2 Drugstore Foundation Reviews: One Winner and One I’m “meh” About

The Accessories I’ve Been Wearing All Summer

I’ve been using Georgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation in shade 5 for several months. You can see it on my skin in this post!

It agrees so well with my skin, provides a buildable medium coverage and evens out my skin while still looking like skin and letting my freckles peek through. I realize it’s a high end foundation with a high end price tag, so I wanted to try to find a few drugstore options that could come close to it that I could recommend to you!

First up, Revlon Photoready insta-filter Foundation in shade sand beige.

Wearing Revlon Photo Ready insta-filter Foundation in shade Sand Beige.

I can’t start this review without pointing out the absolute worst feature of this foundation before I jump into the good stuff.

And there is a lot of good stuff, and we will certainly get to that. . .

The attached sponge at the top of this foundation container is what my nightmares are made of. I get it, I really do, but I would enjoy this foundation so much more if I didn’t have to bypass this dirty sponge every time I used it. I attempted to rip it out but I’m not sure what I’m going to be left with so I just left it. In order to apply it, I twist the bottom of the container until foundation bubbles out of the center hole and then swipe that onto the back of my hand so I can apply with whatever tool I choose.

I get that the idea is that the user will simply use the sponge attached to the container, but not only is that not sanitary and could lead to spreading dirt and bacteria around your skin, but there also isn’t a really easy way to clean the sponge either.

Other than that stinkin’ sponge I love this foundation. It wears fairly matte but doesn’t feel dry or thick on my skin. One layer provided coverage and evenness but still allowed my freckles to show through. I think it can be a versatile foundation, a lot like my favorite high end foundation. A thin coat applied with fingers will provide light coverage, and a heavier application using a brush will give a more full coverage look.

It’s very different than another drugstore foundation I tried that has a luminous finish. The L’Oreal True Match LUMI Healthy Luminous Makeup in shade n3 left my skin looking radiant and healthy with a subtle glow. I’m wearing it in the photos below.

This foundation didn’t hold up well during a particularly humid day, and many followers on Instagram also messaged me saying they had the same experience with it. I did love the finish and how my skin looked, but I hated that I felt like I had to keep peeling stray flyaway hairs off my face because they were getting stuck in the foundation. To be clear, it wasn’t that I was wearing too much foundation, it was simply adhering to the dewy slightly tacky finish it left. So, it looked good but I did not enjoy the feeling even after setting powder.

I wonder if this foundation will feel better on my skin in the wintertime, and perhaps I’ll give it a try during that season, but in general it ranks a bit lower on my list of good drugstore foundations. It gets the job done, but I’d much rather wear the Revlon Photo Ready insta-filter Foundation in shade Sand Beige than theL’Oreal True Match LUMI Healthy Luminous Makeup in shade n3.

Have you tried either of these? Did they work for you?

P.S. You may enjoy this post about some other good drugstore products! And here is a similar tank to the one I’m wearing in second round of photos! 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 08.20.18

Thank you for the reviews, and so in depth too! Very helpful, as always, and gorgeous photos. 🙂

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Marianna Lucas says · 08.20.18

I definitely want to try these out because I’m all about some drugstore makeup!! Beautiful photos, too.

Angela says · 08.20.18

I’ve heard great things about that Revlon foundation! A lot of beauty gurus raved about the L’Oreal Lumi but I’m not sure it would have enough coverage for me and it obviously wouldn’t work well for me in the summer.

Angela at Blush & Pearls

katie says · 08.20.18

I have only tried one of these the loreal true match lumi I liked it but I do agree it does feel a little sticky with your hair getting stuck to your face. Sometimes I use just a little bit of it in place that I want to look glowy/dewy after I use a different foundation. It looks pretty nice. Thanks for sharing your reviews!
XO, Katie | http://www.meshkomoments.com

Deb Nau says · 08.20.18

I always find it very difficult to pick a color in the drug store. Any tips on how to find the right one without trying three? Love your blog 🙂

Charlotte says · 08.20.18

I always have a hard time picking out the correct foundation color too. I’d love some tips! I shy away from drugstore foundations for that very reason.

