If I spend a lot on a foundation it’ll be really good and give me all new skin on my face, right? Right?!
Firstly – the look your foundation gives you is really only as good as the skin underneath it. Having a healthy base and the right primer will give you the best finish you can get from your foundation, no matter how much you’ve spent on it. Check out this post all about AHAs and BHAs and getting that glow we all want, and this post here about primers.
Spending a lot of money on a foundation doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting one that wears well or works well with your skin. I’ve tried so many foundations in my time, and my absolute top two have a huge difference in price but both perform well.
Now I’m coming at this from the perspective of someone with 42 year old skin, who doesn’t want too much heavy coverage that will emphasise lines. I need a satin finish, that I can powder lightly in parts to take away shine but not leave me totally matte. So none of these foundations I’ve listed as my favourites are full coverage or extremely matte. I also don’t use concealer separately under my eyes - For my older and dryer skin that’s a surefire way to make my undereyes look dry and wrinkly and horrible. I let the foundation do the work, and that’s how I approach all my client makeups as well, unless they have specific discolouration in that area.
I also apply my foundation with a sponge, dampened with setting spray. You should never use your beauty blender or sponge dry as it soaks up too much product and won’t apply it evenly. Spraying it with setting spray is a good alternative to dampening it with water and helps to set the foundation as you go. This is my preferred application method for my skin and it always works well on my clients. I find that I get a lighter and smoother application than with a brush and a wedge sponge is easier for detail work than a beauty blender.
My number 1: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation. It’ll last from 7am to 11pm with one powder touch up, this is flawless buildable medium coverage and will get you through. It retails for around $75 - $80 but if you’ve got the cash it’s totally worth the splurge.
My number 2: Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless. What this foundation delivers for $22 from the Chemist Warehouse is INCREDIBLE. I’m late to their party having only just started using it, as it’s been around for a few years now and I know the beauty influencers were fairly unanimous in its praise back then, but it still holds up as one of the greats. Medium buildable coverage. It also comes in a Dewy and Smooth version which I’m yet to try, as this one gives me enough ‘dew’ even though it’s supposed to be matte.
My number 3: Colourpop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Hydrating Foundation. Cruelty Free, lightweight, gives medium buildable coverage and a nice glow that’s not too much. Reasonable lasting power but rubs off more easily than the foundations I’ve rated above it. Retails for around $30 NZD, and shipping is free if you spend $60 USD (which is not hard to do as Colourpop have so many amazing things!)
My number 4: This was a tricky one as I can’t really separate these two. The Sephora Best Skin Ever and the MAC Studio Fix Fluid are both solid performers giving medium to full coverage but neither seem to wear as well as my first three. The Sephora retails for $38 and the MAC is around $69. I do have to go back and try both over my new favourite ELF Putty Primer though…
What I’m intrigued to try: Haus Labs Triclone Skin Tech foundation. I’m waiting patiently for this to hit New Zealand shores.
Colour matching - If you think you need to head out and buy a new foundation now, and you’re not sure of your shade, there’s a fabulous website called Findation, where you enter the shades of foundation you know work for you, and it gives you colour match suggestions in other brands.