In the sticky height of summer, there’s nothing enjoyable about wearing a full face of foundation. It’s a fairly pointless exercise, too, as even the most heavy-duty of foundations will tend to slide straight off your skin.
As autumn creeps ever-closer, though, there’s something appealing about the idea of starting to properly paint our faces again. We’re more likely to want fuller coverage, too, as the flattering glow of sunshine – never guaranteed during British summertime, anyway – begins to fade, and our skin reacts to cooler weather.
But while choosing a new foundation should be a relatively painless process, it can be a bit of a slog. So we’ve rounded up nine of the best autumn foundations available right now, from brands that provide for women of all skin types – and all skin tones. Slap it on.
Giorgio Armani Luminous silk foundation
This oil-free fluid is moisturising, easy to build, and long-lasting – and it comes in 21 different shades, so you’re bound to be able to find one that fits.
Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
Pleasingly, the 20 different colours in this range are all named after countries and cities where you might expect to find women of a similar skin tone. The darkest option is ‘Khartoum’, the capital of Sudan; ‘Siberia’ is palest (pictured is ‘New Guinea’, described as “medium-dark with red undertones”). It’s a full-coverage option that comes highly-recommended from several members of th Stylist team.
NYX stay matte but not flat powder foundation
Budget beauty brands offering makeup for all skin tones are still woefully thin on the ground in Britain – meaning that women of colour often find themselves shelling out far more for foundation. NYX is one of the rare affordable ranges suitable for women with dark skin. This powder is good for light, mattifying coverage.
Too Faced Born This Way Absolute Perfection Foundation
This new foundation from cult brand Too Faced, offering full-to-medium coverage, includes coconut water and alpine rose extracts. It's available in 18 different shades, all helpfully categorised into "neutral", "neutral-to-golden" and "neutral-to-pink" undertones.
No7 Stay Perfect Foundation
No7 have just launched an app, Match Made, to help you find your perfect foundation shade without even leaving the house. The app uses colour recognition technology to tell you what colour No7 foundation to buy (although be warned, you do have to pick up a special “skin tone analysis card” from a No7 counter first). Old favourite Stay Perfect Foundation offers the widest range of shades out of all the No7 products, going from 'Warm Ivory' to 'Walnut'.
bareMinerals Barepro Performance Wear Powder Foundation
If you’re not a fan of creamy, liquid foundations, this cult compact might be the right coverage for you. It provides lightweight, medium-coverage powder, to even skin tone while still looking natural. Available in 20 shades, from palest ivory to darkest ebony.
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation
This comfy, lightweight foundation, available in 26 shades, contains soothing Vitamin C and E. It’s also apparently tested in front of HD cameras – so you know your skin will look great on Instagram, as well in real life.
Sleek Makeup Crème To Powder Foundation 9g
Sleek is another affordable high street brand that genuinely offers foundation and concealer for pretty much any skin tone: you can buy a whopping 30 different shades online. This crème foundation provides medium-to-full coverage; for an extra-smooth, luminous finish, work into skin using a slightly damp BeautyBlender.
YSL Touche Eclat Le Teint
Yves Saint Laurent was famously one of the first haute couture designers to hire women of colour to front his advertising campaigns, back in the 1960s. So it makes sense that YSL Beauty has always provided options for women of all races. The formula of this – the foundation version of YSL’s cult Touche Eclat concealer – was tweaked earlier this year to provide more intense, luminous coverage.