Friday, 14 October 2016

Make-Up Review: High-end vs Drugstore Foundation: NARS & Maybelline

Three posts in one week...I've been procrastinating when it comes to writing up my I'm playing catch-up. 
This is another makeup posts; here I'm reviewing two foundations, one high-end  the NARS Velvet Matte Skin tint, and one drugstore, the Dream Velvet hydrating matte foundation.
This isn't really a comparison post: I just want to give my thoughts on two similar products.


I came across this foundation on YouTube a few weeks after its launch. I had been looking for a light foundation to add to my routine. Now there are people who will kill me for saying this but I'm not a fan of the MAC foundations: I've tried Studio Fix in NW50 and Matchmaster in 8.0 but my shade always runs a bit red and they just feel heavy on my skin. They also transfer like you won't believe.
I wanted to try something as good as the Lancome teinte Idole which blew my mind as to how good it was, in terms of shades available and overall performance of the foundation especially during our hot african summers.
So my friends were in the states during the summer this year and I requested some goodies from afar since NARS isn't available is South Africa.

1. NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint Broad Spectrum SPF30 in the shade Polynesia Dark 1
I've been using it for over two months and I'm loving it. It's light and the shade fits me perfectly, even with the change in season (I've gotten darker). I've mainly used it in conjunction with the One Step Bronze primer from Stila. half a pea-sized amount is enough for my face, since I prefer light to medium coverage. I apply the foundation with my fingers or a beauty blender (I've not tried applying it with a brush). I apply the rest of my makeup and set my face with a finishing spray.
Here are some selfies:

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint

Packaging: Squeeze tube, 1.7 fl oz (50ml)
Appearance: Liquid foundation, slightly runny
Features: Broad spectrum SPF 30, Available in 12 shades
Price: U$ 44

2.  Dream Velvet Hydrating Soft-Matte foundation in the shade Coconut 95

This foundation has been out on the South African market for less than 6 months, and to be honest I was very skeptical about trying it out. Here are my reasons why:
1. There are only 7 shades available with coconut as the darkest. I wasn't sure it would fit my complexion. (There are never any testers for this in Clicks).
2. This foundation has no SPF, and that's not on!

But I pivoted and decided to give it a go since I remember my first ever foundation, many many moons ago was the Dream Matte mousse which I loved (Maybeline was the first to introduce dark shades in South Africa...I'm talking espresso and dark cocoa).

The Body Shop recently, introduced their Skin Defence Multi-protection essence SPF50 PA++++, first high SPF cream that doesn't give me a white cast...halellujah! life has been given!
So I apply this mosituriser after cleansing (it doubles as a primer) and then apply the foundation with a beauty blender. The finish is a soft matte natural finish, that's doesn't leave me looking monotone super powdery and washed out. I was worried that about the fit because coconut has some yellow undertones but it oxidises just enough to look natural.

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

Packaging: Squeeze tube, 1.0 fl oz (30ml)
Appearance: Gel-whipped foundation
Features: 7 shades available in South Africa (12 shades on the USA site)
Price: ZAR 110 (U$ 10.99)

Both foundations wore really well throughout the day; I experienced just a tad bit of shine along my T-zone by lunch time which gave me a bit of a glow and not grease :-)
By the end of the day my face was still holding and one could definitely get away with going out for dinner with a bit of blotting - you wouldn't have to re-do your face.

Swatches: Left: NARS  and on the Right: Maybelline

Verdict: Which one do I prefer? Honestly, I prefer the NARS for 2 reasons: SPF and shade (It just fits me better), also it's cruelty-free (its dififcult to find foundations for women of colour that are cruelty-free). But, $44 is a lot of money. If you have a good day cream with SPF you can get away with using the Maybelline foundation. It's a great foundation, if you're a beginner and good drugstore alternative for the NARS if you're not willing to spend $44 on a foundation.
The downside to both these foundations, is the shade range. both shades reviewed here are the darkest on offer. If you're darker neither of these will fit you. Both NARS and Maybelline, do have darker shades for some of the other all is not lost.

Happy  Friday everyone,



*images from and

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