My Top 5 Foundations 2014 (updated)

My Top 5 Foundations 2014

Foundation is my favourite makeup topic to talk about, and it seems you guys like to read about it as well; back in July 2012, I wrote a post called My Top 5 Foundations and this has been by far the most popular blog post here on the blog, ever. So, since nearly 2 years have gone by since I published that post, I thought I would update you on my five favourite foundations. If you missed the first Top 5, click here to have a read of it and be shocked at how much my foundation preferences have changed in less than 2 years. So without further ado, let me tell you a bit about them.

About my skin tone & texture: My skin is dry, medium olive with beige undertones. I find yellow foundations too warm and pink foundations too cool; neutral foundations are sometimes ok, but mostly they leave a grey cast on my skin, so I tend to choose foundations with a beige undertone.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation 5.5Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation 5.5

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, £35.50 | 30ml

Where to buy: House of Fraser || Selfridges || Armani Beauty || John Lewis || Harrods || Harvey Nichols

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

  • No SPF (great for flash photography)
  • Oil-free
  • Natural matte & luminous finish
  • Medium coverage (buildable to high)
  • Lightweight
  • All skin types
  • 21 shades – pink, yellow or beige undertones (I’m shade 5.5 – beige undertone)

This foundation evens out my skintone and covers most of my blemishes, leaving a silky smooth feeling and luminous finish. You can easily achieve a high coverage with this foundation, but it never feels heavy or cakey on the skin. The lack of SPF in it means that this foundation photographs beautifully without flashbacks. As far as I know, it works well with all skin types, but I can only vouch for it on dry skin. It looks divine when set with a touch of translucent powder, but I sometimes skip powder altogether with this foundation. It lasts for well over 12 hours on my skin with no signs of fading and it blends like a dream! It’s the most well-rounded foundation in the market, in my opinion. Click here to read my full review of this foundation.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation B40Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation B40

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation, £32 | 30ml

Where to buy: Boots || House of Fraser || Debenhams || Selfridges || House of Fraser || Selfridges

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation

  • SPF 15
  • Oil-free
  • Water-based
  • Dewy finish
  • Light to Medium coverage
  • Ultra Lightweight
  • 10 shades – pink or beige undertones (I’m shade B40 – beige undertone)

This is the only repeat from my Top 5 Foundations of 2012 and I still love it just as much. This foundation feels like water on the skin; with its dewy finish & ultra lightweight feel, this is the perfect foundation for the Summer months or for anyone that likes their skin to look fresh and glowy. Vitalumière Aqua has a very watery texture (remember to shake well before application!), but because of that I end up using a lot more product, so it doesn’t last long. It sits nicely on dry skin without clinging to dry patches, and it provides a good base for everyday makeup. You can get up to medium coverage with it, but a touch of concealer is needed to hide blemishes and scars.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation BD50YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation BD50

YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation, £30.50 | 30ml

Where to buy: House of Fraser || Selfridges || John Lewis || Harrods || Harvey Nichols || Debenhams || Boots

YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation

  • SPF 19
  • Not oil-free
  • Soft focus gel
  • Radiant finish
  • Light to Medium coverage
  • Lightweight (but needs powder to set the gel texture)
  • 22 shades – pink, neutral or golden undertones (I’m shade BD50 – golden undertone)

This is a gel foundation which leaves a ‘lit from within’ kind of look to the skin; it’s the most moisturising of all five, but it was surprisingly the easiest to blend of all of them. It makes my skin look airbrushed, blurring out all of my imperfections. You only need a small amount to cover your entire face and neck, so this foundation tends to last a really long time. By layering it up, I can get a high medium coverage with Le Teint Touche Éclat, but it can look a bit full-on with more than 2 layers on the skin. It lasts up to 6 hours without a powder and 8-9 hours with a powder. The lack of beige undertones in the shade range is a bit disappointing for me, as all the other undertones don’t quite match my skintone. Read my full review of this foundation here.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation 6.5Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation 6.5

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup, £39 | 30ml

Where to buy: House of Fraser || Selfridges || John Lewis || Harrods || Harvey Nichols || Armani Beauty

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup

  • SPF 15
  • Not oil-free (volatile oils present)
  • Water and powder free (avoids a heavy/cakey finish)
  • Matte velvety finish Radiant finish
  • Light to Medium coverage
  • Ultra Lightweight
  • 12 shades – yellow, beige or golden undertones (I’m shade 6.5 – golden beige undertone)

This is the most lightweight foundation I own which can give me up to medium coverage. When this foundation first came out, it was quite innovative in the way that it’s liquid in consistency, but as soon as it’s applied to the skin, it evaporates leaving a slightly velvet-soft powdery consistency behind. Maestro is pretty much invisible on the skin once blended, but I find it takes a really long time to blend it fully into my skin, so when blended quickly it can sit on the surface of the skin. It can cling a little to dry patches if applied to bare skin, so make sure to prime your skin beforehand. This is my favourite everyday foundation for an inconspicuous perfected look. Read my full review of this foundation here.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation 53Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation 53

