The true cost of buying the wrong foundation

February 17, 2014
Mac, Nars and bags of makeup
I recently conducted a survey on beauty habits, which revealed some surprising – yet relatable finding.
According to the survey results, women spend more on foundation than any other cosmetic, but still get it wrong.
It’s a particularly grey area for Asian women, no pun intended.  The plethora of choice amongst the more expensive brands  – and our tendency to want to go a shade lighter – means we often get the wrong foundation.  This can leave us looking washed out and feeling out of pocket.
The findings have been published in the media (Asian Image and Lancashire Telegraph at the time of print) and the full press release is below.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the findings. What’s been your most expensive makeup mistake?  Have you ever bought a makeup item and never used it.  Leave your comments at the end of this blog post…
My most expensive mistake – Women spend more on getting the wrong foundation than any other cosmetic 
The most expensive item in our makeup bag by far is our foundation, yet despite the heavy investment, we still struggle to find a suitable match, according to new research.
A survey hosted by beauty and lifestyle blog HalimaBobs reveals that 64% of women spend more money on foundation than any other makeup item, but 82% confess to buying the wrong foundation that didn’t match.
In contrast, only 3% of women stated that eyeliner and lipstick – two relatively easy-to-match items – were their most expensive purchases.
The survey also revealed that makeup is something that women couldn’t live without, with 96% of women unable to step out of the door with a bare face.
So despite beauty brands serving this lucrative market with a spectrum of foundation shades – with a price tag to match – finding the perfect colour is still a minefield.
Halima Khatun, founder of HalimaBobs, comments: “I think that every Asian woman can relate to the
survey.  Just a few years ago, there was very little choice for brown skin in the beauty market.  But now, brands like Mac and Bobby Brown have left us spoilt for choice.  However, I think the danger of having so many varying shades means that if we pick a foundation that’s just a shade too light, too dark, too yellow or too pink, we are left looking mismatched.”
Halima advises never to rush into a foundation purchase: “Mistakes tend to happen when we try a product at a beauty counter, look fabulous under their bright lighting, and snap it up instantly. But when we get home we look very different to how we looked in the store.  So I would advise against a rash purchase.  Instead, leave the foundation on and see how it wears throughout the day.  If it stays put and looks great  in natural light, then it’s worth a purchase.”

Other expensive makeup mistakes

However, buying the wrong foundation isn’t the only way we waste money, as the research also shows that over 40% of women have bought more than five makeup items that they’ve never used.
Halima also believes that this is down to the rash beauty purchase.  She says: “Sometimes you can feel intimidated by the girl at the beauty counter, and then buy whatever she suggests.  Or if you’ve bought from a smaller store or supermarket, the classic mistake is not trying before you buy.  In both cases, the key to getting it right is making use of the samples available.
“Test lipstick, eyeshadow and eyeliner on the back of your hand.  Try foundation on your jawline to see if it matches your face and neck.  Most importantly, follow your gut instinct.  A makeup artist can advise to an extent, but buying cosmetics is a very personal choice.  You know what looks best on you, so judge for yourself.”

About the Author


I’m a British-Bengali Muslim mum-of-two. My pictures aren’t filtered and neither are my words. I’m not a makeup artist, chef or lifestyle guru. I’m just me, sharing honest beauty reviews for brown skin, halal restaurant finds, travel inspo, mum life hacks, easy Bengali recipes and more. If that’s your bag, keep reading!

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