Your Favorite Foundation?

Hey there, friends!

I’m switching gears a bit this afternoon and coming to you all with a very important question…about makeup.

So here’s the deal: I need a new foundation.

Lately, I’ve been switching back and forth between this Prescriptives liquid mineral makeup (which is probably way past its prime as it is) and my usual bareMinerals foundation.


The problem is, I don’t totally love using the bareMinerals in the winter (I feel like it just sort of sits on top of my skin) and I’m just about out of my liquid one.

The other issue? I don’t want to spend a ton of money.

I wound up buying a bottle of $34 liquid foundation at Sephora a couple of weeks ago, only to return it because I was experiencing some serious buyers remorse. I already give Sephora enough of my money, so I’d really like to find something cheap that I could just pick up from Target (since, you know, they also already get enough of my moola).

So here’s what I’m looking for:

  • liquid foundation
  • medium-full coverage
  • preferably less than $15.00

I did do a little searching and found this Maybelline New Superstay Silky foundation, which seems to fit all of my criteria…but I always like hearing feedback first.

SO (apparently I’m liking starting my sentences with this word today?) I’m coming to you all today in hopes that maybe you’ll be able to help me out. What foundations do you use and love, that won’t break the bank?

I’m open to any and all suggestions…since these pregnancy hormones aren’t playing nice right now and I have a few lovely little guys that need some covering up. 😉

**One final note: For those of you that subscribe to STSL via email (first of all, THANK YOU!). I’ve gotten emails from a few of you over the past couple of days letting me know that you haven’t been receiving any updates. That’s no bueno…I’m so sorry about that!! I’ve checked in on the issue and Ryan, my super duper blog guru, is working on resolving the issue so things should be back up and running ASAP!


  1. says

    Almay TLC – it retails for about $13 and you can buy it at target or any drugstore (CVS, Walgreen’s, etc.). I use that and then dust a light coat of bare minerals over to complete my look. I have received lots of compliments on my skin, thanks to this combo.

    Good luck!

  2. Julie says

    Check out Revlon Color Stay – it’s great for combo skin, very lightweight and comfortable yet “buildable” for added coverage as needed. It runs around $12.99 and is available at any drugstore or Tarjay! I’m a Bare Minerals fan too, but I switch to a liquid in the winter because as you said, Bare Minerals tends to sit on my skin and make it look a little dull and flaky when my skin is less oily.

    Also, one of the things I’ve found that makes a lower-priced foundation looks like a designer one and make it appear professionally applied is a foundation brush. You can actually apply liquid foundation just like BareMinerals, buffing it into the skin with a brush! It gives it an even, almost airbrushed look.

    Good luck on your search :-)

      • says

        Love Revlon Color Stay as well! I’ve been using it for a few years. I’ve tried a few other ones here and there just to compare, but I always go back to the it. Hope you find what will work for you!

    • says

      I totally agree with Julie, I have the same “sitting” problem with Bare Minerals and switched to Revlon Color Stay for the winter. I use my hands and a beauty blender sponge to apply and then go over everything with a foundation brush to make sure nothing looks streaky. So far it has done a great job and there seems to be a ton in each bottle. Good luck! :)
      Mary Beth recently posted..30 by 30 Update – Month Two

    • Anna says

      Yup Revlon Colorstay is the gold standard of drugstore foundations! I don’t use it everyday because I generally prefer a tinted moisturizer, but when I want more coverage its great. I use a stippling brush (one of those black ones with the white tips) and it works great.

  3. Megan S. says

    I’m a definite fan of Revlon 24 Hr Stay — it’s great for my oily prone skin and stays put just about all day, much longer than others I’ve used in the past, and it doesn’t make me shiny!

  4. Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom says

    I just did the store brand switch recently, too! I really love Loreal True Match for a slighter heavier coverage but Almay Smart Shade is my new fave. It is more light to medium coverage but with a little bronzer I get just the right amount!!

  5. Megan says

    I love Revlon Colorstay foundation for oily/combination skin. My friends recommended it and I now swear by it. I have dry skin but I found the oily/combination one is better. It has great coverage and a little goes a long way. Plus it’s reasonably priced (under $10 I think) and you can buy it anywhere!

  6. Liz says

    I am with Megan and Julie. This make-up is awesome. It stays on throughout the entire day and covers any blemishes really well. I will often buy it at Walgreens when they have a buy one get one 50% on Revlon products.

  7. Caroline says

    I LOVE Cover Girl Nature Luxe liquid foundation. It’s so light but gives you an amazing amount of coverage. I will never buy another foundation. It’s only $11 too.

