New, space-age foundations have made getting flawless skin easy. Here’s your need-to-know on the latest products...
Your skin care routine gets you a lot of the way towards perfect, glowing skin, but finding the best foundation can help to guide you the rest of the way. Evening out your skin tone, smoothing out lines and disguising blemishes, it’s the golden ticket that magically transforms your skin from meh to wow.
So what makes the best foundation? First and foremost, it needs to suit your skin type. Dryness, oil, pigmentation – that base needs to be able to work with your skin so it can do what it needs to. For example, the best foundation for dry skin is dewy and leaves your skin looking glowy and lit-from-within (matte formulas tend to helpfully draw attention to dry patches). Oily skin? Look for formulas that absorb sebum, to keep you looking shine-free and give you that old Hollywood velvety finish.
Aside from catering to your individual needs, there’s such a huge range of formulas and styles of foundation, from mineral powers that you buff in, to anti-ageing formulations that promise to erase lines and wrinkles, to hardworking SPF formulas that protect your skin from the sun. Sometimes you just want something light to even out your skin (especially in summer) and sheer formulas do the job: lighting up your complexion but still looking deceptively natural. Other times ? like when you’re having a bad skin day – you want something a bit heavier: a full-coverage product will cover up anything you don’t want seen and leave you feeling confident and beautiful.
As beauty advances go, we’re starting to see even more exciting things from foundations: formulations that combine skin care and beauty, clever actives that absorb oil, colours that adapt to your natural skin tone, particles that blur the skin to hide imperfections and minimise pores, even NASA developed technology. With so many to choose from, it’s hard to play favourites – but we-ve done it anyway…
Looking for further brilliant makeup buys to match your skin type? Of course you are, and new beauty site Powder has you covered with a raft of bespoke recommendations. Simply register your likes, dislikes, hair type and skin concerns through the speedy sign-up process, and you’ll receive a personalised round-up of the best products for you.
With demand for photo-ready makeup ever on the rise, Hylamide has released Photography Foundation, designed to work with the camera lens. It’s clever stuff that harnesses prisms to detract the light from lines and pores, while hue correctors block out unwanted tones and appear to carve out cheekbones in photos.
There are three shades available: a transparent option that makes skin look naturally flawless, plus a Golden Tan and Dark Tan for those who crave a little coverage. Pop one on and prepare to positively glow both on and off camera.
Full coverage doesn’t have to mean cakey, as this mousse-like dream of a foundation proves. Thanks to a fresh, whipped texture it feels as light as air on skin, is easy to blend, and doesn’t highlight dry patches as some concentrated pigments tend to do.
In fact, though it’s able to camouflage any number of imperfections with aplomb, a veil of Tarte’s concentrated base could pass for naturally spotless skin. Which is always nice, isn’t it?
If blurring away fine lines and pores is high on your agenda, this pleasingly slippery, silicone-based foundation from No7 has huge benefits in store. Much like the Airbrush Away Primer, it glides over skin to minimise the appearance of creases – but, this time, throws in a thwack of flattering coverage.
The result? The kind of glowy, relaxed and pampered skin we only tend to see when we’re fresh from a facial – no appointment (or painful extractions!) necessary.
There are so many reasons to love this base. For starters, it cancels the need for primer, as a silky priming gel is suspended in the coverage. Making for an even glide, other benefits include a built-in concealer, powder finish and, of course, the pore-perfecting foundation itself.
But this 4-in-1 doesn’t stop at being a marvelous multi-tasker. In a handy compact, it’s also inimitably easy to apply when you're on the go.
Meet the foundation that does it all - because, who wouldn't want that? Charlotte Tilbury has brought us the perfect full coverage base with benefits in her new Magic Foundation, by ensuring it tends to every one of your skin woes. Dealing with age spots? It conceals them instantly, and helps to reduce them over time. Fed-up with wrinkles? Clever blurring pigments will soften their appearance in one hour.
