Best Make-up Foundation: Drugstore vs. High-End

by Bisma Khan
Reflection in a mirror of smiling woman applying best make-up foundation.

If you’re looking to add some beauty products to your arsenal, one of the most important things to consider is what type of foundation you want to wear. Foundation comes in two main varieties: drugstore brands and high-end brands. Both types have their merits, so it’s not so much about choosing the right foundation as it is about choosing the best make-up foundation for your personal needs, wants, and budget.

The Basics

Whether you are looking for a new product or need to replenish your supply, choosing the best foundation can be hard! You may have been using a particular product for years and decided that it’s time for a change or you may have heard about the wonders of a particular foundation that you want to try but don’t know if it’s worth the higher price tag.

What is the best make-up foundation? In general, what makes one foundation more desirable than another is the quality of ingredients and how they will work with your skin type. But there is no perfect answer because what people look for in their makeup varies drastically and so does their skin type!

What You Should Look for in a Good Quality Foundation

When it comes to foundation, there are many factors that you should consider. Some people prefer to go for a more natural look and choose a liquid foundation; others want the full coverage that is only offered by a powder foundation. The Drugstore and High-end make-up brands offer different options in terms of color and quality, as well as price points, so when it comes to what is the best make-up foundation, it really depends on your personal preference as well as your budget.

How to Choose the Right Color

Make-up foundation shades is being tested on hand

Finding the right color is crucial to achieving that flawless look, but it can be difficult when brands have a variety of shades available. The best way to find your perfect shade is by matching it with your skin tone and complexion, as well as the time of year you plan on wearing it. For instance, if you have olive skin and plan on wearing a foundation in the summertime, a yellow-based or warm-toned foundation will work best for you. You can also determine what your best make-up foundation is by looking at your skin’s undertones: cool tones are generally easier to match than warm tones because they’re less common and more neutral.

How to Apply Make-up?

A young woman concentrates as she applies foundation powder in an illuminated mirror

The first step is to take your make-up foundation brush and apply it all over your face, starting with the center of your forehead and then moving down to the sides of your nose and then just under the eyes (along the jawline). You’ll want to start off with a light application in order to prevent any streaks or lines. Then go back in with a heavier hand, focusing on those areas where you need more coverage, such as redness around the nose or skin blemishes. If you have large pores or dry patches, use your makeup primer before applying foundation.

Where To Buy The Foundation?

You may be wondering what the difference is between make-up foundation brush drug store and high-end. Let’s start with the basics, a makeup foundation brush is an essential tool to use when applying liquid or cream foundations to your face, it helps you avoid caking and leaves your skin looking as natural as possible.

You can find this type of make-up foundation brushes at both high-end and drug stores, but be aware that some cheaper brushes may not last very long before they start to shed hair from their bristles (I know this is something I definitely don’t want!). I highly recommend buying a make-up foundation brush from a brand you trust like MAC or Sephora which will have higher quality products that will last longer.

How Long Does it Last?

Some foundations last all day, while others wear off after a few hours. The type of foundation you choose will depend on the desired look and how long it lasts in general. If you prefer to have your makeup last all day, apply a primer before applying the foundation to keep it from wearing off and set the foundation with setting powder after application for extra longevity.

If you want something that wears off quickly and doesn’t require reapplication throughout the day, oil-based or water-based formulas are better for this purpose as they are not meant to last all day anyway, but should provide light coverage if desired.


There are a lot of considerations that go into finding the best make-up foundation, from how it feels on your skin to what type you need. By understanding what is the best make-up foundation for you, hopefully, it will be much easier for you to find one that you love and feel confident in! This year I was very excited about finding the perfect foundation and this helped me choose between two very different types of foundations, drugstore or high-end. It all comes down to your priorities and how much money you want to spend. Keep in mind that there are some great options even if you don’t want to spend too much!

Image Credit: Getty Images

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