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Pale Liquid and Powder Foundation Swatches

Cruelty Free and Vegan Pale Liquid and Powder Foundation Swatches, plus White Mixers -

I wanted to share pale liquid and powder foundation swatches. I use the term pale loosely for some of these. I thought it would be helpful to show these foundations swatched together on my arm to give you an idea of how they compare to each other. All foundations are cruelty free except for the MAC foundation that I swatched, which was purchased when MAC was cruelty free. Almost every single item in this post is vegan, too.

This post contains a mix of press samples and products purchased by me.

Pale Liquid and Powder Foundation Swatches

Pale Liquid and Powder Foundation Swatches

Pale Liquid Foundation Swatches Top to Bottom

  • Cover FX Natural Finish Oil Free Liquid Foundation in N0 (v) $40 – I love this foundation because I don’t have to add a drop of white to make it match my skintone. It blends seamlessly in with my neck and chest, which is what I want to match with my foundation. It comes in an amazing range of 40 shades.
  • Too Faced Born This Way Foundation in Snow (v) $39 – This foundation adds more color to my face than N0, so makes me seem less starkly pale, yet I don’t feel like it gives me the dreaded ‘your face is darker than the rest of you’ that my pale skin is prone to. It comes in 18 shades.
  • Cover FX Liquid Foundation in N10 (v) $40 – I thought showing N0 and N10 would be useful.
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation in .5 (v) $40 – I like this one a lot and it’s a pretty good match too, thought it might have a touch too much pink on my face. 18 shades available.
  • NARS Radiant Cream foundation in Siberia $38 – Siberia used to be a perfect match for me but as you can see this is now too dark on me. 20 shades available.
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation in Fair Sand (v) $39 – This foundation comes in 27 shades. I think they’re mostly 27 shades of beige, because this is the palest shade offered and it’s darker than I have ever been. 27 shades available.

Shade Descriptions

  • N0 – For fairest porcelain skin with neutral undertones
  • Snow- Very Fair with Neutral-to-Pink undertones
  • N10 – For porcelain to light skin with neutral undertones
  • 0.5 – very fair porcelain shade, with subtle pink undertones
  • Siberia – fair to light w/neutral balance of pink & yellow undertones
  • Fair Sand – fair skin with yellow undertone

Too Faced Light and Pale Foundation Swatches

Swatches of the pale and light Too Faced Born This Way foundation. The lightest Born This Way is Snow then Pearl, then Ivory then Porcelain.

White Foundation Mixers

White Foundation Mixers

White Foundation Mixer Swatches Top to Bottom

  • The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops in Lightening (v) $20 – this looks like it has a hint of peach in the bottle but it swatches pretty white on me. There’s also a dark version of this available.
  • Manic Panic Dreamtone foundation in Virgin (v) $9.95 – I love the container for this one. Also comes in Moonlight (pale) and Candlelight (dark).
  • Life’s Entropy Foundation Elixir in White (v) $12 – I love the product but hate the packaging on this one. It’s prone to too much coming out all at once. It mixes nicely with every foundation I’ve ever tried it with.

If you’re looking for a white foundation mixer for loose powder, Meow Cosmetics makes Snow Lynx, a white powder you can use to lighten any powder foundation.

Pale Liquid and Powder Foundation Swatches

Pale Liquid and Powder Foundation Swatches

Pale Powder Foundation Swatches Top to Bottom

  • Physicians Formula Mineral Talc-Free Correcting Powder in Translucent $13.95 – so this matches me nicely! I love that aspect but it has NO lasting power. I HAVE to use a primer or this disappears in a few hours. This is currently the ONLY drugstore foundation option that works for my pale skin. 4 shades available.
  • Geek Chic Kahlan (v) $9.99 – This is a really nice pale mineral foundation. I love the name and the inspiration. 6 shades available.
  • Illamasqua Powder Foundation in PF115 (v) $40 – This is supposed to be medium to full coverage, and I’m not sure why but I never felt like it looked flattering on me. 13 shades available.
  • Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation in N10 (v) $36 – This works surprisingly well if I only hit my red areas. Available in a staggering 40 shades.
  • Youngblood Natural Mineral Foundation in Pearl (v) $44 – I love how this covers my redness. I definitely have to apply it with a light hand and avoid under my eyes. 16 shades available.
  • NARS Powder Foundation in Siberia $48 – So I think this was discontinued because the All Day Luminous Power Foundation SPF 24 replaced it. It used to be a great match for me but now it’s too dark. Available in 15 shades.
  • LA Minerals NoHoGlo Mineral Foundation in Fairest Neutral (v) $19.99 – this is supposed to give you a North Hollywood glow in a formula for dry skin. 16 shades available.
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light (NOT CRUELTY FREE) – I used to love this stuff because it would even out my skintone. Swatched because I have had people request that I include MAC for comparison and this is the only MAC foundation I have left in my stash.
  • BECCA Perfect Skin Foundation in Porcelain $40 – way too dark. I should have returned this. Available in 15 shades.

