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Makeup Wars Favorite Foundations

Best Cruelty Free Foundations

Happy Monday! It’s time for another Makeup Wars. This time we’re sharing our favorite foundations. I’m sharing my favorite cruelty free and vegan foundations. I’m also going to share which foundations I reach for the most lately.

Makeup Wars Favorite Foundations

In a big way, the search for the perfect foundation is what led me to start my blog back in 2008. I was tired of having to wear a foundation shade that was too dark for me (MAC NW15 or NC15, depending which MUA sold to me when I went to the counter), so I started searching for alternatives and then I stumbled into the world of mineral makeup.

My first perfect mineral makeup foundation match was Meow Cosmetics Pampered Puss Inquisitive Siamese (neutral). Made of only 4 ingredients (Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides), cruelty free and vegan, I was happy to finally have a match. Meow’s foundations actually come in 86 different shades, each with coordinating concealer and contour. My first department store foundation match was from NARS. Their Sheer Glow in Siberia (neutral) was a great match for my skintone.

Since then, I’ve been experimenting with complexion perfection products to find which ones work for me. Sometimes I need creams, othertimes I need powders, or tinted moisturizers. I love variety. With my rosacea, I can’t always wear powders, so liquids and creams are a necessity.

Cruelty Free Cream Foundations

L to R – NARS Siberia Radiant Cream Foundation – Performance Colors Snowie – Cover FX Cream N10 – Silk Naturals HD Cream N10 – Tarte CC Cream Primer in Fair

Cruelty Free Cream Foundation Swatches

NARS Radiant Cream Foundation in Siberia – $38 for .42 oz
Siberia is described as fair to light w/neutral balance of pink & yellow undertones. I highly recommend setting this with powder. See my review.

Performance Colors Light n’ Smooth Foundation in Snowie – $10 for .5 oz
This is an oil free foundation that dries down to a matte finish. Snowie is pale neutral. It says that you don’t have to set this with powder. See my review. Since this is oil free, it can work for oily skin.

Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation in N10 – $42 for .42 oz
This foundation is SPF 30, vegan and gluten free. N10 is for porcelain to light skin with neutral undertones. It’s new to me and so far I love it. It comes in 28 different shades. I promise I have an upcoming review. Vegan.

Silk Naturals HD Cream Foundation in N10 – $11.99 for 12 grams
This is a great foundation stick and it’s ultra portable! N10 is pale neutral. It’s a perfect match for my skintone. See my review. Vegan.

Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer in Fair – $34 for .51 oz
This is another nice, portable foundation. I wore this on Saturday from 8:30 am until 11 pm (having set it with NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder), and looked fabulous all day. It will be in an upcoming review. It has a green and a lavender side to help brighten the face, even out the skintone, blur imperfections and neutralize redness and discoloration.

If you have dry skin, you should consider checking out cream foundations.

Best Cruelty Free Powder Foundations

L to R – It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation in Fair – It Cosmetics Illuminating Celebration Foundation in Fair – Meow Pampered Puss foundation in Inquisitive Siamese

Best Cruelty Free Powder Foundation Swatches

It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation in Fair – $35 for .30 oz
This is a full-coverage powder foundation that’s packed with goodies like hydrolyzed collagen and peptides, along with anti-aging ingredients including Grapeseed, Olive, Hyaluronic Acid, Rose, Aloe, Niacin and Silk and vitamins A, C, E. After I’ve had a professional chemical peel done, this is the only foundation that I can wear for a week. This foundation, even though it’s a powder, doesn’t emphasize dry patches, which makes it ideal when I’m peeling. See my review.

It Cosmetics Celebration Illuminating Foundation in Fair – (only available as a part of the New Year Your Most Beautiful You Kit currently)
This foundation has the most beautiful packaging that I’ve seen for a foundation in forever. It’s a white with pink iridescence. I like the look and feel of the foundation as well. It has all the same benefits of the original foundation, plus it’s supposed to give you a candlelit glow. See my post.

