Thursday, 26 December 2013

Beauty Review | Foundations 2012-2013

Salaam girls!

Today I shall be reviewing and comparing NARS' 'Sheer Matte', Mac's 'Studio Fix Fluid', Estee Lauder's 'Double Wear' and Artist of Makeup's 'Flawless HD'

Now before I start you should know, I'm not a professional make-up artist, beauty blogger or a make up expert, all of the info in this post are just my personal views and opinions on things I have bought and used over the last year/year and half.

My skin is oily/combination so all of these foundations are more suited to that type of skin.

In the NARS foundation I'm the shade Syracuse, in MAC I am shade NC40, in Estee Lauder Double Wear I am the shade Honey Bronze and in Artist of Make I'm shade 40.

For all of the foundations except Artist of Makeup I was matched by a consultant at the stores which I bought them from, however, because Artist of Makeup is only sold online I had to follow the comparison to MAC shades given by Zukreat herself

Swatches without flash:
 Swatches with flash:
NARS Sheer Matte:

Price: £30.50

I used this foundation for a long time, it's a sheer yet buildable liquid foundation which gives a more natural finish. I was told by the consultant at the NARS counter to apply it with my fingers as it warms the foundation and makes it easier to blend.

It's not the best for oil/shine control and when worn did make my skin look a little muddy instead of a flawless matte yet not too dry look, which is what I was after.

The packaging of this isn't great without a pump because it tends to dry up and you have to warm it between your hands before trying to shake it out onto the back of your hand.

This was the first liquid foundation I had purchased (I used to use mainly mineral powder foundations), and now comparing to the other foundations I have used over the year I don't think it's worth the money. It's not the best foundation and doesn't/didn't ever make anyone think 'wow your skin looks great/flawless' like they did with my other foundations.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid:

Price: £21.50

I was never a MAC person as I always thought it was too overrated, but one summers day I went out and decided to try it (I think a wedding was coming up or something). Anyway I used this foundation with a damp beauty blender and it worked a treat. It is more of a full coverage foundation and I wouldn't recommend it for everyday wear, it feels a little heavy on the skin and I end up getting paranoid about breaking out into spots if I leave it on for too long.

The foundation smells a lot like paint and when I use it I do feel like I'm painting my face. In pictures this foundation made me look a little orange, which is what MAC foundations tend to do.

I had to purchase a pump for this (on Ebay), just so I wasn't wasting loads of it by getting an excess amount on the back of my hand, and because with this a little bit goes a very long way.

Even though I was happy with it I don't wear it very often but only for very rare special occasions and if my skin is really bad and theres a lot to cover up.

Estee Lauder Double Wear:

Price: £28

I've been using this liquid foundation for a couple months now after being recommended by my cousin. I went to the Estee Lauder counter in Boots and the consultant tried on two shades, Honey Bronze and a shade lighter. To be honest once it was on my skin they didn't look much different. I went home (yes, with half my face in wheat and half in honey bronze) just so I could see what it was like in natural light and in different settings. I ended up going back and purchasing the honey bronze colour because it looked the most natural on my skin throughout the day.

The swatches of Honey bronze do look a lot darker and orange toned in the swatch pictures but once I wore it, it actually made my skin look flawless and glowing rather than muddy (which is the only word I can use to describe the NARS and MAC foundations).

This is another full coverage foundation and very difficult to blend if you don't work quickly as it tends to dry very quickly, for this reason I use this by applying it on a section of my face at a time and blending properly before moving on to the next part.

I use this with the Real Techniques foundation brush and buffing brush, you can also use this with a damp beauty blender but as I said you have to move very quickly. You can always sheer it out by mixing it with a moisturiser or BB cream which I have done in the past.

This foundation makes my skin look glowing but not too shiny to begin with, I do however have to powder my face a couple of hours later and throughout the day otherwise I look shiny in pictures.

Artist of Makeup Flawless HD:

Price: £15 (+ £4 p&p)

This is the only cream foundation out of the 4 I'm reviewing and comparing today. As you can see from the swatches the MAC and AOM colours are very similar, with the MAC one being a more yellow toned.

For this foundation I have to say I absolutely hate the packaging, its all made from card instead of plastic or glass like the other high end foundations, which makes it look cheap and tacky. I understand that it only comes in a pan form and you have to buy a palette to put it in for personal use you can buy the duo palette, they also come in 9 or 12. For make up artists it's great because you can build your own palette according to the colours you want/need.

