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  • Writer's pictureHolly Anne

Best Drugstore Foundations & ProTips On How to Apply Them

First and foremost- what exactly is this life changing beauty product we call: Foundation. This little beauty of a product comes available in a liquid or powder form, it is makeup applied to the face to create an even, uniform color to the complexion, cover flaws and, sometimes even change the natural skin tone. Some foundations may also function as a moisturizer or

sunscreen. Foundations range from sheer, medium, to full coverage. Sheer foundations will provide a very light, no makeup look, while a medium coverage will be slightly heavier to cover up blemishes, and last but not least the full coverage will be thick and able to hide all blemishes. Deciding which coverage range I want changes from day to day. For example, my office/day face makeup is a sheerer coverage as opposed to a night out which is a fuller coverage. Deciding what look you want to achieve and how much makeup you're comfortable wearing are all questions to ask yourself when picking out your next foundation. To help you a little on your hunt to finding your perfect match- here's a little breakdown of the different types of foundations there are, tips on how to apply them and my favorite drugstore foundations.


Formula Breakdowns of Foundations

Liquid Foundation. These usually come in bottles and tubes. The coverage can range from super sheer to full. Liquid foundations are easy to blend and the coverage can be built up gradually. Another great thing is you can easily mix 2 different shades together to get the perfect match. Liquid foundations also create the most natural-looking finish and are suitable for all types of skin.

Cream Foundation. Great for achieving the dewy look, these usually come in compacts and jars and work best on dry skin. They tend to have a slightly heavier texture and provide higher coverage compared to liquid foundations. Make sure to apply sparingly as a little goes a long way.

Cream-To-Powder Foundation. Unlike cream foundations, cream-to-powder foundations actually dry to a powdery finish. They tend to create a matte look and are good for people with combination skin. Stick Foundation. These are similar to cream foundations but provide an even heavier coverage. One thing I like about stick foundations is their practicability. Stick foundations are great for traveling and they can double as concealers as well. The downside is most of them tend to contain oil and can clog your pores more easily. If you have acne-prone skin, I suggest you to steer clear of them. Powder Foundation. These usually come in compacts and are great for creating the matte look or for touch-ups. Some can even be used dry and wet for more coverage and they work best on oily skin. Like stick foundations, powder foundations are convenient and easy to use. If you have dry skin, try to limit the use of a powder foundation to touch-ups only. Putting powder on your dry skin would only accentuate wrinkles and flakes. Mineral Foundation. These are made out of crushed minerals extracted from the Earth and are free of preservatives, talc, oil, fragrance and other harmful chemicals. They usually come in loose powder form and provide medium to high coverage. Mineral foundations are good for people with very sensitive skin or those who suffer from acne or rosacea. The downside of mineral makeup, however, is that they might be a little too dry for those with dry skin. Another thing about mineral makeup is that you have to get the right brush and it does take practice to master the basic “swirl, tap and buff” process. Tinted Moisturizer. These are not really "foundations" more like moisturizers with just a slight tint of color to even out your skin. They provide the sheerest coverage out of all foundations and are great for those who are blessed with flawless skin or want light coverage.


Tips For Applying Your Foundation

Prep: At the very least be sure to Cleanse, Moisturize, and use a Primer before starting your face makeup. No great artist started on a dirty canvas! (At least I don't think, but you get the picture i'm trying to paint- no pun intended).

Match: Be sure to match your skin tone. The internet gives a ton of tips and tricks on how to make this process easier but the best fool proof method is to sample, sample, sample. Natural light from the sun is the most accurate and unforgiving, so if it looks good outside, you’ve most likely found your match. Sephora & Ulta have very good return policies, so take advantage of that and don't be afraid to ask for samples!

Apply & Blend: We all have our preferred method of applying foundation- heck mine even changes from day to day for no reason at all. But my favorite way to apply it for the best overall appearance is to finish with a beauty blender. I will add my foundation in random "dots" on my face using my finger, then disperse it with a fluffy foundation brush and THEN blend it all together with my beauty blender. This ensures my foundation has been evenly buffed into my skin with a smooth finish and no lingering brush streaks left behind.


Best Drugstore Foundations

E.L.F. Flawless Finish Foundation $6.00

Best For: Oily Skin

Coverage: Full

Finish: Semi-Matte

This formula is lightweight, oil-free, and blends naturally into skin for a beautiful semi-matte finish that lasts all day long. The liquid formula helps restore uneven skin textures and tones for visibly brighter skin. A super budget friendly option that is available in a whopping 40 shades!


Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint $14.00

Best For: Dry Skin

Coverage: Sheer

Finish: Dewy & Natural-looking

This foundation applies flawlessly while

instantly quenching skin therefore,

leaving your face hydrated and smooth.

Its formula moisturizes and plumps skin for up to 24 hours and delivers a natural, moisturized and fresh look.

It is available in 10 shades.


Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup $11.00

Best For: Acne Prone & Sensitive Skin

Coverge: Light to Medium

Finish: Semi-Matte

This SkinClearing foundation from Neutrogena offers natural-looking

coverage for acne prone and sensitive

skin types. With salicylic acid in its formula,

it not only treats acne and blemishes

but also prevents breakouts.

It is available in 14 shades.


BEST OVERALL: Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless $6.00

Best For: Normal to Oily Skin

Coverage: Medium to Full

Finish: Matte

This foundation is by far my most prized makeup possession. It's exclusive matte formula features micro-powders to control shine and blur pores. Many matte formulas promise to eliminate unwanted shine but either don't work or make you look borderline corpse-like. This foundation is medium to full coverage, and the finish is gorgeous; it creates a soft matte effect that lasts all day without settling into pores. If a matte finish isn't your thing, this formula comes in a Dewy & Smooth Finish option as well. It is available in 16 shades.


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