If saving money on your wedding budget is at the top of your list of priorities, you might want to consider doing your own wedding makeup.
There’s a whole host of bridal makeup tutorials out there which are easy to follow, plus tonnes of amazing (and affordable) products which will make you feel a million dollars!
Of course, your base is the most important part of the process, so our Junior Digital Writer Sophie Cockett got stuck into testing 13 of the best foundations on the high street so you don’t have to.
With something for every skin tone and type, you’re bound to find the perfect foundation for your wedding day (and every day afterwards) here…
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Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation – £41
Makeup junkies among you will have already heard about the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Why? Because the Kardashians love it (apparently), beauty editors are raving about it and bloggers are obsessed. Oh, and the whole of the Hitched office love it now too.
It’s a light and sheer foundation which covers a whole multitude of sins, yet feels silky and soft on the skin. Instead of being made up of water and powder which sit on top of the face, it is made up of five water-free oils which sink into the skin amazingly. For that reason, it falls in the middle ground somewhere between matte and dewy, which IMO, is a great place to be. It gives that “I promise I’m not wearing anything” finish which, let’s face it, everyone is after. You also need hardly any product to feed your whole face.
It’s not a cheap foundation at £41 (ouch), and it doesn’t have any SPF in it, but for some reason, we’re willing to look past those little flaws in the name of beautifully airbrushed skin. Get your hands on it – we urge you.
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Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation – £33.50
This foundation is a total must-buy for anyone who loves full coverage, and if you’re hoping to avoid any makeup touch-ups on the big day, it will be your new best friend.
Thanks to its stay-all-day formula and seriously lightweight feel, the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation left us with a flawless complexion from dusk ’til dawn. Seriously, we braved the rain and the tube, a day of work and a gym class which we didn’t have time to take our makeup off for. And it remained totally perfect.
Using a stippling or buffing brush, buff this product into the skin working from the centre outwards. Set with a setting powder and a spritz of setting spray, then watch as it sinks into the skin and leaves you looking flawless. Five stars from us!
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Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation – £32
Rumour has it that this foundation formula took five years to correct, so to say we were excited to try it is the understatement of the century.
Charlotte Tilbury somehow seems to achieve product perfection time and time again, and this self-proclaimed “miracle in a bottle” foundation was absolutely no exception.
Charlotte says that the foundation is jam-packed full of VC-IP. To you and me, that’s basically supercharged Vitamin C, which will hopefully decrease the appearance of your imperfections in the long-haul rather than just covering them up. With this in mind, wearing this foundation on the run-up to your wedding and not just on your big day is totally recommended.
In terms of application, this stuff is heavy-duty, so it took quite a lot of effort to blend it into the skin. It’s not one of those which just glides on effortlessly. That said, it gave a velvety yet luminous complexion which stayed in place for the rest of the day, only needing powder to combat shine towards the very end.
We know they might tell you not to just a book by its cover, but we should also add that the super pretty bottle made it impossible not to love this from the offset. We’re fans.
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L’Oreal True Match Foundation – £9.99
The high street has some great foundation options out there, for a fraction of the price of higher-end alternatives. If you’re looking to create your bridal makeup look on a budget, then this £9.99 L’Oreal beauty could be your perfect match (see what we did there).
Available in 23 shades, this foundation does, as the name suggests, come in a shade to suit everyone. On paper, it should also suit most skin types – it has a lightweight consistency which is great for oil-prone skin, but doesn’t cling to drier areas if you’re on that end of the spectrum.
That said, this foundation only looked great up until lunchtime. After that, it seemed to melt off the face, smudge and become super-oily. If you don’t mind intermittently topping up with powder in the afternoon and evening, this probably won’t bother you, but brides wanting something which will sit and stay should probably avoid.
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Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation 16hr – £20
If you’re prone to acne, then you’re probably on the look-out for a wedding day foundation which will guarantee an airbrushed look no matter what your skin is doing underneath.
