Thursday 8 December 2016

Laying foundations - how to tone down for autumn

Autumn adjustments, says our beauty expert, mean trading in and toning down your California tan make-up base

Sarah Caden

Published 03/10/2016 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Chanel Sublimage Ultimate Radiance-Generating Cream Foundation; Bourjois City Radiance Skin Protecting Foundation SPF 30; Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation; Rimmel Fresher Skin SPF 15; Clarins Skin Illusion Loose Powder Foundation
Pictured, from left, Chanel Sublimage Ultimate Radiance-Generating Cream Foundation; Bourjois City Radiance Skin Protecting Foundation SPF 30; Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation; Rimmel Fresher Skin SPF 15; Clarins Skin Illusion Loose Powder Foundation

Having covered primers last week, we turn our attention now to the main event. There's no need to go all thick-pancake come autumn, but in our make-up, as in our clothes, we favour a little more coverage as the weather turns cold. Again, though, it's worth repeating that you don't want to look thickly caked in the stuff. It's not an insulating layer; it won't help keep you warm.

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It remains the case that Irish women persist in wearing a shade of foundation that is darker than their natural skin colour. In summer, we can nearly get away with it; but in winter, it's a holy show of tide-mark jawlines and white, un-made-up ears. Most Irish people are pale, and even paler in winter, so we need to seasonally adjust to suit.

Please, we're begging you. The tan mask is not making you look more healthy or younger. In fact, if your face matched your neck, you might look less alarming. Seeking out a shade of foundation that suits you will give you that even-toned complexion that is the very definition of young-looking skin. Test out shades in store - on your face; it's a different colour to your hands - and don't be shy of going outside to suss out its suitability in daylight before you buy.

Best Overall

Chanel Sublimage Ultimate Radiance-Generating Cream Foundation, €125, Chanel counters nationwide

The very feel of this foundation tells you immediately that it's aimed at older, dryer skin. The price tag probably suggests the same. It's a gorgeously creamy product with tangible moisturising benefits, but it is not shiny or greasy on the skin. The included brush buffs it evenly over the face, leaving what could be described as a medium-coverage veil of colour. It's available in 10 shades. "The brush is beautifully effective in making a small amount go a long way, for a very pretty finish," said one panellist.

Best Top Tube

Bourjois City Radiance Skin Protecting Foundation SPF 30, €13.99, selected pharmacies nationwide

More than a few panellists, of varying ages, tried out this foundation and came back with positive comments. One devotee of a high-luxury product said it was remarkably similar to her favourite, while others loved the lightly glowing finish. It's a product that might require more regular retouches than a more expensive variety, but it can't be faulted on the smooth way it applies. It's available in six shades. "I like the handbag-friendly tube, and I like the moderate amount of mineral ingredients that boost the much-needed radiance," a panellist said.

Best Staying Power

Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation, €34, Debenhams; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16

The big boast of this foundation is that you can wear it all night. But they are keen to say that it will last all day, too, and that it's not specifically a night-time, highly made-up option. However, the high level of pigment - three times what they put in Naked Skin - does create a super-perfect effect. "This is one for the foundation fan who likes matt flawlessness," one panellist said. "Let's just say it could tempt me away from my [Estee Lauder] Double Wear."

Best Pretty Pot

Rimmel Fresher Skin SPF 15, €9.95, available nationwide

Rimmel describe this as a "bouncy" water-gel, and as bonkers as that sounds, it sort of makes sense. This foundation, which is available in six shades, is mousse-like; light and fresh-feeling, with good coverage that is nicely natural-looking. It's resistant to sweat and humidity, and has good staying power. It's a nice option for oilier skin types, thanks to oil-absorbing ingredients. "This is a lovely little tub of stuff," a panellist said. "It's great value, and I'd easily take it for a dearer product."

Best Powder Power

Clarins Skin Illusion Loose Powder Foundation, €38, Clarins counters nationwide

Pink opal powder and pink algae extract are key ingredients in this powder foundation, but it is not pink in itself. Instead, these ingredients give glow and lend moisture to this finely milled and very sheer powder that brushes on easily with the applicator that is neatly built in to the lid. It's available in eight shades. "My worry with powder foundations is that they'll look dusty and settle into my lines and make them worse," said a panellist. "This was surprisingly light and fresh and easy to use."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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