What are your deal-breakers for foundation?

Sheer coverage is not my cup of tea (if I go sheer, I’ll wear a tinted moisturizer or mix regular foundation with moisturizer), so that’s usually a no. I don’t like heavily scented foundations, especially if I can still smell them after they’ve dried down! I’m also not a fan of anything that’s so dewy/luminous that I can see shimmer on my skin all-over.

— Christine
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Texture gritty or otherwise. I am not a fan of the Loreal Infallible for this reason. It is a decent buildable foundation, that doesn’t streak and wears the whole day. Great and affordable option for those with oily skin but I cannot stand that mousse like texture. Also it is a no go if there is a noticeable scent. It must wear a typical 8 hr day too. I expect I may have to touch up with powder or reduce oil with a blotting sheet but foundation that streaks irks me to no end. A comfortable, light weight, buildable and long lasting foundation with a wide range of skin tones with no cloying scent appeals to me most!

Well, I found out the hard way last year that very matte, water based foundations like MAC Studio Fix seriously look awful on my not so young skin. It literally added *texture* that I’d never seen before! But on the other hand, I also cannot deal with ones that make my face look like an oily, shiny or shimmery mess, either.
Other deal breakers are ones with fragrance. My skin is too sensitive for that. And nothing too sheer or just the opposite, where it gives me cakey face!

Foundation deal-breakers include noticeable fragrance, a matte or cake-y looking finish, shades that can look too yellow (even orange) over my sometimes red-faced skin. Like you, Christine, sheer coverage is a nonstarter.

Foundations that emphasize texture badly: pores, lines, dry patches… Heavy textures that look cakey are also a big no-no. And I prefer a matte to semi-matte finish so I don’t like anything too dewy, but mattifying powder can remedy the issue.

1- Goes on with a minimum of effort with my clean fingers- (does not require sponges, brushes, etc.)
2- Does not oxidize (turn gray or orange), is reasonably close to my skin tone in color (Lancome turns me Cheeto orange)
3- looks like skin, does not emphasize pores, fine lines, give me the dreaded ‘orange peel nose,’ or have glitter
4- lasts a minimum of 6 hrs without fading, does not melt in the high humidity of the Monsoon here in South Asia
5- does not dry out my parched dry skin nor slide everywhere because it’s so ridiculously oily
6- comes in an easy to use airless pump or tube, I do not want to stick my fingers in a tub/pot nor expose the entire tub of foundation to bacteria and oxidation every time I open the lid of the tub. Bonus for lightweight opaque plastic packaging to reduce exposure to sunlight and because I travel a lot.
7- has enough coverage to conceal my lingering ‘mask of pregnancy’ and sun damaged cheekbones
8- does not irritate my skin/clog pores/cause breakouts
9- must have at least 26 SPF because I live close to the equator at high altitude, yes I wear sunblock under my sunblock up here because it is THAT bad: as in my skin would blister off in a day

Haha I’m exactly opposite of you. I’m a fan of sheer but buildable coverage and definitely dewy/luminous. I only go full coverage if I’m going for a formal evening event and I suppose both are due to my skin that easily tends towards dryness if I go for matte/heavy coverage.

Finishes that look pasty and thick.

I personally don’t care for full coverage foundation because it just looks alarmingly unnatural to me (there’s a difference between looking flawless and looking fake and full coverage foundation always veers into fake on my skin.)

I have always thought that full coverage was for photographs. It is the only time I can get away with wearing it and it looking good on me…in the photos, not real life.;)

Fragrance, since my skin is sensitive to it. Good coverage without making me look like I am wearing a mask. Correct color selection, of course. Some glow but not too much.
Foundation is the one product where I am not so enthusiastic about trying new products. I like to stick to tried and true holy grails.

I agree with you on not constantly seeking new and better foundations. I have two that work perfectly for my skin and have the color and finish I need; add to that my preferred tinted moisturizers and I do t hunt for new foundations anymore. I may try, but rarely buy. My preference is for light to medium converage with a dewy finish, so anything thick, full coverage or matte is out for me.

