NARS All Day Luminous Weightless
I'm going to be a negative Nancy and start with a foundation I wasn't crazy about. A lot of people rave about this foundation, but it didn't work for me. The coverage is incredible and it is very weightless, however it separated on my oily skin by the end of the day. I think if you had normal skin and you wanted a full coverage foundation this would be a good pick, however it just ain't made for us oily gals.
Marc Jacobs Remarcable
I'll start with the positive here: I have never in my life seen so much coverage in a foundation. This made the NARS option above seem like child's play. It's absolutely incredible. However, and there is a big old however, this foundation separated terribly on my skin – much worse than the NARS one. Even with a water based primer I couldn't get it to stick. I've also heard it clings to dry patches, though I didn't notice it too badly for myself. So, once again, I think the only skin type that this would suit would be normal.
Urban Decay Naked Skin
Like the NARS and Marc Jacobs foundations, this is another weightless, serum type foundation. I found this one to separate the least on my skin and it did give that “naked skin” feeling. It offers more of a medium level of coverage and I like the way they lay out their shade range (in an easy to navigate numerical system). I liked this one overall.
NARS Sheer Glow
I see why this has been a favourite in the beauty community for so long. It's a great all around foundation. It gives full coverage without looking cakey. It sits nicely on the skin – doesn't settle into any fine lines – and has a nice natural satin/slightly dewy finish. This foundation worked well and lasted on my oily skin and I know dry skin peeps love it too. This is one of my top picks.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD
We've got another good foundation here. This is another one that works well for both dry and oily skin types. The coverage is about a medium, but could be built up to full no problem. It looks natural on the skin (another satin finish I'd say) and lasts surprisingly well throughout the day. It was completely in tact on my skin after a full days work. The only issue I've found with this foundation is that it can settle into fine lines. I don't have that issue myself, but I've noticed that when I try it on clients with deep fine lines it emphasizes the issue.
YSL Touche Eclat
I find this foundation line so frustrating. It's a beautiful product. It sits nicely on the skin and offers medium coverage with a gorgeous, luminous finish. I can't fault this foundation, except for the fact that the shade range is terrible. Despite separating their line into warm and cool undertones, I find every colour to look too pink. Trying to find a match for warm, olive skins is a real challenge. Still, if you can find your match, you are a lucky ducky.
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream
The only BB Cream of the bunch here, Smashbox's offering was surprisingly good. It's a thicker consistency than my beloved NARS Tinted Moisturizer and it does smell a bit of sunscreen, but I was really pleased with the finish. It looked very natural and fresh on the skin, gave a good light to medium coverage and it wore well throughout the day. Good stuff.
Too Faced Born This Way
This was one of my favourites of the whole lot. This full coverage foundation gives a beautiful satin/matte finish that doesn't look cakey. It almost reminded me of a slightly silkier, matte version of NARS Sheer Glow. It lasted beautifully throughout the day, without any separation and felt lovely on my oily skin. I've also tried this on clients with fine lines, and I didn't find it to settle in at all. This guy is such a winner in my books.
Estee Lauder Double Wear
I avoided this product for years and years. I don't know why, but I always imagined that it would be like the Revlon Colourstay Foundation – kind of thick and cakey and paint-like. I finally tried it for the first time the other day and I was SO pleasantly surprised. It's a lot more fluid and looks a lot more natural than I expected. The shade range is great, it lasts perfectly throughout the day, it's full coverage and it dries down to a nice, natural looking matte finish. Best of all the price on this foundation is on the lower end of the spectrum. The only thing I'd note is that it is possible to make this foundation look cakey. One thin layer gives you natural full coverage, but if you pile it on, it is going to be noticeable. Still, that's the same for almost any matte foundation. Two thumbs up here!
So that's everything my friends. I hope this was helpful and that it answered some questions that you might have had. Let me know what you think and if you'd like to see part two. Also if you have a particular high end foundation that you'd like me to try, do let me know!