Budget foundations…. tried, tested, reviewed!
We all love a bargain. I think it’s the Irish in us! But are they all worth it? Spend €10 on a foundation that turns out to be beyond useless … it may be a ‘bargain’ at the time, but becomes a waste if you only use it once.
So, with all that said, we’ve tried five. Please excuse the grubby makeup bottles, at least its proof that they are well tested! Here’s how we got on…
Flormar Perfect Coverage Foundation
I have a complete love/hate relationship with this foundation. It COMPLETELY depends on the condition of my skin. First off, its coverage is amazing, it covers every blemish and even takes down the redness from those pesky hormonal spots. You couldn’t fault it on that score. I’ve heard it being referred to ‘airbrush in a bottle’ which is true initially, but the airbrush doesn’t last, at least on me.
I have oily skin, and when my skin is being very temperamental this foundation just melts off my skin, especially in warm weather. It doesn’t last as long as others and starts to break down after about four hours.
A good powdering definitely keeps it set for longer, but I don’t powder on weekdays because I give myself about 10 minutes to get ready in the morning, I need something that works on its own, low maintenance is key.
Unfortunately, I also find it sits into my wrinkles (ugh) on my forehead and makes them more noticeable, this only happens when the oil breaks through the foundation though. Over Christmas I went through a stage of dry skin, and this was my holy grail foundation (hence the love/hate relationship). My sister uses this everyday, she has dry skin. It works perfectly for her.
To summarise: if you have oily skin steer clear, it won’t last and you’ll become shiny quite quickly. If you’ve dry skin, it’s definitely worth a go. It covers scarring and redness with ease. It comes in 6 shades and is roughly €11.
L’Oréal True Match Foundation
I know some people swear by this foundation, I’ve heard so many good reviews about it, but it’s just not for me. I’ll start with the positives, it comes in so many colours you are guaranteed to find your perfect shade, it’s divided into warm and cool tones, so it makes the who process of colour selection a lot easier.
It’s spreads easy, blends well with a foundation brush and is workable on the face.
What I didn’t like about it is that it was too sheer for my face. It didn’t have enough coverage. I’m prone to a break out or two, and I’ve redness around my nose. I like my foundation to cover these pretty quickly without much effort.
Yes, I could wear a conceler and a primer beneath but at 7:30am on a Monday before work, that’s the LAST thing you’re going to find me doing. My foundation alone needs to be enough, no faffing around in the morning piling 10 products on my face! This foundation is available for approx €14.
If you have perfect skin and like sheer coverage, this is the one for you. If you like a fuller coverage, I wouldn’t invest.
Note luminous Moisturising Foundation
This is a relatively new brand to Ireland, I think it’s German. I’ve seen Note products on loads of bloggers pages, so I had to give it a try. This one was €9.99 from Sam Macauley.
I found it really hard to get my correct shade, in the end I got shade 3, perfect with tan but too dark on my natural skin. I find the formulation to be quite thick, but it is surprisingly workable on the skin. It has very good coverage.
As mentioned before, I have oily skin, so I was concerned about the ‘moisturising’ effect it might have on my skin. I was pleasantly surprised! It’s more of a glow than a bright illuminating effect. It lasts about 7/8 hours without breaking down.
By the end of the evening I’m am quite shiny but it definitely holds up well for a €10 euro foundation. I did feel like I had makeup on though, if that makes sense, it was a little heavy on my skin. If you have normal/dry/slightly oily skin I’d recommend this. It’s definitely worth the small price tag.
Catrice HD Foundation
The cheapest foundation everyone is going mad for! 7.99 in Penneys and various pharmacies. Ok, so….. I’ve a few positives and a few negative on this one!
It applies lovely, blends so well, is so workable on the skin. It has a matte finish and good coverage, perfect for my skin. Great first impressions. But unfortunately it just didn’t last on my skin, it broke down in a few hours, I was all patchy around my brows, nose and it set into my wrinkles on my forehead.
