beauty

TRIED AND TESTED: I tried 7 new foundations in 7 days to see if they live up to the hype.

Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series drops every Monday (you’re not dreaming. Today is Tuesday, consider this a cheeky once-off) and is your weekly review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellness. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice. This week, Senior Lifestyle Writer Amy Clark road tested seven new foundations in seven days.

Fact: I always thought foundation wasn’t for me.

Too cakey, I said. Covers my freckles, I said. Looks yellow. Smells funky. Goes crusty. Ghosts me after a few hours without so much as a reason why, I said.

But over the last month or so, new foundations have popped up everywhere. And after trying pretty much all of them, I am now eating my words and praying none of them ever leave me.

We asked a makeup artist to show us exactly how to use concealer under your eyes, check it out below. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

To make choosing a new foundation a touch easier, I decided to try and document seven of the latest foundations over a week.

Here’s how that went.

*A few notes on application: I applied all of these foundations by dotting the product around my face and blending with a beauty blender. I also have some dryness over my nose, which has nothing to do with any of the foundations and everything to do with… my nose.

Monday: Clarins Everlasting Youth Fluid Foundation, $65.

Clarins Everlasting Youth Fluid Foundation
Clarins Everlasting Youth Fluid Foundation. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Clarins Everlasting Youth Fluid Foundation
Here's what the formula looks like straight out of the bottle. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Clarins Everlasting Youth Fluid Foundation
Here's me wearing the Clarins foundation in the Mamamia office. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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What the brand says:

"The foundation that fully restores your complexion's youthful glow - instantly restore a glowing radiant complexion, and conceal age spots and imperfections. Contains extracts of chicory and red jania that help optimise the skin's luminosity and radiance. Day after day, your skin is firmer, plumped, smooth and radiant."

What I think:

I'd agree this foundation does exactly what it promises. The formula somehow melts into your skin and looks better as the day goes on, which is great if you're after sheer to medium coverage and a glowy, glowy, glowy finish.

The product has a light but sturdy consistency (is this a... thing?) and I find one pump does the trick. You can build the coverage, and you can also sheer the product out - on days I want a sheerer finish, I pretend I'm an artist and mix a pump of the foundation with a big pump of a face oil/serum/liquid highlighter.

Tuesday: ZOEVA Authentik Foundation, $50.

ZOEVA Authentik Foundation
ZOEVA Authentik Foundation. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
ZOEVA Authentik Foundation
LOVE how you can see my hand hairs (???) in these photos. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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ZOEVA Authentik Foundation
I wore the Zoeva foundation on a 'shit, I forgot to wash my hair so I'll put it in a ponytail' day. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

What the brand says:

"A liquid foundation enhanced with Rose Hip Oil that delivers medium, buildable coverage with a weightless, natural-looking, and luminous finish. Available in 44 inclusive shades with a variety of warm, cool, or neutral undertones, the radiant foundation has an innovative lightweight formula designed to maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier while evening out complexion and allowing your skin’s natural luminosity to shine through."

What I think:

This foundation is so easy to wear. Some foundations are hard work and like to throw a tantrum halfway through the day by clinging to dry bits and settling in wrinkles, but this Zoeva foundation requires little to no touching up.

Looking at the photos, the formula gave my face an overall glow and evened out any redness in my skin tone, while still letting freckles and some imperfections show. We're human, this is important. I'd agree the coverage is medium, but it doesn't feel cakey or heavy at all, and the finish was luminous, not dewy.

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A fun fact, each shade comes with an affirmation (my shade 050N is I am Beautiful).

Wednesday: Australis Fresh & Flawless Full Coverage Foundation, $19.95.

Australis Fresh & Flawless Full Coverage Foundation
Australis Fresh & Flawless Full Coverage Foundation. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Australis Fresh & Flawless Full Coverage Foundation
This foundation has a surprisingly light consistency for a full coverage foundation. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Australis Fresh & Flawless Full Coverage Foundation
Here's me wearing it on route to somewhere in the car - the lighting is weird but the coverage is spot on. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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What the brand says:

"A full coverage, ultra-lightweight foundation formulated with skin-loving Vitamins C and E, and SPF 15 to moisturise, smooth and protect. Say CYA to pores and fine lines and HELLO to a soft, airbrushed finish that’ll party with you not against you. Look Fresh & Flawless all day, every day!"

What I think:

My freckles and I are truly terrified of full coverage foundations. It took me a few minutes to get used to seeing my face wearing one, but once I did the rest of my makeup look (translucent powder, bronzer, cream highlighter and brow gel), I quite dug myself in the Australis foundation.

Apologies for the terrible lighting in the shot above, but you can see the formula is much more full coverage than the Zoeva and Clarins foundations. It gives a blurred, soft airbrushed effect that's great for photos or if you know you're going to be doing important stuff all day and won't have time to check on your makeup. Or all the time depending on your preference.

For a full coverage product, the consistency is quite runny, which made applying it pretty easy. Blending is key - I went over and over it with my beauty blender until it felt seamless around my neck, hairline, ears etc.

The $20 price tag is also very lovely. Absolute bargain.

P.S. A woman in the Mamamia You Beauty Facebook group tried this foundation and reckons it's a solid dupe for her MAC StudioFIX foundation.

Thursday: Mecca Cosmetica Hydra Skin Tint, $40.

