How one budget-conscious compact convinced us to ditch the expensive stuff. 

 

Like swimsuits, sushi, and slow cookers, you often get what you paid for. If you thought the same principle applied to foundation, plot twist: it doesn’t.

While items like mascara or shampoo don’t have formulas that differ all the much from the bottles glowing under the fluorescent lights beckoning you into Sephora, foundation seems like one of those things that wasn’t worth gambling with. What’s even in it? Surely, subgrade snake oil that will cause breakouts or thick spackle that will look completely unnatural. So there you are, shelling out your hard-earned paper on 1 or 2 fluid ounces.

We opened L’Oreal’s Lumi Cushion Foundation compact with that mindset, and closed it with our minds frankly blown. How could a make-up so thin and sheer leave skin so even-toned and natural looking? How could it match a range of skin tones so perfectly? And more importantly, how could a drugstore foundation that costs $11 be better than the myriad $50 formulas we’ve tried?

These are questions we are still grappling with, but don’t really care if we find the answers to them. All we know is that we’ve been converted from budget foundation non-believers and seen the light… literally. The Lumi line of L’Oreal specializes in imparting serious, but believable glow in all its products. The kind of lit-up look that comes from drinking 3 liters of water a day after a night of 9 hours sleeping, rather than the radioactive sheen popular with Instagram tutorials.

We’ve become even bigger fans of the Lumi Cushion after applying it with a beautyblender layered over L’Oreal’s Glotion, a priming moisturizer, which Beyonce’s makeup has been known to use on our Queen B. And if you’re in SMH-mode thinking that this drugstore foundation couldn’t possibly provide the kind of coverage you need, the formula is so much more buildable than any we’ve ever tested. And trust us, we’ve tested them all. For $11, this is a bet you’ll be glad you placed.