Free shipping on all orders over $39

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="http://truthinaging.com/makeup/osmotics-inner-light-tested-and-recommended" 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 samples@truthinaging.com

  • November 16, 2011

    by Gloria

    I was at the beauty supply store with a friend of mine the other day and they are selling the Youngblood cosmetic line there. Of course you have to be a licensed in the profession of beauty to purchase the items but I tried the tester in the liquid foundation in pebble and of course they were out of it. I loved the light reflective qualities. Marta have you or anyone tried the liquid? I really need a makeup that has staying power. I have long days at the office and no time to keep reapplying. Sterling minerals sound interesting but I am not a fan of powders.

  • November 15, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Marta- I just finished reading Kristen's Truth #10 about Minerals (for the second time) and hovered for more than a few minutes balking and mind-writing a comment about my mineral journey of a few years ago ending w my discovery of Sterling Minerals. Then I ventured forth to read this article... meticulously reading each foundation benefits. I was startled and pleased to find Sterling included! I still use it; have tried others in the interim- none satisfy. I consider among the lucky that I've found one that does the trick. I'm happy you agree. ~jk

  • November 14, 2011

    by JustD

    @Marta & Tamme:

    Marta, if you could get samples that would be great! It's so challenging buying products on line, hit and miss mostly, especially with products of color. A sample would be greatly appreciated.

    Tamme, I'm still looking for something pure and natural that works, as for now, I am using Smashbox Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturizer in medium and I must say that I really like it. I still use a blot powder, but it sets it very nicely. Just haven't found that au naturel product, but still looking

  • November 12, 2011

    by LisetteShell

    Hi Marta, love your reviews!
    I am in my 40s with blond hair and pale dry skin, was looking into the youngblood line, would the mineral makeup be a good fit? thanks

  • November 10, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Dawn - we'll add in the Juice Beauty colors and you have prompted an internal discussion that has resulted in us committing to providing samples for color tests. Not all the manufacturers do them, but we can provide them for you and other customers. Please email orders@truthinaging.com and tell us what shade(s) you would like to take a look at.

  • November 10, 2011

    by Dawn

    Hi Marta, I love your lists! Thanks for all the great information. I am interested in the Juice Beauty but they don't show pictures of the shades in the TIA shop. I also looked at the Vapour but am finding it difficult to select a shade from my computer. Do these companies offer samples? Foundation seems to be a difficult product to buy sight unseen. Thank you!

  • November 10, 2011

    by Ann

    Now that the cold weather has set in I pulled out my Juice Beauty foundation again. It is very luxerious feeling but the color is a little light for me. I've been adding a pinch of bronzer to darken it and that does the trick! I encourage anyone to try this lovely product!

  • November 9, 2011

    by Rosanna

    I'm going to try to post this in multiple places b/c want to share my experience with the Vapour foundation products. I ordered them after reading somewhere in the TIA comments that someone had a great experience with them. I have to say that my experience has not been nearly as positive. I find that the foundations simply sit on the surface of your face. It feels as though you have a greasy film covering your face the entire day -- without really evening out my skin tone as one would hope from a foundation. I also found that the foundations clogged my pores. I haven't broken out significantly in years, but my forehead, cheek, and chin area developed small oil plugs that clogged my pores. My skin seemed to recover quite positively once I stopped using the Vapour products. It's a shame b/c the company seems wonderful and others have had a positive experience, but I did want to share this with others, as I really couldn't be more disappointed with these products.

  • November 9, 2011

    by Tamme

    Are there any samples of Osmotics Inner Light ? I bought the sunscreen and could not use it, I looked like a ghost. LOL

  • November 9, 2011

    by Marta

    Yes, we have the Youngblood colors on our website and it definitely looks like it work. JustD, we'll get a sample for you if you are interested.

  • November 9, 2011

    by Audra

    Hi Marta, I noticed that Youngblood's foundation may include bismuth oxychloride. I thought that was an irritant for most women. Out of curiosity, how did it make it's way onto the list despite that?

  • November 9, 2011

    by Tamme

    JustD and Marta,

    I was just thinking the same thing, Youngblood's dark, shown on their website doesnt appear to be dark enough for a caramel complexion (African American). Any suggestions with finding out which might work for darker tones. THANKS

  • November 9, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi JustD, a transparent foundation that you might like is Osmotics Inner Light. I gave it to an African American woman and she really liked it. http://truthinaging.com/makeup/osmotics-inner-light-tested-and-recommended

  • November 9, 2011

    by JustD

    Nice update Marta, I always enjoy your Five Best of anything and look forward to your updates and expertise, but...and you probably already know where I'm going with this...no doubt. Again, here's my problem, will any of these products work for me without creating an ashen effect or turning on me later in the day? I too want a transparent foundation that gives my skin an even toned appearance, that blends in and gives me a dewy, but not greasy, look. I also want a color that complements both my face and neck at the same time so that I don't look like I'm wearing a mask. I blend, but this is one of the greatest problems I face in finding makeup, regardless of who makes it, a color that works for me and not against me.

    Can the creators of these products tell you if they are also geared for African American women as well? I really would appreciate knowing before I take a chance on one of them. Or if anyone has any ideas or other suggestions, please feel free to share with me. I'm open. Thanks again Marta, for all that you do!

  • November 9, 2011

    by Linda

    Just read your 5 best foundations. As far as I can tell, these are only online. Do you have any I can buy in my neighborhood. Last time I changed foundation, I had to try several before finding something i liked. Sorry, but I'm not going to do that through mail order.

Join the discussion! Leave a comment below.

My Comment

Add a comment...

-or- Cancel Comment
* Required Fields
truth in aging's five best

Truth In Aging's Five Best

The very best to choose from for your skin concerns.

Read More

truth in aging videos

Truth In Aging Videos

Helpful how-tos and reviews from Marta and friends.

Watch Now

meet our contributors

Meet Our Contributors

The TIA community consists of our trusted reviewers.

Meet Them

be inspired

Be Inspired

Inspiring thoughts and women who are aging gracefully.

Read More

  Loading...