I decided that a valiant budget competitor would be the Natural Collection Shine Away foundation in Porcelain.
Today it will be faced up against Benefit's Some Kind-a Gorgeous Lite.
Let's see how they get on!
*dodgy commentator voice* IN THE LEFT CORNER - NATURAL COLLECTION!
Shine Away foundation is a thick liquid foundation available in all of three exceedingly similar colours. It costs a ridiculous £1.99, and is available from Boots. It's packaged in a non-descript little squeezy tube, very convenient for squeezing out the dregs of the tube.
But would you want to? Is this the foundation for you? Let's get the next competitor's stats first!
IN THE RIGHT CORNER - BENEFIT!
Some Kind-a Gorgeous is a cream based foundation which blends to a powder finish. For the privilege of owning it that'll cost you £23.50 and is available from your local Benefit counter. The packaging definitely an early blow in against the Shine Away foundation - a retro record decal graces the flip open pot. There is a sponge included, but let's be honest - who actually uses the applicators which come with products?
So let's get on with the battle!
I applied both products using a foundation brush as I find I can blend much more efficiently. The NC foundation went on thick and oily (odd for a 'shine away' foundation, I hear you cry) while the Benefit glided on with the smoothness you'd expect from a product costing £23.50.
As I buffed away with my brush, the NC began to coagulate and collect along my jaw line in big brown lumps - attractive.. This left the application patchy and just a bit rubbish. I tried again with my fingers, at which point came the eureka moment! This really helped the brown lump problem (always a good thing) and application from then on was pretty damn good!
Some Kind-a Gorgeous had the ability to look better and better the more I blended, which I must say, I like in a foundation! Application really can't be faulted so not much else I can say on this front - let's move on!
Here are swatches on my hand of the two foundations, NC is on the top, Benefit on the bottom.
As you can see, Shine Away is so much thicker than Some Kind-a Gorgeous, yet gives slightly less coverage!
Does what it says on the tin?
NC promises to banish shine and is designed for oily skin. I have to say that I can't believe this. Shine Away could be the best foundation in the world - but really, it does nothing to banish shine whatsoever. I have a reasonably oily forehead, and this just seemed to emphasise this fact! Sorry punters, I'm not a mirror and I'll never aim to be!
Benfit promises to be a 'foundation faker' - a promise I've never really understood. I'm going to take it as to mean that it looks natural and as though you're not wearing foundation. If this is the aim, then gold star Benefit, you hit the nail on the head with this one. It gives smooth, even coverage without looking caked on. I reckon you could use a whole container of this and you wouldn't look over made up! It's so lightweight that you can barely feel it on your skin - it just feels (and looks) like you're having a great skin day!
How it looks when wearing
Now this is where NC comes excells itself. It really does look great on if one of the three shades (really NC, introduce more!) matches your skin tone. If you blend with your fingers rather than going anywhere near it with a brush, it's actually not bad. The trick with this foundation is to get the application right, then it lasts a surprisingly long time. The coverage is similar to Benefit's, I'd say about a medium.
Benefit looks really very natural on, it doesn't allude to giving the heaviest coverage, and doesn't cope very well with spots or scars. If you have reasonably good skin, then this is definitely for you. It evens out skin tone like there's no tomorrow!
Here's a little picture of both in use at once.
As you can see, the Benefit side looks more airbrushed and covers more of the redness, but I can assure you that it really is a valliant effort from NC, it's so hard to cover!
*sharp intake of breath* Well there's a pretty big price difference between NC and Benefit, isn't there! £21.52 infact.
I believe that £1.99 is actually very reasonable for NC's Shine Away, it could easily be mistaken (from what it look like on the face) as a higher end product (..maybe.. with a good primer and powder? Okay maybe not - mid-budget then!). It's a better colour match for my skin than many other foundations costing 5x the price! So it doesn't blend with a brush, and it doesn't control my oily t-zone, it still sits nicely once it's on, and for £1.99 looks pretty good on!
£23.50 for Benefit.. Hmm.. It's a wonderful product, of course. It does everything I'd want from a foundation, the coverage is good, it hides my weirdly red cheeks (blonde, pale skin, I blush easily..). I just wonder how much I'm paying for the brand name, I think the cost would be completely justified if you just got a teensy bit more in the pot! You don't need much, but it's easy to use more product than necessary because it's so hard to get the caked on look. So Benefit, up the amount of product a little and I'll pay without question!
I'm not going to beat about at the bush, Benefit wins hands down! However I'm sure you were all expecting this. What you may not have been expecting was the fact that Natural Collection Shine Away actually looked pretty good on, once we overcame the brown lump hurdle, and the thick and oily hurdle. But hey, for £1.99 we can't grumble. For someone on a budget with a skin tone one of three shades, then definitely give it a go! It may not be packaged the prettiest, but it's definitely Mummy's Little Soldier, and really tried it's best against Benefit's Some Kind-a Gorgeous.
If budget is no issue, then please go for the Benefit option, you won't regret it!
Thanks for reading this mammoth FIGHT! post. Please leave your suggestions on what you'd like to see compared!