What do you like about full coverage foundation? What don't you like?

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Full Coverage Foundation

If anything, I am more likely to be heavy-handed than light-handed, so I prefer more medium, buildable foundation as I’m more likely to go overboard with full coverage. I love that exists for when you want to fully cover up any unevenness/discoloration of skin. It can be more challenging to get the right shade match with full coverage foundation.

— Christine


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Wednesday Avatar

I think flawless cover can be achieved with better looking results other than using full coverage foundation. I tend to utterly fail the application and am always unhappy with fc foundations overall… I prefer light-medium coverage and I perfect my skin in other ways rather than using layers of foundation. For example, it looks better if I deal with my visible pores or texture issues rather than try to cover the odd age spot. I think some skintone variation should show through.. it makes me look, you know, human. I do not like full coverage concealer for same reasons. The results are too mannequin looking for my tastes because I spend the majority of time outdoors and in a very casual ‘retirement’ neighbourhood. These are my preferences for me at this stage in life.

CeeBee Avatar

LOVE a good full coverage foundation (hyper pigmentation, acne, scarring) but I’m quite particular about the finish – I find anything too matte looks super one dimensional and flat and I’m not a fan. And I never contour either, so I tend to use a luminous powder and layered, draped blush and highlighter to counteract the “doll like” look.
I find I get better results when I user very thin layers, sparing with heavy product and then just buff a little more where I need it. Set with setting and finishing powder and setting spray is also a must to meld everything together and look more skin like, for sure.
I don’t like anything that looks cakey from the get go, is hard to blend, too quick to dry, doesn’t play well with primers or other foundations (I like to mix!) or anything that sneakily oxidises after application. I definitely use lighter coverage when my skin is clear and more evenly toned and I only use concealer for spot concealing, I can’t slather it on like most people do and then spend ages blending it out, I ain’t got time for that!

Nancy T Avatar

Like you, I prefer medium, yet buildable coverage. My reason is that even though I’m fully at Fenty 260/ MAC NW30, I have freckles! And I don’t particularly like the effect of full coverage over them, as it makes them appear to be an off shade of greige. I use heavy-duty concealer for spots and areas that require full coverage instead.

Stephanie Avatar

I don’t even try full coverage foundations any more. I have very good skin, but I am 58 so it’s not like it was 30 years ago. Full coverage foundations emphasize every line I have and make me look even older. I can’t remember which foundation I tried a couple of years ago, but it was a very popular one, probably Lancome. Within 10 minutes of application, I saw what the 80 year old me will look like. I now stick to light to medium coverage foundations and tinted moisturizers and use corrector/concealer when and where I need to.

Genevieve Avatar

I think the option of having a full coverage foundation around is great for those who feel they need it for whatever reason. As long as the shade colour suits and the formula is decent. It’s important that the formula, although offering full coverage, appear light and soft – not cakey or pancakey.

Personally I don’t need or use full coverage foundation as medium coverage does the trick for me – evening out my skintones, hiding those little patches of redness on my cheeks etc.

Anderlie Avatar

As I’ve gotten older I’ve turned away from full coverage, I feel like it ages me. Now I go with products like the Flower Beauty serum foundation and I feel it makes me look much fresher and younger. That said I do have skin imperfections so I have to use concealer in certain spots as well, though I still prefer that to a whole face of concealer-like coverage.

Ana Maria Avatar

Full coverage foundations have always been my go-to. I personally consider them more versatile, since most of them can be sheered down if desired by applying a thin layer or mixing them with a moisturizer or primer.

I know people usually complain that full coverage foundations are heavy on the skin, but I always apply a thin layer and I don’t have issues. I always remember when I discovered people considered Double Wear heavy and cakey, when a half a pump delivers me good coverage without heaviness (and then I saw makeup “gurus” applying 4-5 times more foundation than me 😅 even if they had less to cover than me).
For me that’s the advantage of full coverage, I only need small amounts (a foundation can last me 6-10 months of almost daily use) and I don’t need to build coverage with layers and layers.

