Starting Off: Foundation

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It's week 4 of #theSOproject and this is going to be a double bill as I have been incredibly busy and didn't have time to finish my foundation post from last week! So this will be my first post this week for last weeks edition and then there will be this weeks regular post as well! We are a few weeks into the project now and it's been fantastic so far to talk with the bloggers who are taking part and to find other opinions and reviews on different products that I know and some that I don't! It's really opened my eyes to how broad the spectrum of beauty products is and convinced me I should be more open to try products and brands that I haven't gone for before. Last time I touched upon concealers and this week I am going to build upon this and talk about foundations.

Foundations are a make-up basic and help to cover flaws, improve the look of skin quality and to create an even complexion. There are many different foundations with varying levels of coverage and are suited to different skin types. In recent years, Primers, BB and CC creams have been developed to further perfect the skin's appearance and these can be worn underneath foundation so that foundation's have an even surface to be applied to or they can be worn by themselves for a light coverage and a quick fix to improve the look of complexions. I am going to share with you my collection of foundations, primers, BB and CC creams, their different levels of coverage, suitability for skin types and what different factors they aim to provide to a consumer.


Primers are basically a cream that is applied to the skin before applying any other kind of make-up. Primers aim to improve the look of skin and to lengthen the time that make up lasts for and stays in place - I'm sure we've all been there on a hot day when our make up has just slid down our faces! Different primers will have different qualities; This Rimmel Fix and Perfect Primer has 5 main benefits - to cover fine lines, resurface skin, brighten skin, mattify and it contains SPF to protect skin from the sun. This isn't the best primer I have used, I have quite oily skin and this one doesn't seem to have the same longevity as my all time favourite Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer - It's double the price but well worth the money in my opinion.

Rimmel Fix and Perfect Primer 

As you can see from the swatches, This particular primer turns clear when applied and gives a radiant, pearlised glow to the skin. It instantly brightens the look of skin and illuminates, allowing skin to look noticeably healthier. If you are lucky enough to have clear skin, you can get away with just wearing a primer, but if you feel like you still need a bit more coverage to get rid of flaws such as redness or spots, then you can apply your usual foundation on top. Even when adding foundation, your skin will still look noticeably improved and will give a glow from within effect - you will find as well your foundation will last a lot longer with a primer underneath. Some primers are even tinted which helps to eliminate the need to apply a foundation, but even these tinted primers will still have a very light coverage when compared to foundations.

BB Creams

BB Creams became a hot favourite in the beauty industry a couple of years ago and took the make up world by storm! BB stands for Blemish Balms and they act as a multi-function cream with skin perfecting properties - much like a primer. BB Creams are mostly tinted so as well as having similar properties to primers; these can also give you a natural looking skin coverage when compared to foundations. BB Creams offer a good base for make up to be applied to like primers, Covers imperfections like concealers, moisturises skin like face creams and evens out the complexion like a light foundation - it's basically an all in one wonder product! So if you don't want to apply loads of products to your skin, especially when starting out with make up, you can easily cover all of these in this one product as a quick fix for a natural look. 

Some BB Creams can also improve skin quality, contain anti-ageing ingredients as well as having an SPF included, so your skin not only looks good, but you are doing good for your skin at the same time! Nowadays BB Creams are tailored to different skin types and come in a number of shades, so make sure you find the right one for you and your skin. Like primers, you cam apply BB creams on their own for a light, natural finish or you can use it under foundation as a good base to build upon. Throughout the day, you can also apply BB Cream to areas such as the T-zone and cheeks for a quick pick me up for your skin. It won't offer the same coverage as a foundation, so if you do struggle with blemishes and spots, you still may need to apply a concealer or dab of foundation on top.

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector - All in One BB Cream

The Garnier BB Cream was one of the first to come onto the UK market a few years ago and is responsible for starting a BB Cream revolution! It is an all-in-one moisturiser that combines skincare with mineral pigments to even skin tone, illuminate, cover imperfections and fine lines, hydrate skin and contains SPF to protect skin. It aims to give you a healthy glow as well as keeping skin hydrated and to even out you complexion to act as a good base.

