My relationship with foundation has been quite the rollercoaster ride. It all began when I was 15 and determined to remove all evidence that the sun had blessed (cursed?) my face with a thousand freckles. L’Oreal Infallible — in two shades darker than was necessary — was my disguise of choice, and, with a flagrant disregard for showing off naturally #infallible, plump teenage skin, I applied it with the heaviest of hands.
The next phase of our relationship was one of neglect. I’d like to say that this came about because I felt happier in my own skin, but if we’re being real, it was because I was de-evolving into a lazier version of my former self. Who could be arsed to cake on your face when there were more pressing ways to spend your time. Like, say, staying up all night manically finishing university assignments, or reading broody novels and whining to anyone who would listen about my so-called life. This all-or-nothing shift morphed into a genuine fear of foundation, and for a long time, I was all, “Noooo, thank you!” when it came to the stuff.
Fast forward to now, as I look down the barrel of life in my mid-to-late twenties. When it comes to my beauty routine, skincare will stay my numero uno forever. Regardless, I don’t think I can get away with being as lackadaisical as I used to when it comes to make-up. Like most millennial consumers, I’ve recently been sold the idea of painting my face in a way that makes it look like I am naturally dewy and fresh and flawless, but in a way that also makes it seem like I #DGAF about such frivolous pursuits as hours spent putting on makeup.
As someone who hates wearing foundation, I made it my mission to find one that I could stand to wear on a regular basis. Instead, I found five, and this is why I love each of them equally…
Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation
Putting on the Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation for the first time reminded me of how I felt the first night I slept on my Slip silk pillowcase. A bit rich, a bit fancy, and like I’d finally intro’d my face to a cloud populated by Kleenex puppies and floating marshmallows. It glided on, gave my skin beautiful translucent coverage, and came good on its name. I know for a fact that last sentence is true, because I interrogated my friend about it extensively. My line of questioning went a little something like this: “So, my skin definitely looks better than it did a minute ago? But it doesn’t look like I’m wearing foundation? Would you be willing to repeat everything you just said in a court of law?”
The thing I loved most about this (non) foundation was that it felt like it was highly simpatico with my skincare routine of late. Moving through your mid-twenties, at what feels like lightning speed, can be a bit terrifying; fine lines seem to crop up all over the goddamn place, my face doesn’t bounce back from *cough* big nights *cough* like it used to, and my skin is becoming increasingly less hydrated as I march towards the finish line. When used in conjunction with an exceptional cleanser, serum, occasional power peel, and moisturiser that comes good on what it promises, this foundation will have your skin feeling as dewy and radiant as is humanly possible.
Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation
I can’t remember the last time I was this excited to try a beauty product. Foundation in a can? Genius. If it’s not the best invention since this glorious Japanese bed/table, then I’ll be damned. I’m scared to even start typing this review for fear that it will be the written equivalent of a mum gushing about her perfect, overachiever of a child, or a group of woo girls getting together for the first time in a year. But, whatever, here goes…
I did a bit of ~online research~ before trialling this, and found thousands of reviews singing its praise. And justifiably so. If you’ve got time to throw on a wide headband before applying (to save your hair from a coat of foundation), then I’d definitely recommend spraying it straight onto your face in a continuous Z-shaped motion (after shaking well, of course). For one, while it seems counterintuitive to spray liquid foundation from an aerosol can onto your face, it’s actually pretty fun. And secondly, it takes 10 seconds (10 seconds! 10!), and leaves you with a radiant, even coverage. If you’re a bit sceptical of this fandangled technology, you can spray it onto your hand and then apply to the face in touches.
Magic is real. It comes in a can.
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
Like most people I know, I’ve become #obsessed with every single Nars product I’ve ever tried (lots), so I went into this review with healthy levels of optimism. They were warranted — the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation was silky smoov, gave light to medium coverage, and stayed on all day, illuminating the good parts of my face (my freckles, cheekbones) and not the bad parts of my face (crevasses, pores). It’s as buildable as it is breathable, and gave my skin a beautiful creamy finish.
I can see how people would willingly enter into a lifelong relationship with this foundation. It’s as reliable and loyal as the straight-talking Barb was to nerd-turned-popular-girl Nancy on Stranger Things before she met her untimely fate. That is, very.
Eve Lom Sheer Radiance Oil Free Foundation
Big ups to the oil free element of this Eve Lom SPF 20 miracle worker. The foundation contains rice powder, which helps to eliminate any gross shine that accumulates on yo’ face during the day. I must admit that my skin is prone to dryness, and when a particularly severe drought befell my face, this felt slightly gritty going onto my skin, and also, because its main function is to eliminate oil, I found it dried v speedily. In light of the above, I’d advise you start with properly hydrated skin, and use a primer and foundation brush when applying.
It comes in twelve different shades, so most bases should be covered. There’s also the option of building it up, or keeping it sheer-to-medium with one coat. I opted for the former if I was “going out” and the latter for work and day-time friend hangs, and was significantly chuffed with both approaches in terms of durability and finish.
Chanel Sublimage Le Teint
Anyone who espouses the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” has clearly never come into contact with a Chanel beauty product. Even if I knew the Chanel Sublimage Le Teint jar contained a lump of coal, I’d almost def still purchase it for the #aesthetic value it’d add to my beauty cabinet. In good news for faces everywhere, it doesn’t contain coal. Instead, you’ll find a truly ~sublime~ light-to-medium coverage foundation that will stay with you all day. It’s infused with vanilla water and includes diamond powder, which both came together to add vitality and strength to my skin.
My angel mum happened to be in town when I was trialling this foundation, and as a woman who’s routinely put her children before her, I know for a fact that she’d never throw close to $200 at a foundation. She looked v beautiful and youthful while wearing it though, and kept going on about how it didn’t collect in her wrinkles or pores. Judging by how often she was looking into her compact mirror, I could also tell she felt fab-u-lous AF. No matter the age, the Chanel Sublimage Le Teint gives a #perf finish, and while the price point is above your average foundation, it lasts the distance and, bonus points, comes with a good quality brush.
Words, Madeleine Woon.