Pale Foundations Swatches and Reviews, PART #1!

Hi everyone!  I know that a lot of people that read my blog find it hard finding pale foundations, much like I do!  So I decided to film a video and take some photographs of some of my favourite pale foundations that I have discovered over the past few years.  There will be a part 2 to this video as I forgot some of my other favourites (and am also currently trying out some brand new ones) but I hope this helps at the moment!


In the video below I explain why I love these foundations and at the end of the video I show you close ups of the packaging and swatch them on my hand to show you what they look like against my pale skin!


MAC’s Full Coverage Foundation in NC15 – You can read my full review of this foundation here.  It is one of my absolute favs just becaue the coverage is incredible and because it’s extremely easy to use and the perfect colour for pale skin (so perfect that you can hardly see it in the swatches above)!

L’Oreal Infallible Foundation in Porcelain #15 – Full review here.  Another of my favourites, I have been through about four bottles of this in the past few years.  The formula and coverage are lovely and it’s proper pale.  I know I can rely on this foundation to match my skin perfectly and cover any blemishes.

Illamasqua Light Liquid Foundation in LF115 and LF 140 – This foundation in LF115 is the palest foundation in this post and the lightest in coverage.  I love that Illamasqua cater for all skin colours – they even do a white foundation!  I prefer a bit more coverage with foundation so I like to use a concealer as well when I wear this but it does a good job of even-ning skin tone out.  The LF140 is a little too dark for me (and way too orange as you can see above) but I included it anyway as it is still quite pale.

RMK Light Liquid Foundation in 201 – The formula of this foundation is incredible; it is a creamy liquid foundation but it dries as a cream leaving you with the most flawless matte base.  The colour is slightly too dark but I still wear this in the summer or on days when I feel I need heavier coverage.

Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation in Fair #100 – I did not expect Max Factor foundations to suit my skin tone at all but they are actually pretty ideal!  This foundation is a light liquid foundation and works brilliantly when used as a base for the foundation below!

Max Factor Miracle Touch Foundation in Creamy Ivory #40 – LOVE this, this cream foundation is so silky it just glides on the skin, making it perfect to conceal blemishes and dark circles.  I do however find it best to apply with a buffing blush (like the real techniques one) rather than the sponge that comes with it, or with your fingers!

I really hopes this helps some of you ghosts out there!  Stay tuned for part 2 which will include foundations by Revlon and Sleek, and BB creams by GOSH and Sleek!

What is your favourite pale foundation?  Have you used any of the ones I’ve mentioned here?




  1. August 24, 2012 / 5:56 pm

    Max Factor's Smooth Effect Creamy Ivory is perfect for my skin! I found a lighter shade of it (Porcelain) in Cyprus, whut?! x

  2. August 24, 2012 / 6:00 pm

    Great post! I love hearing about pale foundations I haven't tried before, I really want to try the mac full coverage foundation now 🙂 x

  3. August 24, 2012 / 6:06 pm

    i love infallible too, i also love loreal true match, lighter coverage but really easily buildable. so impressed with loreals pale shades

  4. August 24, 2012 / 6:43 pm

    WOW, that is great, thank you! I'm pale too and everything is too dark on me, but I'll definitely try to get the MAC foundation, I like the colour and your review! Gosh has BB creams? 😮 Our drugstore is sooooo slow with putting the new products on the shelf… 🙁

  5. August 24, 2012 / 7:15 pm

    Great post!!i am a "paley" and its great to see your views on foundations! Im a lover of Estee Lauder Double wear! Was thinking of trying the Sensual Skin Enhancer by KEVYN AUCOIN. Have you tried this?and do you think the MAC foundation would cover as well as double wear?thanks!

  6. August 24, 2012 / 7:44 pm

    This was indeed very helpful! Thank you!

  7. August 24, 2012 / 8:27 pm

    I've heard that Max Factor foundations tend to go darker on the face after some time. Have you noticed this?

    • Anonymous
      August 25, 2012 / 4:14 pm

      That's what I wanted to say. When I swatched Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation in Fair #100 I got super exited 'cause it matched my skin perfectly! However, after some time, it got darker. It oxidizes a lot!
      After watching Lisa's Eldridge video about pale foundations I decided to invest in Ultra Foundation Zero Minus (Face Atelier), which is white. I mix my foundation with it now to get a perfect match for my skin, as I'm tired of buying new foundations that look too dark or orange on me.

  8. August 24, 2012 / 9:31 pm

    Really good video!

  9. Anonymous
    August 25, 2012 / 8:23 am

    Definitely try Max Factor's Xperience foundation if you haven't already! I have quite fair skin and the second lightest shade is a bit too light for me so maybe the very lightest one would be good for you! I really like that foundation because it leaves a luminous, flawless finish and the coverage is buildable! Really recommend to check it out. x

  10. August 25, 2012 / 9:15 am

    The first one, the MAC one, looks a really good quality, the colour looks exactly like the colour of your skin and looks like it has a good consistency



  11. Anonymous
    August 25, 2012 / 1:24 pm

    Oh finally a post on pale foundations that is really helpful 🙂 Once you're done with foundations, can you please do a post on concealers, too?
    I'm a LF115 and I just can't find a concealer light enough (Illamasqua concealer just doesn't do it for me).

  12. August 25, 2012 / 1:57 pm

    I had L'Oreal Infallible and it was great formula-wise and it was perfectly pale but I had a really awful allergic reaction to it 🙁

    • January 29, 2016 / 12:03 pm

      I think I did too. After 10 min of Appyling on infallible liquid foundation my face became feeling hot, burn and became red. My chest also becamd extremely red like sunburn

  13. August 25, 2012 / 2:42 pm

    I read your other you done ages ago on pale foundations, and it was great, and now this one, is even better. I can't wait for part 2. My purse isn't going to be too happy though 😀

  14. Anonymous
    August 25, 2012 / 5:20 pm

    I know you get this a LOT, but you are so bloody beautiful, and I like your blog and your ideas and the whole concept, I am thinking of starting my own but I am just so damn lazy and looking for more motivation for it i guess. Oh and about the foundations, I am very pale but not looking for much coverage so I use bourjois healthy mix serum gel in 51, and I mix it with my lush jackie oates and I get just what I want. 😀 N.

  15. August 25, 2012 / 5:20 pm

    I liked the YSL Teint Eclat #5 for a rather pale shade.

  16. August 25, 2012 / 9:38 pm

    I'm not particularly pale, but my sister-in-law is and she uses the l'oreal foundation.
    please have a look at my blog – I'm new 🙂

  17. August 26, 2012 / 9:05 am

    Pefect! I'm so pale, the L'Oreal one sounds really good. Also GOSH do a good pale foundation, I have a post about it on my blog.

  18. August 26, 2012 / 3:42 pm

    This post is excelent for its video.

  19. August 27, 2012 / 11:50 pm

    I used to use MAC foundation all the time until it made my skin break out. Is the MAC Full Coverage better for skin in your opinion??

  20. August 28, 2012 / 10:28 am

    my perfect pale foundation is Estee Lauder Double Wear in Shell – I'm EXTREMLY pale and it fits me perfectly, covers all of the blemishes and stays all day long.

  21. Anonymous
    August 29, 2012 / 9:45 pm

    When is part 2 coming up? I keep swinging by here waiting for it as I am hoping you will offer more sugestions, and review the SLEEK make up foundation in linen, I want to get it but wanna hear your opinion about it, pleaseee hurry up with part 2. kisses. N.

  22. August 30, 2012 / 10:01 pm

    Thank you so much for doing this post! So many new foundations I want to try, and some brands to revisit! xx

  23. September 14, 2012 / 4:14 pm

    I LOVE Lancôme`s Teint Idole in 010, it's my pefect shade and lasts me all do without any touch-ups! 🙂
    Looking forward to part 2

  24. Anonymous
    October 11, 2012 / 4:11 pm

    Hey Katie,

    Every time I Google a particular product your blog pops up. You're always one step ahead of me in trying out these things and your posts are always really helpful!

    I have a question – How does the L'Oreal Infallible compare to the True Match foundation series? The True Match shades also have a Cold / Neutral / Warm distinction but it doesn't look like Infallible has that. 'Porcelain' looks great but does it have a 'pinky' undertone? That's really not what I want! I am a very pale girl too but I have pink blotches around my cheeks and nose. I've found a great True Match shade for me BUT I'm not a fan of what the product does to my skin (it gets quite drying and cakey in places – boo!)

    Keep up this lovely blog! It is massively helpful!

