Foundation. A staple item for nearly every makeup bag I have ever come across and a saviour and necessity for a lot of Aussie women, including myself. Although I tend to lead a relatively healthy lifestyle, I definitely don’t wake up every morning looking how I feel (my partner will verify this). Nope, I need help. After years of sun exposure, the natural ageing process and some environmental damage, my skin has started to show some wear and tear and offering it a little bit of support when I venture out into the big wide world every so often is always a good thing.
Over the years (after much trial and error) i’ve learnt what to look for in a foundation and what works best with my skin. Personally, I don’t like the matte look. I prefer skin to look dewy, fresh and natural rather than caked on like spakfiller. I want to look like i’m glowing, but not like i’ve buried my face in a deep fryer. Ya’ll know what i’m sayin’? I also like my skin to breathe and I hate that feeling of having product absolutely caked on. It needs to provide coverage and a dewy glow while at the same time look like i’m not wearing anything. That’s not too much to ask right?
When it comes to applying foundation, I always use a brush. As I’ve mentioned before in my previous post on makeup brushes, it is such a waste of product using your fingers. You wash so much down the drain and you get a much more even, beautifully applied product when you’re using a brush. Further, if you use your fingers you are rubbing (potentially) any bacteria or grime that may be on your hands straight onto your face and if you’re prone to breakouts this is the last thing you need.
With this in mind, there are two incredibly important things I look for when choosing a foundation – they need to be completely cruelty-free and free from any animal-derived ingredients. Believe it or not, so many brands are still testing on animals despite how far science has come (i’m looking at you L’Oreal, MAC etc, etc). Although a lot of these companies have clever PR teams that will try and tell you they don’t test on animals, dig deeper and do your own research and more often than not you’ll find that they actually do.
Another rule of thumb? If a brand is selling products in China, then by law they have to test their products on animals. When you are doing your research keep an eye out for PR spins like this: ‘Blabla is a cruelty-free company and we do not test our products on animals unless required to by law’. This translates to less-asshole terms as ‘we test our products on animals because we are greedy mother-f*#kers who want to make heaps of cash by selling our products in China’. Make sure you’re always looking for the cruelty-free symbols and keep in mind that some cruelty-free companies don’t put the symbol on their products because it is an additional fee (just to confuse you a little more). Do. Your. Research.
Image: Keep an eye out for these symbols.
Below is a list of my favourite cruelty-free and vegan foundations that I continually come back too. There are some newbies in there and some classic oldies and most will sting your pocket $40 and upwards.
Harlotte Afterglow Foundation
I was only recently introduced to Harlotte when it was used on my skin for the Allan Border Medal by superwoman makeup artist Tobi Henney. It is a gorgeous light wearing foundation that provides medium to full coverage and a beautiful, luminous glow.
Harlotte are a completely cruelty free brand with a wide range of vegan products, including the Afterglow Foundation. Their foundation is fragrance free, rich in antioxidants and vitamins and does not contain any irritants. It comes in five different shades and is a fantastic choice for everyday wear. One of my personal favourites at the moment.
Available at harlotte.com.au.
Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation
I have always been a loyal fan of Arbonne products and have had this foundation staple in my makeup drawer for years. It has a thin consistency but gives a medium coverage with a very natural finish. It also provides skin-firming properties and a small amount of sun protection which is something awfully needed in the Aussie sun.
All of the Arbonne range is vegan and cruelty free and contains no animal-derived ingredients. This one if a perfect choice for everyday wear.
Available at arbonne.com .
Ellis Faas Skin Veil Foundation
My go to knight in shining armour when i’m after a heavier, longer-lasting finish. On the odd blue-moon when I actually venture out of my house of a night time, Ellis Faas Skin Veil is the bottle I turn to for a flawless, full-coverage and natural finish that can be easily built up.
It gives a beautiful dewy finish without being greasy, is soft and creamy to the touch and is incredibly hydrating on the skin. The price will sting your pocket, but as i’ve said before, i’m always happy to pay for a great product that does the job it is supposed to. And this is one of those products. In saying that, a little bit goes a long way so my bottle often lasts me about six months.
Available at Mecca.
Inika Certified Organic Liquid Mineral Foundation
This little black-packaged weapon of superior coverage has one heaps of awards and with good reason. It is certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free and hydrates and nourishes the skin while providing a radiant, dewy and flawless complexion. It is full to the brim of antioxidants and minerals and leaves your skin feeling deliciously naked whilst at the same time providing admirable staying power without clogging your pores.
You can order a very generous sample of the colour of your choice for only $1 on the Inika website. I highly recommend it!
To find stockists, head to inika.com.au or order your sample directly from their website.
Hourglass Veil Fluid Foundation
Available in 11 shades, the Hourglass Veil Fluid foundation is oil-free and UVA/UVB protective with an SPF15. It is a long-wearing treatment foundation that helps fight the signs of ageing and glides over your skin effortlessly. I also find it really tightens my pores and gives my skin an airbrushed finish without looking like i’m wearing anything.
To pump its tyres up even more, it is also free from oil, parabens, nanoparticles, fragrance, sulfates, phthalates and of course, animal-derived ingredients. I am a really, really big fan of this foundation and will often switch between this and Chantecaille Future Skin (below).
Available at Mecca.
Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation
It’s hard not to like Jane Iredale products, but the Liquid Minerals foundation is one of my favourites in their range. It is a treatment serum with pigment that makes your skin feel like you’re not wearing anything other than a damn good moisturiser. It provides sheer to medium coverage and contains some fantastic ingredients including hyaluronic acid, vitamin c and coenzyme Q10 which help to calm inflammation, plump and hydrate the skin, even out fine lines, wrinkles and skin tone and minimise pore size.
If you have flawless skin that doesn’t need much coverage and you’re after something that does the job it’s designed to do, then this is the one for you.
Available at janeiredale.com .
Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation
Chantecaille is one of my favourite brands. Their ongoing philanthropy for various environmental and animal issues is the lead every other brand should be following and I always admire the creative ways their palettes and products are designed around a specific cause.
Chantecaille Future Skin is an oil-free gel foundation that provides medium to full coverage and has light-reflective pigment that hides the appearance of flaws (not that you cruelty-free babes have any). It contains 60% charged water and seaweed and comes in 14 different shades so there is one for everyone. This foundation gives your skin the softest most luminous glow and is a real compliment to any skintone.
NB: The packaging isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s well worth the compromise for the quality of the product.
Available at Mecca.