Saturday, February 1, 2014

Introducing FOTM: Foundation of the Month

Until last year, I was a devout Bare Minerals user.  However, I reached a point where I found myself wanting a little more coverage and, after years off the foundation market, started the hunt for the perfect foundation.

The road was rocky to say the least.  I fell in love with the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even-Finish foundation, but I couldn't maintain the $48 price tag on a consistent basis.

I bought, tried, kept some, tossed several YouTube-recommended drugstore foundations, and at some point it dawned on my OCD self that I was not being very organized about my experimenting.  Different days can be different, different primers, different finishing powders can all impact the end result.  So to be fair to each, I thought I would spend 2014 really trying out 12 well-researched foundations for a month apiece.

I am allowing a lifeline - if I truly discovered I hated one of the foundations, or had a rushed morning where I didn't want to pay as close attention to application, I could default to the Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous that was the unofficial "winner" of my very disorganized 2013 testing.

My goals/parameters for an "ideal" foundation are that it be long-wearing (especially on my peskily oily chin) but not break out my oily skin.  It must not be too fussy to apply.  And it must come in under $40.

January's Foundation: Revlon ColorStay

I wore this the first day with no primer and was already impressed.  The second day, I wore it with MAC primer over my t-zone, and was really impressed.  I played around with application throughout the month and had the best results with a beauty sponge (I use the Sonia Kashuk one from Target).  I also played around with different finishing powders and had the best results with my Rimmel Stay Matte powder.

I had one or two days where it oxidized in a random spot, but overall the coverage and color were consistent and, most importantly, it lasted!  I found myself checking the mirror less frequently as I dashed out the door to lunch or into a client meeting.  Coverage like that for a $9.99 price tag can't be beat (I got mine at Target)!  

Overall, I only had two major gripes:

First, the difficulty in removing this foundation is a bit hard to get past. The first day I used my usual Michael Todd True Organics face wash on my Clarisonic, and it very nearly killed that brush.  Moreover, I had to use several rounds of toner to finish the job.  Thereafter, I prewashed with LUSH Fresh Farmacy and followed with my MTTO cleanser (with Clarisonic) and a quick swipe of toner.  In the long run, no breakouts.  However, I found myself dreading my evening routine as the month wore on and even opted to wear my fallback foundation a few days at the office when I didn't have as many client meetings.  On the day it snowed in ATL and it took Daddy M 10.5 hours to get home (after walking the last 8 miles!), I completely forgot to wash by the time we fell into bed, and paid for it with a few spots the next day.

Second, the packaging.  This foundation comes in a traditional glass bottle that you have to tip out onto your finger.  I had many a day where I took too much or two little.  I guess I've gotten spoiled by pumps and tubes, and the return to the mess and imprecision of the bottle was unwelcome.

I would definitely purchase this foundation again, but in the future I expect I will use it on days when I know I need my look to last longer or have a special event.

Overall grade: B+


  1. Nice one, I'm glad to read a detailed review like this! I have recently switched to the Body Shop's Extra Virgin Minerals and so far it seems to be going ok. Removing makeup is a real pain, but I wonder if that is the necessary side effect of one that doesn't come off during the day?

    1. Thanks for the positive feedback, Sarah!! I didn't have the same difficulty removing the Bobbi Brown long wearing foundation, but I'm sure you're right that the extra cleansing is somewhat inherent to a long-wear product.