Top 5 Foundations in 2015

Top 5 Foundations makeup

Foundation is a difficult topic to blog about because everyone has different preferences. The list below is my top 5 foundations for 2015.  These foundations are what I believe are the best beauty products to consider when looking for foundation.  Let me preface this post with what my preferences are so you aren’t disappointed if you try something I suggest.  I don’t want you left wondering what the hell was Janine talking about!?  She considers this to be one of the best beauty products in the foundation class?  How can that be?  So, before I jump in to share my top 5 list,  I want to explain how I personally classify foundations followed by what I look for in a foundation.

I consider there to be 3 classifications when talking about liquid foundations (drug store, mid-range, luxury).  This post focuses on the mid-range foundations and I classify mid- range as a foundation that is no more than $50 USD and not available for purchase in drug stores.  So, while I’d highly recommend Armani Lasting Silk Foundation, it doesn’t meet the mid-range criteria.  I would consider it a luxury foundation.  Mid-range foundations are what I reach for and use on a daily basis.  There are some drug store foundations I’d also recommend but I will tell you that I have not found a drug store foundation that can really compete with anything on this list or in the luxury category.  They just aren’t manufactured using the same quality and proprietary ingredients.   You get what your pay for.   If there was one product to stretch your budget on when it comes to makeup that will make a profound difference in your end result, it’s definitely the foundation.

Qualities I look for to qualify a product as my top 5 foundations:

  • Long wearing (minimum 6 hours)
  • Medium to full coverage (lean towards full)
  • Matte or lightly luminous but not dewy
  • No oxidation (I do not want to look like an Oompa Loompa several hours into the day)
  • Good color selections so I can get an exact match to my skin
  • No heavy perfume smell but a light scent is acceptable
  • No parabens, pabas, or fillers that can cause long term negative effects

(These are listed in no particular order)

#1 Make Up For Ever HD Foundation (Semi-Matte, SPF unconfirmed, $43, 1 oz)

make up for ever HD foundation

This foundation provides medium coverage and is designed specifically to look exceptional good in photos regardless of lighting.   The foundation alone creates a blur effect but must still be set using powder.   I would not suggest the HD translucent powder to set this foundation with as it can appear ghostly in flash photography.  The Make Up For Ever foundation will last 8-10 hours and when set appears to have a completely matte and natural finish with exceptionally gorgeous coverage.  It was designed in collaboration with film and television technicians to achieve the unique light reflecting qualities that this product has.

#2 NARS Luminous Weightless Foundation  (Semi-Matte, SPF unconfirmed, $48, 1 oz)

NARS luminous weightless foundation

This is lightweight formula that provides full coverage with a natural looking finish.  This newer formula is designed to neutralize uneven characteristics in your skin tone.  NARS Eventone technology uses green and gold pigments to combat redness and dullness.  Only a small amount of the product is needed to achieve full coverage.  It is marketed as 16 hour wear but I can’t achieve more than 9-10 hours of wear with the product.  However, I live in harsh desert conditions.  This is one of my absolute favorites and the foundation feels very silky.  NARS has published clinical studies on the the outstanding performance, positive skin effects, and feedback received from customers using this product.

#3 Diorskin Forever Fluid Flawless Perfection Foundation (Semi-Matte, SPF 25, $45, 1 oz)

Dior forever skin foundation

Believe it or not, you can get this Dior foundation for under $50.  It has an unusual texture that wraps itself like silk around your skin creating an absolutely flawless finish with medium coverage.  The formula itself feels light on the skin.  Shade selection is limited but I was able to find a match.  I also like the Star foundation but it doesn’t match my skin, however,  it is also an outstanding product.  If one doesn’t work for you, try the other one.  The Dior Forever foundation will last at least 8-10 hours if you set it with the Dior Forever Skin compact powder and I’d highly recommend that for an extra boost of coverage.  The two offer a  flawless finish like no other you can achieve.  The powder is like velvet, it’s extraordinary, and compliments the foundation well.

