Thursday, 23 April 2009

Foundations...the best and the rest.

I’ve tried quite a few foundations in my time and am extremely fussy. I like a foundation to provide lots of coverage and make my skin appear flawless, but don’t want to look caked. I also have quite a pale skin tone so don’t want too light a colour to make me look ill but equally need one to match my skin tone to avoid the two-tone look! Here is my foundation journey so far…

Benefit You Rebel, £19.50

This one is probably great for someone with a slightly darker skin tone and wants more of a tinted moisturiser, or perfect for when you’re on holiday/have just got back. This goes on quite orange as it has been designed for all skin tones and will adapt to the right colour for you, don’t ask me how but that’s what it does! I find that it doesn’t quite work for me, and I tend to have a slight orange mark around my hairline or eyebrows where I can’t rub it in properly, it also doesn’t give the coverage I’m after and isn’t exactly cheap just to try it out. Saying that though, I don’t like covering up my skin in make up when I’ve returned from holiday as I’m hiding the one time I have a tan, but I also don’t want to go into work without my base on and it works really well for this. Benefit has recently launched a ‘Lite’ version; however, this is too pale for me! How ironic.

Secret Beauty Verdict: Test this first, I’m sure it’s an amazing tinted moisturiser if that’s what you are after.

Max Factor Colour Adapt, £11.70

I love this foundation; I found it as it was on offer and, having the fussy skin that I do, thought Colour Adapt would probably be a good choice. There are 14 shades so you can get pretty close to your true skin tone, and then be sure that this will ‘adapt’ to your colouring exactly. The coverage is perfect – completely flawless yet not too heavy, is a lovely creamy consistency and it lasts for ages, I stuck with this one for a long time until I thought I should maybe branch out and try something new…

Secret Beauty Verdict: Relitavely inexpensive and lasts for ages.

MAC Select SPF 15, £18.60

If you want to buy a MAC product then try and go in store if you can. It’s such a nice experience. I initially went in for a concealer (which is great too BTW, Studio Fix if you’re wondering) and then thought I might as well go the whole hog and get the foundation to match. The make-up artists in there are really helpful, don’t try and push anything on you and try out everything they think will work until they find the right shade. Select is a liquid foundation best applied with a sponge or brush (personally I’m not very good at this so I apply with my hands and then blend with a sponge) and comes in 21 shades so you’ll find one that matches perfectly, which mine does. It can be layered without caking meaning that you can get as sheer or heavy a coverage as you want and it feels lovely on the skin, paired with their concealer my skin looks the best it ever has and completely spot/scar free.

Secret Beauty Verdict: Amazing, worth every penny.

Dermalogica Treatment Foundation, £26.70

I am a huge fan of Dermalogica but had never really considered using their foundation until I went in for a facial and asked what the amazing moisturiser was that was put on at the end as it made my skin feel gorgeous. I was then told it was actually their foundation and when I looked in the mirror I couldn’t believe how great my skin looked. I went away with a sample to try at home thinking that it may have actually been the facial rather than the foundation but no, it looked just as amazing when I did it myself. It's comforting to know that you are putting on a foundation that is actually good for your skin as I do worry about blocking my pores and the coverage is perfect. It leaves a nice healthy glow but I like to put a powder on for more of a matt finish. There are 8 shades to choose from so it’s probably worth asking for a tester first before shelling out and it not looking quite right but the one I use is perfect for me.

Secret Beauty Verdict: I feel great when I wear this but I think it could be one you either love or hate, test it first.


  1. Cool. Which one would you recommend to a person whose skin is supersensitive - to a point where I can't use many products, because it looks like they almost 'burn' my skin. Anything with the now so popular 'minerals' is the worst.
    For my everyday tinted moisturizer/ foundation needs I'm stuck with the hypoallergenic products that you buy in pharmacies (and that only come in like 2 shades), and only risk my Estee Louder foundation when I'm really putting on make up.
    Would love to find something I could use every day.

  2. I'd highly recommend Dermalogica for your skin as it contains ingredients suitable for sensitive skin types and it contains natural ingredients to stop irritation. Clinique is also very good for sensitive skin apparently, and I know that people swear by it, I haven't used it myself so can't really comment apart from that I haven't heard any bad reviews. I'd suggest going to both Dermalogica and Clinique, explaining your problems to see what they recommend and then taking a sample from each to see how you get on. Hope that helps! x

  3. Thanks so much!
    Will try Dermalogica (I already use their rice peel-stuff and love it). I just really had no idea they make foundation as well.
    As far as Clinique goes, I tried their something something daily moisturizer with spf 25 and was really allergic, but that seems to be the case with most moisturizers with a spf value. Don't know why.

  4. I think if your skin can handle the daily rice exfoliator then it should be fine with the foundation. I was the same as you, had no idea about the foundations and thought they might be a bit rubbish, but apparently not! Also Dermalogica use natural sun protectors rather than chemical, which might be why you had a reaction to Clinique and others, it might be worth looking into their sunscreen too or something similar. Let me know how you get on!

  5. Okay, must take something back. I just looked in my make up bag (which for some reason I actually had packed for once), and my fancy, I'm-putting-actual-make-up-on foundation is not Estee Lauder (how many unchick-y points do I get for not getting this right on the first go), but Guerlain. Now, the only problem with this foundation I've had is that if I use it for several days in a row my eyes swell up (I'm like the big make up freak). Don't know if you have any experiences with this brand (?), and some good ideas on what hypoallergenic to replace it with (I will look into Dermalogica for my everyday-stuff, but need something for meeting the Queen [of Denmark], potentially, again).
    Love your insights and commend your courage on the cellulite stuff (I will never ever do that to myself).
    Thanks again.

  6. I've used Guerlain beauty products before and found them to be fine, but nothing really to shout about for me personally. Generally I would say mineral make-up would be best for you but I'm not sure what you've tried before? The cheaper ones generally contain talc which is awful for sensitive skin so you might want to check out the ingredients that were in the ones you've used before? Bare Minerals foundation ( is excellent for sensitive skin but if it wasn't the talc that caused you problems and you just generally don't get on with mineral make-up then Exuviance Skin Caring foundation is excellent but I'm not sure where you'd get it from, might be worth googling. I think if you can find a foundation with no SPF or non-chemical SPF for sensitive skin then that might work as it could be the chemicals in the SPF that you are having a reaction to, especially as you've said that you do with moisturisers. Unfortunately you might have to pay quite a bit for it but then you are meeting the Queen (of Denmark)! x

  7. I love your blog. This is so good to know. The only thing I have a hard time finding when it comes to makup is the base.

  8. Thanks so much, that's really nice to hear! Definitely think that if you can get the base perfect you're onto a winner, just makes you look so much healthier!

  9. thanks for the product review. I usually just wear Clinique's tinted sun block, but could really use a foundation.