Foundation, Powders, BB Creams, Tinted Moisturisers, Mineral Makeup… The number of options out there for make-up base can be overwhelming – so it’s probably not surprising that so many of us are matching the wrong product to our skin type.
To clear things up, I’ve rounded up the five most popular formulations and picked my favourite products for the job.
Best for: Fuller coverage
Liquid foundations combine heavier coverage with longer-lasting results, so are perfect for when you want your skin to appear totally flawless. I love Daniel Sandler’s Waterbase Foundation with Concealer, £25.50, which does an amazing job at hiding imperfections, yet feels and looks completely natural on skin.
On a day-to-day basis, however, Liquid Foundations aren’t suitable for everybody. If skin is very oily, the thicker formulas may cause blemishes, whilst those with very dry skin may find the coverage a little drying. I save them for nights out and special occasions.
Best for: Combatting shine
If you are prone to shine, a Powder Foundation is set to become your new best friend. Keep it in your bag to reapply throughout the day (the compacts always have mirrors, so are perfect for top-ups on the go) and watch the oil disappear in an instant as you swipe over your T-Zone. My top pick is Too Faced Amazing Face Powder, £24.
A word of warning though – Powder Foundations don’t work well on mature skin (where the powder fills and accentuates fine lines) or dry skin (where the powder exaggerates flakes and roughness). If you fall into that boat, stick to liquid or cream formulations.
Best for: First signs of ageing
The newcomer on the base block (and causing a real stir in the beauty industry), BB Creams combine medium coverage with hydration, SPF protection, anti-ageing properties, and oil control. Bridging the gap between makeup and skincare, they feel lighter than a foundation and negate the need to buy a separate moisturiser.
There are lots of BB Creams arriving on shelves, but my current favourite is Stila All Day 10 in 1 HD Beauty Balm, £26. The formula is infused with protective emollients to boost antioxidant activity and eradicate free radicals, whilst diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and tightening the skin.
Best for: Sensitive skin
Sensitive skin? Let me draw your attention to Mineral Foundations, which are as gentle as makeup gets. Containing nothing but pure, crushed minerals from the earth, they won’t irritate your skin – but they will provide medium coverage and impressively long-lasting results. My favourite is the original (and, in my opinion, still the best)– bareMinerals Original SPF15 Foundation, £20.40.
It looks like a powder, but it applies like a cream on the skin – so there’s no need to avoid it if you have fine lines or dryness. You do need to invest in a Mineral Makeup brush, however, applying the powder in a blotting style, rather than smoothing it on like a regular foundation.
Best for: Dry Skin
Finally, if you have dry skin, the best product to pick is Tinted Moisturiser. Essentially a moisturising cream with a tint, the product helps to even out skin tone, whilst providing hydration. It feels much lighter than a foundation and has a sheer coverage. Try Clarins HydraQuench Tinted Moisturiser, £21.59.
If you are prone to shine, this is one product to avoid as it will boost the glow, rather than mattify it. It’s great for holidays though, when you want your sun-kissed skin to do the talking.