So, is Designer Brands' $20 foundation really as good as everyone says it is?

The first time Designer Brands penetrated my radar was, perhaps unsurprisingly, while I was scrolling through social media.

Like any good, modern-day company, Designer Brands came into the world at a time where all we did – do – is look at our phones.

And so, social media marketing became their jam. They began popping up everywhere. Once you saw them once, you saw them a million times. Influencers began doing makeup tutorials, ads began popping up in my feed.

After months of subconsciously resisting, I reached a point where I just, well, stopped.

Why the hell didn’t I just try this makeup, rather than just throw around hypotheticals about how I thought the results would be?

And so, with a handful of products in my hand, I got to work.

It was time to review this $19.99 foundation that the brand boasts as its most popular product.

The process

I started with a blank canvas. Wild.

After exfoliating, cleansing and moisturising my skin, I was ready to go.

For the record, and for the full effect, I threw on the Designer Brands Illuminating primer for good measure underneath (not sponsored, just consistent ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) and went from there.

On top of that, I went in with the Illuminating foundation in the shade Nude Beige with their all-in-one perfecting brush. I also know we're not here to talk about the brush, but damn, it's a good brush. Blends easily, and not much of the product gets lost in the process.


I used two-three pumps and, well, that was it.

The verdict

Okay, so this is the final product, complete with a front one photo and head tilt because I'm awkward.

The consistency of this product is good. Like very, very good. Far better than I initially expected it to be. When I took it to the office and my colleagues were swatching their hands, I have to be honest: They weren't sure. It looked heavy and thick and full.

I'm not used to full coverage foundation, so I was nervous about putting it on my face. Alas, like I said, it was so much lighter than I anticipated.

It's dewy. Very dewy. It made my face feel light and bright and my skin feel so smooth. I'd argue if you've got skin that leans to the oilier side, you might struggle with this one. However, for those like me, who have normal skin - maybe a little dry - this is quite a solid foundation to brighten the face.

So how would I rate it out of 10? Hmmm. Maybe a seven or eight. I'm taking points off because it doesn't seem to last as long as my NARS Sheer Glow - I needed to touch up here and there - but to be honest, that's my only problem.

And would I use it again? YES. I would. I would use this as my day-to-day foundation because it felt light on my skin. I still have a Saturday night foundation (the important one), but would definitely use this during the week. I think it will be my new staple.

Calling all beauty fanatics: Zoe Foster Blake has more beauty wisdom to share with you...

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