Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Fundamental Foundation Problem


It's simple -- yet complex. I have never found the perfect foundation product. There, I've said it.

Heaven knows it's not for want of trying and every time I read a beauty article I find myself in that "too many choices, too much information" situation where I'm incapable of making a decision. Do I want the reflective benefits of nacre, which you don't really see, but it's there and it reflects light and you look beautiful? Or don't I?

What's the deal with "anti-aging" foundations? Are they? And why and how?

Do I want cream, liquid, minerals, powder, cream/powder. . .? Honestly I don't know what I want. I want results. Is that too much to ask? Every other product in my repertoire is absolute perfection from my treatment creams to my creamy blush, but not my foundation. Never.



I've tried scores of brands from Chanel and Dior to L'Oreal and Cover Girl. One of my French friends swears by Cover Girl and has me bring it back to her from the States.

What I'm basically saying here is Help (!) Please tell me your favorites and why so I can move on. Truly I have many, many more important things to address at the moment and I'm just embarking on my magnesium cure so I have a lot on my mind.

Merci par avance. I'm off to Paris. It's bitter cold.

77 comments:

Anonymous said...

You may want to try Chantecaille Future Skin foundation. I think it's fantastic!
Donna
Chicago

déjà pseu said...

I just last week switched to the Bobbi Brown foundation stick (in a tube, like a big lipstick) and am loving it! Still need just a little powder to combat shine on the nose, but I love the combination of sheerness, buildable coverage and easy application. You can carry it with you for touchups. I don't need a separate concealer with this, just dab on a little extra where I need it.

Anonymous said...

forget the foundation, period.
try laura mercier's tinted moisturizer (on top of your regular moisturizer). it's sheer and you can add more if it is too sheer.....and then, laura mercier or bobbi brown concealer. your skin will glow and not be 'bogged down' by heavier products.

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

I don't use foundation. I use an excellent cream, a spot of loose powder, a spot of blush and I'm good to go.

webb said...

I quit foundation and went to minerals. First, the expensive ones and then I discovered bronzer. I use that all over, then more blush if necessary. (All over good moisturizer, of course!) It's frustrating, tho.

Martha said...

I like the Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturizer followed by LM translucent powder. Never found anything I just love....it seems that most foundation just ages the look of my skin.

vicki archer said...

Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser all the way... xv

kathy peck said...

Giorgio Armani makes a great lightweight one, that is very sheer, but evens out your skin tone. I also like Chanel's. I find myself using the cream one in a compact with a sponge, and I just use it on certain areas that I need it, not all over.
What cream blush do you use?

LPC said...

If you have coloring similar to mine, which I think might be the case, almost all foundation is just this. Too Yellow. And when you find one that is Blue enough, it's too pale. So what I do is wear the Blue Too Pale version that Sisley makes, apply it lightly, and wait for the ghostly effect to fade. Which is does.

Otherwise I too wear LM Tinted Moisturizer, since the Too Yellow problem isn't as severe with less pigment:).

Charlotte said...

I alternate Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and Bare Minerals mineral foundation. I like the mineral powder when the weather is warm and humid, because anything else feels too greasy. The tinted moisturizer is great when it is winter and I need the extra moisture (I wear it over my Eucerin day creme).

Joni said...

After trying Bobbi Brown's foundation stick (too thick & tacky feeling) and also her liquid skin foundation (too pricey @ $46), I am now using Revlon's Age Defying foundation. I find it's coverage and consistency excellent and at a good price point - around $10.

andiamo! said...

I can't say enough about le métier tinted moisturizer--- I do not love the price but it contains sunscreen and retinol. I love the look plus the added benefits!!!

hopflower said...

Ha! I know exactly what you mean: you cannot find the right colour,a nd you also have to deal with the formula. Too thick, too runny, too pasty, too cloying, too oily or too dry. It is enough! I have been using Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua. It is something between a tinted moisturiser and a foundation. Lovely formula, and many choices for colour, but you must try it on. It does tend to oxidise a bit, so one or a half shade lighter would probably work. They offer a yellow toned line, or a pinker one. Great if you can find the right shade. After this, a light dusting of Chanel's finishing powder in the oilier areas helps to complete the look. I don't know if it is perfect for me, but it is the best I have found yet.

It is hard to find a good foundation.

