Today is going to have a bit more of a chatty vibe than I usually go for in my Monday beauty posts, however I hope you enjoy! I wanted to sit down and just talk about my changing feelings about base makeup and go through some of my recommendations on both ends of the coverage spectrum.
As a teenager, I made the classic error of thinking the more matte and full coverage my base was; the better! I haven't ever had acne but obviously puberty is never the best for your skin and I was spotty and oily a lot of the time, like most people. I can't talk for anyone with acne but I'm sure a lot of people prefer a fuller base to feel comfortable that anything they want to be is covered up - obviously it doesn't get rid of the texture but it will even out the skin tone. It's just important to ensure there are nice ingredients in there! I just wanted to start off by saying that I'm not judging anyone for wearing heavier coverage and I appreciate that the premise of this discussion comes from having the privilege of pretty good skin. There are other ways of covering acne, such as a tone-correcting light base with a heavy-duty cream concealer or full coverage only where you need it, to draw attention to the 'good' parts of your skin (as demoed by Lisa Eldridge in this video) but obviously that depends on how severe it is and if you feel happy and comfortable with how it looks. So, yeah: you do you and there's no judgement here! That aside, I think a lot of people don't 'need' to wear as much coverage on a day-to-day basis but we're almost programmed to think full coverage is automatically better.
As I get older and my oily teenager years get further and further behind me, I can't help but find very heavy, very matte foundations a little unflattering. They often settle into my fine lines and can look very drying (particularly on camera), even with a hydrating moisturiser or mist used with them. It got to a point where I just sat down and thought to myself: 'why am I still doing this?' I tend to wear matte foundation on evenings out for the shine-free longevity, however I pick less drying formulas and I don't need so many of them any more. I think I'll be sticking with my L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte (106) | £16.99 | review | for special occasions because it's flawless without being thick and heavy on the skin, giving me a matte finish that doesn't look dull and lifeless. The Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation | £35 | review | also has a radiant but not shiny finish that lasts on me and gives that perfect medium-full coverage (this was my bridesmaid makeup base recently). Although it had its place in my collection, I doubt I'll ever repurchase my Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup (3W2) | £33.50 | review. I just think it's too much for my skin now it's far less oily, however would still recommend it if you need that super-matte finish.
On a day-to-day basis, I just prefer keeping thinks fresher and healthier-looking. I like a radiant complexion and reach for hydrating bases like the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser (St. Moritz) | £30 | review | or the Estee Lauder Double Wear Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup* (4W1) | £29 | review. These are both formulas that last on my skin when I set it in problem areas but at the same time they let my natural skin shine through. I really like how they perfect the tone whilst still looking like my skin (but better!) The Bare Minerals Matte SPF15 Foundation (16) | £27 | review | is great for summer when the dewier options aren't going to hold up so well around my t-zone.
I just like it not feeling as though I'm wearing a lot of makeup and - paired with a fantastic concealer - I get the look I want with less effort. It's also nice not to have quite so much transfer on the bridge of my glasses and orange fingerprints on my papers! In summer, it also feels good not to have my usual foundation on that's going to melt in the sun.
Are you a full-coverage fan or all about the light base? Or do you like to mix and match depending on the occasion, like me?