Best & Worst Pale Foundations (Combination / Oily Acne Prone Skin)

Finding a pale foundation which is actually pale enough for porcelain skin is not an easy task! So many of these brands call their shades 'porcelain' or 'ivory' when actually they are a dark shade of tangerine when applied to your face.

Here are some of the best and worst foundations that I've tried for pale skin which is combination (oily in the T-Zone) and acne prone. The reviews below are all based on my personal opinion and my own experiences. Everyone's skin is different and we all prefer different types of foundation so what works for me might not work for you and what doesn't work for me, might work for you. But I hope you find the swatches and reviews below helpful!


1. Revlon Colorstay for Combination / Oily Skin (Shade 110 Ivory) RRP: £12.99 
      - This is one of my favourite drugstore foundations. It dries almost matte but once set with any powder, it stays put all day long! There's no transfer from the foundation at all and this is put to the test by cuddling my white (dalmatian) dogs and not leaving orange streaks on their fur! It is a buildable medium - full coverage and stays matte all day, even on my combination skin. The shade is a tad pink, but it is very pale compared to many drugstore foundations. This is my go-to everyday foundation because it never fails me. They recently added a pump to the bottle which is much easier than the old style of bottles! You get 30ml of product in each bottle. 

2. L'Oreal Infallible 24h Matte Foundation (Shade 10 Porcelain) RRP: £7.99
       - L'Oreal has been a brand I've associated with good pale foundations for a while now, however, this recent purchase for me has been a let down. I do prefer matte foundations, but this foundation dries too quickly and when applying with a beauty sponge, goes patchy and difficult to blend very quickly. I find it does not stay matte all day and fades to show blemishes after a few hours. As you can see from the swatch, it is by no means 'porcelain' so I am also disappointed by the shade. When you swatch this foundation, it looks okay, but it oxidises very quickly. The tube is great, it makes it very easy to control the amount of product you get out. You get 30ml of product in this foundation. Otherwise, I'm not a fan of this foundation so it is one of the worst for me. 

3. P.S. Matte Liquid Foundation (Shade Porcelain) RRP: £3.00
      - This foundation shocked me the most out of all the foundations I've tried. This is relatively new to Primark stores in the UK, and for £3, I was not expecting a lot. Usually, as I'm sure all pale girls will agree, when you buy a cheap foundation, you expect it to be a lovely shade of orange. However, this is not the case with this one! It is actually one of the palest foundations of the bunch! It applies nicely, is a medium coverage and lasts a relatively long time one the skin! It does go oily throughout the day, even after setting with powder, but for £3 a bottle, I'm not expecting it to last for 24 hours! The bottle also comes with a pump and you get 30ml of product. Great buy for such a great price! Well done Primark! 



4. L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation (Shade R/C/K1 Rose Pearl) RRP: £10.99
    - Again, L'Oreal let us pale princesses down with this shade range. As you can see from the swatch, this is the darkest shade out of the bunch and is the lightest shade they do in this foundation. No amount of white mixer will make this foundation light enough for my skin. Also, I realise that it is a dewy foundation, however, no amount of setting powder will make this foundation last more than 3 hours without melting off your face, and my skin is not overly oily. It's a medium coverage foundation but it transfers onto everything and is most definitely not worth the price in my eyes. Definitely not impressed by this foundation! There is 30ml of product in this bottle. 

5. L'Oreal Infallible 24h Original Foundation (Shade 015 Porcelain) RRP: £9.99
     - Now it's not all bad for L'Oreal, this was my go-to everyday foundation for a long time! It is a very light shade but it is a tad yellow, especially in comparison to the Revlon foundation. However, it applies nicely, is a medium buildable coverage and has the bottle comes with a pump. The finish is on the dewy side. The only problem I have with this foundation is that it does transfer like crazy and the lasting power isn't great. However, it is a very good drugstore foundation compared to many others and I still reach for it when I want a change from my everyday foundation. You get 30ml of product in this foundation. 


6. Marc Jacobs Remarcable Foundation Concentrate (Shade 10 Ivory Light) RRP: £37.00
       - This is a rare find for us pale princesses. A foundation that is too light for most pale people! This shade is the lightest in the range and is a tad too pale for me (I know right, unheard of!). It comes in a fancy frosted glass bottle with a dropper type applicator (it doesn't suck up the product, its more like a dipper). The best thing about this foundation, (besides the shade!) is that you need the tiniest amount to achieve a VERY full coverage. Many beauty gurus have said it is the fullest coverage foundation on the market. It has a very matte finish and dries down quickly. Along with many other reviewers, I do find after around 6-8 hours of wear, it starts to sink into fine lines (I'm 21 years old, I don't have many fine lines!), but it does stay matte and looking good despite this. It is a pricier foundation but my god, it is worth every penny. I love it! You only get 22ml of product of this foundation, which is less than the standard foundation bottle but it lasts just as long as you need such a small amount.


7. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (Shade 1CO Shell) RRP: £31.00
     - This is an cult favourite for many people; it offers medium - full coverage (depending on whether you apply with a brush or a beauty sponge) and is a nice pale shade, which leans slightly on the yellow side. The bottle does not come with a pump, however, you can purchase a Mac Foundation pump and it fits the bottle nicely (just doesn't look as nice without the gold lid). It dries semi-matte, so you can wear it as a dewy foundation or set it with powder and it has a reasonable staying power. The good thing about brands like Estee Lauder is that most large Boots or John Lewis stores will have Estee Lauder counters from which you can ask for a free sample of various shades to try the foundation before you shell out £31 for it. For this reason, it's on my list of favourites. This contains 30ml of product.


8. Dermacol Make Up Cover (Shade 208) RRP: £8.99
     - Many people have recently discovered this foundation, however, it has been used in theatre and film for a long time. It comes in a squeezy tube and has a mousse like consistency. This again, is a VERY full coverage foundation (as it can be used to cover tattoos) and you only need the tiniest amount to cover your face flawlessly. The shade is nice, it's not yellow or pink, it's more like a beige. 208 is the lightest shade in the range and this foundation can be found on eBay or Amazon (the price varies a lot between around £5.50 - £10). This foundation is very dewy and can be set with a powder but will never be matte. I absolutely love mixing the Dermacol Make Up Cover with the Marc Jacobs Remarcable foundation. If you like a very full coverage foundation and the Marc Jacobs is too matte for you and the Dermacol is too dewy for you, the mix is perfection. For the price of the Dermacol, you really can't complain! This foundation contains 30g of product and has an SPF30.
So overall, the top pale foundations for combination, acne prone and very pale skin out of this bunch is the Revlon Colorstay, the Estee Lauder Double Wear, the Primark Matte Liquid Foundation, the L'Oreal Infallible Original and a combo of the Dermacol and Marc Jacobs foundations. The worst pale foundations unfortunately are the L'Oreal Matte Foundation and the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation.

I'm always on the look out for new pale foundations that work for my skin so I will keep you all updated!

Sarah (aka. Pale Princess) x