Category Archives: Foundation Reviews

Secret Weapon: Myface Mymix Foundation

myface foundationThis is my base discovery of the year – it is the perfect product for women who need some coverage, but don’t want to wear a proper foundation. It is the best ‘real life’ foundation I have tried in years.

Regular readers of MM will know that Myface Cosmetics is a bit of a favourite line of mine, since pretty much everything I have tried from the line is excellent. The colour pay-off and shade selection on the coloured products is fantastic, and the price point is drugstore as opposed to department store. Myface is a fantastic range for everyday life, and I also keep quite a few of the products in my kit for editorial work.

Why is this foundation my unsung hero of my makeup bag? It’s like a beefy tinted moisturiser, and now that I have reached an age where my skin needs a bit more help, true tinted moisturisers have been relegated to the weekend. I need more coverage now as my skin seems to get redder and more blotchy as the years roll on. The Myface foundation really mimics skin, providing a glow and covering what needs to be covered without sticking to pores or looking like makeup. I apply my makeup in direct sunlight, so I can really see what’s going on, and it just disappears in, making all my manky red bits go away.

It also comes in 9 shades which pretty comprehensively covers the range of skintones, including tawny Indian and light complected black skins. Unfortunately it doesn’t extend as far on the shade spectrum as I would like, leaving truly dark and pale skins unnacounted for, but it is a more comprehensive shade selection than some of the European prestige lines.

In fact, I would go as far as to say it’s a pretty good substitute for Chanel Vitalumiere! And a third of the price. I’ve been using it now every day on myself for at least six months, and for me it’s perfect. If your skin is very oily I would think it might be a bit greasy or shiny for you, but for drier or more mature skins who need a bit of help without wanting to delve into real foundation territory, this is for you.

A word of warning with the container though – I love its lightweight plastic design and the smooth pebble-y feel of it, but if you’re flying, double-bag it first as it does have a tendency to leak. Not good if it’s in your handbag!

Myface Cosmetics can be bought at Boots chemists in the UK and online at www.myfacecosmetics.co.uk

Secret Weapon: BeautyBlender

BeautyBlenderThis little velvety hot pink nugget of makeup blending goodness is the BeautyBlender. Why so amazing, I hear you ask? Well its curves fit perfectly into the palm of your hand, and blends foundation into an airbrsuhed, seamless finish. It can be used wet or dry, and its pointy end gets right into the deepest parts of the face, like around the eyes and the nostrils, which are often hard to reach with regular makeup sponges.

Designed by Hollywood makeup artists Rea Ann Silva and Veronica Lorenz, it was created to improve the foundation application process – making it as undetectable as possible (this we like!) It’s been used backstage on the international show circuit by mega makeup artist Dick Page, and celeb favourites include Kim Kardashian and Rihanna. It’s also fab for the environment because it’s reusable, and it comes with it’s own special cleanser (cleverly called BlenderCleanser) that is a mixture of Tea Tree and Lavender so it smells delish and is also tres nice for cleaning brushes. It’s latex-free, non-allergenic, and for those of you with problem skin it means you can wash it and always have a fresh, clean applicator to apply your makeup. It’s also amazing to apply cream blushes, as it just gives this flawless, gorgeous finish to the makeup. Plus the color makes me happy. It goes with me on every job.

I order mine from my favourite online beauty boutique, The Beauty Closet and dangerously! they ship worldwide.

For more info on the BeautyBlender, visit www.beautyblender.net

Best. Foundation. Ever. Chanel Vitalumiere

Chanel VitalumiereThis is a big call. I mean, how do you choose the best of something that is so specific, and so personal? After all, it is supposed to replicate the skin you’re in. And whilst this is my Number 1, (and 2, and 3) foundation in my kit because of how it meets the demands of my work, it may not be right for you.

