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Hair & Makeup

The Definitive Guide To Finding Your Perfect Foundation

Now that summer’s over, it’s time to rethink your base, says GEORGIA DAY


Just as we’re switching from light layers to cozier knits right now, the same approach needs to be taken when it comes to our beauty arsenal, too. But to transition seamlessly from summer to fall, you’ll need to consider what that means for your base layers – here’s everything you need to know to face the new season looking fresh.

Pay attention to changing skin concerns

For many, skin in the cooler months becomes drier and more prone to cracking and flaking, which means looking out for creamier foundations that offer more hydration than typically lightweight summer formulas offer. However, if your skin tends to produce more oil as the temperatures dip, it could be a sign that it’s dehydrated and overcompensating with increased oil production. If that’s the case, redress the balance with your skincare first. As Chanel Temple, global makeup artist at Hourglass suggests, a hard-working moisturizer that’s rich in ceramides underneath your base can “help rebalance, restore and renew the skin barrier for a healthier-looking complexion”. Once your cream has had a chance to sink in, go in with a lightly mattifying foundation that can absorb and balance excess oil production, without drying your complexion out.

Consider a shade change

You may find you’ve picked up a little color on your face during summer, which can bring out yellow tones in the skin. To avoid your usual foundation looking too deep and muddy, choose a lighter shade that will complement this change. On the other hand, if you’ve been fastidious about applying your sunscreen, it might be that your neck and décolleté are a deeper shade than your face – test your foundation shade in natural light against both areas to make sure your coverage is uniform.

Elevate radiance (fall needn’t equal matte)

Don’t assume that just because the light has faded and become duller, your skin needs to follow suit. “During the colder months, our skin loses a lot of its luster,” says Temple. Balance that out with a foundation that has a pearlescent quality, which will bolster skin with luminosity when the light outside is flatter. If you’re wedded to your usual foundation, add radiance in powder form: “You can keep your foundation the same, but add a little glow to make up for that lost hour of light.” For this, look at powders with inbuilt light-reflecting pigments, which add a multidimensional quality that diffuse light and blur imperfections. “Basically, they act like a filter for your face,” adds Temple.

Create a smooth base

Primers really come into their own in fall, as they address niggling issues that foundation can amplify, such as redness, dry patches and enlarged pores. If your skin becomes drier at this time of year, opt for a formula that’s as nourishing as it is smoothing. A good primer will also act as a magnet for your foundation, helping it to stay put for longer – crucial when cold air threatens to suck the moisture out of your skin and your base products.

Forgo foundation altogether

If you don’t relish the idea of going for a heavier, creamier base layer now that summer is over, trick your way to fuller coverage with a highly pigmented concealer on top of well-prepped skin. “Because temperatures start to drop in fall, you no longer have to worry about your makeup melting off,” says Temple. To achieve light but sturdy coverage, blend your concealer into the areas that need it most – usually under the eyes, around the nose and mouth, and on any blemishes. Sheer it out with a blending brush to let natural skin show through, then set with translucent setting powder.


The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown