Cream foundation recommendations - dewy not caky or runny
March 24, 2021 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Dammit Nordstrom and your free samples. You know what you’re doing. Now I’m hooked. Stop me from paying $60 for Chanel le teint... unless I should?

Just what it says. I’ll cough up the money if it’s worth it but gulp $60 USD is a hard spend.
I’m just looking to even out some light red on my cheeks, nothing drastic. I’m ~B30 color
Are there any other nice foundation creams in the $20-$30 range you like? I’ve also used Clinique city block but found it ran when I sweat. Not big on powders eg., bare minerals.
posted by St. Peepsburg to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
"Even out some light red in my cheeks" - ok, this is a swerve from foundation creams, but it has really worked for me. This color correcting stuff from Dr Jart takes a sec to figure out, but I really like it. I have super sensitive skin and eyes, lots of redness. It might not be enough full coverage vs foundation, but worth a try?
posted by fillsthepews at 10:45 AM on March 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I used to use about 50 dollar a bottle foundation. I switched to the Ordinary's serum foundation which is under 7 dollars Canadian a bottle and have never looked back. It's creamy, nice amount of coverage, lasts well, and is just seriously lovely to use. I have a bottle of the full coverage as well that I use to spot conceal and is also really nice, just too much coverage for my personal taste.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 10:46 AM on March 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Covering redness is the main reason I wear foundation, and I swear by e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation, which is under 10 bucks. The marketing is a bit confusing because they call it a matte or semi-matte foundation, but certain colors are "satin finish" which is more dewy (those shades say "satin finish" on the back of the bottle). Some people on MakeUpAlley do complain about the scent, but it doesn't really smell like anything to me.
posted by neushoorn at 10:47 AM on March 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The performance of high-coverage, prestige tier foundation can't really be beat. There are dupes that can come close, but I do find myself going back to the expensive foundations when I really need the flawless performance. I think Milani does a good job with their Conceal + Perfect foundation, which is around $10. You can easily end up spending $60 on various foundations trying to find the glass slipper fit you're looking for, so what I usually do is buy the prestige foundation and then get a cheaper back-up for when I don't need the full shebang. I find a bottle will often last me 8+ months, so amortized, $7/month isn't a bad deal for something that matches my skin well and doesn't do weird things on my skin over time (like oxidize, break up, settle in pores or fine lines, rub off, etc). I also mostly use foundation to block the cheek redness I have from rosacea, so I'm not using a huge amount. Slightly less expensive at $47 is Lancome's Teint Idole, which is similar to the Chanel you like. You could try a sample of that, though the savings isn't huge. The Chanel you picked is a high-coverage foundation, so don't lean toward sheer options if you do try to find some less expensive candidates. That means nothing with "sheer" in the name, no tinted moisturizers, and no BB creams.
posted by quince at 10:49 AM on March 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

Fenty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (shade 235?)
Milk Makeup Flex Foundation stick (maybe in "Medium," or perhaps "Golden Nude;" there are a few shades in the B30 neighborhood)
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:16 AM on March 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

In my experience, foundation tends to break between $15 products and ~$60 products, so either you decide the ~$60 products are worth it (I also like Teint Idole and Teint Miracle), or you figure out what $15 product is fine for you.

I too use that Dr. Jart stuff on the rare days these days when I wear makeup (lifelong dermatitis around my nose = both redness and blood vessels visible through thinned skin) and it works way better than I expected with my 90s memories of color correction, but to me it's a base layer for under foundation, not a replacement for it. By itself, it's, well, kinda green.
posted by praemunire at 11:29 AM on March 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

FWIW, in my experience if you warm up the Dr Jart stuff and sort of pat it on your face, it somehow magically becomes less green? I was DEEPLY skeptical, but yeah - - so far so good. I wear it instead of makeup if I have a zoom call and I don't want to look like a total mess. In person, I'd likely put some sort of foundation over it.
posted by fillsthepews at 11:36 AM on March 24, 2021

Have you tried the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint? It’s the weirdest product. It’s like it’s not even there but is also totally doing the job. I have two sort of hemangioma-like blotches and it makes them disappear.

