When talking makeup, the perfect base is the most important thing for me. Even now, I can love my outfit and hair, but if that base isn’t nailed I just don’t feel my best.
With the ups and downs my skin and I have had, there has been a revolving door of foundations. Mineral powders, cushion, CC cream, BB cream, mousse, full coverage, second skin, sticks…you get the point.
With age, I’ve moved away from powders, which give a matte finish, and tend to stick to liquid foundations. I rarely go for full coverage as I prefer my face to still look skin-like, and love a dewy, glowy finish. As my skin has dramatically improved in the last few year, I’m happy to go make-up free and have definitely adopted the ‘less is more’ approach.
What is currently in my base stash:
By Terry Light Expert (Shade 4 Rosy Beige). I first got my hands on this when I worked at SpaceNK. We were the first to stock in the UK and for the product training, we all got a light expert in our shade (gosh I miss that job). The Light Expert is a click-brush formula which gives light to the skin, evens out tone and blends smoothly. One click does the whole face, it smells divine and is perfect if you’re looking for something sheer and light (on a good skin day). I repurchased this a few years ago and I often forget how good it is. Very handy for travelling and it’s now available in 10 shades (as opposed to 4 when it first appeared). They also brought out a Bronze Expert a decade ago, which was the same concept, but it seems that didn’t do as well. £48 available from SpaceNK, Cult Beauty & Feel Unique.
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (Shade 52 Vanilla). I picked this up in the airport for a weekend trip. The consistency is more on the runny side as it’s a ‘gel foundation’ and meant to ‘revive a dull complexion’ because it contains fruit extracts. It smells fruity and works best with a beauty blender all over and the finish is more matte than the By Terry. It has no SPF (nor does the Light Expert) so if you’re wearing it outside, put a sunscreen on underneath. In terms of coverage I would say light-medium, and you can definitely build it up. £10.99 available from Boots, Superdrug & Marks and Spencer
it Cosmetics CC+ cream (Shade Light). I had read a lot about this product, so when I went to New York last April, I grabbed this in Sephora (it wasn’t out in the UK at that point). This stuff is major! It’s foundation, it’s skincare, it’s SPF and a little goes a long way. It smells like lemon, and one pump will do face and neck with product to spare. It’s a thicker consistency than the Bourjois which I think is down to the SPF (50+ UVA/UVB) so I use it with a foundation brush to blend well and apply more sparingly. You could equally use a beauty blender or fingers if that’s your preference. It’s semi-matte and does give the skin a glow. They also do an illuminating version but with my oiliness, I don’t need any more dew. I wouldn’t use this as my sun protection on holiday as I prefer no makeup at all at the beach or pool (it’s also not water resistant), however as a city protection I think it’s effective. This has finally arrived in the UK in Boots, a counter at Selfridges and Cult Beauty have just started stocking it. This has definitely been my most used foundation through the summer and into Autumn. £30
Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick (Shade Warm Beige). This was another discovery in New York last year (can you tell I brought a lot of product back from that trip?). I was thinking about my wedding makeup and kind of new I wanted to go down the Bobbi Brown route because they are well know for bridal. I also knew I was going to do my own makeup on the day, so I went to the Bobbi Brown counter at Bloomingdales for a trial. The Foundation Stick is a great choice for brides: you can build up the coverage, it doesn’t look like a mask, and it has no SPF (which is important for photography because it will show up in photos and look bright). The makeup artist told me to apply with a foundation brush for even, well-blended coverage and that’s exactly the look I got. Of course I bought it and on our wedding day, I was so happy with my makeup both in person as well as in the photos. (For all you brides and grooms prepping, I will do a wedding makeup post in the Spring). Since the wedding, I still use this all the time especially for night’s out or special occasions- it does not fail me and I would definitely repurchase. It also lasts ages! £32 available from bobbibrown.com, Bobbi Brown counters and stores, John Lewis, Debenhams and Look Fantastic.
The Ordinary Coverage Foundation (Shade 1.2N). With my love of all things Ordinary, I was convinced that I would also rate this foundation. So far, however, this hasn’t been the case. Perhaps because it’s a high coverage, or that the finish is more powdery (I find it sinks into the lines). Therefore it might be better suited to a younger skin (teens-20s) or very oily/blemished. The bottle is small (30ml) and it dispenses into a pump. Due to it’s thicker consistency I would say a beauty blender as it doesn’t spread as well with a brush. I do like the shade offerings that the Ordinary provides. The ‘N’ in the shade number above means for a neutral skin. They also have ‘P’ for pink undertones, ‘R’ red undertones, ‘Y’ yellow undertones and ‘YG’ for yellow undertones with gold highlights. I think this is super smart and well-thought out. They also have a serum foundation which perhaps I would like more, but as always with the Ordinary, the price point means I don’t feel terrible about using this less than I thought. £5.90 available from theordinary.com, The Ordinary store, Cult Beauty, Beauty Bay, ASOS and more.