Most people already know what makes an ideal foundation - one that makes their complexion look flawless without streaking or creasing. And double points if it soaks up grease on oily skin or gives dry skin a dewy glow.
But all that is not enough for some women, who also use pre- foundation make-up bases and primers to cover imperfections such as large pores and scars, or to correct skin tone flaws such as redness or sallowness.
Now, besides make-up bases and primers, more skin perfectors or make-up enhancers have entered the market, ranging from sheer illuminating powders to essential oils that make your foundation work harder for you.
1. IDS Diamond Dust Perfector, $43.50 for 10ml, from IDS Clinic, 8 Sinaran Drive, Novena Specialist Center, 05-07 to 10
Use this complexion booster on its own or over foundation. It is said to instantly blur out fine lines and other skin flaws, even out skin tone and give your complexion a more youthful look. The formula reportedly has special micron- sized particles that settle into fine lines and wrinkles, and give off a blue glow which is believed to improve the appearance of your skin.
2. Make Up Store Smoothing Primer, $69, from Make Up Store stores and counters
This has anti-caking and moisture- absorbing silica as its key ingredient, so it does double duty as a make-up base powder under liquid foundation and a mattifying finishing powder ideal for oily skin. It is said to give skin a smoother look and minimise the appearance of enlarged pores and fine lines.
3. Tom Ford Illuminating Powder in Translucent Pink, $108, from Tangs Orchard, Level 1
This lightweight, super-fine powder has a smooth texture and glides on skin effortlessly. It uses specially coated pigments that are said to give skin a natural radiant finish.
4. Laura Mercier Secret Finish, $52, from Laura Mercier counters
Fans of this make-up-setting gel have been known to stash it in their handbags for quick mid-day touch- ups, even under the eyes to perk up day-old concealer. Used as a refresher, Secret Finish is said to make skin look fresh and glowing just before a date or an evening function.
5. Dior Diorsnow Bloom Perfect Brightening Perfect Skin Creator SPF35/PA+++, $150, from Dior counters
Dubbed a hybrid skincare product, this is said to prevent and correct dark spots while also giving skin a more luminous touch. If you prefer light coverage, you can use it on its own. The SPF is a bonus too.
6. Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix, $48, from Sephora stores
After applying make-up, spray this light mist on your face and an invisible film will coat your skin to seal in make-up. The film is said to protect both your make-up and your skin from external aggressors such as pollutants and climate changes.
7. M.A.C Prep + Prime Essential Oils, $29, from M.A.C counters
This make-up enhancer is an unusual oil format. But do not worry about it leaving a sticky, greasy sensation on your skin. Instead, the almost scentless oil is light and absorbs quickly. Mix a little into liquid foundation to make it easier to blend.