Ace your base with th­ese light-weight foun­da­tions.

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There was a time in the beauty world where foun­da­tion op­tions were shame­ful. If you’re older than 30 you will vividly re­mem­ber a vast pe­riod where there was one uni­ver­sal shade to choose from; an orange-based beige that was meant to suit ev­ery woman re­gard­less of her eth­nic­ity. This oompa-loompa op­tion was also only avail­able in one con­sis­tency; a thick, cream-liq­uid that re­quired se­ri­ous arm work to blend and would easily so­lid­ify if stored some­where too cold.

Things had to change, and thank­fully they did. Quickly. Leaps and bounds in shade in­no­va­tion and con­sis­tency de­vel­op­ment have meant that we are fi­nally in a beauty ad­dicts’ dream come true, where there is a foun­da­tion for ev­ery skin colour and type.

Even bet­ter, some­thing very in­ter­est­ing is hap­pen­ing right now in the foun­da­tion game. It used to be that if you wanted a full-cov­er­age foun­da­tion you had to opt for a thicker, heav­ier tex­ture as that was the only way that brands could pack in all the pig­ment to ful­fil the con­ceal­ing re­quire­ments. This is no longer. Brands have found ways of sus­pend­ing pig­ments that still pack a se­ri­ous punch in lighter, more flex­i­ble tex­tures that make it feel like you’re not wear­ing any­thing on your skin.

But why should you opt for a light­weight foun­da­tion op­tion, es­pe­cially if you’ve al­ways re­lied on some­thing that feels heav­ier, and maybe more com­fort­ing?

‘Th­ese new, lighter foun­da­tions cre­ate a healthy glow, a ra­di­ance you just can’t get from a heav­ier matte foun­da­tion,’ says global makeup artist San­dra Cooke (she’s done the faces of Solange and Kate Moss). ‘Most of them have light-re­flect­ing par­ti­cles that cre­ate a gor­geous lu­mi­nos­ity. What I would say to women who per­haps reach for a thicker foun­da­tion, be­cause they’re try­ing to con­ceal bad skin: It’s not good to over-cover. It will only draw more at­ten­tion to the ar­eas you’re try­ing to hide. By choos­ing some­thing lighter you will avoid foun­da­tion set­tling into spots or scar­ring. If you feel you need the ex­tra cov­er­age then use a slightly heav­ier con­cealer in those ar­eas, but oth­er­wise th­ese lighter foun­da­tions are only go­ing to do great things to your skin. I prom­ise!’

Avoid­ing over-cov­er­ing is a key point in this dis­cus­sion. It may seem counter-in­tu­itive to ap­ply a lighter foun­da­tion onto skin that you feel needs more cov­er­age, but this new breed of foun­da­tions con­tain such clever pig­ments that you will still get cov­er­age, just in a more sub­tle, nat­u­ral and youth­ful way. Forget the overly ob­vi­ous, mask-like foun­da­tion vibe; that is not what your skin should look like. Plus, many of th­ese lighter foun­da­tions also con­tain skin­boost­ing in­gre­di­ents such as hyaluronic acid and an­tiox­i­dants, mean­ing the more you wear it, the bet­ter your skin will get and there­fore the less foun­da­tion you may feel you need to wear.

Then there are the beauty trends, as seen at the SS2017 shows. At Roberto Cavalli, mod­els wore a whis­per of foun­da­tion, al­low­ing freck­les and nat­u­ral cheek colour to shine through; at Is­abel Marant, mod­els’ skin was buffed with the light­est of base. It even tran­scended the cat­walk onto the FROW, where Kim Kar­dashian West swerved her usual con­tour­ing for a much lighter, just-a-hint-of-base look at Ba­len­ci­aga.

Brands can sus­pend pig­ments that still pack a se­ri­ous punch in lighter tex­tures that make it feel like you’re not wear­ing any­thing

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