When it comes to purchasing a skin foundation there are quite a few selections to make and because of the vast amount of products on the market, it can be extremely overwhelming to decipher which one is the best. Set aside color, texture, coverage desirability and of course skin type compatibility is it really worth it to shell out top dollar for a luxury brand or simply head to a local drugstore and get something more economical? As luxurious as the upscale beauty brands tout their products to be maybe it’s just all marketing and all we’re really paying for is creative packaging design and of course the designer name. Or maybe we’re getting something more in terms of technology in formulas. When I worked for Prescriptives I did custom blending and it was truly an innovative way of providing the best delivery of color, texture, skin-type formula and a personable client/consultant experience. Every customer had a “recipe” that was personalized to suit their individual skin type and tone. That was the 1990’s and back then $50 seemed like a splurge for a 1 oz. bottle but it was a welcome one because you were getting precisely what you wanted. And because it was a failsafe it was more of an investment With on-demand custom blended foundations being a thing of the past (Px department store counters are now extinct but their product can be ordered online) we now have to look to the industry to do as much research as possible and utilize the limits of science to ensure the best shades and textures are available right out of the box. Below I’ll give you the scoop between drugstore brands and luxury brands and you’ll be the judge. THE BASIC I tried Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation $8 in Cappuccino and I found it to be a little thinner in consistency than I had hoped. Although the coverage is light-medium it still boasts matte coverage which is excellent if you’re oily like me. But overall I feel like your skin really shows through with this particular foundation so if you want to hide imperfections entirely this may not suit you. On the upside, it has a far-reaching range of 40 shades so you’re more than likely to find yours. THE SCIENCE Formulated for normal-to-oily skin-types Maybelline describes it as “a foundation that mattifies and refines pores with the help of infused micro-powders.” While L’Oreal’s True Match Super-Blendable Makeup $11 which is available in 32 wide range shades from the fairest ivory to a deep toffee touts an oil-free formula and is suitable for all skin types. THE SCIENCE According to the brand this ultra-pure makeup contains no oils, no fragrances or pore-clogging fillers. What it does brag about is Ultra-Precise Match Technology which offers you controlled coverage so all you get is a buildable natural finish that’s good for your skin. Add this to the fact that it’s packed with Vitamins A and C, wheat germ and grapefruit extract to nourish and protect your delicate skin. Win, win! BEYOND BASIC Another one I was able to sample (thanks to fellow Instagram follower @beautyjunkiekayla ) was the newly launched Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Soft Matte Hydra Makeup $42, which I used to wear in its original form. The new formula is a lighter version and has a silky glide which I absolutely love! This lightweight formula is suitable for all skin types and its matte finish blurs and reduces the look of pores while still offering a medium buildable coverage. THE SCIENCE It’s also infused with concentrated hyaluronic acid which controls oil to keep skin fresh with wear lasting up to 24-hours along with an SPF of 30 for extra protection. The Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 $29 may be a mid-level contender but it still holds it’s own in benefits. Best for dry-combination to oily-combination skin types this foundation is available in 30 shades so the chances of finding an ideal match are good. THE SCIENCE Because it’s fortified with Vitamin C and antioxidants which simultaneously help to diminish the look of dark spots, age spots, and acne marks it not only covers the surface but goes well beyond to perfect your skin over time. THE EXTRA Now let’s say you want the very best there is, then this is for you. Unfortunately, I don’t have firsthand knowledge of this particular foundation but it seems as though Clé de Peau Beauté The Foundation SPF 21 is the cream of the crop of foundations, at least it costs enough! At $250 this creamy mousse-like formula is ideal for drier or mature skins desiring a dewy finish. Available in twelve shades. THE SCIENCE As if the beautiful crystal jar isn’t enough to reel you in this product packs some serious bonuses like their proprietary Illuminating Complex EX, its function is to moisturize, rejuvenate and retexturize which inevitably visibly repairs environmental skin damage leaving a lustrous finish and aids in the future of healthy skin. And La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer and Foundation Sunscreen SPF 15 $230 is right up there in luxury and benefits. First of all, you’re getting a combination of a compact concealer as well as the foundation at the bottom of the unit. This in itself is a great bonus, however, it too is only available in 12 shades which makes finding the optimum color to fit every skin tone a challenge. THE SCIENCE The well-known beauty brand fuses its caviar extract known for cellular recovery in a foundation that offers full yet natural looking coverage. So there you have it, a line up of various foundation labels from the most economical to the very elite. When you compare the benefits and technology it seems as though the drugstore brands are catching up to the upscale market, in fact, there’s something to be said for the shade ranges that some of the top tier brands offer. That could be a deal breaker if you don’t mind spending the money but how does it help if you can’t find a shade that truly compliments your skin-tone? All in all, it seems that wherever you look there’s something for everyone it just depends on what your needs are. You can go “all out” or go thrifty and still be covered. Written by Linda Jamison