I was in Paris recently, and I desperately needed a new foundation to suit my skin in its new environment, where it is a bit more sensitive than it was at home, as well as more oily sometimes and rather plump and smooth from the moisture in the air.
Tip #1: The external environment and water quality has a strong effect on our skin, so different foundations may be necessary for different places.
There was a Nocibé around the corner from me, so I took the opportunity to try out several foundations on my way out in the morning to see how they fared all day.
Tip #2: Try out foundations to see them in natural light and find out how they wear during the day, something that goes on perfectly and looks great at first can change a lot! My technique is to use different foundations on half of my face to compare them well.
I went for brands that I had read great reviews for, and I wanted a natural finish, not too matte, as well as brands I had liked in the past. Just from testing on my hand I could weed out textures and finishes, but I was surprised that the one that was called "Long Wear" was actually the nicest texture for me -- I imagined it would be thick and opaque but it wasn't on my skin at all.
Tip #3: If there is a brand you are particularly attached to, try all of their offerings without paying too much attention to their names and supposed attributes, testing is everything, and all of our faces react uniquely.
I had heard or read or assumed that the By Terry sheer foundation was the best ever, second to Armani, so I stopped at Galerie Lafayette to check them out in my travels (which was boiling hot -- in the Fall -- and absolutely packed with people taking pictures of the lovely ceiling, not my favorite environment for making decisions). Both of these lines are absolutely jammed with silicones, which I am sure is great for some, but not for me, but even so I got a sample to use at home of the By Terry as there was no one in Armani to help me. As I had imagined, it actually slid onto my face and magnified my imperfections, as well as turning into an oil slick, so forget it!
Tip #5: Be aware of the vagaries of your particular skin, whether it is seasonal or monthly or loves or hates certain ingredients. Experiment with combinations that bring out your best and minimizes your flaws, regardless of what they are supposed to do, we are all so different!
The verdict: I bought YSL Teint Resist Long Wear Endless Comfort Foundation and I couldn't be happier. What the heck does that name mean? Anyway, it makes my skin look wonderful and natural, doesn't get caught in my difficult areas (I smooth these with a sponge at the end) and yes, it does last all day, which is what I would expect of any foundation, silly me!
Tip #5: Spend whatever you can on your foundation, but there are so many possibilities out there these days, you are sure to find something in your budget. Of course at the drugstore you can't try them as easily as you can at a department store or a Sephora, but be alert to return policies, for instance CVS in California will let you return anything that doesn't work for you, as will Sephora by mail as well as in person.