Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ask Outinapout: Foundation
Who's the Fairest of Them All?

Today's question comes to us from Meghan, who writes:

I came across your blog while looking for a foundation with a color similar to Make Up For Ever HD in Pink Porcelain. I have a very difficult time matching colors to my skin tone (MUFE is just the slightest bit too dark for me). I saw in your post that you used that shade, and I was wondering if you could recommend some other foundations or powders? I looked through your entries, but had a hard time finding other posts about foundations. Normally I would not email someone about this, but it is rare that I find people who could help me with this! Thank you so much.

My Answer:


I'm happy to oblige! Coincidentally, I was literally just talking about this with a friend, so it's fresh in my mind. I'm also a little embarrassed that I don't have more foundation advice on my site, since finding the best one is kind of an obsession for me!

Right now, my daily foundation is Graftobian High-Def Glamour Creme Foundation in either Graceful Swan (warm) or Bombshell (neutral, slightly deeper than Graceful Swan).

When I went to grab the link for this post, I was thrilled to see that the line has recently expanded the range with five- FIVE!!!- even fairer shades, making this brand a great choice for the palest among us! If you're not familiar with Graftobian, they are a well-known theatrical brand, and can be found online or in well-stocked costume or theatrical supply stores. They're also the least expensive foundation I use- a .5 oz pot retails for $14.99.

The coverage with Graftobian HD is easily adjustable from sheer to full. I like moderate coverage, so I apply it with my e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush and blend it into the skin using small, circular motions (mineral foundation fans will know this as "buffing"). This formula has a natural finish and I'd recommend it for all but extremely oily skin types.

Another favorite is Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia.

I'm not really sure why Nars chose to call this "Sheer", because it's really not at all- it's a nice, medium coverage liquid. Also, don't let the word "glow" in the title fool you into thinking you'll see any shimmer or opalescence- the finish is satiny, not shimmery or dewy. I almost didn't try it because of the name, and I'm so glad the Nars advisor insisted on giving me a sample! Siberia is also the fairest shade of foundation I've been able to find among my locally available mall selection. Sheer Glow is designed for normal to dry skin; for those who are on the oilier side of the spectrum I'd suggest Nars' Sheer Matte Foundation, which comes in the same shade range.

Somewhat easier to find than my previous options is Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Alabaster.

Coverage and finish is similar to the Graftobian, but the shade is a tad deeper than I'd like, and I found the tone to have more orange than I cared for, which is why I moved on. It bears mentioning, however, because I still feel it's a notch fairer than other department store brands.

Another line to check our- if you don't mind ordering internationally, is Illamasqua- their fairest shade is pure white! They've recently revamped the line & added a shade 115, which is described as "for very light skin with neutral shade undertones" which describes me perfectly. I've used their rich liquid and the old formula of the light liquid, so make sure you check out those reviews & swatches before you shop! Also, some of you may be aware that some Sephoras carry Illamasqua, and it is also available online. Unfortunately, Sephora does not carry the entire Illamasqua shade or product range, which includes the ultra-fair shades I mentioned here.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Face Atelier Ultra Foundation in Zero Minus.

Face Atelier is a pro line that's available online and at very select locations in the US and Canada. The Zero Minus is a pure white liquid that can be blended into existing shades to lighten them without diluting the coverage. I adore it, and highly recommend it to anyone who has ever had to compromise the coverage, finish, formula or tone they want simply to get a shade fair enough.

So, that's about it! I have yet to find a drugstore brand that is light enough on it's own. If you don't need tons of coverage and have normal skin, you can likely find your shade in mineral powder makeup- the fairest shades I've tried are from brands Meow Cosmetics and Archetype Cosmetics. I have dry skin and like my foundation to cover imperfections, so mineral makeup doesn't work for me- which is why I don't really review them :) I know I have TONS of readers who are mineral fans, so feel free to sound off in the comments!

Edit: After a few comments mentioned Revlon Colorstay in Ivory, I thought I'd post a quick pic comparing the Revlon to my two current favorites by Graftobian.

