Friday, 19 March 2010

Ruddy hell!

*long, and very picture heavy post*

As I've mentioned before, I have naturally ruddy cheeks. I am also getting more broken veins in my cheeks as I get older. I'm generally happy with my skin, it's usually clear apart from the occasional hormonal outbreak but I'm currently trying out some new skincare that seems to be helping (I'll post on that once I've been following it for a month). My mum has lovely skin and my nan did too, so I know genetics plays a big part. I do make an effort to look after my skin though and have been cleansing, moisturising and using a minumum of SPF 15 daily since I was about 14.

Anyway, back to the ruddiness. this is what my cheek looks like without any make-up:

I thought I would review and show you how several of my favourite foundations deal with that...

There are eight foundatins I currently toggle between, and more in reserve. I am on a permanent crusade to find the perfect one for my skin, I know a lot of people are. I want coverage without caking and I want it to disappear into my skin, yet be visible to me so I can see it's working. I want to look natural but polished. I want the moon on a stick, it would seem.

Here are the rules of my test, in an attempt to be vaguely scientific. The picture above is the control, it will appear in the left hand side of every foundation test picture collage so you can see the difference. For the foundation test I applied a small blob of product on the same cheek as the control pic, blended with my fingers and photographed in natural daylight. I've also photographed each product next to a hand swatch to show texture. All photos are clickable if you want more detail.

First up, Bourjois Healthy Mix:

This is a fairly new foundation, available in Boots and Superdrug. It seems to have taken the beauty blog world by storm and I can see why. I like the coverage I get, it blends well, feels natural, lasts for a day at work and smells like sweeties. I know the colour range isn't amazing, so that's a bit of a black mark.

As you can see, Healthy Mix does a good job of 'harmonising' the colour of my cheek. Some red shows through, but I really don't mind a bit of natural colour. I normally use this (and most other foundations) with a Sonia Kashuk flat top brush and I did notice I got a less smooth finish applying with my fingers. I really like this foundation and it's a big plus for me that the packaging is a hygienic pump, something which some of the more high end foundations in this post don't have.

Next up is Clinique Even Better:

This was new from Clinique last summer and is supposed to improve the tone of your skin with continued use. I hop from product to product so much that I can't vouch for that. It does feel nice going on and has good, medium coverage. I used a sample I had in a darker shade on a friend last year and she loved it so much she went and bought a bottle - it really did a good job of evening her skin tone.

Again, application with the fingers is not as smooth as with a brush. The shade I have (Ivory) has slight yellow undertones which helps to mask the redness slightly. This foundation also has an SPF15, which is a good bonus. It lasts well too, even when I get a bit hot and sweaty, so it became my go to foundation last summer.

On to the next one, Chanel Mat Lumiere:

This is one of my all time favourite foundations. It has a lovely light, buildable texture but gives good coverage. It lasts amazingly well on my skin. It also has an SPF15, is in a hygienic pump and smells of roses. It's the base I normally use for a night out as I love the coverage and soft luminescence it gives my skin whilst keeping the shine off my t-zone.

As you can see, the Mat Lumiere does a pretty good job of masking the red. I normally put an extra layer on my cheeks and that gives me the perfect canvas. I *heart* Mat Lumiere.

Onwards, and it's the turn of RMK Creamy foundation

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I love RMK. This was the first foundation I bought from the range, based on positive reviews I researched in the blogosphere. As the name suggests, it's a thick and creamy product yet it is not particularly moisturising. In fact, I'd say it's better for slightly oily skin as it does seem to suck the moisture from your skin a bit. A little goes a very long way - I need only a pea-sized blob for my whole face. It comes in a screw top jar with a little spatula for scooping.

Coverage of my redness is good. This foundation is medium to heavy coverage and is another great one for a night out. I do find it feels a little mask like on my whole face, but I think that's due to the pigmentation and the slight drying effect. I do like the way it looks in photographs so I like it for formal occasions or when I want to look professionally polished.

Let's move along to myface:

This is part of the Charlotte Tilbury designed range available in some branches of Boots. The range offers colours for three different skin tones - fair, medium and dark. I'm pretty sure it won't cover everyone, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a shade pale enough for me, as I often struggle with drugstore foundations. Coverage with the myface mymix foundation is light but the product builds extremely well. It's almost like a tinted moisturiser with one coat.

