Underrated Products, Ulta Edition: Foundations (21 Days of Beauty Sale)

So if you’ve read any of my recent posts, you’ve probably figured out that I am a total eyeshadow addict. When I began to expand my makeup collection, it was probably months before I realized I could try new products that were not eyeshadow. As a result, I am actually scared to count the number of eyeshadow palettes I have. I honestly don’t want to know.

Recently, though, I’ve begun to get really excited about foundation. I’ve always been a one foundation kind of girl–if I have one that works, why try another? (That actually hurts to say, just a little bit.) But that was my mentality. Problem is, the foundation didn’t always work, but I had no idea. I had nothing to compare it to. I just assumed that all foundations settled into fine lines, broke up around my nose and mouth, and looked splotchy by day’s end. That’s what foundations are supposed to do, right? Obviously not, but I just assumed they were problems I was going to have to live with.

So recently I’ve begun to try our a bunch of foundations and I am surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed it, and how different they are. So far from the “if you’ve tried one you’ve tried them all” mentality I had not so long ago. I also better understand my skin type: somewhat dry, especially in the winter, and I rarely get oily except on my chin. And of course, I need to find something that won’t settle into fine lines, my biggest problem. I judge all foundations based on these needs. I tell you this so that if these are not your needs, you can decide if the products I’m recommending would work for you.

Today I’m going to review two of my newest purchases: the Ulta Beauty Demi-Matte Foundation and the Ulta Beauty Color Correcting Foundation Primer Stick. During the 21 Days of Beauty sale, these foundations are on sale on Wednesdays for $6, down from around $12.50 full price.

Let’s look at the Ulta Color Correcting Foundation Primer Stick first. This was the product I went to Ulta to buy–it has great reviews on Ulta’s website, and I have never tried a stick foundation before. This one intrigued me because of it’s green color-correcting core. I don’t think I have a ton of redness in my skin (the color that green cancels out) but I wondered how it would compare to other foundations that I’ve used over separate color correctors. I was also curious about the formula. Ulta describes it as “weightless gel” formula. This is a far cry from, say, concealer in stick form, which is usually so dry that I feel like I create new wrinkles just trying to drag it across my skin. (Full disclosure: I haven’t used a stick concealer in years, for this very reason. Maybe better ones exist now. I’d love to know if you’ve found any that work!)

When you first put it on, you can see some green on your face, which might scare you a bit, but that completely blends in. Here is an image of the swatch, and underneath I’ve swatched and blended it out a bit so you can see the difference. (I have it in the shade Nude Beige, which does look dark on my arm but matches my face and neck perfectly.)

The formula is exactly as Ulta describes it: It literally glides on your face and almost blends itself, it is so creamy. I used a buffer brush and it blended faster than any foundation I’ve tried. It has a medium-coverage, somewhat dewy finish, but it dries down so that it is not sticky throughout the day. I do set my T-zone, and because I’ve been testing a loose powder, I set my face as well. The foundation stayed put all day on my face and the finish was smooth and bright. It did wear off a bit around my chin the first time I wore it, but I came to realize that was the fault of the loose setting powder I was using. Every foundation I’d worn with that powder broke up on me, even when they hadn’t before. Sure enough, when I tried it again with different setting powders, the wear time was fantastic.(So I do not recommend Almay’s Smart Shade Loose Powder, in case you’re wondering.) The finish is just so natural and pretty, and because the stick includes foundation and primer that saved me a step. (Well, okay, I don’t often wear primer, but now I just didn’t wonder if I should have.) The great thing about a stick foundation is that it’s very easy to take with you for touchups, so even if it does wear in spots that is not a total deal-breaker for me. I am excited to keep using it, which in my book means it was a success!

I think it would be great for you if you have dry skin and want medium coverage. If you have a lot of redness or scarring, I would highly recommend it–it cancels out redness beautifully without the need for a lot of extra product. It could also work as a spot concealer over another foundation if you wanted to conceal any acne spots, though I would recommend setting it with powder.

If you have oily skin, I would probably stay away from this one. Because it already has a dewy finish, it will not mattify and will likely get shinier throughout the day. But don’t despair–the next foundation I tried might be perfect for you.

Another thing to remember: Stick foundations generally contain far less product than traditional liquid foundations. Most liquid foundations give you one fluid ounce, while stick foundations average 0.25 oz. Perhaps you use less product and they last just as long, or maybe you’ll need to repurchase more often, I just haven’t tried enough to know. For what it’s worth, I’ve worn this foundation a few times and swatched it a lot, and I don’t feel like I’ve made much of a dent. Because it is on par with other stick foundations as far as the amount you get, this is not an issue for me.

So next I tried Ulta’s Demi-Matte Foundation SPF 20. I had intended to try Ulta’s Double Duty Foundation, but when I swatched the color on my hand in store it was so thick! It felt like spackle or clay–I just couldn’t imagine how that would blend on my face. I’m not saying it’s a bad foundation–I haven’t tried it–but from my brief encounter in the store, I can say that I really didn’t want to, especially when just above it was a beautifully-packaged bottle of demi-matte foundation that caught my eye.

This foundation claims to be a gel formula that “absorbs oil and prevents shine,” according to the bottle. It also says that it blurs the appearance of fine lines–oh please, please!–with “light diffusing pigments.” Oh no. I was afraid this would be yet another foundation that “blurred” by way of tiny glitter in the formula like Revlon’s PhotoReady Foundation, the aforementioned “broke up all over my face” foundation that is one of my only true makeup fails (yet I wore it for months without questioning whether it worked for me–yikes!). But I was so happy that I cannot see a trace of glitter in the Ulta foundation formula. Whew.

I’ve included an image of the formula below, both as it comes out of the bottle, and blended out a bit. The pigmentation is so even–it does not streak or become blotchy at all. It just melts into your skin. (I have it in the shade Honey, which is a medium warm-toned shade.)

Much like the foundation stick, this foundation really lived up to its claims. It was a lightweight gel formula, almost mousse-like in texture, and blended out to a smooth, even, demi-matte finish. It is not mattifying in the sense that it looks dry on your skin, but it is not dewy either. It’s probably best described as a satin or natural finish, but it is matte enough that I feel like it would work very well with oily skin. It dries down quickly, and does not settle into fine lines or crease throughout the day, and it does just have sort of an airbrushed effect. And bonus: It has SPF 20. I love when a product saves me a step in the morning. And even better, it comes with a pump! (One thing to be aware of: The first few times you use the pump, there may be some air behind it and foundation *might* jump onto your yoga pants. So maybe don’t point it toward you or your clothing. Once you’ve used it once or twice this shouldn’t be an issue.)

So I feel like I am 2 for 2 in Ulta Beauty Foundations. I highly recommend both of these products. All of Ulta’s foundations will be on sale for the next two Wednesdays (September 14 thand 21st) if you want to check them out.

I hope to see you back here for the next post in this series: Mascara!

(Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way, and I purchased all products on my own. And will likely purchase more. This brand is growing on me every time I try it.)


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