What Kind of Foundation Coverage Do You Usually Wear? Sheer, Full-Coverage or Something In Between?

Published in: Just For Fun

MAC Face & Body Foundations in C4, C5 and C6

MAC Face & Body Foundation in C4, C5 and C6

My answer: the whole kit and caboodle!

Because I am a foundation junkie, and I’m finicky (or persnickity, depending on your choice of phrase), I keep a variety of formulations around in different levels of coverage.


Like just about everything else makeup related for me, which one I wear depends on my mood and plans for the day…and whether my skin’s behaving.

Which reminds me, I have a red pimple on the tip of my nose right now and it hurts. 🙁 I’ve been using Becca’s Ever-Matte Shine Proof Foundation to cover it, and dang if I don’t love that stuff! It completely covers the pimple (I feel like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, not gonna lie) yet doesn’t look fake.

Good stuff, but I digress…

When I intend to take pics (which is almost every day), I usually reach for something full-coverage, or coverage that’s just shy of full if my skin’s in good shape.

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

For taking pics, I love full-coverage NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation…

But for regular errand-running day wear, I prefer sheer (ideally, sheer with a dewy finish).

Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation in Amber and NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Stromboli

I like to mix Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation in Amber and NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Stromboli for sheer coverage…

Fresh, glistening “I spent the day at the spa” skin is my goal. 🙂

How about you? What kind of foundation coverage do you usually wear? Sheer, full-coverage or something in between?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Sunny says:

    I usually opt for sheer to medium. I haven’t tried a full-coverage foundation, and I am not too sure what to expect to be honest!
    Sunny recently posted … Laura Mercier Daiquiri Lip Glacé

  2. Megan says:

    Sheer to medium. I tried full coverage and I just looked like I was wearing geisha makeup. My skin is (thankfully) pretty even, so I don’t need to go crazy yet.

  3. Lauren says:

    I used to wear my Garnier BB cream (which has really good coverage for a BB, actually) but now i’m addicted to the full-coverage of the Covergirl 3-in-1. Because of my rosacea, I just think make up looks better on me when I have a nice (non-red) canvas to put it on, and only full-coverage really corrects the red in my skin.
    Lauren recently posted … A Brown Smokey Eye for Spring!

  4. Deanna says:

    I really like sheer to medium coverage foundations. I’m loving the NARS tinted moisturizer, the Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm, and the Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation. I don’t own any full-coverage foundations, because I want my skin to look as natural as possible, and I’ve found that a lot of full-coverage foundations look a bit like a mask on me.

  5. Danielle says:

    I definitely prefer sheer coverage, but occasionally I will opt for a medium coverage.
    Danielle recently posted … 100% Pure Vanilla Bean Shower Gel

  6. Alison M says:

    I almost never choose something labeled as full-coverage. I prefer a light or medium coverage depending on the day. A tinted moisturizer from NARS or Sonia Kashuk or Too Faced’s BB cream are preferable when I spend a whole day outside. But a good buildable option like NARS Sheer Glow or Too Faced Amazing Face Liquid are my go-to choices because I can work my way up to customize the coverage on different areas of my face.
    Alison M recently posted … NARS Summer 2014 Adult Swim Color Collection

  7. Chris25 says:

    I like medium to full. My faves are Revlon Colorstay for Oily Skin and MUFE HD.
    Chris25 recently posted … Milani Lipstick in Sweet Nectar

  8. Natalie says:

    I usually go for medium but I have full coverage for bad skin days and a bb cream for good skin days. I hate putting on more coverage than I need.
    Natalie recently posted … Wedding Week Look #2

  9. The LA Lady says:

    For pictures, I like MUFE’s HD foundation. But you really need to moisturize because it seems to highlight even the tiniest bit of dry skin. But it definitely photographs well…

    As for everyday wear, I use One Love Organics super critical chia oil as a moisturizer and top it off with some mineral foundation. I like a dewy finish as well and after it sets in with the chia oil, I have a decent amount of coverage without it feeling heavy.