Ann Knickerbocker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SarahBeyond said...

Echo the raves for Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (which also has a decent SPF). Perfect for day time. When I want a more polished, sophisticated evening look, I reach for Georgio Armani Fluid Sheer -- gorgeous!

the golddigger said...

I have worn foundation exactly once in my entire life. My sister, who got the makeup/accessory/style gene in our family - it must be highly recessive - did my makeup for my wedding. She applied the foundation and it looked like - well, me, only better. I have tried to replicate her work but have never been able to do anything but put beige streaks on my face.

Peggu said...

I use LM foundation, which I usually pick up at Sephora, but I credit the wizard at Neiman Marcus for finding my perfect shade. Key to my happiness with this product, however, is Sonia Kashuk's blending sponge. Tapping the product onto my skin, rather than smearing it around (even with a brush), makes a huge difference.

Catherine Robinson said...

I haven't worn foundation for sometime now...because like you I could never find the right one, regardless of price...now I just wear Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Cream Gel all year round love it! Not forgetting moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!!!!
Hope you find one Tish.
Catherine
xx

sanda said...

I can SO identify with your post today. I have the same problem and keep buying. hoping to find the perfect foundation. The best I've found is Lancome Regenerie because I keep coming back to it. It seems Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer is a favorite among your followers. Have never tried that brand, but find I need more coverage than a tinted moisturizer provides.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I began to like foundation when I started using primer...it made a huge difference. So now I use primer and Cover Girl foundation with Olay in it!

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Eminence mineral foundation is light has an SPF and blends in so easily I feel like I am wearing nothing at all. If you have areas that need more coverage just sweep the brush over a second or third time and it covers brilliantly and still looks like healthy natural skin.

Bon chance!

sisty said...

You took the words right out of my mouth, and I've tried 'em all. Serge Lutens powder foundation, Jane Iredale mineral foundation, millions of things from the drugstore. The only one I like is Giorgio Armani sculpting foundation, but only when I'm going for that full-makeup look, which is rare.

Besides, I hate the way they make my face feel, all of them.

Anonymous said...

Don't like much in the way of foundation so I use Trish McEvoy
Even Skin, which is a product like no other. It is thin, almost like water, and it does not cover but blends. I use only a tiny bit and find that it leaves me looking very, very natural--but better. Great product. Also good: Jane Iredale Mineral Compact. Comes in a ton of colors and only need on t-zone.

Rockelle said...

I use Lancome's tinted moisturizer, Imanance. After turning fifty I found all my foundations looked thick and heavy. I tried this and love it. It is SPF 15 and really evens out my skin and looks dewy and natural. After reading the comments here, I think I will give the Laura Mercier a try.

Susan G said...

I use Jane Iredale's PurePressed Base, a pressed mineral powder in a compact. I apply it with a kabuki brush. Result: light, weighless coverage. It can be layered if and where necessary. Love this stuff.

The enchanted home said...

Don't wear foundation on a regular basis but when I do really like Stila illuminating foundation,it gives my skin a soft glow, its also very smooth and not at all heavy. Of the ones I have tried..this is by far my favorite!

Anonymous said...

I wear foundation everyday (skin prone to acne, redness, etc.I'm 50) and have tried numerous ones... All of the above. Now the best one - real cheap, need only a small amount, and that gives perfect results all the time - Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse! Who would have thought?

Mean Mama said...

Mmmm--I see no one here has tried the Korean "BB" creams. They are tinted moisturizers with SPF and other treatment qualities. You pat a bit on and voila! Moist, healthy--and lightly tinted. I use Missha #23 . . .

Bea said...

I switched from minerals to Christian Dior Teint Fraicheur. It is sheer but evens out the skin and looks great all day. I apply it with my fingers, evens it out with a small make-up sponge and after I have applied all my makeup, I spray my face with Avène Thermal Spring Water. It makes my face look more fresh and radiant and sets the makeup.

BigLittleWolf said...

I am in the same boat, and find it gets harder as I get older. No foundation achieves the look I might like, though there was an airbrushing sort of Dior powder that I had "done" at the makeup counter once. Delightful!

But I know myself - surely not something I would do on my own.

I wind up grateful for decent genetics, and resorting to moisturizer and a little blush, my usual Dior & Chanel eyes, a dab of gloss, a hint of perfume... and it's all done in 5 minutes or less.

