FINDING YOUR PERFECT FOUNDATION
As we age, our skin changes and so too, do our makeup needs. Pre-menopause, perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause all tend to affect our skin in different ways. Finding the perfect foundation to suit your skin during these periods of change is not always easy and can be confusing with the myriad of products on the market.
KNOW YOUR SKIN CONCERNS
It is important to note that what suited your skin in your 40’s, may not suit your skin in your 50’s or 60’s as your skin generally goes through quite radical change, along with other bodily functions (Arrrrgh!).
Personally, now I am in my 50’s (52 to be exact), I notice more hyperpigmentation, some increased sensitivity, definitely more dryness and dullness to my skin, along with increased fine lines (damn you wrinkles!) and slackness in certain areas as well as some dehydration at times. Wonderful hey?? (LOL).
The good news is, technology has come far in regards to better quality foundations and some foundations now contain skincare ingredients that actually help address many of these issues common to more mature and maturing skin.
As I am a ‘makeup and skincare junkie’, I try to test out what is new on the market and keep abreast of what is current. I often get ‘the girls’ (the other half of threeonawire), to try out new products and we have developed some criteria for when we are testing.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A FOUNDATION
There are certain qualities I look for when I am on the hunt for a new foundation:
- Number one is the ingredients that will help to combat the issues I am most concerned with. For example, as my skin is becoming drier, I look for one whose ingredients make my skin feel and look moisturized. These ingredients will allow my skin to appear healthy and glowier and will somewhat combat the dullness issue. They will also help plump up those fine lines, wrinkles, and slack skin. Look for ingredients and words like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, humectants, emollients, aqua, urea, shea butter, cetearyl alcohol (this is a good fatty one that helps with hydration), aloe, etc…
- Who doesn’t love a foundation that ‘goes that extra mile’ for ageing skin? Look for ones that contain those beneficial extra ingredients like SPF (although I would not wear one of these at night) zinc and titanium-oxides (a physical sunscreen), niacinamide (combats pigmentation), vitamins, anti-oxidants (combats free radicals/environmental stress), etc…
- When it comes to dehydration and dullness, it’s a different story. These issues are mostly related to what you put in your body, not really what you put on your skin. To combat them, make sure you are drinking plenty of water daily, eat a healthy, nutritious diet, avoid over-imbibing the alcohol and coffee and try to get good quality sleep and avoid stress (LOL! Yes, I know, Ha! but you get the picture).
- Next, I look to coverage and feel on the skin. I definitely want a foundation that covers my pigmentation, but these days I look for one that looks natural and skin-like. I don’t like them to feel heavy at all (nothing worse than the feeling of being – painted!) They must feel light. While I want some glow, I definitely don’t want an oily-feeling foundation that is going to slip and slide everywhere in the Summer months or when I have a hot flush. Having said this, there are some foundations I prefer to wear in Summer and other’s more-so, in Winter. However the ones I recommend below I can wear year-round, I may just have to adjust the shades a little.
- Next, I consider the wear factor. I like my foundation to be relatively long-wearing (as in it has to last the day). I am not the ‘touch-up type’ at all. Also, I find that the more long-wearing the foundation, the better it resists sweating and humidity (both factors to consider over 50, if you suffer from hot flushes and live in a humid climate, as I do). There are other foundations I could have included below that I love. However, because of the wear-time (they only last on me a few hours), so I have purposely not included them.
- Most foundation manufacturers have a terrific shade-range these days, so I do not find matching my skin-tone a problem, but this would be something to consider also. I generally fit into the light-medium category.
- I will also shy away from ones that contain detrimental ingredients for the skin eg: heavily perfumed foundations if I can – due to sensitivity – and ones that contain a large amount of alcohol -as they dry out the skin.
A WORD ABOUT POWDER FOUNDATIONS
Personally, I avoid powder foundations, as I feel most are uncomfortable on my sensitive skin. They tend to itch after a while (due to some of the talc or bismuth ingredients in them) and also because I live in a very humid climate in the Summer months. I feel they also sink into my pores and almost always appear too matte and cakey-looking on my now drier, skin type. However, if you like them, then you do you!
