Six Second Hacks: Foundations That Will Actually Make Your Skin Look Great
The Debrief: Stop spending thousands of pounds on hundreds of foundations that don't work and get one that does, yeah?
This year is, according to the actual beauty people who know stuff about trends, all about no makeup. Anyone who wears makeup will understand how incredibly frustrating this is, because if you want to look like you #wokeuplikethis, it's going to take some seriously good foundation unless you're one of those people who prance around barefaced like a human-shaped meadow full of daisies.
If that sounds like you, then what are you doing reading this? This is for the people who have had their baby cousin draw a picture of them and say 'Oh I forgot to put your spots in'. This is for the people who apply foundation on one side of their face first so they can revel in how grey and pasty and weird their actual skin looks. The people who have spent shitloads on foundation that consistently either a) looks like you're wearing chalk or b) doesn't cover what you need covered.
Yes, you can look like you're wearing nothing even when you're covered in foundation. YOU CAN.
I've probably spent thousands on bottles that don't work, feel wrong, or make me look like a bad painting of myself, so to ensure you don't make the same mistake, I gathered five of the big hitters from the Fake Skin Paint world that promised to make me look like one of those photoshopped people on billboards, and put them to the ultimate test. As in, trying to make me look great while I'm suffering from a breakout after sleeping in my makeup three nights in a row. I also look pasty and ill because last night I drank four glasses of white wine and a mojito plus three bowls of pasta.
(Oh, apparently it's really important to buff foundation into your skin with a brush because that makes it look more natural. I learned this today and had a lot of fun brushing my own face as if it's a normal way to spend your time)
Rimmel - Match Perfection (£6.99)
It says: 'Light perfecting radiance foundation. Traceless coverage for perfectly flawless skin under any light'
Bottle: Classic, no-nonsense pump action.
Did it work? Er, yeah. This looks brilliant even at close inspection, and it's hard to tell you're actually wearing makeup. Which is exactly the point of foundation, right? Worth pointing out that I've never used anything 'light perfecting' and thought 'WOW MY FACE IS FULL OF LIGHT' because I have high standards and take things literally. My face didn't look like a candle, but this was a good foundation.
Coverage: I'd have to use a concealer alongside this in order to sort out my spot friends, but this evened out my skin tone and made me look less like a dead person.
Diorskin Airflash (£33)
It says: Well, there's a whole booklet on the thing so I can't copy it all out. The gist is: 'Enriched with light-diffusing mother-of-pearl pigments, DIORSKIN AIRFLASH has an optical effect that evens out skin and visible diminished the appearance of fine lines and irregularities... almost like a silky 'second skin'. The result is astonishing...'
Bottle: Like a hairspray that you spray all over your face. God.
Did it work? Holy shit the result was astonishing. Sure, I probably put a bit too much on because I never realised how much fun spraying my own face was until I'd done it (this sounds like a really dodgy euphemism - it's not), but fun aside, this made me look like I had good skin instantly. Once I'd blended I nearly shot off the back of my chair backwards with the force of how good I looked. And it really does feel like you're not wearing anything.
Coverage: Incredible. I didn't need to put any concealer on and my skin looked like it had been photoshopped. It went straight into my makeup bag and I am prepared to fight anyone who wants to take it away from me because I think I'd buy it again even though I totally can't afford it.
MaxFactor FaceFinity (£10.50)
It says: 'FaceFinity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 foundation holds like a primer, corrects like a concealer with the long lasting finish of a liquid foundation with SPF 20'.
Bottle: Another classic piece of pump-action
Did it work? I was a bit worried that this was going to be mask-like, and it's definitely a bit on the heavy, dry side. In the 'Pros' column though, it evened out my skintone like a mutha and feels like it'd be a good foundation for when you plan to go out and get really sweaty and don't want anything to slip, because it's basically like having an extra face on top of my face. Think Bane, but in foundation form.
Coverage: It gave pretty good coverage, but considering the fact that it's supposed to also contain concealer, and felt quite serious, it didn't quite deliver because I still wanted to use concealer on my spots. Maybe they should just advertise it as a heavy duty foundation rather than a 3 in 1?
MAC Mineralize Moisture (£28)
It says: 'A combination of powders creates an optical blurring effect that virtually diminishes imperfections and fine lines, for a more even tone. The light-reflecting, natural satin finish makes skin appear refined, revitalized and refreshed'
Bottle: Really nifty swivel head (rather than a cap) and bit of pumping
Did it work? I had to use a fair bit of it, but on the plus side, it never looked clogged or foundation-y even after the second layer. And it did indeed make me look like those bits in movies when they blur and soften because the main characters are in love. I basically look like I am in love (still wearing it). You also can't feel it to the extent that, as I'm typing this, I just checked whether I was still wearing it and couldn't tell until I'd looked in a mirror (I am- I wasn't lying in that last bracket).
Coverage: Really good for making me look healthy, but I'd probably use a concealer for breakouts. In terms of making me look like I have really good skin all over my face, it did a top notch job, and this sentence is exactly the reason I don't edit beauty magazines.
So the winner...
It's got to be Diorskin Airflash, with Rimmel Match Perfection following closely behind. I know this because I've stolen both of them and am really hoping nobody notices. I also text my friend and said Diorskin Airflash made me want to cry and she told me she was jealous of me, so I said 'You can have it if you like' and then I went really hot in my face with regret. Yeah it's pricey, but if you can't stretch to £33, then give Rimmel a go.
(I should also give an honorary mention to L'Oreal Infallible, which I have used for years and fucking love - but couldn't get hold of it in time, due to an administration error. Alright, I forgot to order it and have run out. But it's got great coverage, feels really nice, smells nice (important!) and is only £12 so do check it out).
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