If like me you are in the constant pursuit of the perfect foundation but find the profusion of new releases promising game-changing innovations a little overwhelming, read on; this post is designed to demystify some of the new launches on the market.
These four newbies all make use of the liquid nature of foundation to offer a little more, be it a seamless finish, skincare fused with make-up or some much-needed added radiance thanks to reflective powders. If you’re looking for a foundation update for autumn, look no further…
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide //
The Promise / ‘A long-wear, oil-free foundation that magically blurs the line between real skin and makeup’
Details / £34 here, available in 24 shades.
Packaging / The bottle is plastic and lightweight so travels well, though the nozzle is disappointing as it seems to get a little messy/clogged over time. I’ve now tested two bottles which on occasion release no foundation until clogs are pierced with a pin.
Formula / Oil free and bi-phase (the foundation is comprised of colour pigments and reflective waters – you must tap and shake to blend before using). There’s no SPF.
Laura Mercier Smooth Flawless Finish Fluide in Cashew
My Verdict / A traditional foundation that offers good coverage and long-wear.
This is nice, comprehensive foundation that covers redness and blemishes well yet doesn’t appear heavy or caked. The finish is relatively matte so I wouldn’t recommend it if your skin is on the dry side, but it is otherwise on the money if you’re looking for a good day-to-day foundation that you like to smudge on in the morning without needing to prime/powder. While it works enormously well on my skin and is my favourite day-to-day foundation at the moment, the problems with dispensing it do put me off a touch (though given the generally high quality of all things Mercier, I hope this is just a teething problem that won’t appear in the next batch).
Sisley Phyto Teint Expert Foundation //
The Promise / ‘A very long-lasting, unifying and smoothing effect, blended with the lightness and natural finish of a second-skin foundation. Combined with Sisley’s skin care expertise.’
Details / £79 here, available in 8 shades.
Packaging / Beautiful, frosted glass (so you can’t sling this in your handbag, this is one for your bathroom shelf) with a pump to dispense foundation. One pump covered my face.
Formula / An oil-free blend of powders in different sizes to even out the complexion and reflect light suspended in liquid. The liquid part is composed of a clay derivative that absorbs excess oil and provides an optical blur. The pigments themselves are enveloped in soya lecithin which acts as a hydrophilic, drawing and keeping moisture in the skin. There are also a host of other skincare ingredients in here including cucumber extract and vitamin E. There’s no SPF.
Sisley Phyto-Teint Expert Foundation in Soft Beige
My Verdict / A long-wear foundation that covers imperfections and simultaneously infuses the skin with hydration.
This foundation offers good coverage but the real draw is the skincare element, which is also the reason for the higher price. While the clay goes some way to keep skin matte over the course of the day, this is still a good option for skin that is dry or easily-irritated and needs help to stay hydrated. The finish is creamy, not greasy, staying resolutely put for hours. I’d recommend this for those of you with dry or older skin who’d like a foundation that offers both coverage and skincare benefits.
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet //
The Promise / ‘A very lightweight second-skin foundation that naturally smoothes and evens out the complexion with a luminous velvety matte finish.’
Details / £33 here, available in 6 shades.
Packaging / Perfection, indeed: a chic black plastic bottle that’s lightweight and doesn’t leak or spill.
Formula / This oil-free foundation is comprised of two powders (one semi-sheer to boost luminosity, one coated in mineral pigments to correct) that blend with the aqueous emulsion when shaken. The seemingly contradictory promise of a ‘luminous’ and ‘matte’ finish is the result of the soft focus nature of the powders. SPF: 15.
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in 22 Beige Rose
My Verdict / A long-wear oil-absorbing foundation that covers moderately and leaves skin looking fresh.
The brilliance of this foundation lies in the balance of the formula – the coverage is light but it corrects uneven skin and blurs blemishes, it adds radiance without any greasiness and makes pores appear instantly reduced. It is therefore ideal if you dislike greasiness but equally have an aversion to the flatness of a powder on the skin. I like to apply this one in the morning if I’m in a hurry as I can pop this straight over skincare without looking like an oily slick and find that the ‘luminous matte’ finish lasts extremely well.
Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Encre de Peau //
The Promise / ‘An exceptional level of flawless coverage with the power to endure for 24 hours, without compromising on comfort and lightness of texture. No need for primers, powders and endless top-up products.’
Details / £30.50 here, available in 16 shades.
Packaging / Glass again, but with a little twist on the typical dispenser – attached to the second cap is a nib that dots the desired amount of foundation onto your hand/brush. It doesn’t get overly messy, so long as you’re careful.
Formula / A fusion of oils comprises the liquid part of this foundation, though they mostly evaporate on contact with the skin to leave only pigment behind. Suspended in the oil are: milled pigments, a lipophilic to absorb sebum and keep skin matte, a hydrophilic mineral agent to control humidity over time and a hydrating botanical extract to add radiance. SPF: 18.
Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation in B40
My Verdict: A foundation that acts more like a colour corrector – coverage is light, the finish extremely natural.
YSL have called this an ‘ink’ and this description serves the foundation well. It is thinner than other foundations and glides onto the skin evenly without any ado. Once on it seemingly disappears, leaving more of a colour wash on the skin than traditional foundation finish. A second coat thickens it up if you need a little more coverage. I reach for this on good skin days, applying a thin coat then concealing where needed.