  8. Kacie says

    I agree with the Revlon colorstay lovers out there! I recently switched and LOVE the full coverage it gives me and it lasts me all day

  9. says

    I’ve been loving using a BB cream lately opposed to foundation. It’s nice for the hard winter weather (Pittsburgh) because it gives extra moisturizers! And it’s pretty great coverage without feeling “made up” if that makes sense. That plus a little powder cover up is perfect!

    I’m used the Garnier one, I think it was only around $10!
    Emily recently posted..There are 3 lemons. I asked for 12. Baby wanted 12.

    • Devon says

      BB CREAM ALL THE WAY! I really dont like liquid foundation because I feel like it makes me look orange and cakey. This stuff is a sunscreen, moisturizer and make up in one and you can throw it on and add a little blush and have coverage all day. It is so lightweight and very natural. I’ve been telling everyone I know about it!!

    • says

      Garnier BB cream fan here, too! Though I don’t recommend it if you have combination or oily skin. It just makes the shiny spots shinier.

      When I’m not BB-ing, I use Physicians Formula Organic Wear tinted moisturizer. It provides good coverage, but is lighter than regular foundation or BB cream.

  10. says

    I always use nutrogena, only because i found one that matched my skin tone perfectly and it works for summer and winter. I hate it when you can see a foundation line on my face so im too scared to try a different company that doesnt have the same shade.

  11. says

    Ok, hands down the BEST drugstore liquid foundation is Revlon’s Photo Ready Foundation!! It is amazing, and it fits all the criteria you’re looking for. It’s extremely similar to Makeup Forever HD Foundation from Sephora (which is $40 a bottle, boo) and it’s really reasonably priced for the quality. It goes on especially great if you apply it with a foundation brush–I’d definitely give Revlon’s Photo Read Liquid Foundation a try! You’ll love it!! :)
    Jane {In the Pink and Green} recently posted..Nutella Pretzel Brownies

  12. Jess says

    I have been trying out a TON of different drugstore foundations the past few months and have definitely found some hidden gems! If you have oily/combination skin, Revlon Colorstay for Oily/Combo skin is amazing, as well as the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1. If you are normal/dry then L’oreal True Match is a definite winner – or True Match Lumi for a more glowy skin effect. And my everyday favorite has been the Garnier Fructis BB Cream for Combination skin – perfect for everyday wear, but is definitely on the lighter-medium coverage side. Hope this helps!

  13. Lindsey says

    I use the Garnier BB Cream and I love it. I hate using powers in the winter and this is just so moisturizing and light. I tend to break out and this hasn’t caused me any issues. I do still have to use cover-up sometimes, but not always. Good luck on your search!

  14. Amanda B says

    I fell in love with a sample of BB cream by Maybelline. Super great coverage, light and cheap! :) Had to move on from my $35 foundation now that I live on my own.

  15. irene says

    I love this sort of post! I’ve been using estee lauder foundation for a while, but I just bought a loreal true match concealer crayon that I really like. I’m actually just wearing it on a few spots today instead of foundation. I think it was like $8? I was amazed how well it matched my skin, despite looking too light when I first applied it.

  16. Melody says

    I usually only wear BB cream and dust some PUR minerals over the top but my skin is super sensitiive in winter so I need foundation too. Ive been using Cover girl Tru blend BUT the secret is I use Smashbox photo finish primer UNDER the foundation for a really smooth look/feel but it’s $36 so I read somewhere that Monistat (yes the company that makes stuff for your hoo-ha) makes an anti-chafing gel that is the SAME thing and super cheap. It’s in a purple tube and is near the yeast infection cream……weird I know but search google, it’s true! I use it under any foundation and it works great…….so maybe you just need a new primer under some drugstore foundation :)

  17. breezy says

    you should look on beautypedia.. they have reviews for EVERYTHING! I always check it first before buying anything. Obviously, everyone’s skin is different and people have different likes but I have found this to be super helpful!

