Finding a great foundation that tackles every single one of your skin’s needs is no mean feat. In fact, many spend years on the hunt for the perfect formula. The worst part is that sometimes, even when you have spent many moons testing and trialling different products, you might finally find the one, only for your skin to change its mind on it after a few months. Sadly, such makeup dramas are never more prominent than when we are dealing with skin ageing.
As we get older, the stuff that our skin naturally produces to keep it looking plump, hydrated, and radiant starts to diminish, and these signs commonly start to show once we hit our 40s. With decreased collagen and hyaluronic acid production, even those who spent the first few decades of their life with a flawless, dewy complexion are likely to start experiencing increased dryness and loss of elasticity. While we’re all about embracing your skin at every age, we also know that this constant changing of needs can make shopping for the perfect base incredibly tricky.
While beauty brands are quick to make a pretty penny off thick, full-coverage foundations targeted at a TikTok generation, truly great formulas that are natural looking and subtle are harder to come by. So in a bid to find the perfect makeup products, we reached out to six of the most fresh-faced women that we know over 40 and asked them to spill their secrets on what foundations make for the perfect base.
“My current favourites all have one thing in common: They are each formulated with skincare and makeup benefits. They are more like hydrating, moisturising serums that melt into skin and feel comfortable throughout the day. With being indoors for many months, I find that I prefer effortless, natural-looking makeup that allows my skin to be its best self. I am 42 and have ageing, acne-prone, oily skin, so I definitely have a criteria that works for me.”
“I can only gush about the Kjaer Weis Liquid Foundation! I love the clean, non-comedogenic formula, including key ingredients my ageing, acne-prone skin loves, such as hyaluronic acid and rosehip oil. The consistency is like a fluid serum, and a little goes a long way. I find it to be easily buildable, providing a light to medium coverage that blurs and evens my skin tone while still looking like skin. The finish is radiant but not oily. I apply it with a dense foundation brush, but it easily can be applied using fingers.”
“I love BareMinerals's Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer because of its multitasking qualities. It is great for skin that needs a lasting, hydrating boost and for anyone, like myself, with over-40 skin that is looking for an effortless foundation. Firstly, the tinted gel-like cream does a beautiful job evening out my skin tone while still providing a comfortable, natural-looking finish. Secondly, I get the benefits of hydrating skincare thanks to non-comedogenic, naturally derived ingredients like squalane. Thirdly, it provides mineral-based sun protection with SPF 30, which, even while indoors, is essential.”
“I have been using Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint foundation for over six months now, and all I can say is wow. I love that the non-comedogenic, hydrating coverage blurs my skin while giving it that ultimate radiant, dewy finish. It is thoughtfully infused with all the good stuff, like hyaluronic acid, squalane, niacinamide, and mineral-based zinc oxide. Not only does it make my skin look radiant, but it also nourishes, heals, hydrates, and protects against UVA/UVB, infrared, and blue light. It is a lovely foundation for all skin types in my opinion!”
“I'm a huge fan of Lancôme's Skin Feels Good Foundation. As my skin is ageing, I find it harder to use products with a full coverage, and this semi-foundation just covers what I need it to.”
“I never leave the house without Dermalogica's Hydrablur Primer. It hides fine lines and pores underneath my foundation and just helps to minimise everything. On days that I don’t use foundation, I always use this primer.”
“Another product I like is the MAC Cream Colour Base in a peachy colour. I feel like a little peachy cheek makes me look younger. When I was younger, I used to just add it to the apples of my cheeks, but a little trick is to apply it to the cheeks with upward strokes towards your cheekbones to get a little lift.”
“I have pretty much been wearing the same face since my 20s! Obviously, the products change up from time to time, but the look remains the same. On my skin, I use Neal's Yard's Wild Rose Beauty Balm under my foundation. My skin is quite dry, and creamy moisturisers just disappear into it! This beauty balm feels like it really gives my skin a treat.“
"I was introduced to BareMinerals's Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizers by makeup artist to the stars Aimee Adams. Aimee does Tess Daly's makeup, and she told me Tess swears by it! The base is quite sheer and leaves a lovely glow on my skin. As I have got older, I much prefer a sheeny finish to matte—I think matte highlights all my wrinkles and crinkles, whereas sheer and dewy is definitely more flattering!”
“The basis of a great base is to pamper your skin every day. I apply Bioderma's Sébium Mat Control Shine-Control Moisturiser to control my sensitive, combination, and oily skin. I have used Bioderma products for years, and they suit me perfectly.”
“When it comes to makeup, I really like MAC. I use two different concealers on the key areas that need it (shades NC55 and NW51). Then, I use Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation Powder in NW46.”
“You don’t even need to use this as a full base. I sometimes just add on top of my moisturiser and leave off the foundation if I want to be barefaced but with a glow.”
“This looks as though it will be really heavy, but the consistency is so lightweight that it glides on. You can layer it up, too, if you want extra coverage in some areas.”
“This is such a beautiful palette with different powder options for highlight and glow. I also love the blusher, which gives a soft effect.”
“A colour-correcting cream that works brilliantly as a foundation. I find my skin feels moisturised, but blemishes and lines are minimised, and it gives a really luminous complexion.”
“I tend to be very demanding when it comes to my foundation, as my skin is very demanding! Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation meets these demands. It leaves my skin looking very natural and glowing for a whole day, and it doesn’t dry it out. It’s like a second skin. I feel like I’m not wearing any makeup while my skin looks amazing, and that’s exactly what I want from my foundation!”
“I like it when my skin is hydrated. Hence, I find this primer from Laura Mercier an absolute miracle worker. It’s very light and creates a flawless canvas for makeup application.”
“I love Chantecaille, and its foundation is a must-have. It’s oil-free gel with a light texture, and it’s very easy to apply. It makes my skin look healthy, and it’s perfect for sensitivity. But most importantly, I get lots of compliments whenever I wear it!”