Meow Cosmetics Pampered Puss Foundation in Inquisitive Siamese – $25.45 for an 85g jar with 30g net weight
Seriously, this line has 86 shades available. It’s got zinc in it, which is soothing and it’s meant for sensitive skin. Inquisitive Siamese is the ultra pale neutral shade. It’s got a matte finish, but you can make it less matte by using e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set (see my tips here). See my review. (Looking at the ingredients, I want to say this is vegan but Meow doesn’t call it that. They are cruelty free though).

Best Cruelty Free Tinted Moisturizers BB Creams CC Creams

L to R – NARS Terre-Neuve – NARS Finland – Too Faced Snow Glow – Cover FX N Light

Best Cruelty Free Tinted Moisturizers BB Creams CC Creams

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Terre-Neuve – $42 for 1.9 oz
Terre-Neuve is described as the lightest with neutral pink undertone. I prefer to mix Terre-Neuve with Finland, as opposed to wearing it on its own. I think it’s slightly too pink for me.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Finland– $42 for 1.9 oz
Finland is described as the lightest with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones. I love wearing this when I’m traveling. It’s comfortable, SPF 30, it gives me enough color that I don’t need to wear anything else and I still look polished. See my review.

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20 in Snow Glow – $34 for 1.5 oz
This is supposed to moisturize, prime, blur imperfections, even out skintone and protect with SPF, as well as having anti-aging ingredients. Snow Glow is actually a pretty good match and I need to get a review up for you. It’s also got super cute packaging. It’s a light beige with pink iridescence. Vegan.

Cover FX CC Cream Time Release Tinted Treatment SPF 30 in N Light – $45 for 1 oz
I fell hard for this cc cream and I’m still in love with it. It’s soothing when my rosacea is flaring. It provides great coverage without feeling heavy or cakey. CC Cream Time Release is clinically tested, vegan, and free of mineral oil, fragrance, gluten, and talc. This is an absolute must have to me. See my review. Vegan.

Best Cruelty Free Liquid Foundations

L to R – It Cosmetics CC in Fair – Urban Decay Naked Skin in .5 – Illamasqua Skin Base in 2 – NARS Sheer Glow Siberia

Best Cruelty Free Liquid Foundation Swatches

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50 in Fair – $38 for 1.08 oz
I love the finish and coverage on this foundation. It’s also got an amazing SPF 50, to provide full UVA / UVB broad spectrum protection from the sun. It covers everything without feeling like a heavy mask. See my review. (and swatches of all shades)

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup in .5 – $39 for 1 oz.
.5 is described as a very fair porcelain shade with subtle pink undertones. This seems to work well for both oily and dry skin, as well as combination skin. It’s also got a great shade range and the shades themselves are very forgiving. It’s so comfortable to wear! See swatches of multiple shades and my review. Vegan.

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in 2 – $42 for 1 oz
I actually own this in 1, 2, 4, and Au. Skin Base is supposed to be suitable to an HD environment and all skin types. 1 – white (ideal as a highlighter), 2 – lightest pink undertone with yellow, 4 – yellow undertone with pink, Au – suntan with gold shimmer. It’s an extremely buildable product without caking. If you’re prone to really, really dry skin I would avoid this one but otherwise I think it’s nice. I use the shade 1 (white) to lighten other foundations when I need it.  See my review of all 4 shades.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia – $45 for 1 oz
Siberia is described as fair to light with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones. It’s a satiny finish and best for normal, normal to dry, dry and very dry skin types. See my review.

Best Cruelty Free Complexion Perfection Swatches

Best Cruelty Free Complexion Perfection Products

I’m glad that there are so many more options available to me now than there were 5.5 years ago! These are my favorite foundations, or complexion perfection products, if you prefer the term. What are your favorite foundations? Any cruelty free or vegan products you would recommend I check out?

While I think normal skin can wear any of these foundations, here are my recommendations for Oily Skin, Dry Skin, Very Dry Skin and Sensitive Skin. Please chime in with your thoughts below!

