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The ultimate mamabella foundation group test: How we test foundations to find out which is the best

25th June 2022 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber


We put a *lot* of the best foundations to the test for mamabella (and MBman’s male makeup section) and it’s all getting a bit unwieldy.

It’s difficult for us to definitively say one is better than the other because while we prefer a medium coverage, others prefer full. While our skin is oily, others’ will be dry. In summary, a foundation that works for us may not work for you and it’s disingenuous to think otherwise.

With this in mind, we’re attempting something quite substantial. Over on TikTok, our Editor-in-Chief is testing as many foundations as she can (before she gets bored or runs out of money…). For each entry, she’s listing:

  • Price
  • Number of shades
  • SPF rating (where applicable)
  • Coverage and
  • Finish

She’s then brushing each foundation onto an orange, and blending it using a sponge, before brushing the foundation onto a strawberry. Finally, she’s leaving a drop of each foundation on a blotting sheet overnight to see how much oil is released.

Following feedback, she also recently added ratings based on vegan and cruelty-free status and is adding links to the individual shade finders for each brand.

FURTHER READING: How we test foundationsHow to find your perfect foundation match | MUA explains how to get flawless makeupBest foundation for oily skinBest high-street foundation UKBest full-coverage foundation UKBest foundation for mature skin


Best foundation group testmamabella | mamabella

For the orange and strawberry test, each foundation is scored either 1, 3 or 5.

  • A score of 1 means it falls short of the coverage that is expected i.e a full-coverage foundation which fails to adequately cover the orange skin and “pores”
  • A score of 3 means the foundation meets expectations; in short, it covers as promised
  • A score of 5 means it exceeds the coverage expected.

For the oil test, each foundation is being ranked out of 10 with a score of 10 meaning minimal oil is released, and a score of 1 meaning a lot of oil is released. We understand that this the amount of oil released isn’t always a bad thing.

The total of each category (excluding price) is added together. The price is then taken off this total to determine a foundation’s final score.

Not only do we feel this to be a fairer way to test the best foundations, but it also allows us to compare one against the other. Once the list starts filling up, we’ll be able to filter the results allowing us to find the best full-coverage foundation with SPF under a tenner, or the highest SPF rating versus price and so on.

We’ll then be updating our best foundation, best foundation for mature skin, best foundation for oily skin and best foundation for dry skin with the winners.

If you’re keen to see how the list is shaping up, follow our Editor here or view the list as it evolves here.

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