  18. Christine says

    I’ve never been one to use foundation but BB is awesome (foundation, primer and moisturizer all in one!) I use Gosh brand and it’s fantastic

  19. says

    I don’t wear any makeup but when I do, I have this very natural foundation from philosophy that I buy at nordstrom. It feels like a moisturizer (and it is!) and it has just the right amount of tint to even out my skin.
    Sarah @PickyRunner recently posted..Solid Effort

  20. says

    I’m a makeup lover. My favorite foundation is bare minerals and jane iredale! The jane iredale is SO good and isn’t made with any crazy additives and is great for the skin (if you have dry, oil, acne prone) I’ve tried liquid foundation, but my skin is just too sensitive (and fair) for any other brands. Honestly, I will go into clinique/sephora/drug store and their lightest colours don’t even match my pale complexion! Haha, its slightly embarrassing. Mac has great colors for me, but um they block the skin from breathing, in my opinion on of the worst foundations. Okay, that was far too much typing;) Sorry for the long comment.
    Lisa recently posted..Perfectly Imperfect

  21. says

    Have you ever used Ulta’s brand? I’ve used both their liquid and mousse foundation and I like them both! It’s not too bad, I think about $12. If you don’t have one nearby, they almost always have good coupons on their website if you have to order it online. Hope this helps! :)
    Lindsay recently posted..I Want To Become A Runner

  22. says

    The Maybelline Super Stay is wonderful!! It’s hydrating and a foundation in one. I switched to it for our wedding and haven’t picked up another brand since. I used to use Mary Kay’s Timewise Liquid Foundation which was ok, but I wasn’t crazy about the way it blended and it wasn’t the greatest at not rubbing off on everything. Plus, it doesn’t bother my sensitive skin and comes off rather easily with a neutrogena face wipe.
    Christy recently posted..No Spring Chicken

  23. Megan says

    Hi, I see you have a lot of options for liquid foundations….sometime when you are looking to try another powder, The All Natural Face I have used before and I LOVE it…not too expensive either also Mineral Hygenics is good.

  24. says

    Maybelline FIT! i have it in 2 shades – one for winter and one for summer (when i’m more tan) and i absolutely love it. it isn’t cakey whatsoever and is so super light, no one even knows i’m wearing makeup. plus i think it’s only about $8 or $9 :)

  25. Carrie says

    L’Oreal True Match! My dermatologist recommended it to me and I’ve been using it for years. Even when I experiment with more expensive stuff, I always end up preferring True Match and coming back to it.

  26. says

    Squee! Makeup talk 😀 I actually love using a BB cream in the winter since it’s so much more moisturizing. The coverage isn’t quite the same, but using concealer on problem areas definitely does the job. Maybelline makes my favorite drugstore one. But if you’re really set on a foundation, then I can’t say enough good things about Revlon. Their Colorstay and Nearly Naked foundations are really great.

  27. Marci says

    The Revlon Color stay is great! I read on a make-up artist blog (can’t quite remember the name, found via pinterest) that a great tip with this makeup (or any for that matter) is to wait until it’s a buy one get one deal, and to get the make up in two shades and use the lighter on the “highlight” spots and the darker on the rest of your face!

  28. Angela I. says

    I started using Garnier BB Cream, and over the past few months my skin has improved significantly. It’s a moisturizer with a tint, so if you have some pimples or something, you’ll need to put some concealer on that. But it really works to correct the color of your skin and even everything out. I would suggest it to everyone I know.

  29. says

    My favorite foundation for years has been Maybeline Dream Smooth Mousse. I have never been a fan of liquid foundations but wanted some cover up qualities. This goes on really smooth and light. Then I use bare minerals all over face color in Clean radiance for some shimmer and color.
    Lindsey recently posted..Weekend Snapshots

  30. says

    I like the Neutrogena makeup. I use the Healthy Skin Glow Sheers or the Healthy Skin Enhancer. They are both lightweight with sunscreen. I top them off with the Neutrogena pressed powder and feel like it provides nice coverage without being heavy. It pains me to buy expensive makeup too! ELF makes some pretty good copycats but I haven’t tried their foundations.

  31. says

    I have to agree with everyone who’s said Revlon ColorStay. I use the one for dry skin, and absolutely love it. Some people really like the ColorStay Whipped foundation, but I prefer the liquid. Very nice, looks amazing and doesn’t dry me out even more!
    Autumn recently posted..Resolutions

  32. says

    OMG i love makeup.
    FIRST: Check out Lilian Masie on youtube. She is a lifesaver! I watched like 10 of her videos in one sitting and discovered some amazing makeup products. (Highly recommend this concealer because of her…its not just for dark circles, you can use it all over your face and its really good|13521053&CPNG=Health+Beauty&kpid=13521053&LID=PA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=13521053 )

    I had to grab some foundation a while ago for cheap and I ended up getting the Covergirl Clean Foundation . I really loveeeee the way this one goes on my skin. By the end of the day it still looks pretty good and I actually forget I have on foundation. It also comes in a sensitive skin type and a normal type. But i like the oil control one because I feel like it keeps the skin oil free, to me. And it glides on smooth…which is a + :)
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  33. says

