Time to kick my foundation up a notch?
February 26, 2011 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Seeking a makeup refresh and can't decide what to get with a budget of $100.

I'm 47 and heading to Mayo Clinic next month and want to look as good as possible before and after. (Might sound crazy to some but it makes me feel better.) For foundation I've always worn Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer in cool weather and Jane Iredale's Pure Pressed in warm. Now I'm thinking about Laura's Silk Creme Foundation with a primer for a little more coverage but I don't want to look mask-like, at all. I'm also intrigued by Jane's Starter Kit in "Creamy." I don't have a powder right now and yet I read such great reviews of mineral foundations. Any ideas would be welcome.
posted by Mertonian to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
It doesn't sound weird at all; I think I would feel the same way!

A lot will depend on your skin type and what sorts of skin problems you are working with. For me, I have an uneven skintone and occasional blemishes. I would highly recommend the products I use now: Smashbox High Definition Healthy FX Foundation, and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. The primer smooths and somewhat mattifies the surface of your skin, filling in lines and pores, and the foundation goes on extremely naturally. Absolutely not mask-like at all. I am not sure if you will find you need powder with it, though if you did I would go with a translucent powder (see what Smashbox has, or Lorac possibly).

The other thing I love these days, and now have two of, are these NARS Multiple makeup stick. The colors are beautiful, and it is a cream blush but can also be used on eyes, lips, etc. They have several lovely shades.
posted by JenMarie at 7:02 PM on February 26, 2011

I've recently gotten in to mineral makeup and really love it. I don't need much coverage and never really used foundation before, but I've been really happy with how natural mineral foundation looks when I use it (and my skin loves it too). I don't have any info on the brands you mentioned as I tend to stick with more indie mineral companies, but of all the brands I've tried, I have been most impressed with the mineral foundation from Meow Cosmetics. They offer the widest range of shades I've seen (which can be overwhelming, but the samples are generous and only $1 each - well worth the investment to find the perfect match for your skin), and also offer different levels of coverage, plus concealers that match each shade as well.
posted by katy song at 7:05 PM on February 26, 2011

Best answer: JMHO and IME: the place to spend is your foundation. I use Lancome Teint Miracle; the major reason I use Lancome in particular is that they make a foundation that matches my very hard to match skin (I'm unusually pale and unusually cool-toned). Everything else I've tried is too dark or too yellow.

Other people I've known with more easily matched skin love Bare Escentuals and Laura Mercier mineral foundations. Lancome is good if you like liquid foundations - they have a tremendous variety to choose from. Korres is an organic brand I love and would use if I could find a foundation that matched.

I also use a primer (I don't naturally have perfect, poreless skin) - I use Bare Escentuals Prime Time. Then I use Make Up For Ever translucent powder (which you won't need if you use a mineral foundation).

With the good foundation, I can get away with using stuff like Wet-n-Wild powder eyeshadow and Cover Girl Cheekers blush and LashBlast mascara.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:35 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I came in to recommend Meow Cosmetics but katy song beat me to it. I'm black with odd reddish-yellow undertones and could never find a mineral foundation that worked for me ... until Meow. The packing is simple, the customer service efficient and the shipping fast ... and there is no doubt a color available that will match your skin perfectly without making you look like a cakey mess. They also sell a size that is much larger than anything I've seen at either specialty stores or on the web. If you decide to try it, I'd also like to recommend their Silk Powder, which is a feather-light setting powder that keeps your making looking fresh for a good 8 to 10 hours. I also love their blushes ... beautiful colors and no rashes on my cheeks!

I know I sound like I'm shilling for them but it took me FOREVER to find a foundation that didn't a) make me look like a drag queen b) make me look like a chocolate bunny because it was too dark or muddy looking or c) break me out.

Good luck to you.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 7:39 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

making = make up. (Time for bed.)
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 7:41 PM on February 26, 2011

Best answer: I'm a big fan of mineral makeup in all weathers--even in the dry Minnesota winters, it beats any kind of cream or liquid foundation for me.

One thing I would suggest looking for is a nude-tone eyeliner, which you use to rim your inner eyelid (mine is Pixi brand, one of Target's in-house upscale brands). It's an extremely subtle but very effective way to brighten your eyes, even if you're not wearing any other eye makeup.

