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8 excellent budget-friendly foundations for less than €20

by Jennifer McShane
21st Jan 2020

It used to take a lot to sway me when it came to budget foundations. As a self-confessed ‘foundation addict’, much of my funds were splashed on high-end options, simply because I’d yet to find budget-friendly alternatives to truly rave about. Thankfully, in 2020, you don’t need to spend big to win big when it comes to foundation

Times have changed; the technology of makeup and skincare has advanced rapidly for both the high-end and high-street market — so much so, that often two vastly different brands will use similar ingredients that work to the same effect. This has resulted in an array of complexion-perfecting foundations that work as well as their designer counterparts but cost half the price. Here’s our pick of eight favourites:

L’Oreal Paris True Match Foundation, €14.99


It’s not just the variety of spot-on shades we love (and they go extra, extra pale), but the way this product blends for an invisible, complexion-perfecting performance. Great coverage too, and this will stay put. However those with oily t-zones should add a dusting of powder to finish.

Bourjois City Radiance Foundation, €12.95


This has a light, dewy, finish, yet it’s long-wearing — it completely blends into the skin and looks so natural, you’d be hard-pressed to think you were wearing much at all. The finish is much like the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in that it doesn’t sink into fine lines, wrinkles or acne marks. It has almost a gel-like texture in that it’s cooling and moisturising once applied — not a patch of flaky skin in sight and, therefore, suitable for all skin types.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Liquid Foundation, €8.99


Having oily skin can be a nightmare when it comes to a foundation that covers but doesn’t clog pores. Happily, this one is non-comedogenic, so won’t clog pores or cause breakouts, and its micro powders are designed to stop shine in its tracks. It’s light enough for all-over coverage but pigmented enough to cloak blemishes.

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation, €9.99


I still rave about this one. Its silky, satin texture with a medium coverage leaves you with a dewy finish, and the shade ranges are superb. This one tops my beloved Chanel and is four times less expensive.

Sleek MakeUP Vitality Foundation, €11.49

Available in 24 shades, this gem of a foundation has been compared in the coverage stakes to high-end brand Fenty. Each formula is infused with plant extracts to quench and soften skin, so pigments are less likely to collect in those dreaded parched patches of skin. And it’s oil-free, which means you won’t break out.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation, €6.70

For those that want a lighter-coverage formula, this ticks all the boxes. The serum foundation is everything you could want from a low coverage foundation offering a natural, fresh finish that enhances the skin, not masks it. Available in 21 shades, I’m especially impressed with the paler range of shades.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation, €14.99

Bourjous’ Healthy Mix Serum foundation has garnered cult status for good reason. The vitamin-rich formulation soothes and hydrates skin while the gel-like consistency glides on effortlessly for natural-looking coverage.

No7 Instant Radiance Foundation, €17.50

Concealing imperfections and smoothing the appearance skin without covering it completely, the light reflecting particles ensure your complexion will look luminous. What I love about this one is how it enhances your own skin, rather than simply layering foundation.

Main image via Jason Lloyd-Evans

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