Oily Skin Recommendations

  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation
  • Illamasqua Skin Base
  • It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation
  • It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Illuminating
  • Meow Cosmetics Pampered Puss foundation
  • Performance Colors Light n’ Smooth
  • Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer

Dry Skin Recommendations

  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation
  • Illamasqua Skin Base
  • NARS Sheer Glow
  • It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation
  • It Cosmetics CC Cream
  • Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm
  • NARS Tinted Moisturizer
  • Performance Colors Light n’ Smooth
  • Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer

Very Dry Skin Recommendations

  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation
  • NARS Sheer Glow
  • It Cosmetics CC Cream
  • Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm
  • Performance Colors Light n’ Smooth

Sensitive Skin Recommendations

  • Cover FX CC Cream
  • Cover FX Cream Foundation
  • Silk Naturals HD Cream
  • Meow Cosmetics Pampered Puss foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation
  • It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation
  • Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer

Join The Conversation

63 Comments

  • Urban Decay is back to testing on animals in China. I heard it a while ago. So i think we should stay away from Urban Decay.

    • Hi! You are incorrect about Urban Decay. Urban Decay is cruelty free, not selling in China and Leaping Bunny Certified.

      “Urban Decay is a cruelty-free brand and is committed to ending animal testing. We do not test our products on animals, nor do we allow others to test on our behalf. Additionally, we require our suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are not tested on animals. Our Brand is certified by both PETA and The Leaping Bunny Program (CCIC) as cruelty-free.”

      For extremely dry skin, you want a product that is not going to emphasize dryness or flakes. Can you try getting a sample of the Cover FX CC Cream from Sephora? My skin is currently extremely dry from my rosacea meds and that’s one of the few foundations I can comfortably wear right now that does not emphasize any dryness.

      • Did what Urban Decay say was updated?
        Isn’t CC stand for color correction? I don’t have pimples or acne but I do have visible pores. I don’t think i’ll be needing a color corection cream. Do you recommend any other foundation? I don’t want to wear tinted moisturizer cuz i want full-coverage. I am new to applying make-up so i don’t know much. Can you tell me what contour does to your face?
        Thank’s for replying.

        • Urban Decay has been cruelty free and leaping bunny certified for quite some time. They are not selling in China. They are not testing on animals.

          Cover FX CC Cream is more like a medium to full coverage foundation. Visit CoverFX.com to check it out.

          Contour is used to slim or accentuate the lines of your face. I don’t often contour.

        • Urban decay may not test in china but despite that they are actually now
          owned by a parent testing company too as L’oreal now owns urban decay,
          very sad 🙁 I have a very similar skin type it sounds like, the only
          moisturiser that worked for me (i’ve tried a LOT trying to get rid of
          this) is the keys care moisturiser, it is SO moisturising, great to put
          on before bed and it means I wake up with lovely smooth hydrated skin
          finally! I use a gentle exfoliator once a week and then use a small dab
          of the moisturiser (a lot goes a long way) at night and then I don’t
          even need to apply moisturiser before foundation (amazing for me!). But
          if I do want a little moisture I use George’s aloe spray, very light and
          healing too 🙂 Cover fx, hourglass, GOSH, Sappho(I LOVE this for my dry
          skin), Illamasqua, Hard candy, OCC, Glam natural, are just a few other options for foundations. Hope that helps 🙂 x

          • Hi Miss J, I encourage you to read my cruelty free brand list. I specifically state that UD is cruelty free and owned by L’Oreal. Additionally, UD is Leaping Bunny Certified, which makes them better than 90% of the brands out there to me. Since being purchased by L’Oreal they have created more vegan products than ever.

            • Thanks Phyrra but I thought it was worth noting as some people such as myself do not consider companies to be cruelty free if owned by non cruelty free companies. I feel I am putting my money in a testing company’s pocket and don’t feel comfortable with that, I find them deceiving. Please don’t feel I am trying to discredit you on your own blog as you do great work but the information is there for Liz in case she feels the same way as I do. If not, no problem.

  • I’m hearing more and more good things about the IT Cosmetics CC Cream. Really makes me want to try it!

  • Hi Phyrra! I love your blog and your the only one that I consistently check out every day! I’ve been wondering if you have ever tried out the skin care and makeup brand Beauty Society? It is vegan friendly, gluten free, sulfate free, paraben free and cruelty free. It’s been around since 2004 and it’s based out of California with a beauty salon in California. I’ve only used some of the skin care and love it. I would love to see what you think of since it sounds like other brands you like. Thank you and keep up the great work!

  • I have quite a few of these and the IT Cosmetics CC cream was pretty impressive! I can’t believe that I own 7 of these LOL! I have a foundation addiction (ok an entire makeup/skincare/beauty addiction:). Thanks for the post!

