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BEAUTY CLINIC: How can I perfectly blend foundation?

Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to 

Q. What’s the best way to apply foundation? I have always used my fingers but my daughter has a sponge cone thing, which she swears by.

A. Legendary make-up artist Barbara Daly once told us that fingers are best because they warm the foundation (aka base) so it goes on more smoothly. So – fingers are just fine! (Just clean them thoroughly before you put your paws on your clothes etc.)

However, the egg-shaped Beauty Blender make up sponge – which we think is what your daughter has – is an iconic product for good reason. Squidge a little bit of base on the sponge, then dot, pat and stroke it over your skin – the pointy end takes it into corners – to get a truly flawless finish. Having dismissed Beauty Blender for years as a bit of a faff and a fad, Sarah is now a fully paid up fan. (It’s worth watching the videos for application tips, and spending time playing with the sponge.)

The other application option is a specially shaped (flattish with an almost oval top) foundation brush, which many make up artists swear by. We have used brushes and they do work – though we usually end up with a bit too much product on brush and then face.

Now for the news that’s setting the Internet buzzing with controversy. Rea Silva, the American make up artist who developed Beauty Blender, has now launched her own foundation called Bounce Liquid Whip Longwear Foundation, £32 for 30ml. 

So – our view? We think it’s fabulous. It is light as the proverbial feather but – providing you have prepped properly – it covers flawlessly. (The formula was devised to combat the challenges of high definition screen make up, which emphasises every pore, blemish and wrinkle.) White birch extract and hyaluronic acid brighten and help hydrate skin. It doesn’t cake or settle in wrinkles. And it is truly long lasting. We haven’t had to touch up at all, apart from a teeny bit on one red patch. You don’t even really need concealer unless you have really dark areas, brown age spots or bigger blemishes.

And for everyone who has spilled or squirted foundation over a white top (grrrr), the cleverly designed bottle dispenses a small amount from a teeny aperture on one side when you press the top – so it’s pretty well spill-proof.

The downside is that you can’t go to a counter and try one of the 32 shades available on However, there is a click through button to a useful guide on the Beauty Blender website. 

One thing to add, as you will see from the model shots for each of the shades, Bounce seems principally aimed for a range of mixed race complexions – Rea Ann and her daughter, who works in the business too, are gorgeous Latinos. Though, curiously, there are fewer darker shades – that’s one of the criticisms of the range, though apparently more shades are in the offing. And, of course, all the models apart from one are young. We suggest: don’t be put off. Find the right shade for your skin and, hopefully, you will be as impressed as we are.

Beauty Bible loves… 

YOPE Liquid Soaps and Shower Gels, £7.99 for 400 ml. One sure way to get small people to wash their hands and keep general grub at bay is to tempt them with funky packaging. YOPE’s is certainly that – from a natural brand (Polish, as it happens) whose products we’ve been enjoying for quite some time, but which have just become much more accessible thanks to a recent listing at Waitrose.

YOPE Liquid Soaps and Shower Gels, £7.99 for 400 ml. Find them in Waitrose beauty aisles in 200 stores and at

YOPE’s story, as they tell it, actually ‘started with washing hands. Several times a day, dozens of times a week, hundreds of times a month.’ The result? Dry, irritated hands. So they set out to create a kinder, gentler alternative to many of the liquid soaps, avoiding foaming agents like SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), but adding skin-nurturing vegetable oils, shea butter and plant oils. Vegan-friendly, too, if that matters to you.

The range is growing fast but we’ve singled out some favourites – as ever, because we really, really like the smells. There’s Yunnan Natural Regenerating Shower Gel, £7.99 for 400 ml, which has a really fresh, uplifting tea-like scent. We think you’ll love the Ginger Sandalwood Natural Liquid Soap, £8.99 for 500 ml, as much as we do – a real winter warmer, this one.

But the one that’s leap-frogged right onto our own bathroom shelf is Boswellia and Rosemary Natural Shower Gel, £7.99 for 400 ml – really frankincense-y, and we find it very grounding to breathe while washing hands.

Never mind the kids. No excuse for us not to be squeaky-clean, either.

Find them in Waitrose beauty aisles in 200 stores and at*

*NB Whether or not you can find them online at Waitrose also depends on where you’re geographically located . If they’re not in your nearest store, they won’t show on the website either. If that’s the case, has a good selection.



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