Is your foundation lying to you? Does it really do what it says on the bottle? Do we really need to wear a foundation that offers 24-hour coverage and makes our skin glow all day? Do you, like me, find the technical garb on the side of the tube confusing?

Of course, we are all in search of one that leaves the skin looking naturally youthful and flawless, but is that actually possible? Having two teenage daughters myself, I’m forever moaning about how teens wear far too much foundation. Frequent orange foundation stains on white school shirt collars is a real bone of contention in my house!

I keep telling the girls that the cheaper and more cheerful the foundation, the more orange pigment is used in the mix. Trying to get them to use just a light, tinted moisturiser is an impossibility. Am I the only mother dealing with this annoying foundation saga?

It would be nice to have crystal clear, youthful-looking skin and it would be super to be able to hide tired eyes and hormonal pimples. So I’ve done my research; but first, here are my three top tips for buying – and applying – foundation:

1Always remember when purchasing a foundation to try out the colour on your cheek bone first – not on the back of your hand – to get the perfect colour match. If you ask the makeup assistant, they can give you a sample to take away and try out. Estee Lauder and MAC are always good at giving out tester pots.

2When applying foundation, use a brush or sponge, as the heat from your fingers will end up wiping away most of the product before you have even started. Place a good dollop of your foundation onto the back of your hand.

Dab the foundation onto the face with your foundation brush or sponge. Now use a blending brush softly across the whole face and neck using what I call a circular “washing machine” stroke to blend and control the product and set the foundation into the skin.

3Mac and Inglot have a great selection of foundation brushes/sponges and Boots’ own-brand brushes are brilliant too. Use a dash of surgical spirits in a small bowl as a hygienic and easy way to clean makeup off your brushes.

Place the bristle end of your brush into the bowl, soak for a few minutes and wipe off any residue with a wet wipe.

You can also clean off your brushes with hot water and washing-up liquid. Tap the excess water off the brushes and leave them out on a clean hand towel to dry flat. If you take care of your makeup brushes, they will last for years. CL

>> Favourite foundations

There is a foundation out there to suit all skin tones and age groups. You most probably will have a summer foundation and a winter one. My personal favourite is Estée Lauder Double Wear Light 02 from stockists including Debenhams at €40. I can apply this silky cream foundation early in the morning and it stays put all day. However, if you are someone who has dry skin, I would not advise you to use this daily, as it can dry your skin out further.

For teens, I recommend Boots No7 Stay Perfect Hypo foundation €20. This weather-proof, super-stay, easy-to-apply foundation does not cake or flake and comes in 17 shades with an SPF 15.

Bourjois 1, 2, 3 Perfect Correcting foundation from pharmacies nationwide including at €14.99 is made with a soft and smooth formula for an undetectable second-skin finish (as long as you have the right colour match). This new foundation has great staying power. It’s quoted on the package that the makeup will stay on for 16 hours. This is more than likely if you apply a powder over the top. I love Studio Fix by MAC €32 from stockists including Brown Thomas, because it has a matt finish, gives great coverage and comes in a handy compact.

Charlotte Tilbury has really hit the headlines over the last few years with her innovative new makeup range, which is available in Brown Thomas Dublin and House of Fraser Belfast as well as on Charlotte’s Magic Foundation €40 will transform problem skin into perfect skin before your very eyes. This is a full-cover but weightless foundation that sits into imperfections and open pores on the skin’s surface, like a second skin. If you suffer from acne, discoloration or dull skin, this is the foundation for you. Charlotte has also brought out her Wonderglow foundation face primer €49. This little bottle of magic turns around tired, dull, dehydrated skin in a beauty flash.

Inglot has a very popular HD Perfect Cover Up Foundation that retails at €33 and is available from Inglot stores and at This hypoallergenic foundation provides long-lasting coverage and conceals imperfections. Inglot foundation comes in a good selection of tones – even for the palest of complexions – to ensure a natural, flawless finish and will prevent excess shine, so is perfect for an oilier complexion.

Chanel Foundation Le Teint Ultra Tenue compact foundation from stockists including at €42 is fantastic for anyone who simply does not have time to apply a full foundation. You can easily swipe this compact foundation on in the car or at work, as it takes seconds to apply over the face using the handy little application sponge. I always take this on my travels or holiday, as it is quick, long-lasting and so easy.

Last, but not least, for the lads, LAB Series BB tinted moisturiser RRP €48 is a reparative and corrective treatment formulated for all skin types. The chaps don’t want to look like they are wearing any sort of fake tan, so this magic formula will create an undetected sheer healthy glow finish. Continued use will leave the skin looking more even-textured and brighter, and it also has an SPF 35 to provide daily protection against harmful UVA/UVB.