I Tested Spring's Biggest Foundation Launches In Case Spring Ever Comes

Okay, ladies — let's put on foundation.
Publish date:
February 16, 2016
shoppables, drugstore beauty, Laura Mercier, drugstore makeup

I'd love to start this article with "Spring is right around the corner!" but it's currently blizzard-ing outside my window and I don't like to play myself. Regardless of weather, Spring is on the way because the big spring beauty launches have started showing up! To me, that's better than leaves budding and flowers blooming. None of that shit is gonna make me look any better.

For Spring 2016, there have been a bunch of new foundation releases and — of course — I had to try all of them. I see foundation as the cornerstone of a beauty brand. If a brand's foundation doesn't work for me, why would I want to try anything else? Plus, it's the main part of almost everyone's beauty routines, so having one that really works is essential.

Let's start right off with my favorite of the bunch. Why wait?

Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation


And that's my review. Thank you for reading.

Kidding. First off, here's a secret — I'm not crazy about drugstore foundations. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge lover of drugstore beauty, I'd just never found a foundation that I really loved, that worked for my skin and lifestyle. All of the ones I tried were too sheer or too dewy or too something, so I'd always just go back to whatever I had been using before. The minute this hit my face, I knew the game had changed.

Maybelline sent me a sample back in December before it launched and I've been using it since, but sparingly, because the shade they sent me was way too warm for my complexion — I was serving some serious J.Lo vibes — so I had to be careful when and where I wore it, but the foundation is so good that I couldn't leave it alone.

Here's my busted face with no makeup, obviously.

Eugh. My skin has looked great lately but big shoutout to those dark circles.

And here I am wearing Dream Velvet.

Dream Velvet is a medium to full coverage foundation, but can be used sparingly and sheered out for lighter wear, if that's what you're into, and the texture can be best described as a mousse. It's very light, but there's a lot of body to it. To apply, I squeeze a pea-sized amount onto the back of my hand and dot it around my face. It's so light that I can barely even feel it as I'm placing it. It's not cold, heavy, or liquid-y, and it stays exactly where I put it before I blend it out with my Beauty Blender.

It applies without streaking, it blends and layers beautifully, and stays where you put it all damn day. It's very hydrating, too, so it feels good on your skin no matter how long you have it on. It's also matte, so you can control the level of glow after the fact without getting too shiny by the end of the night. (Matte skin is way underrated, if you ask me, but we'll talk more about that later.)

Let's take one more look because my skin looks perfect, even, and pore-less. The matte finish also gives the illusion that I'm not wearing anything at all, like my skin is that perfect all the time. I mean, look at that:


I mean I'm cute but I'm not that cute.

Ugh, it really is that good. Try it and see for yourself and tell me what you think.

Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation

The whole idea of ambient light is kind of having a moment in beauty right now. From the Hourglass Ambient Light collection to the new Benefit Shy Beam Matte Highlighter, there is certainly a market for a soft, diffused highlight. And I love it! I mean, I'll be the first to layer on the highlight so thick that you can see me from space, but a soft glow is so beautiful.

In case you, like me, are completely incapable of reading between the lines, Laura Mercier's Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation aims to give your skin the soft glow of candle light bouncing off of it. I'm down!

There are a few things I like about this foundation. It's a true medium coverage, not too sheer but not too dense. If I was Goldilocks and the three bears were...actually nevermind.

But yea, as I tapped it around my face, I noticed that it gave me even coverage while still letting my natural coloring show, which is important to me. I don't look my best when my face is all foundation, I like to have a little bit of my natural flush pulling through.

As much as I love highlighting and any products with a glow, I sometimes feel like foundations that aim to add glow end up setting you up for failure. I get pretty shiny when I wear foundation, especially if I'm at work. When you add shine to an already glowy foundation, my face ends up looking slick from every direction which is NOT the look. This foundation added a subtle, workable highlight. Observe.

It's just enough, right? So pretty.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow

Armani is the go-to for foundations with great coverage that still look and feel natural and the Maestro Glow foundation sets a new standard for what a foundation can pull off with the right formula, it's even SPF 30!

For starters, it's one of the thinnest foundations I have ever used. I'm talking water thin, which is why I was surprised by just how pigmented it was when I started applying. One pass with the foundation gives you not full coverage, but an even medium with little to no effort on your part. I was shocked at how much it did with so little.

I dotted it around my face and worked it in. The serum foundation felt like it sank right into my skin and became almost imperceptible. In the photo below, I'm wearing a lot, but I can barely tell.

I love how it bounces light around! It makes my entire face look even, glowy, and any hint of dark circles have been completely knocked out. It just looks like fresh, well rested, healthy skin.

The name, Maestro Glow, isn't joking around with the glow part, though, because this foundation is really going to light you up. I knew right when I applied that I'd have to set it with a powder (I always do anyway) because it looked amazing right off the bat, but after eight hours of wear, I was going to need some oil control.

This is going to be a great foundation for summer because it feels incredibly light, it looks like you're not wearing anything at all, and the SPF 30 is going to (help) protect you from harmful rays. Obviously you're going to need to pair it with a sunscreen but a foundation with an SPF 30 is nothing to scoff at.

If the rest of the season's beauty launches are as successful as these, I can't wait to see what else we've got coming our way in Spring 2016.