Lorrie said...

I wondered if this was just MY problem. I'm relieved to see it isn't. I have tried all sorts of foundations with varying results. I now don't wear any at all. Moisturizer and sometimes a sweep of mineral powder, but that's it. I focus my attention on my eyes and lips. My skin is pretty good although I wish I could get rid of the dark circles under my eyes.

ParisGrrl said...

I wear Bare Minerals (the newer matte version has a bit more coverage than the original, but both are excellent) followed by their Clear Radiance and a touch of their finishing powder. It's actually improved my skin over time, and made me wish I'd never worn liquid foundations at all.

Tish Jett said...

Oh my, you are terrific far, far better than any fashion magazine article where -- and I speak from experience -- all products are sent to the publications as freebies to the editors and then there is that pesky advertising aspect to be taken into account when one reads the reviews.

Your comments are great. Now I must "absorb" if you pardon the expression. I'm very excited about the prospect of for the first time in my life actually finding a foundation, or tinted moisturizer, that makes me happy and makes me look better, dare I say lovely?

Merci, merci. I'll keep you posted.

xo

Blue Jeans Girl said...

I just received my Sephora order containing Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and it's very sheer, doesn't cover every little spot, but somehow adds a lovely glow that has been commented on in a good way.

Lost in Provence said...

As a redhead, I really need to wear something or the redness in my skin shows through too much. On a recent photo shoot I asked the makeup artist what her favorite was "Bobbi Brown!" she nearly shouted out uncategorically and it is true when I was acting and needed coverage, that is what I used. Lately, I have tended towards a tinted moisturizer but realize that isn't really cutting it. By chance, a dear friend gave me Dior Nude and I like it a lot but with a primer. I also think that Giorgio Armani should not be underrated (Pat McGrath, hello) and have had good experience with it too.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe so many other people have trouble with foundation too! I've almost given up as I feel that it makes me look older. I occasionally use a little Bare Minerals to even out a few places--not all over. Most days I just use Cindy Joseph's marvelous Boom Stick (which I think I read about on Deja Pseu's blog). It's not a foundation but gives me a little color and is always just right.

Pearl said...

I agree with Sanda: Lancome's Regenerie is the best I've found for color range, lightweight but thorough coverage. I spent about 2 months field testing everything (I recommend starting at Sephora: they gave me tester-sized samples of everything I asked for! free!) I also recommend Make-Up Forever: same deal, just a little too yellow for me. I wear very light shades, and light colors get yellowy or ashy or peachy very easily. Both Lancome and MU4E did not with great formulas.

mady9454 said...

Hi Tish,

Thanks for asking the question! Seems that I am not the only one with issues!!!

I may have to go to Sephora and try out some samples.

Mary Ann

Joni said...

Primer! I forgot to mention primer. It makes all the difference in the world with foundation. I use it in key areas (for me) like under my eyes and also nasolabial folds. I intially used Photo Finish by Smashbox but found that anti-chafing powder-gel by Monistat worked exactly the same (pretty much identical ingredients)but for the fraction of the cost.

Mean Mama said...

It is virtually unheard of that I check back on a blog to see what the comments have been, but this is a subject dear to my heart as well! Powder formulas leave me looking like The Cryptkeeper, liquids settle in pores strangely, etc.--AND I SEE I AM NOT ALONE!
If you have never used a tinted moisturizer, the Mercier one is very good--comes in shades and in an oil-free version as well. Personally I like the one from Urban Decay better, as I don't get as shiny.
But for winter, I strongly prefer the BB creams--for once I don't look half bad!

FOODalogue said...

ha, ha...if I didn't know better, I would swear I wrote this post! I could never find the right shade. For the past couple of years I was satisfied with a mac cream foundation but just recently picked up Lancome Teint Miracle which I'm liking.

I agree with the others. Primer does make a difference in application and staying power.

Carolyn said...

I feel your pain! I am anxious to hear what the other ladies recommend.Thanks for the post... you ROCK!

Hey There Carole! said...

Tinted moisturizer.

Seishin said...

