Yesterday I posted about my favourite brushes for achieving a natural yet high coverage finish so today I thought I’d write about the products I use most. A few things worth mentioning; firstly, I tend to prioritise a natural finish over coverage, so if my choice is either a very heavy face of make-up and no visible blemishes or a more natural finish with a few signs of blemishes poking through then I’ll almost always pick the latter apart from on nights out. However, all these products listed below can be very easily built-up to full coverage so that nothing is showing through. Secondly, the pictures I’ve included were for a quick application and I haven’t focused too much on any of the pit marks as the layering process needed to cover these is more time consuming, although I’m happy to post a video of how that’s done if anybody would like me to? Lastly, I ignore anything that needs covering on my forehead as I have a fringe so I don’t really see the point 🙂
On to the products! These are the things I use most to achieve a high level of coverage. I’ve included a bit of everything to hopefully suit most people’s skin issues.
I think the first thing you might want to consider when going for full coverage is whether you actually need to fully cover your whole face. Most people have areas that are problematic but don’t need to use a full coverage foundation all over their face and instead need to zone in on the problem areas. This gives a much more natural finish and results in you looking like you have good skin rather than good make-up! There are a few BB Creams I’ve used that I’ve found to be higher in coverage and these are:
Boots No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream,* £12.95
The best thing about this range is the fact that there are variants available to suit individual skin types. I use the Normal/Dry as I find the Oily version a little too drying on my skin type. This works as a great, natural base that doesn’t take a lot of work to blend in. However, out of the three higher coverage BB Creams I’m listing I’d say this is the lowest coverage.
Ginvera Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream* (not pictured), £20
I’ve actually run out of this and as I’m currently using a foundation as a base I haven’t repurchased, but as soon as I’m at the point where I can start using BB Creams again then this’ll definitely be something I stock up on as it suits my skin perfectly. It provides a surprisingly high level of coverage for a BB Cream, doesn’t break me out and the finish is dewy and glowy.
Dr Jart+ Regenerating BB Cream, £21
This is another one that provides a high level of coverage yet blends down easily and the finish is really natural. I like products that are not too matte, not too dewy and leave skin looking healthy which this is perfect for. It’s also very buildable for a BB Cream and stays put for a good length of time.
If you’re not someone who can get away with lighter coverage or would prefer to finish of something slightly heavier then these are the foundations I have found provide the best coverage.
Boots No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation,* £12.50
I’ve already reviewed this here and the main appeal of this high coverage foundation is that the finish isn’t too matte, and instead leaves skin looking polished and well covered without looking drained of any life! I won’t go into too much detail as I’ve already reviewed it, but it’s definitely a well-priced high coverage foundation that’s worth checking out if you need higher coverage.
Erno Laszlo Absolute Finish,* £55
This is the foundation I’m wearing in the images below and the reason I love it, other than it’s great coverage, is that it gives skin a finish that’s kind of like…you know when you look at people with really great skin and it has an almost ceramic/porcelain quality? It’s like that! I didn’t realise that kind of finish was achievable with make-up but this foundation gives a finish like nothing else. As with all Erno Laszlo products it comes with a hefty price tag, but you only need the tiniest amount and it blends and covers like a dream.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, £34
I really rate GA base products (I actually realised when writing this that all I use under my eyes currently are GA products) and this Luminous Silk Foundation offers amazing coverage. However, a word of warning is that a lot of people have reported breakouts with this formula; I broke out a bit during the first few uses but thankfully it subsided quickly so I could continue using it. This is the foundation I pull out for nights out and I do tend to layer it on the problem areas over other foundations, but it works just as well as a foundation on it’s own, again providing great cover and a semi-dewy finish.
There are two heavy duty concealers that I believe work best for covering spots and scars but they both need to be applied differently. One’s a stick and one’s a cream and both are advertised as foundations, yet personally I find them too heavy for all over cover:
Vichy Dermablend Ultra-Corrective Cream Stick Foundation, £19
This is a very popular product amongst acne-sufferers and for very good reason, as it provides a natural, buildable coverage that stays put. It’s quite a greasy finish so I’d advise using a good setting powder over the top. I find the best way to use this is with a very dense, firm buffing brush (I used Jemma Kidd one as mentioned here but any firm brush would do) to buff in and around the problem zone. You definitely need to take time buffing this in which is probably why I don’t use it as much as I used to, but it’s especially good for spots as it tones down redness and doesn’t exacerbate the issue.
Clinique Continuous Coverage, £21.50
This is a very thick cream foundation that I would strongly advise against using all over the face unless you really want to look like you’re wearing a lot of make-up! I use the teeniest, tiniest squeeze of this on my problem areas and it covers like a dream. I use the Sigma Kabuki to stamp it on, I then leave it to settle in for a few minutes before buffing it down. Repeat these steps several times for pit marks and indents but use a good primer to help you first.
This is probably the powder I use most on a day-to-day basis as it sets make-up really well whilst providing a little extra coverage if needed. It buffs in well and doesn’t leave skin looking too matte or chalky, whilst still keeping shine at bay. It comes with an applicator pad which I sometimes use to build up the coverage, but most of the time I prefer to buff it in with a powder brush as the finish is more natural.
Everyday Minerals Semi-Matte Base, £9.95
I’ve previously reviewed this brand of mineral foundation here, so for more info check out my review. This is such a great brand of mineral make-up as it leaves skin looking polished and natural rather than overly shimmery/shiny which I’ve found a problem with a lot of other mineral products. It can be built to seriously high coverage, but I tend to use this just to even everything out and set my make-up post foundation application.
Laura Mercier Mineral Powder,* £31
I was in two minds about whether to include this in the list as I’ve only used it a couple of times so far and both occasions were for short periods, so I haven’t made my full assessment yet. However, the coverage and finish is really impressive. It does contain shimmer (another reason I’m holding back is because I haven’t seen how it looks in natural day light yet – if I glow like a beacon then I’ll let you know!) that looks pretty scary in a swatch, but doesn’t seem to show up too much on the face. It’s very natural but with a very high coverage finish. I will be reviewing it fully soon but I wanted to include it for it’s ability to cover so well.
If you’re prone to greasy or oily skin then it’s a good idea to carry around a touch-up kit which ideally will contain a good sized mirror, an applicator and a product that will not only reduce the oiliness, but also update the coverage level and refresh the finish of your foundation. This No7 compact fulfils all these requirements and provides a really high level of coverage that still looks natural. One thing to note about this is that you can really build it up, and as long as you have the shade right then it’ll continue looking like skin rather than like heavy make-up.
If you’ve gone for a high coverage finish then the two things you will definitely need are a good blusher and a good highlighter. When using high coverage, you’ve got pretty much no choice but to blot out every sign of natural health and colour which will inevitably leave you looking very flat and fairly matte. A good blusher will bring you back to life and a strategically applied highlighter will ensure the finish is natural and healthy so you don’t look like you’re caked in make-up. I strongly recommend including these two make-up items in a full coverage routine.
Here’s me with the rest of my make-up on and a close up so you can get an idea of the finish:
Unfortunately I’m gurning in the image above (as is usually the case when I’m faced with a camera) which makes my skin look strangely bumpy, but there you go! I really hope you’ve found this helpful and please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know in regards to high coverage and I’ll try to help.