If you could only use one brand for foundation, which could you commit to?

This is a tough one, since it’s as much about formulations as it is about shade matching. A couple of years ago, I’d say Guerlain because I get along well with most of their formulas and have for years, but their shade range matches me less and less. These days, if I had to pick a brand to make a lifelong commitment to, it’d be Giorgio Armani — they have stellar formulas and have had popular ones for years (and they don’t seem to discontinue TOO quickly!) and a decent range. Presently, I tend to switch between Too Faced Born This Way and Tarte Rainforest of the Sea, but I don’t feel as confident committing to the respective brands forever even if I love those two formulas!

— Christine


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A Avatar

Oh god, this would be awful for me because I know literally one (one!) foundation that matches me without mixing, and it’s not the greatest formula (Laura Mercier Oil Free Bamboo Beige), and probably due to be discontinued at any point..
Probably MUFE because although it’s not my best match, I like the formula of their HD foundation and they tend have a great colour range in terms of undertones in their product, which is where other brands fail me.

Linda Avatar

Fellow light-medium olive here and I feel you on the shade struggle. MUFE makes the only exact match to my skin tone I’ve ever found, their old 120 which I think is Y245 now? Try running that through Sephora’s shade finder and you come up with very few options!

kjh Avatar

MUFE is good on the red side, too. I have a perfect match in both waterblend, which I prefer, and HD, which is a little less breathable on me, hence, clogging. The prob is the benzyl salycilate in waterblend, that drops my temp to 93. Try that for a no go. Virtually all others run too yellow. Since I’m such a kgd partisan, I’d suggest ordering the sample set . Many light to med olives find shade 213 to their liking. One of the issues with olive is that there’s cool olive and warm olive, which no one acknowledges.

kjh Avatar

KGD: Now, thanks to Beautylish, have the old formula aqua, the powder, and a cushion, with no chemical sunscreen/benzyl salicylate, and not too yellow. HG. I think KGD would/should go with expanding the shade range, rather than reformulating. It’s almost 2019, and there’s a diverse global marketplace.

Linda Avatar

Urban Decay – I hope Naked Skin is never discontinued but they don’t make a good winter shade for me, so I’d have to say Nars as a back-up due to more variety of formulas/finishes and a better shade range in my opinion. Now if they could just go back to being cruelty free!

Alecto Avatar

I don’t have a lot of experience with foundations, which is an odd thing to say coming from someone who is (currently) full-on, full-coverage, foundation-always-necessary. I could almost count on two hands the number of different foundations I’ve tried in the past 35 years (might need a few toes to account for all of them). Most of the foundations I’ve tried before were drugstore brands; I’ve wanted for some time to do more experimentation with higher-end brands, but since my current foundation is working well for me, I can’t justify it.

I stumbled across IT Cosmetics CC Cream and Bye-Bye Foundation; a 50/50 mix of the two matches my skin, is soothing, has physical sunscreen, doesn’t make my face look dry and patchy (many foundations do, even though my skin is oily), applies easily, and is reasonably priced. There might well be an amazing foundation out there that would leave me looking flawless, but it makes sense to stick with what I know works, so my answer has to be — by default — IT Cosmetics.

Nancy T Avatar

In a bit of a bind here due to 2 very important factors. First, it’s never easy to find a foundation that matches not only my olive undertone, but my golden-peach overtone, too. Secondly, there’s the glaring reality that at nearly 60, my skin’s constitution is beginning to change a bit, and it will continue to change. All that said; my best matches for shade have been in Lancome Teint Idole 24 HR Foundation and also in MAC’s Studio Sculpt NC37 and Studio Fix C3.5 mixed with C4.5, because they went and RUINED C4 by making it a super light shade now! So which brand? I just don’t know.

Pearl Avatar

Giorgio Armani as well. My all time HG is Lasting Silk UVF but they discontinued that. I bought up everything I could and it’s in the fridge. I like their shade ranges the best.

Tom Ford has about 3 or 4 that match me also but $90? At some point it’s just offensive. MAC also has some formulas I like.

dzymzlzy Avatar

Maybe Estée Lauder. I like the Double Wear Nude Water Fresh in the summer and have just started using the Double Wear Light Soft Matte Hydra as my everyday fall/winter and amazingly I just bought the original Double Wear for full coverage days. I always thought it would feel too heavy so I had never even tried a sample. I really do like it. I like that the shades are self-explanatory and called the same thing across the formulas.

Jane Avatar

Ooooo, that’s a hard thing to do! Commit, like marriage? LOL! I don’t know if I could do that with my foundation, as I like a variety of formulas, so I guess that means who would I trust to give me that variety. Estée Lauder, there, I decided. 😉

Laurie Avatar

Very fair, neutral skin, and too many foundations too dark, too pink, too yellow or the wrong level of coverage. I’ve been lucky to find foundations at varying prices and levels of coverage: MUR stick foundation in the lightest shade is surprisingly wonderful. One of your faves, Christine, is also mine, but obviously in a different shade: the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Fair Neutral. MAC Fix Fluid can be sheered out, and NC10 is my perfect match and what I use to measure all others against. Then the two luxury foundations—Guerlain Lingerie de Peau in 00N and Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in Beige. I’m so happy that last month, I was able to get these gorgeously textured foundations on 20% discount at NM and also get a 10% eBate, otherwise I would never have bought them after a debacle last year when I took their suggestions about shade and got unwearable products. Your foundation finder is the best of all I’ve tried. Between them and a couple of super fair bloggers/YouTubers, I’ve been able to grow and keep a strong collection that always works for me and got me away from the too-yellow It CC that had long been my only foundation. Thank you!

