Dainty Alice

A pretty little LUSH, Beauty & Lifestyle blog.

Trialling Four High-End Foundations

I've been wearing foundation daily since I was thirteen, yet have never felt like I've truly found 'the one.' I have chopped and changed between different drugstore foundations, however they have never given me exactly the finish I've been looking for. Over the last month, I have been trialling different high-end foundations kindly sent by Fragrance Direct in order to rate how they compare against each other and whether they're really worth shelling out on.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation* 

RRP £32
First impression - NARS is a brand which is fairly new to me, but has a huge reputation in the beauty world and the All Day Luminious Weightless foundation has a 'blogger-fave' status. The packaging is classic NARS, which consists of glass mixed with a soft-matte black lid and both looks and feels expensive and classy. 5/5

Colour - The shade I tried was 'Gobi' from the light shade selection, which looks dark upon dispensing the foundation, however covers a lot lighter. I found the shade to be perfect in terms of lightness, something I really struggle with, however the yellow undertones were too obvious on my skin. Next time I try a NARS foundation I'll go for 'Siberia' which has neutral undertones, but overall I'm incredibly impressed with the shade selection. 3/5

Application - Oh how I cringe applying this! NARS recommend warming one drop in the palm of your hand and then blending with your fingers. I really, really don't like using my fingers to apply makeup, however I reluctantly agree that in the case of this foundation they are the best tool for the job. Seriously though, do only use one drop! I laughed and used three to start with, not knowing how a little goes a long way. It also dries incredibly quickly, so you have to work fast or risk being left with yellow patches as it clings to dry skin. 2/5

Finish - I love the overall finish of this foundation, it truly feels like you aren't wearing any at all and gives a truly fabulous glow. Unfortunately, it really doesn't last 16 hours as advertised and found that my face became really oily throughout the day. 4/5

High Definition Beauty Fluid Foundation*

RRP £32
First impression - I was really mean and judged this foundation harshly from the minute I took it out of the outer packaging. I didn't like the size or the shape, and thought I had never heard of the brand (it took me ages to realise it's the babes behind HD Brows!) so my initial score is pretty ruthless! 2/5

Colour - Oh the shade of it. I could cry. Why do brands call a shade 'porcelain' when it's closer to 'anaemic orange'? Luckily, I always have my trusty NYX foundation mixer to hand and managed to mix my perfect shade super easily (read more about custom shade blending.) 1/5

Application - Luckily there's no gross finger-blending with this one. I found it best applied with the fluffy end of my smokey-eye duo brush after mixing the colour, then it buffed out flawlessly using my Spectrum stippling brush. I adore how creamy this foundation is to apply and it honestly blends like an absolute dream 5/5

Finish - Oh my god. I love it. A foundation I thought I would hate due to the colour discrepancies turned out to be truly flawless. It dries velvety and matte on my skin, yet is still hydrating. I layered it on super thick, yet my skin still felt like skin and didn't look the slightest bit cakey, even around my nose. Win! 5/5

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

RRP £29
First impression - My old friend! Born This Way is a foundation I have had a long time love/hate relationship with, and so I thought it was the perfect 'control variable' to compare the rest of the foundations to. 4/5

Colour - This is the only foundation I've ever had where the colour has matched my skin tone perfectly. The shade I have is 'Snow' which is described as very fair with neutral/pink undertones. 5/5

Application - Born This Way gives a gorgeous, dewy glow when applied properly, so the best way to achieve this is by building up the coverage using a damp beauty blender. Unfortunately, I hate how much foundation beauty blenders waste, but you just don't get the same effect when using brushes. Applies and blends well, but also dries quite quickly. 3/5

Finish - Here comes the love/hate relationship part. I've never really been in love with this foundation as it looks amazing when first applied, but clings to my dry patches and flakes after a few hours. It also never completely dries and often feels a bit greasy around my nose and under eyes. This is a foundation that definitely needs powder applied afterwards, but too much makes it truly cakey 3/5

Glo & Ray Nebulae Fluid Foundation*

RRP £23
First impression - Compared to the other foundations, I felt the packaging of the Nebulae Fluid Foundation looked and felt cheap. Instead of being glass with a soft-matte / glossy lid like the others, it's plastic all over. However I won't be too mean as they follow me on Twitter. Hi Guys! 2/5

Colour - After Born This Way, this foundation is the colour which is the closest to my actual skin tone. The shade I have is N00 which is the palest shade available and I feel they got it spot on for me, but anyone paler would struggle. 4/5

Application - This is a fantastic 'low maintenance' foundation as it only requires a regular stippling brush to apply. It blends amazingly and I even found myself applying this in the car twice after staying over at Adrian's and it still looked good. I would call it more of a cream than a fluid foundation as it is quite thick and similar to MAC studio sculpt in texture. 5/5

Finish - Finally, a true matte foundation! This foundation feels dry to touch and looks really soft and pretty. It's a fantastic foundation for everyday use and I find myself reaching for it far more often than the others when I'm in a hurry. It lasts all day at my desk job where I'm usually sat with my chin resting on my knuckles, daydreaming, so it can withstand a lot of contact. It does however tend to sink into the faint lines around my mouth and cake on my nose towards the end of the day. 4/5

And the overall winner is...

I found all of these foundations to be amazing in different ways and different situations, and people with different skin types may be suited to some more than others. If I had to pick, I would definitely say the High Definition Beauty Fluid Foundation. It turned out to be a real dark horse in this competition!

What's your favourite high-end foundation?
Have you tried any of these? Click the blue RRP price to buy!

Products marked with an asterisk (*) were gifted to me by the lovely Beth at Fragrance Direct. This does not affect my opinion on the products and all views are strictly my own.


  1. I haven't ever tried any of these one, but my absolute holy grail foundation is the NARS Sheer Glow. You don't have to apply it with your fingers like the Luminous Weightless, and it truly lasts ALL day with absolutely no creasing or flaking. I put off trying it for ages as I get put off when a product gets too much hype, but Sheer Glow truly deserves the hype, it's the only foundation I'll ever use now.

  2. I absolutely love the use of the RuPaul gif at the end of this post girl, thats so perfect and so sassy! I want to try the Born This Way Foundation it sounds absolutely amazing and something that would be great for me and my skin type!

    Kayleigh Zara

  3. HAAAa I love RuPaul, that made me giggle! Love it! I have never heard of the second brand, and considering how well it scored - I might need to look it up!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  4. I personally like the Too Faced born this way (mine is light beige) and I kinda like it aside it gets bit greasy on my nose but I haven't tried the NARS foundation. I should ask for sample once I visit sephora.

    Michelle| www.brokebutflawless.blogspot.com

  5. I really want to try the Nars foundation out

  6. I really like NARS Sheer Glow so the Luminous Weightless is next on my list to try!

    Alice | alicemaysnell


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