Home About Contact PR Fashion Life Beauty The List Product Directory

Sunday 7 July 2013

Pale Foundation Swatches

For years I've been looking for the perfect foundation to match my pale skin and have found it a hard process as many foundations are sadly too dark. However, one of my main tools to search for pale foundations is using blog swatches and reviews. I have provided swatches and reviews of all my pale foundations to try and help anyone else facing this issue.

  (Note: This post used to be on my previous Blog, I have reposted it here as many found it useful)

Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation

Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation
Shade: I have this in #115 which I would actually say it  too  pale for me, and they do have paler shades in #100 (white) and #105 (almost white).

Coverage: Super SUPER high coverage! I like full coverage foundations but this is the highest coverage I’ve ever tried in a foundation. I don’t have particularly problematic skin, but this easily covers any blemishes I may have and I can see it covering most things with no problem. If you look at the swatch you can really see (especially compared to the other photos) how thick this formula is. As a result, it looks great in photos as your flaws are completely covered!

Rich Liquid Foundation on Skin
Suitability:  This can accentuate dry patches so be careful to moisturise well before using it. I don’t have oily skin, but I find this foundation lasts a good 8 or so hours on me (possibly more but I often take my makeup off as soon as I’m home to let my skin breathe). 

Packaging: The packaging is sleek and very lightweight, easy to carry around and it doesn’t matter if it accidentally falls, it will stay in tact.

Availability and Prices: Available from Illamasqua for £21.50 (they ship internationally too)

Overall: I think this foundation is a bit too full coverage for me as I prefer using a lighter foundation then using concealer over the areas that need it. However, the shade selection is brilliant, one of the best of high-end and low-end brands.


Illamasqua Skinbase Foundation

Left: Skinbase | Right: Rich Liquid
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

Shade: The shade swatched above is in Skin Base Number 2. They do a paler shade than this (1.0) but this is a completely white shade and would be best either for lightening foundations or theatrical makeup. However, this does mean if 2.0 is too dark for you, you can mix the two in order to achieve your exact match. I find 2.0 to be a very good shade for pale skins, in fact I would say this is a bit  too light for me which is saying something as I am one of the palest! The foundation does have a slightly pink undertone, but it doesn’t lean too pink. If this pulls too pink, shade number 3.0 is there pale shade with yellow undertones.

Coverage:  The Skinbase foundation is marketed as being based on the Asian BB Creams, however I find most BB creams to have quite sheer coverage, but I would say this has medium coverage and its buildable.

Suitability:  Unfortunately, like RL, this can cling to dry patches if you haven’t moisturised properly but as long as you have moisturised properly this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Packaging: I quite like the packaging of this, it is very lightweight which means it is ideal to carry around with you. Like Rich Liquid, it has a squeeze tube applicator which personally I like most as I find it easiest to control the amount of product that comes out and it is also hygienic. You can also clearly see the shade of the foundation.

Availability and Prices: Available from Illamasqua Illamasqua for £25.00 (they ship internationally too)

Overall: I do like this foundation as it does come in pale shades and gives a good finish, however I need to make sure I moisturise well in order to avoid it accentuating my (very) dry skin.

L’oreal Paris Infallible Make-up Lasting Perfection Foundation

L'oreal Infallible Foundation
Shade: For me, this is the best shade for my skintone out of all the foundations featured. The shade pictured here is the lightest shade (15 –Porcelain) and I find it to have quite neutral undertones. This is possibly the lightest shade I’ve found in a high-street/drug-store foundation (where ivory often = dark orange).

Coverage: I’d say the coverage on this is medium, I found it evens out the skintone and partially covers blemishes and dark circles, but I would say you’d most likely use a concealer on top of this.

Left to Right: L'oreal | Skin Base | Rich Liquid
Suitability: Speaking as someone who has the driest skin on the planet, this doesn’t accentuate my dry patches at all (provided I’ve moisturised of course). I don’t have oily skin so can’t comment on that, but I do find this wears long on me. The bottle claims it lasts for 16 hours, personally I’ve never worn foundation for that long but I find this lasts an average time for a foundation at around 8 hours on me.

Note: This does have a slight scent, personally I find it quite a nice scent, but if you dislike scents in your foundation this is something to keep in mind.

Packaging:  The bottle is sturdy and the lid screws on fine so there’s no need to worry about it falling off. However, as the cap is see through it can look dirty after a while.

Availability and Prices: Available for £12.29 from  Boots  and Superdrug

Overall: I really like this foundation, it’s the best match for my skintone and at its price I really can’t complain!

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick 

Shade: I have this in the lightest shade ’00 – Alabaster’. I found this a good match for my skin, I’d say it’s darker than both the Illamasqua foundations but lighter than the Bourjois and Maybelline foundations.

Coverage: This is a cream foundation so it does have higher coverage than a lot of liquid foundations. I’ve seen people using this as a concealer before due to its creamy texture and high coverage. It isn’t as high as the Illamasqua RL but it is certainly medium to full coverage and very buildable.

Suitability: When I first got this (this is my second tube) I was in love with this foundation, however lately it doesn’t suit my skin as much and I can’t figure out why. My skin has gotten particularly dry recently and this doesn’t glide on like it used to. However, I think unless you skin is unbelievably dry like mine, this foundation will be great for you. I also find this doesn’t last as long as other foundations (around 6 hours) but the packaging means it is easy to carry it around with you for touch ups. It is very easy to blend and easy to apply (you can use it directly from the stick).

Packaging: This is my favorite packaging from all the foundations in this review! I absolutely love the sleek black design with the white lettering, it feels nice to hold and easily fits into a makeup bag. I find it looks very luxurious on my dressing table and the packaging means the outside of the product doesn’t look used or messy.

Bobbi Brown | L'oreal |Skin Base | RL

Availability and Prices: Priced at £28.00 it is available from Bobbi Brown, House of Fraser and Debenhams.

Overall: I really like this foundation (it is the only foundation I’ve ever repurchased), I’ve practically run out of this second tube as well so I clearly really liked it, it has good coverage and I love the packaging

Revlon ColourStay Foundation

Shade: I have this in the lightest shade 110 – Ivory. It is a tad too dark on me but can be blended in to work.  It is also a slightly pink tone.

Coverage: This is high coverage, it’s definitely buildable.

Suitability: I have this in ‘combination/oily skin’ even though I have dry skin. This is because I got this when it first came out and back then my skin was a lot less dry and I did have an oily t-zone. They do have a dry skin one which I haven’t tried unfortunately.  I like the fact they have a foundation formula for different skin types though, as it means you can select the one which will suit you best. This does have good lasting power though and I find can last 8-10 hours.


Note: This has a pretty strong chemical smell to it, I don’t mind this, but it’s something to note if you do.

Packaging: This packaging is quite annoying, from the outside it looks sleek and it doesn’t look messy, however it doesn’t have a pump, you simply pour the foundation from the bottle. This can be annoying as you usually end up with too much foundation which is wasted product.

Availability and Prices: Priced at £12.49 and available from Boots

Overall: I like this foundation, it is a touch too dark but I can work with it (if you are lighter than me though you might want to swatch it in store to check). 

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum

Shade: I have this in the lightest shade, 51 – Light Vanilla/Vanille Clair. Unfortunately this is a bit too dark to make it work, sometimes I add bronzer and really blend it in, but realistically it isn’t a good match L This foundation is yellow toned (most high-street foundations are pink toned) so this is good news is you have yellow undertones to your skin.

Bourjois | Revlon
Coverage: This is medium coverage, it will cover redness but I do find I often need to use concealer for blemishes.

Suitability: I LOVE the formulation of this foundation. It glides over my skin and gives me good coverage. My skin doesn’t look dry and it doesn’t make me look shiny/greasy either. I find it also lasts a good time too. It’s a gel foundation which personally I love, I find it very easy to blend also. 

Note: It has a slight smell but this doesn’t stay.

Packaging: Nice packaging, it has a pump dispenser and is lightweight.

Availability and Prices: £10.99 from Superdrug and Boots

Overall: If this foundation was a shade or half a shade lighter this would probably be holy grail
foundation, sadly it is not meant to be L If this foundation shade is right for you thought, I strongly recommend it. 

Maybelline Instant Age-Rewind The Eraser Perfect & Cover Foundation

Shade: I have this in the lightest shade 010 – Ivory, it’s too dark for me

Coverage: I haven’t used this much due to the fact it’s too dark, but when I have I’ve found it is quite light coverage, you can build this up to a slightly heavier coverage, but it won’t cover any major skin problems.

