Good Foundations: L'Oreal Paris Matte Morphose & NYC Smooth Mineral Loose Foundation Powder

budget foundations from L'Oreal Paris and NYC

Normally, reaching the bottom of a bottle of my trusty MAC Studio Fix Fluid is a bit of a disaster. I never have a new one ready to go: despite the fact that I know the end is nigh, I can still never quite believe it when it actually happens and am always caught on the hop.

Last week was no exception, and I wasn't expecting much from the two tester tubs of foundation that I cracked open to replace my MAC. First to step into its shoes was L'Oréal Paris Matte Morphose, €15.49, which apparently is a 'soufflé' foundation for oily skin types.

Sounds delish, like, but is it any cop on the skin? Well, the short answer is yup. While I haven't had much luck in the past with mousse-type bases, this one surprised me. Unlike others I've tried, it didn't accentuate any dry patches on my overall combo-to-oily skin. The texture is different, too, because there's silicone in the mix so it feels airy but silky, like a primer, and goes on like a dream.

I used a flat foundation brush for application it's the sort of product that would be easy to blend with fingers. Coverage is medium, giving a semi-matte, long-lasting finish that doesn't look flat on the skin. And while I was skeptical about the claims that pores and wrinkles would look less noticeable, given that the accompanying product photo on the L'Oréal Paris website is of an airbrushed-looking Diane Kruger, it actually did make my forehead look smoother and my complexion overall looked peachy. The colour range is fairly limited, though, with just six shades on offer.


Next up was N.Y.C. Smooth Mineral Loose Foundation Powder with SPF10, €5.99, which has actually become my new everyday staple despite the fact that I have never before gotten on with a minerrdtil powder foundation. This is a very finely milled, talc-free powder that gives me medium coverage and a natural velvety matte finish, without looking caked on in spots or settling into my creases and lines the way other similar foundations have.

It doesn't oxidise, doesn't look chalky, and I'm not getting tiny spots of oiliness breaking through from my pores after a couple of hours wear. Re-sult! I did need to use some bronzer or luminiser to keep it from looking flat, but that was no big deal for me as I'd probably use them with any foundation.

Now, the packaging is not exactly luxurious, the application process is as laborious as any other mineral powder foundation, and the mini kabuki brush that comes with it is, er, rubbish (I've been using one from Fuchsia instead) but this stuff performs really well given its teeny weeny price point. Only four shades to choose from here, but I found my perfect match in Natural Light, which is the second lightest shade available.

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