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation, £10.99 | 30ml

Where to buy: Boots || Superdrug || Amazon || Ocado

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation

  • SPF not known
  • Oil-free
  • Gel consistency
  • Radiant finish
  • Light to Medium coverage
  • Lightweight
  • 6 shades – neutral, beige or golden undertones (I’m shade 53 – beige undertone)

I’ve become quite a snob when it comes to foundations, haven’t I? This is the only High Street/Drugstore foundation that made it to the Top 5! This foundation has unfortunately been discontinued, and replaced by the Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation, which I haven’t tried yet, but it seems to be pretty similar to its predecessor. It’s a gel foundation made from a vitamin-rich fruit therapy formula. It evens out my skin tone without leaving a greasy feeling behind and it’s quickly absorbed by the skin. With up to 2 layers on, this foundation looks very natural and fresh, but any more than that looks un-natural and a bit cakey. It doesn’t say on the bottle if this contains SPF or not, so this might not be the best foundation for flash photography. Read my review of this foundation here.

So here’s my updated top 5 foundations! A lot has changed since 2012 and it seems I’m now leaning more towards the medium coverage foundations; also, I’ve finally figured out that I have beige undertones, and not yellow undertones, so my foundations are a much better colour match. In my opinion, high-end foundations are much more superior than Drugstore ones, so unfortunately most of these are a bit pricey, but if you invest in the best foundation you can find for your skin, it will literally revolutionise the way your makeup looks!

I hope this post was useful, and do let me know what other ‘Top 5’ posts you’d like to see! Scroll down to see more pictures of swatches with and without flash. What’s your favourite foundation?

Swatches with & without flash

Click on the image to enlarge

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  • Mousumee Agnieszka

    Nice post, Ysis! I like Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk and Chanel Vitalumiere best on you xx

    • Le Beauty Girl

      Thank you! I agree with you, I think they are the most natural-looking on me :)

  • Fernanda Turri Braga

    Adorei o post! Que tal Top 5 Bronzers?

    • Le Beauty Girl

      Obrigada, Fernanda! Boa idéia, mas não tenho muitos bronzers, acho que tenho mais blushes! :) x

  • Almu

    Loved the post! I really want to try the Armani Luminous Silk! I like that you still have the Chanel Vitalumiere as a favourite, I love love this foundation! :) xx


    • Le Beauty Girl

      Thank you! Yeah, Vitalumiere has really kept its crown :)

  • Tarte Tanya

    Lovely post!
    The healthy mix serum foundation is absolutely divine!
    Lovely post and amazing pictures :)

    • Le Beauty Girl

      Thank you so much :) xx

  • AmeliaRoseL

    Ohhh I really want to try them all! Especially Bourjois, I’ve heard amazing things.

    Amelia Rose | Beauty Blogger

    • Le Beauty Girl

      It’s really great! Such a beautiful radiant finish :)

  • Chrissabella

    Great post, love all the swatches and pics! I also love the Bourjois and Chanel Foundation.

    Greetings from London,

    • Le Beauty Girl

      Thank you :) Glad you liked it! x

  • Briony Pollard

    Hello – great review, thanks. How do you know Bourjois are discontinuning the healthy mix serum?? I’ve checked the Bourjois website and can’t see any info. I’d be interested to know as i will be stocking up if what you say is right! Thanks x

    • Le Beauty Girl

      Thank you, Briony! :) I read online that Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix was the revamped replacement for Healthy Mix Serum, and also the Boots website stopped stocking Healthy Mix Serum, but that page now redirects to Radiance Reveal. I haven’t tried the new one to know if the formula is the same, but there are lots of reviews online. My friend Sandra wrote a really good review here:

      Hope that helps! x

      • Someone

        It’s an original Healthy Mix that was discontinued, not the Healthy Mix Serum Foundation.

  • Mayuri

    Love it! Me animou a dar mais uma chance a uma boa base :) Beijos

    • Ysis Lorenna

      Uma base boa faz toda a diferença! :)

    • Le Beauty Girl

      Uma base boa faz toda a diferença :)

  • Marcelle

    Oh wow two Giorgio Armanis! And Chanel managed to stay in your top 5 since 2012! The Maestro & LS are both on my wishlist :)

    x Court

    • Le Beauty Girl

      Yeah, very impressive. I need to restock my Chanel one :) x

  • Ali

    Hello, I’m wondering been able to accurately identify your skin tone? I’ve had a hard time distinguishing mine for sure.
    Thanks for your response.

    • Le Beauty Girl

      Look at pictures of yourself compared with photos of celebrities online. Go to a makeup counter and ask to be matched with a foundation shade. Try foundations with pink, yellow and neutral undertones, and see which one looks better on you.
      It’s a trial and error process, but once you found your tone and undertone, it’s a lot easier to shop for makeup products! :)

  • Sonia

    I am just in love of those foundations!!! The ones of georgio armani look amazing! I am also very curious and I would like to try the chanel one. I always ready good reviews about them. x

    • Le Beauty Girl

      They are really good and both of them are worth the money! :)

    • Clementhyme

      Odd, I thought the Chanel Vitalumiere and YSL Teint Touche Eclat looked the best on her. I wear YSL myself, but in the photos above, Chanel had a slight edge over all the others. imo :)

  • Cheraud

    I always used Chanel Teint Cream medium coverage with a matte finish, and I cannot seem to find what has replaced it. Does anybody know what this might be? My face always looked like velvet. There formulas today are just too thin.

