Four budget foundations reviewed

Todays post is a real treat – especially for those of you who like to see scary sights. Oh yes, that’s right – you get to see my totally make-up free mug complete with post Christmas break out. You lucky things. Well, all for a purpose – and that’s to take a look at the coverage and finish of four new(ish) budget foundations and give them each a little review. What better way to test them to see how they cover spots/imperfections – after all, that’s what they’re here to do, there’s little point putting foundation on to perfect skin! What can I say, I’m just here to serve… anyway, onward to reviewing the budget foundations!

budget foundations

First things first, here’s a charming look at what we’re working with. This is the totally make-up free face. Currently also have dehydrated cheeks and general redness going to too.  Excellent. Bring on the foundations. ASAP.


Bourjois Air Mat * (Shade 03 Light Beige)

First point to make is that the shade I have isn’t the best match for my skin. Totally aware of that and as a result, this isn’t one I have worn out of the house (same applies for the Rimmel) but I’ve given it a good test at home to see how it sits and wears. This one does feel nicely light for a matte finish, which is nice and the finish is shine free without being flat – also a good thing. I would say that this really is one to go for if you do have shiny/oil skin, I tend to have a shiny tzone but dry around the eyes/cheeks so overall, I’d personally opt for a more glowy/hydrating formula. But if you’re oil and don’t want shine but also don’t want to look chalky/flat then the finish on this is ideal.

Blending wise, it does blend well overall. The shade mis-match makes me a little conscious that it doesn’t look totally even on me, but that’s more down to shade than formula. This is just foundation,no powder or concealer – so you can also get a decent idea of how well it covers imperfections when you compare to the first make-up free image.

Best for: Oily skins or those who want to avoid shine


Rimmel Match Perfection * (200 Soft Beige) 

Another formula that isn’t the right shade match, but can give you an idea of texture, coverage and finish. This Rimmel foundation has been around a while, but has been reformulated to improve the formula.  It promises a 24 hour hydrating finish and ‘pore blurring effect’. In terms of the finish of this, it does give a good healthy/glowy finish without looking like a mask or unnatural.

I would definitely say it does have a good pore blurring effect – for me pores aren’t top of my list in terms of imperfections I want to conceal but this is a nice effect to see my skin looking really smooth. I also think this does a good job at concealing spots etc before I even apply anything specifically to hide them. This one initially looks like it might be quite thick but as you apply it buffs in really nicely to create that glowy but natural finish. Again, no concealer or powder on this – just the foundation to show how it covers imperfections.

Best for: Stronger coverage, with a natural feel and finish


L’Oreal True Match * (1W Golden Ivory)

This is another one that’s been around for a long time, but has been reformulated to give it some tweaks and take it up a notch. I’ve heard good things but don’t recall ever trying this one out for myself. I’m already kicking myself for this as it’s really lovely – the shade match is pretty bang on for this one I think, which probably helps. But the finish is just what I like – covered, glowy but natural and not too shiny either. All round thumbs up for that. I feel like it’s really light (the formula is probably the most fluid of the bunch) yet still does a great job at concealing imperfections – which is great as I hate having to choose between the light feeling I prefer and the coverage I want to hide the things I generally don’t want people to see!

I’m also really impressed when I see the huge range of shades available from the L’Oreal True Match foundation range – if you struggle to find a match on the highstreet then definitely check L’Oreal’s offering out as they have the range broken into Warm, Neutral and Cool (numbers plus the W N C lettering) to help find your match.

Best for: Light feeling but good coverage


Max Factor Miracle Match Blue & Nourish * (Beige 55)

Blur and nourish? Sold. Yes, I’d like to blur (hide) my imperfections but I don’t want to be left with papery dry skin too. I’ve always been impressed with Max Factor foundations in the past – in fact, the Skin Luminzer is one of my favourite budget/drugstore foundations I’ve tried (gorgeous, especially if you have dry skin) so was really excited to give this new addition to the foundation line up. Shade match, it’s not absolutely perfect but pretty close – even if the shade is off a little, it blends so well that it’s harder to tell. It leaves my skin looking healthy and glowing, not shiny in the wrong places. Imperfections are in fact blurred, in particular my problem area around my eyes that is normally a red flag for me is nicely hydrated and looks smooth. I perhaps could have added a little more on my nose where the redness is still showing a little, but that’s getting picky.


My favourite thing about this foundation is how it ‘settles’ as you wear it – it doesn’t settle into lines or anything it just makes skin look more healthy/glowing as the day goes on. I think my tzone would likely need a little touch up, but I’d rather go this way than dry/lines showing. Really lovely, comfortable finish.

Best for: Combination skin where you want to look glowy but not shiny


The biggest question has to be with these four budget foundations now I’ve tried them all… which is the favourite and the one I’d recommend? Well, it very much does vary depending on what you want from a foundation and what your skin type is. For me, it’s a tough call between the L’Oreal True Match and the Max Factor Miracle Match – both right up my street in terms of coverage, feel and finish. I think I’d opt for the True Match as a general good skin/day to day option  and the Max Factor if I’m after a touch more cover or suffering a break out as I am at the moment.

Having said that, all four of these are great foundations if you’re after a budget friendly skin perfecting option. It just comes down to what you want as a finish and your own skin type really! But I do hope this help if you’re looking to try some budget foundations in 2016 – a few to give you as a starting point!


*PR sample or gift



  1. January 10, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    I am obsessed with the Bourjois foundation, im an NW20 in MAC and i am the lightest shade in the Bourjois one. It does look more full coverage on me than it does on you but i guess that shows how buildable it is x
    Emma | Emmys Beauty Cave

  2. January 10, 2016 / 6:29 pm

    Great post and really helpful being able to see how they all looked on your skin. I’m currently using the Air Mat for my combination skin. It’s really good at matifying my shiny t zone.

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