My Favourite Drugstore (or budget) Foundations

selection of budget medium to full coverage foundations sitting on a table with book and mirror


There used to be a lot of ‘splurge or spend’ type blog posts going about years ago (does anyone remember?). The general consensus was that you had to splurge on skincare and foundation if you wanted the best. Much has changed. Premium beauty is being tested hard by budget beauty and skincare brands. Take The Ordinary for example of the new The Inkey List. The fuss-free packaging and minimal advertising means brands like these can give you amazing skincare products at a fraction of the price.

One of my most favourite foundations used to be Estee Lauder Double Wear. It’s still an amazing foundation but I’ve also found some budget foundations that have saved me from the £30 price tag. And in one case I actually prefer it to my once holy grail ELDW.

(My preference is a medium to full coverage that I can sheer out if I fancy a lighter coverage, it’s more difficult to build up a light coverage than it is the other way. I also like a natural finish with a semi-matte finish. I don’t like everything to be covered, rather I like a healthy looking finish with my skin tone looking even. Oh and I only like long-wearing foundation. Once I’ve done my base I don’t want to be touching up too much throughout the day apart from the odd powdering.)


Rimmel lasting finish foundation sitting with other makeup and jewellery


First up is Rimmel Lasting Finish. Despite this being around for absolutely ages I only tried it relatively recently. Rimmel Lasting Finish is actually a really good dupe for ELDW. It almost has the same power on my combination skin (oily t-zone/normal/sensitive everywhere else). I think Rimmel feels slightly creamier than ELDW, this might be down to the inclusion of something Rimmel calls ‘comfort serum’. And it does make it feel comfortable, I think this makes it a great foundation for the autumn/winter. If you’re very pale like me Rimmel’s lightest shade is great for us lacking in iron.

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revolution pro drops foundation sitting on dressing table with mirror and perfume with plant


This year has been a good year for budget yet amazing foundations. One of my favourite launches was the new Makeup Revolution Pro Drops (I blogged about it here). Makeup Revolution Pro Drops is a beautiful drugstore foundation that could easily pass as high end. It’s a good medium to full coverage that looks incredibly natural. This foundation gives a flawless finish that doesn’t settle into pores or fine lines. Unfortunately I didn’t get on as well with the new Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Foundation, I’m going to write about it in a separate review very soon.


primark velvet finish foundation sitting on dressing table with plant


I initially wasn’t keen on this Primark My Perfect Colour Velvet Finish Foundation but I’ve been using this a bit more recently to give it a fair run for this review. I’m so pleased I gave it another go because this might take the place of the foundation I’m talking about next. The reason I initially didn’t like this foundation was purely down to how I was applying it. So if you are going to try it please don’t do what I did. Okay, so the way to work with Primark’s highly pigmented foundation is to build it up slowly (I didn’t!). Otherwise it will look really cakey and not in the least bit natural. Instead use less than you usually apply then build it up. The little dropper applicator makes it easier to control the amount (although I didn’t find this the easiest dropper to work with, it could just be the bottle I have). I think this is really pigmented and is best applied to skin that has been properly prepped otherwise it can cling to dry patches. When I wasn’t applying this properly it did have a tendency to just sit on top of the skin, if this happens with you either use a warm finger to blend or a damp beauty blender (I like to use a face mist) and that will help to make a flawless looking finish.

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Primark Velvet Finish Foundation vs Armani Maestro Fusion


Primark My Perfect Colour Velvet Finish Foundation gives a ‘second skin’ effect with a medium buildable coverage. The finish is semi-matte which gives the skin a healthy look thanks to it evening skin tone and some luminosity. Do you think it looks like any other foundations? It has a striking resemblance to the iconic Armani Maestro Fusion (I reviewed Armani Glow Fusion version here) and there’s lots of similarities. The Armani and Primark foundation contain many of the same ingredients but Armani does include a mix of flower oils to nourish the skin. Then there’s the packaging. Both foundations come in beautiful glass bottle containing 30ml product. Primark actually has 30SPF whereas Armani’s is only 15SPF. So yeah I do think Primark My Perfect Colour Velvet Finish Foundation is a good dupe for Armani Maestro Fusion and the best part is that Primark’s is only £6 compared to Armani at £42(!).


primark longwear matte foundation sitting beside jewellery and perfume


Finally, my new holy grail foundation for everyday wear is Primark My Perfect Colour Longwear Ultimate Matte Foundation. I have done a full review of it here but it’s so good it’s worth another mention. This Primark foundation is a very good dupe for ELDW but I think there are a few differences. One of the most important differences for me is that Primark is cruelty-free (all Primark’s beauty is cruelty-free btw). I looked for ages trying to find a good cruelty-free foundation that would replace ELDW but nothing else really cut it for me.

The price is another big factor;  Primark’s long wear matte foundation is only £5, whereas ELDW is £33! So you see the appeal. I also prefer Primark long wear foundation for an everyday foundation over ELDW. Primark’s finish feels lightweight and lasts throughout the day. I prefer the finish of Primark’s foundation, it’s natural and slightly dewy (or semi-matte) whereas ELDW can feel a little flat unless mixed with highlighter. Primark’s version applies easier than ELDW. Primark doesn’t set as quickly as ELDW making it easier to blend. I love it so much I’ve stocked up. The only problem is that it can be difficult to get the colour you need. Primark don’t seem to stock all colours at once for some reason but there is a good selection available for all skin tones (even dark), it’s just your luck if you can find it.

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pinnable image for the best medium to full coverage budget/drugstore foundations


Do you have a favourite budget foundation I need to try?


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