But I do want to tell you why I love it so. For a start, it’s nice and dewy, just like gorgeous healthy skin should be. It blends like a dream and doesn’t get dry or cakey. I use this on everyone – models on shoots, real people, for the red carpet, for the shows, straight beauty, advertising – I can hardly think of a job I DON’T use it on. You can sheer it out or beef up the coverage, go all over or just where needed, use it with a brush or a sponge or your fingers. Sigh. Can you tell I’m still enamoured after all these years?

Oh sure I’ve toyed with many other foundations – in fact I have a drawer full at home! Even other Chanel foundations don’t rock my socks off like Vitalumiere. I flirted with Teint Innocence and had a brief decamp to Pro Lumiere (too heavy for winter, doable for those who like a more matte finish), but always, always I go back to my trusty VL (I’m Australian so we abbreviate everything, even things that shouldn’t be abbreviated, like Chanel products). Anyways…

It does have its drawbacks however – if you have very oily skin it might be too glowy for you. For me it doesn’t matter because I’m always there to top up with powder to keep the shine at the right level, but equally if you live in a hot or sunny climate (Australia and the American South, I’m talking to YOU!) it’s probably going to move around too much and be a bit heavy. In which case can I recommend something lighter like MAC Face and Body, or Chantecaille’s Oil Free Future Skin?

Chanel Vitalumiere only comes in 7 shades in Europe, so it’s great for lighter skintones, not so ace for black or mixed race people – this is the only downside of this foundation for me. So I keep Bobbi Brown and Becca foundations also in my kit to cover all the bases – so to speak!

Vitalumiere gives your skin the glow it wishes it had, and every makeup artist I know has this in their kit. For me as a makeup artist, it’s the Best. Foundation. Ever.

A Whiter Shade of Pale

Gothic Drama at Zac PosenIt started as a murmur at the last Fashion Week – not a bronzer in sight, instead either natural skin tomes or slightly paler, bones highlighted with judicious use of contour and luminiser. Then came Twilight, the vampire film seemingly beloved by all, and the murmur became a whisper, and now with the release of New Moon (the sequel to Twilight), and the fact that I haven’t opened my bronzer bag in six months, I think the whisper is officially a roar – pale skin is back in.

It will be interesting to see what the next round of Fashion Weeks brings up in September, but I don’t see paler skin going anywhere. When the only people wedded to their toxic tans seem to be Lindsey Lohan, Victoria Beckham and Jordan, I do think it’s time to move on and embrace the skin you’re in, one free of nasty melanomas and prematurely aged by the sun.

Being on the lighter side myself I can attest too many long Australian summers in the sun, cooking myself to my deepest color – a disappointing watery tea shade that invariably burned, and took about 150 hours of hard core sun exposure to get what I could have done in half an hour in the bathroom with a coat of Clarins fake tan. So even on holidays now I protect myself with SPF 50, and try not to worry too much about those toxic (but oh so enjoyable!) rays. Thus it’s great to see that there is a new movement afoot to embrace our natural, un-suntanned selves. Just in time for winter!Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan in Twilight

Chantecaille have introduced a new pale shade of their fabulous Future Skin foundation, which was sorely lacking from their line before, and both MAC and Illamasqua do pure white foundations for the fairest amongst you.  Kay Montano uses Becca Sherbert when she is looking after the creamy complexion of regular client, Nicole Kidman, and for highlighting the alabaster-skinned I like either Becca Pearl, or Pat McGrath’s favourite, Armani Fluid Sheer in 0.

And of course for our friends whose skin is NEVER going to be a whiter shade of pale, rock the gorgeous skin tone of caramel, honey or ebony that you are, and don’t feel left out – because black is ALWAYS beautiful.

In My Makeup Kit: MAC Face and Body foundation

Mac Face and Body FoundationRecently I’ve had to radically downsize my kit, as you know what? My body doesn’t love me carrying my bodyweight in makeup to and from work every day.

So I’ve stripped my kit back to bare bones, re-tuned the chassis, super-charged the performance and fine-tuned it to just what I need.

