It’s me, I’m back, and here to help you find the perfect foundation. If you’ve read any previous posts or followed my blogging journey (which ya’ll should’ve done FYI!) you’ll know my fixation with skin, skincare and achieving a flawless complexion, both with and without makeup. I’m the owner of a pretty addictive personality when it comes to skincare and makeup, so it’s safe to say I’ve tried most foundations in the search for airbrushed perfection.
Here’s a boastful picture of my flawless foundation to make you want to purchase what I’m about to tell you. I JOKE! But yes, here’s the result I strive for with my foundation.
I tend to always steer towards medium to full coverage foundations to block out my freckles and rosacea, however I’ve found myself choosing some lighter, more natural finishes after relying more on the wonders of facial fake tan recently.
I also have a naturally pink undertone to my skin which is exaggerated when I’m very pale which, paired with rosacea and pigmentation issues, means I can often look odd with a foundation with a matching undertone.
Therefore I gravitate towards more olive/golden undertoned foundations as they’re more flattering to counteract the natural redness in my skin. The undertone of my skin also naturally warms towards these shades as I become more tanned, so the match is really seamless. If I ever find a match isn’t quite right, I add a touch of bronzer to my chest and neck which makes the transition in undertones flawless.
If you’re reading this with no-fucking-clue what the hell an undertone is, or if you even have one in the first place, or if so what yours is, or if your dog really knows he’s a good boy, or if seeing the light when we die is actually us being born as a baby into a new life (I can’t help with the last 2), then here’s a handy way of discovering your undertone without having to go to a counter. Don’t tell me I don’t do anything for ya!
As you can see, the cool skin tone is slightly greyer, whereas the warm skin tone is more golden. There are many different types of undertone, but the easiest 3 to distinguish are Warm, Neutral and Cool. Here’s how to distinguish which undertone you have easily:
- The veins on your wrists appear green or olive in natural light
- Gold jewellery looks most flattering against your skin
- Skin has a slightly yellow or peach appearance in natural light
- The veins on your wrists appear blue/green in natural light
- Both silver and gold jewellery are flattering against your skin
- Skin doesn’t appear to have any strong colouring in natural light
- The veins on your wrists appear blue/purple in natural light
- Silver jewellery looks most flattering against your skin
- Skin has a slightly pink/blue/purple appearance in natural light, which intensifies as you get colder
I would say having the wrong undertone to a foundation is the number one base mistake you can make. We’ve all had those days when you do your makeup as normal, putting every layer on exactly you normally would, with the same brushes etc, but it just looks off; something isn’t quite right. Nine times out of ten, it will be because the foundation you’re using just doesn’t match your undertone! If you’re really struggling to distinguish your undertone, you can always go up to a department store makeup counter and get an expert to do it; they’ll take one look at your face and be able to tell you straight away.
So make sure to get this first step right when picking a new foundation, and hopefully my Foundation Favourites below will help guide you through picking the perfect foundation for your skin’s needs!
BEST FOR: FULL COVERAGE
Marc Jacobs Re(Marc)Able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate – £37.00 – John Lewis
(I use shade 32 Beige Light, however it’s a little pale)
This is by far the best full coverage foundation I’ve ever used. For someone who loves full coverage and regularly gets let down by the claim of ‘the fullest coverage foundation yet!’ I was amazed at this product. It blocks out all imperfections without looking overly cakey. Goodbye freckles, spots, discolouration and darkness. A thin layer of this does absolute wonders and dries down to create the most beautiful long wearing base.
I would however laugh off it’s ‘radiant’ finish; this is definitely a matte foundation and noticeably dries down. So much so, in fact, that I don’t even need to powder. Dry skinned girls beware of this one, it may suck the life out of your skin, but if you’re normal/combo/oily, this will sit perfectly for you. I apply with either a buffing brush or a beauty blender.
I love this foundation so much, but only tend to use it in the colder months because I got such a pale shade. I deffo need to re-purchase a darker shade as it’s such a beautiful, easy to wear foundation that really does last all day!
BEST FOR: ‘NO MAKEUP’ MAKEUP DAYS
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick – £42.00 – Space.NK
(I use shade Sand, which is PERFECT)
I’ve previously recommended this foundation on my ‘New This Week’ blog post that I wrote in July (read it here). I absolutely adore this foundation for a really natural finish.
Don’t get me wrong, this is by no means a sheer coverage foundation, it can be built all the way from light/medium all the way to full coverage, depending on the quantity and tools used to apply it. If you pat it in with a beauty blender, you can layer this creamy stick foundation all the way up to full coverage.
However, this is my go to for minimal ‘no makeup’ makeup days. I think I love it so so much because of the colour and finish; this perfectly matches my skin tone when I’ve used my Tan Luxe tanning drops, meaning a thin veil of foundation is enough to perfect my skin, so I’m ready to leave the house in 2 minutes flat (even though it takes me 15 minutes to say goodbye to my dogs).
Buffed in with a buffing brush with minimal product, this foundation evens my skin tone and banishes redness whilst still letting all my freckles peep through. It is slightly oily though, so be prepared to set it. This has been my go to foundation all summer, as I always pull back on the foundation when I have a tan, especially as my skin’s been so well behaved recently!