  • The IT Cosmetics CC Cream isn’t good for oily skin at all. It’s too oily for our already oily skin and fades within 2 hours. This is best for those with normal or dry skin.

  • Thanks for the recommendations! I just started using Tarte’s Amazon clay foundation and love it. My skin is super oily and this really lasts.

  • Thank you for this post. I’m using it to help me decide between Silk Naturals and Meow Cosmetics, both brands are on my short list to try and were introduced to me by you. Based on your review I was able to knock some other contenders out of the running. I’m going to wait till I get back to the US before I order. Currently visiting family in New Zealand and its summer here and I’m using SPF 50 like crazy all over and I’m still getting darker. Sigh

  • I’m just starting to get into makeup and this has been so helpful! Our skintones are pretty similar (I’m a tad bit more warm though) and all these swatches are so great. Thanks!!

  • I have very dry skin, and even in summer it is still dry and not at all oily. I think mineral foundations can also work great for dry skin, depending on the formula and the amount you use. Furthermore finding a good skincare and applying the foundation before your skincare gets absorbed by the skin can help me to get a nice finish. My favourite at the moment is Inika’s Mineral Foundation, but their color chart is not reflecting the foundation colors well, I used findation in addition and took the shade it recommended. I also love Everyday Minerals (Matte), Pure Anada Cosmetics and Alienor Cosmetics at the moment,
    Great post.

    • I agree. I have extremely dry skin and can’t wear liquid or cream foundation because, despite the best buffing, they get caught in my dry patches and exacerbate them. When I’m really bad this happens a bit with powder, but it’s never as bad. Go figure.

  • That Silk Naturals is a perfect match for your skin! I must scope out that brand! I always look to your foundation recommendations as our skin tone is quite similar!

  • This is a great post. I love how you have swatched everything, rather than referring to other posts. It gives the reader so much to compare to right on the page. Many many great pics.

  • lots of great info and pictures! I’m determined to try more foundations this year and not just stick with my BB creams. There are so many great options out there for different looks. I loved your review on the Silk Naturals foundation, and I really want to try IT Cosmetics, too!

  • Love that you did yours by skin type! I’ve seen Urban Decay’s Naked Skin on a few people’s faves…thinking it will be next on the list to try. Great favorites!

  • I have rosacea, too, and it has been so difficult for me to find a foundation that matches my fair skin tone and doesn’t irritate my skin. Thanks so much for this post! I just started using the NARS tinted moisturizer after reading your review, and I love it! SPF 30 and it doesn’t sting my skin–that is a first for me!

    I hope you don’t mind me asking, but are you currently on any prescriptions for your rosacea? Your skin looks great!

    • Hi Deanna,

      I’m currently on Metrogel creme (not as drying), and Aczone. I only use the azcone when I have a flare up and I use the metrogel creme once to twice a week.

      • Thanks for your reply! I’m using Metrogel also, but I use the 1% gel once a day. I don’t know whether it has made a big difference or not. It seems that using a gentle cleanser (Fresh Soy Face Cleanser) and moisturizer (First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream) have done more for me than the prescription has. But I’ve never tried Aczone, so I’ll have to look into it!

        I’m so glad I found your blog!

  • Excellent post! I will be referring to this a lot in the near future as my skin is changing so much recently that I can’t always fall back on my powder foundation. Thanks so much!!

  • I love how you made recommendations for so many skin types. That’s just so helpful. I came close to putting UD Naked on my list but I haven’t worn it for the last two months since it’s so lightweight. I do love it for different weather though. I still have to try the IT powder foundations and the Cover FX.

  • I think you’ve given me the shove I need to grab the Tarte TSV that is coming tomorrow. Thanks for sharing all of your foundation/base favorites. It’s added a few new products to my wishlist. In particular, I can’t wait for the CoverFX review because I’ve been curious about their foundation for a while now.

    • You’re welcome! I’ve worn the CoverFX Total Cover Cream Twice now and I really like it. but I tend to like cream foundations for how gentle the new ones are on my skin. they don’t cause me to break out and they don’t feel cakey. Old cream foundations were always cakey to me

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