The $4 Foundation That Saved My Butt (Or Face, Rather)

When I left my favorite BB cream at home, I discovered a drugstore foundation that will now be a staple in my makeup routine.
Publish date:
April 10, 2014
foundations, bargains, wet n wild, drugstore beauty

This week, I took a road trip across Alaska and parts of Canada
to make the annual pilgrimage to the Alaska Folk Fest. It’s my first holiday in
almost a year, and I’ve been meticulously planning it for months, deciding on
everything from outfits to pack, to which places I wanted to eat at along the
1,400-mile journey. You could say I’m a bit of a planner.

Naturally, I planned out which makeup to bring, based on how
well it held up to both the rainy conditions of Southeast Alaska and hours of sweaty bluegrass dancing, which, honestly, are kind of the same

I decided to go basic, with just my trusty Garnier BB Cream,
some Maybelline Full 'N' Soft Waterproof Mascara, and my 100% Pure Cheek Tint in
cocoa berry. And brow powder of course--I’m not an animal.

Except when I woke up from the grueling journey, it seemed that
my BB Cream was nowhere to be found. I scoured my hotel room, and it simply
wasn’t there. Then I saw it--in my mind--on the bureau at home, because I used it right
before I left.

Damn damn damn damn.

I know I’m always trumpeting how fancy and clear my skin is.
That’s because after an entire adolescence with creamy, lovely skin, I was hit
with wicked adult acne right about the time I turned 25, and I had no idea how
to deal with it. I still have scars from it, as well as from my horrific face burns from last summer. Add to this the
broken blood vessels around my nose, and the bags under my eyes, and yeah, I
might be a little dependent on my BB cream. It evens everything out just
enough, even if it doesn’t really cover things up as well as I’d like.

I made a run to the cute little drugstore here to see if they
had any, and sure as God made little green apples, they had it.

For $18.

Did I mention I’m a bit of a cheapskate?

Before the BB craze, I’d been making my own ramshackle
version of tinted moisturizer since I
was a teen; I have pretty tricky skin to match, and it was hard to find a
foundation with light coverage that wasn’t too pink or orange. I use about a
drop of foundation to four drops (is that a "dab"?) of SPF moisturizer, and it
evens out my skin tone nicely, without looking cakey or chalky, but it doesn’t
really last longer than about four hours. I spring for Clinique or NARS when I
can, but neither brand is readily available where I live--also, expensive--so
it’s kind of a treat when I can get ahold of it.

I hunted through the racks of NYX and Revlon, hoping to find a
cheapie I could mix with my moisturizer, to no avail. Nothing but pink-toned
foundations for miles.

Then, like a beacon, the Wet n Wild display. So affordable! I
spied the Coverall Cream Foundation, in a convenient tube. Bingo.

My son had started to deconstruct a shelf of knock-off
perfumes, so I grabbed the most yellow-y
looking one and made a break for it. At $4, even if it was close, it would be
good enough for a few days.

After spreading some Alba Coconut lotion on my face, I applied
some of the Coverall straight from the tube. Maybe I’m a product nerd, but
right away something was off...

Instead of the watery, lotion-like consistency I’d come to
expect from drugstore liquid foundation, this was a thick, velvety
formula. It blends like a dream, has a dewy, translucent, satin finish, and
after it sets, you can build coverage in crap areas, like around your nose or
under your eyes.

Is there anything better than finding a drugstore formula that
compares to pricey department store brands? I think not.

While it may not be the best for people with really oily
skin, I love the formula. The label touts something called "Visibright," whatever that is. All I know is that it makes me look like some forest nymph
that just happened upon civilization.

It’s dewy without being
shiny, and stays where I put it without settling into my fine lines. And for
the love of all that is good in the world, it’s only $4. You can barely get a
gas station burrito for $4 these days.

Because I’m a cynical old harpy, I didn’t get too excited until
I wore it for at least 8 hours.

OK, I’m sold.

I know that not every Wet n Wild product is a hit, but this one
is now a staple of my makeup bag (read: Ziploc). The major drawback is that
it’s really only available in medium skin tones. Hopefully they’ll expand the
line to fairer and deeper tones, because I feel like a jerk basking in the
glory of this great foundation all by myself.