Tuesday, 13 March 2018

All About the Base

So, a few weeks ago I embarked on a new quest - the search for a new foundation. A bit like finding the perfect pair of jeans or the right cut t-shirt, identifying the ideal base for your needs is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. To be honest, I wish I didn't care so much about these things or that I had the sort of skin that can get away with a smidgeon of tinted moisturiser and a light dusting of powder. 

However, I do not, and being of a certain age where a youthful glow doesn't come naturally, I was ready to invest a bit of money into finally locating that perfect match foundation. Because much as I love a bargain, I have never found a cheap foundation that does what I want it to do and when you have a make-up bag full of half used bottles of the stuff, the words 'false' and 'economy' spring to mind.

After years of loyalty to Clinique, pretty much everyone's entry-level brand to more premium type cosmetics, I started to think I might be missing a trick and that while my go-to Superbalanced formulation was totally fine, there might be something even better out there to try.

So, I did something I've never done before - I visited a beauty counter. If you're painfully self-conscious as I am, and a child of a certain era where beauty counters conjour up images of Dynasty-esque ladies emerging from a fug of Anais Anais, looking for their next victim to make-over, you'll understand that the thought of entering into dialogue about your beauty needs can be scary. 

However, I'd had enough of my own clumsy attempts at colour matching so I put my concerns to the side and approached what felt like a 'safe' starting point - the Bobbi Brown counter. World-renowned for its natural approach to making up faces, I felt that if anyone could help me find a good colour match, with the added bonus of glow-giving properties, Bobbi Brown would be the one. 

Now, the big disclaimer here is that buying premium beauty is expensive. Things that were £20ish quid when I last looked seem to now hover around the £30 mark, including premium foundations. They key to making sure you get your expensive purchase right is to get a good selection of samples. As it turned out, the Bobbi Brown foundation I was recommended wasn't for me - something about the formulation just didn't sit right on my skin. 

Feeling super confident after a few more visits to some other counters (despite a few up-selly places, I found most pretty fine with asking for a sample rather than making a purchase there and then) I came home with a variety of foundation samples to try out which is totally what you need to do before committing. I'd already done some research via Sali Hughes for some starting points - it's a HUGE market place out there but with just a morning at John Lewis at my disposal I narrowed down my choices to Estee Lauder and its legendary Double Wear foundation, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Charlotte Tilbury and YSL Touche Eclat Foundation. In most cases I was given enough to last for 7 days - a good testing period before making a decision.

Of the above, all were perfectly good; I really liked the Charlotte Tilbury formulation but there was something not quite right with each product (Double Wear was a bit too masky, Giorgio Armani a bit too sheer) - when I'm going to be spending the same cost of my son's entire term's football lessons on a bottle of something for my sole use only, that you could argue isn't a necessity (though I would argue otherwise...) it needs to be really, really good. 

Pretty much after the initial application I was sold on the YSL Touche Eclat foundation - it's light but gives good coverage, glides on really pleasingly, doesn't cake or look dry and seems infused with something that makes your skin a little bit glowier than it might be otherwise. For the young and wrinkle free, I'd imagine it would make you look even more youthful and polished. For me, it feels like this base doesn't sit in any slowly emerging crevices or wrinkles - it's becoming a sad reality to me that as you get older, harsh, full-on make-up just makes you look older still. From my own appraisals, this lovely base doesn't appear to do that, I don't think.

Unfortunately for my bank balance, you can get a bit of a taste for expensive face potions...I'm also combining my new prized foundation with a pop of Delilah Pure Light Liquid Radiance, another recommendation from Ms Hughes, that you can mix in with your foundation for an extra bit of glow - it's meant to blur imperfections (Christ knows I need help with that) and make you look just a little more fresh-faced and rested. I think it works. Re the price point - a little goes a long way...

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