Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to beautybible.com
Q Could you suggest some options for a good budget-priced foundation for fair, normal to dry skin? I’m a working mum in my 50s and don’t have much disposable income.
A ‘This foundation is an actual gift from the gods.’ That’s one of the many five star online reviews for a product that costs just £9. The foundation is Revolution Conceal & Define Foundation, which comes in 24 shades and is designed to suit every skin type. There are ten shades for fair skin so you should be able to find one that’s just right for you. It’s available online at revolutionbeauty.com (do visit and look at the reviews and the rest of the range). But we suggest you nip into a big Superdrug, which stocks Revolution, to look at the shades first.
If you like a foundation stick, try Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick, £5, and 18 shades, also available at Superdrug.
That tip came from make up artist Jenny Jordan (jennyjordan.com), who adds that cheaper foundations can be drying so do moisturise well first. One of the best bits of advice we ever had was to leave moisturiser to sink in for at least five minutes before applying foundation (aka base in the trade).
Jenny adds that some budget formulations have less staying power than more expensive ones so it’s worth considering applying a primer after your moisturiser. Look for a primer in the same range as the foundation you choose (more below) or try Jenny’s old-fashioned trick of using rosewater and glycerine, which makes the skin more pliable and creates a ‘wall’ between skin and foundation. (Boots Traditional Glycerin and Rosewater, £2.39 for 200ml.)
We’re great fans of e.l.f. Cosmetics and their Flawless Finish Foundation comes in 40 shades, at just £7.50 from Superdrug again, and also at elfcosmetics.co.uk. This lightweight, oil-free liquid foundation, which is a best-seller, blends in to skin to give a semi-matte finish that evens out skin tone. The brand also offers Poreless Face Primer for £7.50. And do try the e.l.f. concealers – brilliant value for a fiver.
Another to consider while you’re out looking is Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation, £7.69 for an 18g pot. As with all foundations, the key is colour, colour, colour: apply a stripe down your cheek to your jawline (several if you want), then take a mirror to a door or window where you are in natural light (this is SO important) and see which one disappears into your skin. Also consider investing in a make up sponge to apply: the egg-shaped ones work a treat and come at various price points.
Finally, we bumped into old friend and uber beauty expert Nadine Baggott recently, who recommended checking out Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation from Drew Barrymore’s range, which you can find at Superdrug. The price tag is £12.99 but one happy reviewer said it’s right up there with her premium designer foundation at over triple the price. (Just one warning: several of the Flower Foundation shades seem to be out of stock online right now but still worth keeping an eye on.)
Beauty Bible loves..
Neal’s Yard Frankincense Intense Hand Serum, £30 for 50 ml.
Though this just launched, we got our hands on it early (literally) – and after using this for a few weeks, we have to say: we’re very impressed.
But let’s get one thing straight: it’s not a hand cream, per se. Neal’s Yard Frankincense Intense Hand Serum is an actual extra step in your handcare regime: a specific, targeted anti-ageing product harnessing the age-defying powers of frankincense, which is ideally used before bedtime and in the morning. Definitely not something to squirt when you just need to remoisturise hands after washing.
Neal’s Yard have made frankincense their ‘thing’ for decades now, and the formulations, while entirely natural, grow ever-more-sophisticated. Alongside the Omani frankincense, you’ll find pro-vitamin A-rich rosehip oil, narcissus extract and ribose.
The result is a gloriously silky, non-sticky texture that leaves skin instantly super-smooth. In their own trials, after six weeks 73% of women agree that age spots on the back of their hands were noticeably reduced, 75% reported that skintone was more even and 79% agreed that the skin on the back of the hands felt firmer and tighter.
For the Beauty Bible Awards 2020, we’ve created a special hand treatment category and hope to be putting this through its paces. (If we were betting types, we’d definitely have a flutter on it doing very well.)
Till then? Personally, we’re thoroughly enjoying our smoothing last-thing-at-night slather, breathing in the calming, relaxing scent of frankincense. Prepping us for sleep – or the challenges of the day ahead.