Monday, April 13, 2015

TOP 5 | My Spring 2015 Foundation Wardrobe Review, Photos, Swatches



I spend most of my time searching for the latest and greatest in beauty, so today I will present the best of my favorite arrivals to my base makeup wardrobe. A new class of foundation formulas has emerged this Spring season, and I have carefully curated the best five options for you to consider. I will also share which powders they pair best with. All details after the jump!


I purchased these foundations from Nordstrom, home to some of the newest and most exclusive beauty launches. I ordered them online, meaning sight unseen, so I have swatched each shade below to give you a color reference before we begin with the nitty gritty descriptions and compari
sons of each formula. Some were close, while others were wildly off base. I will have to exchange a couple when I have enough time to swing by Nordstrom this week. For those new to my blog, I usually tread between NC25 and NC30 in MAC. I'm currently on the lighter end of the spectrum.


Dior's Nude Air Serum Foundation ($53) is a wonderful foundation when applied properly. It is intended for combination and oily skin, but I think it performs its best when mixed with a proper moisturizer. I like to use 1 pump of Koh Gen Do's Moisture Massage Milk (reviewed here) with a few drops of the Dior Air Nude foundation in Linen 21, which swatches far more orange than how it looks on my face. I mix them together in the palm of my hand and casually blend it in with my fingertips. It gives me the look of flawless 'real' skin at medium coverage, concealing most of my redness and blemishes, but it does not look heavy like a foundation. I choose not to set with powder unless I am filming a video because the finish is incredibly beautiful. It mimics airbrushing, even when sheered out with the massage milk! Air Nude is definitely one of my favorite serum foundations, and I do prefer it to Armani's Maestro and YSL Fusion Ink (which are too drying for my skin type). If you have oily skin, try the new Dior Nude Pressed Powder to set, and it will give you a little extra coverage. If you prefer invisible setting, regardless of skin type, try the new Dior Nude Air Loose Powder.
Note: Do not apply this foundation immediately after skin care. I tried it the first time I wore this foundation, and it caked up and separated so I had to wash my face and start over. Give your skin care a good 10 to 15 minutes and then apply the foundation.


The Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation ($62) took me by surprised because I did not expect the higher price point. Nonetheless, I love the sleek black packaging and her yellow-toned shades. Ivory is way too fair for my light-medium skin, but since my skin has been feeling extra dehydrated recently, I adore this silky and hydrating formula. When judging by each formula's performance worn alone, I do prefer Bobbi Brown's to Dior's for my normal to dry skin (although I would not mix my moisturizer with this Intensive Skin foundation). The pigment is a touch more translucent than Nude Air, but the coverage is sheer to medium. Bobbi's does not accentuate dry patches, unlike nearly all serum foundations I have tried and can be applied soon after my skin care. If you have combination or oily skin, you should be able to get away with skipping moisturizer. This formula also has an SPF of 40, which is very impressive, but please do not skip wearing a separate sunscreen! Try the Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Loose Powder to set the T-zone and control inevitable summer shine. If you have combination to oily skin and you're interested in a serum foundation, try the YSL Fusion Ink. If you have normal skin, try the phenomenal Sisley Phyto-Teint Expert.


Charlotte Tilbury's Light Wonder Foundation ($45) reached US shores a couple months ago, but it is the newest to join my Spring Foundation wardrobe. If you'd like to see all the foundation colors before committing to a shade, swing by one of her counters at a Nordstrom store near you. FYI: Nordstrom is the only department store to carry Charlotte Tilbury in the USA. The Light Wonder formula does smooth and even out skin tone, but I love how luminous this looks without feeling greasy. It does not pool into large pores and feels very lightweight on the skin but can also be layered on areas of concern. Light Wonder, ultimately, reminds me of a thicker Burberry Sheer Foundation. Coverage is light to medium full. If you have normal to dry skin, I highly recommend this as an 'everyday' foundation. The color I chose was far too dark, but I will be trying a couple lighter shades this week. Top it with Charlotte Tilbury's Air Brush Perfecting Powder, which is one of the smoothest, finely milled, and more affordable pressed powders I own and love. The Light Wonder liquid foundation + Air Brush powder combination is one of my favorite "flawless canvas" duos this Spring!


The Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation's oversized doe foot applicator is shockingly hilarious yet incredibly practical. I actually love it very much! The formula is budget friendly, oil-free and feels moisturizing yet velvety smooth on the skin. I do wish, however, that Clinique would release some more yellow-toned shades. I can wear the shade I chose, but it's far too peach for my preference and must be color corrected with powder and bronzer. I will have to play with shade matching more when I can see the full range of shades in person. It also dries down a touch lighter, so I suggest picking up samples and testing them at home first. When given the time to set properly, all skin types (even oily) could use the Beyond Perfecting Foundation & Concealer ($27) with gorgeous results! I am truly impressed with the creamy mousse texture. Since this foundation offers true full coverage, I highly recommend wearing it alone on the day to day or setting it with something ultra light, like the Chantecaille Loose Powder or the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Powder. If you're looking for natural/sheer coverage, try blending the Beyond Perfect Foundation into the skin with a damp BeautyBlender sponge.