Matte, full coverage is a huge no. I look dead in it. As are powder or cream foundations. They look flat on my skin. MAC face and body, Natasha Denona liquid, Lancome cushion, and for important makeup days Dior Airflash are my staples.

some foundations just apply patchy no matter how well moisturised or primed the skin is. those i chuck.

however, i’ve found that my bases go much better when i avoid silicone and go for water-based moisturisers in the morning. in this way, i dont get the silicone/oil/water interaction problem which causings pilling, patchiness etc. if the second or third ingredient of the foundation is some -cone, i will avoid it.

Not a fan of sheer foundations. Or those that surprise me by turning yellow after a few hours (Nars). Or those that break down way to fast (Armani Luminous Silk). Personally, I like the feeling of coverage on my skin so I like a foundation that has a bit of a dewy heft to it.

I am not a fan of matte and/or full coverage foundations. But deal-breakers are anything that settles into lines or those foundations that somehow seem to seperate so that you can see that “that Foundation is slightly off in colour” (cause they almost always are slighty off in colour on me). Matte foundations are normally the worst for me because they always settle in lines that otherwise are not visiable.

Anything that emphasizes my pores instantly makes me see red. I only own one liquid foundation (Makeup Atelier) and I love how it performs. I also love my Kryolan TV paint stick. Those are my two ultimate standbys.

My biggest problem is shades that dry down to totally different color. I have a hard enough time with foundation given my green/yellow/red undertones. I don’t like sheer foundation either since I’d rather go for a tinted moisturizer. I don’t like heavy foundations that make me feel like I’m wearing a mask or very oily foundations that put my skin on overdrive and I end up like an oil slick.

Fragrance (it will irritate my skin); too sheer, or too matte — that makes my skin look dry and older. Chemical sunscreens other than a bit of octinoxate along with some titanium dioxide or zinc oxide — they irritate my skin, too. It has to either contain mineral sunscreen or apply well over a mineral sunscreen if I’m going to wear it in the daytime, and I don’t want to have to take everything off and start over before going out in the evening. Anything that’s too fussy to apply. I will mix two shades and/or add a drop of pigment in order to get a good color match, since those are so few and far between, but I wish I didn’t have to. If only brands would make foundations with cool undertones that aren’t visibly pink — pink/red is not a cool color, people.

Holy crow, tell it like it is, for a few of us. Massive reaction to chem sunscreens, but there were 4 in the product. The LM TM has octinoxate and it is almost tolerable. Flushing, but no abrupt temp drop and hours of rest, like with the 4 chem. I loved MUFE water base, but had a blow up from the Benzyl salicylate. The KGD is prob too siliconey, by a tad. Ingredients leave me out of the majority of foundations, and then there’s color. I think I have red, not pink, undertones, too. Pink when I was younger, but red as I age and become warmer on top of a cooler ‘genetic’ predisposition. I think this is the cooler version of being olive toned, when warmer. They just don’t know how to capture it, except with transparent, clearly cool, porcelain tones.

I like various kinds of coverage and finish, depending on the situations. But my deal breaker is when foundations never set (even after a dust of powder); some foundations just sit on the skin, get into the creases and get off everytime I touch my face.

Packaging. I know it see petty, but I need a pump or squeeze tube. Otherwise I feel that the foundation dries up before I finish it.

I like a medium coverage, natural finish. Full coverage and matte end up looking matchy and mask like on my normal to dry skin.

If it starts to break me out I won’t use it. I want my skin to look better not worse because of the foundation.

It needs to last all day. Not just 6-8 hours, my makeup goes on at 6am, I expect it to still look good at 6-7pm. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can’t turn patchy or just disappear before my work day is over.

I’m pretty picky with foundations actually, but in terms of performance rather than coverage or finish. I prefer a medium coverage over sheer or full, but I have foundations I like at all coverage levels. I prefer satin or luminous finishes, but I can get with a matte finish too. What I absolutely cannot deal with is a foundation that sits in my pores or fine lines, emphasizes dryness, or transfers too easily.

Anything with sheer coverage, if I’m going to wear foundation I want it to cover at least something! Also anything with a dewy/luminous finish is a no-go on my skin, I’m extremely oily. But, I also don’t want it to be too matte or cakey either, and it should wear away with grace. My go to for daily wear is the it cosmetics CC cream when I’m just out and about for school but when I need something to last, I go for covergirl ready set gorgeous. Those are currently the only two foundations I have, I decluttered the rest of them because these are the only two I truly love.