The list of perks goes on, with the brilliant blend lending results to those with acne, oily t-zones, rosacea, thread veins, discolouration and a dull complexion. But what of its ability to beautify skin? It does that impeccably, too, by harnessing hyaluronic filling spheres which plump creases for a smooth, velvety canvas. Combined with the superlative coverage that camouflages everything, it's hardly a wonder that Charlotte (and Team Woman & Home) is calling this new foundation 'magic'.
The clue is in the name in terms of texture, but what about the way it looks on pores? We'd give this one a thumbs up no matter what your skin type is. It glides on in a jiffy, is dewy enough to give dull cheeks a kiss of brightness, flawless enough to camouflage spots, and smooth enough to temper oil. It's also dosed with light-reflectors that lend a soft-focus blur, which helps to soften fine lines. We'd say that's every base box ticked, wouldn't you?
When HD TV arrived, it changed the playing field for makeup artists, as unforgiving lenses shone a light on every teeny imperfection. Make Up For Ever sought to help with the launch of its HD Liquid Foundation, which quickly found its way on Hollywood's sets for its undetectable finish.
Years on and, as HD lenses have only magnified imperfections further, the brand has enhanced its iconic foundation with ground-breaking second-skin technology. But it's not just for movie stars; Ultra HD Liquid Foundation boasts uniquely coated pigments that are as imperceptible and airbrush-perfect to the naked eye.
The term 'no makeup makeup' is often followed up with lengthy tutorials that show - actually - a lot of products and effort go into looking naturally radiant. Pleasingly, Perricone MD is changing all of that with a base that?s as much skincare as it is foundation, and doesn?t require 5 different kinds of alphabet cream.
One layer of this is enough to knock out redness, minimise the appearance of wrinkles, and lend skin a semi-matte finish that doesn't settle into creases and crepey lines. No fuss, no tell-tale traces and no time wasted fiddling with blending brushes.
YSL Fusion Ink Foundation, the first foundation designed to beat the heat and last a full 24 hours. Built with technology that was originally designed to capture dust particles in outer space, this radiance boating base contains a super absorbing Lipophilic active, which holds 4x it's own weight in sebum (our own natural oils). The soft weightless texture glides on effortlessly to mattify, hydrate and ensure seriously long-lasting wear regardless of humidity, day and night.
When tested on real women, 95% admitted their skin still felt soft and comfortable after 24 hours and 100% said the long lasting coverage was so lightweight they forgot they were even wearing it.
w&h Editorial Director, Sue James, put YSL Fusion Ink Foundation to the test and here's what she had to say: 'The light mousse texture glided on easily and created an even natural cover that was so soft it felt like a second skin.' Sounds good to us!
Click through to discover more of the best foundations around...
Clarins Ever Matte SPF15 Oil-Free Foundation's plant based complex tightens pores to regulate sebum (our natural oils) for a shine-busting natural finish that's second to none.
For sensitive types and those in favour of a more natural stance, the Bare Minerals Original SPF 15 Foundation, £25 is the kindest you can buy. So gentle you can sleep in it, this mineral rich base buffs into your skin to provide instant silky coverage.
MAC Matchmaster Foundation SPF15, £28 quickly adapts to your natural skintone to magnify your natural beauty rather than mask it.
Crafted with translucent line-reducing pigments, this clever foundation creates a natural finish that's equal parts matte and dewy - no powder needed!
The unbudgeable formula of Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF 10 does exactly what it says on the bottle and stays put all day long.
The breathable matte finish masks imperfections and is custom built to withstand humidity. Remember to apply it over freshly moisturised skin, this will stop the super fast-setting coverage from clinging to dry patches.
Finding the right foundation shade for your skin tone can be more important than texture. To make a foundation dewy you can mix it with a face cream or to mattify it just add a hint of powder, but get the colour wrong and it shows. Try Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15, the extensive collection of shades mean there is something for everyone.
Kiss goodbye to cakey foundation with Lancôme's Teint Idole Ultra 24H Divine Perfection Foundation, £26.55. The velvety smooth and shine-free finish, make it impossible to tell where your natural complexion finishes and your make-up begins.