#4 Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation (Matte, SPF 15, $39, 1.7 oz.)

tarte amazonian clay foundation

This is a new foundation for me.  I stumbled on it accidentally and after trying it, I immediately added it to my top collection.  This foundation is very thick, almost like a paste and very little is needed during application.  It should be applied with a brush and it is full coverage. Possibly, the most coverage I’ve seen with a product yet I may change that opinion once I try Kat Von D Lock It.  After 10 hours, this foundation is still fresh looking.  The Amazonian Clay is a nutrient-rich ingredient that reduces dryness and flakiness and improves skin clarity and firmness.   The clay is what helps to extend the wear of the makeup.  I haven’t used the product long enough to vouch for the validity of the claims of long term benefits but the product is advertised to provide benefits due to the ingredients used in production.  With this foundation,  you receive 1.7 oz of product. (typically only 1.0 oz bottles are sold by most brands)

#5 MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation (Matte, SPF 15, $27, 1 oz.)

MAC studio fix fluid foundation


MAC Studio Fix has been and always will be a staple in my makeup collection.  It’s one of the best products as far as value goes and has been popular for many years. This is a proven formula that is loved by women around the world.  It refines skin and lasts up to 8 hours.  The formula is humidity resistant and provides a natural, flawless finish.  It does contain powders that help blur the complexion to contribute to the flawless finish.   Some MAC foundations will oxidize and this is something to take into consider when selecting MAC products but Studio Fix remains true to the color in the bottle.  I have never been disappointed by this foundation and a loyal user for at least ten years.

#6 Kat Von D Lock It Foundation (Matte, SPF Unconfirmed, $39, 1 oz.)

Kat Von D Lock it foundation

This is on the list as an Honorable Mention.  I have not personally used this foundation but I have heard nothing but positive feedback from serious makeup critics.  The foundation is designed to cover tattoos so you can expect really full coverage with a  smooth finish.  The foundation covers a broad range of skin tones and uses proprietary pigments to achieve the coverage it is capable of.  The ingredients used in the product provide 24 hour wear with no transfer.  The formula is non-drying and absorbs oil through out the day.  If Kat Von D Lock It can live up to these claims then it would definitely be on my list.  Since I haven’t tried it yet but trust the opinions of those who have, I felt it was prudent to mention the product and it’s benefits.

I hope you found this makeup review helpful and if you have suggestions on things to try or have used any of these products, please share your experience!  Tell me your top 5 foundations!  I’d love to know!

Lots of Love,

Janine -XO






26 thoughts on “Top 5 Foundations in 2015

  1. I LOVE Kat Von D. That is the best full coverage foundation I have found that covers my acne scars. I tried Estee Lauder Double Wear – the coverage was just as good as KVD, but it rubbed off all over everything. I’d like to try Tarte since I have heard a lot of good things, so that is next on my list to pick up. I had a sample of Nars Sheer Glow from Sephora not too long ago and I really liked that too.

    1. I’m drying to try the Kat Von D formula! I hope I can find a match for my skin. Foundations are so critical! I will get a sample first from Sephora just in case. So happy they provide samples!! =)

  2. I loved the post . Currently I am using Bobbi brown and Dior . Nars is on my radar for longest time. But in Tokyo , I don’t get the right shade for brown Asian skin. If you have to recommend Nars for Asian medium dark skin , which foundation of nars should I try?

    1. Well, the NARS colors don’t vary much within their foundation lines. However, what you can do is combine them with something else. Either a tint that you buy that adjusts the color without altering the formula (those are widely available) or you can mix a couple together. For me, I use Santa Fe but it’s really yellow on me and that’s the best match I can get. It’s fine once I have everything else on and I usually dust it with the pink toned Hourglass Ambient Lighting to neutralize the yellow. So, there’s lots of tricks. The key is getting in front of the products and combining until you can achieve the right tone. Don’t feel bad if you can’t though. That has happened to me with a lot of brands. If you want a more sheer coverage, the Sheer Glow is good for that. The Luminous Weightless is lightweight but high coverage. I’d also highly recommend Make Up For Ever HD and they have a fantastic color range. The coverage is beautiful with this foundation.

