Which Foundation?

To run alongside my ‘Which Tinted Moisturiser?’ post, it’s only fair that I give foundations the same treatment. It’s an oft-asked question – ‘What foundation would you recommend for *insert skin type/budget/mates name here*’ – so today I’m running through the top five that have survived the test of time in my stash and between them have every eventuality covered. Spanning the coverage spectrum, all price brackets and complexion concerns I reckon I’ve got just the ticket for you if you want a foundation pick…

For a purse-friendly price – Bourjois Happy Light Foundation (I wear 50) – £11.99 – from Boots. Yes I’m trying to make a personal record for times a product can be mentioned on VDM in a one-month window. I jest, I jest. Bourjois is a good place to start if you’re foundation scouting on the highstreet. The formulas are good quality, in a range of finishes and most come in at around a tenner. The shade range is their only downfall. I’ve given the full deats on their Happy Light offering here; but here’s the abridged version. A sheer-to-medium formula that lasts pretty well throughout the day and lets a hint of natural glow through all while looking natural and smelling blooming’ loverly – a good all-rounder, for all skin types.

For a full coverage finish – Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (I wear 4) – £34.50 – from Selfridges. Yes, yes – I’m still harping on about this. When it comes to a full finish ‘covers blemishes, redness and the kitchen sink’ formulas, nothing delivers like this does. No cake, no tell-tale powder particles. In fact I can get nose up against a mirror with this and it’s still undetectable yet so darn covering. I’ll end the rave there, but if you fancy the full one click on.

For a sheer coverage finish – CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation (I wear B20) – £32 – from Selfridges. Bridging the gap between tinted moisturiser and foundation is this plastic packaged-up product from CHANEL. A luminous finished formula, I’d say this is a good pick for all (giving that oiler souls don’t mind a bit of glow), that when applied with the fingers gives off a sheer coverage. It can be built up with a brush, but I like it most rough and ready slapped on with my tips. And I’ve got to touch on that packaging; it’s not the most luxe, but it’s compact and light meaning that whenever I pack my suitcase this is a regular traveller with me.

For an oily complexion – Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation (I wear Sand) – £30 – from Selfridges. With matte textures only just beginning to make their comeback, finding a foundation formula that’s suited to oiler skin can be a bit of a toughie. Though a sheen-producing complexion doesn’t mean to have to dump dewy completely. A good compromise is this from Bobbi Brown (have a gander here for a full review). One – it’s über long wearing, like all day. Two – it gives a medium to full coverage. Three – it provides a satin-skin finish that allows a hint of illumination though without giving in to grease.

For a drier complexion – YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation (I wear B20) – £29 – from Selfridges. I’m more of a combination gal myself, but I do suffer with the odd pesky dry patch and when things are a little dehydrated I plump for this offering from YSL. Dewy enough to impart a glow on even my most parched epidermis episodes, without the cakeyness that can collection in arid areas; it gives a medium coverage that takes care of redness and any pesky pimples. Mature and dry skins, if you want a glow-giver then say hello this bottle. See it in action, here.

A word of warning: this five may become six very soon as I finally managed to get my hands on that YSL Youth Liberator Foundation that everyone’s waving their buffing brushes in the air going crazy for. I’ll keep you updated…


  • Anna Blush

    Really want to try the Giorgio Armani offering after hearing all your raving! x

    • you need to try it! It is my absolute go-to foundation for nights out! x

  • OfficialSarah

    I am not sure who exactly the Touche Eclat Foundation is made for, but it is neither for oily NOR dry skin – as it puts extreme emphasis on dry spots. It might work for you if you have overall dryish skin but if you have only problems with dry spots (aka when blemishes are healing) this is not a foundation you want to go for as it just makes those spots super visible.

    I do for this love the Armani foundation. I finally caved in a couple of weeks ago and except the paint smell I love everything about it!

