If you’re anything like me, you walk into a makeup or beauty store and you’re instantly overwhelmed. How do I know which brand is best? How will I know if it lasts all day? How TF do I know what the best color is for my skin when I’m supposed to wear a mask in the store these days? I hate makeup stores. I just want to look pretty…is that too much to ask? So what I decided to do was take a poll from instagram then start doing my own research. I purchased a ton of different top rated brands, I wore them throughout the day, I noticed how they matched and how they lasted, including when working out, and I decided which were worth keeping vs never using again.

Now to be clear, since everyone’s skin is soooooo different, here are the skin issues I deal with and my skin type:

  • I have very dry skin. I’ll sometimes get oily in my t-zone throughout the day, but I’m mostly dry, especially around my nose, mouth, and smile lines. So I need a foundation or cc cream that will give me plenty of moisture.
  • I have melasma. It’s not in concentrated areas, like most people. It’s a light melasma that turns my cheeks a slightly darker color that is discolored and splotchy. So I want a foundation that will give me medium coverage.
  • I’m not a person who wants to put on makeup multiple times per day, so I need something that will last through all my meals, workout, and anything in between.
  • Since I’m acne prone, I need something that doesn’t clog my pores AND I want SPF for extra protection as I age each day. The SPF is not a requirement, but it’s definitely a major plus.

Now that we’ve walked through all my high maintenance needs, let’s talk through all of the foundations and cc creams I have tried. I like to try both foundations and cc creams even though cc creams have less coverage, just because some do a pretty good job with covering up any imperfections without feeling heavy. But most of the time, I prefer foundations because I like my skin looking extra perdy when I do decide to wear makeup, which is not every day. Ew, why did I say perdy. Let’s not do that again. Ok, time for a breakdown.

Tarte Amazonian Clay – This a foundation I used to LOVE, but I think they may have changed their formula. It gives amazing coverage while using a minimal amount. But the problem is it tends to settle in fine lines as the day goes on. I also had a hard time finding a solid match for my skin tone/color no matter how many I tried. For dry skin, I find this foundation a bit too drying instead of hydrating so it’s a no-go for me.

IL Makiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Foundation – The instagram ads got me on this one. Their ads are so good. And their skin matching quiz is pretty damn spot on. I was impressed with how much the foundation matched my skin, but it definitely did not look nearly as good as their ads make it out to look, which feels like false advertising. Obviously it’s not, but I was expecting pretty close to perfection like the ads led on. The coverage is great, but I also found this one a little too drying and matte for my skin. So for this one, it’s a no-go.

Nars Light Reflecting Foundation – I HATED this foundation. I would love to use Nars products since they are cleaner compared to others, but I’ve found that most clean foundations tend to separate as the day goes on, making the skin look just as discolored as it would without foundation. This one did exactly that. It looked great at first then it just got worse and worse throughout the day. This one is probably my least favorite of everything I have tried.

Erborian CC Creme – This was recommended by a follower and I was really excited to try it because I love Korean skincare products. With this product, it comes out white then it begins to change color as you rub it into your face. Immediately I didn’t love it just because it didn’t give as much coverage I’m looking for right now. It would honestly be better as a primer instead of coverage. For daily wear by itself, it’s a pass for me.

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Illumination with SPF50 – If you know anything about IT cosmetics, you know they are known for their amazing coverage. And for good reason – they give GREAT coverage. I tried two IT Cosmetics CC creams and this one is my least favorite out of the two. I thought the illumination in the name would mean it would make my skin look extra bright and hydrated, but I found this one LESS hydrating than the other. So it’s a pass for me.

Anastasia Luminous Foundation – This was another foundation I tried based on a followers recommendation and I thought it was pretty good! It’s water resistant so I thought it would be great all-day wear and it was decent, but it just didn’t work great for my dry skin. I found it looked a bit too matte, giving my skin less of a luminous and young look. Sadly it’s a pass for me.

PaleOMG Flawless Foundation Post

Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Foundation SPF 45 – Now we are getting into my top three! I saw this recommended by one of my favorite beauty and skincare bloggers so I thought it was worth a try! What I love about this foundation is that it has SPF in it, which is always an added bonus, and my skin stays looking hydrated and supple throughout the day. It’s a bit more of a runny foundation compared to some that are thick so it feels like you have to use a bit more than you would with thicker foundations. Not a bad thing, but I think a person may go through it faster because of that and it’s a tad more expensive than other brands out there. This foundation is a go for me! I’ll definitely be using it again, but I probably won’t buy it as often as other brands! Below is a before and after photo with Estée Lauder Foundation on so you can see a side-by-side of the coverage!

