The Best... Foundations For Your Skin Type

The Best... Foundations For Your Skin Type

    By Emma Stoddart Posted on 8 May 2017

    With so many different foundations on the market, searching for ‘The One’ can feel like an endless quest. From sticks, to compacts to mineral powders and liquid – deciphering what formula suits your skin type, offers the best coverage and matches your skin tone is not an easy task. One size definitely does not fit all – what may look great on your best friend might not work for you. So, we’ve spoken to the industries experts to reveal all their intel for finding the perfect match…

    1. Best Foundation for Oily Skin

    ‘The most common complaint for oily skin is that ‘makeup disappears’’, says Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr Sam Bunting. ‘So avoid overly dewy foundations, as invariably these formulas end up moving around as oil reaches the surface of the skin’. Her top tricks? ‘Go for a higher coverage concealer or foundation stick to pinpoint conceal imperfections’. We rate Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick, £32 which delivers full coverage without looking cakey. Makeup Artist, Lynsey Alexander says the best way to apply is to ‘draw lines down the center of the face straight from the bullet and blend out with a buffing brush like Mac’s #187’.

    Pro tip: for on the go shine control, keep blotting papers close by. Try Dr Bunting’s favourite DHC Blotting Paper**, £4.50.**

    2. Best Foundation for Combination Skin

    Combination is the most common skin-type, and is characterised by ‘visible pores in the centre of the face where there is sheen due to oil production, but by contrast, pores on the cheeks are barely noticeable where skin is normal to dry’, explains Dr Sam Bunting. The secret to perfecting this skin-type is to treat each area differently. ‘Apply face powder down the centre of the face only – where the skin creates oil and leave it free from the cheeks and outer edges, applying just a cream foundation and luminizer here to create shine and moisture’ says Lynsey Alexander. Dr Bunting recommends Armani Luminous Silk foundation, £42 ‘it’s dewy and sheer giving just the right amount of coverage’.

    Pro tip: ‘don’t be tempted to apply a load of base all over the face and powder everywhere on top – look at what each area needs an apply accordingly’, advises Lynsey.

    3. Best Foundation for Dry Skin

    ‘For those with dry, sensitive skin a hydrating formula which is fragrance-free (so less likely to irritate) is a good choice’, advises Dr Sam Bunting. Her top pick? ‘EX1 Inviswear Liquid Foundation, £12.50 is super lightweight with a glowy finish’. Lynsey Alexander also recommends ‘Mac Face & Body, £26 which offers a cushion of moisture over skin’. Steer away from powder and matte formulas, as Dr Bunting explains ‘matte finish products will make skin look cakey or cracked as the day wears on, especially if you work in air-conditioned or centrally heated air’. So load up on moisturiser and opt for light coverage.

    Pro tip: Keep a facial mist at your desk, like** Givenchy Mist Me Gently**, £25 for a refreshing, hydrating pick me up.

    4. Best Foundation for Spot-Prone Skin

    Any skin type can be blemish-prone, but it’s most common in oily and combination skin. ‘Those with spot-prone skin should seek out formulas that are non-comedogenic, meaning they are unlikely to block pores’ says Dr Bunting. ‘I think this skin-type is also best for skipping long wear formulas and powders altogether, as I find them to be problematic in this group’. Dr Bunting recommends Nars Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, £30 as it’s a winning formula and offers a great range of shades, ‘it’s one of the most versatile and flattering bases around’. Lynsey Alexander also recommends ‘for medium coverage without clogging pores I love YSL Touche Eclat, £25.50’.

    Pro tip: ‘always try the foundation on before purchasing, as some bases oxidize and discolour after contact with skin’ suggests Dr Sam Bunting.

    What are the best foundations you can buy, according to Grazia’s beauty team?


    The Ordinary Serum Foundation, £5.70

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    The Ordinary Serum Foundation, £5.70

    With their skincare line enjoying sell-out success, since their launch thanks to their commitment to delivering good quality single ingredient skincare products, at high street prices. It was no surprise that when word of their new ‘Colours’ range was launching it led to a 70,000 person strong wait list. We recommend the exceptional Sheer Foundation SPF15, £5.70, its unique formula leaves your skin looking like yours, just better.

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    MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour, £27

    If you’re a huge fan of MAC’s iconic Face & Body Foundation, then you’ll love this brand new formulation. With the same properties as F&B, but with a longer-lasting formula, it was road-tested at all the autumn/winter shows, and surpassed expectations with flying colours. For model-esque skin…this one’s your ticket.

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    Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Cushion Compact SPF 35, £36

    With so many cushion foundations on the market it can be tricky to determine which ones really are the bee’s knees. Enter Bobbi’s edition- expect medium to full coverage, that still looks dewy and fresh on the skin. Apply it with the round sponge included, or as we prefer, your favourite brush tippled lightly over the T-Zone.

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    Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation/Concealer, £66

    A full coverage base that won’t look heavy on the skin, is hard to come by, but Tom Ford have struck gold. Exaggerating, we are not. Believe us when we say, this covers all blemishes, hides enlarged pores and conceals redness, and yep, there wont be a dry patch in sight.

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    Too Faced Born This Way Liquid Foundation, £29

    Infused with coconut water, this is the ultimate base for thirsty, dehydrated skin. While your skin soaks up the moisture the rest of your complexion is left dewy and plump thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid. With an array of 18 shades to choose from, there’s guaranteed to be a shade to match every skin tone.

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    Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup, £40

    What makes this foundation special? Well there’s the innovative technology that allows the formula to adapt to different skin tones and textures, but also the genius concoction of five oils that help keep the skin hydrated. If you sit in a window-less office with skin destroying air con or heating, make this base your baby.

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    Chanel Sublimage Le Teint Foundation, £98

    Spenny this may be, but of course the Chanel have not let us down. Expect a light to medium coverage, that is easily buildable, perfect for taking your look from day-to-night without starting from scratch. The best bit though, the inclusion of diamond powder which leaves the skin luminously radiant.

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    L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Foundation, £9.99

    A high coverage foundation, at a super slim price point. Yep, you’ll still have money left over for a skinny cappuccino. Plus, if you suffer from the dread 3pm slip and slide of your base, this one promises to stay put well into your post-dinner drinks, and beyond.

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    Crème de la Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation, £85

    Because complexion perfection means luminous, dewy, lightweight and blendable, the limelight increasingly falls upon pricey formulas. This formula ticks both skincare and concealing boxes, and although it is a little eye-wateringly expensive you can expect mega compliments.

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    Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, £9.99

    We slurp our superfoods in juice form, so why not incorporate them into our makeup, too? This whisper-light formula gives a lit from within glow, whilst harnessing apricot, melon and apple extract to offer brightening and hydration benefits to boot.

    Other foundations we’re loving…

    The best long-lasting foundations

    Ever looked in the mirror at lunchtime, only to wonder just where your painstakingly applied make-up has disappeared to? You’re not alone. Thankfully, there are some great long-lasting, full-coverage foundations out there that actually do last all day (and even make it to your post-work drinks) - and we’ve tracked them down…

    The best high street foundations

    Once upon a time, you’d end up parting with some serious cash in order to find a brilliant base. Luckily, that’s no longer the case, with plenty of affordable high street foundations offering coverage and finish to rival their pricier relatives…

    How to apply foundation like a total pro

    Creating a smooth, even base is the foundation (do excuse the pun…) of show-stopping make-up. Here’s how to apply foundation like the professionals do (clue: it all starts with choosing the right tools…)

    The best foundations for mature skin

    When fine lines start making an appearance (sigh…) you might find that your go-to base just doesn’t make the cut any more. After 40, it might be time to upgrade to a foundation for mature skin with a radiance-boosting formula.

    The best foundations for pale skin

    We’ve compiled the ultimate edit of foundations for pale skin tones in a variety of finishes and textures: whether you prefer a dewy, radiant finish or a long-lasting matte texture, we’ve got you covered.

    The best foundations for dark skin

    Call it the Fenty Beauty effect, but brands are finally starting to wake up to the fact that one token colour of ‘Mocha’ just won’t cut it. We’ve rounded up the best foundations for dark skin, and the brands that cater to a wide range of skin tones for black women.

    The best liquid foundations

    On the lookout for the perfect make-up base? With the vast array of products arriving on the market each week, it’s easy to end up feeling overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve cut through the jargon to bring you a guide to the best liquid foundations that are easy to apply, long-lasting and yes, affordable too.

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