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Monday, July 9, 2012

Swatches + Comparison: L'oreal True Match Foundation SPF17

W4 ~ W4.5 ~ W5 ~ W5.5 ~ W6 ~ W4

I like trying out different foundations and I'm always looking for the next best thing, 
but I just keep coming back to the L'oreal True Match one. 

  • affordable
  • can be applied with a sponge, finger, dense buffing brush, stippling brush or flat paddle brush
  • blends easily
  • doesn't dry too quickly
  • doesn't flake or emphasize dry patches 
  • buildable, medium to full coverage
  • leaves a natural finish when worn with a setting powder 
  • large color selection (33 shades)

  • US version does not come with a pump (Asian & European version offers a pump)
  • skin's natural oils start seeping through after 2.5 hours of application
  • nose looks greasy after 4 hours of application
  • foundation looks shimmery under direct sunlight

Packaging: The US version of the L'oreal True Match foundation doesn't have a pump, which is unsanitary and inconvenient. I apply my foundation with a brush, so when I pour/pump the foundation out onto a glass lid, it's easier for me to measure if it has a pump. Also, the pump prevents bacteria from getting into the foundation, thus extending the shelf life.

I love this foundation so much that I went out of my way and got the Asian version just for the pump. I have been repurchasing the US version and have just been refilling the product into the one with the pump. For a more convenient way, you can buy an empty pump dispenser bottle at Target, Walmart and other stores, but I just find the L'oreal glass bottle to be more attractive looking.

Color: The L'oreal True Match foundation comes in 33 shades, which are labeled using a number and letter system. C denotes cool, which is suitable for those who have a pink undertone. W means warm, which is suitable for those who have a yellow undertone and N means neutral, which is suitable for those who are neither cool nor warm.

I have a warm, yellow undertone, but W4.5 is too yellow and made me look like a Simpsons character. W5 is too light and is oddly lighter than both W4 and W4.5, while W5.5 is slightly darker and more orange based than W6. When I have a summer tan, W6 matches my NC37/40 skin tone perfectly and the undertone is warm, but it's not too yellow or too orange. In the winter months, I'm an NC30/35 and wear the L'oreal True Match foundation in W4. For reference, I also wear 021 mixed with 031 in Dior Forever and 127 in MUFE HD.

Application: The L'oreal True Match foundation has a liquid consistency that's slightly thinner and runnier than the Make Up For Ever HD foundation. It doesn't streak when I use a dense flat brush, such as the Royal & Langnickel BX-40 (mini review), and it buffs quickly into my skin when I use a dense round brush, such as the Crown Brush C439, but my favorite method of applying it is using a stippling brush, such as the MAC 187 (review), because it leaves an airbrushed finish.

The foundation glides onto the skin smoothly and it doesn't dry as fast as the Revlon ColorStay or Dior Forever foundation. So, it provides ample time to blend and you don't have to worry about it leaving a patchy or blotchy finish. Also, it doesn't flake or emphasize dry spots if you exfoliate and moisturize well. It evens out the skin tone and covers redness and blemishes with just one layer. Although it offers buildable, medium to full coverage, it doesn't make your skin look thick or cakey. Instead, it leaves a natural finish that's not too dewy or too matte when set with a powder.

The L'oreal True Match foundation contains SPF 17, which causes a white cast to the face when taking flash photography, but it offers sun protection and blocks about 95% of UVB rays. It is also important to mention that it does contain tiny shimmers, but it is only noticeable under direct sunlight. When I'm under artificial or natural lighting, I can't detect a single shimmer on my face.

Longevity: I have an oily t-zone and normal skin on the rest of my face. My skin's natural oils start seeping through after only 2.5 hours of application and my nose looks disgustingly greasy after 4 hours of application. I end up having to blot and re-touch with powder quite often throughout the day. Because the foundation is not long-lasting, I prefer to use it when my skin is not as oily, like during the winter months or when I'm only going to be out for only a few hours, like during a dinner date. 

One thing to keep in mind is that I never wear primers underneath my foundations except when I wear my MUFE HD foundation because I've had no luck with most of the ones that I've tried, including Benefit The Porefessional (review)CoverFX Clearprep FX Matte, Philosophy The Present Clear Makeup, NARS Pro-Prime Oil-Free, Too Faced Primed & Poreless (review), Smashbox Photo Finish regular + light version, Laura Mercier Oil-Free, Lancome La Base Pro Perfecting primer and many others. The MUFE HD primer is the only primer that lengthens the wear time of my MUFE HD foundation; however, I see no difference with the longevity of my makeup when used with my Dior Forever or L'oreal True Match foundation.  

If you find that primers lengthen the wear of your foundation, then they might also work well with the L'oreal True Match foundation. We all have different textures, skin types and complexions. Just because the foundation doesn't last long on my oily t-zone, it doesn't mean you will get the same result.

Bottom Line: I've tested over 20 foundations, ranging from drugstore to high-end, and the L'oreal True Match is one of my favorites of all time. Although the wear-time could be better, I find the foundation to be super easy to work with, no matter which tool I use to apply it and I love that it provides great coverage, while still leaving a natural finish to my skin. Also, it matches me perfectly and I'm sure you will find a "True Match" for you too from their wide selection of 33 shades. I highly recommend checking it out, even if you're not a fan of drugstore products because it beats alot of the other ones in the market, including those in the high-end range.

Note: The L'oreal True Match foundation contains 1oz of product and is available at Ulta, Target, and for around $8. As with any drugstore product, I would definitely wait for a sale because there is always a "buy one, get one half off" or even a "buy one, get one for free" sale.

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Have you tried the L'oreal True Match foundation?
Which shade do you wear?


