What I use for my face make up

Foundation is a tricky make up product to perfect; the goal is to create youthful, flawless skin, but it’s so easy to make mistakes! I’ve definitely experienced the odd tide line here and there (thankfully beauty blenders have improved since I started wearing foundation) and choosing the right colour for your complexion isn’t easy.

Below are my favourite make up products for the skin, and my top tips to finding yours. But, it goes without saying that the better the condition of your skin the easier it is to apply foundation (and the better it will look). I’d recommend a facial every few months, a regular face mask (I do mine on Sunday nights) and a good skincare routine. And don’t use make up removing wipes! A former Marie Claire beauty editor once told me they are the WORST for drying out your skin.

YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer

This primer was actually a sample that came with my Touche Éclat pen brush (see below), and I really like it. I’ve been using it for around six weeks now. It acts as a real-life filter, creating a matte sheen across the skin. I apply it before my foundation, and it’s great if you’re going out or to an event to help your make up stay put, but also to create a good base for application.

Coverage: none but preps beautifully

Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow

If you’re a less-is-more kinda gal then you’ll love this! Sure, it’s often used as a primer, but on good skin days it actually works really well on its own thanks to the light reflecting golden particles. I wear it under my foundation, or alone when I’m having a no make-up day. And, if I have to nip out, I just add a touch of concealer where needed.

Coverage: very light

Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream SPF20 (No.2 Medium)

As you can see from the tube, this BB cream has been well used and truly loved. I don’t hear or see too much about Burberry Beauty but I adore the products, and this one is definitely my favourite so far. Basically a tinted moisturiser, it’s so light and sheer you hardly know you’re wearing anything at all. It’s brilliant at creating an even skin tone, and really does give a nice healthy, but subtle, glow. I always take it on holiday because it’s light, super easy to apply, and smells amazing. I’ve had this for around two years now and use it every summer.

Coverage: light

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder SPF15 (No.6 Medium)

I use this for a bit more coverage, and yet my skin never feels caked in make up – even if I’ve layered this product up. That’s the beauty of it: I can create a very pretty, feminine daytime look with this foundation or I can dial it up for a sexier evening look just by applying a bit more. This bottle lasts me around 6/7 months and it’s my number one, best-ever foundation – I use it all year round, in the same shade. I’d highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who likes moderate coverage and it’s the one foundation I buy on the regular.

Coverage: moderate

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF40 (Warm Beige)

I discovered this when I visited the new Bobbi Brown counter in Dundee a few weeks back. The good bits?  It’s really fresh and applies very easily without build up around the brows, and it has a pretty fragrance (that’ll be the lychee). It’s the most pleasant smelling foundation I’ve ever had. The not-so-good bits? It doesn’t last particularly well because it’s light, and the dropper might look great – like, really great – but it actually makes it difficult to get out of the bottle. I think there’s going to be a lot of wastage, sadly. The brilliance behind this foundation is that it’s also an intensive skin serum and SPF40. I use it on hot summer days with a little concealer on my problem areas, such as around the nostrils and slight sun damage.

Coverage: light

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick (Warm Beige)

Again, I was introduced to this one a few weeks ago at the new counter, and I love it. It gives quite a waxy finish, and it’s amazing for carrying around in my bag for touch ups throughout the day or evening. It’s a good, all-year-round colour and texture, but probably lends itself best to autumn/winter. I love this and find it’s a bit of a 2-in-1 foundation and concealer. Sometimes I pop it over the Intensive Skin Serum Foundation (above), but only on the centre of my face to avoid looking to ‘done’.

Coverage: moderate to full

Clinique Sun-Kissed Face Gelee (Universal)

You know when you have a foundation or tinted moisturiser you love, but it’s just a bit pale after you’ve caught some sun? Well, this little gel from Clinique gives you an instant bronzed tan. The gel is almost black in colour, but isn’t thick so it applies very finely across the skin. I put it over my foundation whenever I’ve been away (or when I’ve got a bit of colour in my face, thanks to being weatherbeaten from walking the dog so much on maternity leave) to give a natural sun-kissed finish. It’s so, so good – no, really, it is – and it’s a must-have in my summer beauty bag. I’m actually never without a tube in the summer. As you can see, this is a brand new one which I purchased back in April in anticipation of my old one finishing (actually, my mum nabbed the end of my last one as she too loves it). I’d say a bottle of this lasts me two summers, but it would probably last a full year if I used it every day, all year round.

Coverage: light but gives deep colour

Touche Éclat (No.1 though I usually use No.2)

I’ve been using this modern classic since 2004. Admittedly, it’s been an on-off relationship, simply because I’ve been trying out different under-eye products (and it’s difficult to know whether this is a concealer or highlighter, or both), but I always find myself coming back to it. I was given this one for my birthday around six weeks ago and I’m so glad – I’ve been reminded how good it is at ‘lifting’ my face, especially when I use it in a triangle shape below my eyes, on the brow bone, down the centre of my nose and on my cupid’s bow. It’s a multifunctional product that I can rely on, no matter the time of year or the occasion, and it’s handy for taking with me on-the-go. Touche Éclat is especially helpful with a new baby!

Coverage: light

My top three tips for choosing your perfect foundation…


Don’t buy a foundation or tinted moisturiser on the spot – ask for a sample and take it home, try it out, and make sure you see it on your skin in natural light before purchasing.


Apply foundation to the centre of the face – so your t-zone and cheeks – and blend outwards. This means most of the coverage is centred and you don’t run the risk of a tideline. Use either your fingers, a beauty blender or a foundation brush to apply. Using a brush gives a more professional, higher coverage finish, while using your fingers allows a lighter approach.


Create structure and depth by highlighting the brow bones, cheekbones, and centre of your nose, and applying bronzer to the hollows of your cheeks and a natural blush to the apples of your cheeks  – but always start your blush from below the centre of your eye, blending up and out.

What’s your favourite beauty product for achieving great skin? I’d love to know if you use any of the ones featured above, or hear about ones I’ve not yet tried. Please get in touch on social media or leave a comment below. xx

1 Comment

  1. Lynsey McIrvine 3rd August 2017 / 12:53

    My skincare issues have now been resolved, thanks to Kiehl’s. I’ve got lotions and potions galore from Mr Bones and – touch wood – they work. Day cream, night cream, serum, concentrate, pore refiner, anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle and Auntie Mary (joke!), and I love them all. Value for money too as it’s not the cheapest but lasts for ever.
    Touche Eclat – jury’s still out for me. I think it’s a bit like the emperor’s new clothes. You’re told it’s great, they put it on you and tell you what a difference it makes, everyone raves about it but personally I don’t notice a difference. But that’s probably my own-doing. Happy to try it again now that my skincare regime has improved.
    Foundation – don’t get me started! I cringe to think how much I’ve spent on different brands. And then next time I’m shopping I’ll see another one, will be lured in by the sales pitch and then there’s the till noise and a new product in my bag. All in the blink of an eye. How did that happen?! Another £30+ lighter. Am using Bobbi Brown powder foundation just now and if I’m out (that’ll be tomorrow night!) I use NARS. Unless I find myself in Boots or Debenhams between now and tomorrow . . . xx

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