Shade Descriptions

  • Translucent – Pink brightens, Green tones down redness and Yellow adds warmth.
  • Kahlan – Kahlan is our color for those with a pale yet still tan tint to their skin (pale neutral)
  • 115 – for very light skin with neutral tones
  • N10 – for porcelain to light skin with neutral undertones
  • Pearl – for light warm skintones
  • Siberia – Light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
  • Fairest Neutral – for pale neutral skin
  • Porcelain – fair ivory pink
Before and After with my foundation
Before and After from last week with Too Faced Born This Way in Snow. You can see my pinkness from rosacea on cheeks, chin, nose and forehead.
Before and After with Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
Before and After with Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. You can see that it brightens the face.

I prefer to stick to neutral or neutral leaning warm foundation shades so that the warmth counters my redness from rosacea. The redness makes my face look darker than the rest of me. The redness / blotchyness is something that I’ve always been embarrassed by, which is why I reach for foundation to cover it up. I’ve been hiding my skin since my teens.

In my experience, powder foundation is more forgiving and blends easier into my skintone than liquid foundation. Unfortunately for me, I find powder foundation harder to wear now because my skin leans dry. Most powder foundations suck all the moisture out of my skin and emphasizes the fine lines around my eyes. It’s not flattering. However, since I had sensitive combo (slightly oily) skin most of my life, my first instinct is to always reach for powder if I’m in a hurry.

This isn’t to say that I can’t blend liquid foundations into my skin, just that liquid foundations are less forgiving with shade matches. The thing that I’ve found the most useful when it comes to liquid foundations is having a white foundation mixer. This lets you adjust a too dark foundation to be a better match.

Like I mentioned above, as far as I’m aware, there’s only 1 cruelty free drugstore foundation that matches my skintone and that’s the Physicians Formula Translucent. I find it much easier to find matches for my pale skin in indie or mid to high end foundations. If you’re looking for the best budget friendly pale foundation, I’d definitely recommend checking out indie brands. I have a lot showcased in my best vegan foundations article. In general, drugstore foundations tend to let me down, both with shade range and lasting power, which is why I feel it’s better to invest in a good quality foundation from either the department store or indie brands.

Several of my makeup artist friends have told me that I have good skin. I rarely feel like I do because of my rosacea. They have also pointed out that I don’t need to apply foundation all over. I can just apply foundation to the redness to even out my complexion, rather than all over. This is something I need to do more often.

Minimal makeup. I used Hourglass Mineral veil primer, Urban Decay Naked skin concealer in Fair Neutral under eyes and around nose, NARS Audacious mascara, and Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed (had a different lipstick on and wiped it off and it left a stain and @glossier boy brow. I used my forward facing camera on my phone and I think it was on selfie setting. Wearing my @bunny_paige Aurora micro necklace and @thecrystalcult sunnies. Heading to see friends. It’s actually cool in Florida, around 67. ??? #crueltyfree #blogger #bbloggers #beautyblogger #lipstickleague #makeupmafia #stylehunters #livecolorfully #liveauthentic #myunicornlife #pursuepretty #altbeauty #altfashion #bunnypaige #pierced #rainbowhair #pravana #purplehair

A photo posted by Courtney – (@phyrra) on


My forward facing camera on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 had selfie mode turned on, so it made my skin look really smooth. The picture below was taken with my Canon T3i by Ray, so no retouching, but I still think my skin looks good. It looks even. I went out with minimal makeup and felt confident enough with only Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Fair Neutral because I was having a good skin day.

Skulls and Roses Outfit
This picture had no retouching or selfie mode.

