My favourite foundation and two important make up lessons

Finding the right foundation is THE search of all searches.

Well, for those of that use foundation, I guess.

It’s the one part of a make up routine that once you’ve found ‘the one’ you probably shouldn’t go about trying to find something better.

When it comes to other make up products, trying a new blush might have annoying consequences to your overall make up look, but if you get the base wrong, everything is wrong (to me).

This has sadly been a recent realisation for me.

It happened when I was coming to the end of my Kat Von D foundation. I’d been using it for almost two years and had decided not to repurchase it. After everything that has come out about her I can’t in good conscience continue to support her brand. Once I had decided I wasn’t buying another bottle of it, I quickly realised it wasn’t all that great on my skin anymore.

Greasy, patchy in places and didn’t like any dryness on my face. Had it always been like this, I wondered?

So then I started looking for a new foundation.

I needed a medium to full coverage foundation, that matched my skin tone, wasn’t super shiny and didn’t cling to my dry patches.

I tried samples of Dior, Nars and Urban Decay.

None of them were quite right. Either the coverage wasn’t great, the colour not quite right or the finish not what I wanted.

One day I was watching a video from one my favourite You Tubers, Stephanie Nicole.

She mentioned her foundation of choice was from Smashbox.* As her skin always looks flawless I sat up and paid attention. And then I remembered I actually used to use this foundation, back when I worked at Boots. For the life of me I couldn’t remember why I stopped using it.

I went into store at the next opportunity and found that Boots still understaff their smaller make up concessions and there was no one in to colour match me and give me a sample. Yay. After a couple of attempts I finally got my colour match and sample.

I was blown away.

This foundation is awesome! The colour is perfect, the application is really nice and the finish is exactly what I wanted. 

The shade range of this is impressive with 40 shades to choose from. It’s oil free and hydrating so you don’t reach lunchtime you looking like you could out-fry a takeaway with your face. Equally, it copes with dry patches really well, not highlighting them at all. Unfortunately I’ve been able to put this to the test recently and it doesn’t make dryness noticeable at all.

This is very buildable but starts off around medium. I tend to leave it at that as it’s gives excellent coverage without being too cakey. If I do have any particularly bad spots just a drop of concealer covers it up nicely. If I do accidentally go overboard with this foundation it can start to settle into my lines a little, but that can be buffed out.

It also does last as long as it’s says. I can wear this all day at work, and all evening. I never have to do a touch up.

After purchasing a full size of this I got to thinking. Why on earth did I ever stop using this?!

If you’ve seen my recent post about panning your life you’ll know I’ve really started to think a lot more about the purchases I’m making and not having so much ‘stuff’. This foundation realisation came around at the same time I was starting to have these thoughts.

I began to wonder, how much make up have I stopped purchasing that has worked well for me in order for me to search for something better?

If you have a product you’re happy with is there really any reason to try any others?

And this is what’s wrong with the beauty community at the moment. We’re always being shown the latest new thing that we have to have. But do we? Did I need to switch out to Kat Von D foundation a few years ago because I’d been waiting for Kat Von D to hit the UK and I was so excited when it did? Or could I have stayed with my Smashbox foundation that was (presumably) still serving me well?

Lesson #1: if you find a product that works for you, don’t change it!

Seriously. If that mascara of yours ticks all the boxes then why try something new? Yes, you may find something better but you also may waste your money on something worse. Obviously this all depends on your financial situation and you may make allowances in your budget to try something new each month. But from now on I’m changing my outlook on make up purchases and unless I’m not happy with the product I’m using, I will continue to repurchase it.

Even if you do love a product and don’t ever wish to try anything else, the world of retail still has ways of making you spend money.

And that’s through stocking up. So many things become discontinued that there is fear when you find something you love that it’ll be discontinued before you run out. So then you stock up. Or, you’ll see your fave product on an amazing deal and just have to buy it, even if you don’t need another right now.

That’s what happened to me with foundation brushes.

I switched to a Real Techniques Stippling Brush quite a few years ago now. My first one broke really quickly and so I had to purchase another. When that brush then went on offer, I picked up a back up.

However, my second brush is now into it’s fourth year of use. This may be down to the fact I take much better care of my brushes, or maybe my original one was actually faulty. So now I have a backup brush that I haven’t needed to use at all.

And then I got bought a beautiful brush set* for Christmas.

The second brush from the right is a stippling brush and I decided to give it a try one day. And was blown away.

It’s super soft in comparison to the Real Techniques brush, blends my foundation like a dream and is perfect for buffing the Smashbox foundation to give it a really natural finish. 

So now what’s happened to my Real Techniques brush? It’s been firmly ditched, and the back up is staying in my make up storage with no hope for it so the light of day. At this point I should probably try and sell it as it’s still in it’s packaging.

Lesson #2: stocking up isn’t always a good thing

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever pick up that extra tube of product if you know it’s going to be discontinued. I’m just saying think about it before purchasing because if it’s not discontinued chances are it’s going to be a ‘great deal’ or on offer at some point around the time you need to buy another. So save your money now. Equally, your skin might change and may suddenly stop agreeing with the product before you’ve managed to hit that back up product.

Or, your taste may change and that beautiful powder you used every day for highlight might suddenly make you wonder ‘what were you thinking?’ In case you’re wondering what product I have in mind as I type that, it’s the Bourjois Java Rice Powder.* Despite the fact powder products take an age to use up I bought a back up of this product and firmly went off the all over highlight look before I even got close to needing to open the back up.

I’m not saying I’ll never try something new, or never purchase a back up ever again.

But what I am saying is I’ll be giving each of those types of purchase a lot more thought in future. In a world where we’re constantly being told to ‘buy, buy, buy!’ it’s worth having a few reminders every now and again that we don’t always need to.

I’m also not going to necessarily be spending less money on make up. But every time I save some cash but not purchasing something just because it’s new, maybe I can invest a little more in something high end. I’m still trying to find a tubing mascara that I get on well with, and if I’m not blowing my budget each month maybe I can start looking at high end brands of mascara instead.

I’d love to know your thoughts of this. Have you rediscovered an old favourite? Have you been caught out stocking up products? Let me know in the comments below!

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