Favourite Five: Drugstore Foundations (SA Only!)

Best Budget Foundations | All Dolled Up

If you’re a local around these parts, none of these will come as much of a surprise. For the most part, they are old favourites I’ve been using for months or even years, and are all no-brainer options when I just need something that works. Most of them are extremely affordable and available at either Clicks, Dischem or both. In no particular order, here are my favourite drugstore foundations:

Best Budget Foundations - Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream | All Dolled Up

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream

Finish: Natural, skin-like
Coverage: Medium
Sun protection: SPF 15
Best for: All skin types*
Price: R210

This is probably the foundation that I recommend most often to people, and one of the few beauty products that has appeared in multiple monthly favourites posts (for both of us). It suits lots of different skin types, it covers blemishes and uneven skin tone without creating a mask on the face, and it’s very lightweight and not too make-upy, so it’s ideal for beauty newbies or people who don’t like the look of makeup but still need a little coverage. It’s a total crowd pleaser – you can’t go wrong. The only downside? Rubbish shade selection.

Best Budget Foundations - LOréal Infallible 24HR Matte Foundation  | All Dolled Up

L’Oréal Infallible 24HR Matte Foundation

Finish: Matte, slightly heavy
Coverage: Medium
Sun protection: None
Best for: Oily skin
Price: R200 (currently on promotion at Clicks for R140)

Let me start by saying that this foundation isn’t for everyone. It’s very specifically targeted at gals (or guys. No judgies) with oily skin because it’s insanely mattifying; bordering on drying. However, if you fit the bill it’s a budget miracle-worker and seriously stays put, making it great for long, hot days or nights. It does have a tendency to look a little heavy (like, you can see it on your face, this isn’t one of those “invisible” foundations) but I get around that by using a good moisturiser underneath and applying with a very damp sponge so it gets thinned out a little. You can then build it up where you need it or even mix in a little lightweight facial oil if you’d like a more emollient texture.

Best Budget Foundations - Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation | All Dolled Up

Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation

Finish: Natural, skin-like, slightly luminous
Coverage: Medium
Sun protection: None
Best for: All skin types*
Price: R200 (currently on promotion at Clicks for R156)

Ah, my beloved. Camilla and I are utterly obsessed with this foundation and regularly comment to each other about how good it is – it is 100% luxury brand quality at an affordable price. It’s a proper, grown-up foundation and by that I mean it’s silky and smooth and applies like a dream, giving you solid medium coverage. This ain’t no tinted moisturiser; this is for those days when you’re wearing a full face of makeup. That’s not to say that it’s heavy (because it isn’t – it looks beautiful on the skin) but it’s not for foundation-phobes. I’m just going to say it: Holy grail status.

Best Budget Foundations - L.A. Girl Pro BB Cream | All Dolled Up

L.A. Girl Pro BB Cream

Finish: Natural, skin-like
Coverage: Sheer (not buildable)
Sun protection: None
Best for: Normal-oily skin
Price: R60

For those of you who are more into your tinted moisturisers, this is absolutely my favourite and has been for years. The coverage is sheer and in no way buildable so it’s perfect if you’re after just a hint of coverage or need a quick and easy weekend look. The shade range is massive and it is outrageously cheap, although it can be a struggle to find in stock as it’s rather popular. P.S. The brand’s Pro Coverage Illuminating Foundation launches in SA this month (supposedly a dupe for the MUFE Ultra HD Foundation) and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Best Budget Foundations - Revlon InstaFix Makeup | All Dolled Up

Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Fix Makeup

Finish: Natural, skin-like, verging on matte
Coverage: Light-medium (buildable)
Sun protection: None
Best for: Normal to oily skin
Price: R320

I dug this out of my stash the other day and had completely forgotten how good it was. Generally, I don’t go near stick foundations because they traditionally are on the heavy side (although modern formulas tend to be a lot better these days). This one, however, is light as a feather, blends like a dream and lasts all day. It looks really natural (like you aren’t wearing any foundation) and is great for travelling or carrying in your handbag for touch-ups. In fact, that’s really what it’s designed for but I think it works just as well as a full-on foundation.

*By “All skin types”, I mean both Camilla (dry skin) and I (oily skin) like and use these foundations so they should be suitable across the board.

7 comments on Favourite Five: Drugstore Foundations (SA Only!)

  • Simone Cameron

    I love the L’oreal infallible as well. I definitely want to try the Max Factor one after reading this.

  • Niecole Smit

    Love when you ladies post reviews on locally available products!
    I’m seriously contemplating getting the Max Factor now…

    Love your reviews for the oily skinned girl Jules.


  • amy lane

    Love all the foundations mentioned except the max factor one.I purchased it after your guys first review,tried it for a full month over different primers but absolutely hated it.It went on like a dream but after an hour or two it looked blotchy and uneven.Tried using different foundation brushes but no success.Gave it to a friend who had the same problem.Thanks for a brilliant blog xxx

    • Jules (author)

      How strange! So sad it didn’t work for you – hope you find something else amazing on the list!

  • aneke

    I went and bought the Max Factor one after reading this, and I think its great! I actually prefer it to the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light, and its half the price.

  • amy lane

    Maybe it was sitting on the shelf at clicks too long.. I am using bourjois and the la girl and love them both!

  • Aimee

    Any suggestions where to purchase Bourjois CC in SA? My stash from Europe is running low and I’m desprite to find more! Or which overseas store would you recommend ordering it online? Thannnnkk you 🙂

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