As you'd expect with one coat of such a low coverage product, there's still quite a lot of red. I do think it tones down the intensity well and the broken veins are quite well-hidden. One coat of this is great for my weekend daytime make-up and it seems to disappear into the skin, looking very natural, which I like a lot.

Next up is a free sample from Suqqu:

I've recently been using this generously sized sample of Powder Foundation Glow when I've wanted a really quick make-up. It's incredibly soft and smooth and feels almost cream-like, even though it's definitely a powder. There is quite a lot of yellow in the shade I have, which works well on my red patches as it helps to neutralise. It can also be reapplied throughout the day and never looks dry or cakey.

One swipe with the sponge applicator gives quite sheer coverage but the yellow starts to tone down the red immediately. I'm really impressed with Suqqu products and if I could justify another new foundation I'd be buying this. It's a brilliant option when you want a 5 minute face.

On to the 'big gun' in my collection, Face Atelier Ultra Foundation:

This is the foundation beloved of many pro artists and used on stars of the stage and screen, including Madonna. Not being a curiously bendy pop chameleon, I can't attest to it's staying powers under studio lights but I can tell you this feels like a professional product. It has amazing slip, due to the silicone microspheres it contains, it's very liquid and needs vigorous shaking before use. It feels super lightweight but has very high pigmentation and great staying power. It also does a great job of masking red...

This was accomplished with a drop the size of a grain of rice. If I use a brush and apply a second layer, I can pretty much blank out the red. Whilst I love knowing I can do that if I want, I don't use this foundation very often as I feel I look too washed out and pale. I am a contrary Mary, yes. It almost goes without saying that this foundation looks great in photographs. It's apparently very popular for bridal make-up.

Finally, it's my new love - RMK Liquid Foundation:

I was given a sample of this and it was a revelation. The texture reminds me of Face Atelier - it is very liquid and needs a good shake to combine before use as it contains both water and oil. It is incredibly lightweight and I haven't found anything to compare it to. It gives medium coverage which is easily buildable and it truly does seem to disappear into my skin yet cover imperfections. I only need a tiny amount, buffed in with my Sonia Kashuk, and it looks great. It dries to a soft, slightly powdery finish so does not need setting and it lasts wonderfully - a lot comes off when I cleanse at the end of the day.

This is a teeny, tiny amount smeared across my cheek. Again, it works better for me with a brush but you can still see how much it's toned down the redness and broken veins. It may not be the best for coverage, but the texture and feel of this foundation makes me love it most out of them.

So there you go (WAKE UP!!!). If you have reached the bottom of this post, well done. I am sick of the sight of my own cheek, so you must be too. I hope this post has been vaguely interesting or helpful. I hoped to show which foundations I find work well with my very pale skin and ruddy cheeks, so if you have the same colouring, it might be of use.


  1. What a refreshing post, I don't usually see ones like this but these are the things that are really helpful. Is it strange that I am sitting here trying to decide which one I like best on you :)
    I got that same Suqqu sample one, will have to try it now x

  2. Such a compliment - thanks Replica. I'm really glad you found it helpful.

    I don't think it's strange at all - let me know if you decide which one is best, I'm always up for suggestions and guidance from fellow beauty buffs :)

    The Suqqu is lovely, give it a whirl. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  3. Ok, I can't narrow it down to one but I think the best ones on you are the Chanel, RMK creamy and Suqqu.
    I've just ordered the RBR tinted Moisturiser so I'll do a post on that soon, hope it will be light enough for me!
    Just wanted to say you have really nice skin, and that bit of ruddiness its only minor, I think nearly eveyone has some discolouration on their skin.

  4. Thanks Replica - I really do like all three of those very much, but the Chanel is my all-time favourite.

    I'm very interested to see what the RBR tinted moisturiser is like as the quality of that range is excellent.

    Thanks for the skin compliment. I'm generally very happy with it and have never really minded the ruddiness. I'm conscious that it needs more care as I get older though, so there'll be some posts in the near future on some new skincare bits and bobs I'm trying out.