I've generally always stuck to "drugstore" foundation, predominantly because of the price, but also you can't really test high end make up properly unless there's a counter in your nearest Boots. I have tried Clinique and Dior on the off chance, which had great coverage incidentally, but still the colour was pants. I must have wasted hundreds of pounds on foundations, and that's just the cheap varieties. I've always said I am happy to pay the money for something if I know for certain it'll work, but as I couldn't test other high end brands, I never knew if they'd work for me.
After years of trying every palest version of everything that Maybelline, L'Oreal, Rimmel and the like churned out, and after years of always being disappointed, I decided it was time to try one of the big boys.
But how do you tell if a colour is right for you, and what coverage will be like, before you buy a £20+ full bottle?
MAC has always got rave reviews on websites, but the price had always put me off as I couldn't guarantee the colour or coverage would work for me. I searched the MAC website to see what colours and formulas might work, and then I turned to ebay!
You can't get every brand or every colour, but there are some amazing sellers on ebay that actually sell little teensy tester pots of foundation so you can try before you buy. I had never thought of looking for this before - but what a great idea!! Just search on ebay for the brand, formula and colour you are after, and make sure you add the word "tester" to your search!
I tried MAC Face and Body foundation in C1 and N1 - the two palest with one being more rosey pink undertones and one being more of an orangey yellow undertone. Unsurprisingly, the colour was too dark, and the coverage was NAFF. The smallest full bottle of this foundation is £21 - imagine if I had bought both and they both ended up being rubbish - what a waste of money that would have been! I really dodged a bullet by getting the little testers.
I also bought MAC Studio Sculpt in NC15 from another seller - again the lightest of that formula. They send you just about enough to do a full face of make up (well, probably two full applications if, unlike me, you don't put shedloads on).
ET VOILA!!! It's absolutely brilliant!! Really thick, and the perfect colour for me! I didn't have to mix in a single bit of white foundation to tone it down, it's not yellow-y orange, it's not patchy, it's not anything apart from PERFECT!!!! I applied it just with a finger, and it went on smooth and easy. It completely covered my freckles, the uneven tone of my cheeks and my chin, and didn't sit in my under eye wrinkles. It is a touch on the oily side which for me is great as I have pretty dry skin and this helped with the application, but I did need a bit of powder just to take a little bit of the shine off when I was finished applying. It blended in well at the hairline and left absolutely no tide mark at the jaw.
I've been wearing it for 5 hours now and it's not moved an inch. Admittedly, it's pretty cold today and I haven't exactly exerted myself much. The real test would be in the summer months and seeing how it deals with humidity and sweat, but we'll come to that bridge when we come to it!!
Now, I can buy the £25 full bottle and know, for certain, it's going to be worth it, and it's going to work! HOORAY!!!