  3. I just read a review on the Beauty Isles blog on the Nars foundation and I’m now very curious about it! And now with your endorsement, it is officially on my wish list. I did try the MUFE HD foundation but it broke me out unfortunately.
    I love BB creams and very light coverage foundations – right now I love the Shiseido Sheer and Perfect foundation. I did a review on it:

    1. Oh wow. MUFE broke you out. Ugh that sucks. The NARS is beautiful but it’s high coverage. It’s like a mask!! But I like med to high coverage. So it would be different than the sheer products you are using.

  4. This looks like a nice list. I’ve had such a difficult time with foundation in the past. I’ve found that MAC Prolongwear is about as close to holy grail status as I’m ever going to get. But you’ve listed some new ones for me to check out. I’m definitely interested in the NARS and Dior. I’ve tried a few NARS foundations in the past and they were very odd. It left my skin feeling tight and like plastic. I’ll definitely try the one you mentioned though. I’ve heard so many nice things about NARS foundations, but I’ve yet to find one that I love. It would be nice to add something different to my routine.

    1. The NARS is very full coverage if you like that – it’s beautiful and amazing! As is their Sheer Glow foundation. And Dior, well, Dior is Dior and they can do no wrong. They really have a beautiful formula as well and the Forever Skin powder. On my god, it’s nice and it would be my number one powder of all time. It’s pure velvet. Sometimes I want to use it and I don’t for fear I’ll use it up. (Weird, I know) You should definitely give Make Up For Ever a try if you haven’t tried their product. They have a lot of shadows and when set with a light powder like Mac Mineralize finish or NARS Lights, it produces the most beautiful flawless skin. The Luminous Weightless is a new formula by NARS so definitely see what you think. I’m eager to hear!! I got samples before I bought it so I could try it out a few days.

  5. Great round up of mid-range foundations. I have not tried any of these, but most have been on my ‘to try’ list for quite some time! [I’m forcing myself to use what I have for the time being 🙁 ] I especially love that you included the wear time and level of coverage, I feel that many reviews leave these key parts out.

  6. Bo question about it the Kat Von D foundation was way better then the the tarte one. Tarte has wonderful makeup but they have work to do in the liquid foundation or should I say cream foundation. It was so heavy and made my skin so oily despite it’s lasting quality. Boy to mention it somehow managed to be drying to my skin and require extra moisturizer at the same time. Kat Von D was infinetly better bot to heavy feeling and did not make my skin oily. It had excellent coverage and was not a thick gob of foundation. Judges say switch the two and you’ve got got a great list.

    1. The Tarte one is seriously as thick as paste. It’s like the tiniest amount to be applied with a brush – too much is doom for sure. I experimented a litle to get the right brush and right amount and then when I did, I was in love with it. But it’s so very different than anything else. It’s got to be a love or hate thing with that one. Did you apply a really realy small amount? Like a dime size and no more and still it failed? If so, =( Maybe something in that clay doesn’t agree with you because that’s what’s really different about theirs. I’m going to be getting the Kat Von D one next and I know I’m going to love it. Then I’ll have a top 6 and I’d put Tarte in 6th place but Kat might be closer to the top. What really threw me for a loop was the NARS foundation. Their new formula on that Luminous Weightless was a shocker. When I got it and started using it? I just wasn’t expecting it to look and feel as good it does. I’m a hardcore Make Up For Ever fan and I haven’t used my MUFE in a while now. Everyday I reach that NARS. Have you tried that one?

