Having successfully ‘downgraded’ many items in my expanding make-up collection, budget foundations were the thing I was most nervous and sceptical about trying. I just didn’t believe you could get a decent shade, good coverage, a skinlike finish and lasting power in a foundation coming in at £10 or under. I was determined to try though as the savings of over £20 per bottle compared to my regular buys were too tempting to ignore.
I tried three foundations in total and they all come in at £9.99 or less and are available across the country. I wore all of them for at least ten days each and tested them for day and evening wear too. Was I impressed? You know, I really was. They all had a shade that matched my skin (though limited ranges in general means this won’t be true for everyone), they all went on smoothly providing a good amount of coverage and leaving a decent finish and for a day at work or a weekend afternoon out these all stuck around long enough to get the job done. I think for really long days and really big nights I’m still going to keep a bottle of something more expensive squirrelled away but for everyday use I’d happily rely on any of these new friends.
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation – £6.99
The cheapest of the three and an absolute bargain at under £7, you get a lot for your money with this one. It’s a medium coverage foundation with a finish that’s neither especially dewy nor particularly mattifying that just does what you need a foundation to do – provide you with a nice even base for everything else. I turn to this one for normal workdays and I can’t think of a good reason not to re-purchase when it expires. Except for, well, I probably don’t need six different foundations. I use the shade ‘Ivory’ and it blends beautifully but with only nine others and most of them at the paler end of the scale there won’t be one for everyone which is a shame. Side bar: I also bought the concealer in this range and, slightly annoying applicator aside, it was my absolute favourite from a bunch of drugstore concealers.
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation – £9.99
Ramping up for the price here and coming in at a whole £3 more than the Rimmel foundation, this is the one I would recommend if you’re after a dewy finish and slightly lighter coverage. It still covers a good amount but either of the other two provide you with a bit more on that front. It has a slightly runnier consistency than the others and is the ‘glowiest’ for sure though not extremely so. I rely on this one primarily for weekends or those rare very casual office days .I use the shade ‘vanilla’ and again the shade range does look a bit limited so won’t work for all.
L’Oreal Paris True Match Foundation – £9.99
Probably the most widely lauded of all the drugstore bases on the market at the moment and touted by some as a dupe for Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation, I absolutely hated this when I first tried it. It accentuated lines and highlighted my pores, I felt as though sat in every single imperfection and drew attention in their direction. I persevered as I couldn’t accept I would take so strongly against something that so many reasonable women recommended from the rooftops. One day it dawned on me – I had the wrong shade! It was too light for my skin and so it actually was highlighting all the things I was attempting to use it to conceal. A return visit to Boots and a quick chat with the woman on the L’Oreal counter and I had the right one – my ‘true match’ if you will – and what a difference it made. This is one product that is worth its own extensive hype. It’s my favourite of the three and by far the best one for building coverage. I can wear this everyday, regardless of what’s going on, from a regular office day to a night out when I wear two layers mixed with some MAC Fix+ for a flawless finish that doesn’t look an ounce cakey.
Have I missed your favourite? Which budget base do you rely on?