Beauty Clinic: How to find your foundation match

Q. I always have a nightmare trying to buy the right foundation shade. Whenever I get colour-matched at beauty counters the shade is fine there, but invariably not when I get it back home. I am currently mixing a CC cream with another brand’s foundation to get the right shade. That just about works but I would love to find just one product. Which brands do you recommend? A. We suspect many (if not most) women have suffered the same problem. We certainly have. The most common problem is that in store lighting is usually terrible. What looks good under artificial commercial lighting is usually totally wrong in daylight and domestic lighting.

One solution is to carry a good size hand mirror with you when you shop for foundation. (The teensy ones in your blusher/eye shadow lid are not big enough.) Ask the consultant to apply several vertical stripes of different shades on your lower cheek, just above the jawbone. Once outside, see which one ‘disappears’ into your skin.

Charlotte Tilbury Light FoundationThe buzz make-up brand of the moment – absolutely deservedly – is Charlotte Tilbury, with a galaxy of fans including Amal Clooney. Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash Primer delivers just what it says on the tube so we do recommend stroking that on first, whichever brand of base you choose. Her Light Wonder Foundation is simply fabulous.

Of the new offerings we really rate Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup, which is featherlight but covers beautifully and is wonderfully hydrating for drier complexions. It is widely available and comes in a huge range of shades.

Giorgio Armani Maestro FoundationA brand that pretty well all beauty editors – and a horde of A-listers - rave about is Giorgio Armani, which offers a range of shades and coverage, all using a fantastic technology that is incredibly lightweight and self-adjusts to your skin tone. The version with the most accolades is Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Make-Up, which also comes in a nifty compact (Maestro Fusion Make-Up Compact).

Natio FoundationMore moderately priced is Natio Pure Mineral Foundation, which is definitely worth trying. It promises light dewy coverage that will last from morning to night. Find it at Debenhams stores and online.

Finally, we also love Suqqu, which as the name suggests originates in Japan. Now this does require a bit of travelling as you don't want to choose online to start with so you need to go to either Selfridges (London, Manchester or Birmingham) or Fenwick of Bond Street.


Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow/£38 for 40 ml at - buy here

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation/£32 for 40 ml at - buy here

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Make-Up/£39 and Compact £31 at - buy here

Natio Pure Mineral foundation/£15.60 (currently on special offer) at - buy here

Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup/£37 for 30 ml at - buy here