In that case, the Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation will be the answer to your prayers. It was among the best foundations we tried, and to be honest, the one we’ve revisited the most. It promises 16 hours of coverage (which we can confirm it delivers) plus hides skin concerns from acne to rosacea and dark circles.
We applied it with a buffing brush in circular motions and it blended seamlessly without setting so quickly that we couldn’t work it into the skin.
A small amount went a seriously long way and the overall finish avoided looking heavy. What’s more, this foundation is only £20, which for a product this good is no less than generous. Across all the products we tested, this is the one which pleasantly surprised us the most.
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MAC Studio Fix Fluid – £26
Among the beauty blogging community, this foundation has long been a cult favourite, taking pride of place on the makeup shelves of many.
It is a really full coverage product, and has a matte finish which does not budge. The consistency is quite thick, so you really have to work it into the skin with a flat foundation brush or buffing brush – our biggest tip is to leave it for 20 minutes or so before you apply concealer or powder. It is one of those products which looks better with time, so hang on for a few minutes before you decide where you need the extra help.
It comes in a huge range of shades, and a little goes a really long way. The only downside? It doesn’t come with a pump or pipette, so you’re going to have to invest in one of those yourself. That’s the only reason we haven’t given it 5 stars.
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Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation – £51
The Hourglass Vanish Seamless Liquid Foundation is the newer version of the much-loved Vanish Stick Foundation, which caused an almighty buzz among beauty-lovers upon its release. It is heavy-duty, perfect for when you’re being photographed and totally long lasting. It really doesn’t mess around.
As per normal, we applied this after moisturising and with a buffing brush, and were immediately pleasantly surprised at how blendable the product was despite its thick texture. The finish was super matte, even a little powdery, which we actually really liked. We didn’t feel the need to wear powder – which will be a great time-saver on the morning of your wedding – and as an added bonus, it smelt divine.
As the day went on, we only needed to powder the areas which tend to get progressively oilier – read: that blasted T-zone – but the rest of the application stayed intact and then some.
At £51 it’s a pretty big investment, and if you’re into a more dewy formula, then this probably isn’t for you. That said, if wiping away any sign of oil and shine is at the top of your list of foundation priorities (and if you’re hoping to avoid flashback in your wedding photographs) then this could be ideal.
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Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation – £32
Dubbed by legacy brand Bobbi Brown as “the foundation you can smile in” (thanks to its ultra-comfortable feel), the Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation is a full-coverage, natural and matte foundation which I think you’ll love.
Apparently, it was formulated by way of a high speed cold fusion process. We’re not sure what exactly that means either, but what we do know is it should result in a product that’s pigmented yet super light, long-wearing and oil controlling. That is no mean feat, so we were keen to see if it lived up to expectations.
If you’re slightly on the oily end of the spectrum, the mention of Shea butter for hydration could have you a bit worried. Don’t be, though: it won’t leave you looking at all shiny.
This product was buildable on application, spread across the skin nicely, and although you might still need to use concealer to combat dark circles, was pretty high coverage. We had to powder around the nose and T zone after about 6 hours’ wear, but our oily skin means we’re pretty surprised when any foundation leaves us not needing to do that.
The best part? This product is for everyone and is available in 30 shades, from alabaster to rich espresso. With that and the inclusion of SPF15 (perfect for your honeymoon or if you’re getting married abroad), this is a fail-safe wedding day foundation choice. Bobbi Brown, we salute you.
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Max Factor Miracle Touch Skin Smoothing Foundation – £13.99
Back to the budget end of the spectrum now, with Max Factor’s coveted Miracle Touch foundation. At only £13.99, this product is a total steal, so we were intrigued to find out whether it would deliver.
The concept behind this product is really interesting. The team at Max Factor wanted to combine the best parts of both liquid and solid foundations. Although this is a thick, solid cream in the pot, it becomes a liquid upon first contact with your skin.
