The $20 Clean Foundation From Sephora That Won Over This Diehard BB Cream Fan
Real talk: I haven't worn proper foundation since March, and I've worn BB cream or tinted moisturizer fewer than 10 times total this summer. It's partially because I don't want to get makeup on my protective face mask, but also because I have so few offline plans these days I rarely take any steps beyond sunscreen and eye makeup.
But, even thinking back on my beauty routine both pre-COVID and now, when I reach for face makeup beyond concealer, it's to cover up my uneven skin tone . . . and it just so happens my dark spots are mostly on my lower cheeks and chin — now conveniently hidden already.
All that doesn't mean I'm not still testing out new face makeup from the comfort of my own home, and I recently tried something I'm actually planning to wear moving forward, too. As a bonus, it's vegan and cruelty-free, and one of the first products released in Sephora's new all-clean makeup line. See how it compares to other foundations I've used in the past and what it looks like on my skin ahead.
How Sephora's Clean Foundation Compares to Other Face Makeup I Use
One of my major gripes about foundation is I can tell I'm wearing makeup when I look in the mirror. I realize it's not fair to expect a product that's meant to cover skin imperfections to actually achieve this and then disappear, but it has more to do with the change in texture than any visible color. Unsurprisingly, that means powders also get a "sorry, but no" from me, as do many setting products that seek to mattify skin.
However, tinted moisturizers and BB creams usually feel lighter and more natural-looking and, when I do opt for foundation, I'm always looking for formulas that promise dewiness. Now, this Sephora Collection Clean Glowing Skin Foundation made no mention of a radiant finish, but, when I opened the tube, I immediately could see it was much closer to a mousse-like BB cream than a watery foundation that'd finish matte. Already that was a good sign, but I decided to directly compare it to my other face makeup choices.
In the picture above, the top drop is foundation, followed by tinted moisturizer, followed by BB cream, and finally with Sephora's new foundation on the bottom. You can see that the consistency of the traditional foundation and tinted moisturizer are both much more liquidy than this clean foundation and the BB cream. (And I'm sure my creative director supervising in the background would agree.)
What's Inside the Sephora Collection Clean Glowing Skin Foundation
OK, fine. Another reason I don't wear face makeup is due to my laziness, ahem, streamlined beauty routine. Picking up something like a BB cream or tinted moisturizer is giving me skin care plus coverage in just one step. Now, even though there's no sun protection in this Sephora Collection Clean Glowing Skin Foundation ($20), it does offer lasting hydration thanks to its matcha tea powder, plus it packs in brightening vitamin C (derived from potato!), so my complexion is actually getting treated to something more than just color.
I'm also pleasantly surprised by the shade selection. Even though there are only 20 choices, they have different undertones available — yellow, neutral, peach, and golden — so I could match both the darkness of my skin and its undertone.
And, of course, I love that this is a clean foundation and at a great price, too. There's zero fragrance inside, and my oft-sensitive skin hasn't found fault with it either.
How Sephora's Clean Foundation Looks on My Skin
Here's what the Clean Glowing Skin Foundation ($20) looks like on my skin after I applied it with my fingers (with a bit heavier hand than when I applied it with a brush yesterday). I don't feel like I'm even wearing foundation consistency-wise, but I can see where this has evened out my skin tone better than lighter coverage products. It also held up throughout the day (with no setting spray on top either).
I have dry skin, so this sat nicely on top of my SPF moisturizer, but I can see a primer being helpful on those with oilier complexions. I finished my all-clean look by applying the darkest two colors in Sephora's Clean Bouncy Eyeshadow Palette ($18) with my fingers and added a swipe of Clean Liquid Lip Mousse ($15) in "Cedar," topped off with the clear Clean Glossy Lip Oil ($12) in "Juicy." Now I need is a brow pencil and some mascara, so fingers crossed we'll see those pop up as clean options from Sephora Collection next.