Finding the Perfect Foundation: Two Bloggers on a Mission

by my amiga, Anne Houseman of Beauty Xpose.

Anne and I got together last weekend to hang out and go shopping. Needless to say, goofiness, makeup, and giggles ensued. I'm working on my side of things to share with you later in the week. In the meantime, here's what Anne had to say about our search for the perfect foundation.

Last weekend, I had the long-awaited pleasure of reconnecting with my good pal and brilliant beauty blogger, Kelly Gould (of Gouldylox Reviews). And believe me — just getting together was a feat in and of itself.

shoppingWhile we only live an hour and a half away from each other, it’s been a struggle matching up our schedules. The last time we were supposed to get together, my immune system flipped me the bird and cackled to herself because I had even thought about going out and having fun. But Sunday, the evil phlegm-thrower backed down and let me leave my house for the first time in a week (no joke) so I could spend my hard earned cash on makeup and jewelry.

So shop-til-you-drop time! Our mission was two-fold: Find a new foundation for each of us, and score a stylish fall jacket for Kelly. And of course, if there were other great deals to be had — even better.

On our quest, I learned quite a few things:

  • Even some of the newest foundations from expensive brands really suck.
  • I have a severe color identification deficit disorder.
  • Kelly is a supreme color master.
  • Wearing certain makeup colors during certain months only is not normal (Note: in my head, purple/pinks are for Jan. and Feb.).
  • My facial fuzz is overgrown and needs to be weed-wacked before more foundation gets stuck to it, enhancing my wooly-bear syndrome in front of unsuspecting Sephora employees.
  • Despite having an amazing camera in my Droid X, I forget to take pictures.

estee lauder resiliance lift extremeUpon beginning our foundation-finding foray, we set out to find a color that would better match my lightening skin (and yes, I used SPF all summer!). I had been using Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme ($36.50), and I absolutely loved it, but as the intrepid beauty blogger you’ve all come to know and love, I couldn’t pass up trying out two much-hyped foundations: Lancome Teint Miracle ($37) and MAKE UP FOR EVER (MUFE) HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($40). Kelly, on the other hand, was determined to find a foundation at MAC that was a better match than the too-dark color she had been coaxed into purchasing by a well-meaning, but colorblind, sales rep.

Our first stop: the makeup mecca (Sephora). Since Kelly is a regular at the store to the point where she is Facebook friends with staff members, we were treated like royalty the moment we stepped inside. It was fantastically ridiculous, and I know what Lady Gaga must feel like (I love you all, my little makeup monsters!). Ahem. Inflated ego aside, when we explained my makeup mission, the helpful Sephora staff immediately ran into motion and challenged my face to a Foundation-Off.

In the left corner, we had Lancome Teint Miracle:

lancome teint miracle foundation

And in the right, we had MUFE HD.

MUFE HD Foundation

Both were applied to my face (one on each half), which was primed with the MUFE HD Microperfecting Primer in green to minimize any redness. It’s so funny how you can immediately tell the difference between foundations after a side-by-side comparison. You know what else is funny? Not taking pics. I’m a dope.

Visual approximation of my skin with MUFE HD
Visual approximation of my skin with MUFE HD

Both colors the Sephora team selected blended in as if they were one with my skin (very Zen). However, it was immediately apparent that the MUFE HD was a heavier coverage and dried down to a more matte finish instantly. The Lancome side was a medium coverage, though it didn’t seem to be as “cakey” heavy, so it was deemed the winner of the round, as I prefer a more natural looking finish. But did it win out overall? Unfortunately, no.

After determining the Lancome was our better bet, we removed the MUFE and applied the Lancome to the entire face, lest I look like I have a cakey, dry skin disorder on only one half of my face. Then, I decided to continue shopping while wearing it to see how it held up after time. Unfortunately, before we even left the store, I saw that it was already settling right into my forehead lines, and my dry skin was starting to look “chalky,” as Kelly so eloquently put it. Ten minutes later and the foundation was clinging to every possible dry flake (oh and my fuzzy facial hair) to the point that it looked like my skin was begging for a drink of water.

Visual approximation of my skin with Lancome Teint Miracle
Visual approximation of my skin with Lancome Teint Miracle

As you can imagine, this is not the look I’m going for.

So you know the old adage, if it ain’t broke…? Time for me to heed that advice and return to the Estee Lauder counter to pick up the right shade of their foundation, which I love to bits and pieces for its medium coverage, smmmooooth application and natural finish (I swear it’s the hyaluronic acid that makes it stand shoulders above others).

As for Kelly? Well, she wasn’t finding much luck in the MAC department (”chalky” seemed to be the problem of the day), so she decided to test out the Estee Lauder herself and left with a 10-day sample supply. I’m hoping she comments here so we can find out how she feels about it!

Alas, I’ll spare you the remaining details of our adventure, though it included a search for similar colors of purple lip gloss (colorblind fail) and an attempt to figure out why a trench coat’s belt seemed 30 times too long (trend recognition fail). But tell me — have you ever tried a Foundation-Off? Which foundation is rocking your world right now?

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  1. So after hearing of your success (I don't want to spoil it for your readers), I got a sample of what you suggested. I really love the finish but the coverage level just isn't heavy enough -- it wears more like a tinted moisturizer on me rather than a real foundation. I'm thinking it would be perfect in summer, but for winter, I really need something with a medium coverage to tackle my paler, ruddy skin. I'll keep trying though, because you never know!

  2. That is my big complaint with that foundation as well. I love the finish, but not the coverage. It can be built up, but still. I love the coverage on the Estee, but not the finish. I also picked up Dior AirFlash (I think that is what it is called) this weekend. I like it, but when I applied it this am, it went everywhere and I had to wash my hair a second time!


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