My love/hate relationship with liquid foundation

by Nicole McIntyre in


Liquid foundation has always proven to be treacherous territory for me. The difficulty with pinpointing the perfect formula and colour can be downright intimidating. Then there's the recipe: primer versus no primer, concealing, highlighting, to bronze or not to bronze, contouring and blush all while avoiding the dreaded mask line. 

Give me a second, I need to catch my breath.

For years now powder has been my friend, because in all honesty liquid foundation scares the crap out of me. When it comes to powder foundation the guesswork is minimal and it's wicked easy to apply. The thing is when your skin is combination to dry, both pressed and loose powder magnifies flaky bits and well, that isn't cute on anyone. 

So I did my homework, watched loads of videos and picked two liquid foundations I thought could work for me.

Taking the good with the bad, let's start with the dud first.

Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer (left) and Silk Creme Foundation (right)

Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer (left) and Silk Creme Foundation (right)

Swatch of Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation in Creamy Ivory

Swatch of Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation in Creamy Ivory

On workday mornings I really don't like to muck about with my makeup, I'm more of a swipe on and go kind of gal and I can't afford any surprises. When Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation proved difficult in the application department I had no qualms sticking it in the 'to bin' pile. Then I thought about the expense and took a different approach, so I binned the sponge instead and grabbed my favourite foundation brush to do the dirty work.

Wearing Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation in Creamy Ivory

Wearing Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation in Creamy Ivory

The immediate result was just what I was after, read: smooth and natural. As the day wore on, however, my skin appeared mottled and slightly tortured.

Envision a safe haven for a million miniature, milk filled saucers. The primer and the foundation both failed to keep my skin covered and opted to pool within each individual pore. Yikes!

Can I bin it now?

Because I always take the less is more approach with makeup, I looked to other like-minded bloggers and virtually shopped their stash and walked away with a goodie. Say hello to Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation

Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation in shade 118

Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation in shade 118

Swatches of Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation in shade 118 - blended (left) and unblended (right)

Swatches of Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation in shade 118 - blended (left) and unblended (right)

In terms of consistency Make Up Forever's HD Foundation resembles Chanel's Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect, it sheers out just as well as Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation, yet manages to stay put all damn day.

Wearing Make Up Forever's HD Foundation in shade 118

Wearing Make Up Forever's HD Foundation in shade 118

Make Up Forever's HD Foundation for me is the gateway to clearer looking skin without masking the stray freckle, I really don't mind them. Classified as medium to full coverage, HD Foundation tidies things up quite nicely with minimal effort and I can do it all with a single pump of product. To finish things off, I set my makeup with Chanel's Vitalumiere Loose Powder Foundation.

Semi-related side note: Sephora + Pantone's magical Color IQ gizmo really works. The sales associate captured images of my skin in three different places (forehead, cheekbone and jawline), applied a bit of math by averaging the swatches and spat out 2Y06. If you're unable to get matched in store, but have a bottle at home in a shade you really love you can also find your match online -- just make sure Sephora stocks the brand in question. Go on, give it a whirl.