I am going to cut corners. I know that what most of us want from a foundation is perfect, radiant skin that looks completely natural. One can speak for days about foundations, but here is a quick guide on how to achieve that flawless, radiant skin - all year round!
Which foundation type shall I choose?
The most important thing you can do if you want perfectly healthy looking skin is to invest in some proper skincare that suits your skintype and can take care of your concerns and needs (don’t borrow your friend’s or your mum’s creams and serums, even if it’s good quality stuff it might not have any beneficial effect to your skin).
If the skin is unhappy underneath, it doesn’t matter how much make up you put on top it to try and make it look healthy and radiant. A lot of foundations promise to lift, firm and control oil an so on and so forth, but they don’t have the same ability as hi tech serums and moisturisers to penetrate deep and actually make a vast difference to your skin. Look at your foundation more like a finishing top coat that brings out the radiance, health and glow that is coming from within. The whole point is that your skin is supposed to look natural, right, so we want to use as little as possible, which is all you need if your skin is happy and balanced from the start!
Do a quick Google-search, and find the thousands of guides talking about various foundations for all sorts of skin types, and then you need to choose the finish you want, and then pick the coverage you need. It is difficult and confusing to find the perfect bottle that will target all your needs, and look and feel amazing at the same time. My approach is slighty different. If you always take good care of your skin and sort out the skin problems that you may have by either going to a well respected perfumery, or to a doctor if you have more severe issues, then you are only left with one criteria for your ultimate foundation: A glowing, natural finish. Below are the best foundations I have ever tried, not just on myself, but on numerous models and clients too, covering all skin types from normal and dry to oily and mature. They feel and look fantastic on the skin, which is my main focus when it comes to foundation.
Lancôme Teint Rénergie Lift: Smooth finish and really long-lasting. Disappears into the skin and gives a sheer glow. SPF 20.
MAC Face and Body Foundation: Water-based and ultra natural, gives a sheer coverage. You can´t go wrong, basically.
Estée Lauder Individualist Natural Finish Makeup: Velvety finish and comes in great colours. There is a new type which has replaced this called Nutritious, it is equally good.
Clarins True Radiance Foundation: This foundations gives perfect amount of coverage and smells good too. It has the magic power of lifting dull skin. A lot of people have gone out to purchase this after I have been using it on them.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser: I used to work in Space NK, and have never seen more women addicted to a make up product in my life. It looks super natural on the skin, with just a small amount of coverage.
Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser: This is the same as above, but with luminous particles in it, which gives skin the radiant glow. My friend has one, and first time I saw her wearing it, I had to ask what it was.
Chantecaille Future Skin: This is oil-free, but light and cooling. Makes your skin absloutely flawless, and comes in lots of good shades. Alabaster is great for the really pale.
Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation: Also brilliant colours and great if you only need to cover up some rosy cheeks and broken capillaries. Handy for touch ups, and for make up on the go.
Armani Luminous Silk Foundation: I have lost count of how many people I know who has this as their favourite. Medium coverage, natural and silky texture.
How do I find the right colour?
1. Never test on the back of your arm. Why would you test it there anyway, your foundation is going on your face, and that is the colour it needs to match!
2. Always try 3 shades next to each other on your cheek. That way it is easier to see which shade is the right one – it´s the one that disappears when you blend it in. If there is no perfect match, don’t just go with the closest one, go to a different brand, find a similar foundation and get your perfect shade.
3. Make sure that the skin colour on your face matches the neck. Our faces have gone paler due to high use of SPFs and exfoliators etc, and these days we often choose a lighter foundation colour because we fear getting that classic brown mask. Do remember that too light is not prettier than too dark. You look healthier if you choose a tiny shade too dark than too light. And have at least two shades of your favourite foundation: one for summer and one for winter.
4. Use good light. The artificial light in department stores and make up shops can fool you. Go outside, see the colour in daylight and have it applied to your face so that you know it looks good on. Then you buy. Avoid stressful tax free shopping, the light in there is no good and you will probably end up with the wrong colour and type, and in the end waste more than you thought that you would save in the first place.
Where shall I apply my new foundation?
Do a fine layer all over your face, or wherever needed. Start in the centre of your face working the colour outwards. When you have found the right colour, it will disappear into the skin anyway. After you have applied the foundation, then you can use a concealer to cover blemishes and dark circles if you need more coverage. Don’t cover up the whole face with a thick layer of foundation just because you have a couple of spots. Always apply the concealer after foundation, that way you see where the foundation hasn’t covered enough. Finish with a wash of loose, translucent powder to set.
How can I make my foundation last all night long?
I advice that you use a good base. Both Laura Mercier and Lancôme do great bases that evens out the surface, don’t clog your pores and makes the foundation glide on smoothly. I always use the Lancôme La Base Pro for wedding make ups, and trust me, it stays put till the next morning.
I get shiny skin. Shouldn’t I use a powder foundation?
If you have oily skin, then sure, a powder foundation will make it matt instantly, but will also look more unnatural and mask-like. And then, after few hours, when oil comes to the surface again, it will start caking, and fixing this problem can be a small task. A lot of us get shiny during the day though (remember that a little bit of shine is good, it makes you look both younger and healthier). Using oil absorbing blotting papers will remove grease from the skin, while a light translucent powder with a brush will mattify shine. They are both recommendable. There are also liquid shine controls available, I don’t find a lot of them lasting very long, but the one from Peter Thomas Roth has impressed me, and it leaves a gorgeous, velvety, matt finish for quite a long time.
Do you have any questions regarding foundation, please let me know on the Facebook-wall!
Opening photos from Style.com