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Agree, Christine. Top of list. It’s all about shade range
Foundation needs to address global skin. I’m that political.
Also. I have difficult to match skin, so typically the more shades, the closer I get to something respectable.

Second in line; buildable coverage.
Lots of claims, so much epic fail.

Third: finish
Dewy pulls into face, forehead lines, marionette lines. Matte sucks the life out of me. Words like satin or comfort matte attract me.

Feel foundation descriptions and claims are amongst the most misleading. It’s a complex product which requires a systematic approach to testing/wearing. That being said, if the shade isn’t right, what’s the point of the rest.

Light olive? I ask because my sister is light-light med with very strong olive undertones and she has always had massive difficulty finding matches in North American brands.

YES! And olive is ridiculously complex. I’ve had many rants along my foundation journey. To make matters worse, I’m no part of the golden warm skinned olive (UD 4.0 comes to mind, Charolotte Tilbury 6 as well). These are great choices for light-medium to medium olive. They are golden foundations with a bit of a green cast to them; work like a charm for those women that have those enviable rich skintones. I think foundations for olive of this ilk are more readily available.

I’m part of the challenging lighter cooler version of olive and finally FINALLY with the help of a Sephora MUA found that neutral beige undertones meld best with the rest of my body.
Estee Lauuder double wear in Ecru 1N2 is very good.
Kat von D, I can wear either 47 or 48. Both dry down a shade (47) to shade and a half too dark (48) for my skin, but the undertones are workable.. I lighten with The Ordinary in 1.0 NS (neutral silver) , 47 runs a bit too peachy (so there’s definitely yellow hiding in there…my skin knows and reacts to it!), 48 is the better match, but reads a bit darker.

I’ve tried ad nauseum to account for the green, futzing with some light and signficantly green foundations like KGD 213 and another one by Bourjois, but I never succeed in nailing it, so screw it to the green. I always carry my foundation down my neck and blend it with moisturizer.

I also used to think Karima McKimmie was my skintwin, looked to her for shade guidance, and if you google her images, you can see how her skin looks completely different depending on lighting and the foundation she is wearing. In some you can really see her green. While, I share the complexity with her, I’m probably a shade lighter and cooler so her choices never quite work for me.

Oy Blue, you stuck your fingers in the cage and there I go off on another rant.. 😉

Hahaha! I totally asked for it, the complexity of foundation matching is super interesting to me. I think my skin is probably light cooler olive/neutral more or less as well, but it usually has a bit of a flush to it and I’ve found that neutral beige colors tend to work well. Especially because I like to apply them a dab here and there then blend everything out until it’s really diffused across my face.

Who knew Estee Lauder was so good for people with olive tones though? My sister uses Double Wear too, but it’s Sand 1W2 or Dawn 2W1 in winter and 2W2 Rattan in summer. So, like you guessed, she leans really gold-olive, but she finds that most of the foundations that have enough yellow and green to them are too dark, especially in winter. Fenty has that problem for her, and I think Cover FX does too in winter.

You and I could get along just fine.

An interesting point you make about the EL. I think DW is an amazing formula, blends so well, sits beautifully on the skin, but wish my mature skin liked it better in winter.. no probs whatsoever in summer.

I’m thinking maybe it’s about the quality and sophistication of the pigments which make the shades more adaptable to subtle variations in skintone? If anyone wants to geek out and share insight?

Shade range for sure. It’s not easy to find a truly inclusive shade range that gets not only skin tone but undertone as well. I also look for finish – depending on the season, and price. I like foundations that are less than $45. A pump is also a must-have!

I have been a foundation junkie this year and anything that has a light enough shade for me and spouts being good for dry skin peaks my interest. I do admire a great shade range, but that doesn’t always sell me because often the descriptive words of those foundations (at least of late) make my dry skin fearful.

I don’t know why I’m posting an answer to this question, because after many, many years of trying dozens of high-end and drugstore foundations, I found my HG foundation about a couple years ago: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place in Desert Beige.

So what would cause me to stray from my beloved HG foundation? First, it would have to be the same shade, the same coverage, and wear as well ALL day as Double Wear. But, if it also had the ability to unclog pores, prevent breakouts, actually lighten dark spots (rather than just cover them up), and if it was vegan and 100% cruelty-free AND less than $40, then I’d definitely be interested!