Ruby Avatar

A couple years ago I discovered Givenchy foundations and haven’t bought any others since. No one ever talks about them, they’re not really marketed and they fly under the radar, but for me, the formula is stellar: applies beautifully, long lasting, comfortable, reasonably natural while providing medium coverage and I also found the best color match I’ve found yet. Not cheap but in line with other high-end foundations and unlike many, does not break me out or shine a spotlight on every line in my sad to say “maturing” face. Every time I wear it I get skin compliments, and my skin is not that great … Of course, no foundation is for everyone (and Givenchy fails to offer the diverse shade range of younger companies so it’s a matter of if you happen to get a match among their limited shades), but it is a high quality product.

Tracy Avatar

Their foundations get very high reviews on Sephora, so unless that’s all fake reviews, there are plenty of people out there who agree with you! I got a shade in the Sephora sale and unfortunately, it was way too light. Maybe next sale, as I also bought the YSL foundation and the La Mer in the sale, and both match me well, so I’m more than stocked up on foundations at the moment (in terms of product and budget!).

Deborah S. Avatar

I wanted to start out by saying this was a tough one but since I have said that on each of these type questions, I will forego. My immediate response was my beloved Chosungah 22 (Which I am still hoarding and haven’t cracked open the final cannister. It is in my refrigerator to hopefully remain stable.) I have been trying a lot of foundations lately as I know I won’t be able to get the Chosungah forever. I have a few that I really like but nothing that is a perfect marriage. I like Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in 010. I like Sulwhasoo’s cushion and am really liking the combination of the MIBA Calcium Ion Cushion mixed with the RiRe Cushion Foundation but nothing is perfect. My search continues.

janine Avatar

EL. Stay all day Makeup is great for my long workdays 12-16 hrs sometimes longer and is transfer proof when I wear a mask.

Stay all day light is nice it mix’s easily with other stuff ( I ordered it half price they mistakenly sent me 2) and the water Nudes is my favorite the most skin like and color matching that I own.

Judith Avatar

It’s a tough choice, just like you one of my go to is Too Faced born this way, but I’m not sure I’d want to stay with too faced forever. I think I would go with makeup for ever because I can find a fair yellow match that is paler than nc15, but If mac can expend their fair shades in more of their foundations they would be my first choice because of the great variety and the lower prices.

Genevieve Avatar

Like most of the other readers here, I have been on a continuous foundation search and found one – Clarins Everlasting foundation in linen, which, of course, has been discontinued. I have heard that Clarins has ventured once again into make porcelain foundation with pink undertones, but I haven’t tried any yet.
So far, I do like the L’Oreal True Match foundation in 1C (cool) and the Designer Brands foundations.

Tracey E. Avatar

I’ve been using Lancome Teint Idole for the majority of my adult life. This foundation has a beige tone that perfectly suits my skin’s pink with beige undertone.

Deb Avatar

After trying what seems like gazillions of brands (I do a lot of online ordering and have gotten so many samples and I’ve been a subscriber to many beauty boxes for many years) I have fallen in love with Clinique Even Better foundation. It makes my dry, aging, uneven skin tone look amazing. My search is finally over! (Plus, it’s about half the price of the Giorgio Armani I was previously using.)

Silvia Avatar

L’Oreal True Match Lumi! NO doubt I wear C3 Cool perfect match! ! I’m extremely satisfied with it. My daughter wears Armani and we were getting ready for a wedding and she got close to my face and asked if I was wearing foundation already? Love it! It just blends into my dry/normal pretty decent 55 year old skin if I may say perfectly.

DVa Avatar

Tarte, both Rainfoest of the Sea and Shape Tape Hydrating foundations both fair-light neutral at this time of year (I add some medium neutral in the summer to warm it up when I tan).
I always thought I had warmer undertone than I do (leaning yellow, as I tan so easily golden in the sun), but since wearing foundation, I’ve discovered i’m firmly neutral that if anything I lean a bit more pink–or I gravitate that way when buying concealer.
To really brighten up my under-eye and high points, I prefer Shape Tape in Fair Neutral but it’s more difficult to get, as Sephora Canada doesn’t sell it. So I tried both Porcelain and Vanilla in the new TF Born this Way options, and I still find they pull yellow on me.
I think I’ll stick/commit to Tarte.

Saying that, I’ve not tried a lot of others, such as Clinique, MUFE, MAC…

Bonnie Avatar

Dior. Dior. Dior.

And if I couldn’t afford that, Maybelline. I like Fit Me a lot, and I loved Better Skin, which I think is now Super Stay. And I also enjoyed their Cushion Foundation, but it would get used up in about a month.

Z. Avatar

Probably MAC because I love their pro longwear nourishing waterproof foundation and like their studio fix. However, if you asked me 6 months ago I probably would have said marc jacobs because their remarcable used to be my holy grail for special events/long lasting makeup and their shameless is a good everyday foundation. However, I think my love of the mac waterproof foundation outweighs my love of the remarcable foundation, but it’s definitely a tough call.

I’d also be sad to give up my bare minerals bare pro liquid foundation, but I don’t like any of the other foundations in their range (or more so none of them run light enough for me), so I don’t think I’d be content with just using that one foundation.

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