Posted by: Jordan
A reader asked us to do a SmackDown version for affordable all-natural cream foundations, a product she was searching for to replace her expensive department store brand. Thanks to several suggestions from other readers of which brands to test out, here are my findings from this version of MakeUp SmackDown!
Vegan Liquid Foundation from The All Natural Face
Health Glow Foundation by Real Purity (an Indiana company–Hoosier shout out from an Indiana native!!)
Creme Foundation by Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques
Ease of choosing my color when purchasing online:
I put this category first because a lot of people feel uneasy buying cosmetics online without trying them in person first, which is a fair concern. Finding your foundation color is difficult in person, let alone doing it all by yourself in front of a computer.
Lauren Brooke was super simple because they offer samples of all their products for $1.40 (I did try a sample of a serum for $3.50, but all the other samples are only $1.40). Plus, they offer free shipping if you spend over $25 so it’s easy to order lots of samples of cosmetics and not have to pay additional for shipping. I ordered two foundation samples and found that Warm #2 worked best for me, which surprised me because I would have thought I would have been Neutral rather than Warm. There were several colors to choose from, but not an overwhelming amount.
The All Natural Face sells 51 shades of foundation (and if you find that none of those work for you, they’ll work with you to create a custom blend)!!! With that many choices, they thankfully also sell a sampler kit of all the powder foundations in your range (pale/ medium or medium/dark) for only $4.60. My trouble was there were SO MANY colors to choose from in the kit that I was a bit overwhelmed. I made Emily help me narrow down the colors to a handful of potentials and then I went home and applied them to my whole face. After much debating and second guessing, I found that Tan Warm was the best color for me (which is odd because I would consider my skin neither warm nor tan). After choosing a color from the powder foundations you can order liquid foundations, powder foundations, or concealer all in the same color.
Real Purity also sells samples for $1.50, but their free shipping promo is after you spend $50 so that makes it a little more difficult to load up on samples without paying shipping (am I the only person who tries anything to avoid paying shipping? I hate it when you spend $5 on something and then pay $9 in shipping!). However, finding your shade isn’t too difficult because they have 13 colors to choose from and accurate descriptions of the colors/undertones on their website. I found that Soft Beige blended beautifully on my skin (described as “Fair skin with a slight pink undertone, cool skin tone”–which very much describes my skin, much more so than “Tan Warm” from The All Natural Face!).
Winner: I thought Lauren Brooke made it easiest to find my perfect shade with cheap sample prices and free shipping over $25, but really all of these companies make it pretty simple to choose your perfect color.
Spoiler–I really like all of these liquid foundations and they all offer nice coverage but in varying degrees.
The sheerest coverage was from The All Natural Face. I found it to be just a notch more than a tinted moisturizer, in my opinion. If you’re looking for a more full-coverage foundation, this one probably isn’t the best. If you prefer a lighter coverage, I think this is an amazing choice. I found that it leaves a pretty sheen on my face, almost like a built-in highlighter, but in a very subtle way.
Real Purity offers fantastic coverage which feels lightweight when you apply it, but just evens everything out and makes your skin look prettier. I’d say it’s a middle of the road coverage foundation. Great for everyday and blends beautifully!
Lauren Brooke is definitely more full-coverage–ideal for a big evening out when you’re getting glammed up with a full face of dramatic makeup, or for someone who has a lot of acne or skin discolorations they need to even out. The cream was thick in my hands, but felt moisturizing and light on your face–not at all heavy. I found it really covers imperfections nicely, as I have a few dark sun spots on my face that the foundation covered entirely, without even having to use concealer on top, like I normally do. It made my skin look healthy, glowy (not greasy) and was a great base for the rest of my makeup. I loved this foundation for a special evening, date night, or an interview, but for this stay-at-home-mom it was something I’d probably only use a handful of times in a year. That’s not to say it’s not someone else’s ideal foundation because it does have amazing coverage and feels luxurious on your skin. For me, however, I prefer something slightly more sheer for everyday.
Winner (for my skin’s coverage needs): Real Purity Health Glow Foundation (health glow is such an appropriate name for it…it really does make my skin look healthier and glowier!) Followed very closely by Lauren Brooke.
