I know this rhetoric seems to be a common one, but growing up I felt like my skin wasn’t beautiful. Most of the pharmacies in Singapore seemed to only carry 50 shades of white. I remember feeling so embarrassed throughout my primary school life and part of my secondary school life about our dark I looked compared to my paler Chinese friends. The simple nicknames like ‘black’ although not meant to harm really stuck with me. There were countless skin lightening products I experimented with and outdoor activities I avoided.
As such naturally it was initially difficult finding a foundation shade as I would always go for one too light or too red for my skin complexion. My collection now so longer contains those ashy as hell tones anymore but ones that simply match me to create a perfect canvas.
Before I share my foundation collection, I have some pointers in terms of finding a perfect match.
1. Try not to buy your foundation online.. Just don’t do it! You’ll end up with foundations that you just won’t use.
2. If you do buy your foundation online, try and see if you can get samples of the shade and a shade lighter so you can try them first before opening the foundation bottle – so you can still return the bottle if the need be!
3. GET SAMPLES. Do not be shy. Most makeup artists at the counters are really really nice and they won’t mind if you don’t buy the foundation on the spot.. Things brings me to my last point.
4. If you try a foundation at a counter, give it time to settle and walk around the store. Some foundations may oxidise or settle in lines – so this is really important. Remember to also have a look in the natural daylight. The lighting at some counters can sometimes be quite deceiving and you may not like the finish of the foundation in natural light or it may not even be a perfect match!
For background, my skin is very dry with yellow undertones. This may be especially important to take into account when I’m recommending application techniques as I tend to lean towards ones that give me a dewy look rather than a full coverage one. Additionally, I tend to either mix in oil into my foundation or drop it on my sponge for this sort of look.
One of the first skin bases I purchased myself was the Body Shop Tinted BB cream in 3. It is very light coverage and not bad for Summer Days. I must say that the smell is really strong (of tea tree) and initially it really bothered me. The other issue is that it only runs in neutral/red tones so I usually have to use a mixer (which I talk about later). Also shameful shade range as I believe no 3 is the darkest. I don’t really see the use for BB creams anymore as if I wanted light coverage I would simply dilute my foundation with oil but I guess this may not work well for oiler skin types. I don’t even have any pictures of me wearing it because I just never really did. Retails for £8.50 but half price on their website right now.
Revlon Airbrush Effect Foundation in Caramel. I really do not like this foundation. I wouldn’t buy Revlon anymore anyway because they test on animals. This foundation looks quite good on initially. However, when you look up close, it has the strangest speckles of glitter. It doesn’t help give you any glow whatsoever. Just BIG OBVIOUS CHUNKS. Again I don’t really have any pictures of me wearing it (to save me the embarrassment)!I bought mine from Boots in 2015 probably on the 3 for 2 offer. Retails for £12.99.
The first foundation that I ever tried that matched my face was NARS Sheer Glow in Tahoe. My mum purchased this for me in 2013/4 from Liberty London. I hated this foundation initially as I found it really cakey but I love it now! I find that it’s best applying with a beauty blender or sponge. Retails for £32. Also available in Sephora Singapore for $72.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 9.5. I got this foundation during the Summer in 2016. I do love the packaging on this! The formula itself not bad but I wouldn’t call it full coverage as the foundation claims. I really like applying this with a drop of oil and it gives quite a flawless dewy look. The only trouble is that this foundation makes me look really really orange. Perhaps I should have tried the shade lighter but I think that may have been too light. The shade range is quite limited (for deeper tones) skipping in between shades and deeper shades. I bought mine from Selfridges London for £29.50.
BECCA Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme in Bamboo. I really like this foundation – it’s really really full coverage so I would never wear it w/o oil or a moisturiser. It’s quite an adaptable foundation and can be applied to give you the finish that you want. I do still feel like it’s a tad bit too light for me but seems to blend ok to my skin tone. I bought this from Sephora Singapore for $68 but you can also purchase it from Space NK for £32.
Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer in Amber. I got this for £7.80 on sale but usually it retails for £26. To be honest, I’m not really sure if it’s worth the full price tag. I feel like probably mixing in a very yellow based foundation should work about the same. It’s gotten very tricky to obtain Illamasqua in Singapore – they no longer have any counters 😥 it’s such a shame because I do love a lot of their products!!
I feel so much more peace now in my skin then I did before and it’s a great feeling. To any girl out there struggling with this – it takes so much time and perspective but I promise it’ll really be ok one day x