Product watch: Feather-light foundations

Full coverage formulas that feel feather-light is where foundation is at this season, says Rachel Marie Walsh.

Any makeup that requires no ancillaries — concealer, colour-corrector, primer— sounds appealing, especially given the amount of time we are encouraged to devote to our lips, brows and cheekbones these days.

If it’s long wearing, as most new launches are, you don’t have to layer makeup over makeup throughout the day. 

Dior also points to a 2015 consumer report from market researchers Mintel as inspiration for a a new foundation in its premium Capture Totale range.

Apparently more and more of us are ditching a full face outright, complaining that foundation stifles the skin and looks fake. 

Behold: new makeup that feels filmic and looks like your complexion, filtered.

Best Long-Wearing Liquid

Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation, €34

Product watch: Feather-light foundations

Urban Decay’s All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, €30, has inspired this endurance-wear foundation.

I never recommend the makeup sealant because it contains lots of irritating alcohol and feels a little tacky on the skin. The foundation is a far better product, especially if you have oily or combination issues.

High concentrations of various silicones act as lightweight moisturisers (the formula is oil-free) and give the makeup a second-skin feel.

The colour pigment content is also very high, about three times of UD’s Naked Skin foundation, negating the need for concealer.

Finding a match in the 24-shade range is a cinch, as all look natural and have warm flattering undertones.

The finish is true-matte and waterproof.

All Nighter really lives up to its name.

Even the very acne-prone can trust it to last all night and most of the day after without slipping or fading.

One of the most prevalent ingredients is a methyl methacrylate crosspolymer.

This enhances the makeup’s silky texture but its primary function is comfortable oil-control.

The formula is alcohol and fragrance-free.

Ideally All Nighter would include antioxidants or UV protection but the brand is clear about having designed it for getting up to no good rather than doing you good.

It is certainly a reliable partner in crime.

Best Long-Wearing Powder

BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Powder, €31

Product watch: Feather-light foundations

Mineral makeup isn’t inherently better for skin than any other kind.

The idea that it lets skin ‘breathe’ or is somehow the most natural of foundations doesn’t hold up or even make much sense.

Formulas vary but bismuth oxychloride, a talc alternative used in several popular mineral foundations, is synthetic and texturally thick. Like any makeup or skincare, each mineral foundation should be judged by its ingredients list.

BareMinerals BarePro is talc-based, which sets it apart from the brand’s existent powders and makes it absorbent.

It is recommended for all skin types but the formula favours normal to oily skin.

When wearing makeup for an extended period it is nice to feel like your skin is benefitting, so BM gets points for loading the formula with antioxidant derivatives.

Matte pressed-powder sounds like the least attractive kind of foundation, old-fashioned and potentially caked with fibers that cluster in creases and large pores.

BareMinerals Bare Pro is a sophisticated opaque matte that glides on and buffs into skin with very little brushwork.

This is another highly-pigmented formula.

Expect a uniform complexion that needs no additional camouflage and few touch-ups throughout the day.

Best Full-Coverage Cream

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, €50

Stick foundations are nothing new but what I find novel about Hourglass’s twist-up is the finish.

Sticks are often opaque and densely pigmented— surely the word ‘slap’ originates with this kind of makeup— with a uniform finish that can look a bit flat.

Not so with Vanish, which is hydrating enough to impart dewy radiance. It is easy to create a polished look by swiping straight from the tube and finger-blending.

A little goes a long way and even a light layer does not look sheer. ‘Vanish’ is really the wrong name, as even with a perfect colour-match this makeup will never be undetectable. 

Still, it does blend seamlessly and last for hours without fading or creasing.

Hourglass pitches this as foundation with concealer-like coverage and packs the formula with twice as many colour pigments as traditional stick makeup. 

Your whole base is ready after a single application. The brightening finish means it can also double as a subtle highlighter.

Best Makeup-Skincare Hybrid

Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion, €80

Product watch: Feather-light foundations

Dior is consistently good at foundations and this silky new base is a great choice for normal to dry skin. The compact has a similar mesh-cushion interior to Lancôme’s Miracle Cushion Foundation, €38.

This safeguards against leakage and waste of such expensive product and allows for even distribution of its coloured and brightening pigments.

Patting and blending with the sponge supplied is the best way to get an even layer on quickly. 

Things get streaky with a flat brush. The formula is lightweight but high in anti-ageing ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and several potent antioxidants.

Free radical fighting-extracts include longoza and opilia, both exotic plants grown in Dior’s gardens in Burkina Faso.

Dreamskin has more anti-ageing ingredients than Capture Totale Dreamskin, €104, the range’s alcohol-rich brightening serum. 

I also really like that the formula provides such strong broad-spectrum UV protection, though you would need to apply it liberally to take full advantage. This foundation is mildly fragranced and may bother very sensitive skin.


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