Best Foundations: The great beauty cover-up
Foundation is one of the most important items in any make-up bag. It can also be the most expensive, which means it's vital that you get it right.
If you choose the wrong one, your whole face of make-up will look terrible.
And it's not just a matter of matching your colour.
Some people have normal skin that can accept any and all kinds of foundation, but, for most people, getting a foundation that works with your skin can be the difference between looking caked and looking flawless and fresh.
Best for oily skin
Mineral foundations such as Escentuals Bare Minerals (Â¤25, BT2 stores) are great for oily, sebum-prone skin because they have a matte finish.
They are best applied with a tight-haired, thick kabuki brush as you need to buff the product into the skin, instead of just forming a layer on top -- those with oily skin will be all too aware of foundation running off almost straight after application.
If mineral isn't your thing, a matte-effect foundation such as Essence Clear & Matte (Â¤3.49, selected department stores and pharmacies) would be a good one to try.
And at that price, why wouldn't you?
Best for red or yellow-toned skin
If your face is pinker with a tendency to redden in patches, a yellow-toned foundation will do nothing for you.
Vice versa if you've a yellow tint -- you need to use a foundation that will counteract that and undo any patchiness.
MAC has recently released a new foundation called Matchmaster (Â¤36, MAC counters nationwide) which works to adapt to the skin tone it's put on and is specially formulated to give coverage but reveal the natural colour of the skin.
If you go to a MAC counter, the artists will determine your tone and choose a colour based on that.
Best for dry skin
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (Â¤38, Chanel counters nationwide) is a great one for those with dry skin. Even the name suggests that it's a moisturising, non-drying formula. It's super lightweight, meaning it won't clog your face and end up looking caked.
The coverage isn't the heaviest, but you'd be okay with a few touch-ups in exchange for the lightness.
Best for (almost) all skin types
Rarely would you find a foundation that can look good and adapt to most skin types.
It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but one of the best all-rounders I've used is Yves Saint Laurent's Perfect Touch Radiant foundation (Â¤46, YSL counters nationwide). It's the one with the brush attached, and because it doesn't give a matte or an overly oily finish, it can work for most people.
If you are very oily or very dry it might not take, but it's a safe bet if you've got combination skin.
HOW TO APPLY great foundation
Use the correct tool. Fingers, sponge or brush -- whatever is recommended.
Don't overdo it with finishing powder -- it can look unnatural.
Make sure your skin is primed before application.
Let your moisturiser absorb fully before adding your make-up.
Keep your brushes and bottles clean and store them somewhere hygienic.