Here's all you need to know before you buy a foundation

Make-up artist approved tips for creating the perfect base for your make-up.

Harper's Bazaar India

If we were to name the most important item in our vanity bag, it would be a good foundation—be it in cream, liquid, or powder form. A good foundation gives an even, uniform colour to your complexion and helps it look flawless. It also adds shine to your face. But this star product's magic is only as good as your application technique and your choice of shade. If you are unsure about what works best for you, here are answers to some of the common questions about foundations. 

How can I boost my make-up look?

When applying foundation to mature skin, it pays to prioritise your prep. Ensure your skin is clean and hydrated at all times, especially before you apply your make-up. "Too greasy and it will swallow the make-up; too dry and you could end up patchy," Hammer says. Try Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Face Base, a moisturiser and primer formulated to improve the appearance of foundation. 

How do I guarantee a glow?

"Hybrid foundations combine coverage with ingredients that nourish skin like serum, making for a base that’s foolproof for mature skin," says Hammer. ‘They can also improve the appearance of your complexion with regular use.

How can I prevent caking?

Hammer advises applying your colour corrector, foundation and concealer in thin, veil-like layers.
"Allow time for each layer to sink in, rather than applying straight on top of one another, especially if you have fine lines," she says. 

How do I find the right shade?

"To get shade-matched, you need daylight," says Hammer. ‘Test on your face, where you might need smoothing out, rather than on the jaw, neck or hands. The right shade should disappear into your skin—but foundations oxidise, so wait 15 minutes for the final result.

How do I get a long-lasting result?

First, decide on your coverage. "You get a sheerer effect with a sponge and slightly more coverage with a brush, but using your fingers gives the most natural finish," Hammer says. "Then, apply a powder and setting spray to fix it all." Bobbi Brown’s Intensive Serum Radiance Mist locks in a dewy, youthful look for up to 24 hours. 

Future facing

Why Bobbi Brown’s Intensive Serum Foundation SPF 40/30 should be in your beauty bag? 

Each bottle contains 25 skincare ingredients, including cordyceps, hyaluronic acid and ginseng. Experts say sun protection is the most vital step against ageing, and this foundation contains broad-spectrum UV filters up to SPF 40. The moisturising formula gives a flattering finish that lasts up to 12 hours.

This article first appeared in good housekeeping in May 2023.