    I’m curious about this too! I used to use Bare Minerals all the time, but then discovered Maybelline’s Mineral Foundation this past summer, and the price tag is much better and I liked it just as much as the Bare Minerals brand. I realized I prefer liquid foundation for the winter months though. A month or so ago I tried a liquid foundation by Maybelline called FIT, and it’s just ok. I’d like to find a liquid foundation with a little more coverage for the winter though.
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..Week 31: Third Trimester Thoughts

  34. says

    I was so excited when I saw the title of this post, love makeup reviews! Typically, I use the Covergirl aqua smooth cream foundation. I like this one because it looks very natural and doesn’t get cakey by the end of the day. After reading all these reviews, I think I might have to try the Revlon one.
    Ashley @ Life and Fitness recently posted..Some Eye Candy For Your Tuesday

  35. says

    You need to try a BB Cream! It has changed my life, and I’ll never go back to traditional foundation. It’s light, like a moisturizer, but has full coverage like a foundation. It also has built-in SPF and totally brightens your skin tone. I’ll never go back! I’ve been using Garnier brand (mine was about $13), but I just switched to Cover Girl because I had a coupon and I like it just as much!
    Kristy @ Kristy’s Health Revolution recently posted..Surgery

  36. says

    I have been loving my covergirl olay foundation. Its 15, but it also comes with the awesomeness of olay moisturizer in it. I watch a lot of beauty gurus on youtube and many say revlon photo ready is comparable to nars foundation and is highly recommended. I just haven’t tried it myself. Good luck!

  37. says

    I find that “cheaper” foundations make my skin breakout. Have you thought about ditching the liquid foundation and only using bronzer? I never thought I would but if you get a good enough one (such as YoungBlood) it stays on all day! It also cuts down the time it takes me to apply my makeup and makes me look less “cakey”
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  38. Karina says

    Aveeno tinted moisturizer, and Physicians Formula powder on top of it. I used to get terrible breakouts until I started using these products. They’re non-comeodogenic and totally affordable! :)

    • Jenn says

      I use this one lately and adore it so far! I think I purchased the one that is an age delay in a purple tube. It came with a brush and blends really well without looking like its there in the first place.

  39. Traci says

    Clinique makes great foundation for a semi-decent price (I think around $20) and it’s worth it! Otherwise, I have heard good things about the Physician’s Formula brand.

  40. allie says

    Have you tried BB cream? It gives nice light coverage with lots of moisture and doesn’t “sit” like foundation does. Bobbi Brown is awesome, but Aveeno has a great one that’s more affordable!

  41. says

    I don’t usually wear foundation but when I do, I use this trick I saw on a YouTube video lol I use Cover Girl foundation and put it on my arm.. then I run hot water over one of those big, fat short brushes… then I wipe the brush off on a towel so it’s not too wet… then i dab it on the foundation on my arm and apply to my face with lots of circular motions :) It works out really nice and I set with a translucent powder from Clinique :)
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  42. Christine Visona says

    FitMe is a great medium coverage liquid foundation..

    I’ve also heard good things about True Match Lumi

  43. Noelle says

    I’ve been using L’Oreal True Match foundation for a few months. I previously used more expensive stuff and wanted to make a switch like you. They have tons of colors that you match really well. It goes on nice and light but provides good coverage and you can get it at Ulta, Target, etc. Under $15 too! Check it out!
    p.s. I made a Cake mix sprinkles blondie recipe that you had on your website a few weeks ago for the Superbowl. They went like crazy! They were SO good!!!

  44. Christen says

    I have two drugstore foundation that I love. If I want less coverage, I go for the Neutrogena Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer. It actually had good medium coverage, but goes on super easy and gives me a great glow (that my skin always lacks in the winter).

    I teach a lot of group exercise classes, and I wear the Maybelline Superstay Foundation during those. It really works and stays put! I have never tried the Silky version but I’m sure it would be great too. I would say to moisturize well and possible use a primer under it so it goes on smoothly. I know it sounds silly that I wear makeup to teach fitness classes, but I have really pale, uneven skin and those fluorescent lights are not flattering! haha.

  45. stephanie says

    i am a foundation snob {a snob that likes champagne on a beer budget!} i was only willing to spend $15 on foundations, as well, so i spent years, {literally, years} going back and forth between different drug store foundations. i eventually had enough rejects under my bathroom sink that my mom and sister would come “shopping” in my bathroom when they needed a new foundation!

