Miscellaneous ramblings, advice and reviews about beauty, makeup and celebrity beauty looks

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Chic vs. Chav… Choosing your foundation

Your guide to choosing foundation effectively, without being on the verge of looking like you've dipped your face in creosote.

Have you ever walked down the high street and EVERYBODY seems to be looking at you? More specifically, at your face? Yes, it could be that you are drop-dead-gorgeous, you have a wonderful smile or you have great hair, but it could also be that your make up stands out more than you do!

All of us have applied foundation incorrectly. If you haven’t you are either a makeup artist or a liar. You’ve either mastered the art of applying correctly or simply haven’t noticed that horrible chav-tastic orange line on your jawbone where a thick layer of foundation meets your skin!

Choosing the right foundation is hard to get right, trust us, we know! It’s both timely and costly, but trial and error is the only way of getting it right – unless you are willing to treat yourself with a consultation at your local Clinique, Estée Lauder or YSL counters and pay over £25. If you like a challenge, are working to a budget and want to do it yourself – we thought we would give you a helping hand and do some of the leg work for you…

It might seem obvious, but the first step is to make sure that your chosen foundation matches your skin as closely as possible. Ladies, we come in all different shades of beautiful, but sadly most cosmetics brands don’t – they categorise our skin tones into three groups. Fair, medium and dark. This makes life difficult when making your foundation choice. Not all brands create foundations for the wider colour spectrum, so be willing to make an investment of anything from £7 to £35.

Remember ladies, when you are shopping, take a compact mirror, some face wipes and please go with a fresh no-make-up-applied face.

High street brands such as Revlon, Maybelline and L’Oreal are great starting points and are all available from most larger Boots or Superdrug stores.

Revlon, slightly more expensive than Maybelline and L’Oreal, have quite a wide range of skin colours and foundation products. Revlon Colour Stay, available for both oily/combination skin as well as normal/dry skin – is our favourite Revlon product and comes in nine or more shades. For fair complexions, try Ivory or Buff. For medium toned skin, try Natural Beige or Fresh Beige. Those with dark or tanned skin go for Natural Tan or Toast. Remember when testing, apply only a small amount with your finger tips to the jawline. If the foundation when applied does not almost disappear then it’s not the right shade or brand for you.

Maybelline‘s Dream Satin Liquid is probably the best of Maybelline foundations, although we do quite like Dream Mousse. (Mousse is harder to apply than liquid, especially if you’re aiming to cover up imperfections.) Dream Satin Liquid has the consistency of a mousse whilst gliding on like a liquid for maximum coverage. As standard there are eight skin varieties, starting with Nude and ending with Cocoa. But Maybelline’s ‘fair’ tones (Nude and Ivory) are not quite fair enough for those with the fairest of complexions, so if you are pale-skinned – steer clear. If you have a medium skin tone this brand is most definitely for you, there are 6 medium shades for you to choose from all with slightly different hues. If your skin has cool dark undertones why not give Cameo a try, if your skin is quite warm go for Fawn or Sand. Maybelline foundation is more often than not, on offer in Boots or Superdrug, so make sure you compare prices between stores.

L’Oreal have some wonderful foundations. The True Match Collection is fantastic and has the widest colour spectrum we’ve found on the high street. True Match Foundation perfectly matches the colour and texture of your skin, all you have to do is find the one closest to your skin tones and you have a winner! This foundation glides on lightly and covers any imperfections with ease. It is priced at around £10.00 in most stores and is well worth the investment. If you have trouble applying, the True Match Roller is ideal for applying lightly and easily, with minimum mess and fits just lovely in to your handbag should you wish to apply more than once in a day.

You can test all of the products mentioned at your local Boots or Superdrug.

When choosing, don’t be afraid to ask the shop assistant for some help, if you are buying over the counter, assistants are trained to give beauty advice and can sometimes offer you a free makeover or colour-match consultation – we sure took advantage of this service whilst at Boots.

Below are some more brands and ranges that we love, so when you shop, keep them in mind…

1. Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation – available in 19 shades – £25.50 at Debenhams
2. Clarins Everlasting Foundation – available in 9 shades – £24.00 at Boots
3. Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup Foundation – available in 14 shades – £21.00 at Boots
4. Max Factor Second Skin Foundation – available in 8 shades – £12.99 at Superdrug
5. Une Skin Glow Foundation – available in over 10 shades – £12.49 at Superdrug
6. Nato Fluid Make-up – available in 5 shades – £15.50 at Debenhams
7. Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation – available in 5 shades – £5.99 at Boots
8. Max Factor Smooth Effect Foundation – available in 4 shades – £7.99 at Boots
9. Revlon Beyond Natural Skin Matching Make-up Foundation – available in 5 shades – £9.99 at Boots
10. Myface Mymix Foundation – available in 3 shades for dark skin tones – £12.99 at Boots

If you are still stuck after taking a look at all of the above products, go for a foundation with colour adapt technology – you really can’t go wrong with those. Rimmel Match Perfection, Max Factor Colour Adapt or NYC Skin Match will work well on all skin tones.

With ANY foundation go from Chav to Chic by simply choosing one skin shade lighter than you normally would. Ladies, you can always layer up a little extra colour with a powder finish, bronzer and a bit of blush.



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Posted by: Zoe Ruckledge - Editor
On: Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
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  • Jennifer

    This is a very good article, i have added your blog to my favourites. I really like the Une Skin Glow Foundation, it’s my fave.

  • Natalie

    Excellent article – it’s all too easy when applying foundation to focus solely on your face (which might look amazing) and overlook the fact that it’s a different colour to the rest of you!! I’m a huge fan of Maybelline Satin Liquid, but as I am pale I definitely agree that there should be a shade slightly lighter than the Ivory one.

  • Ace points! Yeah it is hard mastering the art of foundation and one I still mess up here and there! Thanks for the tips on the products, I haven’t tried some of them on the list.

  • Marc

    Great tips, my wife’s very happy! She just came from this site http://shai77.hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Choose-a-Foundation says your article now provided her with a very well-rounded knowledge :)

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