Special Coverage:
9 Types Of Foundation Tested

Foundation is basically underwear for the face. You don’t leave home until you’ve put some on. No offence to Britney Spears, but going commando just doesn’t sit so well with us. In a world of oversharing, some things should remain under wraps. Things like, your pores, for example. So yes, foundation — even if it’s just a skosh of coverage — it’s absolutely necessary, in our opinion.

Between all of us at the office, we have over a decade of foundation-shopping experience, and yet, somehow, unlike Sudoku (or Samantha Jones), it does not get easier. In fact, as the beauty industry inundate us with more and more and more options, looking for the perfect foundation has become plain confounding. Liquid or gel or stick or cream or cushion or BB cream or CC cream or powder or UV liquid or… 😖 Ahhhh. What would Flaritza do? 

We totally get how fudgin’ infuriating it is when, after three hours and about a hundred swatches on the back of your hands at Sephora, you go home only to realise that you’ve just lost $80 on a foundation that doesn’t suit you after all. Yeah. Been there. And went back a couple more times. That’s why we felt the need to put together this little foundation guide. We may not be professionals, but we’re honest. Which is better.

BB CREAM

In case you’re still wondering, “BB” stands for Beauty (or Blemish) Balm. Fun fact: It was created by a German dermatologist, Dr Christine Schrammek, in the ’60s — waaay before the Koreans re-invented it and made it a BBig deal. But seriously, what’s the big deal? We consulted the beauty eds at Fashionista, and here’s what we got: “BB creams provide coverage with added skin care benefits like SPF and anti-oxidants — the list goes on depending on what brand you choose. They’re lighter than foundation but heavier than tinted moisturisers.” Ohhhh.

We like: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

CC CREAM

What about CC Cream? CC = Colour Correcting. The point of it is pretty self-explanatory: Correct and even your skin tone. How is it different from BB Cream? Honestly, the jury is still out on that. Skeptics would cry “marketing ruse!” And they may be right. According to our intel from a celeb make-up artist, it’s “kind of the new and improved BB.” But try enough of them (like we have), and you’ll realise that BB or CC, it totally depends on how each brand makes them. They all target varied skin issues. Go figure.

We like: SK-II’s Atmosphere CC Cream is a winner for us because it moisturises, brightens, covers blemishes diligently and comes with SPF 50 so you can have save sun. ☀️

CUSHION

Cushion foundation is the bee’s knees. We have nary a doubt in our mind that this is one of the beauty secrets of Korean actresses who have dewy, iridescent, almost-translucent skin. You’ve seen it right? (If you haven’t, Google Jeon Ji-Hyun or Song Hye-kyo posthaste.) Trust us, we tried. The before-and-after transformation is mind-blowing. (What are you, Photoshop?) The formula is deceptively lightweight, and yet the coverage is amazing. The convenience of application and touch-ups is definitely a winning factor for us lazy people who want to look our best with minimum effort. Can you tell by our gushing that it’s our favourite thing in the stash right now?

We like: Laneige BB Cushion — choose from whitening, pore control or anti-ageing. For the record, this is our top pick. But we also like Dior’s Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion.

CUSHION STICK

Basically liquid foundation in a stick, and with cushion. Talk about a crowd pleaser. Super convenient, and easy to apply. Made for the time-starved and jet-setters, surely.

We like: Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick. Blends like a dream with a smooth finish. It may be weightless but it promises to last eight hours. What’s not to love? Just one thing actually: It smells like paint. 😕

 

JUST STICK

We can’t help but feel that stick foundations might be the most misunderstood of foundations. Sure, they look aloof and unapproachable, but give them a chance and they will become your skin’s best friend. It will take time, but it will be worth it. Seriously, it takes time to apply if you want to achieve a flawless — we repeat, flawless — finish. Which means you might need to set your alarm another 15 minutes earlier in the morning. But, pfft, what’s a few more minutes of snoozing compared to perfect skin? Best applied with a brush.

We like: Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick. TF does not kid around when it comes to perfection. This is perfection. And Hourglass Vanish™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick. Here’s Hourglass’ promise: “Coverage of a concealer, fluidity of a liquid, and weightlessness of a powder for invisible, full coverage.” It’s no lie.

LIQUID

Liquid foundation is probably the formula that most people are used to. But with the liquid option comes a multiple choice of applicators (more decisions!): Is it better to use a brush, a sponge, your finger tips or a personal make-up artist? Do we really have time for this? If your answer is a solid “yes”, then sure, go for liquid.

We like: RMK UV Liquid Foundation SPF 50+. We live in an age when “barely-there make-up” is all the rage, so this natural, super-light and sheer formula definitely gets our vote. Think of it as a tinted sunscreen.

GEL

Basically, liquid but richer and more resilient. Which is why we think it’d make a good foundation on work days. Ain’t nobody got time to worry about touching up every hour, amiright?

We like: RMK Gel Creamy Foundation SPF 24. Make-up with skincare is the name of the modern-day beauty game. We like that this has hyaluronic acid in the concoction — that’s what is going to give you a nice glow from within. Shine, however, is what we don’t want, and the sebum-absorbing powder particles in there will keep your face matte and fab.

CREAM

Oil skin types, you can skip this one. Cream foundation is rich and thick (yeah, kinda like Donald Trump! Great minds 👍🏻) But unlike Trump, this is actually useful on a few occasions — such as a long night of hard partying because it gives such good coverage. Not sure we’d use it every day, though.

We like: RMK Creamy Foundation. Creamy without the caking — that’s one reason. Like RMK’s gel foundation, this, too, has skincare benefits, thanks to the infusion of Argan Oil and Shea Butter. So, not only does it give your skin a nice supple touch and radiance, it also creates a melt-in-the-skin sensation so you won’t feel like you’re slowly suffocating your pores.

COMPACT POWDER

One word: Easy.

We like: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Dual Effect Powder make-up. Once a month, our skin feels oilier than usual. It’s about that time when we substitute our liquid/cream/even cushion foundation for powder. EL’s oil-free, oil-absorbing, and, more importantly, “photo-friendly”, formula has pretty good staying power considering how natural the coverage is.

So, what’s your type?

Photography & Artwork: Charnice Lim