I'm a Makeup Artist, and This Is the Skin-Loving Foundation I Now Swear By

Personally and professionally.

When it comes to deciphering which makeup products are truly worth owning, there's one place where beauty editors always look first: the kits of professional makeup artists. After all, these are the very people who make a living painting the faces of models, actors and celebs and are used to creating looks that hold their own on both film sets and beneath the glare of paparazzi cameras. So if there's a product with a permanent home in their beauty stash, then we can safely assume it's seriously good. And the latest product that's making waves amongst the beauty set is the Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Serum Foundation SPF 20.

Ahead, makeup artist Kelly Dawn reveals exactly what makes this breakthrough foundation formula so impressive and how she's been using the brand's latest launch.

More than just a makeup product, Clinique's Even Better Clinical™ Serum Foundation SPF 20 combines the coverage and staying power of a foundation with all the skincare benefits and potency of an advanced serum, something that Dawn appreciates personally and professionally.

"As someone who has struggled with my skin over the years, foundations that are kind to the skin are a must," explains Dawn. "After all, if you are going to wear a product on your skin all day, then it might as well have added skincare benefits, too."

Always at the forefront of what's on-trend in the beauty industry, Dawn points out that Clinique’s focus on skincare-first formulations is something that has set the bar for the rest of the industry, with Clinique pioneering the innovation from the very beginning.

"There was a time in the early days of makeup when people would use really heavy-duty products to contour and sculpt their faces—specifically on film sets," she reflects. "While the effect was stunning, we've come a long way since then, and I've noticed that my clients are demanding so much more from their products in 2022. We all want high-performing makeup enriched with skincare benefits, just like this foundation provides."

In terms of how to make the most of it when applying makeup at home, Dawn has plenty of makeup-artist tips up her sleeve...

Kelly Dawn before applying Clinique Even Better™ Clinical Serum Foundation.

Prep is key to achieving a professional-looking finish to your foundation, and Dawn always recommends doing this with skincare products. Luckily, the Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Serum Foundation SPF 20 is enriched with skin-smoothing salicylic acid, vitamin C to even tone and SPF 20, which will help to streamline and simplify your routine.

For Dawn, the true magic of this foundation lies in its versatility, and she has plenty of advice on how to tailor the coverage to achieve a personalised, professional-looking finish. "The formula is very opaque, so a little goes a long way. You can use half a pump and just blend it over the areas where you want it for a lightweight look, while a full pump will give you fuller coverage," she explains.

And the key to achieving your most natural-looking skin? "Select a shade that is perfectly matched to your complexion so that you only need to apply the foundation to the areas where you need it," Dawn advises. "I have quite clear skin on my forehead, but acne scarring on my cheeks and jawline, so I apply little—or no—foundation to my forehead and build up the coverage on those other areas."

While you can always visit a Clinique counter to enjoy a personalised consultation to find your perfect shade (there are 42 available), it’s worth noting there’s a brilliant virtual try-on tool on the website. What’s more, there’s also the option to arrange a bespoke virtual consultation, too, meaning you can find a shade that suits you, without having to leave the house.

Kelly Dawn applying Clinique Even Better™ Clinical Serum Foundation.

So what is it about the Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Serum Foundation SPF 20 that really has Dawn raving about it right now? It's simple: the finish. "It's a beautiful satin-matte finish that is totally oil-free and lasts all day long," she says. And while it looks beautiful on all skin types, she points out that it works particularly well on combination-oily complexions.

"I've been using Clinique products since I was 14 years old. I used to ask for them for Christmas," says Dawn. "I've been hooked on the skincare ever since, and now, as a pro makeup artist, I still have so many Clinique products in my makeup kit! The new foundation is genuinely fantastic, and it lends such a dreamy finish to skin."

And it's this second-skin finish that Dawn believes makes the Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Serum Foundation SPF 20 a versatile addition to her current kit. "It's the perfect foundation for any occasion from the office to date nights to lazy Sundays in," Dawn explains. "Plus, the fact that it's packed with skincare ingredients means it's kind to your skin no matter what you're doing."

Kelly Dawn applying Clinique Even Better™ Clinical Serum Foundation.

Finally, Dawn recommends applying the product using the Clinique Foundation Buff Brush. "Blend it out from the centre of your face outwards," Dawn suggests. "It's always better to start with a sheer layer and then add more coverage."

And what's Dawn's insider tip for the perfect foundation finish? "Tap it in with your fingertips to give your skin that smooth, flawless result," she reveals. "Or follow up with a clean makeup sponge to really press the foundation into your skin."

Kelly Dawn's final look.

Clearly, the Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Serum Foundation SPF 20 has Dawn's makeup-artist seal of approval, but how would we less-talented folk use it to create a professional-looking makeup look at home?

"I used the foundation as the base to create a super-easy look for myself while running from show to show at Paris Fashion Week—using finger-friendly cream products for a fresh and easy look," says Dawn. "I'm obsessed with the cream finishes of both the Chubby Stick™ Sculpting Contour and Cheek Colour Balm blushes. (I used the shade Roly Poly Rosy.) To finish my look, I used an easy cream Chubby Stick™ Shadow Tint for Eyes in the shade Whopping Willow and my favourite lip balm, Moisture Surge™ Lip Hydro Plump Treatment, for a gorgeous glossy finish."

And if you're after a little extra coverage, Dawn recommends the Clinique Even Better™ All-Over Concealer + Eraser. "I always recommend applying your foundation first to even out your skin and applying the concealer second in areas that need added coverage," Dawn explains. “You can press it on with a clean finger or with the concealer’s built-in, soft sponge application."

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