Do you remember your first foundation? I seem to recall mine was an M&S one that was way too pale but I was going through my red lip Parisian wannabe phase, so I quite fancied the contrast of pale face and scarlet lip (it was the tail end of the 80s). Later I discovered Prescriptives Real Skin foundation, which I faithfully wore for about ten years, applied with a latex wedge (the Beauty Blender of its day). And how can I forget MyFace MyMix – the perfect yellow-based tone for me, with good but natural-looking coverage. And super-affordable too. (The range, led by Charlotte Tilbury, became a victim of the 2008 financial crash but happily seems to have resurfaced online.)
There’s been a big foundation focus lately. Thanks to the arrival of Fenty Beauty, we’re seeing wider shade ranges on offer, not just for darker skin tones, but at the palest end of the spectrum too. And that’s not where it ends. Brands are addressing the undertones, with EX1 suddenly appearing on massive posters on the underground. It’s specially created to serve those with yellow-based skin tones, with an affordable £12.50 price point. Sounds perfect for me as I find most foundations too pink or grey and I end up having to mix shades to reach the perfect olive-toned sweet spot.
Coverage-wise, I veer between medium with a satin or dewy finish (I don’t like matte on my dry cheeks), or light but buildable in the summer. Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Foundation and By Terry Light Expert Click Brush Foundation are my year-round staples. For summer, I like my custom-mixed Le Teint Particulier from Lancome.
Despite all the newness, I’m quite loyal to the legacy brands. Bobbi Brown is consistently good for concealers and foundations. I’ve rediscovered the cult Skin Foundation Stick, which is brilliant if you’re in a hurry. It would be good to have a couple of different finishes though – I’d love a dewier formulation. The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Cushion Compact (above) is good for touch-ups on the go. I’m a late adopter where cushion products are concerned but I like how weightless it feels and that you can pat it over your existing make-up. It contains SPF 35, plus pink silk tree extract, caffeine and lychee for boosting skin energy and protecting against environmental damage.
I’m not a fan of the whole ‘flawless’ narrative, I’m happy with a bit of shadow here and there. Unless I’m having a bad skin week and then I’ll go in with something heavier like Estee Lauder Double Wear which is full coverage and a holy grail for millions of women. But generally, I prefer the lighter Double Wear Nude formula (above) that came out last year. This is a great foundation for when your skin is quite good and doesn’t need too much make-up. I use my fingers for these light coverage foundations – they seem to meld better with the skin. That way I find myself using less too, and only where I need it.
My skin has been pretty well behaved this winter, with only a handful of central heating-induced breakouts. I’m a facial oil obsessive, so I use it to moisturise first (avoiding the T-zone), then add a drop to my foundation for a dewy finish. My absolute favourite combo at the moment is the La Mer Renewal Oil with the La Mer Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation (above). Its light but creamy formula contains the signature La Mer ‘miracle broth’ for added hydration and although it goes on slightly pink-tinged at first, it seems to adapt to my skin tone. (It could definitely do with a deeper shade range.) The downsides are the pungent spicy smell and the shockingly expensive price (£90). Although these were sent as samples, I would definitely repurchase.
For speedy application, I love using the Chanel Fluid/Powder Foundation Brush. With its short, well-packed bristles, it’s super-quick at buffing the foundation without shedding at all. I make sure I go under my jaw down to the neck and sweep whatever’s left on the brush over my ears! For undereye concealer, I use the brilliant Zoeva Concealer Buffer Brush. After I’ve added blusher and a veil of powder, I use a fat Marc Jacobs bronzer brush to ‘smoosh’ everything together.
Over to you! I’d love to know what your first foundation was and what you love now?
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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Emma Miranda Moore
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