One big disadvantage of full coverage foundations is that you really need to get the right shade; any small difference in shade and undertone will be visible.

And full coverage foundations are hard to remove, a good cleanser and double cleanse is absolutely needed.

I also consider than with full coverage foundations I really need to be careful with which primer and SPF I apply before matters, they tend to not play easily with all types of formulas.

Sue Avatar

I’m a diehard fan of fc foundations due to acne scarring and age but I agree that light application is best. At nearly 72, I’m probably way older than most of your readers but am vain enough to want to look my best, even around the house. I’ve had good luck with powder foundation. Dior’s Airflash is my special occasion go-to. It’s very thin and lightweight, giving beautiful coverage with very little product and a skin-like finish.

Daniella Avatar

I actually don’t really like foundation in general, I just usually just spot conceal or use a tint to even out my skin tone. But I’m having really bad cystic acne at the moment, and just spot concealing is not ideal. So I’m so glad I still have my double wear foundation

Lacey Avatar

I don’t like full coverage foundation and don’t wear it. I’m very active, have little time to touch up, and have worked hard to get my hyperpigmentation in control and maintain a much more even skintone. After skincare, moisturizer and tinted SPF, I’m fine with using a bit of medium coverage foundation and concealer for a natural look. I’ve earned my skin, I don’t want to mask it! 🙂

Sarah Avatar

I usually don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, unless if I feel like it. When I do, I prefer BB creams or light coverage foundations. I’d rather use buildable coverage foundations rather than full coverage foundations. I’m heavier-handed than intended when it comes to applying my base makeup. Also, I find it difficult to get the right shade match with foundations in general. It’s either too dark or too shiny for my taste. I don’t want to look like a plastic doll when wearing makeup. That being said, full coverage foundations can look pretty if you know how to apply it properly or if fc foundations are your cup of tea.

Brenda Schmitt Avatar

Personally, I like a full coverage but I apply with a damp sponge to thin it out. I also look for a long acting foundation like Estée Lauder Double Wear as it not only lasts 12 hours but it does not come off on my mask. I am a nurse in an acute care hospital.

Tiara Chandelier Avatar

My skin isn’t in too bad of shape, but I do have the occasional acne scarring. I find a full coverage foundation is easier and faster to slap onto my whole face, as opposed to careful spot concealing. Spot concealing takes me a lot of time to blend into the skin and make it natural looking. It doesn’t help that I have olive skintone, and can never find a concealer that matches, so it takes even more effort to make it melt into the skin. I’ve had better luck finding olive foundations than concealers…

Andrea Avatar

(-) In my head FC is meant to “hide” everything and more, the thing is not only they don’t but they actually make me notice things I hadn’t noticed before. So, to me, they’re like trading a “small” problem for one I didn’t even know I had.
(-) They feel tacky and heavy on the skin. I can’t forget the fact I’m wearing them. My skin can’t breathe.
(-) They look patchy and cakey, and I haven’t found one that works well with my sunscreen.
(+) I’m quite fair but a bit red on the cheeks. FC makes lighter blushes stand out more.
(-) They fade poorly as the day wears on. I like to put it on in the morning and be done with it but FC just makes me feel like I “must” touch up and I don’t like being held hostage to my makeup.
(-) I find the word “buildable” doesn’t work for me anymore. Either it is a true FC and a little bit hides it all away or it isn’t. I don’t feel comfortable slobbering foundation all over my face and I can’t be bothered to blend away and spend 30 minutes waiting for it to dry.
(-) I haven’t tried one that gave me an uber-improved but natural version of me that lasted the whole day.
(-) They’re very high-maintenance when it comes to applying and I can’t be bothered because I know the final result isn’t worth the hassle.
(+) I would imagine that for people who have a real self-esteem problem with how they look (acne scars, rosacea, eczema, darker stains, etc), FC must be like Prozac in the shape of makeup though I can’t say it applies to me.

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