Finding affordable alternatives to high end foundations has been pretty tricky in the past, especially since most affordable brands do not offer a great range of products for those of us with medium to deep skin tones. Previously I found that drug store foundations could not compete with the quality and range offered by more expensive cosmetic brands such as NARS and MAC. However, recently I have been pleasantly surprised with how drug store brands have upped their game, offering an improved quality and range of products.
My requirements for foundations are a decent medium colour with yellow undertones and full coverage. In the past I found that drug store foundations never really met my requirements, as most of their foundations looked like a great match on initial application but oxidised to a very unflattering pink. I also found that their “full coverage” foundations were medium at best, even when the coverage was built up. At the turn of this year I found some great foundations that are great alternatives to high end products, that don’t hurt my pockets (winner!).
1) NIP+FAB Foundation – Shade #20 – £12.95
This is at the top of my recommendations list because although it only offers 10 colours, there are brand offers custom drops to lighten or darken your foundation. This foundation is medium coverage but can be built up to achieve a full coverage look. It has a matte finish but not too matte like Estee Lauder’s Double Wear foundation – which in my experience is a nuisance to blend out as it dries down extremely quick. Another great thing is it doesn’t oxidise to a weird colour (winner!).
2) The Ordinary Colours Coverage Foundation with SPF 15 – Shade 2.1 Y – £5.90
I’ve only used this foundation a few times as I only received it last month and anyone who pre-ordered this knows how long that wait was to receive it! This product offers such a great range of colours where you can choose the undertone of the foundation (ahhh the angels sing). The Ordinary offers this foundation in either full coverage or a serum (which is more sheer), the one I have is full coverage. This foundation is lightweight and has a natural finish, which is great as I am sick of looking like I’m wearing a mask. Another great thing about this product is that it has SPF 15, helping to provide much needed sun protection. I purchased this foundation from Victoria Health which provides a great colour guide. For £5.90 who can complain!
3) Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless – Shade 220 – £6.00
This foundation is super matte whilst being lightweight. The colour range in my opinion is meh and the shades do have a slightly pink undertone. but it can be worked with. The best thing about this foundation is that it lasts a hot minute. I usually wear a beat for at least 8 hours and with this foundation I don’t experience an oily T-zone or areas where the product is breaking down (or dissolving?). When looking at the size of this product against the other foundations I have listed it does look like you get a lot more product, but looking at the details on the back in holds the same amount of foundation as the others; which is 30ml.
4) EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation – Shade 4.0 and 5.0 (only 4.0 is pictured) – £12.50
This foundation is available in a decent range of skin tones. It is a lightweight medium coverage foundation with a luminous finish. I find that this looks very natural and is long wearing. One annoying thing about shopping for this foundation online is that although there is a guide provided, and I chose the best option suited to me, both foundations were too light. A bonus for me is the packaging as I am able to see how much product is left in the bottle and has a pump that pushes the product up (mine is half empty). Again the bottle looks big but contains the same amount as the others listed.
*This may be of interest to anyone looking for affordable colour dupes for NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Stromboli, MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC37 or Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Tawny.
Thanks for making it to the end of this long post (lol), tell me what you’re fave drug store foundations are in the comment section.
Street Beauty xx