Good skincare is not to be underestimated, especially when you’re pale. I recently bought Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA Lotion (which contains salicylic acid, green tea, licorice root, allantoin and beta-glucan) and have been using it every night in my new winter skincare routine, and I’m waking up with a LOT less redness in my face. It’s such a nice change. That means I can get away with Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer all over, then just a touch of concealer or foundation under the eyes and around the nose, which is practically unheard of for me. I’m hoping the trend for less redness continues.

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  • Great information in this posting. I am so pale, I always say I look like a glass of milk!

  • I just ran out of the urban decay naked foundation and I really like it but I’m wanting to try something new. The too faced foundation looks great on you.. Might have to give that one a shot. (:

  • Thanks Courtney for this Post b/c Not Only do I Have Really Fair Skin but Everything Always Turns Orange On Me! I Also Like Fuller Coverage o It Makes it That Much Harder to Find What I am Looking For! Thanks Again for the Post, Have a Blessed day! Lots of Love, Jana

  • Great review. I can’t get over how dark the palest shades are! I love Tarte but dang… I really want to try the CoverFX now. There seriously needs to be a “northern Euro”line for us pale folk haha

  • Wow, thank you so much for swatching all of these! I was debating trying out the Tarte foundation but it’s a lot darker than I thought it would be.

  • Try the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation in Fair Beige. It’s the lightest in the range even though it’s not listed as such in the order on the website. It’s a great match for me along with Coverfx NO powder foundation and Urban Decay 0.5. Everything else in my collection has to be mixed with white foundation. I’m going to have to get the white powder you mentioned!

  • Have you tried Katvond Lock it in shade 42? It is very pink but its the palest of pale…the first foundation I didn’t have to add any illamasqua white base to so it would match.

    • I have but it’s been awhile. I gave away my bottle to a friend. I think it matched ok. I’ll have to get a sample from Sephora so I can do some comparison swatching.

  • I think that I’ll have to take this little list with me when I go to Ulta or Sephora~ I am in a huge need of foundation and I feel like you probably know best… as always hehe.

      • Of course heh! I just wish that foundation wasn’t one of those dangerous things.. ya know, where you could pick the wrong shade and flush money down the toilet! Same goes for lipstick!

  • What a wonderful and informative tutorial. I’ve been wanting to try the coverFX. I just love this compare and contrast you did. Thanks!

  • Love this post thank you! I wonder if Cover fx N0 will work for my slightly golden turquoise-ish skin about mac 03-05?. Everything looks unnatural -pink/orange or gray-yellow on me. I think you just turned me on the hourglass mineral veil primer wow thats brightening 🙂

    • So I think Cover FX N0 would be MAC N0. I think Too Faced Snow would be around N5. You should be able to get samples of both from Sephora. And yes the Hourglass primer is amazing. I splurged and bought the largest size recently. The budget friendly option is Nyx Angel Veil.

  • This is a fabulous resource! I’m not the palest shade but in the winter I’m pretty close. There are quite a few brands I can’t match in because they’re either not light enough or they skip right from fair to light-medium =(

  • As a person with fair skin and neutral to yellow undertones, this is such an amazing guide! So many great options for my skin type. I’m glad you’re having less redness and getting away with less coverage. I can’t really do that but I’m okay with it. 🙂

  • I bought the wrong shade of Too Faced so I always have to mix it with white. The Face Atelier Zero is nice but it’s $52!!! I just put the Manic Panic in my cart (all added the rest of my wishlist including the CND Rescue you showed the other day, via your link. Thanks for a perfect list for me.

  • OMG THIS POST IS AMAZING!!! It answered soooooo many questions I had! I’ve been wondering about the new TF BtW shades (esp Snow). Thank you soooooo much for comparing it to the other shades from the BtW line and shades from other brands as well! Snow looks so pretty on you omg!!! Cover FX N0 is my perfect match so…it might work!!! 😀 Plus there is always Life’s Entropy Elixir in White! I’m so happy to hear that it mixes so well with EVERYTHING. That is impressive.

    Geek Chic Kahlan looks awesome!!! I wonder if I could use a powder foundation… I would definitely classify my skin as dry but it’s been doing SO MUCH BETTER since I began my PC routine a few months ago! It has turned into normal to dry (instead of dry to very dry)! *so happy* I think I might take the leap and give Geek Chic Kahlan a try!

    I am super excited for the new Calm Redness Relief products from PC! I’m curious about the differences between the 1% BHA Lotion (which I am using now) and the new Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA. I need to do one of those product comparison things they have on the PC site. It is making me happy to hear you are waking up with less redness, yay!!! *o/* I’m also curious about the new Calm Redness Relief Repairing Serum! It sounds amazing!

