10 favourite drugstore foundations

Are you constantly looking for the one and only Holy Grail foundation? Or do you just love testing out new ones? In any case, here are my 10 favourite foundations you should try!

As an avid make-up lover, I find myself constantly testing new brands and products. However, the products that seem to empty my pockets faster than anything are eyeshadow palettes and foundations. My fascination with eyeshadow is easy to explain – it is colourful, it blinks and there is usually a lot of it in a palette.

In contrast, foundation sometimes seems to be a boring and overlooked part of our make-up. Yet, finding a good one can be a challenge. Therefore, as a self-made expert on the topic, today I want to present my favourite drugstore picks.

About my skin

My skin is light to medium (especially in the summer), with neutral undertones. It is a combination, quite dry in the winter with dry patches and very oily in the summer.

My preferences are not quite simple. I am looking for a matte or semi-matte foundation. Still, I need it to keep my skin hydrated and not dry it out. I prefer to wear medium to full coverage, but still want my skin to look like skin. However, as a working woman, I want the foundation to last well throughout the day and stay looking fresh.

So, with all the preface out of the way, let me introduce my favourites to you:

Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation

Shows a product mentioned in the text
Photo: prairiebeautylove

Ingredients: 
Aqua (Water), Dimethicone, Talc, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polypropylene, Isododecane, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Glycerin, Magnesium Sulfate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Methicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Silica, Aluminum Hydroxide, Propylene Carbonate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Parfum (Fragrance), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

Finish: Matte
Coverage: Medium to full
Texture: Liquid and watery
Packaging: Glass bottle with a dropper
Wear time: 10 – 16 hours
Shade range: Started with a limited shade range but expanded it later to 24
Vegan: ✓
Cruelty-Free: ✓ Not certified, but claimed as cruelty-free by the brand
Price: $10.99 / 6,95€ / £6.60

This foundation by Catrice I accidentally found while travelling in Germany a few years ago. Till this day it keeps its place as one of my favourites. I have recommended it to many of my friends, and everyone has always been fascinated with the ratio between price and performance.

What I like about it most is its liquid texture, which I think makes it very easy to apply and distribute evenly. It merges well will the skin and looks very natural on. It is not the ultimate long-lasting foundation, but it does wear beautifully throughout the day.

It looks balanced on the skin in both summer and winter. Although it does emphasize some dryness. Still, it was very minimal and it never influenced my desire to wear it whatsoever.

My first complaint will be the shade range, which even after the expansion can be problematic for people with darker skin tones. I applaud the attention on the problem, but it is far from fixed.

Another issue will be finding it in stores. If you are keen on swatches before you buy a foundation, this may prove to be an issue. I am not sure about other places, but in Europe, this differs from country to country. In Germany, it is in most drogerien like DM. The same practice is coming to Bulgaria now. However, in Denmark, it could be purchased exclusively online. So, keep an eye for this as well.

Overall, I would recommend for people with normal, combination or oily skin looking for high coverage, lightweight, matte foundation. If your skin is on the dry side I still think you can make it work in the summer.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless

Shows a product mentioned in the text
Photo: safasunshine

Ingredients:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclohexasiloxane, Nylon-12, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat., Cyclopentasiloxane, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Peg-20, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Sulfate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Titanium Dioxide, Methylparaben, Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopherol, Butylparaben, Aluminum Hydroxide, Alumina, Silica, Glycerin, [+/- May Contain/Peut Contenir, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499/Iron Oxides, ] D166390/3.

Finish: Matte
Coverage: Medium
Texture: Liquid and watery
Packaging: Glass bottle without a pump (US), plastic tube (Europe)
Wear time: 10 – 12 hours
Shade range: 40 shades (from fair porcelain to espresso)
Vegan:
Cruelty-Free: ✘ Maybelline is sold in China and therefore tested on animals. None of their products is cruelty-free.
Price: $7.99 / 5,75€ / £7.99

Ever since Maybelline came up with the matte and poreless foundation I’ve been fascinated with its claims. Matte foundation? Sounds great! Erases pores? Take my money NOW!

Using the foundation feels great, especially in the summer, as it is very thin and undetectable on the skin. Yet, it still provides sufficient coverage. It keeps the oils of the skin under control and stays fresh during the day. I would not buy it specifically for its “poreless” effect, as it is hardly noticeable.

The shade range fit my tanned skin quite well. However, looking at the shades more of them lean towards the light and medium tones, rather than the dark. So, have this in mind if this is something that concerns you. Also bear in mind that I have noticed some inconsistencies in texture between the shades.

I like using brands such as Maybelline and L’oreal, as it is easy to find them in any country and most stores.