 As you can see from my swatches, it's actually a quite thick BB Cream so it does cover up imperfections and blemishes really well. I find with this one though that if you do apply too much, it gives skin quite an odd complexion - almost waxy and plasticy, so less is definitely more - after all its' aim is to look natural! This is slightly darker than my natural skin tone, but it doesn't give me an orangey colouring, just a healthy glow, which is great for my dull pale skin! This is the Original Garnier BB Cream but there are now 4 to choose from for different skin types; Original, Oil-Free, Sensitive and Anti-ageing

Oil-Free BB Cream is specified for combination to oily skin with an Oil-Free formula that contains ultra-absorbent ingredients to mattify shine and minimises the appearance of pores. I think if I buy another BB Cream I will get the Oil-Free one as I do have problems with oily skin! But when I bought my BB cream there was only the original available so I didn't have a choice really!

Sensitive BB Cream has a hypo-allergenic, fragrance free formula specially designed for sensitive skin. This BB cream reduces the appearance of redness as well as protects the skin with a higher SPF rating of 25 when compared to Original which has SPF 15 and Oil-free which has 20.

Anti-ageing BB Cream is enriched with Pro-Xylane which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and leaves skin feeling firmer. It also contains SPF 20 to protect skin further from the harmful ageing effects from the sun. So as you can see there is a Garnier BB cream for you no matter what your skin type!

Garnier BB Creams are £9.99 so around the average price of a foundation, so this won't break the bank, they are currently on offer in Boots for £7.49 and in Superdrug for £6.66, so now is the time to buy if you want to try it out!

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

This was one one of the BB creams at the forefront of the market and was released soon after Garnier's BB cream. Now this is a premium product at £26 and I would never normally pay this for make up, though I found this one on Ebay a couple of months back for a fraction at the price at £4.89, brand new and unused. It's always worth a look on Ebay for some premium beauty bargains! At the ripe old age of 22 I wasn't really focusing on the Anti-ageing benefits but this helps to prevent premature ageing with UVA and UVB protection and upon application optics instantly reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

This BB Cream also has a special formula which helps to calm skin and protect against environmental aggressors. Oil control is also a big benefit of this BB Cream and keeps me shine free for the majority of the day. I do like this BB Cream though I'm sure you can see from the swatches that it is very light, and I'm probably one of the palest people I know, so it is strange for me to find a product that is even too pale for me. Though it blends well but I'm still left with a ghostly complexion! So I do have to wear it underneath a foundation to add some colour back to my skin; it is a really good product so I would buy it again but in the darker shade. It comes in 3 different shades; Fair, Moderately Fair and Medium.

CC Creams

Building on the BB Cream faze, there are now products called CC Creams - which stands for Colour Correcting and they basically have the benefits of BB Creams but also aim to neutralise your skin colouring rather than just covering up your skin if you suffer from red, tired or dull looking skin. CC Creams also tend to contain added sun protection and better skincare properties than BB Creams, CC Creams also tend to cover uneven skin tone better than BB Creams due to their colour adapting properties. I have found CC Creams are a lot lighter than BB creams and even though they do change to a foundation colour, it's more of a product to wear under foundation, it corrects colouring so it acts as a perfect base to then apply foundation to as the skin is now an even tone. 

 L'Oreal Nude Magique CC Cream

You can get different CC Creams depending on the skin problem you are trying to correct. CC Creams work as they come in the opposite colour to the problem you are trying to correct. These Smart pigments then transform into foundation on application to your skin and neutralise your skin tone to reduce the appearance of redness, dullness or tired looking skin. Green CC cream neutralises rosy skin, Purple CC cream neutralises dull yellow skin and Orange CC skin brightens tired looking skin; so you then have the perfect nude look to build make up on. 

