Summer might seem like a strange time to write about foundation, but it’s really not. Foundation can make your skin look fabulous in summer’s unforgiving light, especially when you learn to pick the perfect shade for your skin and how to apply it.
Never apply foundation to your entire face. Put it only where you need it; where you have shadows, redness, or other slight blemishes. Never follow the advice of some experts and apply foundation down to your collar. You will only stain your clothes. Some women have more colour on their faces than on their necks and décolleté. If this is your issue you will need to use a slightly yellower foundation to tone down the redness. Some experts use a green or mauve colour corrector under foundation for this problem. But most women find this too much trouble — and too heavy for every day. If you can not figure out the colour, go to department store. Or use a line the labels colours cool and warm. L’Oreal True Match is a drugstore line that does this. The warm tone will usually cover red best, but check the shade on your own skin. The best place to match your foundation is along your jaw bone. Always check the match in daylight. If you can not test the colour directly on your skin – as in a drugstore – walk to window with the tester or package. In a department store, apply the colour to your skin and go outside.
Buying online is tricky, but they offer help online and accept returns. Also never buy make-up any place that does not offer a full return policy with the package and sale slip, after you try it. Too many women think they can not return a product after they try it. That is the point of the policy, to be able to try it!
The new foundations can also make your skin look more luminous and brighter. They also add a layer of protection between your skin and aging rays of the sun, and damaging free radicals from pollution. And unless you are in clean country air, foundation acts as a barrier between your skin and dirty city air. It will not clog your pores as some old fashioned and misguided thinkers would have you believe.
One of my mentors, now in her 80’s, has fabulous skin. She credits it in part to always having worn foundation.
In the past year we have tested many different foundations to find the very best. They have been tried by our DolceDolceteam who ranges in age from 16 to 70-plus. I have personally tried them all.
I have divided them in to three categories: department store luxe, boutique, and drugstore. Don’t assume that the more expensive foundations are the best; all the products we are going to mention here are fabulous in some way. We have decided not to waste space on products we didn’t like. Also do not expect our list to match any "reader’s best or reader’s choice" you may find in other magazines. Those lists are good, but many readers use the first or second foundation they buy. We used exacting criteria for appearance, feel, and value.
Foundation often looks better when worn over primer or moisturizer. However, in the daytime it can be too heavy to add a primer over sun block, and the SPF 15 in foundation is not strong enough for outside wear! (Manufacturers please note, higher SPF please!) All of our foundations look good over sun block alone. A couple of the best foundation primers we have tried are: Laura Mercier Flawless Face Oil-Free Primer and Bioelements Oxygen Cocktail. Both of these products are good value and very hydrating. Oxygen Cocktail is not actually a primer but super-hydrating under make-up and used as one by make-up artists. A little goes a long way.
When it comes to luxurious department store foundations, Chanel Pro Lumiere Professional Finish Make-up is one of the best. The texture is gorgeous as is the finish. The shades are fabulous too. They are not too yellow or pink. This a pricey foundation at $54 US and $68 CND, but a little goes along way. It is essential to apply it with a light hand. I adore this foundation as it covers small flaws, but does not look heavy. It stays in place for hours. Make-up artists love it too. They also love its new incarnation Chanel Lift Lumiere. This foundation has special polymers to lift and tighten” but is basically a dewier version of demi-mat Pro-Lumiere.
Chanel foundation is definitely the crème de la crème of department store foundation. The coverage and the finish are superb. Their cream foundation Teint Innocence is also very soft and provides good coverage.
Other big make-up companies make very good foundations. Our goal was to find the best. We found Chanel has the edge with texture, shades, and overall appearance. There are new and interesting products made by smaller make-up companies sold in smaller exclusive smaller department stores and at beauty boutiques such as Ulta. But as they are not easy for all our reader to find and try, we did not include them in our report.
In the boutique or smaller online category there were two clear winners: Motives by Loren Ridigner Liquid Powder Mineral Foundation and Redpoint Transformative Dual foundation.
Motives by Loren Ridigner Liquid Powder Mineral Foundation is an all-in-one product containing primer, antioxidants, foundation and power, all in one tube. I am crazy about this foundation. It feels weightless and makes my skin look luminous and flawless. It has an SPF of 15, but I wear it over sun block as SPF is inadequate for anything but indoor wear. It is nice not to bother with a primer and still have the make-up go on smooth as glass. Every time I wear this, people tell me I look fabulous. At just under $25 this is good value for money.