Wearing the foundation during the drier seasons of the year did not turn so great, as I felt like it stuck to my dry patches and emphasized them more than usual.

To sum up, I think the foundation is a great pick for the summer. Its texture feels nice during the hot months and balances the oils. It is a great choice for people with normal, combination or oily skin. I would not recommend it to people with drier skin.

Maybelline Fit Me Dewy and Smooth

Shows a product mentioned in the text
Photo: behindthescenesmakeup

Ingredients:
Aqua / Water / Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Glycerin, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone / Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Acrylates Copolymer, Propylparaben, Parfum / Fragrance, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Butylparaben, PEG-9, Ethylparaben, Dipropylene Glycol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone. May Contain: CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides.

Finish: Dewy
Coverage: Medium
Texture: Liquid and watery
Packaging: Glass bottle without a pump (US), plastic tube (Europe)
Wear time: 10 – 12 hours
Shade range: 40 shades (from fair porcelain to espresso)
SPF:
Vegan:
Cruelty-Free: ✘ Maybelline is sold in China and therefore tested on animals. None of their products is cruelty-free.
Price: $7.99 /  7,65€ 

As you have probably noticed from the list so far, I am not a big fan of dewy skin. Every time I wear luminous foundation I feel like an oily mess. Therefore, I stay the hell away from it. So, how did this luminous dewy foundation end up on this list?

I bought it because it was coming with a limited-edition bronzer. Yes, you read that right. I had no expectations of this foundation and was completely not interested in buying it. Especially during the summer. However, when it ended up in my possession I was in love!

It checks all the marks of things I don’t like about foundations: the finish, the very medium coverage, mediocre longevity… Yet, it just looks so beautiful and healthy on the skin.

So, for all of you out there, looking to try something different than the classic matte, here is a great choice. I would recommend this for people with normal, combination or dry skin. However, it may not be the choice for you if you are more on the oily side.

L’Oréal Infallible 24-Hour Fresh Wear

Shows a product mentioned in the text
Photo: bellyrubzbeauty

Finish: Satin
Coverage: Medium to high
Texture: Liquid and watery
Packaging: Glass bottle with a pump
Wear time: 10 – 16 hours
Shade range: 40 shades (from snow to ebony)
SPF:
Vegan:
Cruelty-Free: ✘ L’Oréal is sold in China and therefore tested on animals. None of their products is cruelty-free.
Price: $14.99 /  12,75€ / £10.95

Ingredients:
Aqua / Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat. , Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Butylene Glycol, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide [Nano] / Titanium Dioxide, Titanium Dioxide, Perlite, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Nylon-12, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Bis-Peg/Ppg-14/14 Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Dipentaerythrityl Tetrahydroxystearate/Tetraisostearate, Parfum / Fragrance, Silica Silylate, Acrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate/Vinylidene Chloride Copolymer, T O C O P H E R O L, H E X Y L Cinnamal, Silica, Isobutane, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, B E N Z Y L A L C O H O L, B H T, C I T R O N E L L O L, [+/- M Ay Contain: Ci 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499 / Iron Oxides, Ci 77510 / F E R R I C A M M O N I U M F E R R O C Ya N I D E ]. B215676/5

We have already established that I am a fan of lightweight foundations with sufficient coverage and matte or natural finish. L’Oréal Infallible 24-Hour Fresh Wear embodies all of those desires in one.

The texture of the foundation is quite watery and easy to apply. I would not say the finish is quite matte – it leans towards a satin finish. I wore this product both in the summer and the winter and I found it is not drying on the skin or that it clings to dry patches. The foundation lasts well throughout the day.

The shade range is a step up for some of the brand’s older releases and comes in 40 different shades. I cannot say if the darker tones go deep enough, yet the light and medium shades offer a good variety of undertones.

One big drawback I have noticed with all L’Oréal foundations is their strong fragrance. This can be very irritating for sensitive skin. I had no reaction or problem with it, but it needs to be kept in mind when purchasing.

Even so, L’Oréal and Maybelline are some of the brands I found to have the best formulas on the market.