Also I feel you on the Nordstrom samples. They sent me a La Mer Soft Cream sample and now I have a ruinously expensive moisturizer problem. I will never give it up. Thank god for Costco is all I can say.
posted by HotToddy at 11:52 AM on March 24, 2021

I haven't used that many foundations but do like another Chanel one (Vitalumière Aqua), so wanted to recommend a drugstore foundation that I also like: Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse. The caveat is that I haven't gotten it for a while, but it worked really well for me in the past.
posted by pinochiette at 12:28 PM on March 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Can you try a different Clinique product to see others don't run? I've been using Clinique Even Better foundation for years ($30) and years and I think you'd like it given your prerequisites. I can't tell you how it performs with deep sweating, though.
posted by LKWorking at 1:21 PM on March 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Have you ever tried MAC Face and Body? Light coverage, natural finish, way cheaper than Chanel, and it uses a film-forming technology to set in a way that it doesn’t run, melt, or smudge off. You can build up coverage with multiple layers. The best way to apply is to rub it between your hands till it starts to thicken and feel sticky, then pat it on. I absolutely love it.
posted by music for skeletons at 2:15 PM on March 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

I like the W3LL Bio Tint which is a tinted moisturizer with SPF. I guess it's not really that cheap ($30 for the tube) but since I'm pretty lazy and don't wear it everyday, it does go along way. It's pretty sheer and just evens out my skin a bit.
posted by biscuits at 3:28 PM on March 24, 2021

Honestly Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua is the best thing I’ve ever put on my face. The bottle lasts forever. However, if you’re up for in-person digging, I did score a Laura Mercier foundation for $10 at TJ Maxx recently, so deals can be found on the good stuff!
posted by tatiana wishbone at 3:29 PM on March 24, 2021

Take a look at Cover FX Cover Cream or Kevyn Aucoin's The Balm.
posted by simonelikenina at 3:46 PM on March 24, 2021

It's not like you're buying it every day - I have some higher-end foundation and it lasts me quite a while, so for me, it's worth it. I also buy more during the spring and fall sale at Sephora - if you sign up for Sephora's Beauty Insider program, you can save 10% on products at their Spring and Fall sales - the spring sale will be happening sometime in April (the more you spend there, the higher level of discount you can qualify for).
posted by mogget at 4:19 PM on March 24, 2021

The above mentioned Dr. Jart product also has a serum version (which does not have SPF, but is a lot lighter so could work well for layering over SPF)

If you can safely visit Sephora they may be able to give you samples of both to test out. I’ve tried both and they’re good, but I personally keep going back to Bare Minerals loose powder foundation myself, misted with good old fashioned rose water spray.
posted by padraigin at 8:06 PM on March 24, 2021

I use mostly cheap drugstore cosmetics - CoverGirl and Rimmel concealer, e.l.f. eyeliner, etc., but I wear NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer which typically runs $45-50 USD because it comes in a hard-to-find color that best suits my face and thankfully doesn't make me break out. I don't have to buy it very often so I'm OK with paying what it costs.
posted by vegartanipla at 8:59 PM on March 24, 2021

Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer. It was recommended to me by a salesperson when I was looking for a cream foundation, because it is lighter, but still does the job of covering up redness perfectly. Now, for Zoom meetings, I use a bit of light powder on top*, because the lighting on zoom is a bit harsh on your skin tone. As far as I can see it retails for $48 in the US, so less than $60, but not $10 either. I've had my little tube for a couple of years, both because you only need a dollop the size of a pea for good coverage, and because I only wear make-up about once a week.

*preferably from shiseido, they make the perfect powders, but right now I'm just using MAC, and it does the job just fine
posted by mumimor at 11:54 PM on March 24, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks y’all are the best! I marked best answer for those I’m more likely to try but these are all great suggestions and in regular times I’d just head out to Sephora and play around... hopefully soon... If I can get a sample of that green stuff I’ll certainly give it a try!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:03 AM on March 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

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