Soft, smooth and velvety: that’s the ideal complexion and there are literally thousands of products out there that promise to fake a flawless face. We round up our favourites of the season.
Since its first appearance seven years ago, cushion compacts have surpassed squeeze tubes and pump bottles as the most fool-proof and mess-free way to apply BB creams, as well as the easiest option for on-the-go touch-ups. A compact case containing a dense sponge saturated with BB cream, applied with a non-absorbent puff, cushion foundations have been designed to not only allow for a smooth and even finish, but they also lower the skin surface temperature, leaving a cooling sensation for more comfortable wear. The latest crop of cushion compacts boast even more benefits: the Innisfree Long Wear Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++ (S$34) has sebum-controlling Jeju volcanic cluster powder and blurring pigments to reduce the appearance of pores, while the Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion Pearl Aura (S$32) has crushed pearls to give skin a glowing radiance. The crème de la crème of cushion compacts, the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening (S$80) is formulated with mother-of-pearl powder for a subtle iridescent finish, while white magnolia blossom extract supposedly inhibit melanin production and prevents freckles and pigmentation.
Liquid foundations have gone lighter and more fluid, and have now reached a consistency that’s the texture of water. This new generation of liquid foundations is even easier to apply, evenly spreading onto the skin using only the fingers, and their lightness allows for effortless layering so you can pick from sheer to full coverage with just one product and your own hands. Additionally, no other foundation textures have managed to replicate what makeup artists term the “real skin finish”, a satin-like glow that’s neither overly matte nor obviously dewy, that these liquid bases do. M.A.C’s latest foundation offering, the M.A.C Studio Waterweight Foundation (S$62), is an elastic gel serum that adheres onto the complexion and blurs fine lines and pores, while Make Up For Ever’s iconic foundation for high definition camera’s eight-year-old formula gets a facelift as the Ultra HD Foundation (S$72), boasting an even more invisible finish that cannot even be seen on the highest definition 4K cameras.
Mention stick and cake foundations, and heavy, greasy and mask-like old school pancake stage makeup comes to mind. Not the latest iterations. The Stila Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector (S$56) has a unique texture that’s unlike anything existing right now – bouncy and mouldable, it’s like a solid cake of makeup (hit the compact hard enough and it shifts around, but you can press it back to shape) but works like a mattifying primer and foundation in one, covering pores and lines as well as evening out the skin tone with just a few dabs. It can be used on its own for a sheer, airbrushed look, layered over your favourite foundation to control shine, and as an on-the-go touch-up option. Hit South Korean makeup brand 3 Concept Eyes has also launched a stick foundation, reintroducing the long obsolete product to a younger audience. The Melting Foundation Stick (S$38) leaves skin feeling moisturised thanks to hyaluronic acid in its formula, and is super easy to apply – just glide the stick directly over the forehead, cheekbones and chin, and use a foundation brush to blend all over for a glowing finish.
Despite being overshadowed by its more novel cousins, pressed powder foundations still hold their own. Earlier this year, beauty aficionados went gaga over Cle de Peau Beaute’s Radiant Powder Foundation’s silky formula, aura-like finish and artisanal brush applicator, and the trend for soft, hydrating powders continue. Perfect for those who like to keep their hands clean during makeup application and their foundations close at hand for easy touch-ups and travel, the latest formulations offer sheer, buildable coverage, velvety textures and a plethora of skincare benefits. The RMK Airy Powder Foundation (S$65 for refill, S$16 for the case) is formulated with microscopic particles of nourishing avocado oil and super fine silk powders for a lightweight finish that leaves skin feeling moisturised and non-cakey all day, and is applied with a goat-hair brush (S$16) for even, smooth coverage. For more problematic skin, the Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Powder Makeup (S$55) has salicylic acid to treat active breakouts and spherical silica particles to hide and disguise any flaws for up to eight hours.