Finding the Right Foundation!

Finding the perfect foundation can sometimes seem impossible!  Do you want a full or light coverage? Matte or dewy finish? And how do you find your perfect shade? Once you do find the right one, it is a totally game-changer! I have been in the industry for over 15 years and it is by far my most asked question...along with which concealer to use under eyes but that's for another day!! :-)

First things first, when it comes to choosing the right foundation for you, you need to think about what you are looking for and what you will be comfortable with. Do you want a full coverage make up, a hint of a tint or do you want flawless but natural. Once you decide this you can start to narrow down your search!  The next thing you need to think about is your skin type- so what finish will suit you better- if you are oily you might want to go with a more matte finish on your make up whereas if you are dry/dehydrated you might want to have a nice dewy finish. The next step and the most important one is choosing your shade! This one can be a minefield and it doesn't help that a lot of the time when you go to a store they will try and sell you whatever brand they are working for (but don't be mad at them though as they are under serious pressure to reach targets!). The other area which a lot of places can fall down is in the training- these days you don't even need to be trained in beauty to work on a counter, it's all about €€€!

When it comes to picking your shade I will say right of the bat that I am not a fan of pink undertones in a foundation- this colour is used to counteract blue tones in the skin and can work well under the eyes but on the face as a whole often leaves it with a chalky finish that won't have a seemless blend into your jawline.  I don't think you should ever need to bring your foundation onto your neck unless you have an event and a low cut dress then you might want to have a flawless finish on your chest etc., but day to day it should blend perfectly into the jawline so this won't be an issue and it will save a lot of scrubbing of your shirt and coat collars!

The best place to test your colours in on your jawline when you have no make up on- it's best to take at least 3 colours that you feel are close you your own colouring and test them out. Whichever shade disappears on your skin is the one for you. Remember that foundation is only there to even out your skin tone- it will give you a certain amount of coverage too but it is not intended to cover all blemishes or warm the face- that is what your concealer, bronzers etc. are for! This can be a hard one to get used to if you have always worn a foundation that is a shade too dark for you- I find when we match some people, initially they can feel they look at little pale but I always ask them to reserve judgement until we have finished and once we do concealer and bronzer they wonder how they ever wore the shade they did before!! If you are a tan wearer at the weekends and are one colour then and another during the week then I would suggest when you find your perfect foundation that you buy it in a light shade for no tan days and a dark shade for the tanned days- that way you can mix them together on the days when you are in between! You will never get away with the make up you use with tan, without tan so if it's something you wear a lot bite the bullet and get two! You will save a fortune once you find your right foundation anyway as gone will be the day of having 8 different bottles on your dressing table and still not feeling any of them are right!!

Now that we have finding your shade sorted lets look at different foundations for different skin types and ages. The following list is complied of foundations that I have tried and tested and would recommend to my clients- there are hundreds more out there but I haven't tried them all so I can only give you a guide on what I have used and feel works well. I will separate them into Budget & High End too so we have everyone covered!

Normal Skin Foundations also suitable for mature skin-

Dewy/Radiant Finish- the following have medium to full coverage and are buildable:

High End:

  • Chanel Vitalumiere
  • Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup
  • NARS Sheer Glo
  • YSL Touche Eclat
  • MAC Face & Body
  • YSL BB Cream
  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation
  • Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk


  • Bourjous Healthy Mix
  • Rimmel Wake Me Up
  • L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24HR Freshwear Foundation
  • Bare Minerals barePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation
  • Wet n Wild Photo Focus

Matte Finish- medium to full coverage(I wouldn't really recommend a matte finish on mature skin but if you do like it then these are my picks):

High End:

  • Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless Powder Foundation
  • MAC Studio Fix Foundation
  • YSL All Hours Liquid & Stick Foundation
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation- full coverage- I wouldn't recommend for mature skin
  • NARS All Day Luminous
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear- Semi Matte Finish


  • L'oreal Infalliable Matte
  • Catrice HD Coverage
  • Revlon Colour Stay
  • Vichy Dermablend- Full Coverage- not recommended for mature skin
  • L'oreal True Match

Dry Skin Foundations- suitable for mature skin-

For dry skins I would stay away from matte foundations so the finish on all the below are radiant/dewy/fresh:

High End:

  • NARS Sheer Glo
  • MAC Face & Body
  • MAC Studio Sculpt
  • Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk
  • Chanel Vitalumiere
  • YSL Touche Eclat
  • YSL BB Cream
  • Estee Lauder CC Cream- very light coverage but nice day to day wear
  • Laura Mercier Silk Creme



  • Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid
  • Bourjous Healthy Mix Serum
  • L'oreal True Match Lumi
  • Rimmel Wake Me Up
  • Jane Iredale Glow Time

Dehydrated Skin Foundation also suitable for mature skin-

High End:

  • MAC Face & Body- dewy finish
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear- semi matte finish
  • Chanel Vitalumiere- dewy finish
  • Hourglass Weightless Veil- dewy finish
  • Armani Luminous Silk- dewy finish
  • YSL All Hours Stick- semi matte finish
  • NARS Sheer Glo- dewy finish
  • YSL Touch Eclat- dewy finish


  • Bourjous Healthy Mix- dewy finish
  • Rimmel wake Me up- dewy finish
  • Catrice HD- matte finish- not suitable if you have deep set wrinkles
  • L'oreal True Match- semi matte finish
  • Revlon Colour Stay- matte finish
  • Flormor BB Cream- semi matte finish

Oily Skin Foundation suitable for mature skin- if you have deep set wrinkles it is more than likely that you are not oily so avoid the foundations below if you do have pronounced lines-

High End:

  • MAC Studio Fix
  • Urban Decay All Nighter
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear
  • Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation
  • Bare Minerals Original Foundation
  • M.A.C. Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
  • Becca Ever-Matte Shine Proof Foundation


  • L'Oréal Paris Infallible Matte
  • Clinique Acne Soultions Liquid Makeup
  • Revlon Colour stay
  • Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse
  • NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder
  • Rimmel Stay Matte

I will keep adding to this list with every new foundation I try but just to make you aware that just because I haven't mentioned certain brands above does not mean they aren't worth looking at- I have covered ones that I use regularly and would recommend- some brands are not mentioned because I don't rate them personally or have yet to try them so please do get in touch if you have any questions on any brands that I may not have included above or if you have any questions at all!

Chat soon,

Suzie  x


Cover picture credit Pinterest.

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