Ask any make-up artist or blogger what they spend the most time perfecting, and they'll more likely than not tell you that skin is high on the list. Before you do anything else, from perfecting a smokey eye to getting your winged liner just so, focus on skin - it's the secret to looking more polished and glossy, which is probably why A-list make-up artist apportions approximately half the make-up time of any look to patting and smoothing foundation onto skin for a perfect complexion.
With so many out there on the market - and more and more launching every day promising ever better results - it can be tricky to find one that sits just so and doesn't end up slipping down your face or being gobbled by your skin after a few hours' wear. The answer lies in finding the right formula coupled with the right application technique.
For many of you, that'll mean using a good foundation brush to sweep and buff your base on with. (Side note: don't forget to clean your brushes after use - it's crucial to stop bacteria from building up.) But lots of pros - Greenwell included - tout fingers as a great way to make foundation meld with skin for a barely-there look, so go that route if the faff of a brush is not for you.
Whichever way you go, remember that foundation is there not to be seen, but to do the job of unifying skin tone and reducing the appearance of redness or blemishes. If you're after more coverage, go back with a second layer only where you need it to keep your skin looking fresh - or buy a banging concealer that'll make spots disappear.
In terms of picking a colour, you can't beat the old trick of swiping three shades you think are close to your own on your jawline, and then going out into the daylight with a mirror to see which one disappears. And don't be tempted to go up a few shades if you're after the look of health - that's what blush and bronzer are for.
1. Revlon Colorstay Makeup For Combination/Oily Skin, £12.99
Digital Beauty Editor George Driver’s fave foundation, this covers all sins without feeling cakey and at just £12.99 it’s an absolute bargain.
Revlon available at | £12.99
2. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, £33
If you like a luminous, dewy finish this is the foundation for you. Infused with nourishing antioxidants, it’s a foundation that’s actually good for your skin. Huzzah!
Nars available at | £33
3. Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation, £33
Available at | £33
4. Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-In-Place Makeup, £32.50
Literally the lighter version of the classic Double Wear formula (aka the most effective coverage foundation of all time), this is for everyone who wants perfect skin without feeling like you’re troweling on the makeup.
Estee Lauder available at | £32.50
5. MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation, £23.50
MAC’s Studio Fix Foundation features in every celeb make-up artist’s beauty bag for one reason - it’s amazing. If you want maximum coverage that’s long-lasting and protects your skin with SPF, you can’t go wrong with this beauty buy.
MAC available at | £23.50
6. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick, £31
Basically the best foundation stick ever. Need we say more? A super creamy texture that gives great coverage without drying out skin, use a foundation brush to paint this on the areas in need of coverage instead of drawing over your entire face.
Bobbi Brown available at | £31
7. Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation, £35
Sounds a bit wishy washy but this dewy finish foundation is a one stop shop for an instant glow. Using pearl particles to mimic the reflective glow of candlelight, this is for all those dull skin sufferers out there.
Laura Mercier available at | £35
8. Chantecaille Future Skin Oil-Free Foundation, £36
Available at | £60
9. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, £40
The ultimate 'your skin but better' foundation, this one covers imperfections and gives a hint of dewiness. It's pretty much everyone's holy grail - you NEED this bottle!
Available at | £40
10. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, £30
A foundation that makes you younger?! Yup, it’s actually happened. This magic foundation (by name, by nature) gives long lasting coverage whilst using hyaluronic acid to plump skin and minimise the appearance of wrinkles. The dream.
Charlotte Tilbury available at | £30
11. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation, £30
Created for wear in the TV and film industry, Make-Up For Ever's HD Foundation gives flawless and comfortable coverage, while still looking natural, making it perfect for daywear or a slightly more done-up evening look. It's the ultimate if you're looking for your perfect skin tone match as it's split into red or yellow undertones, and then a massive range of shades - 40 in total!
Available at | £30
12. Kiko Second Skin Liquid Foundation, £18.90
Kiko's Second Skin Foundation is a light, natural-feeling formula which blends for a flawless complexion, while moisturising the skin and boosting elasticity. Build it up for comfortable coverage in an impressive 14 shades.
Available at | 18.90
13. La Mer Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation, £80
A bit more spenny than the others but totally worth it. Developed with a powerful blend of their signature Miracle Broth, this liquid foundation has great coverage but what we’re hyped about is its ability to heal, hydrate and protect skin from all that horrible pollution. One for the smoggy city dwellers.
La Mer available at | £80
14. Clarins Everlasting Foundation SPF15, £29
Clarins’ ultra-lightweight Everlasting Foundation moisturises and mattifies even the most awkward of skin types. If you’re oily, dry, combination, this has got you covered.
Clarins available at | £29
15. bareMinerals BAREPRO™ Performance Wear Liquid Foundation, £26.10
If you want decent coverage but are worried about clogged pores or of looking like you're wearing make-up, get this. It offers lovely, soft-focus finish, doesn't feel weighty, and isn't greasy in the slightest.
Available at | £26.10
16. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation, £31.50
Offering good coverage with a matte finish, this is the one to get if you want a one-stop skin perfector and have slightly oily skin.
Available at | £31.50
17. Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15, £31
Because it's oil-free and offers medium to full coverage, you may think this should only be used on those with oily skin - but you'd be wrong. While it isn't glossy and wouldn't be suitable on extremely dry skin, it finishes to make skin look soft focus with a healthy glow.
Available at | £31