Beauty on a Budget: NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

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This innovative and inclusive foundation is worth a try

By Lauren Kelly, Graphics Manager


My search for good budget foundation led me (as this column often does) to NYX, and their new Total Control Drop Foundation. After weeks of my local Shoppers having no stock and its staff telling me how popular the foundation was, I made the long trek to Metropolis at Metrotown and its recently opened NYX store. If you’re looking to buy this foundation, I would recommend doing the same—the NYX store carries the full 24-shade line, while Shoppers only carries 10 shades and London Drugs only has 12.  I picked out the one that seemed closest to my skin colour, “Alabaster.”

The foundation is quite thin and runny, and comes in a small bottle with a drop applicator. After wearing it daily for two weeks with primer and powder, I definitely have some pros and cons for this foundation. I’m happy with how it looks on my face, which is the most important thing. This product does advertise build-able coverage, which is true, but I had to use a lot of product to get the level of coverage I prefer. It mostly lasted well, although after long days there was some wearing off. I didn’t get very oily during the week either, which I have experienced with lower-end foundations. Overall, wearing it is pleasant, and it does its job well.

My biggest issue with this foundation is that it is kind of a pain to apply without the special brush they released for the product.  The thinness of the product did have it soaking into my Beauty Blender (BB) a bit more than other foundations, and I felt like I had to use a lot of product because of that. I tried a few methods—putting it on the back of my hand and dabbing it with the BB, pouring it straight onto the BB, and awkwardly leaning my head back and dropping the stuff directly on my face, then using the BB to apply it. None were ideal, but I think putting it straight on the sponge led to the biggest waste of product. In fact, in my nearly two weeks using it I’ve nearly used half of the foundation to get the coverage I want, which isn’t very heavy.

For people who have trouble finding their ideal foundation colour like I do, the wide range here will hopefully have something for you. About half of the shades in the line are for people of colour with medium to dark skintones, which is something I rarely see, sadly. The line also carries pale colours in yellow and pink undertones, with the former being especially hard to find, and “Pale”—NYX’s lightest shade in this collection—is one of the lightest foundation shades I’ve ever seen. The website also lists the undertones for each shade, which makes figuring out your right match much easier.

This foundation is only $18 at the NYX store, which is reasonable for a foundation of this quality. One quick note if you do shop at the NYX store for this foundation—they don’t do returns, only shade swaps. While that’s great if you get your shade wrong but otherwise like the foundation, if you can get your shade at a retailer that allows returns I would do that for a first-time buy.