Friday Feature: 5 foundations I broke up with

I have one of those really awkward skin types which spaces anywhere between oily as you like and super dry. So trying to find a foundation that doesn’t make me look porous like the surface of an abandoned planet or overly caked is a mission impossible and then some. Plus I have this thing about paying enormous amounts for make-up (also known as being cheap) even if I don’t even bat an eyelid at an astronomical restaurant bill. Food and drink before beauty, am I right?


Maybelline Wonder Finish


But I digress. Years ago I had my perfect foundation; Maybelline’s Wonder Finish. It was perfect. A liquid-to-powder-finish which was light as air but covered any imperfections and kept the shine away all day. And it also a bargain at less than £6 a pop. I loved it.


Then Maybelline committed the mortal sin of discontinuing the range, leaving me floating along in life without a go-to foundation. OK, maybe I’m over-exaggerating slightly but the struggle is real.


So in the years following the foundation fallout, I’ve tried several different ones trying to find one to replace my beloved Wonder Finish. Some have been OK, some have been a little so-so, and some have been downright terrible. But like the song says, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”.



Here I’ve listed 5 foundations I tried and failed with.


  1. Maybelline 24 hour Superstay Foundation

The foundation promises a lot: looking & feeling naturally flawless all day with a micro-flex formula which provides up to 24-hours wear and transfer resistant content. Whereas I full-heartedly agree that the foundation sticks to your skin with impressive tenacity, it makes my awkwardly mixed skin look like pore central. It doesn’t keep the shine away either, and adding powder to the mix cakes my skin further. I ended up binning this one before I’d half used it. I’m sorry, it’s not you, it’s me.


  1. Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation

This foundation wasn’t as heavy on my skin, promising guaranteed flawless coverage for only eight hours instead of 24, but it felt like paint on my awkwardly mixed complexion. The foundation promises to be non-comedogenic, yet I felt like it simultaneously suffocated and exaggerated my pores. It dug deep into my laughter lines. Adding even loose powder on top of this made my skin look like I was wearing stage makeup. It was such a shame, but we had to break up.


  1. Rimmel Stay Matte BB Cream

I bought this foundation because I fell victim to advertising. Some time ago, BB was like gospel. Everyone had to try it. It promised a million things: Minimises the appearance of pores, mattifies and controls shine all day. Smoothes and soothes skin. Conceals dark circles and helps prevent blemishes. Helps you move and looks after your plants while you’re on holiday. You know. All the things. I have to admit, it did none of these things for me. This foundation felt heavy and cloggy and I really didn’t see any benefit on my complexion from wearing it. Coffee worked better to make me look less tired than this cream. Perhaps I got it wrong and jumped in too quick, but it couldn’t last.


  1. No 7 Beautifully Matter Foundation

The advertising phrase “Achieve a perfect matte complexion with this foundation that feels so light, you’ll forget you’re wearing it” sold this product to me. To be fair, I expected the price tag to be considerably more than what I am used to paying for makeup, but with just barely over £4 more than the Max Factor foundation I was pleasantly surprised. And to be fair, this was the first mattifying foundation I could honestly agree with not being very heavy. It was more blendable than what I had used before and did a fairly OK job at covering imperfections and those pesky pores. The problem was, it also melted off my face very quickly in warmer weather and this made my complexion look like a poorly washed streaky window. Even if I broke up with this particular foundation, I did feel like it was a step in the right direction.


  1. L’Oréal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation

Almost, but no cigar. This foundation was very blendable, with a very light consistency. The foundation promises skin perfecting pigments and ultra-gliding creamy texture giving a homogeneous finish. Perhaps it’s the “cream” in this foundation that my skin disagreed with. Not in a very dissimilar manner as with the No 7 foundation, True Match melts away and causes this freaky streaky effect over my face, which is further exaggerated by the addition of powder. And it was the meltiness of this foundation that eventually condemned it to the netherworld of half-used makeup bottles.


I suppose I have to accept that now, post thirty (Shock! Horror!) my skin has different needs than what it had in my twenties. I’ve certainly noticed that whereas in my younger years I could wash my hair with hand soap and it still looked amazing, it is much more uncooperative now, demanding moisturising condition treatments, regular trims and cuts and heat-protection sprays against the damage of styling. I can only assume that the same, increasing demands apply for my face.


My next port of call is abandoning the high street in search of the follower of my high street foundation. The quest continues.


Have you found your perfect foundation? Hit me up in the comments.