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On the quest for perfect coverage

YOU'VE primed, you've concealed, now it is time to ... 'foundate'. Modern technology provides us with foundations that are light, yet cover comprehensively. Or do they?

MAX FACTOR Whipped Creme Foundation in Golden, €12.99, 5/5

If your face was a cupcake, this would be the delicious icing. Don't eat it, though you might be tempted. The package looks tiny, but its rewards are massive, as the smallest dabs of this creamy matte foundation gives amazing, comprehensive coverage. The minimalist tub makes this the best foundation for travelling, ever.

SISLEY PARIS Teint Eclat Fluid Foundation in Apricot, €85.50, 3/5

Love the texture of this, it's as soft as can be, and it feels nice and light. I didn't feel that it covered as well as it ought to though: even using a brush, it felt like it went on splotchy. It took work to get an even finish, but once done, it felt and looked fresh for hours.

MAYBELLINE NEW YORK Fit Me! Anti-Shine Foundation Stick in Natural Beige, €13.79, 3/5

The outside is foundation, the inner core contains lightweight, anti-shine powders. I am attracted to the idea of a mess-free foundation stick, but in practice I often feel I'm pulling unduly in my skin. This has more 'give' than many of the sticks I've tried; the inner core of anti-shine powder didn't really work so well.

CLINIQUE Even Better Compact Makeup SPF 15 in Cream Chamois, €34, 3/5

Great to pop in the handbag during a long day that is set to turn into a long night, this is the ultimate portable foundation. I found its finish a little too opaque for my tastes. If you need serious coverage, you'll be delighted with this.

SMASHBOX Liquid Halo Foundation SPF 15 in 2, €35.50, 4/5

Having found the above too thick, I felt like this was too thin. There's no pleasing me! This goes on best with a brush – I know, I tell you to use brushes all the time, and yet I insisted on trying to make this work without. I make these mistakes so you don't have to. This finishes beautifully, despite its lightness of texture.

RIMMEL LONDON Stay Matte in Soft Beige, €7.95, 4/5

Like the Clinique, this feels a bit mask-like, but if you want to do one-stop make-up, here's yer man. It was so matte that I didn't need any powder, and this held throughout a medium-length day. A little goes a long way, making this the best value of the week.