We’re covering the field so you can lay the right foundation for your skin.
In the pursuit of complexion perfection – the holy grail of makeup – beauty companies are working smarter and faster, rolling out advanced new hybrid formulas. Trouble is, we all want different coverage – luminous, sheer, opaque or with last-the-day power or skincare- infused colour. So while no single product fits all, there’s a good option for most and one thing’s for sure – thick, cakey masks are gone for good.
BEST FOR: KEEPING OILY SKIN MATTE
Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin, $69
With its velvety satin full-coverage finish, this is akin to more traditional foundations, but has additional benefits – shine-absorbing properties, sunscreen and Vitamin E. The finish has enough dimension to avoid veering into pancake territory.
Advantages: Traditional finish, stable colour, wears well without shine
BEST FOR: AVOIDING TOUCH-UPS
YSL Fusion Ink Foundation, $97
The idea of 24-hour wear is a bit alarming, given experts’ insistence we cleanse skin religiously before bed. However, it could be handy for morning-after breakfasts, where going bare-faced is not yet a goer (or for women doing dinner, dancing and drive-thru). This goes to town on shine, with oil-absorbing compounds that give skin perfection all day, and it won’t clog pores. The sheer formula needs building, but results in a fresh, natural finish, so zone your face with the applicator before blending with your fingers. Repeat on areas that need more coverage.
Advantages: Budge-proof without caking, tones and balances skin
BEST FOR: FOUNDATION NOVICES
Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer, $64
This is an oil-free formula with a full-coverage finish so you won’t need concealer, a boon if you’re pushed for time. Unusually for a foundation, there’s a wand attached to the lid of the bottle. Dab on the easy-to-blend semi-matt formula and spread with your fingertips. Great for spot application too.
Advantages: Ease of use, consolidated products, also works as a concealer
BEST FOR: BRIGHTENING LONG WEAR
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, $76, from Mecca Cosmetica
The beauty of this fluid foundation is that it blends well and one or two pumps is enough. It stays on your skin, even though you can’t feel it – a big step forward for long-wear makeup. Brightening and anti-redness properties mean skin reaps benefits, even when the product is removed. Great for normal to oily skin. If your skin
is dry, you may find it amplifies flakiness.
Advantages: Doesn’t feel like you’re wearing foundation, looks like skin finish
BEST FOR: PLUMPING TIRED OR MATURE SKIN
Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 25, $105
This multi-tasker provides good coverage and skin-boosting benefits in one step.Cold fusion, a scientific technique to blend ingredients so they retain their active properties, is used to blend colour with Bobbi’s Intensive Skin Supplement, which also contains anti-ageing cordyceps mushroom extract.
Advantages: Skin-reviving benefits, works well on dry skin, consolidated products
BEST FOR: COMFORTABLE LIGHT COVERAGE
Dior Diorskin Nude Air Serum, $95
This is very lightweight – the ‘Air’ moniker fits the bill. A thin film of serum-boosted foundation containing vitamins and minerals in hydrating oils, evaporates instantly, drying to a silky, soft matt finish. Though fine, it contains enough pigment to conceal redness and pigmentation if buffed into skin with a brush. The fluid can be a bit messy and it isn’t forgiving on flaky patches, so ensure skin is primed, if that’s a concern.
Words: Megan Bedford