I am always up to try a new foundation and usually (but regretfully, for my bank account) leap onto the bandwagon whenever a new one launches. As part of my job here at The DC Edit, I’ve also been fortunate to discover the foundations that almost always make it to ‘holy grail’ status. So, a few months back, I decided to embark on a little project. Here’s an honest review of 4 cult favourite foundations, tried and tested by yours truly. Are they really worth your dollars?
*My skin type: normal, but I do get a little oily around my T-zone from time to time. I also have sensitive, eczema-prone skin.
1. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation, S$19.90
Probably the iconic foundation that proved drugstore could be equally good, if not better, I’m sure you’ve heard of this one! Unfortunately, for the longest time, the Fit Me foundation range in Singapore did not come in a pump bottle (you had to pour the foundation out) and did not carry my shade. But, with their latest shade expansion, the new 18-shade range finally has my match. The foundation also comes in a pump bottle now, which is always a plus!
It’s claims: Mattifies and refines pores for a natural, seamless finish — ideal for normal to oily skin types. Comes in 18 shades.
How It Fared
Application: The foundation is on the more runny side and has quite a ‘just-right’ consistency. It spreads thinly but is both buildable and highly blendable. I found that it blends like a dream regardless of beauty tool — so whip out your brushes, sponges, or just use fingers! There is no fragrance, which is always a bonus for sensitive skin.
Coverage: Medium to high. Although, not quite a full-coverage foundation given it’s natural, skin-like finish. The formula is easy to build and layers so effortlessly you won’t come close to cakey skin, but won’t be getting a super concealed base either.
Wear: For starters, don’t expect a full, solid matte with this one! As it claims, the foundation delivers a more natural finish that while on the matte side, is far from flat. While the foundation does a decent job at controlling extra shine, I found that it settled into a more satin-like finish. As for its pore-minimising abilities, Fit Me performed surprisingly well on my cheeks because the flexible finish doesn’t emphasise dry skin or uneven texture. Nonetheless, the matte-not-flat formula does let shine peek through (especially on my nose) after a good five hours or so. Nothing that a blot or quick powder won’t fix though!
I love how versatile this foundation is. On days I want just a touch of coverage, I apply a hint of Fit Me with my fingers. When I need more coverage for events, this fits nicely into my medium-high coverage foundation routine too. But given Fit Me’s perpetually natural finish, I would likely choose a real, full coverage foundation if I really needed serious concealing. I can also see more room for even greater shade inclusivity in this range! All in, if you’re a fan of foundations that look like your-skin-but-better, are comfortable to wear and won’t break the bank, I can’t recommend Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless enough!
2. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF10 Foundation, S$71
If Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless is USA’s top-selling liquid foundation, here is UK’s own no.1 favourite. A classic holy grail, it’s probably the ‘old-but-gold’ foundation of this lot; my first memory of Estee Lauder’s Double Wear was seeing it in my mum’s makeup bag!
It’s claims: 24-hour staying power for flawless and comfortable all day wear. A worry-free, long-wearing formula that stays fresh and natural through heat, humidity and non-stop activity. Comes in over 55 shades.
How it fared
Application: The foundation does not come in a pump bottle (the pump has to be purchased separately) which admittedly, was a slight downer for me. It was a little challenging to control how much foundation I was dispensing. The consistency is ever so slightly gooey, but still smooth to blend. BUT, you’ll need to work faster with Double Wear because it sets rather quickly and will not budge. For the same reason, I personally felt the foundation worked better with sponges/brushes as opposed to fingers. There is no fragrance, a plus as always!
Coverage: High, probably buildable to an almost-full coverage. I was really enjoying how I could get an even, polished coverage while keeping a fresh, natural finish (as Double Wear promises). Though as aforementioned, you’ll probably want to be fast if you’re layering your foundation too, because of how firmly this formula sets.
Wear: Double Wear claims a natural, semi-matte finish and settles into a sleek, satin-like canvas — with just a tinge of glow for that clean, bright look. I actually liked Double Wear’s finish the most out of the lot! The foundation also didn’t disappoint on its long-wearing claims and stayed put for nearly a whole day, with an after-work event included. While it did degrade slightly around my T-zone as the day wore on, I found that a simple blot (with tissue) did the trick. In fact, I hardly re-powdered my face because I really liked the semi-matte/dewy look Double Wear gave me throughout the day.
