My Favorite Drugstore Base Products (Part 2): BB Creams and Foundations

Monday, September 16, 2013

Welcome back to the second installment of the My Favorite Drugstore Base Products series. If you missed Part 1 (Primer and Powder), you can check it out here. Again, as a makeup junkie who loves an affordable product, I've narrowed down all of these posts to only the cosmetics that I really love. If I did a series on drugstore makeup I like, we'd be here for ages!

As a reminder, I have very oily, acne-prone skin but not all of these items are for people with my skin type--I like to mix it up. I've listed the prices for you here, but obviously, prices will vary on location. 

BB Creams: BB creams, rebranded tinted moisturizers, whatever you choose to call them, there's no denying the efficiency of using this kind of product. Every drugstore brand was launching them at the height of their trend, but there are only two that I consistently use.

Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream ($12): This was the first drugstore BB cream I ever tried (original review here), and it's still one of my favorites. The coverage isn't fantastic, but I keep coming back to this for the finish. This doesn't quite leave my skin dewy, but my face looks especially healthy and glowing in a way that can only be described as fresh. On my oily skin, I usually need to blot and re-powder twice through the day and I can never wear it in the summer, but I still prefer this over the Oil Control version. The one formulated for oily skins definitely lasts a lot longer on me, but it doesn't have the same gorgeous finish. It leans more matte (unsurprisingly), and also sits more obviously on my skin in a way that can look heavy. With the regular Skin Renew, a concealer is a quick fix for any pigmentation issues, but when I'm feeling lazy (and I usually am if I'm slapping on a BB) I can just pile on the product and it never looks too thick or obvious on my skin.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream ($7): If the Garnier is what I use when I want to look effortlessly natural and fresh, this is what I use when I'm in a hurry and need something that will cover and wear well. While the coverage it offers is not quite foundation-like, it still feels like enough to tackle my skin's splotchy concerns. Again, you'll need a concealer to really cover any changes in skin texture, but this covers discoloration nicely. This is a BB cream that I can wear year-round, as the semi-matte finish wears well on my skin and can last all day (though I usually top with powder as extra insurance against shine). You could definitely get away without powdering, though, as the finish of it is quite dry to the touch once you've given it a chance to settle after blending. 

Foundations: Revlon is my clear favorite drugstore brand where foundations are concerned (with a surprise addition from L'Oreal), and the ones you're about to meet have been staples of my makeup bag for some time--I hardly ever deviate from them day to day.

Revlon ColorStay Oily/Combination Liquid ($10): Is anyone surprised? Could there possibly be a favorite drugstore makeup list that didn't include this? It was the first foundation I ever wore back when my skin was horrendous, and it's still a staple in my stash of base products. You'll know all about this by now: high coverage, thick consistency, and strong mattifying and long-wearing properties. This was the first foundation I ever wore which earns it an extra special place in my heart. Between the coverage and texture, this is one of those foundations that can potentially give you mask face if you apply too much, so I really recommend taking your time with applying this and gradually building it up. I've never had a problem with this setting before I've finished blending, but I know other people have so you might want to work fast. This also works extra well with a foundation blending brush like the Sigma F80 (post), though some people prefer to apply it with a damp sponge. Again, because of how well this adheres to the skin, you won't have to worry about it transferring (which is one of the things I love best about it), but you have to be extra thorough in making sure you've fully removed the makeup. My skin is better now so I don't usually wear this by itself, but this also works as a fantastic mixing foundation if you need more coverage or staying power. In typical Revlon form, this bottle is (still) pump-less but that's never particularly bothered me. 

Revlon ColorStay Whipped Foundation ($12): Basically the same foundation as the above but with a creamier and much easier to blend texture. This is what I would call a good foundation for beginners as it's all the coverage of original ColorStay without any of the temperamental consistency that makes some people stay away from it. This feels like a more modern version of the original ColorStay: more natural and comfortable on the skin without sacrificing anything in coverage or longevity. I don't love the thick glass pot (not exactly travel-friendly), especially as that probably raises the price, but it's definitely easier to stick my fingers into.

Revlon Nearly Naked ($8): This was incredibly popular in the beauty community when it first launched, and it has been my go-to foundation ever since then. Now that my skin's better and I've accepted that my face doesn't have to be all matte all the time, this has really been the perfect foundation for me. It's got good medium coverage with a truly lovely finish that doesn't quite make my face look naked, but definitely natural. The phrase beauty bloggers have been using to describe this is "skin-like", and I completely agree. It's just such an easy foundation to use--it applies beautifully, blends out quickly and covers my flaws without compromising any natural skin texture. This isn't quite suited for oily skin--it's more for normal skin with some leeway for combination/dry and combination/oily. That being said, I can still wear this in the summer as long as I top it with a hardcore mattifying powder (see Part 1), and I wear it all through the winter with an illuminating face powder--usually Hourglass Ambient Lighting in Dim Light. I've also noticed that my skin looks especially good in photographs when I'm wearing this foundation, making this just as good for nighttime as it is for day. It's my favorite at the moment in case you couldn't tell, and has been ever since it first hit the drugstore shelves.

L'Oreal Magic Lumi ($13): I tried this on a whim about a year ago when I was craving a more glowy foundation, and it was exactly what I was looking for. This foundation is more suited to dry/normal skin, so I only wear this in the fall/winter, but I love it for days when my skin looks extra good. This has the lightest coverage of the foundations here, but it's only a little more sheer than the Naked. It is, however, not so much natural as it is illuminating and glowy. That means it's the least-frequently used of the bunch as my skin has to be reasonably clear and drier than normal for this to look its best on me. However, if my skin is in the right state, this looks nothing short of beautiful. It's not really dewy, but it is extra glowy in an extremely real-looking way. Sometimes I think illuminating foundations look a little bit too artificial, but I never have that problem with this foundation. This is what comes to mind when I think of beautifying makeup as it doesn't just make my skin look better, it makes my skin look prettier. It always seems like a shame for me to hide this lovely finish under a layer of powder, so I try to only powder my T-zone when wearing this. It doesn't hold up terribly well on my oily skin, but it can see me through a good chunk of my day. 


The last installment will be all on concealers (and you know I love my drugstore concealers!) and will be up next week. 

Happy Monday!

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