I first read about this nude eyeliner trick on some fashion blog but now I'm starting to see it everywhere in magazines. The idea is that it offsets the reddishness of your inner eyelid to make you appear more awake--since the inner eyelid area often tends toward redness as we age a bit, the look is often referred to as "baby eyes" and I believe that one makeup brand even calls their nude eyeliner "Baby Eyes" for that reason.
posted by padraigin at 7:41 PM on February 26, 2011

Best answer: My serious-foundation foundation has for years and years now been Lancome Teint Idole. "Literally stays on all day! Doesn't feel very heavy at all, feels more like a mineral foundation" and "The finish is a soft, smooth air brushed finish that is not greasy or shiny."

Have you seen the Mercier Bonne Mine? Not foundation, but possibly of interest?

I can't say enough good things about Korres. Their mineral foundation has such stunning reviews (see esp: makeupalley.com) that it's on its way to me now -- I should have also gone for the Prep, Prime & Perfect Set (the 'wild rose' skin care stuff is indeed 'brightening') -- do go the primer route, it does make a difference.
posted by kmennie at 8:34 PM on February 26, 2011

Best answer: I positively adored the philosophy supernatural airbrushed canvas up until it started giving me eczema. If you have sensitive skin at all, mineral makeup might not be for you.
posted by Andrhia at 9:01 PM on February 26, 2011

Best answer: Andrhia, it looks like that Philosophy product has Bismuth Oxychloride in it which can be a concern in makeup products, which could have contributed to your skin's reaction. Not everyone has issues with it, but many people do, and there are plenty of mineral makeup companies out there who do not include it (and other controversial ingredients) in their products.

Not all mineral makeup is created equal. My advice is to research ingredients before you buy and make sure you know what is in the products.
posted by katy song at 9:12 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

katy song, thank you *so much*! I've been wondering what the ingredient to avoid in that was, but I couldn't bear to spend the time and money on trial and error. (Can't do avobenzone, either.) You've given me new hope to find something with better coverage than just moisturizer plus powder.
posted by Andrhia at 6:54 AM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have freakishly sensitive skinand bare minerals has worked really well for me
posted by purenitrous at 8:01 AM on February 27, 2011

Best answer: For budget makeup, a tip I've heard floating around the wedding-sphere is that Monistat Chafing Gel is the same formula as Smashbox PhotoFinish Primer, for waaaay less $$.
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:16 AM on February 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Those mineral powders are great so long as you don't have dry skin. If you have any flakes it just makes them more noticeable.
posted by emeiji at 9:47 AM on February 27, 2011

I can't offer any mineral powder suggestions. I've yet to find a brand that I like, or that really matches my skin tone. Despite how well they seem to work for other people, I find that they really enhance dry skin and when my skin is oily in the summer, mineral powders feel far greasier (on me) then liquid or cream foundations. I also agree with others that the best place to spend money is on the foundation. I always buy dept. store, if for no other reason than that you can try before you buy. I don't think that my skin color is that odd (I have a light-med. olive complexion) but I can never find the right color in drug store brands. They are either too pink or too dark. Rather than wasting money on a lot of cheap foundations that don't work, I opt to spend more to find one that will.

I have the LM Silk Creme foundation and it is a bit heavy. I thin it down with my own moisturizer or sun screen and by doing so can control the coverage. It end up with something that offers more coverage than the LM tinted moisturizer, but is less heavy than it would otherwise be, and that works for me. In the past I've been very happy with liquid foundations by Chanel and I also tried the Armani and liked it very much on a test drive and may splurge on it when I run out of the LM. Both are expensive, but like others have said you can cut corners elsewhere.
posted by kaybdc at 2:32 PM on February 27, 2011

I used Bare Minerals for about 8 months and it worked great but it stung my skin specifically around my cheeks and forehead. I did not have the stinging issue with any of MAC's Mineralize line.

That said, my favorite foundation of all time... DiorSkin Forever. Amazing. Nice coverage, easy to build up, never cakey.
posted by splitinfinitive at 7:09 PM on February 27, 2011

I agree that it's best to go to Sephora and try out foundations - in the long run, it's cheaper to buy one $30 foundation that matches than to buy several $10 foundations that don't work for you.

For eyeshadow, Urban Decay's Primer Potion makes any eyeshadow last & go on more opaque - I use that and cheap drugstore eyeshadows (I like Wet n Wild, actually).

Many drugstore eyeliners and mascaras work just as well as more expensive ones, in my experience. I like Maybelline mascara.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:05 PM on February 28, 2011

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