Foundation Makeup Gets More Diverse, With More Options Than Ever

Beauty brands are offering consumers foundation in a greater variety of formulation options, in all types of packaging.

By Marie Redding, Associate Editor 12.09.15
There has been a lot of innovation in the foundation color cosmetic category, and consumers have more options to choose from than ever before.

All brands, from prestige to mass, are offering numerous options for foundation, including coverage level, application method, and different types of packaging.

Bottles, tubes, compacts and palettes are being used for foundation products - plus, a few unexpected options for some of the newest types of formulations. These include airtight compacts, dispensing compacts, caps with dropper applicators and cans with spray mist dispensing systems. Experts say the rise in number of options available in the foundation category is being fueled by the contouring trend and popularity of bloggers showing off “strobing” techniques.

A few of the foundation products that caught our attention are mentioned below. See the slideshow above for photos of these brands, plus more.

Decorative Bottles & Dropper Applicators 

Many foundation products are housed in a traditional clear bottle with a classic look, such as minimal decoration that allows shoppers to view the color of the makeup inside. There are also bottles that feature more decorative elements, like Kat Von D’s tattoo-inspired design that covers its bottle, which is encased in an overshell. Marc Jacobs Beauty’s stylish and sleek curvy bottle houses its foundation concentrate. Lift off the black overcap to reveal a silver applicator cap, which is designed to dab the product onto the skin.

Some brands are marketing foundation as concentrates or serums that are designed to mix with another product, such as a moisturizer or primer. Cover FX Custom Cover Drops is thhis type of foundation. It’s a concentrated pigment, packaged in a bottle with a dropper applicator.

Formulations that have to be mixed before applying might have once seemed too complex for the typical consumer, but beauty fans are more savvy these days. Americana Custom Coverage Concentrate by Ardency Inn is another foundation designed to mix. It was reviewed on the blog, The Radiance Report. The post describes suggestions for which types of products to mix the foundation with and offers a few tips. This is yet another example of how a slew of beauty bloggers are promoting professional makeup artist techniques, especially for foundation products. Recent launches show that both consumers, and brands are listening.

C&T Blend Fresh MIx Liquid Foundation is another unexpected formulation. It doesn’t require users to mix - the packaging does that for you. The bottle contains two different products, housed inside two inner chambers. Press the button on the side of the bottle, and a small amount of product flows through its dispensing cap. The cap is made from a sponge applicator, and is designed to be dabbed onto your skin. Bloggers, including Shopping Obsession, give it rave reviews.

Stick Packaging & Spray Mists

Make Up For Ever and Bobbi Brown are using stick packages for foundation. Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation is described as having a lightweight, second-skin texture that provides medium to full coverage. Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick includes “skintone correcting pigments,” infused in a transparent base for a natural look.

Yet another type of foundation is a spray mist, for an airbrushed look. The Sephora Collection’s Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation is packaged in a slim package that has a spray dispenser to effectively deliver the makeup’s mico-fine pigments onto every pore. The product’s soft-focus, satin-like finish claims to look flawless for up to 10 hours. 

Bloggers Love Tubes

Beauty bloggers often post reviews about beauty products, and reveal helpful insights about what consumers think about packaging. And when a beauty product such as foundation makeup is packaged in anything other than a typical bottle, bloggers will no doubt weigh in on whether they like it - or not. Bloggers seem to be especialy fond of tubes, yet they’re not chosen by brands for foundation as often as bottles and compacts. 

L’Oreal’s Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation scores a few points among several bloggers for its tube. The blog The Blushing Introvert says how the tube’s squeezability is perfect for controlling the amount of product to dispense. Mack & May mentions how the tube eliminates waste by allowing users to evacuate all of the product. However, Musings of a Muse points out how the tube’s clear panel should be helpful for color selection - but it’s not, since the colors look too similar. 

Both The Blushing Introvert and Mack & May also show photos of the back of the tube, which is decorated with a diagram and “Pro-Tip” that explains how to apply the makeup to prevent caking. The technique works, according to Mack & May’s post - and is necessary for better results.

In line with the growing popularity of beauty’s multicultural category, Black Up Cosmetics calls itself the first upscale beauty brand for women of color. Its Full Coverage Cream Foundation is in a tube. Some bloggers, including Dazzle Beautie, say they’re happy about Black Up’s color selection for darker skin tones, as their options have been limited until recently.

Compacts Are the Latest Fad for Foundation

Many beauty brands are taking advantage of one recent packaging innovation for foundation makeup - airtight cushion compacts that feature sponge applicators saturated with liquid foundation. The trend has even hit the mass market, as evident in L’Oreal Paris’ True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation - it’s featured in the slideshow above. 

Estee Lauder also recently launched a foundation in a compact, but it’s a little different - its a liquid foundation housed in the base of a spill-proof compact. Users press the button to dispense the product - once for light coverage, twice for more. The product is called Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Makeup To Go, and the brand is promoting the convenience of this compact to younger cosumers with this video that stars Kendall Jenner.

See all these products - plus foundation by more brands - in the slideshow above.

Photo Credits: Photos in the slideshow above are courtesy of the brand, or Sephora, except where noted in the captions above. Sephora currently features 240 products in its Foundation section online.

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