Can we just pause for a moment to appreciate Double Wear’s extensive and still-growing shade range? That aside, this has become my go-to for days when I need good coverage, durability but still want to look like I’m wearing my own skin. For a rather heavy-duty foundation, this has an impressively comfortable consistency, wear and finish. Nonetheless, Double wear is — in some ways — not as foolproof to work with because of it’s pour-out bottle and setting speed. I do however, adore this formula enough that I would invest in a reusable pump. But I must say, with that price point, I do hope Double Wear can be released in a pump bottle soon!
3. Burberry Beauty Matte Glow, S$85
Burberry’s newest foundation and probably the most recent to launch among the lot. I was pretty excited to see if this was worth its hype.
Its claims: Perfect your complexion, with a luminous matte finish all-day long. Featuring an innovative second-skin formula that blends seamlessly for an undetectable high coverage. Also enriched with life-proof technology to guard against heat, humidity and pollution. Comes in 30 shades.
How it fared
Application: I was half expecting this foundation to have a more fluid, runny texture (because of the ‘glow’ in its name). Instead, it turned out to be more viscous and dry than I had expected. For measure, it wouldn’t budge much on the back of my hand when I tilted it. The foundation was slightly less blendable and flexible than I thought it would be, so I found that it worked best with a sponge. Nevertheless, aside from the slightly stiff consistency, it did blend out seamlessly. There is no fragrance, a plus again!
Coverage: Medium to very high, likely buildable to a full-coverage. True to its claims, I found that the Matte Glow layered beautifully (despite its thicker texture) and did not cake, or settle into fine lines/dry patches.
Wear: I wouldn’t say this foundation is a clear ‘luminous matte’. Honestly, I found that it settled into an airy, velvet finish more than anything. I did however, notice a luminosity that seemed to beam from within the skin, instead of any dewiness peeking through. True to its high-coverage and long-wear claims, the foundation stayed put through a whole day of work and a workout after. The foundation retained its velvety finish and I would say, had the second longest wear!
Burberry Matte Glow is quite the intriguing one. It seems wired a little differently — with its glow-from-within matte finish, thick texture but still soft wear and superb durability. Because of the stiffer consistency, I found myself using a little more foundation than I usually would, which was the main reason why I used Matte Glow less frequently. But that said, Burberry’s Matte Glow is faultless if you’re living for a true matte glow instead of a glowy + matte finish. I can’t comment on how much this really guards against pollution, but I’ll take that as a plus. All in, while I don’t reach for Matte Glow as often, I’m never disappointed when I do!
4. Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Foundation, S$98
Everyone was talking about it when YSL released its first day & night wear foundation last year. All Hours made the hit list pretty quickly and has been on a roll ever since. I was quite pumped to find out why!
Its claims: For a flawless matte complexion and 24-hour long wear, without causing breakouts. The innovative formula is full-coverage, water-proof, transfer proof and ultra-comfortable. Comes enriched with a skincare complex and UV filter to protect the skin against natural aggressors.
How it fared
Application: For a heavy duty foundation, All Hours had a relatively fluid, melted consistency. The formula was pretty effortless to blend and build. However, since the texture does fall along the thicker spectrum, I found that All Hours worked better with a sponge/brush, as opposed to fingers. There is also a noticeable fragrance to this foundation, which might not work for everyone.
Coverage: High to full-coverage. This was without doubt, the highest coverage foundation of the lot. A little goes quite the distance with All Hours and I found it (ironically) hard to achieve anything less than medium coverage. Given how high coverage this foundation is, don’t expect a traceless or second-skin finish. While nowhere near cakey, All Hours does deliver a smooth, firmly concealed base.
Wear: The first time I wore this foundation, I paired it with a mattifying setting powder and looked incredibly powdered down, almost single-dimensional! After switching out my powder for a less mattifying one, I began to enjoy the airbrushed yet flexible finish. I wore this foundation for some 10 hours at a dance vetting and true to its name, All Hours hardly wore off. It does degrade slightly to allow some dewiness over time (more so than Burberry’s Matte Glow), but maintains its coverage. One thing I noticed however, was that the foundation did, at times, settle slightly into my smile lines. Still, the longest-wearing foundation of the lot!
YSL’s All Hours is my new go-to foundation for whenever I need good, lasting coverage that won’t irritate my skin. While I try to avoid using fragranced products on a daily basis, All Hours’ wear, comfort and coverage makes up for it. But given its steep price tag, I would think twice about making this my everyday foundation because I (1) don’t require that high of a coverage daily and (2) could likely find a more affordable and adequate alternative for everyday wear. Nevertheless, for special occasions and events (particularly in my line of work), it’s a worthy splurge!
I think cult favourites are so for a reason and I wasn’t expecting myself to dislike any of these foundations. Though evidently, even cult favourites have their shortcomings. Which one is on your to-try list?