It's all about that base

Hands up who’s wearing the right foundation. Okay… now hands up who’s not sure. Matching foundation colour and texture perfectly is something so many women struggle with – and it’s not difficult to see why, writes Lynette Page

There are so many products out there, all with different finishes and features. Choosing the foundation that’s right for you is rarely the focus of make-up tutorials that promise to deliver that ‘flawless’ look. The emphasis is often on the way you apply – but whilst technique is important, it’s what you apply that matters most.

Many simply settle for whatever works, but whilst we’re busy buying that new palette, indulging in those expensive brushes or trying out the newest contouring technique we forget that choosing the right foundation is everything. It’s all in the name – your face is the foundation upon which the rest of your look is built on – so getting this right is vitally important.

Make the wrong choice and your skin can look dull, saggy, dry or oily – and no amount of extra make-up is going to rectify that. Foundation is supposed to conceal blemishes, uneven tone and lines in a natural way, not cover everything completely – or worse, accentuate skin issues.

Different skin types need different tints and textures

The first step to flawless foundation is getting to grips with your skin type and shade. This is where most women fall at the first hurdle – as naturally it’s not always easy to determine exactly.

Many make the fatal error of using cool tones on warm skin, or vice versa – looking pasty or yellowy as a result. Skin tone is a sophisticated science – but there are a few simple techniques you can use to get a better idea of the type of shades that suit you.

First, make sure you’re somewhere with plenty of good natural light. Then take a look at your veins. You’ll see green or blue predominantly – and it’s this tinge that indicates whether you have a warm skin tone (green) or a cool skin tone (blue).

Once you know if you’re cool or warm you’ve considerably narrowed down your foundation choices.

Now you’ve become more acquainted with your skin’s tone, it’s time to turn your attention to its texture. This is mistake number two.  The foundation may look fabulous on that beauty blogger (who happens to have dry-combination skin), but it may just end up more ‘shine’ than ‘glow’ when it’s applied to you. There are four key skin types:

Normal: ‘Normal’ skin is defined as being not too oily, not too dry. Comfortable without redness or blemishes.

Oily: Skin is noticeably oily – that shine that you can’t get rid of even with plenty of powder.

Dry: Skin is often tight, flaky – foundation tends to clump and darken, sitting in patches on the skin and accentuating fine lines.

Combination: Skin could be tight and dry in areas, but oily on the T-Zone or in other areas.

Environmental factors also play a role – such as pollution, humidity – even the amount of sleep you get and the foods you eat.


My foundation fave’s

Chanel foundation bottle on white background

Chanel – Le Teint Ultra Tenue Ultrawear Flawless Foundation

Perfect for combination to oily skin

I really like this foundation. It’s lightweight with a medium to full coverage – which means perfect for an evening look, but too heavy for daywear. It’s marketed as a total matte finish but I beg to differ and would say it has a slight sheen once the light hits it. I wouldn’t use this if you’re the ‘I want my skin to breathe’ type as the coverage is thick on application. Apply with a brush and move quickly as it has a rapid set time.

RRP: £37 –


Laura Mercier – Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation

Laura Mercier bottle on white background

An easy pick for lighter coverage

I like Laura Mercier as a general rule because they don’t have huge amounts of product to confuse you with. They stick to the basics which I like. From the base range I only like this foundation however – as the others are a bit too thick to blend with. Candleglow is light enough to not feel like you’re wearing anything, with a good light to medium coverage once really blended. A lovely sheen adds lift and freshness and is best suited to dry/combination skin. It smelt a little clinical – but that soon faded once set.

RRP: £35 –

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