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Multi-Tasking Foundation Challenge

Yes, in a move that is uncharacteristic for someone who doesn't even like to wear one type of foundation on her skin, in this photo I'm wearing two. Allow me to explain.

Every couple of years, I decide that my makeup, what little I do wear on the regular, is just sort, and I feel the need to revisit colors, textures, coverage, and well - everything. This week has been one of those times. For most of my life, I have not been a fan, or even a wearer of foundation. I'm still not - I travel a lot, and generally I prefer tinted moisturizers, BB creams, and other multitasking products that I can use to incorporate hydration, sunscreen, and a bit of tone-evening pigment into one swipe. However, I have been finding that lately, what I gain from these products in convenience, I have been losing in longevity, color, performance, or all of the above. Mineral sunscreens reflect the light strangely in photographs and under fluorescent lighting. Lightweight tinted moisturizers tend to only last a few hours, and invariably all of these multi-use procucts seem to oxidize and change color.

So lately I've been experimenting with drugstore foundations. Yes, drugstore foundations. As much as I love the formulas and color options of some of the higher-end foundations like you find in places like Sephora or at the department store, I am just not able to get my money's worth from a forty or fifty pound bottle of makeup before it goes off. But apparently I'll happily throw eight to ten pounds away in the name of science, as I did today, in the most unforgiving natural light ever. Seriously, I couldn't have engineered a more unflattering light to pick-apart my makeup in if I'd tried. But I suppose that's the point. If your makeup looks passable in bright natural light, you're good to go.

In this photo I'm wearing two different drugstore foundations, both claim to provide "medium, buildable" coverage, and for the most part, that's true. Drugstore foundations have come a long way in the last few decades. On the left (my right side) is Revlon Colorstay Flawless finish in Natural Beige, and on the right is Rimmel Lasting Radiance foundation in Soft Beige. Really, the Colorstay is not the best shade for me in "natural" beige. Despite the name which leads you to assume it's a neutral (I have neutral to warm undertones), it turned out it was actually a cool undertones shade. But it was still the closest to my skin tone I could find in the shop, and I was really more interested in formula and wearability for the purposes of road-testing the product. The Rimmel I literally picked out at the supermarket in three minutes or less, and have been testing it for a few days. Based on this photo, I think we can all agree that it is the better look. I really wanted to like the Colorstay, and he formula has come on leaps and bounds since the first permutation back in the 90s; it feels weightless on your face, but there is still a bit of that old-school sinking into every wrinkle and crow's foot going on - a bit of chalkiness that you always seem to find in these formulas meant to last a long time. Despite having bought the formulation for dry skin, it still looked and felt like it could end up being drying, chalky, and unflattering.

The Rimmel on the other hand, while a warm tones shade, looked much darker in the bottle than it does on your skin. I think that's on account of the sort of peachy glow they add to it to make you more "luminous." And it works. The formula is elegant (albeit it leaves a bit of a scent), and you really don't need to use much product at all to even out your skin tone. I used way more for this photo than I normally would - I applied it with a damp sponge. Normally I prefer to use my fingers. I did this really just for the sake of the experiment to see how the product wore.

All the other components of my look are identical on both sides, and are things I would normally use to create a natural, "everyday" look.  While I think I am probably still going to be experimenting a bit with different foundation formulas, this Rimmel is one you might want to give a try. It's affordable, really lightweight, and flattering.

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