Top 10 High End Foundations
MAC Studio Fix Fluid - £24.50 (30ml)
Studio Fix Fluid is definitely my most used foundation in my makeup kit and I always reach for it when doing clients makeup. It's full coverage, has a soft matte finish, and lasts really well on the skin. It photographs beautifully and does not give any flashback, even when built up to a very full coverage. The colour range is amazing and the undertones work really well with lots of different skin tones. I have shades NC10, NC15, NW15, NC20, NW20, NW25, NC30, NC35, NC37, NC40, NC42, NC45, and NW50 in my kit. I like that the consistency is easy to blend and isn't too thick, and if I don't have the exact shade I need for a client the colours are easily mixed to get the right shade. You do need to buy the pumps separately which is a bit of a pain, but I normally just use a spatula to scoop out the amount of product needed. Keep in mind this is a matte foundation, so if someone is really dry then you would want to use a good moisturiser and really prep their skin beforehand. My skin is very oily and this lasts all day on me when used with a primer and setting powder/spray.
MAC Face & Body Foundation - £30.00 (120ml)
Face & Body is one of those products that I took a while to get used to, and when I worked for MAC I really wasn't that keen on it at first. The consistency is fairly watery and thin, and the coverage is similar to a BB cream or very lightweight foundation. You can build the coverage, but the foundation by itself can only be built up to about a light/medium coverage. Now that I've gotten used to the foundation's consistency and figured out how I like to use it, I am obsessed with this product and would be lost without it! It's perfect for brides and mature clients, and sits beautifully on top of more dry skin types. My favourite way to use this is mixed with a bit of concealer or heavier coverage foundation layered on top. This is my most used foundation for brides, whether they want a really natural skin or more of a flawless glowy look. It gives your skin such a pretty glow, and smoothes over any fine lines or dry patches without looking cakey or heavy. I love mixing it with MAC Prolongwear Concealer, the combination of the two gives the most natural, healthy looking glow and lasts really well in hot weather. Keep in mind that this probably would not be suitable by itself for someone who has oily skin, as it makes the skin almost wet looking (in a nice way). I have tried to wear this myself and found it does get pretty shiny, so I only really use this for clients who have a normal to dry skin type. I have the shades N1, N2, C2, C5, and N5 in my kit.
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation - £33.00 (30ml)
Sheer Glow is a new addition to my kit, as I was finding myself looking for something similar to MAC Studio Fix but not as matte. This product is exactly that, and sits beautifully on the skin. It's a medium to full coverage and is easily buildable, and photographs so well. The colour range is still something I am getting used to, as almost all of the shades have a very strong yellow undertone. I like to have a mix of both warm and cool tones in my kit, so normally what I'll do if it is too yellow is just mix in a small amount of a more pink or beige undertone in with it. Again you do need to buy the pumps separately, which is something that really annoys me. Why can't brands just sell foundations with a pump! This foundation has quickly become one of my favourites and I plan to purchase a few more shades so I have all my bases covered. At the moment I only have the shades Fiji and Barcelona in my kit, but need a few more darker shades to complete my collection. I have worn this myself a few times and find it can get shiny throughout the day, so if I were to use it on a client with more oily skin I would make sure to use a mattifying primer and set it with a powder.
NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation - £35.00 (30ml)
This foundation is also a new addition to my kit, and is a brand new product from NARS. This is almost like a mix of MAC Studio Fix and NARS Sheer Glow, but it has more of a gel-like consistency. The coverage is medium to full, but I would say it is more on the full side than anything else. It feels amazing on the skin and glides over any fine lines and pores. It lasted all day on my very oily skin and I only needed to blot my face once, and when I did it still held up and didn't separate or go cakey. Sometimes I find that when I powder or blot the oil off my skin throughout the day it can take away some of the coverage, but this lasted well and still looked great 10 hours after wearing it. This foundation luckily does come with a pump, which is an added bonus! At the moment I only have the shade Valencia in my kit, and plan to purchase a lighter shade and a deeper one. I have not yet used this on a client with dry skin, but I think it would work fine as the consistency is like a gel and hydrating (but not in a greasy way). The only thing I dislike about it is the amount of product that comes out when you pump it, I feel like I need to use 3-4 pumps rather than my normal 2 pumps.
Fenty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation - £26.00 (32ml)
I was on the fence about purchasing this foundation as a friend of mine who has a similar skin type to me said she had tried it and didn't like it at all.. Then one of the makeup artists I work with in the salon tried it on me and it made my skin look AMAZING! It really smoothed out my pores and felt very light on my face, so I decided to buy some for my kit. The coverage is medium to full (but more on the full side) and sets down very matte, so if you are looking for a glowy foundation then this is not the one for you! It photographs flawlessy and really does makes your skin look airbrushed. I would only use this on clients who are oily or that want a matte look, as I think what puts a lot of people off of this foundation is the fact that it is SO matte. I don't mind this as I'm oily and my skin looks better with a more matte foundation, but keep in mind that it will cling to dry skin and look unflattering if the skin is not properly hydrated and primed before applying. The only downside to this foundation is that it is not the longest wearing, and I do find it comes off of my chin and jaw area after wearing it all day. However, if you are looking for a good matte foundation I would definitely recommend this as the colour range is huge and it looks amazing in photographs. I have the shades 120 and 330 in my kit, and plan to buy another darker shade for my clients with deeper skin tones.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation - £33.50 (30ml)
Double Wear is one of those foundations that people either absolutely hate or absolutely love, and to be honest I do think it is a really good foundation for someone who is oily and wants their makeup to last all day. The colour range is amazing and the undertones are evenly distributed, but please keep in mind this foundation can give very bad flashback if not applied properly! It has a medium coverage that can be built up to a full coverage, but you need to be careful as it dries VERY fast and once it has set it's impossible to layer without it separating and looking cakey. I like to apply this with a brush and work in small sections, so that it doesn't dry down before I'm finished adding the coverage that I'm after. This foundation will last through swimming, the apocalypse, sleeping, and a night out. The lasting power of this literally cannot be beat but you do need to take extra care when applying it to make sure it sits nicely on the skin. I don't like to use this on brides unless they specifically ask for it, and even then I still mix it with a bit of another foundation so that it doesn't give bad flashback. I have the shades Bone, Tawny and Honey Bronze in my kit.
Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation - £32.00 (35ml)
This foundation has one of the most flawless, beautiful formulas I have ever tried! It is very creamy, extremely full coverage, and lasts really well even on oily skin. This is the most full coverage foundation I have ever tried, and you really only need one or one and a half pumps to get flawless results. The major downside to this foundation is that it is heavily scented (smells like old lady floral perfume) and breaks me out badly. A lot of people have complained about this, and I do think the heavy scent is what makes my skin react. Other than that, I do really love the formula and always wear this for events or nights out. The finish is in between matte and glowy, and doesn't get too shiny even on my oily skin. I wear the colour Dulce De Leche, and don't currently stock this in my kit plan plan to soon. At the moment I have so many foundations I need to use up before they expire, which is a massive pain when you are a working makeup artist! I like to apply this with a brush rather than a sponge, as I feel it gives a smoother look and doesn't waste product. This foundation photographs beautifully and makes your skin look airbrushed in photos and in real life. The colour range is amazing and they have so many great shades to choose from, however if you are not near a Selfridges it can be quite hard to choose your shade online as I find the colour matching chart she has provided isn't very accurate. If you can, I would recommend going to a counter to test the colours in person first.
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation - £29.00 (30ml)
Born This Way Foundation is one of my all time favourite formulas, it has such a gorgeous glow and lasts for hours! This foundation has the perfect glowy (but not too wet looking) finish and works great for people who have oily skin but struggle to find something that lasts all day. It is a medium to full coverage and is meant for normal to oily skin types, but can definitely be used on people with a more dry skin as long as you properly hydrate and prime. The texture is almost like a gel, and blends into the skin perfectly with both a brush and sponge. I wear the colors Sand and Warm Beige, depending on how tan I am. I like to use this as my everyday foundation, as I find the formula does not clog my pores and leaves my skin feeling soft even after wearing it all day. Certain foundations (like MAC Studio Fix or Estee Lauder Double Wear) can really clog your pores if you wear them daily, even with a great makeup remover and thorough skincare routine. I don't know a lot about the ingredients in this foundation but I do know that it contains hyaluronic acid and coconut water, which seem to really agree with my skin. It does not give any flashback and looks great in photos, and I love wearing this in hot weather as it feels so lightweight on my skin. Definitely one of my all time favourite foundations!
Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation - £29.50 (30ml)
Urban Decay makes some amazing skin products, and this foundation really lives up to it's reputation! I would describe it as being similar in lasting power to Estee Lauder Double Wear, but it doesn't feel as heavy and gives absolutely no flashback. Personally I do not like the way Double Wear feels on my skin, but I do love the matte finish and lasting power it has. So when I discovered this foundation and saw how well it lasted on my skin, it quickly became my go-to for nights out and events. The formula is thick and almost like a mousse, and I prefer to apply this with a brush as I can really work it into my skin without it looking too heavy. It is very full coverage (equivalent to the Huda Foundation) and you only need one or two pumps to get a flawless look. Colour matching for this foundation can be tricky as I do find it oxidises, so I really only wear this at night or when I am at my darkest colour of tan. The reason I don't like to wear it in the day is because the one time I did wear it to work, I was SO dark by the end of the day that I looked ridiculous! Wearing it at night isn't really a problem as the lighting isn't as harsh, but do keep this in mind if you plan to try it. I would recommend to get a few samples and wear them for at least 3-4 hours to see the actual colour, otherwise you may be walking around looking like a satsuma like I did! I wear the colour 7.75 which is a golden undertone and similar to a MAC NC42, but not as yellow.
Marc Jacobs ReMarcable Foundation - £37.00 (22ml)
This foundation is quite pricey for the amount you get, but I do think it is worth the money if you want a high end full coverage foundation. I originally purchased it for myself, but find I don't wear it as much anymore as it tends to separate quite badly on my chin due to my oily skin. I love to wear this on a night out as it makes your skin look so smooth and buttery, and the slightly glowy finish is stunning! The coverage is extremely full, and you only need a tiny dot to cover your entire face. It gives such a beautiful finish to the skin and really does hide any imperfections, but you need to be careful to not apply too much as it can start to look cakey. I like to apply this with a brush and really work it into the skin, and I always set it with a translucent powder if I am wearing it on myself. It has a soft glow to it, nothing too much but it does look really pretty and luminous on the skin. It photographs beautifully and I don't find it gives any flashback. The annoying thing about this foundation is the applicator, its very messy and wastes a lot of product. The lid has a stick attached to the inside, which when you close begins to push product around the edges and it leaks everywhere. I find myself always having to clean it off, and it really does waste a lot of product. However I do love this foundation on clients, I only have one shade which I like to mix in with other foundations. The colour I have is Honey Bronze, which is very similar to a MAC NC42.