We asked 29 women of varying ages to trial 14 different brands of mineral foundation, ranging in price from budget to premium. Each person tried eight different brands and used each one for three consecutive days. On the third day, trialists filled in a survey, rating each foundation on areas such as coverage, ease of application, use of using the brush and appearance.
Six of the 14 products are sold with the brush included. The rest, mainly the premium brands, recommend you buy their branded brush separately to get the best results. Brushes range in price from $14.95 to $88, so the up-sell can often double the price – something worth factoring in if you’re otherwise sold on a product.
Overall, our trialists rated Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation as most effective in providing adequate coverage. It was also the brand most trialists said they would be “somewhat likely” to purchase again.
All foundations scored 80% on average for ease of removal, although it’s likely this is because they don’t stay on very long in the first place, with trialists reporting most foundation lasted five to eight hours.