    Karen: can you recommend a good primer for my everyday routine? I have incredibly reactive, sensitive skin (hence the chia oil–it saves my skin) so nothing too heavy or mattifying: just something that will keep my makeup in place for an 8-hour workday.
    The LA Lady recently posted … Why I’m done with Lululemon (and overpriced athletic clothing): a tall women’s perspective

  10. Rhea says:

    I currently only wear light coverage typically BB, CC, or tinted moisturizers, but I’m going to now invest in a good full coverage foundation for those days that aren’t so great. Light coverage I find good for everyday as it gives decent coverage but feels light and looks most natural.
    Rhea recently posted … A Play Date For My Nails

  11. PianoGirl says:

    I am like you, I love full coverage for photos and for nights out but fresh, “naked” look for the day. I’ve been trying to get get used to wearing the UD Naked Skin foundation and Bourjois foundations (I have three – the old and the new versions of the Healthy Mix and their Happy Light). I must say I LOVE Bourjois but for about 3 hours or so, then my annoying combo skin desides to devour it off my face. I tried everything but I do still wear it on days when I don’t need to be out for too long. I also love the Chanel Perfection lumiere since it lasts forever on my face and is very sheer.

  12. Kim says:

    Oh, don’t you hate that? I immediately thought of Rudolph, too. Been there. 🙁 I also hate the cheekbone. Reminds me of The Believers (spiders).

    I like sheer (with silicone) because I find that it glides on easily and it’s less apt to clog my pores when I’m running around during the day. I’m sure my skin would look a heck of a lot better with a medium/full coverage, though.

  13. ericca says:

    Sheer to medium coverage for outings and bb cream for work. I like a foundation that allows my skin to show and basically be my skin but better. I usually use Mac Face and Body in C7 and then for BB cream I use Iman in Clay medium deep

  14. Mandy says:

    I am a medium to full coverage girl. I LOVE my Estée Lauder double wear for special or long days. Normal days, I either use revlon colorstay, tarte Amazonian clay, or I layer loreal true match lumi on top of the garnier bb cream for a Dewey finish.

  15. Vanessa says:

    Nothing usually, but I’m on the market for something sheer.

  16. Fancie says:

    I prefer more sheer foundations. I don’t need much coverage so light to medium is perfect for me.
    Fancie recently posted … Influenster Uni Vox Box

  17. Kelly says:

    Currently I am obsessed with Nars Tinted Moisturizer…I’m an NC15 in Mac and I find the 2nd lightest colour called ‘Finland’ in the Nars T M is a great match! Nice, light and moisturizing, feels like skin and not like a mask. I use this as my base and the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in 02 vanilla for my under eyes and any blemishes. Has anyone tried the new Benefit BB cream? It sounds interesting!!

  18. Let says:

    I like medium coverage foundation because I can use less on the clearer parts of my face and build it up for the blemish-covered parts. I wish I can wear sheer foundations (I love MAC F&B). Alas, my current skin doesn’t allow me to…

  19. Sylirael says:

    Oh, most definitely sheer! I can’t stnad the feeling of having too much caked up on my face (even if it’s not remotely ‘cakey’) it just wigs me out! I don’t even mind if a couple of imperfections show through a bit – I just can’t stand the suffocating feeling I get when I have a lot on.
    Sylirael recently posted … The Bees! OMG, The Bees! – Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss in #233 Rosy Dawn and Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus

  20. Natasha says:

    I guess I prefer a light to medium coverage – I have scarring that needs to be covered up, but if I use a full coverage foundation, it’s really hard for me to find a color that doesn’t look like a mask.. sheer to medium is so much easier to blend in and look natural 🙂
    Natasha recently posted … Smashbox Ombré Eyes Set – Review + Swatches

  21. Majick says:

    I usually wear something that is light to medium. I love It Cosmetics CC cream with SPF 50. I find I get really good coverage and my skin still looks natural.

    Lately I’ve been trying other BB and CC creams as well. I like Smashbox CC, and Too Faced BB Cream as well. TF does have a little sparkle in it but nothing crazy and I find it best in the summer because it’s a little more sheer than the CC creams.

    I also just tried Dr. Brandt GLow and it’s sheer. I’m not as crazy about it because I think it does settle a little in my fine lines. I’ll continue to use it but probably won’t repurchase.