Foundations that set/dry very quickly: these formulations tend to have volatile silicones like cyclopentasilixane in the top 4-5 ingredients, which I can’t deal with bc for some reason, that quick-dry sensation irritates my skin immediately. Unfortunately, the majority of longwear foundation contains such ingredients. Other than that, I want a decent color match, no color changing or oxidation, >6-8 hour wear, no negative skin reactions, and a not-too luminous finish.

1) Heavy fragrance. They’ll irritate my sensitive skin and eyes. 2) Causes breakouts or irritation. 3) Lack of color and/or undertone match. I’m very fair with neutral undertones. I can do a little tweaking by adding white, but that’s a pain when even the lightest shades are several shades too dark. 3) Oxidizes, even over primer. I have a heck of a time with this due to my oily skin. Most drug store foundations are out. 4) Applies patchy or streaky. 5) Breaks down quickly, even over primer. It has to stand up to my face oils for a reasonable period of time. 6) Anything with a “dewy” or “luminous” finish. They’re overkill with my skin being oily. 7) Full coverage foundations that feel heavy or mask-like. I feel like my skin is suffocating and I can’t stand it. Fortunately, I rarely wear full coverage, and Lancome Teint Idole 24H Foundation is wonderfully lightweight for when I do. 6) Sheer coverage. My skin is rarely in good enough shape to warrant this. The exception is BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream. It’s sheer, but has surprisingly good coverage, and it brightens the skin without making it look shimmery or dewy.

I have: oily, acne prone, NC25, super yellow skin, no acne currently, just redness in the apples of my cheeks!!

I prefer: medium to full coverage (a left over habit from when I had severe cystic acne I guess!) With a super matte finish!! I also don’t care if I can feel the foundation on my face!!

Deal breakers for me in foundations are: super sheer, streaks no matter HOW I apply it, oxidizing to a more orange undertone, glowy finish/dewy finish, causing my sensitive/acne prone skin to freak out, and lastly, making me have a pink face, and Yellow neck 😛

I’m in love with Balance and Brighten baked foundation from Laura Geller. I wear medium in summer and fair in winter. It’s wearable either dry brushed or wet brushed on. I prefer wet. It’s as tho you have nothing on either way. It’s amazing. The fair has a slight pinkish undertone which works great for my skin tone where a touch of shimmer blush with the medium makes that work for me. I’m fair skinned but tan some during summer months. ?

Also, if it’s a liquid it can’t slide over my outside nostrils leaving it bare there. I’m always brushing over and over in those spots as I have a small nose. Luminous is good for me if I’m not using the baked otherwise my Becca Shimmer highlighter poured gets used over a larger area of my face. I can’t wear powder as it settles in my lines and accentuates them. Especially under my eyes. I don’t get cakes looks when I apply liquid foundation but in the dry winter weather I get dry patches out of my T zone. I simply use a small amount of moisturizer patting my hands gently together and patting my dry spots and blending out. Tapping it on saves it from wiping off in places and takes care of the patches.

I have so many problems finding a foundation match. It has to match my light olive skin, first and foremost. My skin is NC30 and golden in the summer, and NC20 and neutral in the dead of winter. my neck is more yellow than my face too.
It must be hydrating, otherwise it is terribly aging. I like medium, natural coverage that is easy to apply. Subtle scent is ok, even the MAC chemical smell. I’m lucky to have found a couple lines that have foundations that match all my requirements. MAC Studio Sculpt for winter, Lise Watier Teinte Lumiere for the shoulder seasons, and MAC Mineralized Skin Finish Natural for the summer. I have a couple shades of each.

I think that is something that everyone is forever looking for the perfect foundation. I wish I could have samples of all the foundations and try one everyday of the year and probably by time I found the one I liked it would of course be discontinued. I like it to not show patchiness or be streaky & settles into lines or changes color after an hour. Also I like when it matches my skin color. I just tried Clinique’s Beyond Perfecting’ Foundation + Concealer which I had a sample in Neutral but it was too orange I did like the consistency and coverage so I ordered the full size in Golden Neutral and it is too dark and still orange. So I don’t like orangey colored foundations regardless of the good coverage.

