In this day and age we no longer simply expect our foundation to simply be served up in a glass bottle and applied with our fingertips. In recent years the makeup world has truly revolutionised the base, and even the high-street boasts an impressive array of cream, mousse, powder, and gel foundations [and let's not even get started on BB creams/tinted moisturisers etc.]. Over the next few weeks I'm planning on debugging the lot, via pint-sized reviews of my personal favourites.

I'm kicking off with solid foundations, because in terms of 2015 beauty trends, the solid/compact foundation is the star of the season. They may not have filtered onto the high-street just yet, but luxury brands are launching foundation compacts left, right, and centre [expect them to be the next big thing in beauty].

Much like pre-conceptions surrounding the powder compact, the idea of a foundation in compact form may seem a little old-fashioned and unimaginative to some. In truth, you could easily be forgiven for adopting this presumption; the solid foundation is a historical precedent, with thick pastes prevailing in use from the ancient times right up until the end of the twentieth-century. Compacts themselves were popularised by Max Factor's Pan-Cake [the first mass retailed foundation], which is why you could be forgiven for assuming them more at home in your grandma's handbag than your own. However, as in the fashion world, beauty trends do go full circle [from time to time - let's hope that the moratorium on over plucked brows never gets lifted], and the foundation compact is back, albeit with a refreshingly modern twist.

Essentially, the idea of a foundation being portable and compact enough to slip into your handbag is thoroughly modern - what 21st-century woman doesn't love an on-the-go beauty product? Yet aside from its mobility, the true beauty of the solid foundation lies in the finish it creates; which is not at all the thick mask-like appearance one might assume. Instead, the solid foundation applies light and fresh, allowing the skin to breathe [and glow] through. And the best thing? Solid foundations are made to be layered - and do so flawlessly, making amending your day-to-night look foolproof. Whilst they feel weightless up the face, the coverage they provide is far from sheer - concealing pigmentation and blemishes with a 'second-skin' effect. This is "no-makeup makeup" at its best.

RMK Casual Solid Foundation SPF 38*

You can always count on RMK to pull out all of the stops in their contributions to the latest trends, and the innovative design of this foundation is no exception. Customisation is the word [and yet another 2015 trend ticked off the list], the compact contains two shades - the first your chosen base colour [choose from seven options] and the second a finishing colour, designed to add glow and radiance to the final look [choose from two shades - either gold-toned or silver], which can be applied all over or used to highlight and emphasise certain areas of the face. This foundation has the same highly-pigmented formula as the Creamy Foundation [which I adore], albeit it with a completely weightless feel and an undetectable finish which mimics the skin's natural texture. I love the fact that I can apply a thin coat to the areas of my skin which don't require much coverage, before layering over the areas where pigmentation is worse, with an indistinguishable result. As for the coverage? Expect to forego concealer. N.B. Note also the inclusion of SPF in this and the below - truly modern makeup.

EVE LOM Radiant Glow Cream Compact Foundation SPF 30*

If you have dry skin, and the thought of using anything but a light cream or liquid foundation is terrifying, then this is the solid foundation for you. The talc-free formula transforms into a cream upon contact with the skin, gliding over imperfections without emphasising areas of dryness, it blends with your natural complexion and can easily be built up for more extensive coverage. The finish is a luminous [but notably shine-free] glow and a velvet soft texture which feels nothing short of bare-faced. The crowning glory of this foundation is the formula, which [in typical Eve Lom style] is essentially skincare in makeup form. Here the emphasis is upon hydration; Berryflux Vita [an antioxidant which locks in hyaluronic acid], Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil [rich in fatty acids, this increases collagen production], and Vitamin E. Expect skin to both look and feel healthy and hydrated.

TOO FACED Cocoa Powder Foundation SPF 15*

Those with a skin-type which errs upon the oilier side of the spectrum will find solace in the contents of Too Faced's newly launched solid foundation [which also happens to be vegan friendly]. Transforming into a powder texture upon application, it delivers a matte texture and formula which absorbs excess oil, prevents shine, and blurs imperfections with a soft-focus effect - first-hand airbrushing. Despite its sheer texture and weightless formula, it applies with a full-medium coverage which conceals even the most obvious of imperfections [see blemish marks, fine lines, and enlarged pores a thing of the past]. The cocoa butter inclusion is no gimmick and is not to be overlooked, it provides a cocktail of antioxidants and a boost of moisture which keeps the complexion hydrated throughout the day.

N.B. I find all of the above best applied in patting [rather than buffing] motions, using a brush with short, tightly packed bristles.

What are your thoughts on solid foundation?


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