    ROSACEA – A little off topic but I just found an organic body butter that is non-greasy, doesn’t smell, and reduces redness. It was developed by a sailor named Edye Dumhart. Here is the website if anyone is interested: http://www.edyesnaturals.com
    I made my friend put some on her face today because she was really red and I COULD NOT BELIEVE the difference it made. The redness lightened up at least 3 shades in just 1/2 hour and we were told that over time it just gets better. I’m definitely going to be trying it on my hub.

  22. Katherine M says:

    I like sheer to medium coverage. My Garnier BB cream for combo/oily skin and my Olay CC cream both give plenty of coverage. I use the Maybelline Age Rewind concealer with Vitamin C (it has a little puff on the end for easy application and blending). I have a Maybelline Fit Me foundation stick (has the mattifying stuff in the center) that I break out when I need just a touch more coverage or contouring. I typically only use the BB or CC cream on my chin, mouth and cheek area, where I tend to get zits, and then I contour with a Physician’s Formula bronzer for the rest of my face.

  23. Teresa says:

    I like sheer to medium coverage, but buildable — I prefer using concealer. That being said, I have mostly ok skin with a smattering of blemishes and post-acne scarring, so I can understand using fuller coverage when you have other issues! Also I just feel like it’s a lot harder to get the colour right when going for fuller coverage foundations, which is what has stopped me so far.

  24. brenda says:

    I love my Armani Luminous foundation, although I normally wear MAC concealer for the red spots, with MAC Studio Fix powder, which gives me the natural look I love.

  25. BeckBeck says:

    Since I’ve mostly slain my breakout issues (although I’m nearing the end of my stash of philosophy’s discontinued On a Clear Day…) I prefer light-medium coverage. My main issue now is that my nose is red – imagine having flushed cheeks from running, and then picture your nose being that color just about all the time. So I just need to make my nose match the rest of my face.

    I LOVED the look of Nars Sheer Glow, but sadly it gave me monster clogged pores. I’m currently using Givenchy Photoperfection, but I’ve also recently enjoyed Lancome Teint Miracle, L’oreal True Match Lumi, and the Cover FX liquid.

  26. Maddie says:

    I use Banila & Co. CC cream which is amazing as a brightening base, and then Missha Signature Real Complete BB cream. Fantastic natural-looking coverage and stays put all day. It’s got a lovely dewy but not oily glow to it too. Can’t rave about it enough!

  27. Sheer and dewy finish is my preference for day time too.. MAC Face and body does that job quite effectively. Its only for parties or pics with flash that i look for full coverage! 🙂
    Poo@beautyandmakeupmatters recently posted … Dupe Discovered: INGLOT Freedom System Lipstick #53

  28. Chelsea says:

    Usually something medium/buildable. Lately it’s been Lancome Teint Miracle. I do sheer BB creams sometimes though.

  29. Doreen says:

    I like med. coverage i wear Nar,s both cream and sheer glow, laura mercier silk cream foundation and coverfx cream.
    I do like bobbi brown liquid and her cream foundation.

  30. Trude says:

    I like medium to full pretty much anytime I do my makeup. My skin is so red and uneven, with some scarring that’s finally fading, that I’m really sensitive about it and prefer creating a nice canvas, even if I don’t have time for much else. I’ll happily just swipe on mascara and lip balm as long as my skin looks okay! I recently splurged on Hourglass’ Immaculate Liquid Powder foundation and I’m obsessed. However, if I’m just running errands or something before I go out that night (and don’t feel like doing a full face twice), I’ll just do tinted moisturizer with some Mac Studio Fix pressed powder buffed on to set.

  31. Erin says:

    Sheer to medium for me!
    Erin recently posted … New Spring Plus Size Fashion

  32. Icequeen81 says:

    powder foundation, cant use liquid it itch my skin, I tried Mac and another brand something, so I stick to powder even powder can itch my skin, Im in my second brand now, this one does not itch , There is an ingredient I my skin can stand don’t know which one.

  33. Tiera says:

    Definitely sheer. Honestly, I go makeup-free as many days as I can get away with lol! When I do wear makeup for normal day-to-day stuff it’s usually the most basic — a light dusting of powder (to help camouflage redness & control oil), fill in my brows, a coat or two of mascara and lip balm, and maybe eyeliner. However, I have no problem getting dolled up for a night out with full coverage foundation, fake lashes & all!

  34. hildegerd says:

    Full coverage, sheer foundations are not worth the money for me.

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