Finding the right foundation is often described as a life-long pursuit! Well, in this episode, Beauty Concierge and Makeup Artist Susan Napper gives us the lowdown on how to nail this! Susan shares all her knowhow in the area of complexion products – it’s not just known as foundation anymore ladies – and her top tips on how to find the perfect foundation for your skin.

The gorgeous Susan

About Susan

Like many ‘grown-up girls’, Susan had a career change in her mid life. In her early forties, she gave up her successful career in arts administration to follow her passion for colour and design. She enrolled in a makeup artistry course and hasn’t looked back! As a beauty concierge, Susan audits her customer’s current makeup and then provides objective, tailored recommendations based on her extensive knowledge of available products and brands. She also arms her customers with the skills to apply and use these products so women feel empowered to live their best life. Yes please!!!

Susan’s Approach to Complexion Products

With so many different complexion products to choose from, it can feel overwhelming. Not only is there a vast spectrum of products with different colours and tones but there are different finishing options (matt or luminous), different inclusions (SPF or serums) as well as different levels of coverage. So, it is very worthwhile to get your head around all the options so you can work out what best suits you.

Susan recommends to all her clients that they have a wardrobe of different complexion products. Ideally one for everyday with suitable coverage for your activities. Another for the weekend where you may prefer to have a lighter look and then another for special occasions and events where you really want to shine!

Susan’s Top Foundation Recommendations (from light to heavy)

Susan’s top recommendations from light to heavy

– Tinted moisturiser – these are a no brainer and will get you out of trouble, Susan loves German professional brand Kryolan tinted moisturiser (which isn’t cheap) but she assures me it’s fab! But there are plenty to choose from – find what works for you…

– BB Cream – (stands for beauty balm) as a time poor working parent, multifunctional products are perfect. BB creams are a hybrid product that both moisturises and provide coverage. Susan’s favourite is the BB cream from Garnier which is about $15! She also like a BB cream from La Roche Posay which has an SPF of 50+!

– CC Cream – (stands for colour corrector) a similar product to BB but with an additional colour corrector. It’s good for people who have red or pink tones in their skins. Susan loves the it Cosmetics CC cream which was developed with plastic surgeons – it also has an SPF 50+! She describes it as a cult product and suggests people apply it like they would a moisturiser.

– Traditional Foundation – Within this category, there are so many options. Products in this range usually fall into a light, medium or full category which describes how much coverage the product provides.

Some complexion products you can build with. For example, if you have a sun spot, you may need a few layers of your foundations over just that spot. Susan suggests experimenting with your products to see what works.

Light to Medium Coverage

Susan loves a skin tint by Hourglass called Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint. It’s available from Mecca and is another one of those cult products. Susan says it gives a beautiful finish that gives a light to medium coverage plus it has the inclusion of hyaluronic acid which is so moisturising.

Medium – Full Coverage

Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation – Susan describes this as the latest in complexion product technology and the ‘new sister’ to my Even Better foundation which I love. It has quite a thin texture but it is full coverage. It’s highly pigmented with a satin finish – a sweet spot between matte and shiny.

Susan loves the Flawless Lumière Radiance-Perfecting Foundation from Laura Mercier because it has the unique ability to provide a luminous glow for oily skins which is very hard to achieve. It’s available from Mecca. Great for oily/combo skins who don’t want to just use matt products. It can be built up beautifully.

Full Coverage

Like Laura Mercier, Charlotte Tilbury was a makeup artist so Susan believes they nail complexion products. Susan loves the Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation for a special event. You can only buy online from here in Australia It has a satin, luminous finish plus an SPF too!

Estee Lauder’s Double Wear is described by Susan as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of complexion products. It’s phenomenal. It lasts and Susan shares her pro tip – it’s a mat to satin finish. If you put a few drops of the Estee Lauder night serum b. You could use any serum but make sure that the ingreidnts play nice together eh both either water based or silicon based.

How To Choose The Right Foundation

When choosing the right foundation:

1. don’t even bother checking it on your hand – they are completely different colours!

2. Susan recommends asking for 3 sample pots of potential foundation to bring home. And don’t be shy – simply ask a consultant in Mecca or David Jones to decant 3 different shades into small pots for you. When you are home, put 3 stripes on the side of your chin and look at it in the natural light.

3. And always consider the colour of your chest when choosing your foundation colour too. It needs to blend!

Other Pearls of Wisdom from Susan…

Consider adding an illuminating primer underneath your complexion products. Susan loves Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm in Golden Glow – a hybrid moisturiser, illuminator and primer all in one! It’s not cheap – around $100 – but you get a lot of product and you save heaps of time! Simply add your foundation on top. She also likes Mecca’s Lit From Within illuminating primer as well.

You can also your primers strategically. She uses the illuminating primer around on the peripheral parts of her face – cheeks etc and uses a mattifying primers around her t-zone.

The Girls Favourite Luxe/Less Products

In each episode, Alex (and her guest) are going to share their favourite luxe and less products.


Luxe – Clinique Even Better Serum Foundation – $65

Less – Revlon Colourstay Light Foundation – $29.95 – it also contains a serum and is often half price at Chemist Warehouse!


Luxe – L’Occitane Immortale Reset Nuit Serum – $95 for 30mls!!!

Less – Flower Lip Liner in Rose – $10

You can listen to Alex and Susan’s chat below or on your favourite podcast app or via the link just below.

Thanks for the BeautyChat!

Alex xx