It’s pretty good for €7.99, it’a perfect for going about the place at weekend but I wouldn’t be wearing it out or to work.
Note Detox and Protect
I love this one. It is most similar to MAC studio fix. It’s cost about €14. The formulation, like the other Note foundation, is quite thick but spreads surprisingly well, coverage is excellent and it’s good on my oily skin.
It doesn’t break down and lasts all day. It does oxidise slightly, it gets slightly darker after a few hours, so be careful with your shade, I got a 3 but next time I’ll definitely get a 2. I really feel like I’ve hit the budget foundation jackpot with this one!
I don’t know how dry skin would fair but if you’ve normal skin, invest, you won’t regret it. Again, the coverage is full, so if you like a more sheer natural look, L’Oréal infallible might be a better option.
I’m a big fan of L’Oréal infallible but I haven’t used it since they changed the bottle from glass to plastic, this usually means a change in formulation too, so no review here until I try the new one!
Here is some pictures of the foundation, these are on the inside of my arm so my natural pigmentation wouldn’t effect the shades: left to right is 1. Flormar, 2. L’Oréal True Match 3. Note Luminous Foundation 4. Note Detox and Protect
Until next time,
Aoife and Louise
*these opinions are completely our own, made after using foundations for a sustained period of time. These opinions are based on our personal preferences. Please ensure you use your own judgement based on your own preferences and skin type.
MAC Must haves
MAC Must Haves (and ones to avoid)
MAC Cosmetics have grown a cult following over the past two decades, I bought my first product at 17 years of age, 14 years ago, I have been addicted ever since! I’ve yet to find a lady who doesn’t have at least one product from MAC, so with this in mind, we decided to do our MAC ‘must haves’ and mention a couple that just don’t make the mark.
There are quite a few products included, we’ve deliberately done this to give a helping hand to beginners, to people who are not confident in makeup purchasing, or for those ‘who just don’t know where to start’ with make up or the MAC brand.
Primers (before foundation application):
For oily skin, I 100% recommend MAC ‘Oil Control Lotion’. I have really oily skin and this primer keeps my makeup matte without giving it that dry/flaky appearance. MAC do these really handy trial size samples for €10, so if you’re not sure, pick one up before splashing out in the full size product.
For normal skin, you can’t beat MAC ‘Prep and Prime’ It moisturises the skin without making foundation greasy, it keeps makeup intact all day!
For dry skin go with MAC ‘Stobe Cream’, you’ll be glowing!
Both myself and Louise use MAC ‘Studio Fix Fluid’ foundation. Louise wears it in shade NW as she has a naturally fair complexion, I wear NC as I have a darker complexion. Its really important to get the NW and NC correct, NC is very yellow toned, which suits me, the NW makes me look orange! Studio Fix Fluid is a medium to full coverage foundation which suits normal to oily skin types, it lasts all day, it doesn’t set into pores or wrinkles (phew!), which I have found happens with a lot of other brands in the same price point.
One to avoid, in our opinion, is MAC ‘Water Weight Foundation’ It has a light, sheer coverage, which goes patchy and oily after a few hours of wear. For this foundation to work I think you would need flawless skin. (which I don’t have!)
MAC ‘Prolong Wear Concealer’ is the best concealer of all time! spots? blemishes? dark circles? GONE GONE GONE!
I have yet to find ANY other eye shadow brand I love more than MAC, and believe me I’ve tried many. Our favourites, which are pictured from left to right are: Sketch, Swiss Choc (ultimate fav), Coppering, Cranberry, Sable. We’ve purposely picked these shades as they go with every eye colour, they make blue eyes pop beautifully, and they warm up brown and hazel eyes perfectly. Combined, they can make a beautiful subtle daytime look, or a dramatic night time look, whichever you fancy! If your after an eye primer, you won’t go wrong with a MAC ‘Painterly Pot’ No fallout, no budge.