ALWAYS SAMPLE IF YOU CAN
When you are choosing a foundation, I would always advise you to ask for a sample to take home first, if you can. This is so you can test it freely and really experience it on your skin for a decent period of time. Mecca, Sephora and the larger department stores like Myer and David Jones here in Australia will always accommodate this freely. It is worth getting a sales assistant to match your shade for you. Your smaller retail stores: Priceline, Chemist Warehouse and other Pharmacies may allow you to test if you bring your own clean pots (especially if you get to know the sales-lady well, as I do). I buy small, clean plastic containers from the bargain shops and always keep one or two in my handbag for this purpose.
*(Currently, during COVID, you can still get samples from Mecca & Sephora if you ask, however many of the smaller retailers are unable to keep samples on the shelves, unfortunately – for infection control purposes).
HERE ARE 5 OF MY FAVOURITES TO CONSIDER
Makeup Forever Reboot Foundation
Positives: My newest and current favourite medium coverage foundation. When applied sparingly, it feels weightless on the skin. Looks very natural and dewy on my skin. Does not sit in wrinkles or lines. Covers pigmentation well. Great shade range suited to cool, warm and neutral skin tones. Specifically suited to ageing skin. Contains many beneficial, extra skincare ingredients. Lasts well throughout the day and is easy to blend. Looks great when applied with brush, sponge or fingers. Is buildable and doesn’t look cakey. Does not oxidise. I feel my skin looks healthy, moisturised and firmer when I wear this.
This foundation instantly corrects the effects of fatigue on your skin thanks to a unique combination of makeup and skincare. From stress to pollution and lack of sleep, today’s women are all faced with the same challenge. Reboot’s breakthrough technology tackles this with the Active Care Matrix complex, a smart biopolymer structure that treats your skin’s surface like a face mask. Key ingredients are released for an immediate and lasting result on your skin for up to twenty-four hours*. Redsnow extract restores your glow for an all-day brightening effect, while ginseng firms and plumps your skin. To cover imperfections and unify your complexion, this silky formula offers buildable coverage ranging from light to medium, and an ultra-luminous finish.
Loreal Infallible 24hr Fresh Wear Foundation
Positives: A natural and smooth looking foundation that covers pigmentation well. Feels lightweight on the skin. Lives up to its name of looking fresh for a long period throughout the day, although I have never worn it 24hrs. A light layer gives a medium, satin coverage and is buildable for a fuller coverage if needed (although I don’t like it as much when built-up). It does not oxidise on the skin. Does not crease or settle into lines on me. Nor does it accentuate any areas of concern when worn with one layer. Comes with a pump for convenience. Great shade range. Love that it’s sweat-resistant and contains a few skincare ingredients ie. hyaluronic acid.
Negatives: Contains denatured alcohol (ingredient 6 on the list), Contains fragrance (Far down the list) and silicone (which can clog the pores if worn daily, however, I never wear any foundation daily). I don’t like this applied too heavily as I find it can settle into lines. Not enough SPF, so don’t count on it alone.
24 Hour non-stop, long-wear foundation. L’Oréal Paris Infallible Foundation provides superior hold and moisturising comfort for 24-hour flawless coverage, no touch-ups required. Fighting imperfections and shine without compromising on moisture, the skin is left truly infallible.
With the added benefit of Hyaluronic fresh complex that increases the level of water held by the skin, Infallible liquid foundation keeps skin refreshed, hydrated and flawless with intense staying power that lasts all day without ever caking or drying. Breakthrough long-wear foundation with breathable-skin technology. Up to 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation provides medium-to-full buildable coverage that lasts all day and allows the skin to breathe. The formula’s three oil absorbers resist sweat, water, and transfer. The ultra-thin liquid goes on smoothly to give a fresh, healthy-looking complexion that lasts. Colour stays true and blends in evenly, so your makeup looks fresh all day. Non-comedogenic and formulated with SPF, this foundation is suitable for all skin types. In 30 shades for every skin tone.
Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream
Available online from missha.com.au for $35.90 and various other Australian online beauty stores. I can recommend yestyle.com.au $17.40 atm and an additional 10% off code LN6S8G (I wear no.23 natural beige).
Positives: I love this for when I am exercising and for ‘everyday wear’. Formulated in Asia, so is definitely suited to those that live in humid climates. It again feels lightweight and gives my skin a wonderful healthy glow. Provides a light to medium coverage. Skin feels hydrated; looks hydrated and for a BB cream, it does an amazing job of covering imperfections/pigmentation and thus evens out the complexion. Long-wearing also for a BB cream, which is surprising. This shade is perfect for me. A little goes a long way. Value for money. Many skin-care benefits contained in the ingredients (especially the SPF). Always get compliments when wearing this. Comes with a pump and great packaging.
