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Tried & tested: Foundations

Homes, relationships, smooth faces: it's all about the foundations, says Sue Conley

We're going to be tanning soon, so let's enjoy one last blast of lovely, lovely foundation. Need a new face? Get a new base. There's nothing quite as polished as a smooth complexion, and while we'd all love to have been born with one, well, who has been that lucky? The products below offer a variety of coverage, and depending on how you've treated your visage up to now (too much sun? It happens to the best of us ... ), you may or may not need to slather it on.

MAX FACTOR Facefinity Compact Foundation, €14.49 * * * * * Ooh, this is pretty amazing. I do like the solid foundations that are becoming more popular these days, and Max Factor has come up with one that seriously competes with the sort that you spend a lot of money on in the department stores. This colour was a bit pale, even for me -- I looked like Buster Keaton right before the director called "action" -- but it was amazing to watch it go on so smooth and cover so well. Easy to touch up, as it dries with a powder-like finish.

OLAY Total Effects Touch of Foundation, €22.99 * * * It's the barest touch of foundation, and perfect if you feel as if putting down a base layer is like putting on a mask. However, its lightness lets it down during the day. It's really meant to be a day moisturiser with a touch of foundation, which means it is ... a tinted moisturiser. Which is fine, but it can't be playing with the big girls in this category.

MAYBELLINE Pure Liquid Minerals, €14.99 * * * * * You know you're on to something good when people come rushing up to you to tell you how great you look. Now, the gals in the know take one look at your face and ask, "What's that foundation?" Does this defeat the purpose? Not really. If anyone still thinks that we can achieved Photoshopped looks without using any enhancements, well, they just need to grow up. Anyway, this stuff rocks, full stop.

DIOR Forever Extreme Wear Flawless Make-up, €48 * * * * The first time I tried this, I was blown away. The second time ... well, still impressed, but it does seem to come on a little bit strong -- meaning that you can achieve a mask-like countenance without really trying too hard. Don't know about you, but I don't like to look like it's Hallowe'en every day. Go easy, though, and you'll look airbrushed, in the best possible sense.

All products are tested over the course of four weeks