Redpoint Transformative Dual Foundation comes with two blendable shades that create the shade you need or can be used to highlight and conceal certain areas of the face. It contains a peptide blend and light diffusing pigments that combine to help fill in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, so skin looks and feels more youthful. The make-up glides on and is light as a feather, but still provides fabulous coverage. At $42, it isn’t cheap, but it may be great choice if you have issues with make-up settling into lines and creases. It’s offered in three dual shade compacts from light to dark that are truly flattering. We can not recommend their Airbrush Blush as it streaks.
If you are on a tight budget, don’t despair, there are truly beautiful foundations at the drugstore. One of my favourite foundations for years has been L’Oreal Paris True Match. I like the entire line. When it was first introduced it was a fabulous liquid make-up in 27 shades. There is still a wide range of shades. An easy-to-use system of warm and cool coding makes it possible for even a novice to get a “true match”. Finally, I could send my Indian and Asian friends to the drugstore, confident they too could find a good make-up! They could even buy the same brand as I did – and I wear porcelain. How fabulous is that?
Now it has been improved with the addition of True Match Super Blendale Compact Make-up. This is an easy-to-apply make-up in 24 shades that uses the same easy-
The entire True Match range of concealer, powder, and bronze glow are great value. They work well for almost any skin tone or age and you can always find your shade. You can usually buy True Match for under $10 US and $12 CND.
Cover Girl Simply Ageless with Olay Regenerist and SPF 15 is different type of foundation. It is designed to float over fine lines and give good coverage. I wear very sheer foundation and always have, but women who want and need a bit more coverage love this foundation. It has a creamy texture, and it does not cake. The shades are lovely; not too yellow or pink. This is an excellent option for any woman looking for more coverage at an excellent price.
At the opposite end of the spectrum some of us only want a more hint of colour and coverage; for us tinted moisturizer is the way to go.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer comes in both a regular and oil-free formula. I prefer the oil-free. It comes in a range of shades and looks dewy and natural. It provides a hint of coverage. It has an SPF of 20 and is packed with anti-oxidants. Make-up artists, fashion editors, and socialites adore this product for its natural look. It costs $42 US and $57 CND.
Olay Definity Colour Recapture has an SPF of 15 combines Definity’s anti-aging complexion brightening qualities with a touch of colour. The lightweight moisturizer gives faces definite luminosity. This product left skin soft, moist, and lovely. Even ladies who only use higher-priced cosmetics liked this one.
I have worn both products and like both equally. I am a dedicated foundation wearer, but I like to have tinted moistener on hand. It the only thing I can wear during a bad cold when my skin is ultra sensitive. I also mix it into my foundation during the winter, when my skin can be overly dry. Give this a try; it stands up well to the higher-priced product.
We also tested and tried the now popular mineral make-ups. Minerals are popular with acne sufferers as well as those who have sensitivities, and women who find it settles less into lines. To do this, we enlisted a few die-hard mineral lovers. Their conclusion: the best-selling and best-known brands are not the best-looking or -wearing. And one of our testers had been wearing it for years – and paying a top price for it.
Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics was very popular with our mineral make-up aficionados. The line has luminous colours and stays on really well. They aren’t inexpensive, buy they are fabulous.
E.l.f. or eyes, lips, and face is an inexpensive line of mineral make-up that some of our testers loved. For $15 you can buy enough make-up to do your entire face.
According to our test group, mineral make-up from the Body Shop, Sonia Kushuk for Target, Cover Girl and L’Oreal Paris are all fabulous. You do not have pay a premium for good mineral make-up.
Darlings, foundation make-up is a beautiful thing. It smoothes out all the little flaws and make some thing fabulous – you even more so! Many women use tons of concealer when a little properly-chosen and applied foundation would do the trick. Light reflecting foundations can banish dark circles better than layers of stuff! Others go bare faced when a touch of make-up is magic.
Darlings, no one says you need to paint your face to be loved or successful. Beauty and artistry (that is why they call them make-up artists) is – and should be — a joy! It’s fun to sparkle and shine. I have never believed that fashion, beauty, or any of the good things in life should be aspirational. No darlings, beauty is attainable and we are here to help you get it all! Remember, beauty has never been more economical or attainable! Isn’t that fabulous?