Good Foundations

As promised to my Friday Bulletin readers I have been on the hunt for a great foundation. If you are like most women you are likely to have a drawer full of foundations but still don’t have a favourite.

My criteria for what makes a great foundation may be different to yours so here’s what I look for:

  • A dewy finish (not keen on very matte foundation but if you are there are some options in the ones I’ve tested)
  • Good even coverage that’s easy to blend
  • A good range of colours – OK I only need one of them but I like to be able to recommend to women of any colouring
  • Staying power – whilst i take time to do my face first thing in the morning I don’t want to have to keep toppping up my makeup during the day
  • Value for money – I don’t mind paying for foundation if it has all of the above and a decent size bottle or tube (most come in 30ml size but some like Maybelline eraser are 20ml and the new Estee Lauder product has no size on the bottle)

So with all that in mind below are the ones I managed to get round to testing, some from sachets in the glossy magazines and some requested at the relevant beauty counter, some of which were more helpful than others. Thumbs up to Lancome, Clarins and Chanel, thumbs down to Clinique where I eventually walked away after being ignored by two assistants who were just chatting to each other!

I should point out that when I say tested – nothing scientific was involved, purely wearing the foundation for a day to see how it went on and lasted.

Those I tested:

Chanel vital lumiere – 9 colours size 30 ml £33
Chanel lift lumiere – 6 colours size 30 ml £36
No7 protect and perfect – 7 colours size 30 ml £15.50
Maybelline the eraser – 7 colours size 20 ml £9.99
Estée Lauder invisible fluid – 16 colours £27
Rimmel recover – 5 colours size 30g £7.19
Revlon photo ready – 8 colours size 30ml £12.99
Bourjois healthy mix serum- 6 colours size 30 ml £10.99
Max factor ageless elixir – colours size 30ml £12.99
Lancôme teint idole Ultra – 12 colours size 30 ml £27
Clarins ever matte – 10 colours £24
Clinique even better makeup – 25 colours size 30 ml £22
Rimmel wake me up anti fatigue – 6 colours size 30ml £8.99
All foundations available online from


And the overall winner is …

Yes the winner is one of the cheapest products I tried! Rimmel wake me up anti fatigue Makeup from Boots it ticks the boxes of going on easily and evenly and gives me the lovely dewy finish I like, whilst being an absolute bargain. It’s so easy to get sucked into the marketing of the more expensive ranges but cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean poorer quality and definitely not in this case. you could buy yourself 4 bottles of this – probably at least a year’s worth for 4p cheaper than one of the Chanel foundations! A no brainer as far as I’m concerned.

My winner in the premium brands is Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15 Normal to Combination Oily Skin again it goes on really well, with a lovely finish, has an SPF 15 and comes in an amazing 25 shades! (I managed to try this one by using a free sachet from a magazine and would have bought it had I got better service – see above – end of moan)



I give a highly commended vote to Bourjois Health Mix Serum foundation from Boots this was running in first place until I tried the Rimmel foundation. Still a great price at £10.99 and contains a skin serum to give the healthy look it promises.

Finally just a word about finishes – there were a couple that I liked but they gave too matte a finish for me but may suit you if you have an oilier skin. The ones I would suggest you try are Lancome teint Idole Ultra and Clarins ever matte both designed to give a long lasting matte finish. And again both come in a good range of colours – twelve for the Lancome one and 10 for Clarins.

I hope this has been helpful, it made me realise that I can sometimes be a bit of a makeup snob and that it really is worth checking out Boots and trying some of the less costly ranges.

If you have a favourite I’d love your feedback, and if you try one of those I’ve mentioned and agree or disagree do let me know.


  1. Julie Gabriel
    March 29, 2012 / 9:44 pm

    This is the first time that I have ever commented on a website. I read your article about foundations with interest. I am a 51 yr old lady and I have always worn foundation. The brand that I have mainly used is a liquid foundation from a company call Amway which produces a brand of quality make up called Artistry. Over the last year I have had to try different foundatations and these are some of the brands that I have tried. Chanel, Dior – 2 types including one bottle retailing at £64.00, Clarins I have found them all much of a muchnes for my skin. I much say I have very good skin for my age. Last week I opened a sample of the new Rimmel foundation that I found in a magzine and put it on, I had seen nothing or read nothing about this foundation. After applying it I looked in the mirror and my face looked totally different. Its hard to explain but it had a more awake or fresher look. I was totally amazed that a sample foundation could look so good. I cetrainly be buying a bottle of this at the weekend as I am totally amazed at how it looked on my skin.

    • admin
      March 29, 2012 / 10:35 pm

      Hello Julie, thank you for your comment – you are exactly the reason I decided to do this article. I know from my own experience finding the right foundation can be so tricky. In fact one of the foundations I tested looked fine when applied in store but when I got home the colour was wrong. I also think you need to let it settle in to see if you really do like the finish. It’s great that companies are now doing free samples. I’m so glad that you liked the Rimmel foundation, it’s just a shame that you had to spend so much before you found it. It’s hard to know what justifies a price of £64 when this one is only £8.99 isn’t it. Once again thanks for commenting.

  2. Niki Jarvis
    April 29, 2012 / 7:20 pm

    Hi I just wanted you to know that I have read your foundation recommendation and have since bought the Rimmel foundation. Thank you so much for doing all the research that I simply could not do due to cost and time. I completely agree Rimmel foundation is fabulous. It looks and feels great and is within my budget being a single mum.
    Thank you Looking Stylish! I shall recommend you to all my friends and look forward to your next newsletter.

    • admin
      May 1, 2012 / 7:39 pm

      Hi Niki, thank you for the lovely feedback and so glad it was helpful to you. I will be doing a similar post on tinted moisturisers soon, and if there is anything else you would like reviewed please let me know.