Why switching to a lightwear foundation is essential for your summer beauty regime
It’s time to switch your winter foundation to a sheer summer-friendly alternative summer foundations
I had a marathon group WhatsApp conversation recently with my pals from my old modelling years - a truly lovely, funny, kind, supportive and positive bunch of women.
These days, our chats no longer centre around planning nights out and holidays away, but focus on our children, parenting tips and our new careers. We do still plan nights out, it just takes a lot longer to organise as we now have 10 little ones between us - quite the tribe, and still growing!
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The odd time though, our conversation returns to hair and beauty and fashion, as it did during our last chat.
A few of the girls were looking for recommendations for a great foundation that would brighten, lighten and give freshness and coverage to skin this summer.
After lots of recommendations (some of which are listed below) what was the gold star, model-approved winning foundation? Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation. During the summer months, we want lighter, brightening foundations, as the sun is stronger and heavier foundations can make our faces look caked quite easily. This gem veils skin in light reflective loveliness that will never look overdone.
We also want to protect our skin, so I've listed some really brilliant high SPF foundations that will never leave your face looking chalky.
Lots of powder can appear 'caked' in stronger light, so let your foundation soak in for a few minutes before pressing powder only in the places it's really needed and use blotting paper throughout the day if necessary. Try Fenty Invisimatte Blotting Paper, €13.50, now available at Boots nationwide and Harvey Nichols.
Six of the best summer foundations
This foundation had a waiting list of thousands when it first launched, and with good reason. Jam-packed with good quality skin-plumping ingredients, this beaut is a hybrid of skincare and foundation pigments. Perfect for summertime skin, as it's lightweight and sheer in texture with medium-coverage - and all for less than a tenner! Brilliant value. The Ordinary Serum Foundation, €6.70 from Brown Thomas, Arnotts, cloud10beauty.com, theordinary.com and beautybay.com
Best for dry skin
If you have dry, parched skin that only gets thirstier during the hotter summer months, I really recommend this water-based liquid foundation. This gem has been a mainstay in my makeup arsenal since my modelling days and was my go-to summer foundation for years. This gives a natural, sheer, light coverage for your face (can be used on your body too) and is really glowy, brightening and youthful.
MAC Face and Body Foundation, €32, from Brown Thomas, BT2, Arnotts stores nationwide and maccosmetics.com
Charlotte Tilbury's steadfast rule when it comes to foundation is: "Eyes can be intense, lips can be full-on, but your complexion should be seamless, breathable and beautiful." Her Light Wonder foundation must be the holy grail of foundations - air-light, illuminating, smoothing, hydrating, light reflective, SPF protection and great coverage. This is my new summer foundation favourite. It's a touch pricey, but a little goes a long way. Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation SPF 15, €42 from Brown Thomas, BT2, Arnotts and charlottetilbury.com.
Best buildable coverage
This water-based foundation melts into the skin, and feels light on the face, but still affords excellent, buildable coverage leaving a dewy finish - actually a hard enough mix to nail, as most good coverage foundations are thick in texture and look flat and dead on the skin in the lighter summer months. If you're looking for higher coverage this summer without your face looking caked, this foundation gives the illusion that you're bare-faced, only with flawless skin! Half Measure Dewy Foundation by Carter Beauty, €9.95, from pharmacies, selected Penneys stores nationwide and carterbeautycosmetics.com
Best au naturel
If you're not a big fan of foundations in general, and prefer the lightest tint of coverage, try this gem from Clarins. It gives freshness and a beautiful glow to the face, without masking your skin's natural beauty, while the Light Optimising and Anti-Pollution Complex gives skin an instant boost of radiance (so you don't have to bother with a primer). Just a few drops is enough to boost your skin. Clarins Skin Illusion, 22 shades, SPF 15, €34, from pharmacies and department stores nationwide.
Are you fed up dishing out a fortune for different colour foundations throughout the year? Is your usual foundation too light in colour for summer? Is your summer foundation too dark for winter? If so, try these drops. Just mix the teeniest amount of the Darkening Drops into your foundation to deepen the colour for the summer, and vice versa with the Lightening Drops in the winter. Catrice Darkening and Lightening Drops, €3.95 from Penneys stores and pharmacies nationwide.
Three foundations with SPF
If you suffer from hyper pigmentation, dark spots, melasma, rosacea or have pale skin and are looking for a foundation with full coverage, an SPF 50+ that's packed with collagen, peptides, vitamins and antioxidants - look no further than this gem. This multi-tasker camouflages skin imperfections and will iron-clad your skin against the sun.
DETAILS: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream, €39 from Boots stores, Brown Thomas, Arnotts and itcosmetics.co.uk.
This light coverage, SPF 23 skin tint is infused with skin-loving ingredients like glycerine, hyaluronic acid and Moringa tree extract, while its fresh water texture hydrates and is especially kind to more mature skin.
DETAILS: Lancôme Skin Feels Good Hydrating Skin Tint, €34.50, from department stores and pharmacies nationwide.
This new BB-style SPF 50+ face cream also acts as a city shield. The tinted SPF will stay in place all day and if you're a city slicker looking to pollution-proof your face, the micro pigments give a nude skin finish, while also protecting skin from free-radical damage. Suitable for sensitive skin types, and can be used under makeup or on its own.
DETAILS: Avène B Protect BB Cream SPF 50 +, €17 from pharmacies nationwide.
Ask the expert: Aoife Walsh, model
Model Aoife Walsh divides her time between Dublin and New York. As a frequent flyer, she has the low-down on clever beauty packing and hero travel products
What's your favourite summer foundation and SPF?
I can't live without SPF. I burn really easily and have pigmentation/freckles on my face so I never leave the house without it. My favourite ones at the moment are P20 Facial Sun Protection, La Prairie Cellular Swiss Skin Protectant and Avène Ultra Light Hydrating SPF for the face. My favourite foundation is IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream. It's not too heavy on my skin but still provides an added layer of SPF and incredible coverage.
What are your favourite hair products?
I've been getting Great Lengths hair extensions for volume for the last couple of years now and I swear by them. I'm a natural redhead so the perfect colour blend is essential for me and Ceira Lambert helps me achieve that natural look. I'm always shooting for the blog, so my go-to hairstyle is a soft curl and I use the GHD Oracle or Hot Tools 32mm barrel for this. As I use regular heat, AlphaParf Semi Di Lino Christalli Liquid Serum and Kevin Murphy HEATED.DEFENSE are important steps.
Have you any multi-tasking beauty products that you swear by when travelling?
Mini-size products are a must for travel. I always include a mini-size Batiste dry shampoo, as it's brilliant for giving your hair some life after hours on a flight. I also pop some Biofresh Rose Water toner into a mini spray bottle, as it puts moisture directly back into my skin mid-flight.
What are your tips for keeping your skin in top shape while flying?
As I fly so much, keeping my skin hydrated is really important and I feel sheet masks really make a difference. I carry them on all my flights (and bring extra for flight attendants!). I love the Neutrogena Hydra Boost and the Garnier Vitamin C Shot Fresh Mix masks.
Aoife blogs at thatgingerchick.com