My woes of foundation shopping

I’m always very envious of those girls who can just walk into a shop and find a shade of foundation that matches their skin perfectly.  Or even better…one that makes their skin look flawless without looking like they’ve caked their face in makeup.  It just looks like a better more smooth version of their skin.  A foundation like that would be my holy grail foundation.

Sadly, I am yet to find such a foundation.  Over the years, I have lost count of the number of foundations I’ve tried in my quest to find the perfect one for me.  The first I found that came close was one by Yves Saint Laurent (“YSL”).  It was almost perfect…except for the white tint it gave me in photos and the fact that I couldn’t build it up to full coverage without getting the dreaded ghost face. Funny enough, that shade was perfect for my mom who ended up inheriting it after my numerous attempts of making it work for me, I decided to let mother have a go at it to see if it’d work for her.  Of course it matched her skin perfectly!

After trying and failing with that foundation, I moved on to a mineral foundation.  It was something by Maybelline I believe.  Again, I had the same issues as the YSL and again, it suited mother perfectly.  So it went into her makeup case.  My mother does very well from my makeup misfortunes as you can see!

After that failure, I went about 2 years giving up on foundation altogether.  I was spending a lot of money and getting nowhere.  I figured I should just accept my skin the way it was and the fact that I would never find a foundation to suit me.  It took a chance venture into a Sephora shop to get me back into the foundation world.

I had only gone in because my friends wanted to.  As I walked round, I found myself in the MAC section and the lady asked me if I wanted to try any products?  I said no and explained to her that I didn’t need anything and the thing I would probably be interested in (a foundation), I’d be surprised if they had one to match my skin.  After much persuasion, I reluctantly sat in her chair fully expecting not to find anything close to my skin tone.  However, after lots of holding up of bottles of foundations against my face, she finally decided on a foundation that she felt was a good match for me skin (NC45).  I was very pleasantly surprised and stayed in love with this for a while (I’ll explain our falling out later).

Cue summer arriving and my skin becoming more tanned, meaning I had to search again for a foundation.  I decided as MAC had been so good to me before, I’d try them again.  This time I thought I’d try the face and body foundation.  I got matched in C7.  I hated it and to this day it just sits in my case not used.  Here is why I hate this. If you have oily skin…which I do!  It does not work for you.  Instead of looking glowy, you look like you’ve greased yourself with oil.  It also does not stay put for anything or give any sort of decent coverage.   So basically you need near enough flawless skin to pull this off and to be honest, a BB cream would probably be better in that case. So I ditched foundation for most of summer after that disaster.

After a few months I thought I’d try again with the MAC foundation and get colour matched for a summer colour.  She recommended NW43 and told me my skin was actually both warm and cool and that’s why I wasn’t finding colours to suit me as none would fully match my face.  She recommended using a concealer in the lighter colour and a foundation for the outer parts of my face that was darker.  It was great advice and I do believe she was right.  However, NW43 was far too dark for  me even in summer, and for a long time I didn’t wear it at all.  Until one day I had the light bulb idea to mix it with my NC45 foundation and came up with the closest foundation match I’ve had since I have been wearing foundations!

However, I have now hit a snag with MAC.  MAC foundations seems to hate my face.  Every time I wear it, my skin breaks out.  I also notice that it seems to go a bit orange after a while. So yet again I’m on a quest to find the perfect foundation.  I don’t even care if I have to use two to make my perfect match.  I just want something to make me look flawless darn it!

This time I’m going it alone.  I’ve given up on makeup counter people being able to help.  So far everyone I’ve tried has just left me with a bottle of foundation that only does half the job or would make me look like an oompa loompa (not a look I’m going for personally).  I can’t possibly do a worse job than them if I do it myself.  Who knows! Maybe I’ll even succeed where so many have tried and failed.

I’m not going in blindly. I do have a list of brands I want to try NARS, Lancome, Chanel, Estée Lauder and Bobbi Brown to name a few.  I hear they have a decent range for afro women.  Let’s see how they stand up to my impossible to match skin!

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5 thoughts on “My woes of foundation shopping

  1. Have you seen Illamasqua foundation before? 🙂 Their skin base is good stuff – it doesn’t have SPF so won’t give you ghost face, and it comes in quite a few darker shades too.

  2. Hi,

    Bobbi Brown has a fabulous range for darker skin tones, particularly in the stick foundation range. I’m a 6.5 in Warm Almond, and the foundation is matte, and long lasting, so my oily skin doesn’t act up! (The finish is flawless.)

    A colour match very close to mine at Bobbi Brown is from the NARS sheer matte foundation range, in Macao.
    And just one more, is from Illamasqua in SB14. (Note: My skin has a yellowish undertone)

    Once you’ve found your shade, at one brand, you can use the Illamasqua comparison charts to help you find the closest match!

    Link: http://www.illamasqua.com/assets/files/illamasqua-skinbase-comparison-charts.pdf

    I hope I’ve helped, good luck!

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