Make-up masterclass: Top foundations for dry winter skin
Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and this week he tells you all you need to know about which foundation to choose in the winter months
As the December chill starts creeping in, issues applying foundation to dry skin begin. From a cakey finish and flaky skin to emphasised dry patches and exposed fine lines, put the wrong foundation on your face and you can end up making things a whole lot worse.
Let me start off by saying that when I have a client in my chair, I always want to ensure that the products I choose will enhance and perfect the skin's natural beauty. I am not, nor do I want you to be, under the illusion that there is a 'one size fits all' foundation or indeed that a foundation is the complete solution to dry skin - there isn't and it's not. I strongly believe in a regular hydrating skincare regime, a moisturising or illuminating primer and a medium-to-full coverage concealer, but, with that being said, applying a base product is still an important step of any make-up routine.
Another vital thing to be aware of is the tone of your skin. Most cosmetic houses sort their foundation shades into three categories: warm, neutral and cool tones. An excessively red complexion can be minimised by a clear (meaning neither yellow nor pink) or beige toned foundation whereas olive or ashy skin can be brightened with a shot of peach. A shallow or dull complexion can be brightened with a rose to red tint whereas mature skin can be brightened with a tint of clear pink.
Don't stress out though, as today I'm going to show you a range of products - which I have tried and tested - that will aid the appearance of dry, flaky skin, fine lines and wrinkles.
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation, £33, Make Up Pro Store
I really adore this foundation, especially for someone with particularly dry skin because I find that it sits so beautifully on the face. It's a gel-based foundation - which contains vitamins E and A - meaning it allows your skin to look like real, natural skin. With a buildable coverage, this foundation is such a versatile product that works on almost any client and makes all skin look fresh and dewy. Skin Base comes in a great variety of shades, so you will definitely find one that works with your own unique tone.
Fresh Nude Foundation, £16, The Body Shop
Enriched with English rosewater and aloe vera, this hydrating formula leaves skin feeling refreshed and comfortable all day long. It also has an added sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 to help protect your skin from harmful rays - yes, the sun can still affect your skin in the winter. With effortless application and a semi-matte finish, I recommend trying this product out if you like a lightweight and fresh-feeling foundation.
e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Foundation Serum, £9, Superdrug
Another lightweight foundation, this option from E.l.f. is super-easy to blend and provides light-to-medium coverage which minimises the appearance of pores and fine lines. Enjoy healthier skin after each use as this nourishing foundation is formulated with goji berry, pomegranate oil, grape seed oil and vitamins A, C and E. It's incredibly hydrating and a total saviour for those who suffer with dull or tired skin - and it's shockingly inexpensive!
NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, £35, Space NK
I believe this foundation is as vastly popular as it is because of how lightweight and breathable it feels on the skin. Infused with micro pigments that mimic the skin's tone, the formula promises a natural-looking finish. This foundation is truly wonderful - it blends beautifully on to the skin and wears so well when set with a loose, setting powder.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, £42, Debenhams
If you really want to ace your base, then it's so important to invest a little more of your budget into your foundation as this is one of the staples of your make-up routine. I work with a range of foundations on a day-to-day basis and I recently picked up this Giorgio Armani again after quite a long time not having it - I'd totally forgotten how great this product is. Enriched with Micro-fil technology that helps to sculpt and brighten, this luminous foundation improves texture, blurs imperfections and glides on weightlessly for a flawless lit-from-within finish.
Olay Total Effects 7in1 CC Cream Moisturiser, £9.99, Boots
When choosing a base product for mature or ageing skin, I opt for something that is buildable and will still give my client the coverage - and confidence - they need for their special occasion of event. This is why I prefer to use CC creams on my more mature clients as these pack on to the skin beautifully with the same coverage as a traditional foundation. CC creams tend to be lighter in texture, meaning you're able to blend and buff the product on to the skin without the fear of catching in any problematic areas, for example, in areas of pigmentation or fine lines.
This Total Effects CC cream from Olay provides seven anti-ageing benefits: it improves skin surface dullness; nourishes and moisturises for a radiant healthy glow; gently exfoliates for even skin texture; minimises the appearance of pores; balances skin tone; visibly reduces appearance of dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles; and hydrates for firmer skin appearance. And frankly, who doesn't want all of that for under £10?