Sunday, April 17, 2016

High End Foundation Wardrobe

I don't know about you, but I'm of the view that foundations are worth going high end for. If it's going to be all over your face and form the base for all your other makeup, then I'm willing to spend a bit extra if it means a superior product. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there's no shortage of affordable foundations that work brilliantly, but I just haven't tried that many (the one notable exception is Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, which is hands down the best "drugstore" foundation I've encountered). I'm currently rotating between five (yes, five) high end foundations and thought I'd dedicate a post discussing them and their relative merits and shortcomings.

l-r: YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat in B40, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 4.5, Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in B20, Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme in 002, Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in 013

l-r: Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in B20, Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in 013, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 4.5, YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat in B40, Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme in 002

My favourite of the bunch is YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat in B40 (reviewed here and featured in my 2015 favourites). This is probably in my top 3 of all foundations I've used, second only to NARS Sheer Glow. It's so instantly beautifying, melts into the skin without texture or application issues, diffuses imperfections and unevenness, gives you that airbrushed, dewy (but not oily), soft focus glow, has fairly good coverage while not masking the skin, and is particularly kind on dry skin. If I want my best chance at a good skin day, especially if I'll be photographed, I'll reach for this or Sheer Glow.

My second favourite would have to be Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in B20 (reviewed here and featured in my 2014 favourites). It's such an excellent everyday foundation, especially when your skin is in decent shape. What I love most about it is that it's probably the most transfer-proof foundation I have, possibly because it's water-based, so it really adheres to the skin and isn't easily wiped off. The finish is more on the satin side than the YSL, and coverage is light to medium, but it looks so natural and undetectable while enlivening and perfecting the skin.

Next we have Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in 013 (review here) and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 4.5 (review here). I find these two pretty similar, with the main differences being coverage and finish. The Armani is a bit higher coverage and has a more semi-matte finish than the Koh Gen Do, which is more liquid in consistency and has a fresher, dewier, more translucent finish. Other than that, I find the two interchangeable. Both have coverage on the light side, so I tend to use 1.5 pumps rather than my usual 1. They're solid everyday foundations that feel lightweight, look natural on the skin, hold up decently and don't get too oily throughout the day, and generally perform well so long as the skin is cooperating (i.e. not going through a dry or blemish-ridden patch). As the Armani sets more matte than the Koh Gen Do, I like the effect of spritzing a hydrating mist all over to make it less dull and flat, and minimise any cakiness from powders I've placed over my foundation.

Finally, there's Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme in 002. As I mentioned in my current makeup menu, I'm not the hugest fan of this one but I'm forcing myself to use it so it's not completely neglected. I don't know what it is about the Dior, but the slightly thicker, mousse-like texture doesn't entirely agree with my skin. It's probably targeted more for oily/combination skin than dry or dry/combo. It feels a bit tackier and heavier when applied, and doesn't give my preferred glowy finish. This one is a lot more satin, bordering on matte. It can highlight dry patches and doesn't apply as evenly as my other bases. I find fingers work the best, applying a small amount of product into the skin in sections, but usually I use a brush since it's quicker. I try to make it more serum-like and easier to blend by mixing a drop of face oil into one pump, then finishing with Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water or MAC Fix+ to give my complexion more life, dewiness and moisture.

Colour-wise, I would say I'm between NC 20 and NC 25 (probably closer to NC 25). Of the 5, the Chanel is the best colour match for me, with its beige/yellow tones. The Koh Gen Do is a touch too light, especially in the summer, and much too pink. The Armani also leans pink (or peach-toned), and is slightly dark when compared with my neck (I learned this the hard way when inspecting my face in natural daylight while waiting for the train). The YSL is also a bit darker than my natural skin colour and the colour's not perfect either, but at least not too pink (it's more golden brown/orangey, when I need yellow or neutral/beige). The Dior is yet again, pink-toned with a warm brown tint, though it does have enough yellow in it to make it work. So long as we're not scrutinising too closely, all of them match me well enough (with the exception of the Koh Gen Do, which I should have bought in 213) and most are probably my closest matches with the shades available.


  1. Like you, My fave drugstore foundation is the bourjois healthy mix serum although the Rimmel lasting finish is great too :) The Giorgio armarni is my Go to foundation for nights out as it hasn't got any SPF so definitley no flashback. Will have to try out the Chanel vitalumiere soon becuase my skin has been quite dry recently and I would prefer a lighterweight foundationg!

