Foundation Shades || My Best & Worst Drugstore Brands



I must admit I'm a high-end girl when it comes to foundations and concealers, however during my school and university years I had plenty of experience with the high street. A lot of people can't or don't want to spend £30 on a foundation, which is totally understandable. This is a guide to the best and worst drugstore brands for foundation shade selection. 

Please note, this is from my perspective, I can't speak for anyone else. Also just because I think a brand is rubbish for foundation/concealer shades doesn't mean you won't like their products if you can get a match or that I don't rate the brand for other things :)


BEST

L'Oreal: try their True Match range. At £9.99 its on the slightly more expensive end but for that you get to choose from 20 shades, comparable to foundations 2-3 times the price.

Revlon: again this is on the more expensive end of the drugstore market but the Colourstay Foundation (£12.49) especially is an amazing formula! For me they are a little beige-y, as I prefer a yellow base, but to be honest if you'd like to save money this can be overlooked.

Sleek: I can't speak for the lighter end of the spectrum but this is the cheapest brand I've found that caters to darker skin tones as more than an afterthought. I'm really enjoying their Bare Skin Foundation (£8.99, review here).

WORST

Rimmel: everything from their concealer to their foundation to their shaded powder is totally useless to me and always has been. I think they cater towards paler people as they generally have lots of 'porcelain' type shades but obviously I wouldn't really know!  

Bourjois: another one which is a write-off for me. I used to be able to get the darkest shade of one of their foundations but they discontinued it. Also, they tend to lean towards yellow bases, so not a great option if you have red or neutral undertones.

Collection (Work the Colour): I can't bash them too much as they are one of the cheaper, smaller players, however so is Sleek. I can just about wear the darkest shade of their Lasting Perfection concealer, which only comes in 4 (neutral-based) shades. I'd have thought that such a popular product would've been expanded on given its success.


MEH

The ones that are just 'ok' are Maybelline, Max Factor and No7. No7 is probably the worst culprit because it's the most expensive of the three.


IN SUMMARY...

I really think brands need to wake up to the fact that women want their foundation to actually match their skin, and don't want to either 'make do' or spend £30. And also that women of colour wear makeup and aren't reaching for the stars to want to buy a foundation in Boots or Superdrug! I feel as though on a scale of makeup-wearers in the UK from palest to darkest I fall somewhere in the middle, yet I still have little-to-no luck on the high street.

I'm interested as well to hear from pale girls if they agree with the brands I've chosen, which would make my 'worst' brands even more useless and narrow in their market!

Which drugstore brands do you love/hate for getting a colour match?



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32 comments

  1. I agree - I really don't like the Bourjois foundations. Their colour range is awful! I love using L'Oreal though. I use my L'Oreal Infallible foundation everyday and it's my favourite :)

    www.beyondthevelvet.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I use Foundations by Asian brands because I can never find my colour in Western brands! ^ u ^

    www.thedailydollyblog.com

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    1. That's frustrating that you can never find anything at all with Western brands! x

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  3. oooh I LOVE bourjois -but then the yellow tone works for me so maybe that's why. I agree with you on Rimmel -I've never found a decent foundation from them. And I love Revlon colourstay!

    Jenn
    Photo-Jenn-ic

    x

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    1. Yeah, when Bourjois went dark enough I really liked that I'd found a cheaper brand with a yellow base, so it's a shame they decided to narrow their range! x

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  4. I really enjoyed this post and found it really interesting, I have really pale skin so I have the opposite problem to you. I find that a lot of drug store brands don't even do foundation that fits my skin tone without me looking like a complete ghost or making my face look a lot darker than my neck. I like the Rimmel powders, but often their foundations are just too dark for my skin, and the lightest ones are often really beige which really doesn't suit me. I've never tried a foundation from Sleek before, so having read your review, I'm interested to try that. I think my favourite drug store foundation at the moment is the maybelline dream matte mousse, although I do tend to have a love/hate relationship with foundations in general. Abi x

    ramblingsofablonde.co.uk

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    1. That's a shame, as I always find foundation looks better if you match it to your neck! x

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  5. Replies
    1. Yeah they're pretty good if you can't afford to splash out x

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  6. I've never found a really good foundations in drugstores because the palest shades are always too yellow toned for me, at the moment I'm using Rimmel Wake Me Up but nothing matches my skin quite like Diorskin Forever foundation.
    : ]

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    1. Aww, that's a shame, I have the opposite problem - if it goes dark enough it's always not yellow enough for me. I find the Dior foundations very neutral-toned. My #1 will always be MAC SFF as it's not as crazy expensive as some others and the colour selection is amazing :) x

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  7. I'm quite lucky as my skin tends to just be generic ivory in most foundations! My main issue is I have pigment and scarring which means my cheeks are darker than the rest of my skin, so 'd love to see if high end foundations help with that!

