My Winter Foundation Roundup

by Joyce in


Earlier in the winter, I suddenly became very aware of the fact that my skin was much paler than it had been. All of a sudden, none of my foundations (or my trusty Nars Tinted Moisturizer!) were the proper shade. I debated for quite some time about what foundations to get. Do I purchase Nars in a shade down, or do I branch out and try some other foundations, just in case? I wanted to splurge on Koh Gen Do, but in the end I was also curious about Becca Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation and Fresh Umbrian Clay Foundation, both of which seemed right up my alley, and both of which I didn't have access to at a counter to try.

So, as much as I think the Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation would be perfect for winter (maybe next month?!),  I managed to collect these three bases during the course of November.

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska review, Becca Radiant Skin Finish Foundation in Buttercup review, Fresh Umbrian Clay Foundation in Chalet Girl review

I love Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, I really do. I know there are some mixed reviews out there, and that it just doesn't work for most people with oily skin. It is also yellow toned, so it may not work for those who prefer pink toned products either. However, the yellow tone and the natural, dewy formula are just perfect for me. It cancels out redness decently, has a light and pleasant scent while applying, and lasts all day. I prefer to pat it in for more coverage, or use a Real Techniques brush if I'm in a hurry. (For my original review and video application, click here. I almost didn't want to link it, as I do think the lighting is poor. But anyway, hope it helps even a little!)

I am really liking the finish of Becca Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation. If you recall, I wore it in my Femme Boulevard look post at the end of December. It is just as natural as the Nars, but provides just a bit more coverage overall. I would say it is light to medium coverage, depending on your application technique. It is nearly scent free too, which I enjoy - I can just discern a very faint scent, and I can only think to describe it as makeup. LOL. I imagine anyone who is sensitive to scents in foundation should be just fine with this one.

foundation swatches

In terms of the shade range, Nars is the best match for me at the moment. For whatever reason, Becca Buttercup seems darker than it actually is once I apply it on my face, and I actually wondered in my look post if my foundation was too light! But, I imagine that is because I tend to sheer out my base products and my face IS lighter than the rest of me in general anyway. LOL. I did research the shades available, (Becca has a super helpful chart on their website!) and from what I can tell based on online reviews, the next shade up does appear to be a slightly big step in color.I am curious to try it for summer if I can get around to it!

Fresh Umbrian Clay Foundation was one that I had been desperate to try for a while after Claire and Taylor raved about it. I had such a difficult time trying to pick a shade, but Claire and Taylor were both extremely helpful in comparing their own shades and even doing some fast swatches. In the end, I chose the shade Chalet Girl, because Fresh describes it for "medium light skin with yellow undertones" and that is exactly what I like to hear when choosing a winter foundation.

I do have to agree with Claire and Taylor - this is a wonderful foundation. The finish is so natural, and the coverage is great too. In comparison to Becca Radiant Skin, I would say Fresh Umbrian Clay provides just a smidge less coverage. Unfortunately for me, and as you can probably see in my swatch photo above, Chalet Girl is too light AND too pink on my arm. It is not as noticeable a difference on my face, but it still not a proper match, so I ended up returning it. I do hope to try another shade one of these days, but I figured I ought to take it easy for now! 

All in all, I am really enjoying my picks for winter. My skin has been happy - no clogged pores, no breakouts, etc - with these foundations, and I quite like the natural finish. While I'd like to try a creamy foundation (Koh Gen Do and Sunday Riley top my list right now!), Nars & Becca are perfect everyday options for lazy me. :)

What do you think of these foundations? Have you tried any of them? Do you have any favorite foundations for winter? I'd love to know!