    Fay xx

  25. October 12, 2012 / 4:26 pm

    I love Gosh BB cream in 01 sand. Its very pale and has an spf 15. Only problem it doesnt cover at all. I have tried to find a foundation pale enough for years, I am kind of the same colouring as Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett, and makeup makes me look like Widow Twanky from the circus if I am not reeeeeeely careful. Foundations are either too pink or orange with a muddy tidemark which I hate. I want a luminous white/pale look without looking like a Cullen or a washed out iron deficiency victim. Is it too much to ask one wonders? I may try your suggestion of Max Factor xperience in the pale colour. heres hoping.

  26. May 5, 2013 / 5:17 pm

    did you do the part 2 of this? Cant seem to find it…. Maybe Im just being blind.

  27. Maeve
    January 14, 2014 / 11:37 pm

    I have pale skin, like my neck is just one shade darker than white/cream. Buuut I have lots of freckles and very pinky blotches on my cheeks to my jaw line. This means that 'perfect match' (eg. L'Oreal's True Match in the lightest shade) foundations adapt to the dark pink on my face and I’m left with very orange patches and looking rather strange.
    It's rather impossible trying to find make up. I want a foundation that with neutralise the redness but not blank out my entire face; I don't mind my freckles showing through, but I’d like a bit of colour correction?
    I've tried a fair few foundations… most all "pale" foundations on the make-up stands in boots or superdrug or whatever, look anything but pale as swatches on my skin.
    Then one time I tried Gosh liquid foundation (I can't remember the name and alas I threw it out not long ago, but it was thee palest one they had) – when I swatched it in the shop, ah, I believed it was brilliant; but my dreams soon collapsed when after wearing it on my face it gave terrible coverage and had oxidized to a distinctly orange colour in a very short space of time; in a few minutes. Boo, hiss.
    Boujours Healthy Mix foundation in 51; I enjoyed the application especially, I loved it a little I think, and the coverage was great. But the colour just wasn't right, it was just a few shades too yellowy and dark on my skin, and it simply would not blend into my milk-bottle white neck.
    And I know here I have said it was too yellowy, but that certainly does not mean I am searching for a pink-based foundation. Certainly not, I have tried the rose-ivory shades of several brands (including maxfactor) and they make my red-pink blotches only much more pink and noticeable. And no, as I do not wish to look like a rosy-cheeked munchkin from the wizard of oz, I have narrowed my search to a neutral or if at all slightly (by only a teeny weenie bit) yellow/olive based foundations.
    L'Oreal Infallible in porcelain-15; in the shop – fabulous, at home – application is good and matte (if a little too matte, looked quite flat), it looked like a perfect match to the paler parts of my skin. But then… (of course there's a but), I’m not sure whether it 'adapt's to my skin or it oxidises but it turns a tragically orange shade on my skin after half an hour or so. But wait, there is yet another plot twist, the foundation then seems to continue lighten in shade, until it is pale again, all the while evaporating or slowly disappearing from my skin leaving me once again freckly with dark bruises under my eyes and red blotches on my cheeks. Ah, the tragedy. It also seems to sparkle or glitter a bit in some lights, which I was a bit suspicious of. Oh well.
    I also have skin varying from dry to combination, so I prefer a liquid foundation. These seem to be much more susceptible to morphing to orange unfortunately.
    Another thing that adds to my make-up woes is the fact that I’m pretty much skint broke and I’m very (veeerrrry) wary about splashing out on a high-end brand's makeup in case it's not right for me after all.
    I'm not sure if anybody out there will read this, or if they can help me in my plight. If you are reading this and feel your heart-strings well plucked in empathy, if you are aware of any foundation with a magic formula that can make my make up problems disappear – please, I beg you to enlighten me.
    Thank you.

    • Anonymous
      March 20, 2015 / 8:19 pm

      Hi! you posted this a year ago already, but maybe this still comes in handy: Use a primer before you put on the foundation. I just use a $6 drugstore primer, but it lays a layer between your skin and the foundation, which will make the foundation apply much smoother, plus your skin will be SO soft and smooth. It might also help get rid of that turning-orange problem since I think it is your skin causing that.

  28. August 31, 2014 / 6:53 pm

    No7 Calico is a good shade of foundation, I use it all the time 🙂

  29. April 11, 2016 / 6:03 am

    how about max factor xperience foundation? I have very sensitive skin which reacts immediately. Is it okay for my skin?

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