I used this with a real techniques expert face brush and sort of buffed it into my skin, because it's a cream foundation it blends well and is easy to use, however, once I had finished putting it on, I realised that its so matte that it actually shows all your spots (or old spots) by emphasising the peeling skin and the dry patches around your nose and other areas, it didn't minimise my pores (even after using it with a pore minimising primer underneath), this was very disappointing but on the other hand it did make my skin actually look flawless.

After an hour or so when your skin releases some of its natural oils this foundation looks much better. I wore this with the AOM contour & Highlight sticks (which I will review in a separate post)and it tended to crease (on my eye lid and under eye), so I'm not quite sure if thats because of the highlight/contour sticks or because of the foundation. I don't think this would be any good for people with fine lines and wrinkles because of the fact that it creases.

I know people are complaining about the prices of AOM products but compared to the other high end brands it's actually not that bad considering it is quite pigmented and you don't have to use a lot. I will continue to use this and may do an update post in a few months. I ordered these products from the AOM website on Saturday 21st December and received it on the 24th, so I have to commend them on the super quick delivery especially during the holiday season.

After writing this review, Zukreat messaged me on instagram and gave me a few tips about some of the issues I had when using the foundation, which I thought would be good to share with you guys in case you had the same issues:

...As with any cream foundation to eliminate creasing it is advisable to use a powder to set your fondation. And lastly I do highly recommend that before any application of foundation you should use a moisturiser. Also if you would like to minimise the appearance of your pores I would advise you use a flat foundation brush to apply your foundation with. Try those tips and let me know how you get on 😊


Below is a picture using the AOM products I bought recently one in natural light and the other at night time with a floor lamp, hence the difference in colour of my face lol.

Using the AOM flawless HD foundation & contour sticks/highlighter
So that's it! All I have to say about the foundations I have been using over the course of a year/year and half. Comment below with your views on the products if you've used them.

I'm thinking of doing a blog post on concealers (MAC, Benefit, Collection 2000, Sleek) (another compare and review post) so let me know if you'd be interested in that also.

To keep up to date and in touch with me follow my instagram http://instagram.com/ihijabi_blog I post more on there than I do on here and Facebook.

Till next time.....Ciao you beautiful people!


  1. My sister uses Estee Lauder double wear and it's a great foundation, albeit a bit heavy. Yes, please do a concealer review!

  2. nice :) great products !!


  3. I love your blog

  4. Did AOM #40 suit u? Or was it darker?? I m kinda confused whether to get AOM 35 or 40?

    1. It was a little dark but not noticeably I think 35 would end up looking too ashy because it'd be a tad bit too light so if your skin tone is like mine I'd recommend shade 40

  5. hey :) i want to buy the AOM foundation but im really unsure about the ingredients i cant find them anywhere, do you have a lsit of the ingredients?

  6. Hi.. could you possibly tell me which one of those products are halal or sutible for vegetarians

  7. I think all the shades are totally wrong for you. I am an NC40. Barcelona is the correct shade for Nars and AOM is N.45. Please note I am incredibly experienced in makeup and am purely sharing. Syracuse is actually very orange tinged. Barcelona more yellow. Syra is darker. I bought it once then returned it. I bought AOM at IMATS so directly swatched it. N.45 is a mtch to NC40/42 - the shade lighter for NC37/40. I dint have double wear but again I would assume you have the wrong shade. From looking at your arm with and without flash, I would actually say you are a lot fairer than you realise.

    1. Thank you for your comment, with those foundations I was matched by someone working at the counters so I took their word for it. My arm I think is lighter than my face because my face gets tanned more easily. But you have a point and I may need to go back and get another opinion on the shades.

    2. hi im looking for the mac equivelant to N.45 on AOM is it NC40/42????

  8. Salams. I do find the AOM hard to use, and it's quite expensive for very little product that is not well packaged. However I found the perfect match to my skin color. I was interested in getting the nars luminous foundation I heard now they come with a pump. I wanted to know if I am number 45 in AOM whats the closest match to the nars? I could pass for both 40 and 40 so do you think Syracuse is the best option?

  9. Have you checked these products are halal

  10. Salaam to everyone asking about ingredients and if it's halal answer is I don't know. It would be best to ask each company directly for list of ingredients. I'm not sure what you mean by vegetarian, these products are not edible and I wouldn't recommend you eat them even if you aren't vegetarian.