Glowing For Gold

Dull skin in need of a lightbulb moment? Sali Hughes gives you the skinny on three new light-reflecting foundation launches

sali foundation


Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation, £35, out February, Space NK

WHAT: The new, light reflecting base from foundation specialist Mercier. Designed to add flattering, soft glow to the skin.

PROS: Characteristically good, inclusive, colour range (24 shades), high SPF, noticeable glow minus glitter (this is much less shimmery than her Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser which, though I personally love it, can highlight uneven skin texture in acne and rosacea sufferers), natural-looking medium coverage for those who don’t like to feel too ‘made up”, pump dispenser, flattering finish, inclusion of antioxidants, good blendability, feels lightweight on the skin, unlikely to aggravate sensitive types.

CONS: Glass bottle may prove impractical for frequent travellers and gym goers, product needs layering for what I’d class as a medium coverage, dry skins may feel they need more moisture.

TIP: Apply with a brush. I loved how it looked when I took care over its application, but this is not a “slap on and go” formula. I found it too easily absorbed by sponges (a common problem).

SUITABLE FOR: All skin types, all ethnicities – though the very dry may crave a little more moisture. Especially good on dull skins and those who want more coverage than a tinted moisturiser, but less than a full base. Would also work well as a first foundation for those who’ve previously avoided it.

VERDICT:  A solid gap-filling addition to Mercier’s reliable foundation range, and one I’ve kept on my dressing table for future use. I’ll wear it for meetings, lunch with friends and other daytime functions.


Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation SPF25, £36, Feel Unique

PROS: High SPF, beautiful packaging, pump dispenser, sliky lightweight texture, oil free, very good blendability and easy, slapdash application, sheer coverage and matte texture for those who want it. Light coverage means that shades are flexible – you can go a little darker without looking unnatural.

CONS: Glass bottle will be impractical for some, limited shade range, perfumed (albeit very pleasantly) formula, finish not as glowy as one might hope (I felt it was a tiny, weeny bit chalky), coverage sheerer than many tinted moisturisers.

TIP: Apply any old way you like – this is a cinch, but for noticeable glow, you may want to start with a light reflecting primer.

SUITABLE FOR: Young, clear skins. Particularly suited to under-served oilier types, as the finish is matte – unusual in a glow product. Those who want increased warmth and colour, but little coverage.

VERDICT: I love the Les Beiges franchise overall, but I’m not overwhelmed with love for this particular product. For the same coverage with greater glow, I’m inclined to suggest the Les Beiges fluid and powder instead, or Vitalumiere Aqua from the main stable. But in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of any sheer coverage foundations (the notable exception being Givenchy’s fantastic Teint Couture Balm), as I’d generally prefer to get the best of both worlds – glow and sheer-to-light coverage – via a tinted moisturiser. Nonetheless, this was pleasant to use and I’ll probably wear it again.


Guerlain Parure Gold Fluid Radiance Foundation SPF30, £55, John Lewis (main picture)

WHAT: This is a full coverage base with double-sided gold light reflecting particles, form Guerlain’s most high-end makeup colelction.

PROS: High SPF, superior blendability allowing for application with sponge, fingers or brush (I’ve been applying with fingers, then buffing with a clean duo-fibre face brush), noticeable glow minus glitter, excellent coverage that covers most things in one application, beautiful bottle with practical pump.

CONS: The usual French double act – limited colour range (of 12 shades) and fragranced formula that may aggravate sensitive skins (I’ve had no problems at all and love the smell). The opaque black bottle gives no indication of how much is left. Some may also find glass impractical for travel. High price point.

TIP: Not to be confused with its sister, Parure Gold Fluid Foundation in the curved bottle, at a slightly lower price point, from the same range. I tried it with high hopes, and it doesn’t blend anything like as well. The finish was patchy and a little cakey. I’d avoid.

SUITABLE FOR: Women of 30+, melasma/chloasma and (non-sensitive) rosacea sufferers, anyone in need of full coverage. Dull or sagging skins, any skin type but very oily.

VERDICT: After eight untouchable years, it’s finally happened: I’ve found a foundation I love every bit as much as Suqqu’s classic cream formula. Yes, really. The Guerlain is a product I genuinely look forward to using – I hauled ass to a dinner I didn’t fancy the other night, just so I could put on my foundation. It blends like a dream and the finish is perfect. I layer Dior Glow Maximiser underneath, and Bobbi Corrector and Bare Minerals Bare Skin concealer over the top, but truly, I’ve found I need less cover up than ever before. Lasts all day with no touch up. An exceptional foundation that deserves a resounding TEN.

Related - Reviews , Sali Loves

Back To Black

1960s eye flicks addict Lauren Oakey lived…

SALI LOVES: Primark’s Amazing £4 Glitter Palette

28 glitters, four quid, stocks selling fast. RUN THERE

SALI LOVES: Lisa Macario’s slogan sweatshirts

Any words you want, hand-stitched on a flattering sweatshirt? Sali Hughes is spoilt for choice

Sponsored Post: St Tropez Express Tan Bronzing Face Sheet Mask

Professional paleface Sali Hughes takes the expressway…