It is a medium-high coverage foundation, made slightly heavier than your usual liquid due to the creamy texture. We used a beauty blender to make application easier and worked it into the skin in circular motions. The inclusion of silicone ensured the product blurred over imperfections, and it actually ended up looking unexpectedly natural.
The main struggle with this product was finding a shade to suit; if you have slightly yellow-toned skin then you might find the product appearing a bit too “tangerine”. That said, as far as budget foundations go, this is natural, dewy, fun to apply and fairly long-lasting.
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NARS Sheer Glow Foundation – £33.50
If you want a light-weight foundation that is guaranteed to make your skin look dewy, luminous and glowing, then Nars Sheer Glow comes in highly recommended.
Perfect for the dry skin sufferers among you thanks to its ability to fake a fresh face, this product goes on slightly sheer but covers all imperfections without clinging to dry patches. It is buildable, blendable, and a cult product for a reason.
We would be inclined to say that this is more of an everyday foundation than something special for your wedding day, but if you’re adamant that you want to keep your bridal makeup look light and minimal, go and give this one a try.
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NYX Total Control Drop Foundation – £14.00
We didn’t expect to fall quite so hard for a £14 foundation, but here we are, raving about the NYX Total Control Foundation Drops which have taken the beauty world by storm.
The pipette-style applicator makes for a really great application experience, mostly because it enables you to choose the coverage you’d like depending on whether you’re having a good or bad skin day. Use one drop of this wonder product for a sheer finish, two for medium and three for something fuller. Simple!
It comes in a teeny-tiny bottle, but you don’t need much, so it’ll last a long time. It has a satin finish (not too matte, not too dewy) which does a brilliant job at keeping any oil-prone T-zone at bay. It also lasts a really long time. We’d still favour a couple of the higher end products over this, but of the budget foundation bunch, this is probably the best.
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Mii Cosmetics Velvet Radiance Face Base – £28
We’d never ventured into the realms of Mii Cosmetics before trying their latest foundation, but we can happily say it’s a place we’ll be regularly revisiting as a result.
They’re a cruelty-free brand (plus points already!) with a range of well-priced products that really deliver. The Mii Velvet Radiance Face Base foundation is available in a hefty 16 shades, meaning you can kiss goodbye to that “nearly-but-not-quite” colour match. The packaging is sleek and matte (always an added bonus), and the yellow undertones of most of the colours make this foundation ideal if you’re hoping to conceal any red or pink patches on your skin.
This is a mid-coverage foundation which doesn’t feel cakey, blends really well and gives your face a “my skin but better” appearance. It also does what it says on the tin and makes you look really radiant. If you’re a bride getting married at a winter wedding, this would be great to give your dull winter skin a bit of a much-needed boost.
We did need to apply powder towards the end of the day as it went slightly oily, but this might not be the same for everyone. Overall? We’re pretty impressed.
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Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation & Concealer – £28.50
First thing’s first: the packaging of the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation & Concealer left us a little stumped. It has a sort of large doe-foot sponge applicator which turns the whole thing into a giant concealer. A cool concept, but not something we could get entirely on board with.
The idea is to use the flat side of the applicator to spread the product out like foundation (but not to blend – we tried), or the head to more accurately dot it where needed – i.e. under your eyes, if you’re anything like us. It’s good if you’re after a more targeted application experience, and for touch-ups throughout the big day, but it makes applying a full face of makeup a little bit tricky.
That said, the actual product is pretty good. It seems to balance out any redness or dark patches perfectly, and is really easy to blend. It stays on all day without fail, and the matte finish (although verging on the flat side of things) means oily patches will be nowhere to be seen.
We liked how this product looked on the skin… We’re just left trying to work out whether the complicated application method makes it worth it.
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READ MORE: Everything You Need to Know About DIY Wedding Makeup
Now all that’s left to decide is which of those power products you’ll choose! In the meantime, check out our review of the best contour palettes on the market, because sculpting your face is step number two.