PaleOMG Flawless Foundation Post

Kosas Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation SPF25 with Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide – This is another foundation that was recommended by a friend/blogger that I majorly trust when it comes to skincare and makeup. And it did not disappoint!! It is a really good foundation for uneven skin tone like mine and it keeps my skin hydrated all day long. Plus it doesn’t separate even though it’s a clean brand, so it looks pretty much the exact same all day long. I even got a couple compliments on my skin when I wore it! I highly recommend this one and I’ll definitely be wearing this on a regular basis! Below is a before and after photo with Kosas Foundation on so you can see a side-by-side of the coverage!

PaleOMG Flawless Foundation Post

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ – This is another absolute favorite that I wear most days now. IT Cosmetics absolutely crushes it when it comes to coverage and this foundation does exactly that – it covers uneven skin tone, it hydrates the skin, and it doesn’t separate throughout the day. Plus it doesn’t sink into fine lines. And since it’s a thicker foundation, a little bit goes a LONG way which means it’s going to last longer than other foundations. I liked this one way more than the illumination version, just FYI. This is a must-try in my book, especially if you struggle with dry skin and uneven skin tone! Below is a before and after photo with IT Cosmetics CC Cream on so you can see a side-by-side of the coverage!

PaleOMG Flawless Foundation Post

Over the past year of two, I’ve also tried Ilia, Vapour, Beauty Counter, Thrive Causemetics and Urban Decay. But I don’t like any of those so I just don’t think they are worth speaking on compared to these latest ones. And just FYI, if you struggle with finding a foundation that matches your skin color, Sephora has Find Your Shade available for all their foundations or CC creams. I recommend doing the quiz with no makeup on, in a natural lighting area like in front of a window. I did this for mine and found they all matched pretty damn close! Obviously all skin is different and not all of my picks would work for you, but hopefully this post helps you narrow down on your own search. The less you feel overwhelmed in the makeup category, the better! Good luck on your own search!!

PaleOMG Flawless Foundation Post


This post contains some affiliate links and I may be compensated, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for all your support!

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  1. Phoebe says:

    Love this! How do you apply the IT cosmetics and kosas foundations?

  2. K says:

    If you’re keen- my recommendation would be to try the Georgia Armani- it’s super great! It’s expensive but the bottle has lasted me a super long time.

  3. Lindsey says:

    I’ve been waiting for this post! I have to try the IT Cosmetics CC. I’ve tried so many BBs and CCs through the years. If you want an option for “no makeup look” try La Roche posay anthelios tinted liquid spf 50. For me it’s insanely flattering and super smooth/blendable. Most days I wear only this as my main “foundation” with concealer under eyes and on red spots.

    1. Kristen says:

      Hi Lindsey! Would you say that the LRP tinted sunscreen have decent coverage? Enough to cover redness?
      Thank you!

  4. Robin says:

    I just bought the NARS light reflecting over the weekend. I haven’t tried it yet but I can’t wait to see how it holds up. I previously tried Urban Decay foundation and it felt like it aged me 20 years.

  5. Tracy says:

    How do you apply the IT CC cream, fingers, brush, beauty blender?

    1. juli says:

      i like to use a brush then finish blending with a beauty blender!

      1. berneda says:

        what is a beauty blender ?

  6. Diana says:

    This might be one of my favorite blog posts you’ve ever done. I don’t know shit about makeup and have dry skin. The side by side pictures with no filters are so helpful. Thank you!!

    1. Brittany says:

      I agree!

  7. berneda says:

    Hi! May I ask what you wear for blush and lips with the IT CC cream pic? Looks great!

  8. Constance Davis says:

    I’ve tried It foundations and not a huge fan of them! Feels more like concrete on my face than make up!
    Lots of other brands with full coverage without the heavy feel!

  9. Kristen says:

    Wow thank you!!!! I have been looking for YEARS for good recommendations means for folks like me, with dry/flaky skin and oily T-Zone and red/blotchy skin. Even the most moisturizing foundations I’ve tried immediately look flaky or uneven, and its so frustrating to get unprofessional suggestions from workers at makeup stores. I’m looking forward to giving your top recommendations a try. I stumbled upon your site as I was searching microneedling – also lots of helpful info there, so thank you. I never make comments but I’m grateful you went to this effort to try out products so that hopefully others of us can have less of a headache finding the right match for our skin.

    1. juli says:

      awwww thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!! so glad i could help!