How to Choose Your Perfect Foundation and Apply Flawlessly
The prefect foundation will transform your skin, making it smoother and softer. It will even out your skin tone, make you look radiant, hide any imperfections and give you a flawless natural look.
But how do you know which product is right for you and what actually works?
As a makeup artist I’ve tested hundreds and hundreds of products to find what delivers and looks flawless under HD cameras.
(And I’m not sponsored or paid by any cosmetics companies so I’m not biased in any way.)
I know what works. I know which products give you outstanding results, do what they promise and live up to the high demands of film and television.
So this is my insider’s guide on how to find the perfect match for you, from the very best foundations on the market.
Because you deserve to look and feel fabulous every day!
Know your skin type
It’s crucial to get to know your skin and to remember that it changes from season to season, as well as over time.
The best way to figure out your skin type is to see how it feels after it’s freshly cleansed but before you apply your moisturiser.
If your skin feels tight and a little uncomfortable then it’s very likely you have dry skin and a hydrating foundation will benefit your skin tremendously.
- Chanel Vita Lumiere Foundation £33 – dewy and soft, very light but lovely hydrating foundation
- Bourjouis – Healthy Mix Serum Foundation £9.99 – looks great in daylight, gives radiance to your skin and packed with vitamins
If your skin tends to look shiny and you have some larger, open pores then your skin is most likely oily. An oil free, long wearing foundation will suit you and can help control and cover breakouts.
- Clinique Pore Refining Foundation £25
- Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil Free £35 (particularly excellent for acne suffers)
- Laura Geller Balance and Brighten Baked Foundation £26
Sensitive skin can range from dry to oily, but is prone to redness and can also be itchy or blotchy. You may also suffer from conditions such as rosacea and eczema.
- Dr Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation £45 – a treatment foundation packed with vitamin C, airy light, giving you beautfil skin
- Oxygenetix £38 – created in partnership with dermatologists this foundation is remarkably healing
You may feel your skin has lost its natural radiance and laughter lines seem much more pronounced. Hormonal changes can wreak havoc and you may have discolouration and pigmentation as well as an uneven skin tone.
It’s definitely worth investing in foundations with high performance, active ingredients that restore a youthful glow to the skin and have rejuvenating, added skincare benefits.
- Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation £29.50 – magic in a bottle for softening lines and blurring imperfections
- Joan Collins £25 – skincare and makeup in one giving a light veil of soft coverage which is very buildable
- Dior Skin Star Foundation £32 – active skincare and ultimate radiance in one for a beautiful youthful glow
Test your foundation in natural daylight
It’s vital that you see what the foundation looks like on your skin in natural daylight. If you’re in the middle of a department store at a makeup counter the lighting will not give a true reflection of how that foundation looks on your skin.
So don’t be afraid to ask for a sample. Most cosmetics counter staff are very experienced and want you to find a perfect match – so be bold and ask.
At the very least take a swatch of the product on your skin and step outside and have a close look with a mirror in daylight.
Match your foundation to your neck
Place some foundation along your jaw line and down your neck. It should blend seamlessly.
There should be NO tell-tale tide mark on your neck
Try a couple of shades alongside each other to compare which truly matches your skin perfectly.
Allow the foundation to settle on your skin for five or ten minutes. Some foundations have a tendency to change colour once on your skin, so give it time and check if it’s still a perfect match.
If this sounds like a lot of effort, just remember it will prevent you from risking looking the colour of an ‘oompa lumpa’ and making an expensive mistake.
Use a high performance primer
Primers are a godsend.
A great primer acts like a basecoat smoothing out any imperfections. They help create a perfect canvass on which to apply your foundation, making it more flawless and long lasting.
- Cosmetics a la Carte Rose Dew £39
A wonderful cream primer that’s non greasy but leaves skin perfected – allow to settle on skin for five minutes before applying your foundation.
- Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance £29
Created by the legendary makeup artist this primer is one of my personal favourites. It gives the skin an almost ethereal glow and makes your skin feel wonderful.
- Becca Ever Matt Poreless Priming Perfector £28
Instantly absorbs excess sebum on oilier skins, refines open pores making them almost invisible, lightweight on your skin but leaves it feeling velvet soft.
Apply in fine layers and blend to perfection
You’ve cleansed and moisturized and prepared your skin with a great primer – now you’re ready to apply your foundation.
The absolute key to a flawless look is to apply a little in a very fine layer and to blend it seamlessly into your skin.
You can apply your foundation using your fingers. Pour a few drops into the palm of your hand – your natural body heat will help warm the product and this helps enhance a smooth application.
Dot your foundation on your T zone first – the central part of your face -forehead, nose and chin. Apply lightly and sparingly with your finger tips.
Then begin to massage with gentle strokes blending to the outer planes of your face, almost as you would your moisturiser.
It should naturally disappear as you meet your jaw line.
Now take a soft synthetic brush and gently buff your foundation moving in soft circular motions, again from the centre of your face outwards, creating a flawless finish.
If you want more coverage, then apply a little more, sparingly to those areas where you feel you need it, blending with finger tips and then buff again with your brush.
Your skin will look soft, radiant and beautifully perfected.