` How a £12.99 foundation compared to a £31 one | Powder
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How a £12.99 foundation compared to a £31 one
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If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between pricy make-up and budget buys (nothing to be ashamed of – we’ve often wondered how 'sttay off the grass' signs get there - each to their own) then let Powder shed some light on one of life's unanswered questions. 

Do you really get what you pay for? Or is it all a gimmick with pricy brands where you pay more for the logo than the product?

To put it to the test, we asked Beauty Editor Katie Thomas and Powder’s resident beauty guinea pig to blind test the UK’s best selling foundation, Estee Lauder Double Wear (Foundation A) with a cheaper version, Revlon Colorstay (Foundation B).

Here’s the results…


Surprisingly there was very little difference in the quality. The only slight difference was that the foundation A (Double Wear) was a smidgen more moisturising but both felt comfortable on skin and neither cracked.

Pricy – 1 (just); Cheap – 0

Staying power

They both lasted the same - I could have easily worn both from morning until 3am, but foundation B (Colorstay) would have exposed my dry patches too much if I left it longer. I could by the end of the day see it settling into flaky bits of skin, something foundation A (Double Wear) avoided. However if you don’t have any dry spots then this wouldn’t be an issue. I’d say it’s a draw on that account.

Pricy - 2; Cheap – 1


This one was a no brainer. Foundation A (Double Wear) gave much better coverage. If you have something to hide, this can make almost anything disappear off your face.

Pricy – 3; Cheap – 1


Again it was pretty neck and neck. Both foundations suited my skin tone, however having now known what both are, Double Wear has 29 shades to Colorstay’s 13 so there is much more chance to getting the perfect shade and undertone. Double Wear also has a wider colour spectrum with more choice for dark skin. 

Pricy – 4; Cheap - 1

Result: Pricy - 4; Cheap – 1

We wish we could tell you the cheapy option was a winner but with foundation you almost always get what you pay for. This isn’t simply a ploy to get you to spend more - in actual fact, Katie would recommend Revlon Colorstay as a brilliant cheaper alternative; it was just nudged away from levelling with the quality of a beauty heavyweight like Double Wear. We’ve concluded it’s comparable to a designer handbag. Of course you can buy a dupe from Thailand but it’s the feel of it that’s different. It’s a luxury, scientifically more advanced and sadly, that costs. It’s a league above but well worth investing in. 

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