Sunday 4 December 2016

The Panel: Base hunter

Sarah Caden

Published 03/12/2012 | 09:52

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat; Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion
Makeup Complexion Perfector; Tom Ford Traceless Foundation; Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup; Shiseido Radiant Lifting Foundation
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat; Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup Complexion Perfector; Tom Ford Traceless Foundation; Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup; Shiseido Radiant Lifting Foundation

It’s December, just about, and it’s likely that you’re already thinking sparkle and shimmer and all manner of party flourishes to add to your face.

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But, before you face into the festive season, give a thought to your foundation. If the base is bad, none of the rest of your make-up will really look its best, so, with that in mind, we’ve drawn up a list of what were our best base finds of the past 12 months.

One, we’ll admit, came on the market at the end of 2011, but it glided through 2012 as a firm favourite, so it merited inclusion. And another product that came out on top does not call itself a foundation, but it is a brilliant base, so it found a place.

The key claim of any foundation is that it will even out blemishes and skintone imperfections and give you a good blank canvas for the rest of your make-up. What most modern bases try to achieve, however, is coverage without weight or a mask-like effect, which is to say that they strive to make it look as if you have perfect skin without make-up. It’s no mean feat, but, increasingly, the newer bases achieve this. It’s make-up magic and it’s at your fingertips.

BEST OVERALL YSL

Le Teint Touche Eclat, €38,

YSL counters nationwide This is a dream foundation, but you must not guess which is your match from the 22 available shades, as they are about the tones and undertones of your skin colour. Go to the counter for advice on the right shade for you. Once you have a match, you won’t believe this stuff, which utilises all the light-diffusing magic of the best-selling Touche Eclat, and is magically skin-perfecting without being heavy. “What I love about this is that it functions as either a fresh-faced foundation, when you use half a pump, or as a proper, going-out foundation with only one full pump,” said a panellist. “But the latter is still glowy and gorgeous.”

BEST INNOVATION

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup Complexion Perfector, €45, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork

Take note that the very long name of this product does not call it a foundation. It’s a complexion perfector, and it’s entitled to distinguish itself from other bases because instead of being a blend of powder, water, oil and pigment, it’s simply pigment and five separate oils. And yet, it’s not at all oily. It goes on like a tinted moisturiser, but covers like a foundation and sets without ever getting greasy. “I thought this was a gimmick, but it’s not. It’s lovely. Imperceptible as well as ingeniously perfecting,” a panellist said. “I even skipped concealer.”

BEST CHIC COVER

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation, €72, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork

This is a pricey number but, as with anything we’ve tried from this brand, it’s much more than just a pretty product with a heavyweight name attached. This lotion is light to medium in terms of coverage and it’s light-diffusing with it. It has excellent staying power without a hint of caking or drying. “When you first pat a blob of this all over your face,” said a panellist, “it seems a bit mask-like, but it immediately sort of melts and sets and becomes like your dream skin.”

BEST LIGHT TOUCH

Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup, €34.50, Estee Lauder counters nationwide

This oil-free foundation, which you shake to blend and can hear getting thicker as a ball bashes around inside the bottle, gives light-to-medium coverage. It seems sheer but it has impressive concealing and coverage qualities. “While this has that no-make-up-make-up look, it’s miraculously perfecting,” one panellist said, “and feels like your skin is naked. Magic.”

BEST GLOW-GIVER

Shiseido Radiant Lifting Foundation, €45, Clerys; Arnotts;

Debenhams and selected pharmacies nationwide Designed for older skins with older-skin concerns, this foundation is all about hydration, illumination and eradication of shadows caused by wrinkles and sagging. It’s not oily or sticky, though, it’s a very velvety fluid that lasts well and provides a very even finish. “This is a stayer that lasts all day or night. Usually, that comes with a wrinkle-exaggerating effect. Not so with this. A keeper,” said one panellist.

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