I avoided wearing foundation for years because nothing was light enough for my skin. I used several Clinique foundations for a while, and was colour matched to 'alabaster' 'fair' and 'ivory' depending on the range. After a few uses I realised I still looked too dark. I moved on to No 7 Intelligent Colour Foundation in 'light' and that was too dark too!
Then, a few years ago, I heard that Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud fame was launching Dainty Doll, and for a while I used Dainty Doll shade 002 which was a perfect match. Soon the range was discontinued and the foundation was selling on eBay for £25 a pop. I changed to shade 003 which was still pale enough but then that started selling out and it was being sold for crazy money. I bought shade 004 but that was too dark! And so it was that I launched my search for the Holy Grail of foundations for a pale face.
I perused every counter in my local Debenhams, John Lewis and House of Fraser and most sales assistants readily agreed that they didn't have anything pale enough. The sales assistant at Benefit proclaimed that I'm not as pale as I think I am and tried to make me orange. I think she took my lack of having found a product up to that point as a sign that I could be easily sold anything as long as she told me how fab I look! Wrong.
The lady at the Clarins counter managed to convince me that their Everlasting Foundation in shade 'ivory' was perfect for me, and in the harsh lights of the store it actually did seem to match my skin tone. I bought a bottle for £26. I've used it three times. It wasn't until the fourth application that my husband kindly pointed out I looked orange. The foundation went on my skin fairly pale but once it hit air it seems to oxidise and became a lot darker.
I went back to my ever depleting supply of Dainty Doll whilst the search continued. Dainty Doll is a great match but the coverage was very sheer and by the end of the day I looked like I didn't have any makeup on, which was why I wasn't utterly devastated that it was discontinued. It was just for colour match reasons that I was annoyed!
I took to the Internet and searched forums and review sites and was recommended NARS sheer matte foundation in 'siberia'.
|L-R NARS sheer matte, Dainty Doll, Clarins Everlasting|
The NARS swatch isn't very thick because I didn't want to waste any! Not only does the NARS foundation last all day, it has been tested under sweaty conditions (rock gig), sad conditions (funeral with associated crying) and illness (cold, constant nose blowing) and has pretty much stayed put. I've actually read a few reviews stating it isn't cry proof and leaves tracks on your face but that didn't happen with me. I've also read that some people find it clumps easily into little balls, but I've not noticed this, and it has only happened in the past if I've not let my moisturiser dry properly before applying foundation. NARS recommend you apply this with your fingers, which I do, as I've never been able to get to grips with foundation brushes.
The only downside of the NARS foundation is that it is very hard to get out of the bottle, so I had to fork out £3 for a pump, which given the price tag is a bit disappointing. I think it would be much better if NARS just manufactured it with a pump.
I would definitely recommend NARS for pale faced ladies and I will be repurchasing! Knowing my luck it will be discontinued any day now...