It's time for another instalment in my declutter series and we're tackling my foundation and concealer collection this time. Luckily this is going to be a bit more of a slimline episode as my preferences have changed so much in the past year or so. I hope you enjoy hearing about the products I'm keeping and the products that are going (and why!)

My thoughts on foundation and concealer

I used to buy so many foundations from the drugstore that were never quite the right shade. I definitely tend to go for high-end products now, as the selection is so much better, though I suppose things are slowly improving! I used to be way more into matte foundations with high coverage, whereas now I prefer something lighter and more skin-like that gives my complexion a healthy appearance. At the same time, I do want to keep a couple more heavy-duty options for nights out!

I think with foundation I'm not as obsessed with trying lots of new products as I once was - I have my firm favourites and brands I know and trust in this department - a pretty new thing for my declutter series. That means it isn't going to be quite as hard to part with some of these products as those in my palette collection and highlighter collection. I'm actually looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and sorting the wheat from the chaff.

In terms of concealer, I actually don't tend to buy that many - I know what I like and a product has to be really hyped up for me to consider purchasing it. Having said that, there are definitely a few older products in here that need to go!

If you've noticed anything missing, it's probably because it's a new addition and I took these photos a while ago - it just takes some time for me to edit the photos and pull everything together for a post like this. If you want a little bit of background on my decluttering philosophy and what happens to the products I no longer want in my collection; check out the first post in the series.

Drugstore and affordable foundation

I honestly don't tend to buy cheaper foundations because they historically haven't really catered to my skin tone, so although things have gotten better (as I mentioned), in the interim I've found firm favourites from brands like Nars. I've thrown out many poor shade matches over the years but there are still a fair few drugstore foundations knocking around in my stash, many of which won't make the cut!

In here I have a few from indie brands LA Girl and Milani. There's the LA Girl Pro Matte HD Longwear Foundation* (Soft Honey) | £10 | review | and the LA Girl Pro Coverage HD Illuminating Foundation* (Warm Beige) | £9.95 | review. The Pro Matte is definitely staying - it's flawless and shine-free without being drying and gives a long-wearing, fairly full coverage finish. This has an amazing shade range too! I'm not as much of a fan of the Illuminating version and I just have other products in my collection that give a similar look and I reach for more often, so that one's going to have to go.

I also have the Milani Conceal + Perfect Foundation (06 Sand Beige) | £13 | review | which I actually really liked at the time but never seem to reach for these days. I think this is part of me understanding what I want from a foundation and realising I have products that more closely fit my needs, so there's not really a place for this in my collection any more. It's a medium-full coverage satin foundation, whereas these days I either go for lightweight and glowing or medium-full coverage that's matte and is going to last on my skin. I'm also getting rid of the KIKO Skin Modernist 2 in 1 Foundation & Concealer (discontinued) | £18.90 | review | for similar reasons because they're pretty similar products and also this is pretty old now!

It wasn't an easy decision but I'm also going to get rid of the Ordinary Serum Foundation (2.1Y) | £5.75 | and the Ordinary Coverage Foundation (2.1Y) | £5.95 | review. The Serum bottle doesn't have much left in it and the Coverage foundation is another one of those fuller foundations that I just don't have much use for now.

I'm getting rid of three more drugstore foundations: the NYX Total Control Foundation Drops (Caramel) | £14 | review, the Sleek Lifeproof Foundation* (LP07) | £8.99 | review | and the Maybelline Matte + Poreless Foundation (220) | £6.99. I just didn't really get the hang of the NYX drops, they didn't look great on me when used alone and I do already have a similar product from Cover FX that I prefer. Sorry to sound like a broken record but the Maybelline and Sleek are also going because I just don't need more than a small handful of 'proper foundations' in my collection when I usually just wear a powder formula, tinted moisturiser or something pretty lightweight. I already know my favourites for a more full-coverage look and these two don't make the cut.

have a few from L'Oreal here - which I order from the US as the shade range is far better. I just couldn't really get into the L'Oreal Pro-Glow Longwear Foundation (Sun Beige) | £11.99. There's nothing hugely wrong with it, it just didn't really do it for me and I don't have space in my collection for anything that's just 'ok'! However the L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation (104 & 106) | £13.95 | review | is holy grail status for me! It's semi-matte without being drying and actually looks sort of radiant on my skin. It's medium-full coverage but has an easy-to-build formula so you can really control how it looks. It's incredibly flawless on the skin and my go-to for an evening makeup look. I have one shade for summer and another for winter so will be keeping both!

Drugstore and affordable concealer

I feel pretty similarly about drugstore concealers, though there are definitely indie brands out there that have good shade ranges. Again, I can see this category being pretty brutal...

