The Foundations That Continue To Impress Me

I’m known for not wearing a lot of makeup – the natural, ‘no makeup/makeup’ look appeals to me most. Give me a great, long-lasting foundation that covers my redness, a shimmery bronzer, a brow-enhancing product, nude lipstick and I’m good to go. However, throughout my career in beauty, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is: “What foundation do you use?”.

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Well, here are the ones I keep going back to (in no particular order); some may seem familiar and others, new. There are lightweight formulas and those that provide fuller coverage. And, they vary across different price ranges. Spot any favourites?

  1. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift and Firm Makeup SPF 15 PA++ in Sandstone 04, R585: I was on the hunt for a foundation that would hide my redness and my dream came true when I bought this one from Elizabeth Arden. The creamy texture ensured that my skin didn’t look cakey (my absolute worst) and it concealed my mild rosacea (I’ll talk about that in an upcoming blog post – stay tuned) and it has an additional SPF 15. Click here to purchase.

  2. Physicians Formula Nude Wear Touch of Glow Foundation in Light/Medium, R249: This is definitely one of the most hydrating foundations I’ve ever tried. It leaves your skin with a dewy finish whilst still appearing naturally sunkissed. I wore this foundation a lot during my September 2018 trip to Zanzibar and it matched my tanned complexion perfectly. A little goes a long way with this Physicians Formula foundation; I used my fingers to apply it to my skin. No sponge or foundation brush was necessary. Click here to purchase.

  3. Filorga Flash Nude [Fluid] SPF 30 in 01 Nude Beige, R635: The most lightweight foundation of them all! This is my go-to for those really lazy, ‘I can’t be bothered to put on makeup’ days. Truth be told, I’ve often carried a bottle in my handbag occasionally. The squeezy bottle makes sure it doesn’t leak and that you use minimal product. I love how fluid it is. Your skin still feels like it’s able to breathe after application. A splurge, but worth it. Click here to purchase.

  4. Max Factor Ageless Elixir Miracle Foundation in Golden 75, R234,58: You know that feeling when a foundation meets your skin and you think, this is too good to be true? Well, that was the case when I first tried this one from Max Factor. Sent to me initially via press drop, it’s been a foundation that I’ve purchased over and over again and recommend all the time, particularly if someone wants something that’s pocket-friendly. It’s a buildable formula that provides a satiny finish and full coverage. This foundation and my Beauty Blender go hand in hand. Click here to purchase.

  5. La Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF 20 in Blush 31, R1720 – R1750: We all know how much I love La Mer. It’s one of the most luxurious skincare brands in the world and I’ll never forget how excited I was when the colour range launched in South Africa. Like all La Mer products, this foundation contains Miracle Broth, a trademarked concoction of ingredients to protect, hydrate and ensure your skin looks its best. And my skin really does look its best when I wear this. I can apply it first thing in the morning and by the evening, it still hasn’t budged. Best used with my La Mer foundation brush. Click here to purchase.

  6. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear 24H Foundation SPF 15 in 032, R550: This is one of the most iconic foundations in the world, so one shouldn’t be surprised that it’s made my list of favourites. I’m thrilled that Teint Idole is available in 40 different shades, making it a cinch for you to find your ideal foundation shade. It’s a must if you’re looking for full coverage and longwear. Go to your nearest Lancôme counter and get matched! You can thank me later.  Click here to purchase.

  7. Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation in 3 SPF 15 PA+++, R425: You had me at ‘blur’… I mean, who doesn’t want a flawless complexion? Benefit’s Hello Happy (aka the foundation with a smile) has been one of the biggest foundation launches in South Africa this year and everytime I use it, I’m reminded of how great it is. I use it when my skin’s feeling a bit on the oily side, as it gives a slight matte finish. I recommend using this with a stippling brush to ensure it blends perfectly. To get that proper ‘blurring’ effect, ensure your skin is properly cleansed, moisturised, and exfoliated. ONE LAST THING: It comes in a mini version too (R175)! Adorable is an understatement.

    Click here to purchase the normal size.
    Click here to purchase the mini size.

    One of my favourite people, Tori Tatham also wrote a post on her best foundations and surprise surprise, we overlap a bit. Check out her post here.

My Favourite Nude Lippy: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in 54 Boy

I’ve tried countless nude lipsticks over the years and none have compared to the perfection known as Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in the iconic shade 54 Boy. It’s the ideal blend of subtlety, shimmer and hydration. You see, my lips are drier than most (hence my obsession with balms) and it’s essential that I wear something that keeps up the hydration levels at all times. Matte lip formulas are sadly a no-go for me.

I was first introduced to this beauty many moons ago when I worked in the beauty department for FAIRLADY Magazine and had the pleasure of testing out hundreds of beauty products for their Best of Beauty Awards (tough gig, right?). ‘Boy’ was a clear winner in the makeup category and a firm favourite amongst the judges. I was so impressed by the way it mimicked my true lip colour and how it felt once you applied it. It truly does melt into your lips. This hydrating colour lipshine lives up to its name and is totally worth the splurge (R615) if you’re in the market for a new nude with a sheer finish.

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My personal top tips when it comes to nude lipstick:

  1. I enjoy makeup trends but usually prefer sticking to my own. A nude lipstick is the most wearable lip colour in the world, be it during summer or winter. Just make sure you pick the correct shade for your skintone.

  2. Speaking of skintones, the best advice I can give you is, don’t choose a nude lipstick that matches your natural skintone. It’ll make your lips (as well as your complexion) look dull and washed out - and yep, that’s not a good look. The end goal is to make your lips pop, in a subtle way of course. Rather choose a hue that’s one shade darker or lighter than your skintone.

  3. Exfoliate your lips at least once a week and keep them moisturised at all times. This will ensure you get the best wear from your newly purchased lippy.

  4. Don’t be discouraged by my matte lipstick rant. If a matte finish works for you, consider me jealous!

Do you share my obsession with Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in 54 Boy?
Click here to purchase.