Who bothered with foundation this summer? Not me. It was uncharacteristically hot for weeks on end and, anyway, social distancing made make-up less necessary. Yet the day my kids returned to school I began to crave cosy comforts: jumpers; tights; ankle boots… foundation.
It’s been nice to let my real skin show – freckles, wrinkles, spots and all – but now my tan has faded, and the school shoes are in the hallway, it’s time to return to a face of base. Especially as it might not be long before I’m back at my desk working near real people (albeit at a distance).
Actually, shopping for a foundation has been a revelation: there are so many newbies with more shades, tones and benefits than in previous seasons. The upside is that there are few duds out there, the downside is we’re spoilt for choice. In the broad sense you want one that’s not only light or dark enough, but that also suits your skin’s undertone.
For example, my skin is very light but I’m yellow-toned, rather than a pinkish English rose. Some say this can be determined by the colour of your veins: green for warm; blue for cool. Otherwise, if you suit gold jewellery and brighter clothes, your undertones are most likely warm, silver jewellery and icy colours, you’re cool.
As for finish, it tends to comes down to lifestyle and personal preference. If you’re sporty you might prefer sheer and glowy. Those who live in heels will likely favour a polished, even finish. Personally, I keep one of each at my disposal. Il Makiage – home of Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation, a buildable medium-to-full-coverage matt – has a brilliant online quiz that’s impressively spot-on at finding your match from its 50 shades, multiple skin tones (from fair-light to deep-dark) and three undertones (neutral, pink or yellow).
For times when I long to look ‘lit from within’, Chanel’s Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation imparts a certain radiance that I like for weekends especially. However, if you like your base almost ‘clean’ enough to sleep in, I haven’t found better than Kjaer Weis’s Invisible Touch Foundation, which is certified organic. Take your pick from the fab five below.