In Your 20s
Whilst 20-somethings may be blessed with skin smooth enough to pull off thick and heavy foundations, it's counterproductive to cover up too much (the mask-like effect isn't a good look on anyone). If you're struggling with breakouts, choose a full- or medium-coverage base with a buildable matte formula, applying a light layer all-over and tapping extra over blemishes. Hourglass' innovative Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation is a godsend for oily skin, thanks to its liquid-to-powder technology; Party girls will love YSL's All-Hours, which boasts a transfer-resistant velvet-matte finish that really does stay put all night; and Estée Lauder's latest addition to the Double Wear range – the Nude Cushion Stick – is ideal for those always on-the-go, thanks to its handy sponge applicator.
In Your 30s
As MAC Senior Artist, Rebecca Butterworth, explains, "As you age, start paying more attention to the texture of your base. Be wary of full-coverage foundations, which can weigh down the skin and look ageing." She advises opting for formulas with added smoothing, hydrating and blurring ingredients – for full-coverage that still looks like skin, you can't beat Bare Minerals' award-winning BarePro Performance Wear, whilst Laura Mericer's Candleglow is packed with micro-fine mica, lending a soft-focus effect to skin. Butterworth also swears by BB and CC creams, our favourite of which is the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination, which boasts full-coverage (yes, in a CC cream), SPF50, a cocktail of anti-ageing ingredients and brightening colour-correcting technology.
In Your 40s
Once we hit 40, our collagen levels begin to drop at a much faster rate, so look for foundations with ingredients that encourage cell turnover and help promote elasticity, to combat any loss of firmness (ensuring your skin is hydrated and primed before applying your base is also key for flawless, long-lasting make-up). By Terry's Terrybly Densiliss both gives an smooth, airbrushed finish and boosts skin's collagen production over time, whilst Dior's Capture Totale Serum evens skin tone instantly with a satiny veil of colour, and reduces the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles in the long run. Contending with drier skin in your 40s? Try Clarins' recently-launched Skin Illusion – packed with hydrating-yet-non-greasy oils, all you need is a few drops for a natural, radiant glow.
In Your 50s+
As Lancôme Head Make-Up Artist, Shehla Shaikh, explains, “Key considerations when choosing foundation for mature skin are texture and light, as anything too matte and full-coverage will give a flattening effect and age the skin. It’s vital to use light-reflecting products with a dewy, fresh finish.” Turn to new-gen tinted moisturisers – Chanel's Les Beiges Sheer Healthy Glow has one of finest textures on the market, plus SPF30, radiance-boosting mineral pigments and hydrating hyaluronic acid; whilst Giorgio Armani's Crema Nuda Tinted Cream colour-corrects, blurs imperfections and subtly highlights features. Or if you're after a bit more coverage (and extra anti-ageing benefits), La Prairie's cutting-edge Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation gives lightweight, seamless coverage alongside a dose of the brand's cult Caviar Water.
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