Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Foundation Quest

If the inspiration for the name of this blog hasn’t been clear to you yet, it originated from an on-going joke within our friendship group that Sarah and I are pale enough to be ghosts. A reformed fake tan addict, I am now embracing the pale skin that has been bestowed upon me, and adjusting to my ‘Casper’ life (with only the occasional St Tropez slip up – my summer wardrobe is better with a tan after all!) 

Thus far, I am finding the experience to be nowhere near as scary as I had imagined during my tan-lathering years. However, there is one issue that I find myself constantly battling with. Foundation. I have tried a variety of brands, price brackets and shades... but always find the base a shade too tan, or even worse orange, for my skin tone. The beauty industry just isn’t nailing the ‘English Rose’ tone that I’m after. So seeking advice from my fellow Casper, I sought out some of the paler foundations that we’ve both tried and tested and thought I would update you of my findings. And hope that perhaps you can share any secret wonders that you have found in the foundation market with us!

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So starting with the lower priced products, we have a teenage year stable label – Boot’s 17. When I was 14 this was the first brand of make-up that I ever bought and I occasionally like to dip in to see what they have to offer. I tried out 17 Photo Flawless foundation (£6.49) in Soft Ivory, pretty reasonably priced if you ask me! It did leave a bit of a make-up line that required serious blending; the shade is slightly more orange that I would like, more me-with-a-tan than ‘Soft Ivory’. Also, be sure to properly moisturise before use to ensure a more even finish and avoid it gathering in dry areas. I found that mixing in a little moisturiser tones it down and helps it blend a little smoother, but all in all – I think there are better options out there for
a couple of pounds more.

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Now to through a quick curve ball into the mix – somebody recommended Aldi’s Lacura foundation to me, and curious to see how a supermarket foundation would fare, I purchased a bottle at a mere £2.39.  Unfortunately, the price reflects the quality. The foundation is strangely thick in consistency and very difficult to blend. It also has a rather strange, and unpleasant, smell. I have to say that I have never encountered this issue with a foundation before, and I hope to never again. And although I got the palest shade on offer, I would probably need around 10 months in the Caribbean sun before I achieved a tan to match the tone of this foundation. Just don’t bother.

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A more mid-range foundation, and my day-to-day du jour, is Bourgeois Healthy Mix Serum foundation which is a pretty reasonable £10.99. Of all the mid-range foundations that I have tried (because who can be bothered to wear MAC or YSL to go to the office?!) this is by far the best. It blends into your skin smoothly and is the perfect balance of good coverage but light foundation – there is nothing worse than being caked in make-up at 10 in the morning, unless perhaps being caked in aforementioned smelly foundation! Best of all, when they say ‘vanille’ or ‘vanille clair’, it actually is ‘vanille’. The foundation has the magic ability to apply to your skin the same shade as it appears in the bottle. Bravo Bourgeois... Finally, a drugstore foundation that can get it right. 

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Finally (because I don’t want to bombard you with too many choices) is my all-time favourite foundation, MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC10 (£20.50). In my humble opinion, this is the foundation of all foundations. I’m sure that there are other fantastic brands out there, but having been introduced to this at 17, this is the one foundation in my life that has never let me down. I’ve always found it to have a perfecting quality, just a few brushes of this and all of those imperfections are magically gone. When combined with Smashbox Photofinish Primer  (£25 - a little pricey but worth it's weight in gold!) the foundation takes on an airbrush perfect finish, matching my skintone perfectly and never drying out, even after a long evening of
                                                                                           dancing or an arduous day at work.    

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So, my 2 recommendations? For day to day wear – Bourgeois Healthy Mix Serum, and when you want to look your best – MAC studio fix. I’m sorry to fall into a classic trap of worshipping MAC, but they just get it so right in my eyes.

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