I love Dr. Denese tinted Defense Day Cream SPF30 during the summer and in the winter I love (the only foundation I've ever said this about)Lancome Paris Teint Idole Ultra

24 Corners said...

Fabulous post, and I too, am so glad to see that I'm not alone in this area! I've been using Dermalogica's foundation mixed with their tinted moisturizer for years and even though I love the feel of it...I've never been to happy with their shade offerings...to grayish/yellow, but none the less better thann others I've tried.
I'm looking forward to giving some of these commented options a go!
xo J~

Katherine said...

I like Diorskin powder foundation...but I don't use it too much, so I'm not an expert :)

Debora said...

I used to use Clarins but have switched to Covergirl Advanced Radiance. Its less expensive and works well for me. I think it's best on people with fair skin.

Vicki Lee Johnston said...

I have used this foundation for years and it seems to fit me well - Estee Lauder Futurist in Pale Almond .. not too heavy, great colour match for me and my daughter says I look great ... good enough for me...

Carol said...

l use a tiny amount of Bourjois healthy mix serum foundation that l mix with a small amount of moisturiser before applying.

There are some fantastic recommendations here..

Marianne Sanderson said...

Hi Tish,
I am in the same boat. I used to love Stila Illuminating Liquid Foundation in 20 Watts (Pale, medium coverage). Now I prefer Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Mont Blanc which could be mixed with Deauville if slightly tanned.

Shocked to read that Ines de la Fressange uses L'Oreal True Match (which I haven't found a great color match for me)!

By the way, I stocked up or rather hoarded all the Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Day and Night after finding it for half the price in South Africa of all places (husband is from SA so we have a house there). I love this and I also use Retin A from reading your blog which has also made a huge improvement.
Good luck in your search!

Shelley said...

My current favourite (a bit below your price range I imagine) is Maybelline's Pure Liquid Mineral, in Ivory.

Anonymous said...

Hello Tish,
I have used Estee Lauder Futurist for years as well.
I have often been asked what makeup I use. It really is lovely. Healthy looking. Good luck.
Maggie, Australia

Gauss said...

I don't use foundation; I don't see the point! I use moisturizer (with SPF, of course), a bit of powder and a bit of blush. My skin is not perfect, but I'd rather show my skin than foundation streaks.

Paula said...

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation - the best foundatiom I ever had. And I tried a lot!

Worth a try!

Villette said...

Yes, Tish, please let us know if you find the right foundation after all this. It is such a hard thing to find! And then when you do, they discontinue it...

Tish Jett said...

Well! I had no idea. This is fantastic.

I like the idea of going into Sephora, asking for samples and experimenting at home. I think I also have problems finding someone truly knowledgeable to tell me the precise color I should be using. I'm thinking serious, professional makeup person.

Because our friend Ines claims to like the L'Oreal whatchamacallit, obviously I bought it. It went the way of all the others. Quite awful. Also the color was weird which may have been my fault or the salesperson's.

If I ever resolve the problem, you'll be the first to know.

Merci mille fois for your suggestions.

xo,
Tish

Tree said...

Recommend the classic Clinque brand Balanced Foundation. Basic, light weight, even coverage and neither matte nor shiny. This brand is usually too young, but this item is age-less.

Unknown said...

Try Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. You will love it....I promise!!

Grace InAZ said...

This is so ME! I have all but given up on a foundation. I loved Mary Kay until they eliminated the shade I used. Now they all make me look yellow, as one commenter already noted.
Tinted moisturizers work well enough to suit me. My eyesight also plays into the mess...I can't see well enough without my glasses to put foundation on evenly. Gasp!
What's a girl to do?
Hugs, GraceinAZ

Bombshellicious said...

Clarins Teint Eclat Lissant (Oil Free True Radiance Foundation) mixed with Clinique Illuminator, brilliant combination and very light. You just need a small amount of each and it gives a flawless dewy sort of finish. Took me a long while to work it out but it works for me and I doubt if I will be changing it anytime soon xx

The American Suburbanite in Rural England said...

Trisha, even though I live in England I still get my makeup in the states. I started wearing Mary Kay more than 15 years ago. My sister likes it so much she began to sell it. I have changed the type of foundation over the years based on fashion trends, climate, and age. I currently use the foundation primer and the Time-wise luminous wear liquid foundation in addition to the time wise regime for skin care. Best of luck!

The American Suburbanite in Rural England said...

Sorry Trish, just noticed the auto correct added an a...

Anonymous said...