As much as I want to love the LA Girl HD Pro Concealers* | £4.99 | review | I just can't get on board with them! I've been sent them, I've bought them myself and they come in a ton of shades, of which I own several! Pure Beige and Medium Beige are the best match for me and it is very affordable, I just don't find the coverage to be enough for me. 

I'm going to be keeping the Gosh High Coverage Concealer* (Shade 4) | £7.99 | review | and the Milani Retouch & Erase Light-Lifting Concealer* (Shade 3) | £8.95 | review. I don't know why I don't hear much about the Gosh one but it's a really great alternative to Tarte's Shape Tape at such a low price! The Milani is also great for a fresh, natural look.

I love the Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer (Nude) | £8.99 | review | but I'm not sure why I have 3 tubes of the stuff! I accidentally picked up the shade Light in a rush which is a bit too stark on my skin (it's like a full-on KKW highlight!) so I'm going to get rid of that. I'll then use up that tiny bit in the one tube and put the new-ish one back into my drawer. This is a lightweight, fluffy concealer that makes me look wide awake.

Two concealers that really did not do it for me are the Revolution Makeup Conceal & Define Concealer (C11) | £4 | and the ColourPop No Filter Concealer (Golden 40) | $6 | review. I had really similar issues with both of these concealers - they give good coverage but look dry and cracked under my eyes! If you're in your teens, maybe these would look good on you but I'm 25 and they're pretty dreadful on my skin...

High-end concealer

I have a fair few high-end concealers in here and a fair few of them either aren't my thing anymore, are near-empty or are duplicates, so I'm going to be saying goodbye to those!

I have an old, pretty-much empty tube of the Kat Von D Lock It Creme Concealer (27 & 29) | £20 | review | and one that still has some product in. I know Kat Von D is very...problematic, but I'm not going to throw makeup away and be wasteful. This is obviously a look at my personal collection without holding items back because it's not ok to like the brand / brand owner any more. So I'm going to chuck the near-empty one and use up the other. This is a hydrating but very full-coverage option. I loved the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer (Medium Neutral) | £19.50 | review | a few years back but I think it's time to say goodbye! I also don't like the Peach Corrector | £19.50 | review | and it's pretty old, so I'll be getting rid of that.

I have two Nars concealers in the mix: the Radiant Creamy (Ginger) | £24 | review | and the Soft Matte Complete (Ginger) | £24 | review. Since shooting this post, I actually received Radiant Creamy in PR, but trying it again kind of just reaffirmed it's not for me any more. This was the concealer that got me into these creamy formulas in tubes but I just find it can be a bit dry under my eyes these days and the applicator is quite small. I'll probably keep the fresh one I now have in my handbag to touch up with on the go. The Soft Matte is one of my absolute favourites - it's a potted formula I love for spot concealing or lighter coverage under the eyes. 

Two more of these kinds of concealers that I really love and will be keeping are: the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (Medium) | £22 | review | and Too Faced Born This Way Radiant Concealer (Medium) | £20 | review. Shape Tape is my holy grail product - it just gives incredible coverage without looking heavy, plus it doesn't crease or fade throughout the day. I love the Too Faced for a fresher, more natural, glowing look.

I will be keeping both of my highlighter-concealers: the Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand (Shade 3) | £29 | review | and the YSL Touche Eclat (Luminous Sand) | £25.50 | review. There's not much left in the Charlotte Tilbury, so I'm actually going to pop it in my handbag so I can freshen up a bit before heading out straight from work. Both of these do a similar thing; they just lift and brighten tired-looking eyes!

Finally we have my Bobbi Brown Corrector (Peach) | £19.50 | review | and the Beauty Pie Luminous Concealer* (Medium) | £22 | review. I use this corrector every day to neutralise dark circles and I don't know how many pots I've been through! I also like this Beauty Pie concealer; despite being a bit iffy on their business practices, I do still have some of their products in my personal collection.

High-end light bases

I'm a big fan of light bases but I have my favourites that I repurchase over and over again, so there's definitely room to get rid of a few from this category!

The first two that have to go are the Cover FX Mattifying Anti-Blemish BB Gel* (G Medium Deep) (discontinued) | £35 | review | and the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation (4.5) | £34.50 | review | because they're really old! It's with a heavy heart I finally declutter the Cover FX... There's nothing much left in here and I haven't used it in well over a year but I'm gutted it was discontinued as it was my perfect lightweight matte base for summer. I would potentially repurchase the lightweight, healthy-look Bobbi Brown foundation in the future, but I have other products I'm reaching for at the moment and this is ancient! I'm really not sure how it managed to avoid the axe up until now...