  1. Florencia Alarcon RiveroJuly 9, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    I love this review cause I love this foundation! It's my favorite too.. I am a W3 and I would add 'It doesnt breakout your skin' in the pros section.. I have acne and I've been looking for a good affordable foundation that doesn't break out my skin like most of foundations do.. I like clinique ones and this one from loreal :)

    Im following your blog and I invite you to visit mine :)

    Love , flo

  2. Hi Flo, I have sensitive skin too and alot of foundations tend to break me out too, but thank goodness the L'oreal one doesn't. I didn't add it in the pros section because the foundation may still break people out, depending on the ingredients that they're allergic or sensitive to.

    By the way, I just checked out your blog! I don't understand Spanish, but good thing there's Google translator. Keep up the good work! =)

  3. I just love this foundation. I am using G3. $8 is really inexpensive. I am living in Malaysia and it is for about $18 and in Pakistan it is for about $27... You got a really good deal ... :) Nice review

  4. Thanx Sahrish! By the way, I've noticed that alot of US drugstore products are much more expensive internationally. I guess it's because of the high tax rates. =(

  5. Maybe if I found the right shade I'd like this foundation better. I found that this foundation for me is actually quite sheer, well at least when applied with a sponge. This foundation does not cover my acne scars well, and that's a no go for me. I wish I liked this foundation as much as you do. Maybe I should try your stippling method instead.

  6. I personally find it to be wasteful to use sponges to apply foundation because most of the product gets absorbed by the sponge, thus providing light coverage, but alot of people like using sponges because it's affordable and easy to apply on the face, especially with the L'oreal True Match foundation.

    If you don't want to waste any product, then I highly recommend using a stippling brush, which takes longer to apply the foundation, but the result is well worth it because the L'oreal True Match foundation will leave a natural finish and provide excellent coverage, while using less product. =)

  7. I have the same skintone as you, at Mac im NC40, but l'oreal true match in shade W5.5 is slightly darker for me, do you think I should mix W4+w5.5 to get my shade? or the W4.5 shade, im more yellow toned just like you!! let me know soon! thank you

  8. Hi Maheen, I am NOT an NC40. In the summer months, I am between NC37 and NC40 (a little darker than NC37, but lighter than NC40) and W6 matches me well. W4.5 was too yellow for me. Like you W5.5 was slightly too dark for me. Have you tried W6?

  9. I think i have tried w6 but it was light so maybe mixing w5.5 and w6 will be a good match. I personally love this foundation, i have dry skin but with a good moisturizer it does a fantastic job!

  10. Does the W4.5 shade get to a lighter shade when it's blended in or does it stay the color of the swatch? I like the W4.5 shade although I'm worried it may be too dark. I'm an NC25/NC30. NC25 isn't yellow enough but then NC30 looks peachy compared to my neck, which looks more yellow.

  11. W4.5 is too yellow and makes me look like a Simpsons character. W4 matches me well in the winter months when I'm an NC30/35. W5 is lighter than both W4 and W4.5, so I recommend trying that for your NC25/30 skin tone. Also, the "w" shades have a warm undertone. W4.5 would be too dark for your NC25/30 skin tone.

  12. Where did you buy the true match with a pump? If you can please comment the website where you got it from?

  13. flor Patricia Pedroza ReyesFebruary 13, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    Is my case wowwww is identical of my description thanks auroray joice

  14. I know that w4.5 makes u look really yellow but in "Mac" shade wise would u say a Mac nc42 would be a good match up with 4.5? Cause I have w7 right now but it's not yellow enough and w6 is to light.. So I'm thinking.. Either w.4.5 or w5.5... For nc 42? Please get back to me soon!!

  15. I know w4.5 is to yellow for you...In "mac" shades im a nc42 have the color w7 and its not yellow and a bit dark on me.. What color tone in Mac u think w4.5 would fall under and would it but too light? I'm debating between w4.5 and w5.5 because w6 is to light for me..

  16. Hey Carissa! W4.5 is definitely too light for NC42 beauties.Since W7 is too dark, you can mix it with a lighter foundation. If that's too much of a hassle for you, then I recommend grabbing W5.5, which will be closest to NC42. If it ends up being slightly too light, then you can just add a darker setting powder. Thanx for dropping by!

  17. Matthew Daniel BrodskyApril 23, 2014 at 4:38 AM

    thanks for the review.
    indeed the european one got a pump which makes it more convenient and hygienic.
    I wonder if it's exactly the same product inside as the american one....

  18. When tested on my skin, I didn't notice the difference in formulation between the European and American version. =)

  19. If I am exactly the tone NC35 .. what is the tone that I need use in Loreal True Match? W4? W5 or W6?

  20. so there isn't any difference between these two ? bc i wanted the one with a pump but i only found the other one and i thought they were different foundations !

    1. I didn't find much difference in the formula, but the shade W4 in the American version is more yellow and more suitable for my skintone.

  21. I just stumbled across this blog after googling the product to tell a friend which formula I was wearing after she complemented my makeup. I have tried a LOT of different products and I tried this a couple years ago and have come back to it and I LOVE it. I have to mix W6 and W7 1:1 (if I get a decent tan in summer I can probably do straight W7) to get the right color but other than that, it is perfect for me and I even have oily skin. I put it on with my fingers (every now and then a brush) and don't even use any powder on top. It is great and wears well on me all day.

    1. Happy to hear that you love it as much as I do! When I first tried it a couple of years ago, I was surprised that an oily gal like myself would fall in love with a non-matte foundation. Because of this foundation, it has caused me to be more open-minded about other products, especially those from the drugstore.

  22. I used Mac nw40..I need the true match equivalent... Help!

    1. I would recommend C6 for NW40 users, given that C and NW shades have a pink undertone.


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