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Five Best Foundations 2011

Reviewed by Marta November 9, 2011 20 Comments

I was recently chastised by a commenter that my Five Best foundations included some with dubious ingredients. I had to admit she was right. The thing is that the selection was made around two years ago, but the good news is that since then we’ve been finding better and better foundations. They do their job and little to no evil. Welcome to the Five Best foundations of 2011.

Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation ($34). Best for a natural, youthful look. Foundations can sometimes make us look older. Not this one. Light reflective technology brightens, evens skin texture, and provides a natural glow. Vapour is a makeup brand that we’ve recently come to know and love for high performance with a commitment to 100% natural ingredients with 70% of them organic. This foundation comes in stick form, but is easy to blend in. Plays nice even with sensitive skin. Read Kim’s review

Youngblood Pressed Mineral Foundation ($45) Best for cover. This oil-controlling pressed mineral foundation is a very good concealer, while remaining lightweight and healthy for your skin. The formula includes rice starch to offer a smooth, matte look with a healthy, natural glow.  Youngblood, I am pleased to note, is one of the brands that is in Kristen's vast makeup collection. The brand has been going for about 18 years, but has been constantly innovating to add new products and reformulated (for example, the Natural Mineral Lose Foundation) a couple of years ago without parabens, although it should be noted that this product contains the potential irritant, bismuth oxychloride.

Juice Beauty Perfecting Foundation. Best for organic antioxidants. Juice Beauty’s liquid foundation is comfortable and silky to wear, gives good coverage and comes in an airless pump container to prevent drying out. Plus There are no less than eight fruit oils that are packed with antioxidants. One of them, pomegranate, has been studied for its effectiveness against skin cancer and raspberry seed oil is supposed to be a natural sunscreen. My only quibble is that the three shades offered by Juice Beauty are a little basic. Read the full review

Osmotics Inner Light Instant Complexion Enhancer ($30). Best no-foundation foundation. I pretty much wear this every day with a dab here and there of RMS’s concealer. This pinkish cream is based on spherical pigments that, along with some silicone, plant oils and vitamins, create a light-defusing layer. I wouldn't say that it gives me a porcelain look, but then I have a rather ruddy and freckly skin tone to begin with. But I do look smoother, clearer and I would even say dewy. Inner Light definitely smooths out wrinkles and imperfections. Read the full review

Sterling Minerals Rose Petal Foundation ($25 from Sterling Minerals). Beloved by Julie Kay, Sterlings loose mineral foundation promises to never streak, fade, slide or maximize your wrinkles. Although I'm not a big fan of mineral powders, I tried this out and found that it does live up to its promises. Light deflecting boron nitride and rice starch trick the eye, while the ingredients are friendly to sensitive skins.

Ingredients in Vapour: Organic/Bio Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic/Bio Cera Alba (Beeswax), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Silica, Essential Oils & Natural Fruit Essences, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense)*, Organic/Bio Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi/Holy Basil), Organic/Bio Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus Flowers) [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica (CI 77019)] *Wildcrafted

Ingredients in Youngblood: Mica (CI 77019), Zinc Stearate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Silica, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Lauroyl Lysine, Tocopherol Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba)  Seed Oil, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163). PAO 24M, Paraben Free, Vegan

Ingredients in Juice Beauty: Ingredients: Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice (*), Glycerin, Lecithin (*), Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed) Oil (*), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil (*), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (*), Cera Alba (Beeswax) (*), Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed) Oil (*), Blueberry (Vaccinium Corymbosum) Seed Oil (Vaccinium Corymbosum)(*), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil (*), Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil (*), Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Seed Oil (Kiwi)(*), Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil (*), Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Oil (*), Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Fruit) (Acai)(*), Lycium Chinense (Goji) Berry (Goji)(*), Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla Cera) Wax, Cetyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, vitamin E, rosemary & sweet orange oil, phenethyl alcohol, caprylyl glycol May contain titanium dioxide, iron oxides, mica * certified organic by USDA approved agency

Ingredients in Sterling: Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, rice starch, boron nitride, methicone, kaolin clay, jojoba seed, allantoin, iron oxides

  • February 9, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Susan, I've been having good results recently with<a href="" rel="nofollow"> Osmotics Inner Light</a> as a base before mineral powder (I am trying out a new one - watch this space). Inner Light has no color but gives a nice even skin tone.

  • February 9, 2012

    by Susan

    Whoops, I think I should have addressed that to Marta and Julie Kay....

  • February 9, 2012

    by Susan

    Marta & Kim,
    What do you use on your skin before applying the Sterling Minerals (or Jane Iredale) to be certain your skin is 'ready' for the mineral powder? After most of my serums or sunscreen my skin is 'tacky' (if you know what I mean). Even if I wait 30 minutes it still doesn't feel like the minerals would apply smoothly.
    Thank you.

  • November 17, 2011

    by Gloria

    Thanks Marta, I would love to test it out. I will get with Sarah on that and see how it fairs out for me. Foundation is always a hard one for me to find the perfect one.

  • November 16, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Gloria, would you like to test it for us - if you like it we can get it in the shop (I err more toward liquid foundations too). If so, please liaise with Sarah at

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