Nobody told me that foundation can change your sense of self

When it comes to make-up, the difference between the right products and the wrong ones can have more than an effect on your skin. Here, one writer shares how a foundation helped her accept who she really is…

Throughout my school years, like most people, all I wanted to do was fit in. I didn’t want my messy, curly hair or my mixed up accent. I didn’t want to be called random ethnicities I was not and I didn’t want to be the odd one out. I just wanted to be like everyone else, slathering on mousse foundation and being a trashy teen.

My mother used to beg me to stop wearing that foundation, not because she didn’t want me wearing make-up, but because it was completely the wrong colour for me. It was a literal mask to who I really was, and it served as a reminder that I wasn’t happy in myself every time I scooped it on. 

Then came my formative experience - you know, where the gawky teen finds themself and suddenly has some confidence, or at least starts to accept who they are. For me that was leaving school early, travelling alone and then going on to university. 

By the time I got there, I still had never tamed my truly wild eyebrows but instead of the thick foundation I used to don, I had forgone foundation entirely. I’d started to enjoy the fact I was brown - it was a huge part of my identity and I wasn’t planning on trying to change that anymore. 

But it wasn’t until I met a group of girls who’s pre-night out ritual included fake tanning (I didn’t even know that was a thing at this point), fake lashes and full hair and make-up, did I realise how fun beauty could be.

I distinctly remember deciding to invest in a foundation (£30 was basically three nights out) - I also distinctly remember wondering where I would find one that actually matched my skin tone.

What’s more, thanks to not wearing much makeup, my combination skin was the best it had been and I didn’t want to go back to anything cakey that would block my pores up more than my alcohol intake already was.

And that’s when I found the one… 

After meandering around a massive Boots, I landed at the Clinique section, enticed by the promise of make-up with skincare qualities and good-for-skin foundation (that also had SPF, because that is always a non-negotiable).

I found a shade that worked with my skin tone in minutes, Even Better Makeup in Cream Caramel. And when I got home and applied it, it was the first time I really loved what I saw in the mirror.

It did what it said on the bottle, it was my skin, but better - brighter, more even and with the dermatological power to actually improve my skin when I wore it.

But for me it did more than that. It gave me that final boost of confidence I needed to truly be proud in (and of) my skin. When I wore it, I felt lifted knowing my skin looked great, but that it truly was my skin coming through. Which is a game-changer for someone who used to try and hide.

I literally strutted into Liquid that night like I was Rihanna’s best friend and to this day, every time I wear it I still get that little boost.

I have been unfaithful and strayed, but each time I do, I come back to this foundation because ultimately it doesn’t try to hide who I am. It just enhances it - with the added bonus of caring for my skin. 

Discover Clinique’s Even Better range below. You can find your perfect foundation shade online, and enjoy 15% off your order, by chatting to a Clinique consultant on Live Chat, or by booking a Virtual Skin School appointment. Added bonus: Clinique have free delivery and returns on all orders – making online shopping easier than ever.