The secret to flawless foundation application is that it should be invisible. See, we told you it's a secret. Modern-day foundation can be traced back to a German man named Carl Baudin, who invented it because he wanted something to disguise the joint between his wig and his forehead. The art of great foundation application remains the same today: that it conceals but doesn't mask. You still want your skin to look like skin, but just really even and smooth.
We spoke to The Beauty Editor's resident makeup artist Magdalena Smyczek to uncover how to find your perfect foundation match.
Step One: Identify Your Undertone
I always look at the undertone of the skin. It's easy to work out what your undertone is by looking at your jewellery. If gold jewellery looks better on you, enhancing and lifting your complexion, then you have a warm undertone. If silver jewellery does that for you, then you have a cool undertone. Both look great on you? Then you have a neutral undertone.
You can have a cool or a warm undertone whatever your skin colour, so everyone should try this test!
Step Two: Patch Test Right
Always test foundation on your jawline (even better if you can apply to the whole face). The correct shade for you will match your face and your neck so it looks completely seamless.
Step Three: Wait
Foundations can oxidise and go slightly darker when they come into contact with the air. Wait for five-10 minutes and check that the shade still looks good on you.
Step Four: Go outside
The best way to ensure you have the right shade match for you is to go outside in natural daylight with a mirror and check.
Step Five: Think About Skin Type
Many foundations are designed for certain skin types, such as mattifying for oily complexions. Don't assume that because a foundation has been specially designed for your skin type it will be better for you. If you can, always try before you buy.
And remember, skincare is so important. If you look after your complexion then you won't need to use as much foundation to conceal.
Step Six: Think Seasonally
Most people will go for a slightly darker shade in the summer and lighter in the winter.
Step Seven: Colour Correct
It happens to the best of us, you think you've bought the right shade but turns out it's not quite the perfect match. Don't throw it out! If your foundation is slightly too orange you can use a white or cool-toned face powder to neutralise the warm tones; on the flipside, if it's too ashy use a power with a warmer undertone.
Now, shop our favourite foundations below:
A radiant matte finish, this foundation comes in a huge array of 30 shades. The pigment-rich formula makes light work of concealing dark circles, blemishes and uneven skin tone but never looks cakey, instead it blends seamlessly for a fade-proof finish.
How clever is this foundation with its matching concealer and handy mirror in the lid? The foundation itself is buildable, oil-free and water-resistant for a matte finish that lasts all day (hence the name!). Packed with skin-loving vitamins, minerals and antioxidants this protects and perfects your complexion.
If you're looking to clean up your makeup bag, this natural foundation with organic ingredients could be worth a try. With a medium to full coverage, this foundation smooths and conceals the skin without settling into pores and fine lines. Antioxidant resveratrol-rich grapeseed, Vitamin C and E protect and nourish your skin throughout the day.
Like the Rolls Royce of foundations, this incredibly hydrating base is packed with hyaluronic acid to give your complexion a luminous, healthy glow. It's shot through with ultra-fine pearl pigments that reflect light minimising unwanted dark shadows. Your skin will look healthy, radiant and more even.