The Foundation Breakdown | My All-Time Favourites


I’ve always deemed it necessary to have two foundations.

As women, our minds and moods are changing constantly and we don’t always want a full face of war paint, but we also don’t always want all of our freckles and spots on display either. So it can feel like a bit of a Goldilocks dilemma which is why I like to have a full-coverage and a light-coverage foundation in my makeup bag. That way I have all bases- and faces! – covered.

Here are my all-time favourite foundations; from those that feel like moisturiser to those that build up to cover even the darkest of under eyes – these are the foundation bottles I have reached the bottom of (and salvaged every last drop) on more than one occasion.

M.A.C Next To Nothing Face Colour | Light Coverage

35ml, $64 NZD

For girls who like to let their skin breathe or the no-makeup-makeup vibe, this foundation is the absolute business. I’ve been reaching for this bottle a lot recently when I want to even out my skin tone and texture but don’t want to do a full Lewk. Next To Nothing is a sheer liquid foundation that goes on like a moisturiser but stays on the skin like a powder without becoming cakey towards the end of the day. Plus, if you’re showering at the gym or doing your makeup in the car because you’re late for work, you can easily apply this with your fingers and it won’t look terrible.

M.A.C. Studio Fix Foundation | Medium Coverage

30ml, $60 NZD

This foundation is for marathons. Okay, maybe not an actual marathon, but it lasts a full 24 hours (!!!) without deteriorating on your skin. That’s commitment. Studio Fix was the first foundation my mum ever bought me, I think she liked the idea that a little goes a long way which was appropriate for a 14 year old who would only be wearing it on the weekends and special occasions. Ten years later and it’s still one of my most beloved makeup products. I love that I have the option to either build it up or keep it sheer, a lá Goldilocks. Studio Fix has a matte finish, controls oil, and is a medium-to-full coverage formula. It’s also a timesaver because it contains broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15 so you don’t need to spend time applying sunscreen before your primer. If you’re not sure what shade you are, pop into one of the M.A.C stores to get colour-matched and the girls will give you a free sample to take away.

Estée Lauder Double Wear | Full Coverage

30ml, $69

Estée Lauder Double Wear does not play around. This is Olympic-level coverage – the anti BB Cream if you will. I think this foundation is best applied with a damp beauty blender so you can manoeuvre this foundation easily around your skin without the need to push or pull your skin too much. If you don’t have time for “touch ups” during the day – and tbh who does – this is the perfect foundation.

NARS Sheer Glow | Light Coverage

30ml, $74

NARS Sheer Glow is my favourite weekday foundation when I just want a little something. The foundation blends seamlessly onto your skin and is easy to apply sparingly on the areas of your face that need it most. It gives your skin that semi-airbrushed look while still feeling breathable and letting your natural skin pigment shine through. It also photographs really beautifully!

Stila Stay All Day | Full Coverage

30ml, $63 NZD

The Stila Stay All Day foundation was the first full-coverage foundation I purchased and the brand have recently released an updated formula of this cult product (seriously people are obsessed). It’s high coverage and super matte so it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but for those with unruly skin or acne this foundation will be your camouflage while still feeling really comfortable. Just like the other full coverage foundations I’ve mentioned above, Stay All Day is best applied with a damp beauty blender so that you can spread it easily without too much tugging on your beautiful skin.

Header image by Holly Burgess for The Twenties Club

This blog post is supported by M.A.C. Cosmetics. I am so grateful for their support of The Twenties Club and my community.