One of the few foundations that survived the cull? MAC Face and Body (although I decanted the ass of them first, as they come in jumbo outsize bottles which I love, but they weigh a ton). I carry it in five colors, (although there are many more available) ranging from pure white to deep mahogany. I won’t go on a job without it, mainly for its extraordinary body improving abilities. It’s like a gym and a solarium in a jar (but with a lot less effort involved).

It evens out the skin tone, making it look smooth and polished, taking the color up a couple of notches, or many to a deep dark tan if desired. Or down to a Twilight pale glow if that’s more your speed. The finish can be built up with two coats to robotic and plasticized, or one coat for a more natural glow. Simply apply liberally with bare hands, smoothing it out – but be careful of pale colored clothing, as it can transfer. And it is literally the wonder-product for what I call ‘corned beef’ legs – pale, translucent, slightly blue, the color of well – you get the picture. And not what you want in a picture peeking out from a Prada dress.

Another lovely thing – it’s a beautiful, super sheer face foundation. Applied either with fingers or a brush it will give you the baby skin (you wish) you were born with.

From the Front Lines – Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Foundation

Kinee DioufLast week working on British Vogue I met the beautiful Senegalese model, Kinee Diouf, and she showed me her top foundation pick for  black skin – Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Matttifying Foundation.MakeupForeverMatVelvet

It evened out her skin perfectly, and the redness of its undertone was just right for her polished ebony coloring. Even better for darker skin tones? It’s got a mattifier built right in, so your skin shines just the right amount when topped with powder, and means fewer makeup touch-ups throughout the day.

Make Up For Ever is very hard to get in England – PAM in Shepherd’s Bush (a wonderful little professional makeup shop) has some of the range, but I’m planning to stock up when I go to the US in August. Sephora, here I come!!

Summer Lovin’: Chantecaille Future Skin

Chantecaille Future SkinWhen the weather warms up in a capital city like New York or London, there’s lots to think about – like am I going to asphyxiate under someone’s armpit on the Tube/subway during my commute to work? Have I got time to shave and fake tan my legs before I go out so people don’t think a hairy celery stick is walking down the road if I wear a skirt? Will my massive man-hole sunglasses from last year be acceptable this season, or do they make me look like a tragic Victoria Beckham wanna-be?

What you don’t want to be worrying about is “will my foundation turn into a soupy mess with the heat?” Enter my new favourite for summer, Chantecaille Future Skin.

Chantecaille is a lovely brand created by a French mother and daughter team (unsurprisingly their surname is “Chantecaille”) which is based on plant botanicals. Their skincare is gorgeous as are their blushes, both cream and powder, but they are on the more expensive side of things (as in, ask the price before you pay as you may pass out at the till). However their products are divine and last ages, so it’s up to you whether you’re scrimping or saving on foundation – for me it’s always an item worth spending on, as glowing gorgeous looking skin really is the base of your beauty.

Future Skin is a lovely rich foundation that provides good coverage but as it is gel based and oil free it never looks heavy, even in bright sunlight. For the foundation boffins out there apparently it has 60% charged water (whatever that is), seaweed extracts, and light-reflective pigments to ease flaws. Great, I’m there!

I apply it with a foundation brush (an Armani one to be exact, which I’m loving) and simply applying it to any red areas and patting in with my fingers. It takes five minutes and it stays all day, giving you a lovely glow that has more to do with good genes than heat induced sweatiness. And what I like most? It looks like your skin, only better.

Major LA makeup artist Patti Dubroff loves it and uses it on all her A-list clientele (and if it’s good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts and Kate Bosworth, it’s good enough for me!) One drawback– it’s better for our fairer skin sisters as although it comes in 8 shades, it’s definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum. In an upcoming post I’ll be looking at the best foundations for women of color. So hold on to your makeup sponges girls! There’s lots more makeup fun to come.

Chantecaille Future Skin is available at Space N.K in the UK and Neiman Marcus in the US.