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Honestly, COVID spelled a near-extinction of a lot of things for me: wearing a proper bra for anything other than an evening out, winged liner and... 'proper' foundation! I do pretty much exclusively wear tinted things day-to-day but it's nice to go for a bit of a different look when I'm going out. Like a posh dress, it's good to have a proper foundation for special occasions, and these are a few that still make the cut for me...
First up is the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Hydrating Foundation* (6 Neutral) | £36 | demo. This is probably my go-to at the moment that I gravitate towards without really thinking about it. I love that the coverage is buildable; I personally start with one pump of product then I'll look and see if I want to build it up a little in any areas. That gives me a medium level of coverage but you could definitely build this into something fuller if you want a flawless glam look, because it never looks heavy or cakey. One of the things I've really come to appreciate about this foundation is that it doesn't settle into fine lines during the day for me. It has really good longevity and is flattering on the skin in terms of not emphasising pores or texture. It's hydrating but not overly dewy or shiny; I think if you're oily, you could definitely use a matte primer and get more of a flawless finish, but with my dry skin I prep with a lot of hydration and that gives a more radiant finish. It evens out my complexion and leaves it looking nice and healthy. It doesn't hide the skin but enhances it wonderfully.
I also have the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Hydrating Foundation* | (250) | £30. I could always make the original Fenty foundation work for my skin with the right prep, but I do love that they brought out a more hydrating formula that's just a better natural fit for my skin type. This gives a medium-to-full coverage without that tight, matte finish. This isn't some super-dewy foundation, it's just a little more on the natural, hydrating side of things. It's creamy and easy to work with, though it does go on at the coverage you're going to get from it, as opposed to being the sort of formula you build up gradually. It gives a very flawless look to the skin whilst still passing the 'freckle test'. Its longevity is great too; it doesn't crease or disappear from problem areas even on a long day or night. This makes it one of my go-to products for a glam, night out look.
Obviously I couldn't not mention a couple from my favourite brand for complexion, and the first product from them is the Nars Light Reflecting Foundation* (Stromboli) | £37.50 | demo. This is a lightweight-feel foundation with a perfecting finish that also contains added ingredients so you can reap some skincare benefits. It's easy to pull back or build up to really customise the coverage you get; it's great if you want to look that bit more flawless without feeling like you're painting over your natural skin. I use a couple of drops applied with a foundation brush. I would say it has a natural skin finish but if you're oily, you might want to use a mattifying primer underneath it, because although it holds up well throughout the day, it can get a little glow-y as the hours wear on. However, for my skin that's definitely not a negative!
Last - but certainly not least - we have an OG that I still go back to regularly all these years later: the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation* (Barcelona) | £35. It's not that sheer and it's not overly glow-y, but I digress! This is a medium coverage foundation that has a kind of satin finish, so although your skin looks radiant from within, it's not dewiness or surface shine. It's perfecting without masking the skin and is really versatile in that I think it will suit most skin types and can be worn day or night because it's not too heavy but can still be used as the base of a glam makeup look (making it great for travel). The longevity is also fantastic, which I think is another reason it's stayed in my rotation for so long!
What foundations make the cut for you?