Facing the facts about foundation
IT ’S A GLORIOUS midsummer night and as our hostess passes around great trayfuls of barbecued meat and veg, I try my damnedest to ignore the fact that her face is a different colour to her neck. And I mean a completely different colour: these two shades (the face a sticky ‘Cinder Rose’; the neck ‘Calamine’) wouldn’t even be on the same Farrow & Ball colour card. The woman looks like a misassembled mannequin.
But enough make-up shaming. It’s not nice and it ’s not constructive. Far better to get the High Priestess of Base, Charlotte Tilbury, on the phone (for anyone over 40: nobody calls it foundation any more) and explain where so many of us are going wrong. ‘Women often choose the wrong base because they go for a shade that doesn’t match their skin’s undertones – so it can look too yellow, too grey or too pink.’ Given the terracotta army I’m face d with every time I hit the streets of London between April and October, I’m guessing most Brits wrongly opt for pink.
Every woman should have at least two shades of base in any make-up bag, Tilbury points out, ‘one for summer and one for winter ’. I know that I ’m a whole shade up in Tilbury ’s game - changing Magic Foundation come June, and personally I prefer to switch to her Light Wonder base then too (you can’t see it in natural light and it has an SPF15).
What’s crucial is to step outside to check the colour before buying. ‘And don’t be afraid to mix two bases in equal par ts on to the back of your hand and blend, blend, blend’ so that you get the perfect shade, Tilbury assures me. ‘ You could easily be in between your summer and winter shades for some of the year,’ she explains.
Lastly, Tilbur y urge s women to avoid the misassembled mannequin look by ‘blending just below the jawline and into the top of neck. And never f orge t t o l i ghtly a pply t o the ears also.’ Which comes as a bit of a shock: people have probably been pointing and laughing at my bright white lugholes for decades.