Buildable to achieve different levels of coverage
Wide range of shade options
Accessible price point
Not Byrdie Clean
Can be drying for some
NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation
We put the NYX Total Control Drop Foundation to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
When it comes to beauty products, a common misconception is that only the expensive ones work. While I tend to keep some high-price splurges in my rotation, I'm also always on the hunt for affordable makeup buys. And when I set out to find budget-friendly beauty that gets the job done, NYX is high on my list of go-to brands.
In my latest quest, I took NYX's Total Control Drop Foundation for a spin. This customizable foundation promises versatile coverage for just $14 a pop, and it's available in 30 shades. On paper, it seems like a true miracle product, but I don't believe anything until I see it for myself. Keep reading for my thoughts as I take the affordable foundation for a spin.
Best for: Most skin tones and types.
Uses: Buildable coverage to even skin tone and conceal blemishes.
Byrdie Clean? No; contains PEG-10.
About the brand: NYX Professional Makeup is known for offering an extensive range of makeup that is both affordable and effective. Born in Los Angeles in 1999, the brand is certified cruelty-free and is available in the aisles of most drugstores.
About My Skin: Combination
I'm lucky enough to have a pretty smooth complexion, but my T-zone often requires a bit more attention. My nose gets super oily sometimes, and I also have large, visible pores up and down my bridge. Products with a cakey consistency settle into those pinholes, making them even more noticeable. I try to stay away from anything too emollient, as it forces me to bake the makeup on my nose, thus bringing my pores front and center.
I do have freckles and some pigmentation along my cheeks that I sometimes hide with a high-coverage foundation. However, when I'm really feeling myself, I can comfortably leave the house with a tinted moisturizer. As you can imagine, the idea of a single foundation that satisfies my ever-changing coverage preferences sounds like a dream.
The Shades: A range of options
I tried the foundation in Classic Tan, a medium hue with olive undertones, and it almost blends right in with my skin. It's a tad darker than my complexion, but I like to create a contrast with my concealer anyway, so it all works out for me. The NYX Total Control Drop Foundation comes in 30 shades, so you're sure to find an option that's close to your ideal result. But if you're the type to play chemist and mix colors for a more exact match, the pipette-style dropper makes blending a breeze.
The Results: A buildable satin finish
When I first applied NYX's Total Control Drop Foundation with a flat brush, the first thing I noticed was the finish. It's not the least bit greasy, as some of the other dropper foundations I've tried have been. Instead, it melts into my skin, resulting in a satin finish, and it doesn't settle into the pores on my nose. Note that some people, especially with drier skin types, have had different experiences, but for me, the formula worked great. I didn't expect to fall quite so hard just a few swipes in, but I'm already convinced it belongs in my daily rotation.
To test the buildable coverage, I started with two drops. The result was a sheer, lightweight tint that removed all traces of redness but allowed my freckles to show through. Three drops, and I had achieved a medium coverage that hid my freckles a bit more but didn't look like a full face of makeup. Four drops (pictured above) gave me full coverage that masked my freckles and dark circles without using an added layer of concealer. Throughout the process, I could allow the layers to dry in between and still add more without creating streakiness or a cakey look.
The Value: Hard to beat
At $14 per bottle, the NYX Total Control Drop Foundation is a great budget option. The minimal packaging, complete with an actual glass dropper applicator, makes this foundation only seem like it would break the bank. Like the brand's other products, the foundation is cruelty-free, and this together with the buildable coverage makes it well worth a try next time you find yourself in search of a new drugstore foundation.
Similar Products: You've got options
e.l.f. Cosmetics Flawless Finish Foundation: For one of the lowest prices on the market, e.l.f.'s lightweight foundation ($6) blends into a matte finish that lasts all day, evening out textures and tones to bring out the best in your skin. The range features 26 shades, all with a non-greasy finish.
Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint: If you like the idea of a lightweight dropper formula and are willing to invest a bit more, Ilia's cult-favorite foundation ($48) is a great option to try. It offers a dewy finish, SPF 40, and added skincare benefits from hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and squalane, so you do get a lot in return for splurging. And with 30 shades, chances are high that you'll find an option that closely matches your skin tone.
NYX Professional Makeup Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation: Love NYX, but prefer a matte finish or powder formula? Try this foundation ($10), which is similarly buildable—apply with a brush for a lightweight finish, use the included sponge to cover a bit more, or dampen said sponge for full coverage.
After carefully tallying up a score for NYX's Total Control Drop Foundation, I can't think of any major drawbacks. From the satin finish to the customizable coverage and all-day wear, this product is all I want and more in a drugstore foundation. It holds its own against higher-priced dropper formulas, but at a fraction of the price.
- Product Name Total Control Drop Foundation
- Product Brand NYX Professional Makeup
- Price $14
- Weight 0.43 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Propylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Isododecane, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Propylene Carbonate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol. MAY CONTAIN / PEUT CONTENIR (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).