I have the L'Oreal green CC Cream as I do have red skin across my cheeks and chin, so this product is ideal to help neutralise this problem before I apply foundation so I can achieve an even skin tone. The first time I used this product under foundation, my mum instantly noticed the difference and said my skin looked a lot healthier and even, almost like my skin had been airbrushed. This is the only CC cream I have tried so I can't speak for the other colours, but the Anti-redness really does work wonders and cover any blemishes and redness! From the swatches you can see the smart pigments in action transforming from a light mint colour to a healthy nude tone, once applied you will notice your complexion looking a lot brighter and full of life, so I highly reccommend this product!


If you choose to use a primer, BB cream or CC cream before applying foundation or not, it is entirely up to you! You can choose to use a primer, BB or CC cream by themselves for a lightweight coverage and quick skin perfector, but if you still feel like you need a little bit more coverage to banish those pesky blemishes, then you can apply a foundation on top in the same way with either clean fingers or a foundation brush. I personally use my fingers and I think it is easier to blend than using a brush where I think foundation tends to just sit on top of the skin unless you really spend time applying it.

There are many types of foundations with different levels of coverage to suit your skin type and tone, some can be used to brighten, mattify, even and blend blemishes away. I have used quite a few different foundations from many brands and I still think I am yet to find the 'perfect' foundation for me. I have had a range of foundations that are lighter/darker that I use depending on the time of year, I usually buy a shade darker during the summer to compensate for when I go on holiday and get a bit of colour! The range of foundations I have used have varied from liquids and mousses to creams - each with different properties and improved the look of my skin in certain ways - I rarely stick to the same one after I have finished the bottle but I am just going to share with you my current foundation.

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation*

I saw on Rimmel's Twitter feed that they wanted testers for their new and improved Stay Matte Foundation as part of the #staymattechallenge, I of course entered to take part as I do struggle with keeping my skin shine free without having to keep adding powder and blotting my face. They contacted me and said I had been chosen to take part, so I was thrilled! A few days later I received not one, but two full size bottles of their Stay Matte Foundation, so I'm stocked up for a while!

Stay Matte Foundation is an oil-free liquid mousse, so it has the coverage and manageability of both types of foundation combined! It aims to minimise the appearance of pores and keep skin smooth and shine free all day. As you can see from the swatches, the foundation has quite a thick consistency but it is really easy to blend to achieve an even, natural look - even with my pale skin, the colour blends really well with my own skin tone.

I apply a pea size amount to my face starting at the centre of my face and blending outwards (I have found less is more with this foundation otherwise you will build a really thick obvious layer!). If I feel oily areas such as my chin and nose need a little extra coverage, I will add a bit more to mattify. Now I have noticed the difference and my skin does appear less oily by the end of the day, but I can still see a bit of shininess peeking through, but this foundation does seem to last longer against shine than one I have used before. Though if I had one complaint, because it is so thick, if I touch my face and touch something else, I leave fingerprints of foundation everywhere! I have never noticed this before and it is quite annoying when I see it has transferred from my face, onto my hands and onto my clothes or onto objects such as handles, keyboards and papers. But other than that, it is a great foundation is you want an even and matte finish that lasts the majority of the day!

To set your foundation, it is always best to use a light powder and brush to sweep over your face to further blend your foundation and to mattify skin, you will find your base willlast a little longer if you add a powder on top, it just adds that little extra coverage

Now this foundation might not be for you, we are all different after all! You have to find one that suits your skin type and more importantly your colouring! You want to avoid darker shades if you don't want the obvious orange finish around your jaw line and you want to avoid shades that are too light for your skin tone to avoid looking a bit anaemic! So it can be a bit of hit and miss to find the right shade, so it's always best to try before you buy with testers, if in doubt ask a sales assistant or take a family member or friend with you. There are many different types of foundations, so take time to look what skin type they are most suited to and what you want your foundation to achieve - whether its a healthy glow, full coverage against blemishes or a matte finish there will be a foundation out there!

Hope you enjoy this post - better late than never after all!

Amie xx

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