What are your deal-breakers when it comes to foundation?

I need solid eight-hour wear where very little has changed,
and that it can start to break down from there but it should be graceful! Anything with sheer coverage is not my cup of tea (personally), so if it didn’t offer light-medium and buildable coverage, I’d probably not love it. If the shade range is really small (like five shades), it makes it hard to find a matching shade and often requires mixing two shades, so that’s not ideal.

— Christine
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No Benzyl salicylate…both spf and fragrance modifier. No chem sunscreens. No other reaction provoking ingredients. Not too yellow, and I mean yellow, not too warm. It took 2 years. Now KGD and Jouer luminous TM are ok. Wear time with break down/visibility can make me quit those that were initially ok.

Jeez.. I’ve recently tossed everything with yellow and also everything with that warm yellowy peach they call neutral that’s too freaking bright for my skin. Yup, I have exactly 3 foundations left.

KWYM. The ordinary lt med pink is nearly there. The KGD 013 is decent, but why should lt to med be their DARKEST shade on the ‘cool side?’ No beach for you! Well, I live there. Also like the Jouer blush shade. I am far less traditionally ‘cool’ than when young. Less translucency, but guess now the undertones are red. Got excited by Fenty, but the ‘cooler’ shades looked like yellow cake batter, and the SAs backed off, somewhat startled. You think of your skin as ordinary and typically colored, because you live in it, til you go through the shade match nightmare.

The biggest deal breaker for me in not having my shade. I can do a bit darker and just work with it, but some foundation shades don’t come near my fair/cool skin tone. This has been an especially big issue with drugstore foundations, sometimes they get close, but they are too yellow to look any kind of right on me. xD
Another deal breaker is if, despite numerous hydrating products, a foundation feels dry on my skin. That’s something I just can’t do with my super dry skin.

I’m on an ongoing quest to find a foundation that looks natural and beautiful on the skin and gets me through at least most of my 12-hour (from time it goes on to time I get home) day. It’s a tall order and sometimes things that work one day don’t the next, etc. But generally I try to avoid sunscreen as much as possible, and I need something that goes pretty light in the shade range, especially in the winter. Fragrance, etc. are things I try to avoid but if the performance is great I can be flexible on that stuff. Mostly I just want it to go on smoothly and, when my skin is extra red and irritated, give me the coverage I need. Otherwise I want it to look as natural as possible.

You may want to try Trish McEvoy’s Even Skin Water Foundation. Believe me, I’ve tried a ton a different foundations; La Prairie, LaMer, Chanel, Guerlain, EL, Sisley, Armani and on and on. This foundation is long wearing, provides even medium-full coverage and still looks like it melds into your skin. Not a great shade range but have very neutral and forgiving selection.
It’s magic!

Color selection is important, but I would never automatically rule out a foundation that didn’t support every shade under the sun. All that matters to me is that it suits my skin tone. If there isn’t a good match, I simply look at a different brand since there are hundreds of them from which to choose.

My personal deal breakers are oxidation, patchiness, streaking, and breaking down after only a few hours of wear. I have excellent skin so I prefer a buildable sheer to medium coverage foundation. I abhor the artificial look of full coverage makeup no matter how expertly applied and will rule out any foundation that obliterates my complexion.

1. ) Oxidization of my existence. And the sad part is, that one never knows which ones may react with either ones own personal body chemistry or the products own composition like this unless one gets a generous sample first.

2.) Another HUGE couple of deal breakers are; if I gathers in my pores and deep expression lines (eeewwwy!)

3.) When I see that a brand caters to only a small, very specific segment of the population instead of recognizing our very splendid and varied diversity. That will turn me off to a brand’s foundation line FAST. Probably to the brand as a whole, too.

The most important issue to me is shade range. I am super fair and my daughter is of mixed ethnicity. We both struggle to find the right shade with the right undertone. In particular, my daughter sometimes has to mix 2-3 shades to find her match. She found a “good” match in the Armani line, interesting that Armani would have a shade that matches her, but the foundation broke down and was super oily. She can’t find a match at the drugstore and neither can I. Most drugstore foundations are not fair enough for me.
As I have mentioned in previous Temptalia posts, we live in Montana and have little or no access to makeup so we tend to order a lot of our products on-line, site unseen. Even when we travel to a larger city, Spokane, we still don’t have access to most brands. The Sephora in Spokane does not carry Fenty Beauty, Too Faced Sweet Peach foundation, Armani and many more. I would really like to see more brands offer a reasonable “tester” size of their foundations. Enough to wear it for 2-3 days and use it with different products to determine whether it would work for the individual and they need to be available via mail order.