Such an interesting discussion. For me, the greatest difficulty is finding the good color match. The texture of Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua in BR 20 is the best I've found. I feel polished but not 'made up.' It's really worth having someone with a good eye give advice. Joyce

Anonymous said...

I just discovered, thanks to my daughter, Koh Gen Do foundation - LOVE it - definitely worth a try.

Anonymous said...

My holy grail is Benefit Some Kinda Gorgeous:

http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P157910

It doesn't feel like anything (very important to me), evens out my skin tone, doesn't look like foundation. I love it! I'm a former LM tinted moisturizer girl. And at almost 50, I don't think that Benefit is targeted to my demographic (based on packaging, etc.). But hey, it works.

Karen in Paris

Gretchen said...

Perhaps one of the issues, besides color matching, that bothers you about foundation is the "plastic" feeling that most of them give you when you get the stuff on. Even Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer does that to me, which is really unfortunate, because it seems so close to perfect. The best I've found that feels, and looks, like skin, not plastic wrap, are Dr. Hauschka and Aveda, but I think that's only available in the states. I'm going to try LeClerc to see if it works. I used to use their face powder but now that I've more wrinkles, powder is a no-go.

beyondbeige said...

I use Boots firming liquid makeup and the luminizer liquid. Not a whole lot but it looks good and I have tried EVERYTHING

Connie said...

I have had good luck with Estee Lauder's foundation for actual coverage. Lately, I have been using Hope in a Tinted Moisturizer out of laziness, however. I should go back to the Estee Lauder.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

When I use it, I use Bobbi Brown. I do have a difficult time finding one light enough and the trouble is made worse by the fact that I hate to "feel" foundation sitting in my skin. Does that make sense?

Sara R said...

Another vote here for Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals. Have now used it for close to 10 years and my skin improved when I quit using those liquid foundations. It has some SPF (maybe 15). I still use the Original because I'm so pleased I hate to experiment! Applying it with a Kabuki brush made it even better!!

Good luck with your searching and testing!

Tanya said...

My favorite is Chanel Pro Lumiere, I'm on my third bottle (and I seldom stick with one brand). It stays put and doesn't shift all day, just a couple of touch ups during the day (shiny nose problem...)

Good luck with the search.

beautifuldreamer1066 said...

I used to wear Youngblood mineral foundation but it settled into my larger pores and fine wrinkles so I switched to a liquid form, Revlon Color Stay Combintion/Oily Skin. I always use primer as this facilitates a smoother, more even application and I stipple it on my face with a brush. I've never been happier with my foundation.

As far as deciphering the correct color for my skin, I learned to dab a bit on my chest where there has been minimal sun exposure. That is one's true skin undertone color and if it disappears completely where you've sampled it, you found your color match. If it seems too pale for your taste, go up one notch but not more than two. You don't want that two-toned face-to-chest thing going on!

Anonymous said...

So interesting to read all the comments and advice. Impressed that so many are able to use only a tinted moisturiser. As an aging strawberry blonde with hair that has darkened a little (with a few white streaks - luckily under the top layers so far) and whose skin still has some residual freckles, I need something more to even out my skin tone. But like a couple of readers, I've found Estee Lauder's futurist foundation helps and can be applied lightly and then topped up with their transparent loose powder to take away shine. But when I visit Paris next will be heading for Sephora to try out some samples of other types as mentioned here. Do they sell Eucerin Hyalauron filler, does anyone know?

Mrs P said...

Can I introduce you to Lisa Eldridge - she has lots of video clips on You Tube and her own blog. She is a make-up artist and her tips have revolutionised the way I do my make up, without spending a fortune - she has two videos on anti-aging and one on primer and foundation. My own light-bulb moment has been to use foundation only where it's needed ie to cover uneven skin tone, and then a good highlighter for a youthful glow

Lulee said...

I also had the same dilemma and was never satisfied until I tried Armani. The texture and the color were just right.

Elizabeth said...

I go between Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and Lancome something or other. Renergie?

Have you ever seen Makeup Alley before?

Susan Tiner said...

Wow, I'll have to bookmark this post for tips on foundation if I ever decide to make a change.

For now I'm happy with Korres Ouercetin & Oak Concealer 02 Light, but I apply it lightly and only on trouble spots and a couple light sweeps across my cheeks, nose and chin. It blends nicely.

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