars Sheer Glow (reviewed here), YSL Youth Liberator Serum and MAC Face & Body just in case.

Seems that planning wasn’t enough though and when pay-day came I headed for my nearest Laura Mercier counter to get colour-matched. I tried a  little of the Candleglow foundation on my hand and the texture seemed great. Coverage was about right and as well as having a glow to it, it had a slight mattifying effect so that my skin looked luminous but not greasy. So I asked to be colour matched, commenting that I was pleased that it was slightly matt and then everything went wrong. I was told “No, it’s not matt it’s luminous!” I tried to demonstrate from the sample on my hand that the my skin was more matt where the foundation was applied – and that I liked it – it was a good thing – but she just kept repeating that it wasn’t matt and didn’t take any steps to match me or demonstrate the foundation further. I took that as a signal that we couldn’t do business and moved on  to the Chanel counter.

The counter was pristine, as it’s part of a recent store refurbishment but there was no-one in sight, no customers or assistants. I tried a couple of shades while I was waiting but no help came and so I abandoned my quest for a Chanel foundation too and headed for MAC. Now I normally avoid MAC counters as they seem to attract huge amounts of custom with a lot of jostling and I like to take my time to choose my products and hate to queue. But fortunately this was a quiet day and the assistant approached me right away. I asked to be colour matched for the MAC Studio Face & Body Foundation, there was a little bit of faffing where she tried to get me to look at the Mariah Carey products – beautiful as they are I was on a foundation mission and wasn’t going to be distracted! Then finally, I had lift off and I took a seat ready to be colour matched. She did a great job getting it right first time and before I knew it I’d bought my first MAC foundation in shade N2. (In fact it’s my first MAC anything! How can I call myself a beauty blogger with no MAC collection? It’s a mystery!)

So back to my initial question? How do you know if you’ve found the perfect foundation? I’m not sure I can answer that. Do I think that this MAC Studio foundation is the one for me? Well I can’t be sure – I mean it’s the one for now. I think. It’s very light coverage, which is fine, as it’s buildable – but then I’m a bit too impatient to wait for a layer to dry before I apply another. I mean it’s good because you can apply a layer with your fingers (recommended as it tends to streak with a brush) and then you can feel it starts to set. So you have a while to blend it. It’s got a dewy finish, which is great but I do get tempted to use a little powder on my T zone to look a little more “done”. So I think it’s a good foundation to have in my stash but I’m not sure it’s the one. In fact I’m not sure that there’s such a thing. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I just need a few different products to select from to suit my mood. Or maybe I’d already found the one and I just need to repurchase my trusty Effaclar BB Blur again – but what if I’m missing out – and do I really need to get the Laura Mercier Candleglow – oh dear – here we go again!

Do you have this kind of dilemma? Do you get tempted by every new release? Or do you have a go-to brand or formula that you always buy? Would love to hear from you!

Hazel

This post contains affiliate links.

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7 thoughts on “How do you know when you’ve found the perfect foundation?

  1. I have these exact issues when buying a new foundation. I want one that does it all. I like MAC face and body…but I don’t love it. I think Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum is my favourite so far…but it doesn’t do it ALL. Perhaps I expect too much!

    The Laura Mercier experience sounds wearying… hope it’s a one off for you!

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    1. Haven’t tried the Bourjois Healthy Mix so I shall add it to my “to try” list. Sadly the Laura Mercier is experience is all too frequent. The assistant had been trained on the product but didn’t know how to engage and delight her customers. I’ve given feedback to the store CEO in a polite e-mail. Not a complaint so that he can understand my customer experience. Thanks so much for commenting. I really do appreciate it!

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  2. Oh, I HATE buying foundation! The Effaclar BB sounds great – may have to purchase now I see it’s on offer via your link! I tend to just come across the best foundations by chance…at the moment its Bourjois Wake Me Up (lovely budget and does a great everyday job). But I am looking for one that evokes the voice of angels when I try it! 🙂 I wonder if that will ever happen? Lovely, helpful post. Thank you! Lisa x

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    1. I love buying all.kinds of make up but I’m still kind of impulsive when I choose. Hope you like the Effaclar as much as I do. Even when it’s not on offer I still think it’s reasonably priced. Love LRP products so much! I’ve been hearing good things about Bourjois so must give it a try. So glad you liked the post xxx

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    1. Hi Jasmine! Thanks for commenting. I Clinique and Estee Lauder were my go to products before I started blogging and I think they’re definitely reliable brands. I have combination skin and am starting to treat different areas with different products. So with the MAC I’ve been adding powder to my nose and forehead. Maybe we’ll be on a continuous quest for perfection!

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