I have a dear friend whom I love for many reasons. I love her dry humour and quick wit. I love her theatrical tendencies, the way she works a room of people, and the steadfast devotion we share when it comes to martinis. I also love her because she introduced me to a particular Kevyn Aucoin foundation. You see, this friend of mine works at a magazine where she has enviable access to the ‘Beauty Cupboard,’ AKA that magical product-filled wonderland we all learned about in movies like 13 Going On 30 and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Since the day this shiny treasure landed in her loot, she hasn’t stopped singing its praises. I’ve never known her to be wrong about anything, so, naturally, it was expedited to numero uno on my wish list.

I hate wearing foundation on a daily basis, mostly because I’m lazy. I also suffer from milia, so wearing heavy products on my face on the regular makes this a real pain in my A. Instead, I prefer to opt for a tinted moisturiser that I can slap on as I’m running out the door, with no need for a mirror or any apparatus to apply. This would probably be all well and good if I didn’t have a tendency to stretch my body to the limit; I work a busy job, rarely sleep more than six hours a week, and still can’t work out how to say ‘no’ to a mid-week wine. As a result, my skin can often end up looking pretty damn dull and tired. Tinted moisty alone can’t pick up the slack, especially towards the tail-end of a long week.

Kevyn Aucoin’s The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation is just about as heavenly as it sounds. It’s lightweight, low-key, and upholds the perfect illusion of an airbrushed appearance, which is precisely what I need. It’s pumped full of hyaluronic acid to boost hydration (wine intake: sorted), light diffusing pearl particles to minimise shadows, and high definition pigments to maximise the glow (sleep deprivation: sorted). Being a medium coverage, sheer foundation, it feels similar to my beloved tinted moisturiser, with a natural, semi-satin finish that can be built up for extra coverage. I’m also all about the fact that it doesn’t clog my pores or aggravate my milia.

The most overwhelming thing about it, however, is the extensive colour range it comes in, which is both a blessing and a curse. The upside? There’s a perfect match for everyone! The downside? I’m about as in-the-know as a goldfish when it comes to the complexities of one’s skin tone. The range is extensive, clocking in at 16 shades to cover every kind of undertone: subtle pink, yellow, natural, golden warm – it’s all there. If you’re clueless like I am, my parting advice would be to get your colour matched by the profe$$ionals.

To really bring it home, allow me to digress slightly with a tale from my youth. I went to an all-girls boarding school, where we were often forced to do things no teenage girl would agree to in the presence of boys. In Year 9, our music teacher had us create a music video to ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ by The Buggles. Dressed in togas made from bedsheets, we danced along awkwardly to really bad choreography; a shiny sea of awkward, angelic faces bobbing along, out of sync. The visual is burned into my retinas, mostly because it’s hilarious and humiliating AF, but also because our youthful, radiant complexions are the blueprint for a ‘natural’ glow, which I try to recreate every day. Without the impossible time travel, Kevyn Aucoin’s Etherealist foundation is the closest I’ve come to feeling that level of youth and radiance deep down in my pores since 2006. Big ups to that.

Words, Cassandra Wait-Hughes. Photography, Mitchell O’Neil. With thanks to the Primus Hotel Sydney