There’s a whole bunch of newness when it comes to foundations and bases right now. So I thought it would be an ideal way to test a few of the latest and greatest over the course of seven days. So Monday to Friday I’ll be testing a different foundation or base and sharing my thoughts on everything from application, texture, finish, feel and wear. I’ve chosen the order I’ll be testing them based on how my diary is looking for the week so they fit with how I would ‘normally’ wear a foundation – i.e. the lighter ones for at-home days, long lasting for days where I’m dashing all over and fuller coverage for nights out…
Monday: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water (Fair/Light) *
The blurb: A foundation in a water like texture. Offering ‘multiple benefits in just one drop’. Contains built-in primer water technology to help the base glide on to the skin and blend easily. No alcohol, no oil but hydrating promises a sheer, radiant finish that looks amazing in every light.
What I think: This one is a ‘BB Water’ which is think is basically just a way of saying it’s a light finish base. It’s more serum like in texture than water as such, but it is quite liquid. It was an ideal base for a day working from home where I don’t really want to slap on a load of make-up when I’m just sat in front of the computer or taking the dog for a walk. This sort of finish foundation/base is just the sort of thing I usually gravitate towards, I like my skin to look natural rather than like I’m obviously wearing make-up. I’d rather have a ‘flaw’ show through than feel like I’m wearing a mask all day. In terms of application this was good – very light and buffed in nicely using a dual fibre buffing brush. The finish is fairly sheer and glowing. The only downside to it was that it didn’t totally feel like it had ‘set’ on the skin, so I was a little conscious that I was going to end up with foundation marks on my clothes. Nothing a light dusting of powder wouldn’t take care of though and the feeling is great for dehydrated skin as often that ‘setting’ feeling is actually a red flag for a drying formula!
Best for: Good skin days, fans of a light finish and those with dryer skin types.
Available from: Boots.com £29
Tuesday: NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (Terre-Neuve Light 0) *
The Blurb: Offering a velvet matte finish with SPF 30. A formula that applies effortlessly and offers the instant gratification of a perfect base. Helps protect and perfect with a soft matte finish, that lasts all day in 12 shades and oil free.
What I think: A whole different type of base to Monday’s offering is the new NARS one. This is the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint – and there’s something about the name and the packaging that had me won over immediately. How is it that packaging is such a win-me-over element of a product?! Maybe that’s just the shallow blogger in me, but this tube had me sold before I even reached for the buffing brush. Now, when it comes to NARS foundations, in general I think they’re a love or hate sort of situation, well – hate is a strong word. But basically they’re either absolute holy-grail or they’re just not for you. I’ve tried to get along with the much raved Sheer Glow many a time and never quite nailed it myself, but do absolutely love the tinted moisturiser and radiant creamy concealer is one of my all time favourites. So I know I can go both ways. This one I wasn’t sure which way it would go, part of me loves a matte finish but part of me is wary as can exasperate any dry ares. But I had a feeling this would sit between the flat matte and glowy and I think I was right. Yes, it’s a matte finish but not devoid of light so doesn’t make skin look *too* matte. I think this will be one I’ll really like come Spring/Summer actually as it will hopefully manage shine without losing all glow or feeling heavy.
Best for: Oily/shiny skin, looking for a naturally matte finish.
Available from: SpaceNK.com £30
Wednesday: Dior Diorskin Forever Foundation (Shade 020) *
The blurb: The perfect longwear make-up. A fluid texture and non-oily formula blends seamlessly with the skin for a weighless matte finish for 16 hours. Comfortable on the skin and with skin enhancing benefits that help improve skin surface over time.
What I think: The feel of this one blew me away. I first got to try it at a Dior masterclass and then wore it out for dinner and loved how my skin looked, non shiny with the perfect amount of glow. Honestly made my skin look perfect. The foundation is actually only one piece of the puzzle as it combines perfectly with an amazing primer that gives it even more perfection/staying power. This is one I wore for a day dashing around meetings and it was the perfect choice as I never had any issues with needed to blot away shine and even more importantly, I didn’t need to add a touch of eye cream to my eye area – which is prone to getting more and more dehydrated as the day goes on, especially if wearing a fuller coverage base. This one sits in a happy place between medium but buildable to full coverage. And one pump of the formula goes a LONG way, for me and my lighter finish preference one was more than enough. Gorgeous finish for a long lasting foundation. Loved this.
Best for: Long lasting perfection, all skin types.
