Ease up on the con­tour­ing, says Sarah Caden, and leave your mucky mug be­hind for a fresh-faced au­tumn

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - THE PANEL -

Whis­per it: we seem to be cop­ping on a bit on the con­tour­ing front. Those of you who never got to grips with it can either breathe a sigh of re­lief, or mut­ter “I told you so”. Those of you who re­ally went to town on it — well, you prob­a­bly looked good in pho­to­graphs. But, close up, con­tour­ing wasn’t great.

Most peo­ple couldn’t do it very well and looked mucky-faced; while those who mas­tered it, tended to go too far. It was sim­i­lar to how hav­ing one bit of plas­tic surgery shows up the flaws in the rest of the face. Once ev­ery­one saw how great a bit of con­tour­ing was for cheek­bones and jaw­lines and what­ever, we wanted more. We went a bit over­board with brush­ing the brown where we wanted to cre­ate shadow, and high­lighter where we wanted a lift, and we ended up with a wax­work ef­fect.

In the same way that there are year-round fake-tan devo­tees, those who love con­tour­ing won’t want to ease up on it. But those who are bored of blend­ing their en­tire face be­fore leav­ing the house will be happy. Good foundation and ju­di­cious high­light­ing is what it’s now about. And we have five foun­da­tions for a flaw­less base.


Dou­ble Wear is one of Es­tee Lauder’s best-sell­ers, and fans tend to lay it on like cam­ou­flage rather than as a com­plex­ion-en­hancer, though the brand has al­ways en­cour­aged eas­ing off on it. This lat­est in­car­na­tion is ex­cel­lent on two counts. One, is that it’s more hy­drat­ing and smooth — with hyaluronic acid and glyc­er­ine. The other is that the press-up, com­pact­style dispenser is a knacky, spill-proof way to carry around liq­uid foundation. “I didn’t need con­vert­ing to Dou­ble Wear,” a panel­list said, “So I’d call this an im­prove­ment on ex­cel­lence.”


Six­teen shades and less than a ten­ner; you can’t say fairer than that. A foundation that per­fectly matches your skin­tone is big across the brands this year. Yes, we know that this should al­ways be the case, but sev­eral new bases are ma­jor­ing on the match­ing, and it’s no harm. Jaw­line tide­marks have never re­ally gone away in Ire­land. “This prom­ises ‘trace­less cov­er­age’, which is a con­tra­dic­tion in terms,” said one panel­list, “but it’s an at­trac­tively semi-sheer foundation with lightre­flect­ing prop­er­ties that give a glow.”


If you want some­thing that fi­nesses your flaws but lets your skin shine through, then this might be for you. De­spite the name, there is no shimmer to this. The ra­di­ance is achieved by plump­ing up your skin with hyaluronic acid, vi­ta­min C and red­ness-bust­ing licorice. It gives glow, though. “It’s not much heav­ier than what I’d wear in sum­mer, but I felt that win­ter rud­di­ness and dark cir­cles were cov­ered,” one panel­list said.


This is an oil-free foundation that goes on smoothly, with­out cak­ing or gath­er­ing in pores (or wrin­kles), which is good news to any­one for whom a shiny face is not ex­clu­sively for sum­mer. This brand has a great price point, and will give the likes of essence and Catrice a run for their money, as the qual­ity matches theirs, no bother. “I’d con­sider this a win­ter step-up from, say, a sum­mer BB cream,” one panel­list said. “I got a nice, clear com­plex­ion-can­vas.”


“Blur and nour­ish” is the prom­ise of this foundation, which comes in 10 shade vari­a­tions. It’s a nicely dewy foundation, not at all heavy, but it works re­ally well to cover im­per­fec­tions, too, and the light-re­flect­ing par­ti­cles aren’t at all shim­mery. We found it worked as well on younger skin as it did on older, which can look cakey with more in­ex­pen­sive foun­da­tions. “My skin was smooth and very even in terms of colour, with­out look­ing mask-like,” said one panel­list. Pic­tured, from left, Es­tee Lauder Dou­ble Wear Make-up To Go; Rim­mel Match Per­fec­tion Foundation SPF 20; Mac Light­ful C Tinted Cream With Ra­di­ance Booster SPF 30; Flor­mar Mat Vel­vet Mat­i­fy­ing Foundation; Max Fac­tor Mir­a­cle Match Foundation

Es­tee Lauder Dou­ble Wear Make-Up To Go, €42, Es­tee Lauder coun­ters na­tion­wide Rim­mel Match Per­fec­tion Foundation SPF 20, €9.99, avail­able na­tion­wide Mac Light­ful C Tinted Cream With Ra­di­ance Booster SPF 30, €36.50, Brown Thomas and BT2 Flor­mar Mat Vel­vet Mat­i­fy­ing Foundation, €7.95, se­lected phar­ma­cies na­tion­wide Max Fac­tor Mir­a­cle Match Foundation, €16.99, avail­able na­tion­wide

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