We all love the finish of a high-end foundation, but let's face it – our bank balance doesn't! We've been hunting down the best dupes out there, for your favourite cult foundations, and we've found some fantastic (even if I say so myself) dupes at more affordable prices.
For part 1 of our foundation series, I've been trialing Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and Make Up Forever's HD foundations. I used the same routine and face products throughout, which are listed below, to make sure I tested these foundations properly! So if you're strapped for cash or if you fancy saving a few euro, keep reading!
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Vs No7 Stay Perfect
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua is a cult foundation, with a huge following, all seeking that healthy, dewy skin look it promises. But with a price tag of €40, not everyone can afford to be so flash with the cash and splash out on it. Lucky for you, I’d heard that the No7 Stay Perfect was a good dupe, at half the price. So how did they fare?
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (€40, Boots)
I was actually a little surprised at the consistency of this – runnier than I expected! But, this foundation glides on beautifully – really silky and has a lovely dewy, luminous finish on the skin. It’s on the sheer side of things – definitely a light to medium coverage, so not one for a bad skin day! I set it with my usual powder (Makeup Forever HD powder) and went on my merry way. Unfortunately, glancing in the mirror a few hours later in work, it wasn’t quite so pretty. Unusually for my dry skin, I was shiny, and had lost some of the coverage around my nose and mouth, so I did have to touch-up twice during the day. I had it on for roughly 14 hours, but longevity-wise, I didn’t find it as good as other foundations, and the fact it made me shiny was quite odd given that my skin is on the dry side! Ironically, my shade in this was Clair 🙂
No7 Stay Perfect (€18.95, Boots)
No7 has a fantastic colour match service, so they take a small scan of your skin on a little handheld device and tell you exactly what shade will suit you. The lady who helped me was really friendly and gave me a generously sized sample in Cool Vanilla. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a lot from this one. It’s a slightly thicker consistency than the Chanel, and again, glides on really well. It feels so lightweight on your skin that you’d forget you have anything on, but it actually has really good coverage (more on the medium side of light to medium coverage) and again makes your skin look healthy and dewy – a 'your skin but better' look. Like the Chanel, I had this on 14 hours, and it genuinely didn’t need 1 touch-up throughout the day. It still looked great at 10pm that night, which is super impressive given the hectic day I’d had at work involving a lot of face touching!
These 2 foundations are definitely very close in terms of the finish they give. I would say the No7 offers better coverage without feeling any heavier, and the consistency of the Chanel is a little runnier. I found the Chanel to be a little shiny and it needed a few little touch-ups during the day, whereas the No7 didn’t need any help and stayed put all day. I was super impressed by how close a dupe it was for Chanel, but for me, it was actually better in terms of coverage, longevity and keeping the shine at bay, so the No7 would actually be my pick of the 2!
Make Up Forever HD Foundation Vs Revlon PhotoReady
MUFE HD is my Holy Grail foundation, and has been for YEARS, so this was always going to be a tough one to dupe! It's a cult favourite amongst make-up artists and make-up lovers for the gorgeous airbrushed finish it gives, but it is on the pricey side. So can an offering from Revlon really rival it? Keep reading to find out!
MUFE HD (€40.50, Make Up Forever)
I think I first wore it to my debs and it’s been a match made in heaven ever since. As it’s a little on the pricey side, I only wear it when I’m heading out, but it’s a cult product for a reason. The finish is gorgeous, it photographs really well and it lasts all night. It’s a slightly more runny consistency than most foundations, and a little bit goes a long way. It’s medium coverage but very buildable if you wanted to go heavier. The shade range is extensive but as I’m usually a 123 or a 125 which are very popular shades for Irish skin, there is often a waiting list of a few weeks to get a bottle. Apologies for the crap photo below (with my lovely Mammy) but I totally forgot to actually take a proper photo with it on!
Revlon PhotoReady (€18.99, Boots)
My lovely friend Amy kindly gave me a little sample from her bottle, as she swears by this for her going out foundation. The shade was Golden Beige. I was a little dubious that any foundation could come close to duping my beloved MUFE, but gave it a go when I was heading out for dinner earlier in the week. Surprisingly, the finish on the skin is very similar, but the Revlon is slightly thicker consistency-wise. It wore really well (I had it on about 7 hours), didn’t need any touch-ups and photographed pretty well too. Shade-wise, Revlon have a pretty wide range.
I’m pleasantly surprised by the Revlon, and it’s the first foundation I’ve tried that I’d class as a good dupe for the Make Up Forever HD. With that said, I have to stay loyal to my beloved, and my winner would still be the MUFE. I prefer the consistency as it makes it easier to blend and to build up the coverage, and I think the finish of the MUFE is slightly nicer on the skin (it feels lighter and stays the right side of dewy without ever looking cakey). However, if you were strapped for cash, the Revlon is definitely a great dupe.
That's all for this part folks. Let us know what you think, and of course, let us know if you have any great dupes for us to add to our ever-growing collection!
Moisturiser – Lacura Expert Day Cream
SPF – La Roche-Posay Anthelios
Primer – Botanics Radiance Balm
Concealer – Seventeen Stay Time
Powder – Make Up Forever HD Powder
Bronzer – Benefit Hoola