Foundation Wars // The Battle of the Bottle

It seems like every time you turn around different brands are coming out with new foundations with amazing claims.  Recently it's really been the battle of the BB creams.  But today I want to share with you a range ouf foundations & BB creams I've tried to fight my main problems - oily skin & acne scars.  The coloring of my face is very uneven due to acne scaring from the younger me who couldn't leave well enough alone & my face is very oily.  I do have a skin care routine that fights the oil & tries to fade the scars, but when it comes to make up I need something with a matte finish & a full - if not buildable - coverage foundation.  In my foundation routine, just like with all these foundations, I use a primer & Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed powder always. I never skip it.  So with that in mind, here are 9 foundations that were hits & misses with my skin type:
foundation wars

T H E   H I T S
(in no particular order because each is good for different things)

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 hour Foundation
This is the foundation I turned to after college because of the affordable price tag.  I switched to this on a whim & really love it.  It is comparable to Revlon ColorStay but not exactly the same.  It's much lighter, offers comparable coverage but ColorStay has more coverage, is very long lasting, & blends better than ColorStay.  There are a lot of pros & cons to both and I wish these two foundations would have a baby that is a blend of the good bits of both!
Medium to full buildable coverage
Blends well & best coverage with a damp sponge or beauty blender
Truly long lasting
Feels light but steel feels like make up on your skin, you do forget it is on though it's not too heavy
Very few colors to choose from
Matte like finish

Revlon Nearly Naked
This is one of my favorite of the hits.  It's super light & I may turn to it more.  I think its a great foundation for the Summer time especially if you're looking for the lightness of a BB cream.  In fact, I used it in this tutorial for a bronzy summer look.  Pretty much I love this on my skin.  I also love the color names - for example I'm in Vanilla.  Just sounds so pretty.  Also, if you can't find your color these really set up to match you rather well.
Medium buildable coverage
Very light, feels like you are in fact nearly naked! I forgot I was wearing it
Long lasting
Matte finish - the only true matte finish I've found
Can take a good blending of blush on top (doesn't separate, etc)
Available in 16 shades
Blends to match your skin tone

Revlon ColorStay Liquid & Revlon ColorStay Whipped
Both of these have great coverage, very close to full coverage & both are on the pricey side for drugstore foundation.  I like these, they stay well on oily skin - there's an oily skin formula - and the coverage is amazing, but it's a bit heavy for summer.  I can really feel this on my skin but I think it would be better for the winter months.  I don't notice it melting off in the heat but it does start to feel more make up like.
Most closest to full coverage
Blends well with a beauty sponge or your hands, whipped works alright with a brush
Semi-matte finish
Really does wear well all day (I'd believe the 24 hour claim though I've never worn it that long)
Can start to feel heavy, not that great for summer
Available in 20 shades
Combination/Oil & Normal Formula
Pricey drugstore foundation that works for oil & coverage

Wet n Wild Coverall Foundation
This stuff blew my socks off for the price point.  You can watch my reaction here if you wish!  I love the coverage, it lasts just as well as Rimmel's 25 Hour Foundation & has the amazing coverage of Revlon Colorstay.  Overall, for $3 it's so worth it.
Nearly full coverage
Lasts pretty long
Only available in a few shades (much like Rimmel)
Blends well with a sponge or your hand
Comes in a squeeze tube
More on the pink side
Cheap but oh so great!

T H E   M E H
(these are alright but not astounding.  They do the job but don't blow socks off)

Rimmel BB Cream
This is one of the best bb creams I've found.  It has a strong smell of sunscreen & sort of feels like sunscreen when you apply it.  It's rather thick but has great coverage for a BB cream (I feel BB cream is code for tinted moisturizer).  This is my favorite BB cream of the two mentioned in this list.
Light but buildable to Medium coverage
Thick consistency but blendable
Not too heavy on the skin
SPF + SPF smell! (it fades though)
9-in-1 claim is crazy but I think it does live up to some of them since it is more like a foundation
Not as long lasting as ColorStay, Nearly Naked, or Rimmel 25 Hour
Best applied with hands or brush & built up with sponge
Matte like finish
Only 3 colors - light, medium, medium dark

Almay Clear Complexion
This is the one that I used before switching to Rimmel.  This is what I used all through high school & college.  It's alright for coverage, the blemish technology appealed to me.  I was a perfect match for two shades - one summer & one winter - and could blend the two to get a perfect transition color.
Medium coverage
Blemish control seemed to work for me
Blends well with a damp sponge, foundation brush, & stippling brush
Lasts about 5-6 hours on me
Available in only 7 shades
Not too heavy on the skin