BEST FOR: EVERYDAY WEAR
EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation – £12.50 – Look Fantastic
(I wear shade 5.0)
Here’s a little known gem! If, like me, you prefer warmer undertoned foundations, this brand is definitely worth a try. The formula is really creamy and bendable, providing a natural, even medium coverage that can be worn all day. It layers beautifully to create a more long wearing base suitable for a night out, but I just love this foundation for everyday use. The price tag means its also really affordable for everyday wear; I know it sometimes feels wasteful to wear your £35 foundation to the office every day.
It just provides traceless coverage whilst still letting the texture of your skin peep through, meaning it looks like your skin, just better! I apply this with a buffing brush for really flawless, streak free coverage.
BEST FOR: BEING AN ALL ROUNDER
Cover FX Custom Cover Drops – £36.00 – Beauty Bay
(I use shade G50)
You know by now that these are my signature, my babies, my go to, my Holy Grail. If I could buy shares in this product, I would. if I could have kids with this product, I also would. Come rain or shine these miracle drops just do the job, and do it properly.
No creasing, no flaking, no patching, no cakeiness, no breakouts. Just a fucking good, flawless face of foundation. They’re meant to be mixed with other foundations to provide coverage but as usual I just ignore all prior advice and just use them neat, just how I like my Tequila too.
Perfect for top ups, it’s just a beautiful, flawless foundation with the best shade range EVER. Not trying to blow Cover FX’s trumpet but these are like an Instagram filter in a bottle and are my number one recommendation for makeup. It’s love! I apply with either a buffing brush or a beauty blender.
My only niggle is that the pipette dropper stops working while half the product is still in the bottle, so be prepared to scoop out product with a Q tip or narrow brush. Also, it’s only 15ml, so I find myself spending a fortune every 2 months. Oh well, the cost of beauty hey.
BEST FOR: THE PRICE TAG
The Ordinary Colours – Serum & Coverage Foundations – £5.90 each – Victoria Health
(I use shade 2.1P in both)
Oh my Lordy Lord. These foundations are EXCEPTIONAL. The Coverage foundation is really light, whilst providing really consistent medium coverage with a beautiful radiant finish that lasts for hours.
The Serum foundation is great for those natural days, providing light to medium coverage. It’s far waterier in consistency, but again leaves a light sheen to the skin that makes you look healthy and glowing.
I died and went to heaven trying these foundations. As ya’ll know by now I have a pretty obvious love affair with DECIEM’s The Ordinary Skincare so it’s no surprise I absolutely adore their 2 foundations. For the price, the quality is absolutely outstanding. I could pay 5x the price and still be blown away by the quality of this brand and these specific foundations. Both can be applied with either a buffing brush or a beauty blender, both having flawless, yet slightly different results.
WORTH A MENTION
It was pretty difficult to choose just 5 favourites, especially because my collection spans over 30 different brands of foundation. The ones mentioned above are what I’ve been favouring most recently, however I would say the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops are my Holy Grail product. However, with so many brilliant foundations available, I thought I’d mention a few strong contenders that didn’t quite make the cut. These are:
L’oreal Infallible Pro Glow Foundation – £12.95 – eBay
The only reason this beautiful, inexpensive foundation didn’t make the cut is because it’s so fucking difficult to find! It’s a common drugstore foundation over in the United States, however I only managed to get my hands on it on eBay, how annoying! I thought it would be unfair to recommend something that’s notoriously hard to get hold of, but if you can find it, get it! It’s lightweight, natural looking with a radiant, dewy finish that really makes you glow!
Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation – £34.00 – Nars
This used to be my number one go to, and only missed the list because I struggle to find the perfect colour; I think the shade range could be improved even more to really include all shades and undertones. If you’re looking for a really thin, lightweight medium-full coverage foundation, definitely try this, it’s beautiful.
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation – £32.00 – Nars
Another one from Nars! Again, the shade range isn’t perfect, hence why the beautiful Sheer low also missed the cut, however I also felt it would be unfair to include it as I haven’t used it for over 4 months as I ran out. I feel like I need to remind myself of it’s beauty, so a repurchase may be coming soon. This is a brilliant ‘everyday wear’ foundation that provides good coverage with a beautiful dewy radiance to the skin. Topped with liquid highlighter, your cheekbones will sing with this foundation. Beware though, theres nothing ‘Sheer’ about it!
Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation – £30.00 – Debenhams
Again, this is another foundation that I adored, especially for taking pictures in, but felt bad recommending as I haven’t used it for months since running out. I really need to repurchase and trial run again, I remember being absolutely hooked on this stuff last year! The entire ‘Ultra HD’ range was developed for use on photoshoots as it works exceptionally well when using high definition cameras, meaning less retouching was necessary on models. I can vouch that I remember this product being amazing.
And that’s them all! Hope you enjoyed reading my Top 5 Foundations and What They’re Best For, and hopefully have at least one earmarked as a future purchase! I hope it answers all your questions about my foundation routine, however if I’ve missed anything please leave a comment or slide me a cheeky DM on Instagram, like most of you lovelies tend to do! Let me know what you’d like to read next too.
Thanks for reading,