I’m fair with slight pink undertones. I’m also dry and have mature skin. In a sea of yellow-based and neutral foundations shades, it’s been daunting to find a foundation I actually love. I’ve tried a lot of expensive foundations and although I liked most of them, none of them seemed like the ‘right’ shade. When The Body Shop came out with their Lightening Drops, the universe opened up and I now have two foundations I love. I consider myself lucky to have found them. So, for me, the first deal breaker is the wrong shade. The second is if it’s drying. The third is if it’s not buildable. And lastly, it must look like ‘skin’. Because I’m dry, wear time isn’t a problem. I guess the makeup gods threw me a bone on that one.

I am fortunate that my coloring allows me to find a match among most brands. I am not working now so long wear is not as important as it once was. For me the worst is something that settles into pores and lines. Even with primer, some foundations make polka dot pores. Second would be something that does not work well over sunscreen, although it is easier for me to find a workable sunscreen than a good foundation. I am trying to go cruelty free and am having good luck with Koh Gen Do 123. I also had some samples of Tarte Amazonian Clay that worked well and that are not as pricey as the Koh Gen Do. And there is a Japanese drugstore foundation, Kate Secret Skin Maker Zero, that is wonderful but buying it was a real crap shoot because I was guessing about the color.

1. Alcohol (I don’t care where on the ingredient list it placed, is the first deal-breaker for me), chemical sunscreen and other harmful chemicals.
2. Shades not matching my neutral undertone. I am in-between two shades, fair and light, but the issue is not so much with lighter vs darker, as with too pink vs too yellow. If a foundation/BB/CC cream is too light, I can get a darker shade by adding a few drops of the CoverFX liquid drops in Sunkissed or with a dot of Guerlain Terracotta Healthy Glow Foundation Second Skin Effect -01 Blondes.
3. Wear time: I’m realistic about it, as rarely does a foundation last on me for 8-hour during the summer when it’s hot and humid, or during the long winters when you are confronted here with icy rains and snow storms. Therefore, during these two seasons, I prefer a lighter coverage i.e. CC creams (IT Cosmetics) or tinted creams (the new FAB Skin Tint).

Polkadot pores is my big one – in past, far too many liquid foundations would settle into really ugly dots sort of where my cheeks start to join my nose. My “go to” foundations became so because they don’t do this. I also like long wear and I like a foundation that sort of “sets/dries down” so it’s not sliding all over my face. I like coverage on the lighter side and also decent wear time so it doesn’t break down and go all “curdled” looking as it wears.

For me, a foundation has to be:
1. Porcelain shade, with pink undertones
2. Medium coverage
3. Natural or slightly matte finish
4. Long wearing
5. Sunscreen is appreciated
6. Easy to obtain and not too expensive.

Can’t emphasize dry patches or pores. I’d prefer no silicones if possible. I prefer natural or satin finishes. With my skin too matte makes me look dead but dewy often makes my pores look like craters.

I always seem to come back to mineral powder makeup. My issues with liquids are they 1) ramp up my oil production and separate. 2) oxidize and turn me orange. 3) feel too heavy on the face, suffocating like a mask. I have either one or more of the above happen. I have yet to find my HG. I have a BB cream I like and use from time to time but mineral powder makeup is my go to. Lately in the colder months it can make me look dull and dry but I try and make the best of it since my skin behaves. Lol, I’ll go through phases of trying out liquid foundations…having one fail after another…getting fed up of looking oily or orange or whatever…saying the hell with it and then I go back to my ol’ trusty mineral powder. It’s a discouraging cycle.

im sensitiive to sunscreen so any foundation with spf is a no-go.

any that settles into the pores on my nose are bleah.

so far, my go-to is sisley le teint oilfree foundation. worth the price.

Number 1 concern is shade selection. It is better than it was 35 years ago but I do still miss Prescriptives. They were the best. I am NC15 and most drugstore “fair” shades are way too pink. L’Oréal True Match has amazing bunch of shades but I am between W2 and W3 and not happy with how it looks….my mom loves True Match-she has different undertones (she is Caucasian and I am mixed race) so C1 is perfect on her. Some good ones I have found: Laura Mercier, Kat Von D, MUFE (the original HD), Estee Lauder Double Wear. Pet peeve is Diorskin Forever compact foundation. In North America we miss out on several shades between Ivory & Linen. Linen is right amount of yellow but too dark…..”Crème” shade would work well but only available in UK. Same with Diorskin Star Studio liquid foundation.

