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

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Full Coverage Foundation

I know that I tend to prefer more medium, buildable coverage than full coverage out of the gate! Full coverage can be unforgiving when it comes to shade matching, too, so you have to nail down your match well for it to look good.

— Christine


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Nancy T Avatar

Honestly, I’d much rather have a foundation I can easily dial up or down according to my needs on a given day. Sometimes, I do need a bit more coverage than most other days. Good to have a foundation that can be used accordingly. I love Fenty Profilt’r Hydrating Longwear foundation for this purpose. I can also use certain MAC formulas this way, as well. The Lancome Teint Idole is a bit more difficult to go in with it at just medium coverage, and far less forgiving when it comes to shade matching, too.

Deborah S. Avatar

Frankly, my definition of full coverage does not allow for things like my hyperpigmentation to show through and they all do so for me using full coverage doesn’t get me anything more than I can get with more sheer formula’s. Some full coverage foundations tend to be mask like and cakey but if they gave me real coverage I would work with that. All in all, the coverage is not what I purchase a foundation for since they don’t really cover everything.

Ryou Avatar

I can’t say I like them very much, to be honest. On top of it being so much trickier to find a shade match as you said, they don’t seem to play well with my sensory issues (by way of feeling heavy and suffocating). >:

Maya Avatar

I love a full coverage finish. IMO it leaves a lot more room for quick experimentation compared to sheer or buildable foundations, i.e. I can mix in other products to thin it out or create a different shade. For me, it is easier to start out with more pigment than less. Also, it can double as concealer in a pinch. I love Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Coverage for a matte finish and Danessa Myricks Vision Cover Cream for a dewy one.

Seraphine Avatar

I only use full coverage makeup. Estée Lauder Double Wear is perfect for me because I can apply it with a lighter or heavier hand. I have a few dark spots, and need full coverage. EL Double Wear gives me a near-perfect finish without looking mask-like, as many other brands of full coverage makeup do.

Maggie Avatar

I like how full coverage foundation can also function as a concealer–you get more product for your money and there are usually more color options available. I like it when full coverage foundations can handle mix-ins: sometimes I mix in tinted moisturizer and/or a serum to adjust the coverage, color, and finish.

I don’t like how much harder it can be to find a good color match–I usually deal with mixing in my other foundations or base products to achieve a better match (sometimes I just purchase more than one color as well). I also hate it when the full coverage doesn’t wear well or fade evenly as time goes on–any patchiness or flakiness from wear is even more obvious in a full coverage formula.

CeeBee Avatar

Love it.

As someone who had adult acne, redness and inflammation and chloasma pigmentation patches on her forehead and upper cheeks for well over 15 years (and um, still, actually) it has been my go to lifesaver. Yep, colour matching and blending a super critical but I also learned a bunch of tricks, like draping blush and using a slightly luminous finishing powder and setting spray to make the end result look more skin like and wear evenly. It’s very unforgiving on any dry areas or patchiness though!

Ana Maria Avatar

Full coverage foundation is my favorite kind of foundation.
Not necessarily because I have too many things to cover, but because it’s the most versatile. I like to own only one foundation, so a full coverage one is my go-to; if I need full coverage I layer it twice, I apply one thin layer for everyday medium coverage, I mix it with a primer for a lighter coverage.

I also love that full coverage foundation almost always have good staying power. They don’t transfer as much to phone screens, they last all day and are’t messed up if I gently touch my face.
But they do tend to look bad if you blow your nose… once the foundation is off the nose, it looks bad versus the rest of the face.

I do agree that full coverage is quite unforgiving in terms of shade matching, but luckily most lines nowadays have an extensive shade range. Even so, it happened to me not to have a match in a 40+ shade range, but find my perfect match in a 15-20 shade range. So it takes a lot of time (and brands) to find the perfect one).
It’s also not feasible for people who tan and otherwise change color a lot with seasons, as they will need multiple shades for various stages.

Full coverage foundation are also harder to work with. It’s easy to get cakey, so they need more time for blending and sometimes more technique.
Also, they can feel heavy on the skin.

brendacr1 Avatar

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Weightless SPF 15 is a great full coverage foundation, it nearly covered my hyper pigmentation completely. But now that I’ve hit 60 my skin has seemed to become the Sahara Desert and even if I moisturize under the foundation it still cakes on me. So I will be looking for something with a little more moisture, I can always use concealer on the hyper pigmentation.

Naomi Avatar

I love full coverage foundation and you just featured my favorite one of all time. I think the benefit of a full coverage foundation is choice, you can either wear it full coverage or sheer it out. It’s more cost-effective if you are also someone who would benefit from concealer for cover-ups. I think it also all comes down to the formula, I feel that double wear is pretty forgiving and doesn’t look heavy.

Heather Avatar

I don’t like full coverage, or even medium coverage foundation for me personally but I do understand the appeal of it, if that is what you prefer. For me, I like sheer to light coverage, something to even out my skin tone, very natural looking, doesn’t even need to cover sun damage, that’s something I’m okay with having still visible. I have surface redness so I like to have that minimized but it’s not important for me to completely cover all imperfections. I love makeup but I don’t want it to look like I’m wearing makeup, if that makes any sense. ?

Liz Avatar

I love love love full coverage foundation but the texture has to allow for a consistent and even /smooth application. I had adult acne in the past and red undertones so years ago if there was a full coverage foundation I probably tried it. I am toward the pale side so wrong tones ( too orangy or too ghost white) are also an issue. MAC Studio Fix and Maybelline Fit Me Dewy Smooth are my favorites. I found it very easily to build up the Maybelline Fit foundation. I love the confidence I get from wearing full coverage.

Maya Avatar

I love the confidence that I gained when using a full coverage foundation, especially when my skin was bad. Having a smooth canvas and knowing people were seeing me and not the acne or hyperpigmentation or scars was so amazing.

As I got older and took better care of my skin, I realised that full coverage foundation really aged me – it settled into my lines, it never let the good parts of my skin show through, and it masked my natural undertones often as there was not a perfect match to olive skin

I remember this old Youtube video (maybe from Lisa Eldridge) and her covering acne on a model and she highlighted how the model had so many areas of good skin – it was just a matter of unifying those with the areas that were blemished and not concealing everything. That was a good way to look at things for me and has really inspired me to embrace my skin now

Rachel R. Avatar

LIKE: I have rosacea and bouts of cystic acne, so I appreciate a full coverage foundation when those are flaring up really bad. I don’t have to use as much color corrector — if I need to use it at all — and can usually forgo concealer all together. My favorite is Lancome Teint Idole 24H Long Lasting Foundation, but Makeup Revolution Conceal + Define Full Coverage Foundation is a wonderful DS option for me.

DISLIKE: Most of them feel heavy and mask-like, which I cannot tolerate. They are more prone to looking cakey or dry. They are harder to find a shade match for my skin shade and undertones in full coverage. They can settle into fine lines and pores, especially my forehead lines. They seem to be more finicky about what primers and application tools they work with.

angela Avatar

Matching is a real issue when it comes to full coverage. Also, if it a formula, that doesn’t really suit for most skin types it creates a mask effect. I prefer a medium, buildable coverage foundation, too.
In my opinion, high coverage ones are obvious, it doesn’t mean ugly, but visible and takes away the skin’s unique look, which I prefer to see rather than hide.

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