Meet the new wave of excellent high-street foundations | make-up

Excellent affordable foundations are usually as rare as hen’s teeth – then a load all arrives at once, like bills. No sooner had I emptied a bottle of the outstanding L’Oreal Paris True Match Tinted Serum (£13.99) – at least a dozen of you have stopped me in the outside world, just to tell me that it’s one of your favorite ever column-inspired purchases – than the Body Shop’s new Fresh Nude Foundation (£18) dropped through the letterbox. And what an unexpected joy it is.

Moist, fresh-looking and comfy on all skins (even dry ones), it gives precisely the sort of light-medium coverage I favor: too much for pajama days, too little for wedding days, but you could get away with either at a push. (Incidentally, the brand describes Fresh Nude as “medium coverage”, which, to my eye, both overstates and undersells it.)

It applies sheerly and smoothly and gives a lovely eggshell finish – neither shiny nor matte – that lasts pretty well until bed. The whole shebang is 100% vegan and recyclable (the bottle is glass and it has replaced the ever-tricky pump with a wooden spatula, which is good for scraping out every last bit). My only complaint is that even though the number of shades stands at an impressive 40, there are a couple missing from the lineup, including mine (Light 3 Neutral doesn’t exist for this product), so I settled on Light 3 Warm, which is a tad too golden. Nevertheless, if you can find your perfect match, Fresh Nude is well worth the relatively affordable price tag.

Even cheaper is Kind & Free (£9.49), the first base in years from Rimmel London that I’ve loved. It is only around half the price of the Body Shop one, though if you have dry skin, you would be better off sticking with the former. For everyone else, this is a doozie and hard to beat for the price. It smooshes on evenly and juicily, leaving a light, comfy and seasonally appropriate veil of healthy color.

It has a casual feel but certainly delivers enough coverage to unify skin tone, blur a little and look deceptively effortful. Here the shade range is smaller but, as with all sheer bases, one color will span multiple shades, and Rimmel has catered for most people pretty well.

Most positively, Kind & Free is not tested on animals and, from what I am hearing on the unofficial grapevine, the brand is finally working towards full cruelty-free accreditation.

I hope that’s true, and will be sure to keep you informed.

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