I wear the same shade! I was late to the party and finally gave it a try last year – I didn’t want to love it, but I see what all the fuss is about now. I’m hooked and it’s a staple for me.

Unfortunately I HATE Double Wear. It feels so gross on the skin and doesn’t have as great of staying power as people boast. I was disappointed by it. It looks like a mask on skin. Not flattering imo. Sorry but ?

It’s so interesting how different we all are, isn’t it? Double Wear is the only foundation I’ve ever tried that looks perfect for 10+ hours without touchup. It feels light on my skin and never cakes or oxidizes like every other foundation I’ve ever tried. Which foundation works best for you, Erica?

100% agreed on that, Christine! When a company is highly inclusive of all races with the many variations of shades and undertones, it gives me a sense of trust and comfort.
After that; the formula needs to be a near miracle worker of sorts! Non-comedigenic, no fragrance, not too drying, not oily, either. Must be able to hold up under our harsh desert summer weather. A lovely natural finish that also has great coverage. A tall order!

Shade range and whether other people are responding positively toward it. And apparently whether Rihanna made it, because Fenty was my first foundation since NARS Sheer Glow, which I have had 100 years.

I hardly ever branch out in foundation (I try a new one about once every three years) because I rarely wear it anyway. I’m not willing to do much research or trial and error with it, so I read some reviews, do a couple Google searches, then am off to swatch a few and make a purchase. With everything else, I am much more inclined to do more passes of online research and make several Sephora and Nordstrom trips to swatch and try before buying. Foundation isn’t fun for me, so I just get it over with.

Slight off topic, but every single brand should expand to offer MORE SHADES. Buying foundation is a totally different experience for me than even my little sister. My skin is moderately light with ambiguous undertones, and I can assume that literally every mainstream brand will offer a color that will be OK on me. So when I buy foundation, I’m making sure the match is great, but I’m also very critical of formulation and value. Because I can go to any other line and still find my shade. My sister’s skin is light to light medium with a very strong olive undertone, and after much more effort on foundation than I’ve spent, she can count the brands that offer her shade on one hand. When she’s lucky enough to find anything, she doesn’t get to be as selective about formulation (could break her out or wear poorly) or price (could easily cost $65+) because hey at least she found a match. The goal isn’t for a few brands to do well (but congrats to Fenty, MUFE, Cover FX, etc, because they do), it’s for all of them to be more inclusive so that everyone can enjoy the same vast options and find the products for their individual specifications.

Just being a dupe of my current foundation color, Nars Siberia, which must be one of the only pale foundation shades to not have a dupe listed in Christine’s database and at $45 I’d love to be able to get something cheaper.

Also, sheer coverage because my oily and acne-prone skin hates full coverage foundation. My skin hates sheer foundation, too, which is why I don’t wear the stuff frequently, but at least I can wear sheer for a day and not break out.

Not much these days because I think I’ve found my HGs, at least for a while. I guess a large shade and finish range, because I do like to mix and match.

Very fair shades and neutral undertones, as I have such a hard time finding color matches. When “pale” or “porcelain” in a range is still 5 shades too dark, it gets very frustrating. Sometimes, I think companies don’t know what those words mean. A medium coverage, matte or satin finish that will hold up to oily skin. In a full coverage foundation, no cakiness or heavy, mask-like feeling.

Since I don’t usually have a problem finding a shade that matches me, I am more concerned with a nice finish and good ingredients. I am 43, with dry skin in the winter and a little oily in the summer. Right now I’m really liking the Nars All Day Luminous foundation. It’s a matte finish, but the crazy thing is that it actually looks better the longer I wear it. It becomes luminous without looking greasy, which works for me during these New York City winters. Now let’s see how if performs once the humidity hits.

Immediately interested? Having the foundation applied and knowing it was for skintones with a pink (and beige-y) undertone. If samples were flattering, would add it to a buy list when current supplies ran low.

That’s a really good question. What would make me interested in a foundation would be:
1. It has a genuine porcelain shade with pink undertones
2. Medium coverage with a natural or slightly matte finish.
3. Preferably a pump dispenser
4. Accessible and affordable

Sorry but I could give a sh $t about 50 million shade ranges. Does it stay on oily skin? Skin type trumps shade range any day for me. Does it stay. Not streak. Cover. Feel light weight and doesn’t look cakey? I can usually make a shade work for me but its on the bottom of the list of concerns for me. Sorry about it!

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