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

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    1. Aw lucky you! It's annoying having a cool or warm skin tone as if you put something neutral on it, your face looks 'off'. Maybe you could try a heavier coverage or even things out with a concealer xx

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  8. It sucks that drugstore brands dont cater for a wider variety of skin tones! They really should start doing that. I have both drugstore and highend that I love and use so I dont think I would ever stick to one. I'm quite lucky with my beige sort of skin tone that I can get away with using most brands. The only one I remember having trouble with before was MAXfactor, it took me forever to settle on a shade only to realise that it had a pink undertone to it when I got home x

    Beauty with charm | TOOFACED GIVEAWAY

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    1. Yeah I definitely find that it's a case of 'go high-end or go home'. I've had that happen to me too, it doesn't help that you can't try on cheaper foundations properly in Boots & Superdrug (with the exception of No7 in big stores) xx

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  9. I'm always quite lucky and tend to fit the shade that always seems to be right in the middle. I love all of Rimmels foundations although used to hate them but I definitely think they've got better.xx

    Http://www.itsalwaysdarkestbeforethedawn1.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. That's really lucky. Hopefully they'll expand their line in the future x

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  10. I can imagine how difficult for darker skinned woman must be to buy foundation from drugstore, as you said, the range of shades is not impressive. I'm quite lucky to be in the 'beige' category which is very popular and most of the brands have something suitable. But it's still not always easy to find the right undertone as some just have a pink, like Rimmel or yellow like Bourjois. xx
    Mummy's Beauty Corner

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    1. Yeah I think a lot of cheaper brands don't understand that it's not just a light to dark scale but people have different undertones as well xx

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  11. AMEN for this post! I gave up on high street foundations. I always found the shades would jump from 4 or 5 shades for Caucasian skin tones to a one-size-fits-all dark shade which was always inevitably too dark for me. I've even found that with brands such as Illamasqua (which is one of my favourites) - they'll do a shade for olive skins, Asian skins, and black skins, and as a light skinned black woman I don't fit any of those! The only foundation I use now is YSL Touche Eclait Foundation, as they not only do different shades but different tones! Will definitely check out Sleek's foundations though after your recommendation!
    Sorry for the essay haha!

    Drea xo
    dreasjunkyard.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. You're welcome! Had to be said. I've all but given up, I still hold a shred of hope but as you said, a lot of brands will cater up to a certain point then tack on 2 much darker shades at the end lol. Illamasqua should be doing better considering how expensive they are! xx

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  12. How funny... I love Rimmel and Bourjois Foundations and wasn't so keen on the Sleek one. lol But then our skin tones are different. That could be why, since you don't seem to find the right shades with Rimmel and Bourjois. But their formulas are pretty good, in my opinion. xx

    Speaking Beauty UK | Nars, Urban Decay, YSL GIVEAWAY

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    1. I didn't find the Sleek formula life-changingly good but I quite liked it! I preferred the Bourjois formula I used to get but I guess at the end of the day there's not much point having good formulas if a large chunk of people can't use them xx

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    2. Don't get me wrong, I liked the Sleek Foundation. I just prefer Rimmel and Bourjois. But I totally get what you mean. And I agree companies should provide a wide shade range to suit everyone. xx

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    3. Yeah I feel as though they're good foundations and if you can find your shade in them then go for it :) xx

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  13. I disagree that Rimmel caters for pale people, i am very pale (true match shade c1) and find even the lightest shades of rimmel foundations, concealer etc are just far too orange toned for me. True match had been my go to for years! Great post!

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    1. I did say I was just guessing from the names and wouldn't really know. True Match seems a winner for everyone x

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  14. I really want to try the True Match range!
    I've a light skin and I absolutely love Rimmel, but we're all different and everything can't work for everyone. I really do like the Wake Me Up Concealer though so it's a bummer they don't have the shade for you :(
    I 100% agree with Collection though! From the shades they have of the Lasting Perfection concealer 1 is way too light for me, 2 too red and 3 too dark!! The only way I can make it work is if I mix 1 and 3 but who has time for that when they need to get ready fast in the morning?

    My life as Anu | MAC Lipstick Giveaway

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    1. Yeah it's so annoying when you can't buy or easily use the products that you've heard everyone and their mum rave about! xx

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