Colorstay in 110 Ivory is in the center, on the left is Graftobian Graceful Swan. On the far right is Graftobian Bombshell. As you can see, the Revlon shade is deeper than either Graftobian option, I'd say about a half to full shade darker than Bombshell to the right, and almost two full shades deeper than Graceful Swan to the left. The biggest difference, of course, is in tone. Graceful Swan is a clean warm tone- a definite yellow base. Revlon Colorstay, when heavily swatched like this, appears peachy on the skin- a mixture of orange and pink tones, but definitely leans toward the cool pink side when blended. Bombshell looks a bit more warm in this photo than it looks in real life- it's a good neutral shade with no dominant undertones.


Monika @ RocailleWrites said...

Great post, Jessica! I'm super fair skinned as well, my top picks so far are Revlon Colorstay in Ivory and Graftobian HD Glamour Creme in Buff, which I think used to be the lightest shade in the cool spectrum before the introduction of new shades. They're both great foundations, although I do like Graftobian more in that it's unscented. x

Anonymous said...

Suuuuper useful post. If anyone's interested in something available on the UK high st, I'd recommend Bourjois. Their 51 shade is the lightest I've seen on the high st outside of Revlon Colourstay- the palest Photoready got discontinued. I'm using their Healthy Mix, which is a medium coverage liquid with a very natural finish, but their other foundationas come in that shade too. They do however tend to run a bit warm.

I do want to try the Graftobian but buying online worries me w/ colour matching.

Phyrra said...

Fantastic post! Meow was the first foundation I found that actually matched me (Inquisitive Siamese), which was fantastic. Now I want to try the NARS or G HD!

Unknown said...

I can't wait to try the new Graftobian shades out! There's actually a palette w/ all 5 new colors for less than $30!

I totally understand your reluctance over buying foundations online- that's why I have yet to find my perfect match in Illamasqua! I did take a quick comparison post for you that may help- the 2 shades of Graftobian that I have VS. Revlon's Colorstay in Ivory, the fairest shade available (which is too deep and cool on my skin.) Also, Camerareadycosmetics.com does sell Graftobian samples so that you can test out the shades before you buy, or you can buy the shades in palettes like the one I mentioned to Rocaille.

I like the Graftobian a lot, but if you're not used to cream makeup it could seem heavy, depending on how you apply it. That's why I use the e.l.f. brush- I feel like it really works the makeup into my skin & then I don't feel anything at all.

LisaOrestea said...

I bought a couple of Graftobian 5 piece palettes to help with colour matching. They are really nice to have in my kit for doing other peoples makeup because the colours mix well together - so if you don't have a shade, you can make it really easilly :)

AMAZING coverage with graftobian too!

Unknown said...

They have all of the new Ultra-Lites in a 5 palette, I'm thinking of picking that up- for review at the least, right?

Do you know of any places that give a pro discount on Graftobian?

Unknown said...

Thanks for this post! I have super pale, super pink skin and barely any foundations work on me, Nars Siberia is far too dark and yellow for me. I'm very interested in the Graftobian ones, I'll have to try them! The best matches for me I've found are NYX LM01 pale (the lightest shade) and GOSH x-ceptional wear in Porcelain, but neither are perfect. I also really like mineral makeup, particularly BFTE alabaster, which was great on me. i have dry skin but didn't really have any problems. But then I always wear powder on top of liquid foundation to set and mattify it so i guess it doesn't make different. Whoa I've written an essay!

Rosanna said...

I am another ColorStay 110 aficionado... but I also like True Match N1 and Yves Saint Laurent Teint Resist 1. Overall ColorStay 110 is slightly too yellow for me..

Anonymous said...

You'll never know how helpful this has been! I'm the palest person I've ever seen. There was only one makeup that was ever a good match, and it was discontinued several years ago. I have bags full of new foundation bottles that have barely been used but are just too dark for me (and often too orange) even though I only buy the lightest shade. My other problem is extremely sensitive skin with breakouts (not a lot but some) and flakiness. That adds to the difficulty because I am limited to brands/formulas that won't break me out or worsen the flakiness.

Anyway, THANK YOU!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...