I can freely recommend the foundation to both people with oily and dry skin.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

Photo: blogboutbeauty

Finish: Satin
Coverage: Medium
Texture: Liquid and watery
Packaging: Plastic bottle with a pump
Wear time: 10 – 12 hours
Shade range: 21 shades
SPF:
Vegan:
Cruelty-Free: Not certified, but claimed as cruelty-free by the brand
Price: $7.00 / €6.90 / £5.90

Ingredients:
Aqua (Water), Coconut Alkanes, Dimethicone, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Caprylyl Methicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Coco Caprylate/Caprate, Cetyl Diglyceryl Tris(trimethylsiloxy)silylethyl Dimethicone, Sucrose Laurate, Dipropylene Glycol, Polysilicone-11, Tocopherol, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hectorite, Dimethicone/ Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Sodium Chloride, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin. May Contain [+/-]: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Tin Oxide, Aluminum Hydroxide, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Mica, Triethoxycaprylylsilane

The Ordinary is a brand that I discovered last year based on their affordable skincare products. Naturally, I was fascinated when I saw they offer foundations as well. I have heard many good things about their serum foundation; however, the word “coverage” really spoke to me on a personal level.

The “Coverage” foundation did not stand out for me for its coverage. However, I enjoyed how it evened my skin and wore throughout the day. It had medium coverage and lightweight texture. The finish can be described as satin – it did not dry matte but had a slight sheen. With the passing hours, my skin continued looking fresh and healthy, which I did enjoy.

When it comes to the shade range, I would say is far from great, but it does offer some deeper options. I would recommend swatching it in a store before purchase.

Overall, I would recommend this foundation for people with normal or dry skin, as it makes the skin look healthy and does not dry it out. It is not ideal for people leaning more oily, as it will not stop the oils from coming to the surface and will separate through the day.

Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Foundation

Photo: juelook

Finish: Satin
Coverage: Medium to high
Texture: Thick liquid
Packaging: Glass bottle with a pump
Wear time: 10 – 16 hours
Shade range: 28 shades
SPF:
Vegan:
Cruelty-Free: ✘ Maybelline is sold in China and therefore tested on animals. None of their products is cruelty-free.
Price: $9.34 / €8.95/ £9.99

Ingredients:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Aqua / Water, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Isododecane, Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Silica, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Nylon-12, Phenoxyethanol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Cyclomethicone, Chlorphenesin, Ethylparaben, Disodium Edta, Acrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate/Vinylidene Chloride Copolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Dipropylene Glycol, Isobutane, Paraffin, Sodium Citrate, Tocopherol, Isopropyl Alcohol, [+/- May Contain Ci 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499 / Iron Oxides ] G854042

I remember buying Maybelline’s Superstay years ago in its old formulation. I was mildly said displeased with the performance: It was patchy, uneven and very yellow on my skin. Let’s not even mention the lasting power. The old formulation left such a bad impression on me that when the new Superstay came out I steered away from it as if it was poison. However, after reading numerous positive reviews, my love for testing out foundations proved to be stronger.

I am on my second bottle today, which says a lot. I find its finish quite similar to my favourite YSL All Hours. The finish is matte when powdered, however, with time it keeps a certain sheen to the skin and makes it look radiant and healthy without the grease.

The coverage is high, but not mask-like and it is comfortable on the skin. It tends to get overly shiny when my skin is getting very oily in the summer but looks amazing on slightly oily, normal or even dry skin.

NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop Full Coverage Foundation

Shows a product mentioned in the text
Photo: shoesandglitter

Finish: Matte
Coverage: Medium to high
Texture: Thick liquid
Packaging: Glass bottle with a pump
Wear time: 10 – 16 hours
Shade range: 45 shades
Vegan:
Cruelty-Free: PETA Certified
Price: $9.34 / €8.95/ £9.99

Ingredients:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Nylon-12, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Silica, Butylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Isononyl Isononanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate/Vinylidene Chloride Copolymer, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Calcium Gluconate, Perlite, Magnesium Gluconate, Tocopherol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Isobutane. MAY CONTAIN / PEUT CONTENIR (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

I would say that from every foundation present on the list, this one will be the oily girl’s best friend: It has the typical matte finish and tends to stick to dry patches or even dry the skin out during colder seasons. However, when those oils peak out, this foundation will keep them minimal, look beautiful and stay four hours and hours without creasing or breaking apart.

The best comparison I can make is between Can’t Stop Won’t Stop and Huda Beauty’s FauxFilter High Coverage Foundation. Both foundations have a similar shade range, texture and wear. Furthermore, both are quite matte and with oily skin types in mind.

Personally, I prefer the NYX one, as it looks a bit more natural for its full coverage and lacks the intense fragrance Huda adds to all her products.

I would highly recommend it to all ladies with oily skin and love for high coverage.

This concludes the list of my favourite drugstore foundations I have found so far. In case you want to learn more about the ones I mentioned, click the photos and follow the links to the full reviews by other creators.

If you are interested in more lists like this one, let me know in the comments down below.

Don’t forget you can get notified every time I post, by subscribing for The Word Smoothie Blog.

Farewell,
Yoana

Signiture

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