Laura Mercier has reformulated and repackaged the famed (oil-free) Silk Crème foundation. Long gone is the paint thinner smell! Unfortunately, the coverage has changed as well. The original formula's coverage and finish rivaled that of Clé de Peau's Cream Foundation, but the updated Silk Crème Oil- Free Photo Edition ($48) formula is significantly sheerer — medium to perhaps medium full. I also find the wear time a little shorter, 8 hours instead of the advertised 12 before fading, but this Photo Edition version is supremely easy to apply. It is still a lovely foundation for normal to combination skin and I still recommend it for photos or video, but just prepare yourself if you used and loved the old formula. The redeeming factor, however, is that I no longer have to mix two shades. The new Bamboo Beige color works very well for my complexion! If you have dry to very skin, I highly recommend trying the new Moisturizing version. For additional coverage and a longer-lasting satin finish, try setting the Silk Cremes with MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.



Now, I will forever rely on classics like Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk, Giorgio Armani's Lasting Silk as well as Tom Ford's Perfecting Foundation + Traceless Foundation Stick, and D&G's Matte Powder Foundation. I also cannot fathom ever being without my HG Clé de Peau Cream Foundation and Sisley Serum Foundation, despite their exorbitant price tags. Even if you have a favorite foundation, I encourage you to also branch out and try some of the latest launches. You never know what you might fall in love with!

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All products featured were purchased by me,
and as always, opinions stated are expressly my own. 
Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!

14 comments:

  1. hi rae! i'm still searching for even a decent foundation to use. i've been mainly using mac's studio fix every now and then because it photographs so well (even though it starts looking dull with super enlarged pores a few hours later...), except it breaks me out terribly within a few days after wearing it. what alternatives would you recommend that i can try with sensitive skin and oily t zone (mainly nose...no powder ever seems to work) area? thanks!

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    1. Definitely try starting with Benefit's Porefessional on your nose and pick up a sample of the Laura Mercier and finish with MAC's Skinfinish Natural. It will give you the same medium-full coverage with a lighter feel and none of the pooling into pores action. MAC's liquid foundations almost always break me out too, so avoid them if you can!

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  2. What color do you wear for the D&G Perfect Matte Powder Foundation?

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    1. When I wear it alone, Warm 100. When I use it on top of a liquid foundation, usually Soft 90!

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  3. Great foundation picks. Definitely try shade #4 in the CT foundation. I am inbetween 3 - 4. 6 is actually a bit olive and I use that color on a lot of middle eastern girls. 5 leans a bit peachy. 4 is warm and not too yellow. :)

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    1. I prefer more yellow, actually, so I'll be getting 3 and 4 and mixing :)

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  4. Hi- I cannot decide between the GA luminous silk foundation or the Dior Nude Air, which one would you recommend between the two? Thanks

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    1. If you take flash photos often, GA Luminous (also better for normal to dry skin). I am loving the Dior Nude Air, but I do not wear it alone.. only mixed with my KGD moisturizer!

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  5. You totally convinced to purchase Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation. I do have her setting powder and I do agree that it's a real gem! I've been using it almost daily, it's been hard to reach for something else ever since I got it.
    Thanks for sharing your spring picks!

    X Alice

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  6. Hello Rae!!!! i was just reading the amazing blogpost about your spring 2015 foundations.. everytime i search for a product Review i always find it on your channel or your blog. i can't decide between the dior nude Air foundation or the bobbi Brown serum foundation.. which one do you like better? could you do a comparison video? thanx for your help!!!! love youuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. I think Dior Nude is better! It mixes well with moisturizers, and you can tap extra on your trouble patches!

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  7. hallo rae! i really enjoy reading your blog. i'm interested in the dior skin nude air serum foundation but confused about the shades. now i'm using guerlain tenue perfection shades beige clair and chanel velvet luminere shades 20. can you help me find the right shade for dior? thanks a lot.

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    1. I wear 20 in Chanel PL Velvet as well! Dior Nude Air in Linen is a bit more yellow/peach than Chanel's PV Velvet 20, but that works much better with my skin tone anyway!

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  8. Hello! If you were to choose one between the Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk and Giorgio Armani's Lasting Silk, which one would you? I have dry skin, and am around NC 25- NC 30 in MAC foundations- golden undertone.-Thanks!

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