Finding your perfect foundation is one of life's make up missions. It involves a lot of trial and error as we all look for different things when it comes to our base hence why foundations get such mixed reviews. We are most certainly spoilt for choice with so many brands, finishes, textures, shades etc but it can get a little overwhelming. I often get asked what foundations I personally like and recommend and although (believe it or not) I haven't tried all the foundations in the land, I have tried quite a few. For me, once I find a goodie I tend to stick with it then just do some experimenting on the side when a new foundation launches and I become curious enough to try it out.

To help with the task in hand of finding your perfect foundation match, I have compiled my top 5 foundations that I love and brands which I would highly recommend. I do have many more brand recommendations but these foundations are ones that I have used for years and years and still love them today as much as I did when I first tried them. My choices are all more higher end as I am yet to find a drugstore one that wows me and I believe foundation should be your one make-up item that you invest wisely in because once your base is perfected, everything else looks better. 

My skin is normal/combination and problem free as I have always been lucky having clear skin. I tend to opt for lightweight textures that are buildable so that I can create whatever level of coverage I need all from one product. First up ... 

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation, B20 Beige
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation, B20 Beige
1. CHANEL Vitalumière Aqua SPF15 Ultra Light Skin Perfecting Make-up 30ml link!
- Oil-free, all skin types, light/medium build-able coverage, semi-matte finish, 10 shades.
- A perfect everyday, fresh looking skin foundation.

Chanel foundations are most definitely a favourite of mine as they are all very luxurious and make your skin feel and look really special. Vitalumiere Aqua has been my holy grail, go to foundation for about 5 years now and whenever I want a perfected makeup look, I choose this one. It gives you brand new 'second skin' that is so fresh and very natural looking but   still very buildable to however much coverage you need without being cakey or too heavy. It's fluid formula is very light like water (so do shake well before use) and glides over your skin to make it look like your skin, just a more perfected, flawless version. It has an spf15 which makes this perfect for day or night (just avoid for any special occasions involving photographs due to SPF's causing flashback i.e. that ghostly white look!). I love how natural and glowing this makes skin look and it does it all with such ease so if you like quick and easy, then this does all the work for you. 

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation, B20 Beige
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation, B20 Beige
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation, B20 Beige
CHANEL Vitalumière Aqua SPF15 Ultra Light Skin Perfecting Cream Compact link!
• Oil-free, all skin types, light/medium build-able coverage, semi-matte finish, 10 shades.
• A perfect everyday, fresh looking natural skin foundation with spf.

Yes this is the same foundation as above so I have included it under the same number, but this is the above foundation in a cream compact form. I was ecstatic when I discovered my favourite foundation also packaged in handy compact form as this is perfect for travelling, on the go touch ups and especially long haul flights when you may need to look presentable and fresh once you arrive! If compacts are more your thing so you can go from 'office to bar' without having to go home, this is the perfect make-up touch up foundation that shall make your skin look super fresh. The original water based fluid still blends beautifully into the skin and gives the same lightness and radiance as the original. We all need some kind of compact in our bag so why not go for the creme de le creme of compacts with this stunning CC logo one ..... yep, packaging gets me every time.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Shade 20
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Shade 20
2. CHANEL Perfection Lumiére Velvet SPF15 
• Oil-free, for normal, combination and oily skins, lightweight, light/medium build-able coverage, matte-velvet finish, 8 shades.
• A perfect everyday, velvet-matte natural skin foundation with Spf15. 

Being a huge fan of the above Chanel foundation I was desperate to see how this one compared as it is very similar yet so very different. Perfection Lumiére Velvet is a lightweight second skin foundation (like the Vitalumiére Aqua) but with a very velvet matte result hence why this is not ideal for dry skin types. This took some getting used to I wont lie but now I know how to use it, I am hooked. This is practically the same as the Vitalumiere Aqua but with a total matte finish instead of a dewy finish. Now when I say this dries fast, I mean it sets within seconds of blending this into the skin so you need to work quickly. As soon as this hits your skin, it becomes skin and settles into a natural powdery matte finish that melts to give you a natural radiance. The powder finish helps to diminish imperfections, smoothes pores and evens out any dark patches or redness. It's very clever stuff! Chanel advise to apply this with your fingers and when you try it out you shall see why but I apply it with my usual foundation brush and as long as your quick, it works really well. You can even use this as a concealer by dabbing it onto any blemishes, darkness etc. It's safe to say you really don't need to powder with this foundation as it acts as a foundation, concealer and powder all in one hence why I have fallen in love with it. Like I said, takes a little getting used too at first but when you do your skin shall look and feel incredible. 

MAC Studio Face & Body Foundation, N1
MAC Studio Face & Body Foundation, N1
3. MAC Studio Face & Body Foundation 50ml (also available in 120ml) link!
- All skin types, light/medium build-able coverage, natural-satin finish, water-resistant, 13 shades.
- A gorgeous natural, long wear, satin-shine finish foundation.