Negatives: Not a lot of shades (6 in total). Even though it states you don’t need sunscreen, I do wear sunscreen underneath it as I feel you would need to use a very large amount to be able to get the SPF coverage they claim. Appears greyish on the hand, but appears natural when applied to the face.
World Best Seller BB Cream- It is a multi-function BB Cream with effect of UV blocking, Whitening & Wrinkle Care, creating perfect cover makeup MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream offers a novel skincare concept with BB cream, which lightens skin tone by healing visible wrinkles & blemishes with the excellent skin-cover ability and prevents skin ageing through effective whitening and anti-wrinkle properties. This M Perfect Cover BB Cream makes your skin tone clean & chic by coverage. It is a multi-functional makeup cream with blocking UV rays, whitening and wrinkle care effects and simplifies makeup formalities. Its moisturised application with W/S texture makes sleek skin tone while supplying moisture & nutrition at the same time. Excellent UV Screening Effect SPF 42/PA+++ You don’t need to apply sunblock separately. – 50ml
Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth Infusing Serum Makeup
Cost: $75 AU and is available at Myer, David Jones $78 and leading Department stores in Australia. I believe Estee Lauder will be coming out with an updated version of this around September 2020 (or so I am told by reps). It is available overseas and is called Futurist Hydra-Rescue Foundation and has great reviews from the 50+ beauty community. (I wear shade 2c3 natural fresco).
Positives: Contains SPF (although not enough when used lightly in my opinion, so use a dedicated SPF under). This gives a smooth, very pretty, medium coverage. I find it is best applied with a sponge for a lighter, skin-like coverage. It looks and feels hydrating and provides a satin finish. Lasting power is excellent. Does a good job at covering pigmentation and imperfections. It is fragrance-free and non-acnegenic; so it doesn’t clog pores. Comes with a pump. (Fantastic when combined with Revlon Candid Foundation.)
Negatives: Pricey. If applied too heavily, it can be cakey. Although relatively lightweight, I can still feel it, but it is not uncomfortable. Only a limited shade range here in Australia and they tend to run on the yellow side. Sometimes doesn’t play well with my other skincare. Still need a dedicated SPF under it for daywear.
Infuse youth with this makeup, infused with Perfectionist serum technology. Instantly brightens and perfects. Re-ignites the look of radiance. Reduces the look of dry lines. Nourishes with oil-free hydration. Women love it. Instantly, 93% said skin looked transformed, 87% saw a more youthful, radiant look. Long-wearing shades for all women, all skin tones. Now re-ignite your youth.
Osmosis Performance Wear Satin Foundation
Positives: It is a mineral makeup and therefore provides a ton of skincare benefits and that is what you are paying for. It is a medium to full-coverage foundation. Dewy and hydrating. Provides a smooth, satin skin-like coverage. Again, a little goes a long way. The shade range is better than what it used to be (9 shades). Covers pigmentation, imperfections beautifully and is very long-lasting.
Negatives: Only available online (which makes it difficult to select the correct shade). Super pricey. While it does come in a pump style, it can still get messy in the lid – crappy packaging.
Osmosis liquid mineral foundation is silky smooth and features anti-aging benefits. It is specially formulated with skin-nourishing plant-based ingredients, such as calming chamomile, hyaluronic acid, and peptides. With long-lasting coverage, this Osmosis liquid foundation is lightweight and easily buildable for a brilliant glow and radiant finish that treats your skin with kindness – not harshness. All Osmosis products are designed by analysing the body as a whole to develop holistic products that create a healthy environment for your skin to heal. Our foundation is no different.
Using a revolutionary doctor-developed formula backed by rigorous scientific evidence, Osmosis anti-aging foundation nourishes your skin while providing silky coverage and a radiant glow. Chamomile soothes inflamed skin and encourages hydration. Meanwhile, rapeseed oil delivers potent antioxidants along with omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to leave skin supple and plump.
Osmosis anti-aging foundation is non-toxic, gluten-free, and vegan. Committed to sustainability, the container is recyclable.
NOTE: While I have limited my selection to 5 foundations today, I do have quite a few others I love and use in rotation. I have literally tried hundreds throughout the years.
Do you have any recommendations?