    Thank you for sharing~ Have a lovely day! ♥

    Ying | * Y i n g c b e a u t y *

    X x X x X

  2. I'm currently more towards powder foundation these days but, whenever I have and event or I want more coverage I've been using the Clinique Even better foundation - which sadly is a good match for my face but a bad one for my neck ( I always end up trying to correcting it somehow - and I am waiting for the warmer days to wear more the Benefit Oxygen Wow foundation ( I was missmatched at the counter...the lady insisted that I should take Honey when I am for sure Ivory...). Both foundations tend to have a more luminous look to it, which I have been enjoying. I used to be fan of the complete matte look but nowadays it isn't my thing any more.

    I've been thinking about getting the Urban Decay Naked foundation and the MUFE Ultra HD foundation because they seem to also give a more natural look to the skin.
    Besides that I've feel in love with the Etude House Mineral Moist Cushion - perfect for the Faculty days where I just want my face to look polished but I can't bother with the look of a foundation.
    From the ones you mentioned, I really wanted to get the Chanel foundation but they do not carry my shade here for some reason..

    Take care*

  3. I've yet to try a high end foundation but I really want to try Estée Lauder Doublewear as my skin is on the oily side. I love the sound of the Armani one you've mentioned here though, and the Chanel sounds good too - foundation transferring is one of my pet hates!

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

  4. I haven't really tried too many high end foundations, I have far too many from the drugstore range that I'm trying to use up before really getting into the high end selections but I've been wanting to try YSL Touche Eclat for years! I do have the Dior BB Cream but I hardly reach for it as I find it oxidises quite a lot on my skin

  5. I'm totally with you.. I definitely think that foundation is worth investing in and 'drug store' alternatives just don't compare - for me. I think the GA Luminous Silk foundation is fab. I love it. I've just recently picked up the Makeup Forever HD Foundation stick and I'm also hooked. I tried a sample of the Chanel foundation but it didn't work for me - it's a shame because so many people rave about it. I also bought the Chanel Velvet foundation on a whim and I'd go as far as saying it's awful on my skin - my skin hates Chanel, what a diva!!

    Kirsty - Life in Excess

  6. I completely agree with you. High end foundations are usually worth the splurge. It's one product group you can usually really tell the difference between drugstore and high end ones. I am a foundation junkie, so I am always up for trying new one xD. My current faves at the moment are Chanel Les beiges healthy glow foundation and GA Luminous silk ( it's very long wearing on me and looks really nice on pictures ). The Dior BB Cream is really good, right? I didn't expect to like it that much as I do now.

    I have yet to try the Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation though, it's been on my list for so long, but I kinda hesitate since I didn't like the Maifanshi one at all, and it's so expensive so I want to make sure I really like it before buying online.

  7. I have been using the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation for years and aside from that, haven't really tried many high end foundations at all because I love this one so much. This is super helpful though as I am also shade B20 so now I know what colours to go for if I do try any of the others! Also yes, before I started using Chanel VA, the Bourjois one was my absolute favourite!!!

  8. I've heard that the YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat is now being reformulated. Apparently, it's going to have a matte finish now!

  9. Ha! I'm currently forcing myself to get through the Dior BB Creme, too! I liked it when I first bought it, but it's been 'meh' ever since. It won't run out, though, so I can at least say you get your bang for your buck...

    1. I seriously dislike it. Not sure if I got a dud because the texture so does not work with my skin type.

  10. I love LOVE the sound of the Chanel. I've been wanting to try a base from them for so long and haven't gotten around to purchasing any high end foundations yet. I've been told by girls who've own both bourjois and chanel bases that both are very similar but more importantly I have too many bases to use up right now :p

  11. I love Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua but it has been sitting funny on my skin ever skin end of last year which has lots to go with me aging. Revently I picked up Becca Backlight Primer Filter and it goes like a dream on top of it and now I'm enjoying it again. I am with you on Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, it's seriously one of the best I've ever used.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    1. Healthy Mix Serum is the best drugstore foundation without question. I've heard good things about that Becca primer - sounds right up my alley :)

  12. The final paragraph of the color comparisons is very helpful, thank you!

  13. thank you for this information is very helpful article I My
    warmest greetings :D

    bahan baku isi ulang


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