When it comes to make-up, a base is – excuse the pun – the foundation of any look. We all have our obsessions: some prefer show-stopping lashes, others go weak at the knees for a bold red lip. But I sit among the minimalists; the utilitarian cohorts of the make-up tribes. A clear, even complexion with great texture is the thing I’m after. With over 15 years as a beauty editor under my belt, I’ve come to expect a lot from my products – they need to work hard.
Everything starts with how great my skin looks. That’s obstacle number one; the rest is just enhancement. Without this, how can you wear any amazing colour palette or highlighter with the confidence you deserve?
I’ve watched countless make-up artists backstage at Fashion Week and had my colour matched by multiple experts, so I quickly learned that all foundations are not created equal. And nor should they be – after all, our needs are all different. Some of us contend with oily skin that may leave you with make-up that simply slips off within the hour. Some of us battle with pigmentation from the sins of our sunbathing youth, and we can’t all boast the flawless complexions of a 25-year-old Nordic girl who barely sees the sun (and yes, I do know one of those).
Skin type, skin tone, age and price point aside, our foundation should do one thing: give us the best version of our natural skin. A little physical filter, if you will. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that a truly great foundation should leave you without the need for any filter full stop.
So here are my rather lofty expectations for the humble, yet essential, foundation. It should blend well, so you shouldn’t be seeing tide marks on your jawline. It should also sit on the skin comfortably; if you’re seeing it come off on your friend’s pristine Margaret Howell blouse when you hug her hello, think about switching formulas – and offer to pay the dry cleaning bill.
It should also last. And when I say last, I mean when you wash your face at the end of the day, you should still see the remnants of your foundation come off in the sink or on your flannel. A truly great foundation has you covered from morning until night.
The good news is, the latest launch from L’Oreal Paris has thought of it all and then some. Infallible Foundation 24H Fresh Wear is a lightweight, sweatproof, smudge proof, long-wear base that is designed for a busy life. This super lightweight foundation uses clever polymer technology to fix the pigment of the foundation to the skin, while giving the pores plenty of room to breathe. In other words, the coverage is there to stay, but with an almost sheer finish, it feels like you’re wearing nothing.
Ultimately, that is what your base should do. Whether you’re after heavy coverage to disguise flare-ups or you need a little something to lift a dull, tired complexion, your base shouldn’t even feel like it’s on your skin, and yet have the tenacity to withstand whatever life is throwing at you at that moment. As women, we’re constantly adapting to what the landscape of our life’s demands are – there’s no reason we shouldn’t expect this much from our make-up too.
L’Oreal Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Foundation is available nationwide from 31st October in 29 shades. RRP £10.99
Emma Strenner has been a beauty journalist for over fifteen years. She has written for VOGUE, Sunday Times Style, ELLE, PORTER Magazine, Conde Nast Traveller and more. She has been the Beauty Director at PORTER, ELLE UK, VOGUE Australia, Tatler and Stylist. Emma’s career has taken her to beauty launches across the globe, laboratories and clinics, backstage at the shows and directing beauty shoots everywhere from Tulum to the Meatpacking District in New York.
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