Here at SHEfinds, we’re all about snagging a good deal, and while it feels a-mazaing to get 50% off a new pair of cap-toe flats, sometimes it’s clear to tell when you skimp on your beauty routine. Foundation, my cosmetic savior, was made to hide small imperfections, even skin tone, and keep your skin moisturized all day long, and with all the choices out there, it’s hard to tell if you should splurge on a luxe formula or save on a drugstore brand. The best way to tell? Survey your biggest skin problems.
1. Is your skin prone to breakouts?
2. Do you have uneven skin tone as a result of acne or sun spots?
3. Do you have oily, dry or combination skin?
If none of these describe your skin, you can probably get away with a drugstore brand, though you may need to buy two products (which means double the money) and blend to get the right formula. And because it’s impossible to try on foundations at the drug store—for the love of all things good, do not use any testers unless they’re disposable!—it’s hard to find a perfect match until you get home. Asking drugstore workers always proves futile, too, so for questions about individual brands, check out online reviews from places like MakeupAlley.
If you answered yes to any of those questions, read on.
There’s almost nothing worse than wearing foundation that’s two shades too-orange or—even worse—super drying, so it’s definitely worth heading to a makeup counter to talk to someone skilled at keeping your skin in tip top shape. If you’re a victim of too-dry, too-oily or combination skin (lucky you!), talk to a professional about brands that will cater to your specific concerns—especially breakouts or acne scars. When I was searching for a new foundation after I realized drugstore brand weren’t doing the job, a Dermablend representative pushed me to try on their formula, even though it felt too heavy when I tested it on my wrists. Once she applied it to my skin, I fell in love, but my skin tone fell between two of their shades, so she mixed me a custom formula and charged me half the price. I also got a free lesson in foundation application (up and out, ladies!).
Still, whether you’re at a department store makeup counter or a beauty haven like Sephora, be sure to ask about return policies just in case you’re not in love with the product after a couple day’s use. For example, Sephora lets you return most products as long as their at least half-full, which gives you enough time to see how a formula looks in all different kinds of light. Each department store brand may have an individualized policy.
THE VERDICT: If you have any warrantable skin concerns, it’s best to head to invest in a foundation from a makeup counter. Make the most of your time and ask a professional how you can get the most for your money.
For more beauty tips and tricks, check out our review of St. Ives Apricot Scrub, take a peek at the best beauty trends from Paris Fashion Week, or find out how to keep your at-home manicure from smudging.