Makeup Fridays: Cruelty-Free Foundation Guide

Time to get the base on your face! I’ve covered tools, I’ve covered brushes, I think we’re ready to deep dive into the world of foundation. Warning, I will not go in-depth on BB and CC Cream because I’ve not used them myself (the last thing I want is to lead you astray).

As always, I’m giving this advice as a 24/7 makeup user. I’m no professional. My goal is to share what I know on the long-wearing products that will stick with you through eight-hour shifts, the stellar buys that won’t break your carefully crafted budget. Most of all, I want to let you know about the cruelty-free beauty that’s right before your eyes.

Let’s get this one started!

BB CreamA BB Cream is close to a moisturizer in texture with a light tint. BB Creams have sun protection agents and most also have anti-aging benefits.

CC Cream: A CC Cream is usually thicker in consistency than a BB Cream, with a heavier foundation tint. CC Creams have sun protection agents and are supposed include benefits such as colour correcting, skin brightening, etc.

Foundation: Foundation is a skin-coloured makeup used to create an even, uniform complexion. Some foundations include SPF protection.


Foundation can come in seven different formats: cream, liquid, loose powder, pressed powder, stick, serum, and spray. The most commonly used are liquid, powder (pressed or loose) and stick because they are easiest to use and most accessible. When purchasing a foundation, the first thing you need to do is choose the formulation you want. Some formulations work better with certain skin types, others will work well with all skin types. I’ll cover them in brief below.

1) Liquid: Liquid foundation refers to the foundations that come in liquid form. These can be oil-free, oil-based, waterproof and/or 24-hour. A liquid foundation works for all skin types.

2) Cream: A cream foundation is similar to a liquid foundation but the product will be thicker. They are generally aimed at normal to dry skin.

3) Loose Powder / Pressed Powder: Powder foundation is great for those with oily skin, because the product will absorb oils and leave skin looking more matte. (Whereas for dry skin, powders will stick to dry patches.) The difference between loose and pressed is pretty much in the name: a loose powder is loose in the container, and a pressed powder is compacted down.

4) Stick: Stick foundations tend to have heavier coverage. This makes them perfect for covering up dark circles or redness. Stick foundation is best for oily skin.

5) Serum: A serum foundation is also known as a “skin tint.” This product will come with a dropper because it is far more watery than a regular foundation. These products work well with dry to normal skin, but because of the watery consistency, may not work well on oily skin types.

6) Spray: A foundation spray is designed to give you that airbrushed finish… but unless you’re a real pro I would caution away from it! It can reaaallyy messy to use. Foundation spray is lightweight and allows the skin a crease free finish. It works well with all skin types.


The next thing you will need to consider when purchasing a foundation is its finish. This is the way the foundation will look on your skin: shiny, or no reflect, or like you just got a soft spritz of water. The finish also plays a role in the composition of the makeup. Some finishes are aimed at people with oily skin to prevent the oils from leaking through, and others are aimed at drier skin so you get a bit more of a glow. One thing to consider when shopping for the finish on your foundation is that they can be combined. You can have a “semi-matte” finish, for example.

1) Matte: A matte finish means your skin has no shine and once dried, you will have a “flat” look. This means highlights on your face will not be accentuated, but neither will pores or bumps. Matte finishes are best for oily and combination skin, because it lasts long and reduces oily breakouts. But that means people with drier skin should in turn avoid matte coverage, because this kind of finish tends to cling to dry patches.

2) Natural: This finish will be light on the skin, almost as though you’re not wearing anything at all. It’s important to keep in mind that the aim with a natural finish is to blur imperfections, not to completely mask them. With that said, this kind of finish is good for all skin types, but if you expect full coverage, do not go for a natural finish.

3) Dewy: A dewy finish gives the appearance of youth and glow (at least, that’s the pitch!). A dewy finish gives skin radiance and shine. This is perfect for dry skin because it hydrates dry patches, as well as mature skin. But a common complaint is that dewy finishes can make skin look “wet,” which is why oily skin types might want to avoid it. Also, the foundation can draw attention to blemishes, so if you’re acne prone, you might want to skip this one.

4) Satin: A satin finish means your skin will not look flat like a matte finish. You will have shine, but not an excess. Consider it almost a natural look! This finish is good for all skin types, because it is not overly drying nor does it ignore the effects of oily skin.


The last thing to think about when you’re browsing the makeup aisle, bottles of skin-toned liquid in front of you, is coverage. How much of your natural skin do you want to disappear? Keep in mind that the heavier the coverage, the less your skin can breathe. This means it’s even more important to cleanse your skin at the end of the day and give your skin some breathing time.

1) Full: Full coverage is the most opaque and will cover everything from birthmarks to acne to hyper-pigmentation.

2) Medium: Medium coverage will target freckles, discoloration and blotchiness. A medium coverage foundation can often (but not always) be built up to full coverage. Check the product for details.

3) Sheer: Sheer coverage is the most transparent of all foundations. It can cover unevenness in the skin and slight blotchiness. This is the best choice is you just want to even out your skin tone, but want no radical difference.


Image result for nyx drop foundation

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

PRICE: $14.00

Liquid, demi-matte foundation with sheer to medium coverage.


Image result for urban decay foundationUrban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation

PRICE: $49.00

Liquid, satin foundation with sheer to medium coverage.


Image result for kat von d foundationKat Von D Lock-It Foundation

PRICE: $42.00

Liquid, matte foundation with full coverage.


Image result for nyx hydra touch powder foundationNYX Hydra Touch Powder Foundation

PRICE: $16.00

Pressed powder, matte foundation with medium-to-full coverage.


What’s your favourite foundation? Did this guide help you pick a possible new one? Let’s discuss below!

Stay lovely,
📷 = @shaniasquires


8 thoughts on “Makeup Fridays: Cruelty-Free Foundation Guide

  1. I had no idea that UD was cruelty free. I’ve been using Benefit Hello Flawless, but thought about trying Tarte. I love Tarte’s mascara but haven’t tried their foundation. I have oily skin and Benefit works for me, but would love to switch to a cruelty free product.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, UD is proudly cruelty-free! Sadly, Benefit is not… But here’s to that changing in the future! For oily skin, I have heard that the Tarte Shape Tape Matte Foundation is really good *but* the shade range is really poor (which is why I avoided buying it). My skin is combo-dry, so I don’t need to worry about oils as much but a cruelty-free foundation I might recommend to you otherwise would be the BareMinerals foundations (all their foundations are oil free w/ shine control).


    1. Both great picks! I can’t use either because they’re drier foundations, so not good for my skin type, but I know they have great reviews. I like the Kat von D concealer for spot checking though, and I know the formulation is really similar. You’re welcome for the suggestions!


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