As my skin miraculously transformed from dry to oily just within this year, dewy foundation and generally cushion foundation leaves my face an oil slick. That’s a big no. Heavy and cakey foundations are not preferred but I can make it work if I have to.

Shade – it must be porcelain, ivory with pink undertones.
Reasonably priced: because if I like it I will repurchase and as I go through a lot of foundation, it can’t be too expensive
Medium coverage
Natural finish – not matte or dewy (read dry and oily looking)
Long lasting – I don’t want my foundation wearing off by midday.
Pump pack – I am so over bottles where you ‘guess’ the amount you need.
No perfume – perfume is an irritant to my skin

I am a little late with my response today but thought I would weigh in with my thoughts anyway. I too do not like scent that lingers after application. I can handle it for the length of time I apply but do not want it to linger. I like a luminous foundation but like a foundation that sets so that I do not need to powder my entire face. I have super dry skin and can not handle cake face. I must have a pump and nothing frustrates me more than Nars charging what they charge for foundation and then making you buy a pump. I need decent coverage because I have hyperpigmentation and sun spots. I do not care for “fussy” foundation meaning foundations that have to be applied with a sponge or a brush or whatever. I want my foundation to be workable regardless of what I have available to apply it with. I think that about sums up my feelings on foundation, LOL.

Any that is heavy and mask like. Any that I can feel on my face. Any that makes my skin look worse with it than without it. For all these reasons, and the fact that my skin isn’t too bad, I stay far away from full coverage foundations, especially matte, full coverage. Ugh. A sheer to medium, non-matte, formula looks best on me. (Of course the shade is a deal breaker if it does not match. I will blend some foundation down my neck but if the shade is so wrong that it needs to be applied to my neck, no. I am not a fan of “making it work” when it comes to foundation shades. )
Scent is not a big deal, I think I am one of those people who screens out constant odors so I don’t smell them anymore and my skin has never been sensitive to scented products.

Transfer is my biggest thing, or never setting. I say this because even the slightest touch to my current foundation, and I look like I scratched my face or got slapped (fingertips) or something. I wish I could give up on this foundation…

Additionally, too sheer is pointless in my opinion. I want to at least cover my colors. I also want it to last through the day and not break down on my cheeks 4 hours later.

Shade matching has been my biggest problem for years. The hunt has been tiring but if I want to look put together I need different foundations for my sensitive, combination, season changing, not so young skin. Deep sigh…I’m still searching.

I stay away from anything with too full of a coverage. I have younger skin, but there is a certain foundation that makes my skin looks years older and super cakey.

Yea sheer coverage is a waste. Has to be full coverage for me, not scented, easy application (all of that new age modern stuff is too much just put a pump in it and let it be), a matte finish is preferred and long lasting are a must if those are absent I can’t buy

For me it would be having sheer to light coverage and having a super glowy finish. I have a lot of hyper pigmentation in my skin so I need a medium to full coverage. I am oily and I love in a tropical country so super dewy foundations are a no go for me. I can always add that glow back in with highlighters anyway

Scent… ug. Why oh why MUFE F&B gotta be scented. I hate it. I love the coverage and sheen.

Color is the biggest being so fair.

Balling, pilling, pore crusting, patchiness, shimmery… I’m so picky with foundation its hard. Right now I only have two the meet most of my criteria NARS TM which is a summer only for a viable color match and MUFE F&B because it’s the only “dewy” finish product that actually looks dewy and stays that way. Though it’s still odd for me to see myself with dewy skin for the first time in 38 years!

I have pretty decent even colored skin thank God. I hate heavy matte foundation which would make me look like a geisha. I wear foundationjust to slightly even my skin tone I like L’Oréal Infallible, L’Oréal Lumi, Cover Girl too and lately Maybelline Fit Me talk about barely covering that’s Maybelline. I like a natural look not a heavy mask. NARS is awesome! The Body Shop is one I found had absolute coverage yet not being heavy.

I can’t accept foundations that brake me out, which is sadly most 🙁 The next no no is foundations that don’t come in a light enough shade – a pretty regular problem. Finally I like something that will stay intact all day.

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