Available from: John Lewis £33
Thursday: Laura Mercier Candlelight Foundation (Linen) *
The blurb: A foundation that combines ‘a mosaic of nature’s most luminous natural ingredients’ to give a candlelit glow at any time day or night. A pearly finish in a sheer to medium finish to mimic the reflective glow of just lit candles. Also contains purified water to give a burst of hydration and help the formula smooth on. Plus some lightweight oils to lock in moisture. Available in 24 shades – also promises to stay true and not sink into lines, wrinkles or pores.
What I thought: Another instant ‘WOW’ product. The application was truly dreamy. The shade Linen is a tad too dark for me I think, but close enough that in Summer or with a dash of fake tan I think it would be fine. But this one really does give that gorgeous glowy base. This would have to be an amazing post-feeling-ill or hangover base in that it makes you look all glowy and healthy with minimal effort. The finish is absolutely gorgeous and very flattering – especially on areas of dry skin. Only downside is that the shine does tend to get a little more intense over the day, so if you’re prone to t-zone glare then pack a powder in your bag, just in case. But other than that, this one gets a big old glowy thumbs up.
Best for: Dry or dehydrated skin – if you want a polished looking glow.
Available from: Selfridges £35
Friday: Stila Aqua Glow Serum Foundation (Light Medium) *
The blurb: A light foundation promising weightless coverage, light and moisture in a drop. Containing ionised water-based serum the foundation ‘offers a new way to instantly blur, hydrate and perfect the look of skin’ with buildable coverage. Highly refractive it helps smooth the skin with light to help reduce appearance of imperfections.
What I think: My first impression of this was woah, that’s not my shade. I had fake tanned already when I applied it and the colour was a little off – so don’t judge based on that… I think light or fair/light would do the trick rather than light medium. The formula of this is comparable to the Smashbox BB Water in that it’s a liquid/dropper style and one drop feels light, but goes a long way. Applying this wasn’t quite as easy as I hoped and it took a bit more blending to get it smooth – but some of this could be down to the fact the shade was darker than my skintone, so took a touch more work to get it to blend and look as close to natural as I could get. But once on the skin, the finish is really lovely – light feeling, hydrating without crossing into shiny and with that glow I keep banging on about. One thing it did make me realise is how blonde my hair looks when my skin is a touch darker… so maybe I do need to up my tan for this reason alone…! Coverage and finish wise though, this one is gorgeous.
Best for: Dehydrated or dry skin, anyone who wants a glow.
Available from: M&S £30
Saturday: L’Oreal Infallible Sculpt Contouring Base (01 Light) *
The blurb: An entire foundation created to be the perfect base for contouring?! A light coverage base with ‘Smart Pigments’ to match the skin’s colour and designed for use specifically before contouring. “With grip technology, the base fuses with your contour, for a long-lasting sculpted finish.”
What I thought: The description of this had me a tad confused, in my head I was thinking a contouring base would be quite full/heavy coverage…but it’s described as light. Plus it also has the whole ‘fusion’ thing about helping blend to your contour to help it look natural and last. This has me imagining a sort of sticky/tacky finish to the base… well, neither was correct. The finish feels very light, although I would say it leans more medium in terms of coverage. It blends really well – especially for such an affordable foundation – and leaves skin with an even and not matte/not dewy finish. This is one I would reach for on a night out, if I was going a touch heavier on the make-up and wanted that flawless finish. Very impressed for the price.
Best for: All skin types, contouring fans.
Available from: Superdrug.com £8.99
Sunday: Maybelline Dream Velvet (01 Natural) *
The Blurb: A hydrating but matte foundation to give ‘100% velvet-smooth perfection’. A gel-whipped formula that’s ideal for normal to combination skin with medium coverage and promises a soft-matte finish with 12 hour hydration.
What I thought: Well, my first impression was this is the budget friendly version of the NARS Velvet Matte foundation. A similar light gel-whipped feeling formula, and the finish is definitely comparable although took a touch more work to really blend into skin. The finish is that lovely not-flat-matte one with just enough radiance that it looks like skin not make-up. It also feels very nice and light to wear and one I easily forget I have on. And ideal Sunday base for sure, as I don’t love to wear make-up every day of the week and like to let my skin have a breather, but sometimes you’re off out doing stuff and the make-up thing kinda comes as part of the territory. A light matte but glowy base – I did find my nose getting a tad shiny towards the end of the day, but I’d rather this over dryness!
Best for: Combination skin and light make-up fans.
Available from: boots.com £6.99
*PR sample or gift