I've always worn MAC Studio Fix foundation, but after a few unsuccessful attempts at getting served in my local MAC outlet (Brown Thomas, take note) I gave in and went across the way to Armani, where the queue, and service, were much better. See, the product doesn't always mean people will come back regardless of service!
Owing to bad lighting and a lost cable I haven't taken photos of each foundation, however I am going to review them according to my very un-scientific findings!
For sake of comparison I feel you should know that I have combination skin erring on the side of dry i.e. dry around the nose and sometimes eyes, slightly (only very slightly) oily around the t-zone. I also feel it fair to tell you that my usual maintenance regime is close to none. I moisturise at night if I remember it, but it's the exception, rather than the rule. I also remove my makeup using babywipes, if at all. I know, I know, spare me the lectures, i've heard it all from my grandmother and her perfect skin at 81!
So without further ado, here are my latest foundations and what I thought of each.
MAC Studio Fix Fluid with SPF 15
As I mentioned above, MAC was my usual go-to for foundation. I like the rather heavy foundation that it gives, it lasts all day and without much need for a top-up, perhaps sometimes a sweep of powder halfway through a particularly tough day. As I have freckles and slight rosacia, I fell the coverage is even without giving me half-covered freckles and patches of red breaking through. Definitely my favourite for a night-time look.
Benefit Some Kind-a Gorgeous - the foundation faker
I bought this as I wanted to test out a compact for quick & easy daytime application. In other words, some mornings i'm just too damn lazy to apply a full face of makeup. It's a very light and natural coverage and certainly not something I would use at night-time. A great one to keep in your handbag for a top-up during the day, or great for someone who doesn't look for much coverage. I would use this more during the summer months if I already have a bit of colour on my face and just want a light and natural application.
Benefit - You Rebel tinted moisturiser
Sticking with Benefit, I also tried out this tinted moisturiser in the darker of the 2 available colours. With a tan this product is GREAT. It's natural and looks like the sun has caught you in all the right places. It's moisturising and also contains an SPF - always a bonus in a foundation. This is always in my makeup bag during the summer months, especially if on holidays somewhere hot where you don't want your foundation sliding down your face after 10minutes in the heat. At first I did find a little goes a long way and often squeezed out too much leading to slight blotchiness after application, but the answer to this was to apply less. 10/10 for summer.
Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation with SPF 15
My newest to the collection, and one of the most trustworthy. This again is quite natural in it's coverage, however giving slightly more of a full coverage (I hear you, stop saying 'coverage' in there!) than the Benefit compact. This is a great daytime foundation and will last. It's moisturising and feels great on your skin, often feeling like you're not wearing makeup at all. Bobbi Brown has always been recommended to me as a safe option and I think I now know why - not one to let you down.
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua - SPF15
I bought this in a hurry in JFK airport in New York. I had a flight to catch and $100 in my pocket, I had planned on getting some MAC, forgetting that there was no MAC counter there, duh. The 'Vitalumiere' caught my eye, hoping that there would be some awesome light reflecting particles to perhaps save me the effort of applying highlighter (I told you I was lazy) - to that end it IS quite luminescent, however I would still use some highlighter with it. It is quite moisturising, perhaps a little bit too much so and an hour or so after application it was still rubbing off on clothing - not good. The coverage is good, quite full, so possibly more of a night-time foundation than daytime one. I'm still undecided about this, if it didn't rub off so easily I think i'd be more positive about it.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
As mentioned above I bought this foundation when I found the service at the MAC counter to be less than satisfactory, ahem. I had heard loads about this foundation, but was put off as I presumed it would cost a bomb, being Armani. The assistant recommended me a colour and when I tried it at home I initially thought it was too light for me, however, a quick sweep of bronzer and I was more impressed. It felt light and silky, as the name suggests, and photos from that night out proved more flattering than usual. I almost looked photoshopped! Looking back, I think this foundation was much nicer than I possibly gave it credit for.
Overall, I think the main thing with foundation is coverage, wearability (does it rub off?) and how long it lasts. A good primer can help with how long it lasts, but wearability is something that can't be faked, nor can coverage past a certain extent. That said, MAC is probably still a first choice, with Bobbi Brown and Armani close behind.