    • You can definitely try the Kahlan powder and see how your skin handles it. So happy that you love Cover FX like I do. The new PC products are amazing for me.

  • I have yet to find a foundation that looks natural on me. I’m sure they make it, I just can’t afford to buy every brand till I find the right one. I never knew they made a white mixer for blending either. I am learning a lot reading your posts & want to say THANK YOU for all the info you share! I never needed foundation when I was younger but I now have the red cheeks with broken capillaries that stand out to much! I hope you & your family have a very nice Christmas!!!

    • It’s so hard, very trial and error. You can always get free samples from Sephora to help you find the foundation type that works best for your skin, and the color. I hope you’re able to find something that works for you!

  • Thanks so much for this guide, and for including a face shot of Too Faced Snow. It looks really good on you! I’m bookmarking this for reference.

    My favorite CF foundations are BareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in Fair, BareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 in Porcelain 01, and Everyday Minerals Base (any formula) in Fair. The only drug-store foundation I’ve had luck with is e.l.f. Moisturizing Foundation Stick in Ivory. It’s the darkest and warmest I can go and still look natural, though.

    I really love Tarte Maracuja Miracle Foundcealer in Light, but it’s seems to have been an LE that was only included in a QVC set. I wish they’d make it permanent, though!

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

    • I have the bareMinerals Opal, which is pretty but a bit dark for me. I haven’t had any luck with the elf foundations. Happy to hear that Ivory works for you! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

      • I’m sorry Opal was too dark. I can get away with it, and the e.l.f. Ivory in the Moisturizing Foundation Stick and the Flawless Finish Foundation. ll three of these are on the dark and warm end for me. They work great in the summer when I get a bit warmer in my face. I can use them in Winter, but I can’t go too heavy. I think the red hair color and the natural freckles on my face give me enough warmth to get away with them.

  • Thank you so much for this review of pale foundations. It is so helpful to see the shades and your descriptions of them. I really appreciate it. I hope you and your family have an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas. Thank you for all the work you do on this blog.

    • We’re enjoying the time off. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! So happy that this is helpful. I’ve had a few emails requesting that I do face shots with foundation half on / half off, so I’m going to start working on that.

  • Honeybee Gardens pressed powder foundation in Geisha is a wonderful quick-and-easy foundation. I think you and I have similar skintones, Phyrra, and I so appreciate this post! 🙂

  • I tend to reach for powder foundations as well, particularly if I am breaking out – it stops breakouts in their tracks. A damp Beautyblender gives me a non-powdery finish. Merry Christmas!

    • I need to try more powder foundations with the beautyblender! Do you apply the powder with a brush first and then go back over it with the beauty blender? Can you do a tutorial on it?

  • Awesome Post and I Very Helpful! I Too Have Very Fair Skin & I Find it Hard to Find a Perfect Match, Literally! I am Very Fair and Things Tend to Turn Orange on Me Every Time; They are Perfect When I First Put Them On but Then About 10-20 Minutes Later They Oxidize on Me! I Also Prefer Medium to Fuller Coverage Foundations to Cover Some Redness and a Few Acne Scars So I Tend to Choose Liquid Foundation, Followed by Concealer & Mineral Powder or Pressed Powder! I Generally Just Pick the Lightest Shade of Foundation Every Single Time in Each Brand but Sometimes Even They are to Dark on Me Once They Turn On Me! Well Thanks for This Helpful Post & All of Your Great Posts! I Have Found A Ton of Great Smaller Brands b/c of Your Posts and I Thank You Very Much! I Ordered a Ton of Eye Shadow Samples from “Meow Cosmetics” Last Week & I Love Them, Especially the Ones from the Egyptian Collection that are Very Metallic! Just Gorgeous! Keep Them Coming Courtney… Lol! Thanks Again Love & Happy Holidays! – Lots of Love, Jana

    • I hate it when things oxidize. I’ve been told it’s because of skin pH being slightly acidic, which can sometimes be switched with skincare. You can also try a primer to help prevent the oxidization. Hope you are having a great holiday!

  • This is awesome! I’ll definitely direct some of my fair friends your way for some product options! I’m not a fan of powder foundation on dry skin either, though I do find that a nice thick silicone primer can help if someone really wants to wear it (that and really goods kin prep lol).

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