I was constantly worrying about which foundation to wear for events where I knew I’m going to be photographed with flash. Flashback can make you look like a ghost or like you are wearing a mask which is never flattering. So I have decided to test all my drugstore foundations (there is 16 of them!) for flashback and share my results with you.
All pictures were taken in pretty much the same conditions with the same camera. I used a non-illuminating primer underneath each foundation and Rimmel Stay Matte setting powder which doesn’t cause any problems with flash.
Bourjois Healthy Mix
I think this is a good everyday foundation that looks very natural on the skin. It has a medium buildable coverage and a soft matte or even a natural finish. I would especially recommend it to those with yellow undertones because Bourjois foundations are more on the yellow side. It doesn’t contain SPF.
I think it did very well on the flash test. There is some flashback but it’s not very noticeable so I wouldn’t mind wearing it for flash photography.
Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation
This one is one of my current favorites. It really makes your face look flawless. It has a matte finish and a medium to full coverage. It doesn’t contain SPF.
This one has some flashback and I think it looks a bit unnatural on the skin. It’s not really that bad but it wouldn’t be my first choice for flash photography.
I really dislike this foundation. I has a sheer-to-medium coverage but it feels very heavy and tacky on the skin. It also gets cakey right away. It doesn’t contain SPF.
It has quite some flashback and I would avoid using it for flash photography but it’s also not the worst looking in the photos.
Kiko Liquid Skin Foundation
This one is quite sheer and looks very natural on the skin. I especially liked it in the summer when I wanted a bit lighter makeup on my face. It has SPF15.
This one did really great on my flash test, I don’t see any flashback at all!
L’Oreal Infallible 24h Matte
This one has a good coverage, matte finish and is quite long lasting. I really enjoy using it. It doesn’t contain SPF.
I think this one did quite well on the flash test but it’s not the best. Anyway I might still wear it for flash photography sometimes because I think it looks good enough.
L’Oreal True Match
This used to be my holy grail foundation and it’s still one of my favorites. It has a medium buildable coverage and a natural finish. I like it because it doesn’t look or feel heavy on the skin but still hides imperfections well. It has SPF17.
I think it did great on the flash test. There is a tinny bit of flashback but it’s not bad at all so I will definitely continue using it for my nights out or for some special events.
Maybelline Better Skin
This foundation doesn’t work for me. It looks kind of dry on my skin but it still get oily and cakey pretty fast. It contains SPF15.
This one didn’t pass my flash test, I think I look quite ghostly and washed out in the photos.
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless
I like this foundation a lot. It has a good oil control so it’s great on my combo skin. The name says it’s matte but I think it has more of a natural finish on me. It doesn’t contain SPF.
I was quite disappointed by the flash test. I thought this one will do great but I’m not happy with the results because I look quite washed out in these photos.
This is one of my current favorite foundations. It has a good coverage, natural matte finish and last on the skin for a long time. It doesn’t contain SPF.
I think it did great on the flash test. There might be a little bit of flashback but it’s almost non-existing.
Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation
This is probably the most full coverage foundation in my collection. I didn’t like it at first because the shade selection didn’t really suit me but they recently released a few more shades and some of them are light enough for those of us that are more on the pale side. It doesn’t contain SPF.
This foundation did great on my flash test! No flashback at all.
I haven’t used this foundation for a while but I have rediscovered it during flash testing. I’m really enjoying it now! It has a soft matte finish and quite a lot of coverage. It also lasts well on the skin. Just be a bit careful because it can look cakey if not blended properly. It contains SPF15.
Unfortunately it failed on my flash test. I think I look quite pale and washed out in the photos.
Rimmel Lasting Finish
I think this is a decent everyday foundation. It has about a medium coverage and a soft matte finish. It contains SPF20.
There is some flashback so it wouldn’t be my go-to for flash photography but it’s also not the worst.
Rimmel Match Perfection
I really like this one for the days when I’m more into natural looking makeup. It has a bit lighter coverage and a natural finish. It has SPF20.
I think it did quite well on the flash test. There is some flashback but nothing major.
I enjoy using this foundation. The coverage is not as high as they claim though, I would call it medium. It can feel a bit heavy on the skin but it’s not too bad and it has quite a nice oil control. It contains SPF15. (Packaging for USA & Canada does not have SPF written on it because of regulations but the formulation is the same!).
I don’t like the results of my flash test. It’s not the worst so you can get away with it but I think I look too ghostly and unnatural for my liking.
This is one of my favorite foundations. It feels very light on the skin but still has a decent coverage. It also lasts well on the skin. It contains SPF15. (Packaging for USA & Canada does not have SPF written on it because of regulations but the formulation is the same!).
I think this one did even worse than the previous one. I would definitely skip it for flash photography.
Wet ‘n’ Wild Photofocus Foundation
I like this one. It has a medium to full coverage and a natural finish. It’s supposed to be designed just for flash photography so I had high expectations. It doesn’t contain SPF.
Unfortunately I think it didn’t do so well. I feel like I look quite unnatural in these photos and a bit washed out.
That’s it for my drugstore testing. I’m relived to see that most of the tested foundations did quite well! I also noticed that SPF doesn’t really have such a big role in flashback as I always thought. I think some foundations with SPF did really well and some without SPF didn’t pass the test.
Let’s make a short summary!
- Milani Conceal + Perfect
- Kiko Liquid Skin
- Maybelline Better Skin
- Revlon Colorstay
- The Ordinary Serum Foundation
- Maybelline Fit Me
Most of these foundations weren’t really bad so I don’t not-recommend using them. Just be aware that they can cause some flashback. Those on the top of the list have less flashback in my opinion as those on the bottom.
- Maybelline Superstay
- Bourjois Healthy Mix
- L’oreal True Match
- L’Oreal Infallible 24h Matte
- Rimmel Match Perfection
- Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation
- Rimmel Lasting Finish
- Wet ‘n’ Wild Photofocus
- Essence Fresh & Fit
- The Ordinary Coverage Foundation