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Finding the best foundation is a tall order. With so many formulations and brands to choose from, where on Earth do you start? Whether you’re after the best foundation for your skin type, colour or skin concerns, our guide will help you find your perfect match…
Acne can often make you feel guilty for applying foundation for fear of making it worse, but with Vichy’s you can rest assure. Dermatologists often recommend it as it contains spot-zapping salicylic acid to help heal blemishes and, over time, refine uneven skin texture too. The mousse consistency delivers a high coverage, matte finish that blurs away spots, keeps slick complexions shine-free and has SPF 25 to protect. If you’re on the drier side, Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation, £20, has a more hydrating finish that won’t cling to dry patches.
Those with oily skin know how infuriating it is when your base has quite literally vanished by the time you’re heading off to Pret. Which is why we love NARS’ latest addition to its amazing roster of foundations. This buildable liquid formula promises 16-hour wear and melds undetectably with the skin for a matte yet luminous glow. A pea-sized amount is pigmented enough to cover your entire face and it doesn’t break up in oily areas. This is a foundation you can rely on to take you from desk to drinks.
For dry skin, it doesn’t get better than this. This lightweight gel formula lovingly melts on application to hydrate and provide daylong comfort to parched complexions. How does it do it? The formula prevents water from escaping your skin to optimise hydration. Clever right? The coverage is brilliant and it’s undetectable on the skin – making it the choice of many brides as their wedding day foundation. It’s great skin in a pot.
Combination skin is a demanding devil and requires a multitasking foundation that can keep up with its multiple requirements. Luckily, Bobbi Brown’s newest foundation has been cleverly formulated for indecisive complexions, keeping oil under control while delivering hydration exactly where it’s needed. Its buildable formula is long lasting and the oil-free, while the water-like pigment provides a flawless second skin effect.
For when you need a flawless, full-coverage look that won’t budge, turn to this. The result is so flawless, you can even forego concealer. Once buffed into the skin, it quickly sets in place with a radiant matte finish that won’t transfer off. The formula is oil-free and contains sebum-absorbing powders that will keep your base looking freshly applied all day. What’s more, it doesn’t settle into pores or lines and it photographs brilliantly.
Think ‘your skin, but better’. This beautiful water-based foundation is ultra lightweight, lending the skin a fresh, hydrating and luminous veil that evens out imperfections, yet lets your natural complexion shine through. It’s also enriched with hydrating hyaluronic acid and algae to improve skin as you wear it, while the SPF 15 protects skin from damage. It works across all skin types and smells like chic suncream – heaven.
If you’re after a matte foundation without a flat finish, try this. This powder foundation contains creamy, light-diffusing particles that create a mattifying – yet radiant – effect on the skin. You can dial the coverage up or down with this buildable foundation – simply tap more into the lid, swirl in a brush and tap off the excess before buffing onto the areas that need it. It will never cake and always looks natural. And if you want a completely matte finish, try bareMinerals Matte Foundation SPF 15, £27, which is brilliantly suited to those with more shine.
Glow by name, glow by nature. This hydrating foundation bathes skin in a super-luminous light, leaving skin plumped with a healthy sheen. It’s fairly sheer, but can be built to medium coverage easily without appearing heavy. It also helps promote skin’s own radiance, as it’s infused with antioxidants to improve skin tone. In a nutshell, this is a foundation that makes you look like you get your 5-a-day, even if you don’t.
As you’ll probably know by now, Rihanna has nails everything, including her beauty line. With her cult foundation range of 40-strong shades, there’s a shade for every skin tone and the darker shades are particularly encompassing. The texture of this medium-to-full coverage foundation is a soft matte with a luminous finish, which makes you look like you look like you just happened to wake up with great skin. Coupled with great staying power, pore-blurring properties and shine-control and you have yourself a brilliant foundation.
Foundations have typically been formulated with pink and orange pigments, leaving ones with yellow or olive undertones few and far between. Thankfully, EX1 Cosmetic’s foundation was created to fill this void with a range of affordable foundations that specially cater to Asian and olive-toned skin tones. This foundation has been celebrated for its yellow, bronze and golden pigments that match perfectly to the skins own natural undertones. Expect great coverage too.
Orange tidemark? Not with Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation. The range has some of the best shades for fairer skins in a variety of undertones to perfectly match your complexion. The creamy formula perfects skin with a medium consistency that has a luminous, yet not too matte finish, covering redness and blemishes seamlessly. It’s also has hyaluronic acid, vitamin c and SPF15 to protect and perfect the skin as you wear it.
A luxuriously creamy foundation that intensely hydrates the skin without gathering in fine lines and wrinkles. The rich, moisturising formula nourishes dryness, while the light-reflecting formula creates a youthful radiance. This hardworking foundation glides on easily and gives the perfect amount of coverage without creating a heavy mask on the skin.
A cult drugstore buy with a loyal following. Everyone raves about this foundation and with good reason. Not only is the quality great for the price, it gives more expensive brands a run for their money. The liquid formula has a radiant finish that blurs out imperfections, providing good coverage that can easily be layered. What’s more, it’s packed with skin-boosting antioxidants that perk up tired complexions. Prefer a dewier finish? The Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation, £10.99, intensely moisturises and guarantees glow.
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