The secret to buying the right makeup

You call a plumber to fix the pipes, you get a hairdresser to cut your hair so why wouldn't you get a professional to take you shopping for beauty products?

How many times have you come home with the wrong colour foundation or the wrong coverage? And once you use it, more often than not, you can't take it back.

Do any of these sound familiar?

The foundation really suited me under the Hollywood lights of the makeup counter, but not so good under natural light. 

I was overawed by the knowledge of the salesperson so bought what they recommended.

I didn't get the foundation applied all over my face.

I bought the first foundation that seemed to look good without shopping around.

There's a solution. Going shopping with someone who knows a thing or two about makeup and beauty products. They don’t only have the knowledge but can be your shopping wingwoman, whether that's keeping an eager salesperson away or offering up an experienced second opinion.

It might be a luxury, but do it once, learn a thing or two and then use this information the next times you go makeup shopping. Consider it an investment.

Lesley says when shopping for makeup, ask yourself some questions.

1. What coverage do you want?

2. What's your skin type?

3. What's your budget?

Afterwards, you'll have an idea of what you're after to make sure you get what you need.

Lesley says you shouldn't feel intimidated going into a store.

"Shopping for cosmetics doesn't need to be daunting and trust me when I say these stores want you to go in there and have the full experience," she says.

"They want to sit you down and try their products on you, recommend things you haven't seen before and send you home with samples."

That's right - samples. You can try before you buy because there are that many products out there.

Foundation is usually the hardest thing to get right and there are actually 3 different types.

A water based foundation which provides sheer to medium coverage but can be runny. It's ideal for people with dry skin because it gives that hydration boost.

Silicone based foundations usually have smoothing written on the bottle because that's what they do. If you have oily skin, this is the one for you because it will absorb oil.

Oil based foundations come in a pot or stick and are much thicker, providing full coverage. If you're prone to breakouts, you might want to stay away from this one.

If you have normal skin, you can use any of them - lucky!

Now if you didn't have enough information, here are Lesley and my top tips when shopping for makeup and skincare products.


1. Shop for makeup like you shop for clothes. When you just pick something up on a whim is when you will be wasting your money.

2. Don't be afraid to ask for a sample. Many stores have little sample pots that they can send you home with.

3. Almost every beauty product ever released has been reviewed by hundreds of beauty addicts around the world so one quick search will give you reviews and ratings.


1. Regardless of the foundation you buy, if your skin isn't looking its best, neither will your makeup. Find a good cleanser and moisturiser so your makeup glides on and looks great.

2. You don't always need to buy a foundation brush. Your fingers work just as well and warm the product into the face. Make sure you wash them first and be gentle, especially around the eyes.

3. Your under eye concealer should be a shade lighter than your foundation. You’ll probably also need a different foundation for Summer when your skin gets a bit more sun, than Winter, when skin can be drier.

If you have any questions or enquiries about the makeup wingwoman experience, you can email and I'm at