Great Foundations That Just Don’t Excite Me

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation Tan Warm 43 and MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation NC45 Swatches and Review

I know I can’t be the only one to have this problem. While I don’t get excited about these foundations, I think they are all beautiful. I tend to like how my makeup looks when I wear them and I would definitely recommend them to others. The foundations I’ll be discussing today are the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better, NARS Sheer Glow, and MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundations. The biggest issue that I have with all 3 of these formulas is that the color matches aren’t my favorite. Obviously, the color match will be different for everyone, so I’ll be pointing out any other drawbacks that keep me from using these as I go. So let’s get into some details in case you are curious about any of these foundations.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation Tan Warm 41 and Tan Warm 43 swatches and review on medium dark skin
L to R: Tan Warm 41 and Tan Warm 43

This blog uses affiliate links (marked with **).  When you purchase through links on my site, I may earn a small commission.  Learn more here.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare**

Tan Warm 41 is for a tan complexion with a subtle yellow undertone.

Tan Warm 43 is for a tan complexion with a yellow undertone.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation Tan Warm 41 and Tan Warm 43 swatches and review on medium dark skin
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation Tan Warm 41 (left) and Tan Warm 43 (right)

You can definitely tell when I want a foundation to work because I end up with more than one shade. I was hoping my issues with this foundation would be resolved if I went one shade darker (in the same undertone). While Tan Warm 43 is a better shade match for me, I still have other foundations that outperform this one. It has a solid medium coverage which is good for my preferences, but it doesn’t build to full if that’s what you’re after. The brand says it’s medium buildable coverage, but I guess they could have meant that you can go from light to medium. The texture is very fluid, so in my opinion, it works best with a brush. With a brush 1 pump is enough to get medium coverage. With 2 pumps, the coverage does improve slightly, but it still doesn’t ever build to full coverage. Speaking of the pump, the spout has a strange shape to it and it can make a bit of a mess. Instead of dispensing through a hole, it is more of a slit.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation Tan Warm 41 Swatch and Review
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation Tan Warm 41

It is important to shake this foundation up each time you use it. As you can see in the close-up image below, it has a gold shimmer running through it that you want to make sure is mixed in well. Despite the shimmer, this is not a glittery foundation. If you are in direct sun and you look up close in a mirror you can see the shimmer particles on the skin but it is very fine. I only saw it because I specifically looked for it for review purposes. At a normal distance from the mirror that I get ready in, I can’t detect the “micro-fine pearl powder” as the brand calls it.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation Tan Warm 43 Swatch and Review
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation Tan Warm 43

The brand claims that this foundation has a natural radiant finish and while I agree, it is not as radiant as I would have expected. This could be due to my dry skin. On me, it’s not matte, but it doesn’t have the sheen that I would have liked to see in order to call it radiant. If you like dewy foundations (like MAC Face and Body), this doesn’t look dewy, the radiance is more subtle than that. I tried setting it with powder but don’t like it as much that way. It didn’t lose all of its radiance, but I preferred the finish without powder. I don’t think this minimizes the look of pores as the brand claims but I can agree that it minimizes imperfections due to its medium coverage. On the upside, being able to see my pores makes it look skin-like so I actually like that aspect. It doesn’t settle into my pores or lines, so maybe that is what the brand means when they say it minimizes those things. But in my opinion, if my pores were minimized they’d look better or less visible, not the same. This is a nice basic foundation, but when I stack it up against other foundations I own, it just doesn’t wow me.

If you are interested in the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation it is available in 40 shades and retails for $39.50. You can find this foundation at the following retailers:


Nars Sheer Glow Foundation**

$ 0.00
Sale
Price
$ 47.00
Regular
Price
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Tahoe 1 oz/ 30 mL**

Tahoe is described as medium-deep with warm undertones, and an olive tone.

I no longer own a lot of the foundations pictured in the swatch photo below. Since I can’t retake the picture, please forgive my less than stellar swatches.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Tahoe Swatch on Medium Dark Skin (compared to Natural Radiant Longwear Tahoe, MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC45, Estee Lauder Double Wear 5W1)
NARS Sheer Glow in Tahoe Shade Comparisons

This is a beautiful foundation, it’s just not for me. The shade Tahoe reads a little orange on me. I prefer the more yellow tone of the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. I can still wear the shade without an issue, but it was hard to reach for this shade over closer shade matches. It is medium coverage and has a nice satin finish on my dry skin. I don’t need to set this foundation with powder and I always prefer that with foundations. It looked smooth even where I have more texture on my skin. Every time I wore this foundation it felt like a good everyday option. I felt that it made me look like a better version of myself. The big issue I had with this formula is that I’m pretty sure it caused breakouts. I could never be sure, but I started to avoid using it anyway. Again, this foundation is wonderful. I just have sensitive skin and I try not to gamble with it if I don’t have to.

