I’m obsessed with a Clinique foundation for the first time since I was 14 and wore base the colour of a bandage. Some context: when it comes to foundation, the beauty world seems solely interested in coverage. Do you want to mask everything (including, frequently, the look of living skin), sport a sheer wash of healthy colour, or prefer to sit somewhere in the middle?
This approach ignores a basic but more important question that makes for a better-looking base. What is your skin type? And it’s answered, at least for us dehydrated types (whether oily or dry), by Clinique’s Even Better Refresh, £30 (30ml), which takes the hyaluronic acid- and glycerin-rich hydration of its Moisture Surge franchise (her in the pink pot) and packs it into a medium-coverage base (the packaging says “full”, but I gladly beg to differ). There’s some niacinamide and salicylic acid in there to minimise pores and clear blockages, no oil, and the overall texture is as I like it – slippery on application (I’ve been using fingertips to apply), smooth and dewy on the finish.
If you like the matte eggshell look, this won’t work, but don’t despair: you can barely move for foundations in that category. It stays uniform and moist all day, shifts not a smidge and covers redness a treat. With 27 inclusive shades to choose from (I’m Cream Chamois, should that help) and convenient and hygienic tube packaging, I’m struggling to find fault.
Nonetheless, don’t discount HydraLuminous Moisturising Foundation SPF15, £15 (30ml), from No7, another brand I’ve scarcely recommended in the category, but which has also just knocked it out of the park. With less than half the shade range of Clinique, but at half the cost, this is a very similar offering – minus some of the skincare problem-solving ingredients, but including a decent lineup of antioxidants. Again, this slides coolly and silkily on and sets to a dewy finish with a bright, moist-looking glow that lasts.
Both are a godsend if you find foundations look a little flat, dull, cakey or flaky, including under the eyes. I hear rumblings that more hydrating foundations are on their way from the big players. These two have set the bar high.
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