Selina says · 08.20.18

I always Google swatches! I’ll first search for swatches of a foundation and shade I own and know works for me, just as a reference, then I’ll search swatches of what I’m interested in buying and compare it to the one that I know works for me!

Bren says · 08.20.18

I thought I heard Kate say you can return make-up…? Can you test it out and return it if it doesn’t work? Is that everywhere or just some places?

claire says · 08.20.18

I like a medium coverage matte finish, and found that Maybelline’s FitMe Matte is even better than my old favorite Urban Decay Naked HD.

Sherry says · 08.20.18

I like that one too. It’s the only drugstore foundation that has passed the test for me. [Maybelline’s FitMe Matte]

Sherry says · 08.21.18

I just tried this today and – for $5 – I am pretty dang impressed!!

Allison says · 08.20.18

Kate- I forgot all of my makeup when I went out of town for a wedding a few months ago. I ran to Target and decided to try Revlon Photoready Airbrush Effect foundation. It seems similar to the one in your post, but it has a pump. A little goes a long way when applied with a sponge (mine is teardrop shaped that is half silicone and half felted). I was pretty impressed for a drugstore brand. I love reading your honest reviews of different make up brands.

Tawney says · 08.20.18

Thanks for updating us on your findings. I personally think the Revlon foundation looks better on you. I will probably give it a try. I am currently using IT powder foundation but it’s not quite hitting the mark with me.
I always enjoy reading your blog and following you on Instagram!

Michele says · 08.20.18

I have the IT powder, too, but prefer to use IT’s CC+ cream as a foundation.

Tawney Simmons says · 08.21.18

I had their CC cream a couple of years ago and liked it, then I saw the powder and decided to give it a try. I agree, the CC cream does seem better.

Jackie Rachev says · 08.20.18

Great reviews – thanks for the info. What is the red lipstick you’re wearing in the Lumi foundation photos? I love it!

Ann says · 08.20.18

Ditto on the beautiful RED LIPSTICK!!??

Kate says · 08.21.18

it’s Peche by Bite!

Summer Young says · 08.21.18

And the first lipstick color was what, please?

Lori says · 08.20.18

I worked at Revlon for a little while and they gave out a lot of those foundations because they cant sell them if something is wrong with the label. So I lucked up and I love it!

Natasha says · 08.20.18

I used to wear the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation for perfect matte, natural coverage. Then I discovered L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte as a perfect dupe, and I haven’t gone back since! The L’Oréal one does have a slightly gritty texture when you first put it on, but once it dries it works just as well as the MUFE one and, in my opinion, lasts longer throughout the day.

Sara says · 08.20.18

You look absolutely gorgeous in these photos!! I love that you let your freckles show through your makeup!

Liz says · 08.20.18

I had wondered if you switched foundation. I think your skin looks so much prettier and healthy without the full coverage foundation you were using.

Summer says · 08.20.18

What lipstick colors are you wearing in the post today (8/20)? Thanks!

Brenda says · 08.20.18

I have recently started using Mabelline Super Stay Cream to Matt formula in Classic Ivory. It to gas the gross sponge on the end, but I just don’t use it. This foundation is amazing!!! It covers well, is a Matt finish and does not come off until I take it off with makeup remover wipes. Would love to hear if anyone else tried this?

Brandi says · 08.20.18

Thank you this was very helpful for me and my new teen who is starting to get into makeup.

Chani says · 08.20.18

I had the same reaction to the sponge!! Horrible design! I would bubble it up and wipe on my hand too. Almost cut the top
Off but was afraid it would squirt out everywhere. But the foundation is great!! Too funny someone else thought the same thing!

Kristin says · 08.20.18

I had a similar experience with the L’Oreal and I have pretty dry skin. I tried with and without moisturizer and primer and wasn’t totally satisfied. In the winter, though, I mixed a bit of this with my Estee Lauder foundation that was a bit dry on my skin in winter months and was satisfied with how it held up. It also helped me use up the cheap bottle I’d already bought and extend the life of my more expensive EL foundation so win-win.

