As the canvas for your entire makeup look, foundation is the bit of kit you really need to nail (no pressure then). Banish past tidemark fails to your Instagram archive folder. We've got makeup's finest skin magicians to reveal their intel on finding 'the one'.
1. Up your skincare game
Look for a base that gives your skin a boost as you're wearing it. 'Choose foundations that contain serums - they'll give you a whole host of skincare benefits. They're also great for nourishing the skin throughout the day,' says make-up artist for Maybelline, Neil Young. 'Personally, I love a non-comedogenic formula that lets your skin breathe.'
You don't need to spend big to reap the rewards, either. Try Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid Foundation (£7.99 RRP), an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula enriched with a hydrating serum that will bless your skin with a supermodel-esque radiance. Even better, we're talking about a seriously luxe-looking, pore-blurring finish that sits so naturally on your skin, it still looks like, well, your skin. Take a peek at the below if you still don't believe us.
2. Try before you buy
Half the battle of finding your hero foundation? Getting the shade so on point that it melts into your complexion like a second skin. Test it out in different lights before committing. 'I always recommend trying on foundations at midday so you get the best natural daylight for a true colour match,' Neil says. 'If you're applying an SPF first, be aware that your face will appear slightly lighter in colour, so choose a shade that mimics the colour of the skin across your entire body – nobody wants floating head syndrome.' Top tip: test-run a foundation on your jawline or your chest, never your hand.
3. Find your formula
Everyone's got their personal preference, but if you want a glowy, lit-from-within finish (which let's be honest, is most of us), you're better off sticking to liquids and mousses for ultimate blendability. Make-up artist Kenneth Soh says: 'For me, liquid foundation is the easiest to use and blend, and it's usually great for most skin types. You can use brushes but I always suggest applying foundation with your fingers and massaging it into your face like skincare – this helps boost the circulation so you get a natural glow.'
4. Switch-up seasonal shades
A foundation wardrobe (yep, you heard us) could be the key to a seamless, undetectable base. 'Have two shades either side of your complexion so you can mix and match throughout the year when your skin colour changes with the seasons,' Kenneth advises. 'Liquids are actually very forgiving, even if you do get the colour off by half a shade.'
No need to Depop your entire shoe collection to fund your new multiple-shade foundation habit, either. Instead, opt for an affordable radiance-boosting formula with an extensive shade range, like Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid. With 27 hues to choose from and a premium finish that will fool even your savviest of friends, building your seasonal foundation wardrobe will be a doddle.
5. To SPF or not to SPF?
The answer you're looking for is 'yes'. And daily – but not necessarily in your foundation. Using a separate sun protection first, or a moisturiser with SPF, might give you a better finish than a base containing built-in SPF. 'SPF can sometimes go off and your foundation can go a bit watery so it often doesn't last as long,' explains make-up artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis. 'SPF in foundation can also reflect light and react to your moisturiser by rolling off.'
6. Keep it versatile
You can easily amp up or pare down a new foundation with a few MUA-inspired tweaks. In fact, mixing in different products can give you multiple finishes from just one bottle. 'If you like the finish of a foundation, try mixing it with a liquid highlighter or a moisturiser to thin it out for slightly lighter coverage,' Lan suggests. 'Foundation can also be layered - start by using a liquid formula first for an even finish and then top up with a stick or a powder for fuller coverage. This technique works particularly well on camera.'
7. Refresh your foundation
Not a powder person? Meet every MUA's secret weapon for keeping foundation in check – a setting mist. Neil Young says: 'I love to spritz the face with a mist immediately after applying foundation to help set the complexion. It's also a great way to breathe life back into your base throughout the day, especially if it's beginning to look lacklustre due to air con or dry heat.' For that elusive flawless-but-fresh supermodel skin, Neil suggests setting your base with Maybelline Dream Satin Mist Setting Spray (available in Boots stores) for a luminous look. Blend, spritz, and go.
Discover the secret to radiant, healthy-looking skin with Maybelline Dream Satin Foundation, available in 27 shades...