What comes first the artist or the product? Finding your perfect foundation fit.

Updated: Jan 20, 2020

I was trying to think of a witty opener to this blog but I don’t have one I just need a new foundation. Buying makeup, even as a blogger can be tricky in some ways, even trickier as you are exposed to so many ‘influencers’ in the industry telling you their foundation is the greatest thing since the invention of the emoji.

As you can imagine I have tried a lot of foundations, from Rimmel in my youth to Tom Ford in my heavily in debt twenties and then the classic Estee Lauder Doublewear. I have a simple list of what I want from a foundation; to have skin like Snow White, to look like Gisele Bundchen and to make me grow three inches. In all seriousness I just want something easy to apply, lasts all day, not cakey and matches my skin tone perfectly so I don’t get the dreaded ‘tide line’.

Harrods new beauty hall, what was I saying about intimidating, I'd need to be sanitised and in a hazmat suit to visit.

Makeup counters can be intimidating, I have been treated unkindly (like a piece of shit) on occasion and then sometimes like I am Gigi, it depends on who you get and sadly how you are dressed. Then there is always that terrifying moment, what if the artist on the counter spends a significant amount of time on you and you don’t like any of it but feel compelled to buy something, we’ve all done it. So I thought that I would do us all a favour in my quest for flawless foundation and visit some of the most popular counters and get a reflection of what happens when asked if you ‘need any help?’ responding with ‘yes please, I am looking for a new foundation’, dun dun der.

Becca, John Lewis, Newcastle.

I was approached by Emma who had lovely makeup and in particular, her skin looked glowing which was a good sign. She made me feel relaxed and asked a lot of questions that helped guide Emma to the foundation specific to me rather than a one size fits all approach (which I hate). Ascertaining my skin type, preferred coverage and application method, this girl knew her stuff. Emma colour matched my neck and face then afterwards retouched my makeup so I didn’t have a patch. She gave me samples of the two that she felt were the best colour for me and suggested it was best to try them on a naked face, making me feel no pressure to purchase, she also gave me a primer sample to gain the full Becca experience. I tried the foundation at home and I loved the consistency and it was really easy to apply, I am not a fan of the packaging as it is in a tube, I prefer a bottle with a pump but that's personal preference. Even if I don’t pick Skin Love Weightless Blur (£32) as my favourite foundation I would return to counter for the experience alone and purchase something else.

Bobbi Brown, Fenwick, Newcastle

Nothing to tell you other than if a pal that used to work there pops in with their new baby, you can stand at the counter for three minutes and be ignored. Don’t worry though you can do a full lap of the cosmetics hall and give them the benefit of the doubt then be ignored again, crap. Disappointing too as I wanted to try Bobbi Brown as it was the one that I thought that I would like the most.

Lancome, Fenwick, Newcastle

I liked it here, I tried the ‘Le Teint Particulier’, it's a skin scanner that is supposed to be the best on the market for matching your skin tone to the correct shade. Claire matched me to two colours and asked about the coverage that I preferred. She also asked if I would like my full face done from scratch (excellent to offer this) or a colour match which I went for despite being tempted to sit and be pampered. Claire applied Le Teint Ultra Idol foundation (£33.50) the fancy machine had selected to my face and neck and then offered me a 7-day sample. Claire also asked about my skincare as this would make a huge difference to how my foundation would sit and stay on my skin, this was really useful, giving me a sample of Genifique to try too. Claire made me feel at ease, she listened and I felt comfortable on the counter, to be honest, I could’ve stayed there longer to absorb her knowledge about the brand and the products. I liked the foundation although it was a little harder to blend than I expected, I think that I would have been better with a beauty blender for this one.

YSL, Boots, Eldon Square.

Strangely I have never tended to visit Boots for this sort of thing but with the Sephora style beauty hall, I decided to give it a go. I wandered a few of the counters for a while and thought that I would approach the Beauty Bar for some impartial advice but the three girls were run off their feet chatting about the weekend so I stopped loitering and visited YSL. I already use the Touche Eclait Blur Primer by YSL so I thought that I would give their foundation a go. Charlotte helped me by asking me about my preferred coverage and if I liked my foundation to match or warm my skin. Charlotte, like Claire at Lancome, offered to do my full face (lovely) but again I just had the colour match. I loved this foundation and Charlotte like Emma at Becca bronzed and blushed my back to normal. I received a 3-day sample of this foundation, I love the bottle and the pump helps reduce waste, the consistency is a little thinner than other foundations but I found that this made it easier to blend and didn't actually need to build it that much as the coverage was really good.

Chanel, Fenwick, Newcastle.

I popped in here to buy the bronzer that many of you would have seen me raving about on Instagram, it is life-changing as Amy of @treatably assured me

Life changing (not even being dramatic) bronzer

. I asked about the foundation and had a pleasant experience. Initially, colour-matched on my hand which is like a sheet of white A4 paper at present wasn’t ideal, after a little gentle nudging it was tried on my neck but I didn’t have any makeup taken off so I felt like it was almost impossible to tell. I did get a sample when I purchased the bronzer of Les Beiges but when I tried at home the colour match was off, I feel le sad about this.

And the foundation winner was YSL All Hours Liquid Foundation. I wore it all day, it didn’t move but still felt breathable and I stayed matte all day. At £35 it wasn’t the cheapest but it was the best for me and my skin type. I really liked Becca Skin Blur as a close second and Lancome too but the YSL just felt right for how long I wear my foundation and what I pair it with. I am already looking forward to popping back to Becca for the perfect glow, Lancome for a skincare consultation and YSL to pop in to purchase my full-size foundation. However, I’m still searching for the foundation that will make me look like Gisele, I will get back to you.

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