Tried and tested: Laying the right foundations
The bad old days of masking your skin beneath foundation are long gone and the focus is now on enhancing your complexion with smart formulas designed to give an anti-ageing boost, adapt to your skin tone and address skincare concerns.
Rimmel's Oatmeal Beige was my first foundation and I was faithful for years. I then gave up being monogamous and everything from pan-stick to tinted moisturiser became fair game.
After much experimentation I discovered the joys of settling down. I've been happy with Armani's Luminous Silk for the last couple of years, but lately I've felt a hint of my old restlessness and it seems that the foundation scene has become that bit more sophisticated since I was last out there.
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation, €14.99
Its USP are the three super-fruits of lychee, goji and pomegranate, and this vitamin-rich, fruit salad of a foundation does indeed have a lovely smell. Easily absorbed – probably thanks to its gel texture (although it doesn't feel particularly different from other formulations) – this gives very light, natural coverage with a dewy finish. But, be warned, it doesn't contain any oil-controlling properties.
MAC Matchmaker Foundation SPF 15, €37.50
This is seriously hi-tech. But although there's lots of bumpf about how the foundation holds its colour through translucent spheres, the idea is essentially that when you apply it, your natural skin shade still comes through. The result is a customised foundation with a demi-matte finish and medium coverage. The slight chemical smell can be off-putting, and its staying power is only okay. Best for combination/oily complexions rather than mature skin. Available in 14 shades.
Diorskin Forever Flawless Perfection Fusion Wear Makeup, €44
One of the 'smartest' kids on the foundation block, this featherlight skincare/makeup hybrid contains two molecules – one attracted to oily zones, the other to dry areas – to create a balanced base that's just made for combination skin. Lovely satin finish, with light to medium coverage and very hydrating. Minimal touch-ups are required for a smooth, even complexion. The SPF 25 is a good bonus.
Bobbi Brown Illuminating Finish Powder Compact Foundation, €35
If anyone's going to reinvent the chalky compact, it's going to be the queen of the natural look. The finely milled powder in this compact is packed with reflective pigments to minimise the appearance of imperfections and pores. The coverage is beautifully sheer (if you apply with a powder brush), and doesn't leave your skin feeling dry.
Revlon DNA Cream Makeup, €9.99
The creamy texture camouflages a foundation that's packed with potent skincare ingredients to plump up complexions including vitamins B3 and E. This full coverage formulation hides age spots, while UVA and UVB protection help protect skin from the sun. Impressive qualities at a very affordable price
THIS WEEK. . .
* If you only buy one thing this week, make it Annee de Mamiel's Winter Oil (€65, from demamiel.com). The UK-based facialist studied Chinese medicine and used this knowledge to create a range of treatments designed to reduce the impact of harsh environmental factors on our skin Give your skin a tonic with a few drops of this limited edition seasonal oil, either alone or mixed in with your normal moisturiser. The blend of frankincense, rose geranium, argan, sea buckthorn and rosehip seed oil is particularly good for mature skin.
* When it comes to making the most of your look, Kylie certainly gives her all. She considers Rimmel Special Eyes (€3.70) to be the perfect jet black pencil – and she's absolutely right. This little pencil is the perfect mix – hard enough to get a crisp line when sharpened, and soft enough to smudge for super-sexy definition.