makeup, reviews, skin care

Paula's Choice Foundations For Fall

I have these holes in my makeup/skincare experience–like awhile back I’d never tried a single M·A·C makeup product, although all that has changed now! Paula’s Choice was another one of those strange gaps in my repertoire. I have heard all about Paula Begoun, the skin care expert and bestselling author of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, but I’d never tried any of her products. Recently, though I’ve been testing out a couple of Paula’s Choice foundations as we start to transition into the fall season: Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF 20 and Paula’s Choice Best Face Forward Foundation SPF 15.

Paula's-choice-barely-there-sheer-matte-tintLet’s discuss Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF 20 first. It is suppose to be good for all skin types, and the “perfect marriage of sheer foundation with a touch of moisture and sunscreen”, like an all-in-one, only Paula Begoun’s website suggests using this product with a sunscreen as well. Actually, I read the information wrong and no she does not! This is a tinted moisturizer + sunscreen. Sorry, kids! It sets to a nice matte, super-sheer finish. It provides very light coverage, but enough to hide minor imperfections. I received the shade Sheer Ivory, and it was a perfect match. I don’t typically wear moisturizer or foundation during the day–just tinted sunscreen–so this product is not for me. But if you’re in the market for a tinted moisturizer/suncreen that provides a touch of coverage, this might be perfect!  Price: $14.95

Paula's-choice-Best-Face-Forward-Foundation-SPF-15Next up, Paula’s Choice Best Face Forward Foundation SPF 15. This foundation is recommended for those with normal to oily/combination skin, so basically it’s for everyone but those of you with dry skin. I really liked its lightweight, fluid formula. It left my skin was a bit of a healthy glow, but enough that I was hunting for my blotting papers within a few minutes!

My only complaint is that there are only four shades to choose from: Best Bisque, Best Linen, Best Champagne Beige, and Best Natural Buff. I mean, what? Four rather light shades does not come anywhere close to covering the incredibly diverse range of skin tones… Paula needs to expand the color line. Stat!

That said, Best Face Forward Foundation provides a nice natural, light coverage. I tested Best Linen and it was a good match for my skin; it blends evenly and let my skin breathe. I hate that mask feeling some foundations have. It includes titanium dioxide sunscreen up to SPF 15. Paula Begoun says that if you apply enough of this, it should work as your daily sunscreen, but I have always read not to trust your makeup as your sunscreen because it does not provide enough protection–it’s just a bonus. I would err on the side of extra safe and use an additional sunscreen with your foundation.  Price: $14.95

If you’re like me and need help picking the right foundation for your particular skin type and needs, check out Paula Begoun’s tips for choosing the perfect foundation, including product suggestions, after the break!

For Extremely Dry or Wrinkled Skin – Women who need medium to full coverage and are looking for moisturizing texture should try an oil-based foundation. The emollient in the ingredients helps the skin look very dewy and moist, which can minimize the appearance of wrinkles and give the skin a healthy glow. Products Worth Trying: Clinique Supermoisture Makeup ($23) and Dior DiorSkin Eclat Satin ($46).

For Dull or Dry Skin – Following the latest makeup trends that boasts a shimmer and glow to your overall look, try foundations with shine. These products provide a subtle glow and are best used when trying to achieve an evening look. Products Worth Trying: Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer ($58), Maybelline New York Dream Liquid Mousse ($8.79), and NARS Sheer Glow Foundation ($42).

Slightly Dry or Combination Skin – To achieve a slightly matte and powdery appearance, women should try a cream-to powder foundations. They provide a greater range of coverage than pressed powder–based foundations and blend easily. Products Worth Trying: Clarins Instant Smooth Foundation ($38), Clinique City Base Compact Foundation SPF 15 ($23), and M.A.C. Studio Tech Foundation ($29.50).

For Normal to Dry Skin – For women who are looking for light to medium coverage, water-based and standard liquid foundations are the best option. The fluid nature of these foundations provides easy blending and, once set with powder, blush and eyeshadow will smooth on effortlessly. Products Worth Trying: L’Oreal Visible Lift Line-Minimizing & Tone-Enhancing Makeup SPF 17 ($11.95), Paula’s Choice All Bases Covered Foundation SPF 15 ($14.95), and Stila Illuminating Liquid Foundation ($38).

For Normal to Dry or Slightly Oily Skin – If you are looking for a tough of color along with minimal coverage, sheer foundations and tinted moisturizers are the ideal option.  They provide a sheer almost transparent appearance and are great for casual weekend makeup. Products Worth Trying: Neutrogena Health Skin Enhancer SPF 20 ($11.99), Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF 20 ($14.95), and Laura Geller Barely There Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 ($30).

Normal to Oily or Combination Skin – For convenience and on-the-go application, a pressed powder–based foundation is a great choice for women who are looking for a polished appearance. These foundations come in a compact and perform much like any pressed powder (though with more coverage) and work great when applied over sunscreen. Products Worth Trying: BeautiControl Perfecting Wet/Dry Finish Foundation ($21), Clinique Perfectly Real Compact Makeup ($23), and Laura Mercier Foundation Powder ($40).

For Moderately Oily Skin – An oil-free or liquid foundation with a matte finish is the optimal choice. It provides a smooth, refined finish with no shine or dewy appearance with sheer to medium coverage. These foundations are the best choice for women who want balanced coverage with minimal to no shine, and who need shine control and pore-minimizing. Products Worth Trying: Avon Perfect Wear Extralasting Liquid Foundation ($12), Clarins Truly Matte Foundation SPF 15 ($38), and Paula’s Choice Best Face Forward Foundation SPF 15 ($14.95).

For Extremely Oily Skin – Women who have trouble with makeup slipping, who live in a humid climate, or have seriously oily skin must try an ultra-matte foundation. These provide medium to full coverage and offer truly impressive staying power. Products Worth Trying: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup SPF 10 ($33.50), Revlon ColorStay Active Light Makeup SPF 25 ($12.99), and Boots No7 Stay Perfect Foundation SPF 15 ($13.99).

For additional skincare and makeup tips from Paula Begoun, visit

An editorial sample was provided by the company so I could review this product. Please see my About page for further information on Disclosure policies.

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