Maybelline | Bourjois | Revlon
Suitability: When I applied this it didn’t seem to accentuate any dry patches, and it didn’t make me look shiny either which was good. However, as I haven’t worn this much due to the shade I can’t 100% say

Packaging: Personally, I dislike when products include applicators. I like to be able to try a variety of ways to apply a foundation and see which works best, rather than being given one option. Unfortunately this comes with a sponge applicator to apply it. You twist the foundation and then directly apply it onto your face with the sponge. I dislike this as I find it unhygienic. The sponge applicator isn’t as bad as I thought it would be though and I can see it being great for some people.

Avaliability and Prices: £9.99 from Boots and Superdrug

Overall: This foundation is a bit too dark for me to make it work, I think if your skin is slightly darker than mine and you want a light coverage this could be the foundation for you. It depends on your feelings on the sponge tip applicator, personally I dislike this, but for others this could be a huge positive.

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation

Shade: I can’t do a proper review for this as, as you can see by the photos, it is just much too dark for my skin. Believe it or not, this is the lightest shade, 100 – Ivory.

Availability and Prices: £8.99 from Boots and Superdrug
Rich Liquid | Skin Base | L'oreal | Bobb Brown | Rimmel | Maybelline | Bourjois | Revlon

Bare Minerals Original Foundation

Shade: I have this in two shades, ‘Fairly Light’ and ‘Light’, with the first being the lighter of the two. Sadly these are both two dark for me. However, on checking out the bare mineral range, it seems they have added another option since I got these (I’ve had these a year or two) in ‘Fair’. I haven’t tried this but this may be perfect for pale skin tones.

Coverage: This is a powder foundation so I wasn’t expecting much, but it does give quite good coverage, it doesn’t match up to the coverage of some liquid foundations though and personally I like full coverage. This does look very natural though, and it is perfect for a ‘no makeup’ makeup look.

Light | Fairly Light
Suitability: I have dry skin, and so putting powder foundation on my skin seems like a recipe for disaster, however provided I’ve moisturised well this doesn’t actually accentuate my dry patches too badly.

Packaging: The packaging is small and easy to carry around, however be careful when opening as the product is loose powder meaning it can spill if you aren’t careful.

Availability and Prices: £24.00 from Bare Minerals and Debenhams 

Overall: The foundation is too dark for me and isn’t the coverage I’d like, but as a powder foundation it is a good product. If you are looking for a powder foundation this would be good to try.

Cover-girl Clean Makeup

Shade: This is a good shade for pale skin, I have this in 'Classic Ivory', I’d say its similar in colour to the Revlon Colourstay.

Coverage: This is medium coverage, but it can be buildable
Suitability: This is an old foundation so I haven’t used it when my skin’s been really dry, however I did find it lasts all day (it has oil control so that may help lasting power for those with oily skin) and didn’t accentuate any dry areas.

Packaging: It doesn’t have a pump which I dislike as it means you have to pour out the foundation which can often lead to too much product being dispense and product being wasted.

Availability and Prices: This is not readily available in the UK but I have seen it on sites such as ebay.co.uk and amazon.co.uk for under £5

Overall: I wasn’t sure whether to include this as it is an old foundation and I’m not sure whether you can still get it anymore, but I thought it would be useful for reference.

ChitChat Foundation

Shade: This is quite pinky, so if you are yellow toned this might not suit you, it is a nice pale shade though.

Coverage: Very light coverage, not really buildable.

Packaging: Very lightweight, easy to put in a bag and carry with you.

Suitability: This is a very very old foundation from when I first started wearing makeup (over 5 years ago) but I don’t remember it being too drying or oily. It is very cheap though so don't expect it to be a 'WOW' foundation, it gives a bit coverage but is pretty sheer.

Covergirl | ChitChat
Avaliability and Prices: This is an old foundation but it is available in a new foundation in most major Poundland Stores (yes Poundland!) for £1.

Overall: I wasn’t going to include this because it is so old, but as it is a pale shade and it very very cheap I thought I’d put it in, if you really want a budget foundation for pale skin.

I hope this helped if you are pale skinned like me and looking for foundations to suit your skin tone as I realise there are a lack of shades available. I’m looking to try new pale foundations, and have currently been looking into the Nars Sheer Glow in Siberia and the Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation in Soft Ivory, if anybody pale has these foundations would you recommend these as colour matches?