T H E   M I S S E S
(these didn't do so hot & I don't really like them)

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation
I really wanted to like this.  It went on with great coverage, seemed buildable, & had a matte finish.  I was so excited to wear it to work but then, by the middle of the day, it was gone....completely.  This foundation is supposed to let the real you show through & it really does - your skin is what you see 4 hours into wearing it.  If you're looking for a real you but flawless look, Revlon Nearly Naked is sooo much better
Applies well with a damp sponge or beauty sponge but it's suggest to apply with your fingers
Easily blendable
Only lasts a few hours, not great for long wear - maybe if you were running errands
Matte Finish
SPF but only in a few shades
Color match is great
Available in 18 shades

Garnier BB Cream for Oily Skin
When I found this I was like 'Sweet! BB cream for oil skin! This is going to be awesome!'  And at first, when I applied it, it was great coverage.  I thought I was set.  It's really liquidy & runny (as opposed to the normal formula) but it sets to a matte finish.  Blends really well with your hands & has about lighter to medium coverage.  It wasn't buildable at all.  It too was gone after a few hours.  I was hoping this would be a long lasting, light bb cream with SPF that I could use everyday effortlessly during the summer.  But I much prefer the Rimmel BB cream over this one.
Weird runny formula that sets to a mat finish
Blends well with your hands & a brush
Only lasts about 4-5 hours
Decent but not buildable coverage
Only available in a few shades
Color match is alright for the few shades available
Pricey for not a very good product

CoverGirl Foundations Period
I tried the cheapy CoverGirl Clean Foundation that runs about $3-$5 to save a bit of money in college.  I regretted it immediately.  This foundation left my face full of blackheads & I had a horrible rough texture because of it.  Because I tried that one foundation I'm afraid to try any other foundations by CoverGirl....which is why it isn't in the wheel up there but in the list down here!  I really want to try the  newer 3-in-1 Foundation but am afraid I'll have the same results.  CoverGirl, to me, is just a juvenile brand - I know this is sooo not true but I will always see it that way.  They smell weird to me, break me out, & it's not the best quality.  Sorry CoverGirl, but you don't make my list.

So there you have it...my foundation journey!  I've been trying out a few more that didn't make this list because I haven't formed an opinion on them yet.  This is list is seriously geared toward oily skin.  On me, all the hits (obviously) are what I go to when I know what I want.  Revlon Nearly Naked is what I've been wearing lately & I actually wore it in the wedding I was in last weekend.  Even in the heat I think it all looked great!

Do you have any other suggestions?  What works best for your skin type?

xoxo, Moe

Connect on Twitter // Follow on Pinterest // Peep me at Hello Cotton


  1. Thanks for the tips! I have oily skin, especially my T-zone so I'm always looking for new products to try. I really like the Maybelline Mineral Foundation- it works great on my skin and doesn't come off. I have also been waiting to try Maybelline BB cream, I've only heard good things so far about it :)
    xo Akshara
    Simply Akshara

  2. Thanks for this! I also have oily skin and always on the hunt for good BB's (especially since it's summer) and foundations. Right now I'm using Revlon Photoready BB, which I like because I feel like it gives me better than average coverage for a BB (but it's not exactly formulated for oily skin so there's that).

    I like the FIT Me powder, but have never tried the liquid! Thanks for the heads-up about it's stay power. Also, I totally agree about the Garnier BB, which I've tried. It was much too liquidy/runny for my tastes and seemed to take forever to dry.

    I really enjoyed reading these reviews and am excited to try some of your 'hits' next time I'm in need of new BB/foundation!

  3. Still going back through and commenting...haha.

    I know what you mean about CoverGirl foundations, BUT the 3 in 1 stuff is pretty nice. I decided to try it after a few reviews I saw on YouTube (one of them by DulceCandy) and her review seemed promising. It's heavier than the Nearly Naked (which I love), but the coverage is good, and I have used it as concealer and it works well too. I think you should give it a try for winter and see how you like it. :)

    I also dislike most Maybelline face products (the FitMe especially, the worst thing ever!) but I love their BB cream. It's cheaps, and works as well as some nicer ones I've sampled. :)

    Man, you and I could be best friends and do some damage makeup shopping haha.


Hi there, thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I love &value each & every one! If you have a question, I will respond as soon as I can. Don't be afraid to shoot me an email! If you have a blog, I will pop on by :)