Beauty Clinic: Foundation for spring


Q. Could you suggest some options for a good budget-priced foundation for fair, normal to dry skin? I’m in my fifties, a working mum and don't have much disposable income.

A. ‘This foundation is an actual gift from the gods.’ That’s one of the many five star online reviews for a product that costs just £9. The foundation is Revolution Conceal & Define Foundation, which comes in 24 shades and is designed to suit every skin type.  There are ten shades for fair skin so you should be able to find one that’s just right for you. It’s available online at (do visit and look at the reviews and the rest of the range). But we suggest you nip into a big Superdrug, which stocks Revolution, to look at the shades first.

If you like a foundation stick, try Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick/£5, and 18 shades, also available at Superdrug. 

That tip came from make up artist Jenny Jordan (, who adds that cheaper foundations can be drying so do moisturise well first. One of the best bits of advice we ever had was to leave moisturiser to sink in for at least five minutes before applying foundation (aka base in the trade). 

Jenny adds that some budget formulations have less staying power than more expensive ones so it’s worth considering applying a primer after your moisturiser. Look for a primer in the same range as the foundation you choose (more below) or try Jenny’s old-fashioned trick of using rosewater and glycerine, which makes the skin more pliable and creates a ‘wall’ between skin and foundation. (Boots Traditional Glycerin and Rosewater/£2.39 for 200ml.)

We’re great fans of e.l.f. Cosmetics and their Flawless Finish Foundation comes in 40 shades, at just £7.50 from Superdrug again, and also at This lightweight, oil-free liquid foundation, which is a best-seller, blends in to skin to give a semi-matte finish that evens out skin tone. The brand also offers Poreless Face Primer for £7.50. And do try the e.l.f. concealers – brilliant value for a fiver.

Another to consider while you’re out looking is Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation/£7.69 for an 18g pot. As with all foundations, the key is colour, colour, colour: apply a stripe down your cheek to your jawline (several if you want), then take a mirror to a door or window where you are in natural light (this is SO important) and see which one disappears into your skin. Also consider investing in a make up sponge to apply: the egg-shaped ones work a treat and come at various price points.

Finally, we bumped into old friend and uber beauty expert Nadine Baggott recently, who recommended checking out Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation from Drew Barrymore’s range, which you can find at Superdrug. The price tag is £12.99 but one happy reviewer said it’s right up there with her premium designer foundation at over triple the price. (Just one warning: several of the Flower Foundation shades seem to be out of stock online right now but still worth keeping an eye on.)