  • Charlotte MacDonald-Gaunt

    Another great foundation is the YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation – it gives medium to full coverage and is amazing to wear! Xx

  • Winnie

    Great post!
    You should do more of these with other makeup items too! (highlighter, blush, etc)

  • Talisa Lauren Tossell

    EVERYONE goes on about the YSL foundation! Really wanna try it- thanks for this simple break down!

  • Rachel

    Love this post – my favourite foundation is the bobbi brown one! worth every penny!

  • Wonderful post!
    I have my own army of foundations aswell. YSL Touche éclat for winter (my skin loves it), Bourjois healthy mix (Happy light hasn’t arrived to Switzerland yet 🙁 ) for everyday looks. MAC pro long wear for long working days, or long party nights, 😉 and a bunch of BB creams for weekends and days I go for no-makeup makeup.

  • JC

    I am dying to try the Bourjois and Bobbi Brown foundations. If only it was easier to access them in Japan.

  • Teni

    This is a great post! I absolutely love the Armani one, however it can cake up when my skin is dry – in which case I opt for the Bourjois healthy mix serum! Really keen to try out the happy light foundation and their illuminating primer and concealer too!

  • Georgina

    Great post! I have quite a bit of makeup myself but only have one foundation and one BB cream because I find that if I have a few different foundations I don’t manage to finish any up within the recommended 12 months. Do you manage to finish up your foundations and if so, how long does it take you to use them up?

  • Hayley Campbell

    chanel vita aqua is by far my favourite of all time! x

  • Excited for your YSL Yoth Liberator review.

  • Pippi

    This is probably the most helpful post ever! Thank you! I need to get my hands on touche eclat and vitalumiere aqua fo sho! xx

  • sarahb

    hi, have you ever tried Estée Lauder invisable fluid, it’s amazing in so far it doesn’t show up fine line, feels light on the skin

  • Danielle

    My favorite out of these is YSL Touche Elat. I really want to try Happy Light, but it’s not available in the US – and I’m worried about the shade range since I’m incredibly fair.

  • Isabelle McWilliam

    These all sound right up my street! Can I buy them all?!

  • The Giorgio Armani one looks incredible, I’ve wanted it for a while..ooooh tempting.

    AmeliaRose | Beauty Blogger

  • This post makes me want to dash out and buy everything. Very dangerous! I’ve only tried one of these before (Vita Lumiere) so I’m keen to give the others a whirl.

    Shel x

  • Allison

    Thank you! I’ve been dying for a post like this, I’m off to find my shade in the Bobbi Brown!

  • Sarah Derby Need

    I’m really struggling with my foundations right now but vitalumière seems like a good one to try. Everything just seems to be going cakey right now! Posts like this are really helpful.

  • Elizabeth

    The Bobbi Brown foundation is really NOT suitable for anyone with oily skin. It might last all day on your skin, but definitely not on anyone who actually has oily skin. You’re not a makeup artist, so maybe you should stick to talking about what you know (things that work on your own skin) and not suggest that people buy a product totally unsuitable for them.

  • Vitalumiere, I’ve got my eye on you!

  • I have to try the Bourjois foundation!


  • Charlotte Lucy Philpotts

    I have never tried any Bobbi Brown foundations but I struggle with oily skin so I might give this one a go! x

  • trona

    unfortunately I find that Bobbi Brown doesnt last great on my oily-combination skin. Estee Lauder Double Wear is really brilliant though, lasts all day and good medium-full coverage. I really fancy trying the Gorgio Armani but not sure how it’ll fair on my skin, sounds amazing though.

  • roshkud

    I really want to try a bobbi brown foundation, they have a great colour selection I’ve just always felt to nervous to go to their counter! I don’t have oily skin but I’m still interested in the longwear foundation. I needa get my hands on the happy light foundation too!

    Roshni’s Journey

  • I always love searching for new foundations. Surprisingly right now my favourite is the estee lauder double wear light foundation. It’s not as heavy as the normal DW and it’s awesome for my dry skin – which I was so surprised with. It just goes on so gorgeously with the beauty blender.
    And bobbi brown is always a stunner with their foundations.