MAC Studio Face & Body is a very well known foundation and can be found in the kit of many a make-up artist due it's results and the ability to mix up shades for that perfect skin tone match on both the face and the body. The formulation is super lightweight (like water) comfortable on the skin and offers a low to medium coverage that blends into the skin beautifully to leave a natural yet radiant finish. When you first apply this to your skin it does feel very tacky and wet but literally after a few minutes of letting it settle it blends with your skin that looks positively glowing. Just before it sets, add another layer to get a really perfected skin look especially to the areas where you may need more coverage. It doesn't sit in your pores and does last very well on the skin which is incredible seeing as it is so light in texture. This makes skin look absolutely flawless on camera and I have had many a Skype conversation where friends have commented and said "wow your skin looks flawless" and it always ends up being this on my face at that time. It just loves the camera and so do you when your skin is looking super flawless! 

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, 4.5
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, 4.5
4. GIORGIO ARMANI Luminous Silk Foundation 30ml link!
- All skin types, medium/full build-able coverage, radiant, silk finish, 24 shades.
- A hydrating lightweight, long wearing, radiant silk finish foundation. 

Now for something a bit special. This was my foundation of choice for my wedding day so you know its got to be a good one! Luminous Silk has won numerous beauty awards over the years due to it's clever micro-fil technology that offers high coverage whilst staying completely weightless in texture to make your skin look and feel like silk. It allows the natural glow of your skin to still show through regardless of how much you apply. Hence all the reasons that I chose this for my wedding day and not having an Spf makes this ideal in photography. One thing I especially love about this foundation is the fact that you can wear a full coverage without looking like you are wearing a mask and are caked in make-up. Remember, your foundation should enhance your natural skin not mask it; that's why we have concealer and colour correctors to help correct skin issues. I can't say enough good things about this one as it really is incredible and makes anyones skin look flawlessy beautiful. Yes it is a bit of a splurge but if you are looking for something really special then this wont disappoint. 

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Skin Perfecting Foundation, Fair 4
Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Skin Perfecting Foundation, Fair 4
Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Skin Perfecting Foundation, Fair 4
5. CHARLOTTE TILBURY Light Wonder Perfect Skin Foundation SPF15 40ml link!
- All skin types, light coverage, natural radiant finish, 9 shades.
- An air-light tint that gives a natural, illuminated, hydrated finish.

This is a super light foundation that sits between a tinted moisturiser and a foundation so if you are looking for something more natural that is packed full of skin benefits then this one is a must. Now I shall be honest and say when I first tried this I wasn't sure if I liked it but after a few wears, my god, loved it! I think it was mainly due to the fact that it was so light, it was very different to anything else I had. This has been on my face all summer as it's the 'perfect' summer base. It somehow manages to illuminate, smooth, hydrate, minimise pores, disguise lines and really perfect skin to make it look like 'I am not wearing make-up but I secretly am'. For a product so light, boy it has some staying power and most definitely stays put for many hours regardless of it being a light tint. You can build this up a little if you need more coverage in areas but it is designed to help your skin breathe and treat your skin as well as give coverage. A great design aspect of this product is that it is a good 40ml size tube and a plastic tube too, a clear sign that a makeup artist designed it! So much easier to travel around with and an amount that shall last you well. I have actually already posted a full review about it so if you want to see some pics then go check it out here.

Best Foundations, Charlotte Tilbury, MAC, Chanel, Giorgio Armani
A few extra foundation brands I can recommend and ones that have been recommend to me are Nars, By TerryMake-Up Forever HD, Dior, Bobby Brown and Urban Decay. I have used most of these brands over time and go through fazes where one minute I like them then I don't. This is mainly down to my skin as like all foundations they work differently for different skin types so what works for one, wont work for everyone else but these are great brands that are worth looking into if you want a few other recommendations.

If you prefer to wear less on your skin then my two all time favourite tinted moisturisers are  Laura Mercier & Chantecaille Just Skin, both of them are incredible. They are worth every penny and give you just the right amount of coverage to perfect your skin without actually feeling as though you are wearing a base. Ideal for those days when you don't need a lot of make-up on but you want great skin and to feel less naked!

These are my personal favourite foundations at this moment in time that work for me and my skin as I know not everyone shall agree but like I said before we are all different but I do highly recommend the brands if you have been thinking about trying something new. With any foundation, a lot of the results come from good skin prep and how you apply the product so always remember ....

Before applying any foundation or tint make sure your skin is well moisturised and use a good face primer underneath to ensure a smoother, longer lasting finish. My all time favourite one is Laura Mercier Foundation Primer as they make one to suit each skin type and it makes a massive difference to your makeup.

The best way to get a flawless, streak free application in my opinion is by using a foundation buffing brush or a beauty blender. My favourite brushes are Sephora #56 Brush and Real Techniques Buffing Brush. The Beauty Blender is an incredible beauty tool as it can be used to blend foundation, concealer, powder, contour, highlight etc and makes skin flawless

Head over to my lovely friend's blog Missy NADM to see what her Top 5 were!