Thursday 23 February 2017

Beauty panel: Spring Base

Ditch the cover-up and put some spring in your base with these complexion kickstarters

Sarah Caden

Pictured, from left, Lancome Miracle Cushion in Pure Porcelaine; YSL Touch Eclat Collector in Rose Lumiere; L'Occitane Precious BB Cream in Light; Chanel CC Cream in Beige; Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation in Light Warm
Pictured, from left, Lancome Miracle Cushion in Pure Porcelaine; YSL Touch Eclat Collector in Rose Lumiere; L'Occitane Precious BB Cream in Light; Chanel CC Cream in Beige; Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation in Light Warm

Maybe it's the brighter light of spring, but a decent base suddenly becomes imperative about now. You can get away with a lot in the gloom of the darker months, but the clear, bright light of this new month is very unforgiving. Your skin can appear ruddy and stressed, thanks to being wrapped in an insulating layer of heavy, wintry foundation, or it can look wan and washed-out. In other words, it can seem like you're trying too hard or not at all.

It's time to shake up your base. Which is as much a matter of modifying your appearance as it is of resetting your head to brighter, lighter days ahead.

If you've been hibernating your face in the cosmetic equivalent of a thick jumper up to now, then it's time to put it aside until the clocks go back again. For the next few months, your cosmetic base coat is not so much about cover-up, as as it is about creating the appearance of refined, glowing skin. Think sheer but with benefits, such as colour-correction, light-reflection and subtle camouflage.

What you want is to appear effortlessly full of the joys of spring, and to invite compliments on your complexion and not your coverage.

Best Overall

Lancome Miracle Cushion in Pure Porcelaine, €38, Lancome counters nationwide

This is one of the nicest foundations we've used in a long while. The thin-liquid foundation is housed beneath a sponge, reminiscent of those in which you moisten stamps at the post office. You press the enclosed make-up sponge into the moistened sponge and then apply it to your face. It sounds messy. It's not. The foundation looks very dark and heavy in the compact. It's not. Available in six shades. "It feels like you apply barely anything to your skin, but what a wonderful effect," said a panellist. "A friend complimented my skin, which she thought was naked."

Best Touch of Glow

YSL Touche Eclat Collector in Rose Lumiere, €35, Brown Thomas; YSL counters nationwide

Loved by millions, for whom it often provides a sufficient blend of cover-up and light-reflecting radiance. On the days that you want to go 'make-up free', it's a great go-to product, and now it comes in this limited-edition "Rock Lace Edition". The packaging is supposed to echo black lace, and instead of the usual six shades, it comes in three tending-to-pale shades. Our choice is this slightly pink-y colour. "A cute case," said a panellist, "and all the expected ability to make me look rested and revived."

Best BB cream

L'Occitane Precious BB Cream SPF 30 in Light, €35, L'Occitane shops nationwide

Tinted moisturiser has been thrown aside in recent years, as most women's make-up bags boast a BB cream for days that they want to look polished but natural. In fact, women who don't own a make-up bag often own a BB cream. A good one will give barely perceptible coverage and a bit of skincare goodness, and this one covers the latter with the inclusion of antioxidants and a high SPF. "Glow-giving and nicely light," a panellist said. "If you had combination or oily skin, I'd say you could skip moisturiser and just use this."

Best CC CREAM

Chanel CC Cream in Beige, €60.50, Chanel counters nationwide

This is a relaunch of Chanel's pricey but impressive CC cream - CC stands for colour correcting. The new take on this bestseller is lighter in texture, and comes in three shades, rather than the original single shade. It's more hydrating, no less complexion-enhancing. "It seems thick on application, but as you blend, the texture changes, as though it adapts and adjusts to your skin," said a panellist. "Fab find."

Best Light Dusting

Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation in Light Warm, €36, Debenhams; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16

A pressed-powder foundation may seem an odd choice for the bright light of spring, but this is no ordinary powder. Not drying, dusty or chalky, it's very finely milled and doesn't sit on the surface of the skin as other powders can. Which is not to say that it has the glow of a liquid; this a light spring choice if you still want a properly matt finish. "Light finish, nice compact, good colour that doesn't oxidise and alter on your skin," one panellist said.

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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