REVIEW | My Must-Have Foundations + Powders for Fall 2015

Now that Fall has arrived, it is time to start rotating our makeup as well as our clothing, shoes, and fragrances! My skin's condition does not vary much unless I'm flying often, but since I have normal to dry skin characteristically associated with cooler weather, I wanted to recommend these eight base makeup products this season.

Nordstrom just launched their first customer interactive Foundation Finder, so give it a whirl if you have tried all my favorites already! It will allow you to filter product results by skin type, coverage, finish, or a combination or all three. I've been tinkering with it for a week now, and the recommendations have been surprisingly accurate! My picks sorted by coverage after the jump xo

Sheer: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer 
I love that this formula has a little sunscreen. SPF 20 isn't much, but it's better than nothing when I'm running out for a minute to take my pup out to relieve himself. When I was in college and had unflawed combination skin, I never felt that this tinted moisturizer made a visible difference. I, however, have truly fallen in love with it the last couple years! It effectively smoothes my skin and reduces the look of redness while adding a bit of dewiness that my dry skin needs lately. I wear Sand or Bisque depending on the time of year.

Light: Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream
I find most BB creams are too heavy and oily on my normal to dry skin. Burberry's is unique because it feels light and fresh, but the texture is not as thin or runny as a liquid foundation. I'm between shades, Fair and Medium, but I tend to reach for Medium since the undertone is warmer. It covers a little more than the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and can be layered on areas of concern. The formula barely oxidizes, unlike many BBs I have tried in the past! Try using clean fingertips for all over the face and using a synthetic brush or sponge to build coverage on the forehead, chin, and cheeks.

I was very dedicated to this foundation after it first launched in 2012. I started wearing it again now that my acne has cleared, and I think I love it even more than I used to. It doesn't settle into my fine lines or accentuate my complexion's dry condition. It feels silky and comfortable without clogging up my pores, so I like to build this one up using a dense foundation brush. I use shade B30 but this range runs a little light as most brightening and illuminating products tend to do, so I keep a bottle of B40 on hand for occasions where I feel like skipping powder.

Medium-Full: Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Foundation
I have now lost count of how many cushions I have tried. It doesn't matter, though, because I always come back to Sulwhasoo's Perfecting Cushion due to its long-lasting, high coverage formula. Plus it has SPF 50+ and moisturizes all day long, leaving me with a dewy finish so that my skin looks plump and bouncy. It blends effortlessly; just pat and swipe in alternating motions. Although this cushion is capable of full coverage, I recommend keeping it a bit lighter at medium-full. If you have dry sensitive skin with redness issues, I highly recommend this foundation!

Foundations sticks are a godsend when I'm on a plane and need to get ready in my seat. I usually pack my cushion foundation but I like to have a little variety. Tom Ford's foundation stick is the best because it doesn't have a powdery finish, so it is especially good for travel when skin is dehydrated. This rich formula doubles up as a concealer and offers true full coverage.
When using it all over the face, do blend it out with a BeautyBlender sponge for the most natural airbrushed results! Considering the thicker nature of this formula, it does not cake or crease. If you have dry skin, pair it with the Tom Ford Illuminating Primer for a dewy finish. Note: Cate Blanchett told me this is her favorite foundation! Her makeup artist Mary Greenwell introduced it to her.

Since my trip to Korea, I have been taking it easy on the powder. In case you have combination or oily skin — or if you simply prefer the matte look — here are three powders that I adore!

MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural is a cult classic because it is affordable yet performs like a prestige product. The baked powder offers light to medium coverage. It can accentuate large pores around the nose and cheeks, so stipple in a small amount with a dense brush. Those with oily T-zones can use this for touch ups throughout the day!

Burberry's Nude Glow Pressed Powder is my personal favorite because it looks and feels imperceptible when applied with a large fluffy brush. Try using it to set the Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream. It takes away any unwanted shine without caking or dulling my complexion, so I usually only wear it on my smile lines, nose and chin. I love the polished natural finish!

Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk Compact Foundation offers a satin finish that those with normal to oily skin will love. This newly reformulated powder is ultra finely milled and can be used to set or worn alone as a foundation. It offers the most coverage of my three picks! Even dry skin can use it without accentuating flakiness. If you have fair to medium skin, I recommending order a shade lighter than you normally would wear since the powder range runs a touch darker than the liquid Luminous Silk Foundations.
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  1. Hi Rae,

    I'd like to ask for your advice. I'm currently using Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation No. 113 and I'd like to try YSL Touche Eclat Foundation and Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream after reading your review. Do you have any idea what color number would best suit me? I want something natural since I'm not filming or anything, and I want something that makes my face look dewy but not oily.

    Hope you can help. Thank you.

  2. Hi Rae, I purchased the Burberry Nude Glow powder as you recommended. I was so excited to try out this product since I'm always looking for a good powder. But when I tried to use this product, the powder did not come out at all whichever brushes I use :(( I tried wayne goss and real techniques brushes but they did not work out at all. Could you give me advice on how to use the powder or recommend me the brushes for this specific product? Thanks!!

    1. I responded to you on IG already, but here is the brush I use! http://bit.ly/1BB0VpQ
      Hold at the ferrule and use firm pressure to sweep upwards! Do not dab or swirl.

  3. Hi Rae,
    I am wondering what powder you use to set the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion foundation?
    Thank you!

    1. Always Burberry! Doesn't oxidize or cake or settle into fine lines xo http://bit.ly/1Giyo1K

  4. Hi Rae!

    What your thoughts are on using the Burberry Nude Glow Pressed Powder for setting just the undereye (because I only wear concealer)? Also, I am a NW25 at Mac. Do you think Porcelain or Nude Ochre would be a better fit? Thank you so much!!


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