  • Guest

    Overuse of alliteration makes English educators apathetic 😉

  • dana wilson

    I have been using Chanel CC cream mixed with LaMer tinted moisturizer…..such a great combo. : ) I wear it over Sunday Riley Breathable primer. I learned that mixing tip from you!

  • Imogen

    I really must try the Chanel foundation! I think I would love it.

    Imogen – A Rendezvous with You

  • Sharlotte

    I’ve heard amaaazing things about the bonjours foundation. most of them on your blog. haha. But I’m dying to give it a go 🙂


  • Beautyandtheb

    I’ve been wanting to try the luminous silk foundation for so so long!

    B xx

  • Maddy Cane

    I really want to try the Bourjois, it sounds amazing! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD


  • PeonyandPeach
  • Michelle

    definitely the Chanel, it’s so light but provides enough coverage for a dewy glow

  • Ella

    If I didn’t already want all five of these enough, I certainly do now! The Chanel sounds perfect for me – someone keep me away from the nearest counter

  • Catrin

    Oh dear I want all of these, you are far too much of an enabler!

  • Love the YSL foundation, and now I want all the rest. Though unfortunately the Bourjois shade range is much too dark for me.

  • I so want like all the foundations you wrote about! Love this post, foundation posts are one of my favorite types of posts

  • Nadia S

    i have stopped buying foundation b/ i havent found a suitable application method…the RT expert face brush doesnt work for my dry skin as the product seems to sit on top of my skin n fingers makes it cakey…so frustrated

  • Cassie

    I love the Bobbi Brown foundation, but I’d love to try the Chanel one too. It looks so nice!

  • Sarah

    I purchased the ysl youth liberator foundation this weekend, and I have to say I think I might like a little better than my le teint touche eclat (even though they really are so different it’s hard to compare them). So, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the new ysl!

  • Sylvia

    I am excited to try out Armani Luminous Silk once I get a sample, I have heard way too many good things about it!


  • I love YSL Touche Eclat Foundation! I am likely going to get Luminous Silk, soon. I have drier skin, so I’m not 100% if it’s right for my skin type quiet yet, but it is absolutely gorgeous.

    xx Lauren
    Dirty Blonde Ambition

  • I gotta check Bourjois products out, I keep hearing good things about it.

  • courtney

    have you ever tried laura mercier silk creme foundation? I would love to get your opinion on it in comparison to the ones mentioned!

  • Olivia S

    I picked up Bonjour Happy Light foundation the other day after you raving about it, I used it for the first time today and it’s amaaaazing Xx


  • Karin Hofstetter

    i sadly made some bad experiences with the YSL touche éclat. it does nothing for my skin… thanks for the comparison! i’ll try the bobby brown next. X

  • i tried a sample of the YSL foundation and didn’t care for it at all. over the course of the day it just did not have a nice texture, especially in my drier areas. chanel foundations always make my skin texture look terrible too. I like the bobbi brown one a lot but can’t stand the scent for some reason! I wish we still had bourjois cause that happy light sounds right up my alley! And i like armani too 🙂

  • Tarte Tanya

    Great picks, I cant wait to try out the Bourjois Happy Light Foundation.
    Can’t wait to hear your review on the YSL foundation!

  • When it comes to foundation, my combo skin is so picky. I’ve been using Clinique as my foundation forever, but these days I’ve been thinking about branching out. I may give the Bobbi Brown one a try!


  • Great picks! I also love my DiorSkin Forever foundation for fuller coverage and Stila Perfect & Correct for a natural skin like finish :o) Sheen xxx

  • Sally Mavin

    The Luminous Silk Foundation by Georgio Armani is quite possibly the best foundation I’ve ever used. Wish it wasn’t just available in Selfridges though!

  • Claudia

    Can;t wait to try the YSL and Bourjois one, they both sound lovely. The Chanel one is one of my favourite foundations ever though!! Great post!

    Claudia xx | Beauty and the Chic

  • TheHonestBB

    Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is hands down the best foundation. It brings out the natural glow from the YSL touche eclat foundation and has the natural coverage of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. It is best of both worlds, whilst still buildable.