Hands up if you're a secret foundation snob.
It's not a bad thing – not at all. In fact, a whip round the R29 office showed that a lot of us tend to swerve the high street and go that extra mile just to buy foundation at luxury beauty counters. "Mascara, lipstick – I get everything else on the high street, but my foundation has to be good quality," said one staffer.
And why would you buy your foundation from anywhere else when most higher end brands promise 40+ shades to suit all skin tones, pigments that stay put through even the sweatiest of commutes, and formulas filled to bursting with added skincare benefits? It makes perfect sense to splurge, right?
But while most of us have been making a beeline for those shiny department stores, a foundation revolution has been bubbling on the high street. Affordable drugstore brands like Sleek, Maybelline and EX1, to name but a few, have made it their mission to cater to a wider range of skin tones than ever before, serving up formulations that look immaculate even after hours of wear, and improving compatibility for all skin types, from acne-prone to ultra-sensitive. All that and much more for less than the price of an Itsu lunch.
"Now that there's so much competition, consumers are expecting better quality products from high street brands," says NYX Professional makeup artist, Dean Smith. "I've definitely seen an improvement. Thanks to advances in formulations and a focus on making ranges as diverse as possible, high street foundations are now on par with offerings from the most luxe of brands. Gone are the days where these drugstore products looked cakey, broke you out or slipped off after a few hours. High street foundation has stepped up its game, and everyone loves getting compliments on their skin knowing they've only spent £10 or so, don't they?"