The day that I went to renew my driver’s license photo was, of course, the day that I couldn’t find any of my makeup. I was bare-faced, running around to nearby drugstores in hopes that I could find a foundation before the line at the DMV got too long.

In an effort to shop fast, I started digging through Reddit for reviews of foundations that I could purchase in a pinch. I ran into threads about Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation ($8), a liquid foundation that is said to be similar to Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Foundation ($35) (which is one of my favorites). YouTuber Jacqueline Lovene noted in her 2017 video about the Fenty Beauty’s launch that she discovered that the ingredients lists between the two complexion products were very similar, and that both foundations had a “powder smell.” I had to see it for myself.

I tracked down a bottle and pulled the dropper applicator from it. I dispensed a tiny amount onto the back of my hand before picking it up with a sponge and blending it into my skin. The liquid was thick and full-coverage, spreading evenly onto my skin to give me a perfected complexion with a matte finish.

The similarities between the two foundations that stood out to me were the scent (as Lovene had pointed out), finish (both were matte), and staying power (neither transfer nor shift once they set). The differences included viscosity (the Catrice foundation seems to be thicker) and how close I could get to my skin tone with each one’s shade range (Fenty Beauty has a shade that matches mine perfectly, while the Catrice shade I picked up was a little too warm).

They are similar products, but when one conveniently goes missing – like on the day I’m being photographed for an ID I have to keep for a few years ± at least there will always be a backup.

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