  • SF

    Hey! I saw your youtube video on Nars foundation and I was wondering why it didn’t make it on your top 5? I was thinking about buying Nars. I live in Canada and the girl at Sephora (UK version of Boots I think) matched me with Urban Decay Naked Skin weightless ultra definition liquid makeup – shade 6.0. I am not loving the urban decay since I have some skin discoloration on my forehead and it tends to turn gray after ANY foundation I put on and same is happening with urban decay. So my question is…do you recommend NARS?

    • Ysis Lorenna

      Hi :) I got the Nars foundation after I wrote this post, but it would have made the Top 5! I will update this post very soon with my most recent Top 5 :) x

  • shannon

    Thanks so much for this post. You helped me out.

  • Federica

    Hi :)
    Hope you’ll read this, as I really need your help!
    Just so you knowl: I have a light to medium combination skin with golden/yellow undertones
    I’ve recently bought the Armani Maestro Foundation in shade 5.25 under the suggestion of the girl who helped me out at Sephora, even though the Pantone Color IQ suggested 5.5 for my skin.
    I usually wear during winter MUFE in 127/140 and 160 during summer (also Tient Jolie by YSL in Foncè) and I’m afraid the 5.25 would be too dark for me in winter!
    After reading this post of yours I’m so undecided about what to do, as the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat seems amazing too!
    I definitely need your suggestion about both the right color for me and the brand!
    Hope to hear from you soon :)

    • Ysis Lorenna

      Hi :) I’m not sure what the best foundation would be for you, as I have dry skin, so what works for me may not work as well for you. If you like your skin to look more dewy and glowy, the YSL Touche Eclat is a great option – it’s lovely and moisturising on my dry skin, but you might not want too much moisture if you have combo skin. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is my all time favourite – it has a matte luminous finish, which I like because it makes my skin look sophisticated and polished, without looking dry or too matte. If you like that kind of finish, give Luminous Silk a try!

      In terms of shade, it’s really difficult to advise on a particular shade, as I can only recommend what I’ve tried on myself. I have more neutral undertones, so I don’t think what suits me will perfectly suit you, but it will be pretty close.

      So sorry I couldn’t be any more help, but thanks for stopping by! :)

      Ysis xx

  • kay

    The 6.5 Maestro foundation looks a little bit too dark for you. Are you sure that is the right shade for you?

    • Ysis Lorenna

      It looks ok when I’m tanned, so I don’t mind :)

  • Sarah

    Hi, I am getting married in May and intend on doing my own makeup. I am really unsure on what foundation to purchase. I have tried the chanel Perfection lumiere and felt the coverage was not heavy enough for me. I thought I liked Estee Lauder doublewear, its incredibly heavy coverage and in my photos I thought looked great, but it definitely did give me a whitish tone and by May I should have a bit of a tan and don’t want a white face. I don’t really have time to keep going for the trials and was wondering what foundation you would recommend that is heavy coverage but also perfect for photography and can be obtained in the UK. Also a good high impact mascara and an eyeliner that won’t be down my face within a few hours. Thanks so much for your help

    • Ysis Lorenna

      Hi Sarah, congratulations on getting married! :) I’m sure you will have an amazing wedding day! I got married in July 2013 and I can only recommend what I used on myself.

      I used my favourite foundation, the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, which you can find a review here on my blog, as it doesn’t have SPF, so no white cast. It’s not as heavy coverage as Estee Lauder Double Wear, but you can build up the coverage in layers; I used two layers on my wedding day and it gave me a pretty flawless face that lasted perfectly from 6am to 1am, with a small midday touch up around my nose, chin and forehead – it was hot sunny day!

      I wouldn’t say it’s a full coverage foundation, and I personally like that because it looks fairly natural on the skin, but if you definitely need the coverage, try doubling up the foundation with some concealer – I recommend the Mac Pro Longwear Concealer (also reviewed here on the blog); it’s pretty heavy duty, lasts all day and sets on the skin quite quickly.

      For mascara, I swear by the Benefit They’re Real Mascara (reviewed here as well). I also used it on my wedding day and it gave me some amazing lashes! I didn’t even wear false lashes on top because I didn’t want to feel ‘uncomfortable’ on the eye-area. It’s waterproof, so nothing will be running down your face!

      For eyeliner, I used the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal, and I was very happy with how it lasted without smudging. I also re-applied this around midday, but overall I got lots of compliments on my makeup – I did it myself as well :)

      Hope this was helpful and have a wonderful wedding day!

      Ysis xx

    • Ambereen Siddiqui

      Best foundation by far is Ex-1 which is ideal for olive skin tones and is worn by celebrities for movies. It looks stunning on and photographs very well. It’s available in the UK stores including Harvey Nicolls. Definitely worth checking out their You tube videos, facebook page etc as this foundation has won many awards. Hope that helps.

  • Anchal

    You are so pretty and have great skin…..hey are you Indian? Sorry for asking blunty,just curious