Mecca Cosmetica Hydra Skin Tint
Mecca Cosmetica Hydra Skin Tint. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Mecca Cosmetica Hydra Skin Tint
Very pigmented for a 'tinted moisturiser'. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Mecca Cosmetica Hydra Skin Tint
FYI I'm sitting in excellent lighting. I'm also wearing an illuminating primer underneath. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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What the brand says:

"This weightless tint transforms under your fingertips revealing a burst of hydration for your skin whilst also imparting an undetectable natural-looking wash of colour. As you blend, the tint adjusts to your skin tone, correcting unevenness and discolouration to deliver your most effortless skin, every day of the week."

What I think:

Technically, this is not a foundation. Sue me. But it is all over Instagram and rightly so. The best way to describe the Hydra Skin Tint is, to quote Britney Spears: 'not a tinted moisturiser, not yet a foundation'.

Worn on its own, the coverage is light and the consistency creamy and hydrating. Full disclosure, I applied a bronze liquid illuminator underneath for an added boost. The formula is very forgiving, both to apply and wear throughout the day. It's perfect for foundation beginners or casual days when you don't need much but want to make you skin look 'better'.

I'd go as far to say this product is a decent match for the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser ($69) I've been using for five years...

Friday: Revlon Colorstay Life-Proof Matte Foundation Stick, $24.95.

Revlon Colorstay Life-Proof Matte Foundation Stick
Revlon Colorstay Life-Proof Matte Foundation Stick. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Revlon Colorstay Life-Proof Matte Foundation Stick
Check out this whipped texture! Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Revlon Colorstay Life-Proof Matte Foundation Stick
I call this look 'No Makeup Makeup'. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

What the brand says:

"An ultra pigmented, foundation stick with 24-hour wear in a super-gliding, weightless texture and matte finish. Humidity-proof, transfer and smudge-resistant. Twist-up stick component for convenient, on-the-go application. Buildable coverage."

What I think:

This foundation doesn't budge. It's a stick version of the original Colorstay liquid formula and as you can see from the product swatch, the texture is lightly whipped. Coverage-wise, you're looking at full coverage that sits light on the skin.

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I thought this would make it hard to blend, but it was actually the opposite - fingers could do the job as the formula does indeed glide on. You do need to move fast-ish to work it into the skin for a seamless finish, though. A great one to chuck in your bag for travel - especially overseas travel as it's solid, not liquid - and if you only want to apply product to specific areas rather than a full face.

Saturday: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation, $65.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation
Here's the formula - will it airbrush me? Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation
Yes. The answer was yes. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

What the brand says:

"FLAWLESS IS A FEELING! Charlotte’s NEW innovation foundation is the secret to a FLAWLESS, PORELESS-looking, confident complexion! A stay all day, weightless, full coverage formula with a natural matte finish. This is a hybrid magic skincare foundation for EVERY occasion - ground-breaking Magic REPLEXIUM® significantly reduces the appearance of wrinkles by up to 22 per cent after eight weeks of use."

What I think:

Everything about this foundation is premium and the hype is real. The bottle feels weighty in your hand and the signature CT gold detailing on the packaging looks really luxe. The foundation is heavy duty. Not matte, but not dewy. Dimensional and 'glowy', but not juicy, shiny nor sparkly. I haven't been using the product long enough to talk about the skincare benefits.

Quick application is key, so I prefer to apply in sections. Think: dots on my nose and cheeks, blend. Dots on my forehead, blend. Dots on my chin(s), blend. Normally, I pump product onto the back of my hand before dotting on my face, and I noticed with this one the leftover product had dried on the back of my hand by the time I was done.

Personally, I find the finish too full coverage for everyday, but it photographs brilliantly. If you like a full coverage foundation, you'll love this one.

You can only buy this foundation on the Charlotte Tilbury website, I'd suggest using the Findation colour matching website to choose your shade.

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Sunday: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream, $60.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream. (Please excuse my Mecca sample pot.) Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream
The texture is THICK. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream
Here's me wearing it on the weekend, walking around and staying hydrated. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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What the brand says:

"This CC cream is ideal for all skin types and especially those showing the signs of ageing including fine lines and wrinkles. The CC cream offers a radiant finish for a glowing complexion and is rich in antioxidants. There are five shades on offer to match and enhance any skin type and colour."

What I think:

Again, not a foundation. And before you go getting all excited, it's also no IT Cosmetics CC Cream. The product is the same price, looks very similar and has the same zincy consistency and smell of a physical/mineral SPF, but there are major differences.

First, it's only SPF 30+ where IT Cosmetics is SPF 50+. It also only comes in five shades designed to give a wash of colour. But, this last difference might be why some will love it. The coverage is sheer, but very warm, plump and radiant. That juicy feeling lasts all day and it's a great base for cream products to stick to. I like it for afternoon drinks, playing sport or other activities where you have to be outside for a large part of the day. If that's the case, be sure to reapply.

A final note...

Would I wear any of these foundations again? Yes, but for different occasions/makeup looks. If I've learnt anything from my foundation adventure, it's that foundation isn't what I thought it was.

So, to all the foundations I swore off (and at) in the past. My sincerest apologies.

Have you tried  any of these foundations? Tell us what you thought below!

Mamamia's Tried and Tested series drops every week. Want us to trial and review a product or treatment you've seen everywhere? Easy, just send an email to [email protected] 

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