Best new foundations that actually looks like your skin

Isn’t it time you upgraded the hardest-working product in your make-up kit? Kelsey Ferencak explains the latest formula updates and application techniques to help put your best face forward. 

If you’ve been using the same foundation for years, it’s time to break up. Coming out of isolation and heading into a new season are both great reasons to explore potential new foundation suitors.

But if that’s not enough to get your eye wandering, then read on. The next generation of base-boosters do more than just sit on your skin. Here, we decipher how to find your perfect match and why less is more.

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Select the right shade

Three years ago, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty dropped a foundation available in 40 shades, setting a new standard for beauty inclusivity. The range (which now offers 50 colours) spurred on other brands to follow suit, and now finding a match that’s close to your skin tone is easier than ever.

First, look at the inside of your wrist. If your veins are blue, then you have neutral undertones that’ll suit both cool and warm shades. If they’re purple, you’re on the cool side with pink-ish skin. And if they’re green, you have warm tones and golden skin.

For the most natural-looking finish, choose a shade that has the same undertones as your skin. From there, choose three shades that look like they’re your skin colouring (and undertone – it will say on the bottle) and swipe on bare skin on your jawline.

If you can’t find your match in-store, loads of brands now have smart technology and online quizzes to help.

Try:

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, ($52, at Sephora) and Morphe Fluidity Full-Coverage Foundation, ($27, at Morphe)

Skincare and makeup hybrids

Make-up has been revolutionised since the heavy, thick camouflage of the past. The next generation of foundation is a fusion of skin care and pigmented coverage, and is formulated with ingredients and technology beneficial to your complexion. After all, you are wearing it for long periods of time, so it may as well do some work.

Look to drops with nourishing and age defying ingredients like hyaluronic acid for hydration, antioxidants to protect against free-radical damage and pollution, as well as SPF. There’s also smart tech to help extend the wear and finish of your foundation, while also plumping and smoothing your skin.

Try:

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra- Foundation SPF30, ($96, at Mecca) and Maybelline Dream Urban Cover, ($25.95, at Adore Beauty)

The no-makeup-makeup look

Barely there, no-make-up make-up is no longer just a trend as more of us are embracing our natural complexions and opting for sheer-coverage foundation to enhance our own skin.

Whether you choose all-over coverage through lightweight, silky serum formulations that move with your skin, or concentrated coverage, where you only apply where you need it, there’s an array of options to suit. For foundation that actually looks like your skin, it’s important to go light on application, too. Instead of loading up a brush, try using the warmth of your fingers or a damp sponge to provide the most natural finish. Apply down your T-zone, on cheeks under the eyes and over any areas where you need extra coverage before buffing in.

Try:

Napoleon Perdis Personal Trainer Serum Foundation, ($69, at Adore Beauty) and Trinny London Just a Touch Foundation Concealer, ($50, at Trinny London)

Pick up a primer

The finish and longevity of your make-up can all depend on how well you prep your skin. When combined with your skin type, chosen formula and external factors (such as a day being spent on the water or in the sun), it can be tricky to estimate how well your foundation will perform and hard to know whether they’re worth the price.

But that’s where primers come in. Not only do they lay the groundwork for how each make-up step will sit, the new-and-improved multitasking offerings on the market also now work to make your complexion look better immediately – as well as over time. Packed with potent skin-loving ingredients and high-tech tricks, they can smooth, blur, even out and add radiance in one simple swipe, making them entirely worth the investment.

Try:

Estée Lauder The Mattifier, ($54, at Myer) and Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Brightening + Skin-Tone Evening, ($14.97, at Myer)