My Top 5 High End Foundations | As of June 2013

We’re bringing in the heavy hitters.  I’ve never done a Top 5 luxe foundations review simply because before beginning my makeup career I didn’t own any high end foundations and before last year I owned only 2 or 3.  These are foundations that I’ve used on myself and worked with and while I wouldn’t repurchase all of them constantly because of the price I truly believe in their quality.


Now, I’m happy to say I’ve made quota for a decent feature, it just happened to be about time I talked about my favorite luxury foundations in a nutshell.  They’ll be mentioned in no particular order or rank because they all function differently. Read more to get to the short and sweet individual descriptions, and I’ll also be linking the full blog reviews I’ve made on the blog to each foundation title.



1. Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation 

“A light liquid foundation that blends seamlessly to instantly erase conspicuous pores, acne scars, and skin roughness for perfectly even, long-lasting coverage. Minimizes shine while optimizing the moisture balance of the skin. Offers an exquisitely smooth, refined finish for 15 beautiful hours.”

This is what I have on right now, Shiseido’s Perfect Refining Foundation.  It’s a dream to toss into your handbag because the bottle containing 30ml is made of light black plastic and comes in a dinky size.  The texture of the foundation that is Fleur de Force’s desert island choice isn’t too creamy.  It’s one of today’s more liquid and runny foundations but it gives beautiful medium to full coverage with low SPF 15 and exquisite longevity.  My shade shifts between O20 and the deeper O40.  It’s so easy to apply with fingers and gives a semi-matte touchable finish.  Its price comes to about Php1650 ($38.50).


2. Make Up For Ever HD Foundation

“This is an oil-free medium-to-full coverage liquid foundation which covers skin imperfections, while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life. Its extremely fine texture is supple and easy to apply. Enriched with moisturizing agents, it leaves the skin soft and radiant. It is available in a wide range of shades to suit all skin tones.” 

It’s a pity that Make Up For Ever closed in retail locally, with the exception of local stockists.  Come to think of it I’ve never given this particular foundation an individual review before, it just slipped my mind.  The professional brand has a huge place in my heart because after all I did train with them for professional makeup in Singapore.  Their HD Foundation is still a Pixiwoo and Lisa Eldridge favorite for special occasions and shoots thanks to its thin but high coverage semi-matte finish with no SPF and high water plus sweat resistance.  It gives amazing coverage without making your face look flat or too dewy.  This stuff just glides on and comes in a range with too many shades to count for a blog post lol, I’m a MAC NC30 girl and my MUFE HD shade is 118 because I’ve got a yellow undertone, if you’re the same lightness of tone but less yellow get 125.  Since it’s not available locally you can ask friends to bring it home for you from Hong Kong or Singapore.  It costs about Php1750 ($42.00).


3. Shiseido Sun Protection Foundation  

“A broad-spectrum foundation to protect against the harmful rays of the sun. The just-applied looking matte finish is non-transferring which is resistant against perspiration, water and oil.”

Whether you’re a beach bum, sports buff, a soccer mom, or someone who commutes often in the heat and humidity this Shiseido Sun Protection foundation could become your face’s best friend…it’s pretty much like a BB Cream in terms of “special features”.  It’s got a medium level SPF of 30 (but it also comes in higher SPF 42 in some regions) which is great for the outdoors and I also need to mention how waterproof and sweatproof this foundation is, it’s quite water resistant.  It may shift ever so slightly if you are excessively oily but not by much if you retouch your T-zone with pressed powder devotedly or bring blotting sheets along.  You definitely need a good non mineral oil balm cleanser, makeup dissolving cleansing water, or makeup remover to get it all off though and make sure you do a double cleanse after.  I put this on often if I’m at the beach or out during summer (also great for when you’re at a theme park with rides etc.) then when I transition to a dinner in the evening it still looks great when people see me and they always ask what I have on, however, note to you, steer clear of the flash photography though with this.


MUD Make-up Designory Cream Foundation

“From a sheer natural look to a flawless full-coverage finish, these versatile Cream Foundations are easy to apply and hold up beautifully under the most extreme conditions. Formulated for ultra-smooth blending and application. Find your perfect match and use it alone, or blend colors like the pros to achieve a specific skin tone.”

This MUD Cream foundation is a professional cream foundation in cake form.  It’s a bit tricky to work with unless you’re a professional but Gary Valenciano likes this foundation for shoots and has learned to apply it on himself using my method.  This product is super versatile, comes in a range of warm and neutral shades and can work as both an all-over base or a thick concealer.  If you happen to be working in an air-conditioned studio or in a country with drier and colder temperatures this will give you a flawless base for editorial work, great for photoshoots but to last in weddings it may need some help. If you’d like to use this for a wedding you must ensure you use a makeup setting spray.   As a foundation the trick that works for me is to use a dense buffing  brush or a handled kabuki brush and press into the foundation a few times then working into the skin using circular and dabbing motions.   That way you don’t apply it too thickly and it gives a look similar to an airbrushed finish (it’s that kind of standout flawless finish) if you master the buffing method.  This is sold in retail for about Php1250 at Pure Beauty Serendra, BGC Taguig.


Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

“We have combined the best of skincare and color to create our Aqua Foundation. A skincare-based foundation that fully moisturizes the skin as it smoothes and covers imperfections.  Sheer HD Radiance starts with the purest of waters.  KGD Aqua Foundation is made with the deep sea waters of Rausu, Japan.  It balances the conditions of ions on the skin surface with rich minerals and nutrients.  These minerals are close in composition of the human body which makes it easier to absorb and moisturize efficiently.”

I dubbed the two foundations by this brand as my HG foundation finds for this year, last year’s HG foundation was the Perfect Refining foundation and the year before was MUD.  This is an exquisitely formulated foundation and I said it had better be for the price.  The Aqua Foundation by Koh Gen Do is the lighter, slightly sheerer variant of their liquid foundations but it gives the skin an inexplicably fresh and radiant, softly dewy look and coverage can be built up to medium.  It feels like a skin “blankie”…with a marine charged formulation that makes it so comforting to wear.  It was the foundation Top Shelf-ed by ITG’s Emily Weiss and is a frequent favorite of “supah Cali fashion bloggah” Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast.  The shades are pretty neutral but lean towards a yellow undertone, favoring of course Asian skin or less cool tinted ethinicities.  It’s a painful hit to the pocket at Php2750 but when you put it on it pretty much speaks for itself, ask my friend Pam, whose jaw dropped when I applied KGD Aqua on her minimally with fingers in Beauty Bar and she went for the 3 month installment option simply because the color was overly perfect on her and so far no other foundation delivered the way this one did according to her.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my Top 5 foundations that are honestly speaking quite expensive compared to everything else in local department stores or drugstores.  Speaking of which…guess what Top 5 are coming up next? 🙂

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  • Karen

    Ive been eyeing on this KGD on beauty bar here in Cebu! yes it expensive for a student like me. 3 months instalment maybe won’t hurt that bad. haha thanks for this!! i love ur blogs!!!:D

  • I love MUD’s cream Foundation. It’s like a little secret only a few people know about (most people either go for MAC/ MUFE when it comes to foundation). 🙂