  7. I’ve been using just the Hard Candy foundation for eight bucks for ages, and have loved it with no problems. But your set of rules and descriptions of these foundations are very tempting, and I’m having an easier time choking down MAC’s price tag than the others. Hmm… guess it’ll be a stop at the mall soon to see if they can match my skin and I can pick it up. =P Daaaaaammnn you and your enticing plethora! (Please read that in a Frasier Crane voice)

    1. I would say to try one – but don’t buy it yet. Because you have to see and feel the difference and then decide “is it worth it for me”. For me, it would be – but I’m older and my skin is different. What you should do is go to the mall, whatever dept store is close to you, and hit up several of the makeup counters. If you have Sephora even better – then go over there and get some more samples of foundations. Have them color match you and get at least 3 samples of different foundations. MAC Studio Fix is high coverage and I’m not sure you need that but they have some lighter formulas just be sure it won’t oxidize because their new long wear formula does and they will tell you that. FOr you, I’d definitely try the Diorskin nude and also NARS Sheer Glow. Each sample will be 2-3 days of wear. Test them… see if the difference is enough to matter to you or not. Try the Rimmel Stay Matte powder to set it instead of investing in another high end product. But it will have to be set not only to give you a flawless finish but to ensure the makeup stays put, otherwise you won’t get the performance out of the product that you are paying for. Remember the Frasier episode where someone on the radio played a sound thing that would say something about Frasier’s giant ass? OMG, I loved that episode. Love Frasier. My mom has a Jack Russell too. Just as neurotic as his.

      1. Very duly noted! I always try to get samples of things before I buy anyway, hoohoo. I honestly prefer medium coverage the most, and I really am very wary of things oxidizing, so I will avoid MAC’s new formula. =o

        Lol!! Gosh, yes, I think I’ve seen every episode at least once now. Love that episode, and it’s my fav show, definitely. Just watched the one with the Antiques Roadshow. Jack Russells are so cute!! We only have a few mutt-y rat terriers, and both of them are far more weasley and devious than Eddie. 😉

        1. If you like medium, try the make up for ever, MAC, and Dior. The NARS is full coverage but it’s so light and amazing. I just wonder if you wouldn’t like it because it’s FULL FULL coverage. I love all animals and Cashmere, the Ragamuffin, is my baby but so devious. He was the one that took your makeup!!

          1. Hm! Thanks. =) The next time I hit town I will have to try to get samples. NARS does sound very nice, but I do admit, as greedy as I am for coverage, less is always more for foundation, and I really don’t need full coverage, much less full full. Or that price tag. D=

            Cats are hilarious, you can’t help but forgive them for everything. Cashmere is such a cute name for him! Where did you get him?

            I love silly animals, our rat terrier (around 12 years old now), Birdie, has more personality than most people I meet. She has so many stories, she’s just an endless source of entertainment. Now that she’s getting older, she spends most of her time harassing the other dogs (especially the younger rat terrier, Robin, any time Birdie thinks she’s enjoying herself too much) and trying to jump into our vehicles for a ride to town and a burger. Rotten animal, but so lovable.

            1. NARS is like a new face. LOL – that’s why I think you’d really like the sheer glow from NARS moreso than the Luminous Weightless. Get a bunch of samples! They will last you a couple of weeks and you’ll have fun playing with them. I’m always getting samples when I go into Sephora and Beauty Brands. Usually 2-3. I’ll ask for more if the person doesn’t grumble. “Cas”, as we call him, or “Cas-e”… is from a Ragamuffin breeder. They don’t have a lot of breeders in the US so often you have to order a Ragamuffin and they ship them to different states. We had a breeder in AZ about an hour from us. We got him from her. They have very unusual coats so when you touch him, he’s very silky and soft and man he’s got some vocal cords on him. LOUD! We also have a gorgeous Bengal. She’s got beautiful rosettes on her and her coat looks exactly like a leapard print. She’s really stunning but she’s very independent. She’s doesn’t communicate and respond the way Cas does. SHe just periodically floats by us so we can admire her glitter and beauty. She’ll let us pick her up but she isn’t going to follow us around and talk to us the way Cas will.

              1. Oh man!! That’s so cute. Hehe, cats are not social pack animals like dogs, they don’t need your constant confirmation that they’re still cool with the boss – they just come over for love when they feel like it. 😉

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