    BUT. as soon as i tried Revlon Colorstay, i was sold. and 4 or 5 bottles later, i am still in love. they actually have a whipped version now, as well. i have it and the traditional foundation, and like them both. the whipped tho, does go on a bit thicker and the jar doesn’t seem to last as long.

    i am a brand new mom, and with all the hormone changes, i have quite a few spots i need to cover on my face, as well. but just today alone, i had 2 different people comment on how pretty my skin was…i had to be honest and tell them that my foundation is just ah-mazing.

  46. Christina says

    Courtney, I am a lover of all things make up and know my stuff pretty well…Revlon Color Stay is just as good as most of the $35+ foundations out there. They have different formulas depending on your skin type, and it’s long lasting, buildable, and gives the best, most even coverage. Plus my skin just glows once I’ve buffed it in.

    I can’t say from experience because I haven’t tried it yet, but the new Nearly Naked line from Revlon is getting RAVE reviews. The foundation as much as the pressed powder…it’s been compared to the MAC Mineralized Skin Finish, which is my all time favorite.

    Good luck!

  47. says

    Courtney!!! ALMAY CLEAR COMPLEXION. Take my word!!! I wear my MakeUp Forever foundation at night ($40) and my Almay ($15) during the day for a light yet full-coverage look. My skin is always blotchy and this does the trick without caking, even though walking around in NYC I feel like my face is going to fall off! Please try it!!!
    Ava recently posted..Tuesday Fab Finds: Stitch Fix

  48. Meghan says

    I know it’s weird but I tried Mary Kay after a friend suggested it and I’m obsessed! Never thought I’d say that at 27 since my mom wears it :)

  49. says

    Hi Courtney– I know you’re looking for a less expensive brand, but I thought I’d comment anyway :)

    I feel the same as you and hate spending a pile of $$ on makeup. However, when I first became pregnant, I started doing lots of reading on make up and other products that could be absorbed into my skin (I became more conscious after reading Gina’s Fitnessista pregnancy blog posts). I don’t consider myself to have been a fanatical pregnant girl or anything, but I found that a lot of drug store brands have parabens and harsh chemicals in them, so I decided to pay a bit more for more natural foundation/makeup. I love the Tarte line (Sephora); the foundation is excellent.
    I discussed it all with a makeup artist when I was a bridesmaid last summer in a friend’s wedding (and early in my pregnancy), and she suggested that I spend a little more on foundation and less on other things like mascara and eye liners.

    Just something to think about (and maybe not make you feel guilty for splurging).

    I DO want to try BB Cream at some point, too, like many of the others are suggesting!!!

  50. Stacey says

    I’ve been an addict of youtube vids by some awesome beauty gurus for a while now. The info that one can get from these people is amazing. I recently started using Rimmels 25 hour color stay foundation. If you search youtube for drugstore make-up favorites you will get a bunch of info.. A lot of high end Dupes with drug store make up. Good stuff!

  51. Fallon says

    I recently switched to Revlon Nearly Naked. Its sort of the natural, lighter feeling, medium coverage cousin of Revlon Colorstay. Colorstay also broke me out, and I’m really loving Nearly Naked. I have dry skin, and it even out my cheek redness and doesn’t emphasize dry patches. I’ve also heard great things about the new Covergirl 3 in 1 Liquid, which is more medium-full coverage. Good luck!

  52. says

    I use this one from Physicians Formula Organics – it’s right under $15 and it’s all natural – its a tinted moisturizer and it has tea tree oil which is especially helpful for those little acne flair ups from hormones and such. I started using it when I was pregnant and I’ve never gone back to “regular foundation.” You can find it at Target, Walmart, etc but I’m linking you to my Amazon store too just so you can see the details…
    Kim @ The Family Practice Blog recently posted..Special Collections and a Girly Giveaway

  53. says

    I like Revlon Color Stay (at Target ~ $10). I have just recently started using Primer as well (I feel like I need it at 40). Good Luck!
    Lou recently posted..Time

  54. Nicole says

    Try E.L.F. (Eyes Lips Face) makeup at Target! its only $5!!! They have a good tinted moisturizer, it’s packaging is similar to Smashbox BB cream, or the NARS tinted moisturizer. (Also both great products but much more expensive) The coverage of the ELF Tinted Moisturzier is about medium, it can be on the orangey side if depending on the color, but if you set it with a powder you should be fine!


  1. […] another note, I can’t thank you all enough for all of your awesome feedback on yesterday’s foundation post! This afternoon, on my lunch hour, I stopped in quick to Target to make a purchase, and after […]

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