It mustn’t oxidize and I’ve had both drugstore and high end oxidize. It must be full coverage or buildable. I prefer matte finish. Since I have normal to dry skin if It didn’t last 8 to 9 hours I’d pass on It. If it made my skin look dry or patchy I’d pass. It would be awesome to find a shade match without mixing two myself, but I’ve done it for years and I don’t really mind. Last would be cost. I can’t justify spending more than $50 USD for foundation because I have an excellent drugstore choice (Loreal Pro Matte) and my HG MAC Studio Fix and I have no complaints.

Top complaints: the presence of sunscreen in foundations is unwanted by me, lifting foundations that make skin look crepey, too matte and dry, and foundations that show up every flake of skin. Conversely, the desiderata include: no sunscreen, dewy and moist, and forgiving of dry flakes and patches on skin.

Also foundation should not oxidize and change color. Cosmetics companies should not discontinue a foundation that is much loved and fills a niche in the marketplace, e.g. Bobbi Brown Luminous, original formula EL Double Wear.

Anything that is too sheer, I like a medium coverage that I can tone down if needed. Anything that catches readily to my dry areas or flaky patches is a huge no as well as a foundation that creeps into facial lines. A powdery and full coverage one is also a dealbreaker for me.

Polka dot nose- gathers in pores & fine lines

Less than 8 hrs wear

Drying/irritating to my parched skin

A finish that is not skin-like- no masks

Shades/undertones that aren’t even with the realm of being human- I have never seen a naturally orange or greyed pink person

Finicky to apply- I do not want to spend more than a few minutes applying & blending my foundation, if i need more than one tool or five minutes forget it

It has to at least be oil-free. I can work with it not being totally matte, but anything with oil will just immediately slide off my face. The only other deal breaker is scent… I kind of like the way the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation looks, but I can smell it for hours!

I find it odd to call shade selection a dealbreaker. A wrong shade will never work, so it was never a possibility to begin with. It’s like saying being a woman is a dealbreaker for a straight woman looking for romantic partners. I consider dealbreakers to be things like ingredients, finish, smell, style of packaging, etc.

To Logan,

I believe the issue that some other posters are referring to about shade range impacting their view of the company has to do with a feeling I have as well: that consumer choices can be not just about what works for you personally, but what the consciousness/values of the company are, and wanting to support companies that share your values – in this case valuing diversity. The point (or mine, anyway) is about wanting all women to have the same options you do.

Hardest for me is finding the perfect shade — for me it’s been an expensive journey to find this and so far, I haven’t found it. Followed quickly by longevity.

The most difficult challenge of all in my beauty world. I’m usually the first two shades although in drugstore I’ll spend a while trying to decide back and forth. Sometimes surprisingly the shade they call natural matches better than the two first which could be too beige or yellow. Is a real struggle. I love the lightest coverage I can get I have good skin so far liking L’Oréal True Match Lumi in the bottle with pump (the ones in plastic tube not so great) Infallible Oro Glow not the worst but just not again. One I adore Maybelline Fit Me! Loving those! I tried the pinky shade from Cover Girl years ago and think will purchase again good coverage and good shade doesn’t actually apply as pink as I thought it would. Very nice indeed. For high end love NARS! I rather not have spf included and be free to choose my own separate. If I have to add it combine a drop of whatever elixir is out there or mix with another foundation I call that too much %#€^+}! ????and will not bother with it. I do look for a bit of dewey/glowey foundation especially on the aging fast train. I do wish they would cover a large variety of skin tones all these companies the ones who offer just a few like 4-6 they are sending the wrong message get in with the time dudes! Lol!

It needs to make my skin look healthy, dewy, and younger. No matte, nothing too oily either. No pilling. And shade match would be great…according to Temptalia, I am medium warm. Often the shades are just a touch too light for me, since I’m on the darker side of medium, and the dark shades are way too dark.

For an actual foundation, I definitely need medium coverage! I also need a good lighter shade range, because my skin is so fair!

Deal breaker: cakes or thick, as I’ve a mature skin now and even though I have little texture issues (large pore) and nose & cheek redness, if it doesn’t look light and natural (with or without full coverage) it’s not for me. All that said, I’ve sooooo many foundations and tend to rotate even to ones I don’t prefer just to use them up.

Oxidation, sheer coverage and poor wear times are definite deal breakers for me. My biggest pet peeve is when a foundation doesn’t come with a pump, especially higher end brands, if I am paying $50 + for a foundation, it should come with a pump!

First of all, needs to be light enough for my skin tone. Second, needs to have long wear. Third, needs to look nice over primed dry skin.

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