MAC ‘Tan’ Pigment. Our all time favourite MAC pigment. It goes with any eye look. It also makes your eye shadow look instantly better, so if you’re not particularly confident with your eye shadow application, purchased this, you’ll be amazed!
Long wearing, pigmented, excellent texture and a million shades! The shades we could not live without and ones you NEED in your makeup bag are:
Nudes: Faux, Blankety, Twig
Pinks: Creme Cup, Snob
Reds: Lady Danger, Ruby Woo, Rentlessly Red.
Plums/Dark: Heroine, Diva
We have MANY, but we’ve whittled it down to just three,
Day: Dainty (pink)
Day and night – Warm soul (warm coral)
Night: Sunbasqued (bronzed)
A few products we’ve tried, which we haven’t got much use out of, and can’t imagine many have, are MAC ‘Gingerly’ blush – it gives the appearance of sunburn (my opinion), MAC ‘C Lightful Tinted Cream’ This is just awful, avoid it, it’s thick, gloopy, impossible to blend and so oily on the skin! MAC brushes are good, we can’t fault them, however, they are so many other cheaper brands like Nima Brush or Blank Canvas that are cheaper and do the exact same job. The MAC brush cleaner is also good but doesn’t go far, we’d recommend the Blank Canvas soap bar, really effective and lasts for ages! MAC mascaras are over rated and over priced, stick with the high street chemists brands.
Did you know if you bring back 6 MAC empty makeup containers, basically anything, you get a free lipstick? Its called ‘BACK 2 MAC’ A lot of people don’t know this, spread the word! Without this scheme, our lipstick collection would be significantly smaller!
MAC is available online, in Brown Thomas and Arnotts.
We hope you found this helpful and informative, we know the makeup world can be very confusing at times. If you pick up any of these products, do let us know!
Aoife and Louise x
MAC Burgundy Times Nine
Last week we went through this little palette on Snapchat, and it was the most screenshot product we’ve ever featured. So here it is for all you non Snapchatters.
It’s MAC ‘Burgundy Times Nine’. It contains 9 MAC shadows that are a third of the size of a full shadow. The colours are 1. Honey Lust 2. Poppyseed 3. Quarry 4. Antiqued 5. Embark 6. Noir 7. Haux 8. Star Violet 9. Sketch. 4 mattes, 5 shimmers.
There is a great mixtures of colours, so you can create a range of different eyeshadow looks. The top layer is quite subtle and neutral, the middle giving a lovely gold, brown smokey eye and the third row has pinky cranberry shades. This palette suits all eye colours because of the mixture of times.
All the colours are very soft and blendable in consistency and are perfectly pigmented.
This is a perfect little palette if you aren’t a makeup artist (due to the size of the shadows), and if you don’t do your eye makeup everyday (like me). I only do my eye makeup if I’m going out or going somewhere nice. It’ll will last you ages.
This palette comes everywhere with me, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s €40.
REVIEW – Cailyn O!WOW Foundation Brush
I like to use products for a few weeks before I review them so I can get a proper indication of its durability, reliability and overall effectiveness.
The brush is really densely packed with hairs and is super soft. No hairs have shed from the brush at all.
I LOVE THIS BRUSH. Everyone needs one! It makes my foundation flawless. My liquid foundation goes on so evenly, the brush shape makes it easy to apply foundation under my under eyes and the sides of my nose, there are no brush streak marks left behind and it blends really well. I have quite big pores on my nose, I usually have to use my fingers to cover them properly as the bristles of other brushes doesn’t seem to be able to reach them, but I don’t have this problem with this Cailyn Makeup brush.
As mentioned before, I use a liquid foundation, this brush gives very full coverage but doesn’t make me look ‘cakey’ at all.
One thing I observed is that this brush uses a little bit more foundation than my kabuki brush but it is seriously worth it! I’ve decided I’m going to buy another one so I can have it for blending by contour. #airbrushed!
RECOMMEND! I got my at the Irish beauty show for €24.99 but I think RRP is €29.99.