loreal foundation

This Drugstore-Brand Foundation Is So Good, It Replaced the Prestige Version I'd Been Using for Years

I couldn’t believe it either.
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This story originally appeared on InStyle.com.

Forgetting to pack your foundation for a trip sounds like a beginner's mistake, but it happened to me not long ago, and I was not about to hit the town without it. While I couldn't replace my exact foundation on a whim, I popped into a drugstore and grabbed the closest foundation I could find, hoping it would be just dim enough at dinner to conceal any glaring flaws. In a shocking turn of events, what was supposed to be a one-night stand with budget-friendly makeup ended up becoming a full-blown relationship.

The aisles of my favorite drugstore were never where I shopped for foundation until I brushed L'Oréal's Infallible Fresh Wear foundation onto my face. During my pre-teen years, a mixture of shaky application skills and less-than-ideal formulas often left me with the dreaded line, an orange face, and half-melted makeup, casting drugstore formulas overall in a bad light. But things have since changed thanks to this easy-to-blend, long-wearing option.

L'Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Up to 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation,
Credit: Courtesy

Shop it! $11 (orig. $12), amazon.com

I personally apply it with a brush—though sponge users will find it just as easy to stipple on—and I like how easy it is to build up layers. Those who prefer medium coverage will love it, as will my fellow heavy-coverage fans. And before you think it, no, it doesn't look or feel cakey. 

"I work in a non-climate-controlled warehouse doing physical work full time and I need a foundation that will look good and LAST—even under a mask," wrote one shopper. "That's asking a lot, but this is the only foundation that does that and stays looking good on the skin. It never gets cakey or oily looking on me and I have combo skin and every other foundation I have a problem with one or the other after a few hours."

It really does last, too. While 24 hours is a stretch for any foundation, I never look in the mirror after a long day of wearing this and wonder when it all slid off my face. It holds, and it doesn't become discolored after hours of wear—even if I sweat or cry.

The foundation comes in 40 shades and even has SPF 25 for a little boost to your daily sun protection. The velvety-matte texture itself is comparable to the Estée Lauder Double Wear now cast underneath my bathroom sink, and reviewers have similarly likened it to Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk and Dior's Backstage foundations.

It's true; I never thought I'd swap out my prestige foundation either, but L'Oréal's Infallible Fresh Wear makes a convincing case with 6,000 five-star ratings to back it.