- Can be applied wet or dry depending on type of coverage you want
- Controls oil fairly well
- Solid medium coverage when used as a foundation
- Can be worn as a foundation or setting powder
- Feels dry on skin
- Looks powdery
- Application can be tricky (too damp of a sponge removes product)
- Can look cakey and separate by the end of the day
This drugstore powder foundation can be applied wet or dry depending on the coverage you’re looking for. While unique, Adjustable Coverage Foundation doesn’t feel or look the best on.
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Ulta Adjustable Coverage is a unique, innovative wet or dry drugstore powder foundation.
Who doesn’t love Ulta?! Their brand name makeup is actually pretty awesome and home to a few of my favorites (I love their concealer). Naturally, I wanted to test out their Adjustable Coverage Foundation that comes in 20 shades to see how it performs. So, what is it? It’s a powder foundation that can be applied wet or dry, depending on the coverage you want to achieve, which I think is super interesting. The reviews on Ulta.com are so high, and so positive, with over 1,900 reviewers and an average 4.3 star rating. Reviewers say it is easy to apply, lightweight, and blends well, providing a light to medium coverage. I’m not typically a fan of powder or cream foundations if I’m being honest, but I’m always willing to try something once – and this one intrigued me.
Promises vs. Performance: Will this drugstore powder foundation prove its claims or fall short?
Ulta Adjustable Coverage Foundation can be applied two ways. One, with a damp sponge for fuller coverage, or, two, with a dry sponge or brush for sheer coverage. The formula is said to be creamy and moisturizing. There are a few key ingredients that make this formula unique. First, granulometric silica provides a soft and smooth application. Silicones and esters aid it the creaminess while adding comfort and long wear properties. And, active nylon12 adds comfort, hydration, and suppleness while smoothing skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and imperfections. Finally, this drugstore powder foundation promises a luminous, long wear finish suitable for all skin types.
When applying this foundation, I used a dampened sponge as recommended. With just one layer, almost all of my redness was concealed and I achieved a solid medium coverage. Even applying it with the damp sponge, it still felt powdery and drier on my skin. It definitely didn’t have a creamy feel to it, as Ulta promised. I did find if the sponge was too wet, it would lift the product off my face a bit. So, definitely make sure you wring out the excess water!
The wear is what I would expect of a drugstore powder foundation. I didn’t look too shiny or oily by the end of the day, but I could feel my oils starting to push through the foundation. I found Adjustable Coverage Foundation looked cakey by the end of a day of wear, and broke apart in certain areas, especially around my nose and mouth. This isn’t the longest wearing foundation or the most resistant to movement. As I moved my face, the product would settle into lines that I had to tap away with my fingers. Overall, this wasn’t my favorite powder foundation product.
Quick Rating Rundown
How It Compares: The best drugstore powder foundation is from Maybelline.
While Ulta Adjustable Coverage Foundation isn’t the worst, it isn’t my favorite. I think it’s unique to be able to apply wet or dry for to achieve a different type of coverage, but, past that, there’s not much wow factor with this product. However, I will say, it did control my oil fairly well throughout the day. My face didn’t look super shiny, but I could feel my oils start to push through if I touched my face. Although the longevity claim didn’t quite hold up, it didn’t look terrible from far away. But, it did start looking heavy and cakey as the day went on. It began separating around my nose and mouth, and looked like it was just sitting on top of my skin. When I moved my face, it didn’t move with it, and instead would settle into any line created.
A better option at the drugstore is Maybelline SuperStay Powder Foundation (rated ****4.3). It isn’t perfect, but it does perform better. It features a longer lasting wear that can be built up to full coverage. When paired with a primer, pores and fine lines are minimized and blurred. It is a much creamier formula that doesn’t look as dry or powdery on the skin. It feels lighter on the skin, too – perfect to layer with another complexion product, wear as a setting powder, or use for touchups!
Milabu Beauty Method: Prep skin to avoid dryness and increase wear time.
Because of the drier, powder formula, it’s essential to prep skin properly.
- I recommend starting with a primer like Milk Makeup Hydro Grip ($36). This primer features hydrating, blurring, and gripping benefits to help add moisture while extending wear time.
- Taking a damp beauty sponge (make sure to wring out any excess water!), pick up product from the compact.
- Once you have enough product, use swiping motions to apply foundation to skin.
- In order to layer coverage, use a tapping motion. Rubbing will remove product.
- Because I find Adjustable Coverage can look powdery, I like to set with a spray instead of a powder. I really enjoy Morphe Continuous Mist ($16) for the natural finish it gives while also setting makeup all day long!
Advertised Product Highlights
Ulta Beauty Adjustable Coverage Foundation
Edited by Maddie