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Find out which skin tone and type you are and discover the right foundation for you with our tried and tested guide and tips.
Before buying a foundation, work out exactly what your skin tone is (warm - yellow based or cool - pink/blue based) and skin type (normal, dry, combination or oily). There are several ways to determine your tone. Make sure your face is makeup free. Stand in front of a mirror in natural light and hold a white paper sheet or towel to your face. If your skin looks yellow/golden you have a warm tone, if it looks pink you have a cool tone. Try the same exercise with a pink and an orange scarf. If the pink scarf suits your complexion you are cool, if you suit the orange you are warm. You can do the same test with jewellery: silver suits cool tones, gold warm ones. You can also check the colour of your veins on your wrists, arms and legs. If they are green you are likely to be a warm tone, blue and you are cool. If you notice no difference after trying the tests you are a neutral tone. When trying foundations do so bare-faced. Dot different shades on your face and your neck. The one that seems to disappear is the right one for you. If you have undertones of yellow and olive (warm) don't be tempted to go with too yellow a shade: remember you already are a warm tone and want to balance your natural colourings, not look even yellower! The same goes for cool tones: avoid shades that are too pink.
If your skin often feels tight and even flakes, it's likely to be prone to dryness. If it feels greasy to the touch, has large pores and makeup doesn't stay put, you have oily skin. Many people have combination skin: normal or slightly dry with greasier areas such as forehead, nose and chin. Hydrating foundations are great for dry and combination skin, whilst oil free and 'whipped' ones work wonders on those with an excessive oil discharge. Normal skin types can wear most foundation formulas.
If after trying the skin tone tests you are still unsure of whether you are cool or warm, New Cid i-perfection Colour Adjust Foundation is the base for you. Using a colour adaptive formula, this foundation will warm up or cool down according to your tone. Lightweight, it has light to medium coverage and a beautiful satin finish. It also comes in 8 shade, from pale (Nougat) to very dark (Cocoa). We also love the aluminum packaging, which protects it from the damaging effect of sunlight. £26
It's not always easy to find a foundation with a good medium coverage that also leaves the skin glowing. Yves Saint Laurent Teint Radiance-Enhancing Flawless Foundation with SPF 20 is exactly that. This base covers blemishes and uneven skin tones without looking mask-like. It's suitable for all skin types, including oily. Yves Saint Laurent are also launching their new Le Teint Touche Eclat in July - a foundation based on their best selling Touch Eclat highlighter. Yves Saint Laurent Teint Radiance-Enhancing Flawless Foundation £31
If you don't love wearing foundation but like a flawless finish, try Clarins Skin Illusion with SPF 10. A light and highly moisturising formula with a radiant finish that's perfect for dry skin. Available in ten shades. £24
You don't have to break the bank to buy a good quality foundation. Gosh Natural Touch Foundation glides onto the skin, evens it out and has a very natural finish that's never matte or too dewy. It has a light to medium coverage and might need reapplying during the day. £8.99
If you like a foundation that stays put all day and gives you maximum coverage without ever looking cakey or unnatural then Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H with SPF 15 is the base for you. A thick liquid formula that doesn't need reapplying throughout the day and still leaves you with a lovely glowing finish. Available in eighteen shades £27
A lighter version of their cult Double Wear one, Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Stay in Place Makeup foundation has a medium coverage formula that is long-lasting and particularly good for those with uneven skin tone and texture as it evens them out beautifully. Its silk smooth formula is easy to apply and contains SPF 10. It comes in six shades £26.50
A unique 'whipped' formula that feels light on the skin despite its dense texture, Sue Devitt Triple C-Weed Whipped Foundation has a medium coverage, stays put all day and contains Australian plant derivatives to keep the skin hydrated. Don't be alarmed by its moisturising properties if you have oily or combination skin: this foundation works wonders on all types of epidermis and won't glide off your face during the day. Available in eight shades. £32
An outstanding base for oily skin, Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup Oil-Free Foundation with SPF 15 is one of the lightest formulas on the market. It's non-drying and has a long-lasting and dewy finish. It also contains matrixyl®, a pentapeptide that stimulates the production of collages and helps plump out fine lines. Great for normal, combination and sensitive skin too, as it contains no parabens or nasties. £50
It's hard to believe you can get a good base for less than a fiver, but 2True Smooth Matte Foundation is proof that yes, you can. This product has quite a runny texture but is grease free and goes on very smoothly, with a good medium coverage. It's also fragrance free, enriched with vitamin E and contains sunscreen. The only drawback is that shades are limited, so you might be hard pressed to find your perfect match. £1.99
Soap & Glory Show Good Face 2-1 Foundation and Primer has a light, smooth texture and it's easy to apply. The finish is light, dewy and fresh making it a good 'day' foundation. It does need reapplying during the day, so make sure to set it with a veil of translucent powder. Good for dry and normal skin types, it's available in 6 shades: from Fairest of Them All, a warm-toned ivory, to the darkest, Golden Tan. £11
Moisturise at least ten to fifteen minutes before applying foundation to let the skin absorb your cream or serum. This will stop the foundation from 'slipping off' the face later. Apply a primer a few minutes before foundation to create a smooth canvas onto which your foundation will glide on. Using your fingers to apply foundation is absolutely fine, but try a brush as this will give you flawless results. If you use concealer, always apply with a small brush, after foundation. Set your base with a veil of translucent powder and admire the end result!