Fake a flawless face: New foundations promise to nourish our skin AND make it look smoother

Fake a flawless face: New foundations promise to nourish our skin AND make it look smoother



00:10 GMT, 26 March 2012

A new generation of foundations promise skin that’s flawless and looks more natural than ever before.

When Blemish Balm creams (BB creams) hit the British cosmetics market last year, their combination of light coverage and skin-perfecting ingredients had foundations running scared.

Could the humble foundation, stalwart of the nation’s make-up bags, ever measure up

A new generation of foundations promise skin that's flawless and looks more natural than ever before

A new generation of foundations promise skin that's flawless and looks more natural than ever before

In the coming months, a slew of new foundations from the biggest beauty brands are poised to go on to counters, boasting high-tech formulations that promise increased hydration, better coverage, flawless colour-matching and super staying power. But does the reality justify the hype

Bobbi Brown, Extra Repair Foundation (36, bobbibrown.co.uk)

This comes in a jar and looks more like a thick, tinted cold cream than a foundation. It’s rich in evening primrose oil and shea butter — so not one for oily or acne-prone skin, and most people probably won’t need a separate moisturiser either.


We pit the new versions of our favourite foundations against the old…


THE OLD: Yves Saint Laurent Perfect Touch (34)

THE NEW: Yves Saint Laurent Teint Radiance (31)

THE VERDICT: I love my Perfect Touch foundation. However, I have been converted. The new Teint Radiance is smoother, easier to blend and feels lighter.


THE OLD: Chanel Pro Lumiere (Discontinued)

THE NEW: Chanel Perfection Lumiere (36)

THE VERDICT: I was traumatised to find my go-to shade no longer exists, but I soon realised that Perfection Lumiere provided the same coverage but felt much lighter on my skin.

Laura Mercier

THE OLD: Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser (33)

THE NEW: Laura Mercier Moisture Suprme Foundation (33)

THE VERDICT: The Illuminating Tinted moisturiser had a high sheen finish, the Moisture Supreme Foundation gave more coverage but less of a glow. So I mixed them for a perfect blend.

Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation

THE OLD: Shiseido The Skincare Tinted Moisture Protection (34)

THE NEW: Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation (34)

THE VERDICT: The new Refining Foundation gave me flawless-looking skin, but it wasn’t as moisturising as my trusted version. I’ll save the foundation for evenings and the Moisture Protection for days.

It seems to need working into the skin
more than most foundations — initially it feels sticky — but, once it’s
settled, it becomes sheer with a natural, dewy finish.

Benefit’s oil-free Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Make-up (24.50, benefitcosmetics.co.uk, from next month)

This foundation is similarly impressive. The formula apparently contains ingredients that, in test tubes, have been shown to ‘help boost cellular respiration for a “plumping up” effect’.

And, for those after light-to-medium coverage, it goes on easily, doesn’t look like a mask and lasts well without drying skin, which isn’t always the case with oil-free products.

Givenchy Eclat Matissime (32.50, 01932 233 824)

Parched skin has always been a problem with matte-finish foundations, and this is something Givenchy sets out to fix with Eclat Matissime. Most mattifying bases work by stopping production of oil, or sebum.

But when skin dries out, the oil-producing glands make skin shiny again, so the cycle repeats. Givenchy has included zinc spheres that only target excess amounts of oil on the skin. It definitely gives a matte finish in most areas, but those with particularly oily skin may need extra powder on their T-zone.

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H (27, lancome.co.uk)

Lancome has been working on colour that will go the distance and stay matte without drying skin, and believes this is it. The new formulation contains pigments designed to cling to skin, as well as a blend of absorbent ingredients, for a matte finish.

The aim was make-up that looks and feels good for 24 hours. We can report that after eight hours, skin still had a radiant velvety appearance and felt great.

Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Make-up (27, johnlewis.com)

This new product uses a technology Lauder is calling IntuiTone — pigments and molecules that create optical illusions to conceal flaws, while allowing the natural undertones in your skin to come through. Skin looks even but not caked, but it lacks the glow of some other products on the market.