Beauty guide to basic foundations

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Aimee Wice explains how to find and use the perfect foundation for your face.

Artists start a painting by considering every aspect of their materials, as different finishes begin with the basics. While your daily makeup doesn’t require quite the same considerations, we can certainly evaluate our form, formulas and choices in a similar fashion to achieve the finest result. And just like the artist, we can perfect our canvas (our complexion) to get the most beautiful outcome, all by simply choosing the best base: foundation.

To prep:

Everyone benefits from a primer; it creates the perfect base for foundation and preps the skin for makeup application. For oilier skin types, get an extra shot of SPF protection while simultaneously evening out skin’s texture and tone with Colorescience’s Brightening Primer. Its silky smooth formula diminishes the look of pores and imperfections and keeps makeup slip-proof all day long.

If your skin is on the drier side, prime with Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer. This soothing, smoothing primer hydrates with nourishing coconut extracts and coconut water to keep skin fresh while prolonging the wear of makeup.

If your skin is oily/combination:

For those of you whose skin is a little oilier, choosing a mattefying foundation is your best defense against shininess. Not long ago, a matte formula often translated to a chalky, too-thick foundation that looked overdone and felt far too heavy. Enter NARS’ Velvet Matte Skin Tint, which completely changed the game. Lightweight and effortlessly perfecting, this creamy foundation instantly evens the complexion and stays fresh and shine-free, all day long. Applied easily, this versatile tint offers beautiful, radiant coverage with a feather-light texture. Blurring powders transform the skin into velvety, soft perfection, while the antioxidant-rich formula plus SPF 30 protects skin from free-radical damage.

For an even more sheer, shine-free result, swipe on the iconic and very well-loved Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser in its oil-free version. Boasting the power to simultaneously absorb excess oil while hydrating to minimise the look of fine lines, this complexion-enhancing and perfecting pick evens tone and texture while maintaining a supremely natural look. One of the pioneers of blending skincare and colour-correcting ingredients, this tinted moisturiser is packed with benefits, like SPF protection and vitamins C and E to ensure skin stays healthy and sun-safe. If that wasn’t enough, this sheer-matte moisturiser looks super natural (and makes skin look supernatural) and always imparts a fresh, glowing complexion.

If you’re after fuller coverage, look no further than PÜR Cosmetics’ 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup. Boasting a whopping 5 million compacts sold, it’s safe to say this cruelty-free and new-to-Australia formula will fast become a local favourite. The multi-award winning foundation easily creates an even matte base with buildable coverage. Simply swirled on with the compact’s included Chisel Brush, this 4-in-1 eliminates the need for a multi-step routine as it doubles as a concealer, powder and SPF too. Developed with long-term benefits in mind, your biggest skin concerns are addressed, corrected and prevented.

And, If you’re a lover of liquid, slick on Dior’s Diorskin Forever Perfect Makeup. Fusing beautifully to skin, this ultra-longwear fluid foundation offers an incredible 16 hours of wear. Formulated with Dior’s “Poreless Effect Skin Care Essence”, the complexion’s texture and tone is instantly refined, with further improvement over time. As it’s a densely-pigmented formula, a drop is all you’ll need for a flawless, even finish. The soft-touch foundation leaves a luminous, matte and radiant result, while the non-oily consistency keeps the skin balanced.

If your skin is normal/dry:

For an always-fresh complexion, look for foundations that offer non-stop hydration. A particular pick that does a bang-up job of this is MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Face & Body foundation, and is better than ever as it was just reformulated and re-launched. The updated foundation still boasts the unique and much-favoured water-gel texture, which offers the most natural effect and makes skin positively glow. Formulated with 80% water and vitamin B5 for added luminosity and hydration, skin is drenched in moisture. The sheer texture is quick to dry and budge-proof, and finishes to a dewy, healthy look that can be built up with an extra layer if desired.

For a gorgeously bright, luminous look, reach for Benefit Cosmetics’ Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation. Instantly brightening the complexion, this light to medium coverage foundation transforms skin into a flawless, poreless, luminous version of itself, while maintaining a beautifully natural look. Boosting the complexion on a cellular level, the exclusive Oxygen Wow Hydrating Complex deeply nourishes and hydrates for a smooth, plumped up (read: line-free) face. With light-diffusing properties, antioxidant powerhouses and the highest SPF grade and level of protection, skin looks instantly flawless and stays that way.

When you’re after a little more coverage, look no further than French favourite Bourjois’ Healthy Mix Foundation. More colour payoff means a more even complexion, but this foundation never looks heavy thanks to crystalline pigments that allow the skin to breathe and maintain a natural look. Formulated to provide full, flawless cover, this pick also boosts skin’s radiance and hydration levels, as it’s enriched with a fruit therapy formula that includes apple, melon and apricot extracts.

For full coverage with immense ease, swipe on Hourglass’ brand new Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick. With a whopping 26 shade-range, there’s certainly one just right for every tone, and will literally vanish right into skin — no easy feat for a full coverage foundation. The super easy to use stick format can be applied directly to the face and blended with either a brush, or fingers if you’re not fussy. The highly concentrated pigments (double the amount of traditional foundations) mean a little goes a long way, and instantly perfects even the most troubled complexions. Wearing comfortably for 12 hours thanks to the innovative formula that adjusts to your body temperature, this pick stays seamless all day long.

To set:

To lock your foundation in place, simply swirl on a light dusting of Bésame Cosmetics’ Brightening Setting Face Powder. With five shades to choose from, this setting powder is truly translucent, and its superfine texture ensures skin stays smooth and perfected no matter where your day or night takes you.

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