The All Natural Face costs $13.80 for a 1 oz bottle. However, you pretty much have to first buy the sampler kit of foundation colors because there’s absolutely no way you could choose your color without doing that step first. So tack on an initial $4.60 to spend on finding your right color.
Real Purity costs $26 for a 1.5oz bottle.
Lauren Brooke costs $27 for a 24 gram pot (a little over 3/4 oz). A little will go a long way with this foundation, however.
This is no way to choose your best foundation, but if you’re someone who likes to display pretty bottles and jars in your bathroom, Lauren Brooke is the only one of these three that spends any money or thought in their packaging. It looks like something you’d buy at a department store, whereas the other two look like a high school intern might have designed their packaging. Again, this doesn’t affect my decision in any way regarding the product, but I thought it should be mentioned!
To sum up this SmackDown, I really love the liquid foundations from all of three of these companies, but I’d reorder the foundation from Real Purity and then invest in the AMAZING concealer that I sampled from Lauren Brooke to even out under eye circles and imperfections or discolorations. I feel that a more sheer-medium coverage foundation combined with a heavy-duty, super blendable concealer is my best combo. You really can’t go wrong with any of these foundations. Choose your coverage level, and I think you’ll be happy with any of these choices.
In sampling these foundations I of course had to sample some other types of makeup from these companies. Here are the highlights (and one fail):
-As mentioned, the creme concealer from Lauren Brooke is out of this world! It’s $14 for 1/2 oz, which I feel is a great price.
-The Botanical Lip Gloss in Coral from Lauren Brooke. It ended up being more of a red than coral but so pretty with buildable color. Loved the saturated color combined with the sheer moisturizing gloss.
–The Vegan Oily Lid Eyeshadow Primer in Buff from The All Natural Face is now a part of my daily routine. It actually allows me to have color on my eyes all day, which I’ve complained about before how by the middle of the day all the eye color I applied that morning had disappeared. No longer the case, thanks to this incredibly effective yet insanely inexpensive product. Only $3.45 for a little pot that should last me at least a year of daily application.
–Mascara from the All natural Face in Black. At first I wasn’t impressed with this mascara. It took 3 coats just to give my lashes a little bit of emphasis. However, after wearing it all day and even testing it through a sweaty class at the gym, it stayed put with no signs of smudging. After trying it over my favorite Jane Iredale Purelash primer, it was a great mascara. The primer made the mascara have more oomph and defined my lashes much more.
–Mascara from Real Purity in Violet. This is not at all something I’d think to pick for myself, but I was sent a sample of their new colored mascaras (available in violet, navy, and emerald green) and was pleasantly surprised! The mascara itself is a buildable formula–I found it took me 3 coats to get to the level of definition I like for my lashes. But it stayed put all day (especially when applied over the Jane Iredale primer). But the violet color was so fun! I wore it over to a playdate at Emily’s house and I received positive feedback. “I could tell that you had color on your eyes but I didn’t realize it was in your mascara”, said one of the moms. And Emily raved how she didn’t know I was wearing colored mascara until I was sitting in front of her window and the light happened to catch it. A fun addition to your natural makeup collection, for sure!
–Powder blush in Parfait from Real Purity. The bright pink isn’t something I’d normally be drawn to, but it turns out it really brightened up my face with a flattering pink. Would be interested in trying out the Light Coral or the Shrimp colors as well!
-The Eye & Throat Cream from Real Purity is the best eye cream I’ve ever tried. I am often asked what natural eye cream I recommend and it’s always a hard question for me because I’ve never found a product that I loved as much as this. I’ve always felt that eye cream felt very much like a face cream in a smaller bottle–until I discovered this! It’s so light and has almost a creamy-gel texture that the skin absorbs quickly. This will be my new daily eye cream! I only received a sample size of this so I can’t attest to the long-term eye cream benefits yet, but I will be ordering a full size and plan to use it twice a day, so I will report back!
And one fail:
–Eyeliner Pencil in Blue from Lauren Brooke. The color of the eyeliner was beautiful, a jewel-toned navy that was nice for every day. However, the pencil was too soft and oily so I found that I had to sharpen it every time and it would often break during application, making me have to sharpen it again. It was $13.50, which I thought was on the expensive side, especially for how little time it will last me since I have to re-sharpen it constantly.