Sunday Swatches: Foundation Files - NYX Total Control Drop Foundation Review

Sunday 11 June 2017

[picture heavy post!]
Whenever I get a NYX package, whatever is on my blogging to do list gets forgotten and I bump it right up the list because I'm over excited and know that everyone in the world will be too.

So when I received this mahoosive delivery of ALL 24 shades of Total Control Drop foundations.. I was in awe and made sure to get it on my face asap so I could get reviewing.

Months after the US had it and paraded it over our Instagrams, the long awaited NYX Total Control Drop Foundations have finally reached the UK and here's what I think about them.. 

the massive package with all 24 foundations 😍
the package included their Total Control Drop Foundation Brush & Flawless Finish Blending Sponge
Arm Swatches
iPhone 6s camera swatches (daylight, no flash)
SLR pictures - middle row: no flash, bottom row: with flash
Face Swatches

I decided to swatch only three that blended into my jawline the best and they were: True Beige, Buff and Beige.

My skin 
For this swatch session, my skin seemed less shinier as you can see in the befores compared to the last foundation files post.  You can see my freckles and eye scar and pigmentation around my mouth in the befores which can hopefully give you an idea about the coverage of this foundation.

The foundation is in a dinky frosted glass bottle which can be slightly tricky to tell the true colour, but gives a luxe-look considering it's an affordable "drugstore" foundation. It dispenses from a pipette/dropper which reminded me strongly of the Smashbox BBWater foundation; it is best used directly on the face even though its a tad messy. 

There are 24 shades!!
On first impressions, I thought 11 Beige looked the yellowest and closest to my skintone and I was right about the yellowness as you can see from the swatches above. It does however oxidise on me and can look slightly orange (you can't really tell on camera), so the the next (lighter) yellowest shade is 08 True Beige which I feel would be my winter shade.

The shades that match NC/NW30-35 complexion best (depending on your undertones) are 08 True Beige, 09 Medium Olive, 10 Buff and 11 Beige.

Whilst Buff and Medium Olive blend into my arm almost perfectly, they are less yellow than Beige/True Beige and therefore show up whiter on my face.
I'd say they're more neutral toned so possibly suit NW30ish complexions as they looked too pale on my face.

Because of the slight oxidation, I feel like mixing True Beige and Beige is my perfect combination.

These contain no SPF which is good for flash photography.

This is the main selling point of this foundation; as the name suggests it really does give you total control of coverage, varying from light to full coverage and if you add enough drops you'll have a very full coverage foundation too.

As a guideline NYX say:

  • 2 drops for light coverage
  • 3 drops for medium coverage
  • 4 drops for full coverage
  • 5 drops for "total coverage"

(see the collage pic above for NYX's guideline in the lid of the package I received).
I do feel like 3-4 drops gives a decent amount of light to medium coverage (one on each cheek, one on the forehead and possibly nose/chin), so you're likely to use more foundation than recommended as it's so easily blendable/absorbed by a brush/sponge too.

Coverage really is "buildable" though; I've tried using it dripped onto the Total Control foundation brush but felt the very liquid formulation was absorbed by the dense hairs, so prefer using it directly pipetted onto my face and then buffing with the Total Control brush and finishing with a beauty blender for minimal product loss and a better finish. You can of course also use a silicone sponge applicator for minimal loss too, but it's probably easier and faster to directly apply to the face.

After drying down from initial application, it dries to a fairly matte finish, similar to Estee Lauder Double Wear but with a less heavier feeling.
On my nose area the product sits pretty well with or without primer, however on my forehead my lines were accentuated which means I need to use a hydrating moisturiser or primer for this problem. If you have dry skin or are prone to lines showing up (including smile lines), I'd recommend carrying a mini beauty blender around to buff these lines as they appear throughout the day and using a hydrating but line filling primer; I've heard The Ordinary High Spreadability Primer is good for this and is only £5.50 here!

I'd say this foundation is best for oily skin although all skin types could probably wear this i.e. dry skin types can mix with moisturiser or wear a very hydrating primer on under this. I also find using a slightly damper beauty blender with MAC fix+ helps the foundation look less matte.

Super runny texture but buffs seamlessly with the TCD Foundation Brush and beauty blender as usual. Doesn't set straight away so you have time to blend.
Hides my freckles and beauty spots quite well, very well with "total coverage".

I've tested this a good couple times now and find that the foundation works well alone on my oily nose, however after about 3 hours the oiliness rears it's ugly head (but no separation until about 5 hours) so I highly recommend using a primer and/or powder to set oilier areas.
Weirdly, the more drops/coverage meant more matte-ness but then also more cracking on my dry areas/smile lines.
With powder/primer this foundation can no doubt last all day/night without separating.

At £14, it's pretty affordable compared to a its premium counterpart (Estee Lauder Doublewear) which is £32.50, however you only get 13ml compared to 30ml of Estee Lauder.
I do think the price tag is worth it though, as I can now afford to buy two shades to mix with this foundation or buy my winter shade and summer shade as needed, especially as I don't wear foundation on a daily basis so hate to have foundation sitting there with the possibility of it spoiling.

These are available in store only at NYX Stratford Westfield for the time being, but online directly at the NYX UK website as well as Boots.

They should be rolling out in Boots stores and other online retailers like Selfridges, Cult Beauty, ASOS, Feel Unique and Very around mid June so keep an eye out and get yourself shade matched if you can't figure it out from my swatches!

Overall rating: 
I do love that this foundation is fully customisable and as the name suggests gives you "total control".
You can use primers or mix shades, you can wear it light or total coverage, the shade selection is absolutely amazing for an affordable/drugstore brand and the fact it's a new foundation too.
I do think this foundation is a great makeup artist staple because of these reasons.
I'll be trying it with The Ordinary primer to see if it helps diminish the lines, but I give this foundation a solid 4.5:

NYX have made leaps and bounds since I tried my first NYX products (after winning a NYX competition back in 2010 here), they've definitely won my top spot of favourite affordable brands now.. sorry Kiko!

What do you think of these foundations after reading my review? Will you be purchasing it? 
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  1. Excellent review! I'm shocked there aren't comments. It's well written with beautiful photos! Definitely makes me want to buy this foundation even more!

    Xoxo Lulu |

  2. This is an amazing review. just wanted to know where one could purchase the entire foundation collection.

  3. What a wonderfully thorough review. Helped me make up my mind to give it a try. Thanks.

  4. Your blog posts are so well described and detailed. I love to read them. I learned a lot from your posts. Recently, I am thinking of doing a makeup course. Have you seen the makeup lesson makeup artist Lina Cameron? I am thinking of doing this course. As I have seen her makeup earlier and did also from her, she can bring glam in regular faces. She is really talented and caring towards her clients and really helpful. Trains best makeup lesson in my opinion! And which shade you will recommend for NC25?

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