Pale Foundation swatches

Welcome to my personal collection of foundations.

Here you can see my real obsessive me. I hoard foundations. I collect foundations. I can -after many years of testing, trying, sampling- finally call myself a foundation connaisseur. I have over 120 full sized foundations (and more in samples as well) to add to this massive database for pale people

But before we get started, I want to place a ‘FAQ’s’ concerning how I review foundations and common questions:

  •  What is the Shade equivalency? It is based on my personal opinion, along with MAC foundations, to give an approximate equivalency of the shade in order to determine the depth of tone (light or dark). I take NW10 from the cream foundation (available only at pro stores), NC10 from the Airbrush foundation (also available only at pro stores). I also base in Studio sculpt and studio fix fluid, because even thought they have same shades, they are totally different in the depth. Studio sculpt runs way lighter and oxidizes less the Studio fix fluid. I might reference other foundations such as Bobbi Brown.
  • Why MAC? Because its pretty widely available and popular.
  • What is the undertone / Hue? Basically is the ‘colour’ pigment that the foundation has in order to give it a ‘skin tone’ realistic finish. Some are in a peachy category, some are cool yellow, warm yellow, neutral, greyish, cool pink, warm pink etc…
  • What is the foundation finish? It is whether the foundation has a satin finish, glowy finish, shimmery, matte, natural etc… Again, its based on my personal opinion, and also weighted against the manufacturer’s claim. But a Satin finish might look matte on an extremely dry skin, so usually the point of view is taken on either a normal to dry or normal to oily, not really on extremes.
  • Sunscreen: The claimed sunscreen on the foundation.
  • Sunscreen ingredient: Many people have allergies to certain sunscreens, or want to avoid biological (or so called chemical) sunscreens. Therefore I list which sunscreen is available in the packaging, as per manufacturer’s ingredient list (when available)
  • Oxidation rate: How the foundation darkens/reacts in tone once it is in contact with skin + air. One thing is how the foundation looks when its applied right away, and another is how it looks when it has been sitting on the skin. Usually the oxidations are worst with bare skin (natural oils), or with an oil based primer or oils used in the skin. Not all foundations react in such way, but an example is MAC pro long wear concealer: it can darken up to 2 shades if you mix it with the care blends oil (which is a nice trick to give it more dewy finish).
  • Longevity: How well the foundation stays on your skin. Always bear in mind that foundations are NOT meant to last forever. It is normal to see some creasing, fading etc…But despite that, some fade within couple of hours yet others last 8 hours. Again, this is relative on my skin and my client’s.
  • Comfort: This is also very relative to skin type and preference. But I try to be neutral, or as much as possible. This determines if a foundation feels like a cake mask on, or rather feels like second skin. But what for some might feel like cake, it might feel like second skin for others.
  • Fragrance/Scent: What kind of smell I can detect. This is very relative, for some people it might be enough to induce headaches, and others might not even notice it. I will also mention if there is no fragrance (none in the ingredient list).
  • Additional features: Might be like it smooths the pores, tightens skin, moisturizes really well etc…


  • What is your skin type: (Winter time edit) 2/3 of my cycle it is more or less balanced thanks to eating well / staying active and skincare that works for me. 1/3 of my cycle it gets slightly more oilier and reactive (some breakouts, more irritation or redness)
  • What is your skin tone: It varies on my body. Right now my arms are somewhere NW08-10 (palest I have been is NW05). My face, due to irritation/redness is more of NW10-12. My neck is NW13. But I tend to be more bluish undertone than pink or yellow. Therefore some foundations might come off as more yellow or more pink than it would on someone with not so blue undertones.
  • Do you only review ‘pale’ foundations? Mostly, yes. That is because: A) I am pale enough that most ‘palest’ foundations end up too dark on me, therefore its convenient for me to review pale shades and B) because it would take me forever to review all shades. But all the attributes of a foundation is applicable to other shades as well.
  • Would you consider reviewing X or X foundation? If I have it available, or I can get my hands on a sample, sure! 🙂
  • How many foundations have you had/owned/tested? Including the too dark shades (which I wont even bother swatching anymore) I estimate around 150-170. Perhaps more?
  • How do you store your foundations? In a cool dark drawer.
  • Do foundations get spoiled easily? In my opinion, if not exposed to heat / light, they do not spoil easily. Most foundations can last way longer than their official shelf-life, and there are techniques to ‘revive’ a foundation.
  • What is your favorite foundation? (January 2015) It varies depending on the time of the year and if my skin is breaking out or not. One product that I absolutely love is Laura Mercier Mineral powder in Soft porcelain (to set my foundations).
  • What are the foundation finishes?
  1. Glowy: Think J.LO skin. Can have pearlescent finish. Like mixing a highlighter with your foundation. It can be dry to touch or wet to touch (dewy or matte)
  2. Dewy: Like a sheen on your skin, like after applying a moisturiser. Usually it has a certain stickiness / wetness to the touch, like a not fully set foundation.
  3. Fresh: In the same vein as dewy but it is not wet to touch or has no residue on the skin.
  4. Satin: It is a toned down version of Dewy, more subtle.
  5. Smooth: Gives the skin a bit of a lift, might cover pores
  6. Matte: Think after powdering your face.
  7. Natural: Maybe a light matte, after powdering, and spraying with a setting spray/toner. It looks like your natural skin. Not dewier, not matter. Just balanced.
Now that we have the bases covered, lets go into how this is organised:
You will find under ‘Pale foundation swatches’ 3 sub-menus;
  1. NC/NW 05-10
  2. NC/NW 10-15
  3. Old foundation swatches

For the first two, they are the most recent ones and I decided to organise my foundations in those 2 categories. Here is where you can expect most of the updates to occur.

In the third sub-menu, that is where all my old foundation swatches will go. I will do my best to categorise them, but I will not focus on that as much as my new sections.

You can also access a ‘foundation database’ spreadsheet where they will be alphabetically organised (brand) with the shade equivalency, undertone, coverage and more details. It is an easy way to access information without the need to scroll on pictures.

You can access it HERE or via the link:

It will be updated as often as I update the swatches 🙂

Please check in frequently, since I will be updating swatches often 🙂

Thank you and big warm hugs from FoundationVille!!!