Saturday, 4 August 2012

ON TRIAL: Foundations for Pale Skin

It is sooooo frustrating trying to find foundations for pale skin. There's pretty much nothing on the cheaper end of things. I can get away with Revlon Colorstay in Buff, but anything more than a thin layer is notably dark. While Revlon make a lighter colour, Ivory, this is too pink on my skin. L'oreal's Lumi Magique comes in N1 Pure Pearl, which is a light and neutral colour that is fantastic, although it doesn't cover redness very well and can get shiny on my T-zone. If you have dry skin that doesn't need much coverage - check it out though. It's annoying they don't stock N1 in L'oreal True Match here because I'd be willing to give it a go.

So I've had enough of wearing foundations that don't match my skintone and headed out to MYER to grab some samples of a few foundations I thought might suit me, both in terms of colour and finish. I have combination skin - I get super oily on my nose and chin and the rest of my skin is Normal/Dry. I'm not a fan of flat matte finishes, particularly not for everyday. I want a full work day, just 8-9 hours is fine because I cycle in to work so it get's slapped on at 8:30 and taken off at 5 before I cycle home.

I dread going to makeup counters to get matched. 9 times out of 10 they will match me too dark and/or too pink. I got colour matched at a MAC counter and I told them not to even bother with anything starting in NW but they insisted and after it was on my face they're like "oh yeah that looks awful" and had to take it all off and pulled out the NC15. Does anyone else have problems with this? I think it's because I have redness on my nose, cheeks and jawline which maybe pinks up my complexion, but my neck and chest is definitely neutral.

So I picked up some samples of the following 3 foundations:
1. Nars Sheer Glow in Siberia
2. MAC Matchmaster in 1.0
3. MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15

L-R: Revlon Colorstay Normal/Dry in Buff, Illamasqua Rich Liquid in 133, Nars Sheer Glow in Siberia, MAC Matchmaster in 1.0, MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15

I've included Revlon Colorstay in Buff here as it's a pretty good reference as I think a lot of people might have this in their collection. I've also used Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation in 133 as my own personal reference because the undertones of this are spot on for me, it is a smidge too dark but the best match I've found to date. Looking at the swatches, Illamasqua 133 and NARS Siberia are clearly the most neutral, with Revlon Buff and MAC Matchmaster 1.0 leaning a little peach, and MAC NC15 a touch peachy.

The story is a little different when they're blended out (which is why you should always test a big patch of foundation on your skin, preferably your face):
Blended a bit

On my face, all 3 look good. The Studio Fix in NC15 is a little bit dark, NARS Siberia a touch light and Matchmaster a tad pinky. None of them are perfect, but all are close enough I'd be happy to call them friend. I'm going to keep testing these out over the next couple of weeks and I'll give a full review and run down on my choice.

Any other suggestions of foundations to try?
Also any questions you'd like me to address in my follow up post?


  1. I am also on the pale side, I am a bit darker than NC15 I think. I have a range of foundations I've tried that are light enough for me. Have you tried Bourjois range? They are 20% off at the moment at Priceline and there is a $10 off coupon on the Boujois website. I will be doing a review on my blog tonight for the Healthy Mix Serum foundation.

    Chanel have a good selection of pale foundations, I've tried a nice Shiseido foundation as well, that has a few pale shades. I've found an amazing match with YSL at the moment.

  2. Hi, i tried N1 L'oreal in True Match Minerale (powder), but it´s pink similar to Ivory Fresh or Fair by Revlon. I tried W1 in True Match powder normal (not minerals) but it's light peach color.
    L'oreal's Lumi Magique, is your tone is different because it is liquid?

  3. L'oreal's Lumi Magique comes in N1 Pure Pearl and True Match in N1 is Soft Ivory.

  4. I've got exactly the same problem. I purchased Studio fix in NW15&it was wayyy to orange for me so I might go&buy NC15. Matchmaster 1.0 is bit too pale but I can pull it if I use some bronzing powder or Chanel tan De Soleil.

  5. Sounds like you have the exact same skin type as me! I get an oily nose and chin, have redness and get easily flushed across my cheeks, but my neck and chest are very much neutral toned lol so I either end up with really peachy toned foundation, or really yellow foundation!! I have the illamasqua rich liquid in the same colour as you and really like it, although I find it just a little too dark. I recently got the skin base foundation in number 3, and although it looks very pale when i apply it, once its buffed in it looks great! I'd also reccomend teint idole ultra in 010 (slightly peachy, but gorgeous finish) and MUFE HD foundation in 117 :)

    1. I think we have the same skin tone too.. I have the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in 010 and find the same thing. Nice to know what MUFE HD foundation I'll probably be!!


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