Bargain vs Bougie: The Difference Between Our 4 Best-Selling Foundations

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Choosing a foundation is like dating. Or finding a good chocolate chip cookie recipe. You've got to go through a lot of duds to find 'the one'. It is what it is.

Sadly, it's not great for your bank account - buying and trailing lots of foundations, that is - which is why as a makeup artist who's tried hundreds of products, I thought I'd take you through the pros and cons of four of our most popular foundations.

From coverage and finish to the price tag and shade ranges, keep scrolling for rapid fire foundation facts to help you choose which product to add to your next Adore order.

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1. Designer Brands Hydrating Luminous Foundation, $19.99.

Fast facts:

  • Medium coverage - I like to buff it into the skin using a firm kabuki foundation brush.

  • Dewy, luminous finish that's great for dry skin but oily skin types may not love this.

  • Contains a hyaluronic acid concentrate to keep the skin hydrated throughout the day.

  • Downfall is the shade range, only 12 shades available.

Why it's so good:

I didn't think heaps of this product before I tried it but now, Designer Brands Hydrating Luminous Foundation is one of my personal favourites. As soon as it touched my skin, I was like, "where has this been all my life and why aren't more people talking about it?"

2. L'Oreal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation, $29.95.

Fast facts:

  • A super affordable foundation that could suit almost anyone.

  • Gives a true buildable medium coverage with a satin finish that's neither completely matte nor completely dewy.

  • We currently stock 33 shades with warm, neutral and cool undertones on Adore Beauty.

Why it's so good:

L'Oreal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation is kind of like the burrata cheese of foundations. You can't eat it (sorry!), but you can pair it with different things to get the result you're after. Want a matte finish? Prep the skin with a mattifying primer and set with a translucent powder. Prefer a dewier finish? Use a hydrating and/or luminous primer and only set with powder where you get oily (usually chin, nose and forehead).

3. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup, $60.

Fast facts:

  • Medium to full coverage that will not budge - it's one of Adore Brand & Content Manager Hannah's favourites.

  • Offers a completely matte, velvety finish that'll last all day.

  • The formula is waterproof, sweat-proof, oil-proof, life-proof.

  • We currently stock a whopping 60 shades with warm, neutral and cool undertones on Adore Beauty.

Why it's so good:

You've heard it before, but honestly, Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup is cult for a reason. If you have oily skin and love a full coverage foundation, this will be your holy grail. I use this a lot on my makeup artist clients who have oily skin and/or want full coverage, long-lasting makeup. Trust me, it goes the distance.

4. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $100.

Fast facts:

  • Formulated by iconic makeup artist Pat McGrath, is a favourite among celebs.

  • Delivers medium coverage that can be built up to a full coverage foundation, without looking cakey.

  • Feels weightless on the skin and gives a lovely lustre (looks like my skin, but better).

  • Again, oily skin types may not love the dewy, hydrating finish.

  • We currently stock 39 shades with warm, neutral and cool undertones on Adore Beauty.

Why it's so good:

Yes, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is $100 but it's worth every penny. When people ask what the finish is like, I tell them to picture a smooth, glistening piece of silk. Is it the foundation you'd wear to go grocery shopping? Probably not (if you've got the financial means, you do you though!). But if you're looking for a quality foundation, it's a great investment.

Moral of the story: Regardless of price, there's a foundation option out there to suit your skin type and budget. Praise be!

To see what these foundations look like in real life, watch my full budget vs bougie foundation comparison YouTube video below.

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