Wendy says · 08.20.18

I have used the L’Oréal for about the last 10 months. I’m finally out of it. It looked so nice at first but shortly after application, within an hour or two, started caking at my cheeks and didn’t last long everywhere else. I’ve tried several others that haven’t worked for me since using up the L’Oréal and last week I got what I think is a winner! It’s also by Revlon but it’s the dream satin. Loving it so far!!

Kate says · 08.21.18


Wendy says · 08.21.18

Ooh it’s actually Maybelline, not Revlon. And today I must be having a bad face day because it’s not wearing well from the get go…

Alli says · 08.21.18

Thanks for testing these out. Make-up is something that I just cant bring myself to spend a lot of money on so I am always on the hunt for a good drugstore option! I appreciate you testing them out, and letting us know!

Carolyn B says · 08.21.18

I’m excited to try out a foundation that won’t break the bank. Thank you for your notes. Wondering if you or someone could tell me the best way to find the foundation color that is best for my skin. Hate when I buy the color to light. Thanks

Aleassa says · 08.21.18

I’ll have to pick up the Revlon one to try next time I’m in the States. I’m always on the lookout for a drugstore foundation that wears well in high humidity. It seems like so far Revlon is the only brand that does the job for me. I currently use Revlon Colorstag for Combination/Oily and it holds up pretty well for high humidity, although it is a little thick and very matte, and I can’t wait to get it off my face at the end of the day. I also have Revlon Photoready Airbrush effect which is a softer look and does fine on cooler days but does not do well on hot days at all. Maybe the Insta-filter one is a good compromise between the two. Thanks for the recommendation!

Patti Barber says · 08.21.18

I am so happy to know that more drugstore foundations are getting the attention of more websites. Walgreens, US drugstore, has merged with Boots, UK and released a new line of makeup. It is called CYO and the CYO lasting foundation to the best foundation I have EVER used, high end or drugstore. Thataylaa, a beauty youtuber, reviewed it and I have been in heaven ever since. Because it is becoming popular, they are out of stock sometimes, so I always have a couple of back up bottles. It is only $7, and you can order online and pick it up at your nearest Walgreens to avoid shipping costs. I am very pale, and the shade 101 is a perfect match for me!! They launched 180 products, but I haven’t tried anything but the foundation!

Caroline H. says · 08.21.18

Oh my goodness, are you me?! I LOVE her channel for in-depth foundation reviews, and found CYO Lifeproof through her as well! It’s my favorite foundation right now- natural finish, stays put, doesn’t transfer, never looks cakey. It’s so good.

Kris Baker says · 08.21.18

how do you suggest applying foundation? i use sponges and change them every so often but i am worried i dony change out enough.

Jill Hovious says · 08.21.18

Maybelline’s Liquid Mousse is one you really should try! Not the matte formula tho…

The Lumi is my second favorite.

Brandi says · 08.21.18

I was not a fan of Lumi. I felt overly shiny even with matte setting spray. I ended up mixing it with a matte foundation and praying for the best every day until it was gone

Lauren Bell says · 08.22.18

These look lovely – thank you for trying and recommending!

Daniela says · 08.22.18

Thanks for the reviews! I ended up trying out the L’Oreal since I live in Las Vegas and it’s super dry here! I personally liked the extra moisture as my skin tends to be a bit dry. I would def recommend trying it during dry season 😊

Kate says · 08.22.18

Good to know!

Brandy says · 08.23.18

You’re awesome. That is all.

Caroline says · 08.23.18

I’ve been wishing for the Loreal Cushion Lumi foundation to come out in just a foundation bottle form, and I wonder if it’s anywhere close to being the same? I found the cushion foundation didn’t hold up either in humid or in the heat, but much better in the Autumn time! I totally agree on those sponges as well, seriously they are unhygenic and just a little bit gimicky! xx


Katherine Salinas says · 08.23.18

Can you share your lip color in the first photo? Thanks!

Jennie says · 08.26.18

I was so happy to see a drugstore post from my favorite blogger! 🙌🏻 I ran right out to buy the Revlon foundation. I tried it for the first time, and I love it. Unfortunately, I have a few blemishes that weren’t covered by it. Any drugstore concealer options? Thanks, Kate!