I'm going to let go of the Urban Decay Naked Skin One and Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector (Medium Dark) | £28.50 | review | but keep the Nars x Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint (Medium) (discontinued) | £25 | review | and the Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint (St. Moritz) | £30 | review. I do like the formula of the Urban Decay but there's such a small window during which this is a good match for me (over summer) that I haven't got the use out of it and I think it's time to chuck this one - sadly the shade range is pretty limited so I won't be repurchasing it. I'm keeping both of the Nars bases; whilst I prefer the tinted moisturiser to the Glow Tint, I like the latter enough to try and finish it up. I was very close to getting rid of Velvet Matte as it is quite light in tone on me and it never really wowed me as much as their other bases but I've decided I'll keep it until the end of the year and try to use it up in that time.

There are two favourites I'm definitely keeping hold of: the Bare Minerals Matte SPF15 Foundation (16) | £27 | review | and the Estee Lauder Double Wear Cushion Stick Natural Radiant Makeup* (4W1) | £28 | review. I love the Bare Minerals as something lightweight and matte-finish for summer days when I don't want much makeup on. The Estee Lauder is one of my go-to everyday glowing bases - it's just gorgeous on the skin.

High-end foundations

I really don't wear full-coverage bases all that often, so I don't think I need as many 'proper' foundations in my collection as I seem to have. So, let's see if we can trim this category down...

I'm keeping hold of my Cover FX Custom Cover Drops* (G50) | £36 | review | because it's pretty unique in my collection. I don't tend to use these on their own but they're the perfect match to my skin tone, so one tiny drop can adjust a slightly 'off' foundation or you can mix it in with a moisturiser for light coverage. My Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation* (3W2) | £35 | review | is also staying! I love this one; it truly is flawless and long-lasting on my skin and it has an easy-to-build coverage so doesn't have to be too full on if you don't want it to be. Two other more natural product in my 'proper foundation' stash are: the Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation* (G50) | £36 | review | and the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation (Y375) | £31 | review. I don't think I have much left in either of these so I want to use them up ASAP - they're both great options for my current vibe of fresh, glowing skin but give a bit more coverage than the light bases in the last category.

I love my Nars Sheer Glow Foundation* (Barcelona) | £33 | review | and my Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation (Barcelona) | £35 | review. I both of these medium-coverage foundations are amazing - the Sheer Glow is a little more flawless, whereas Radiant Longwear has a bit of a fresher, dewier look to it.

I have two stick foundations in here - one of which is staying and one of which is going! I actually really like how the Iconic London Pigment Foundation Stick* (2.1) | £24.99 | review | looks when first applied, however it just doesn't last on my skin and that's a deal-breaker for me, so I'm decluttering it. I really love the Clinique Chubby in the Nude Stick Foundation (Grandest Golden Neutral) | £25.50 | review | in general but especially to touch up after work if I'm heading out somewhere, so I'm definitely keeping it and I think I'll actually pop it in my handbag!

I'm going to be saying goodbye to two super full-coverage - the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (3W2) | £33.50 | review | and the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation* | £29.50 | review | and keeping one (kind of!) which is the MAC Studio Fix Fluid (NC37) | £26 | review. I used to love Double Wear but I never really reach for something this crazy full-coverage any more, so it's been knocking around a while and needs to be thrown out! There wasn't much left in this bottle anyway. The Urban Decay also isn't something I reach for any more - I know I sound like a broken record but I don't need a million heavy foundations for my personal makeup preferences and this did dry down a bit dark on me anyway. You'll probably notice I have two of this MAC foundation; it's an oldie but a goodie for me when I want to go for a more glam makeup look. I'm going to get rid of this old bottle of NC40 and keep my newer bottle of NC37.

I'm also going to get rid of this bottle of my Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation (Shade 7) | £32 | review | and this little sample of the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation (Shade 8) | £27. I find the Charlotte Tilbury a tad too light for me during most of the year, though it is a nice medium-full coverage option, and I've actually since received Shade 8 in PR, which is a much better match for me. I tried a little sample of the Clinique foundation and it just didn't rock my world so I'll be throwing out this pot and not purchasing the bottle - it's just too thick and heavy for me!

Despite initially putting it in the 'keep' pile, a week after this declutter I also decided my Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Foundation (330) | £26 | review | had to go; mainly because the shade is a bit off for me, but also because I do have enough full coverage foundations in the mix to meet my personal needs.

Final reflections

I'm really pleased that I've managed to declutter half of my concealers and foundations - I had a feeling this would be a category I'd get rid of a lot from, despite having regularly pruned my collection over the years! To be honest, it's going to take a lot of hype for me to run out and buy any new foundations because I know what I like and I'm actually pretty happy just to carry on repurchasing my tried and true products.

What do you look for in foundations and concealers? Have your preferences changed over time?

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Disclosure - products marked * were gifted to me as unpaid advertisement for the brands / websites mentioned. All opinions expressed are my own. Please read my disclosure page for more information.

Read more posts from this series here!

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