If you are interested in the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation it is available in 40 shades and retails for $47.00. The NARS brand is experiencing inventory shortages throughout its line due to supply chain issues. I have contacted the brand and they told me Sheer Glow is not being discontinued, so any unavailable shades should be restocked. You can find this foundation at the following retailers:


MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation**

$ 38.00
Regular
Price
MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation – NC45 0.84 oz**

NC45 is described as a golden bronze with a neutral undertone for medium to dark skin.

I no longer own a lot of the foundations pictured in the swatch photo below. Since I can’t retake the picture, please forgive my less than stellar swatches. The foundation swatches with only a shade number and no brand name are Estee Lauder Double Wear.

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation NC45 Swatch on Medium Dark Skin (compared to Studio Fix Fluid NC45, Pro Longwear Concealer, Clinique Beyond Perfecting Cream Caramel and Estee Lauder Double Wear 5W1 and 5W2)
MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation NC45 Shade Comparisons

This is the foundation that I reach for when I want a matte finish but need a break from Estee Lauder Double Wear. The Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation is less matte than Double Wear on my dry skin. I would say it is a satin finish, but in the winter it is matte on my skin type. Every time I put this on, I am surprised because I feel like it looks quite natural for how much coverage I can get out of it. True to the brand’s claims, it is medium buildable coverage and does build to nearly full coverage. I do tend to need concealer for dark marks, but I think many people would find this to be full coverage. It is hard sometimes to gauge full coverage, especially knowing that the darker your skin, the darker your discoloration will likely be. So if my darkness can show throw even a little, I tend to say it isn’t full coverage because I’m not even close to being one of the darkest skin tones.

In MAC foundations, NC45 is usually a warm undertone, but in this formula, it has a neutral undertone. It is not crazy different from the Studio Fix Fluid, but that slight neutral lean does throw the color off for my coloring. Now when I do use this foundation, I have to mix in NC45 Pro Longwear concealer on my forehead. For some reason, I can work with a neutral undertone on most of my face, but they always look terrible on my forehead. If you are curious to see how NC45 Studio Fix Fluid looks on me for a point of reference, you can find that by clicking here.

I don’t think I’ve heard anyone else have this experience, but this dries very fast on me. I have to blend quickly and work in small sections to make sure I get a smooth application. The upside for me as usual is that it’s dry down means it doesn’t need to be set with powder. Blush, bronzer, and highlight still blend easily on top of it. Just like the NARS Sheer Glow, it looks smooth on the skin. I agree with the brand’s claim that this foundation is transfer-resistant but I have never had an occasion to test the waterproof claim.

In terms of formula, this really does give my Estee Lauder Double Wear a run for its money. It is more comfortable to wear throughout the day and it is even easier to remove than Double Wear. However, the extra work to adjust the shade annoys me and I find myself not reaching for it as much.

If you are interested in the MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation it is available in 32 shades and retails for $38.00. You can find this foundation at the following retailers:


Are there any products that you’d recommend even though they aren’t your absolute favorites?


If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like down below.  If you’d like to check out more of my content, here are some places to start. 

  • Brands A-Z: Check out this index if you want to know what products I have posted about in the past.
  • MAC Cosmetics:  I likely have some swatches you’ve been searching for if you love Mac as much as I do. 
  • The Wanderlust List:  Join me as I search for alternatives to new releases.

Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  This site receives a minimal commission from participating in the WordAds program and using affiliate links.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

3 thoughts on “Great Foundations That Just Don’t Excite Me

  1. Wow with all that shimmer, I’d have expected the IT Cosmetics foundation to be more radiant too! And of course reading this brought two foundations to mind for me (Beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip and Uoma Beauty Say What) that I bought two shades for each and couldn’t quite get a good enough match. I almost bought a third but talked myself out of it because at that point I was spending more than it was worth when I had great other foundations already.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s very interesting. I do wonder if normal and oily skin types think it’s more radiant. I’ve always been curious about the Beauty Blender foundation. I’ve heard a few people rave about it but I was confused by the shades and then I never think to look at it when I’m in the store. I figured if I didn’t remember to look at it, I clearly wasn’t that interested in it lol. The Uoma always looks so nice on people, but the fragrance always kept me from giving it a try.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah the BB shade range I was able to mix the two to get the right depth but it wasn’t golden enough to get the right tone. It wasn’t too bad, but I couldn’t do a 50/50 mix which made it tricky to try and get right every time. And then the Uoma one I loved the finish but both warm and neutral were too orange.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.