If you’ve been glued to the latest series of The Crown it can’t have escaped your notice how flawless and ‘real’ the actor's skin looks. It’s all thanks to one particular foundation. And it turns out it’s a bit of a beauty industry secret.
If we told you the same foundation was used on the cast of The Crown because it “blends away to nothing and creates a luminous complexion that doesn’t look too modern and reflective”; on cult TV show Euphoria to create “very moist-looking skin” and on Helena Bonham Carter in Enola Holmes with her makeup artist saying it was his number one choice to “create an effortlessly beautiful look and to emphasise the shape of her face”. You’d want to know what it was, right? We thought so.
Meet Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation, £75. This is the foundation Cate Hall, the lead makeup artist on The Crown, used on nearly every cast member of The Crown including the actors that have played The Queen, Princess Anne, Princess Margaret and many more. We wanted to find out what makes it so special, especially as it's a foundation that wasn't on our radar so we grilled Cate accordingly. In answer to why she loves it so much, she says: “Future Skin makes skin look healthy and luxurious on camera. I use it for both contemporary and period filming because it can be buffed away to nothing and it doesn’t contain excessive shimmer which can look too modern. We use concealers on top only building up coverage where needed and leaving the rest of the skin looking beautiful and natural. We then powder, again, only where needed, to take away any distracting shine, leaving the skin looking luminous. Modern cameras capture every detail so make-up for filming has to be as seamless as possible. Our aim is to create subtly beautiful skin that is three-dimensional and ‘real’ rather than mask-like.”
This little pot of base isn’t new. In fact, it launched in 2014. It doesn’t come with a glossy advertising campaign and a celebrity ‘face’ so chances are , like us, you may have never heard of it. It hasn’t gone viral on TikTok like the Jones Road What The Foundation. But since its launch, it has become the product that professional makeup artists rely on to create skin that not only looks great in real life but in high-definition and on the big screen. That in itself is a huge ask of a product, and a testament to a brilliant one when it can stand up to the high demands of what is required from working for a film as well as working for us mere mortals in real life too.
Why is the Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation so good?
“The main draw is the texture,” explains Cate. “It’s lightweight, superfluid and can be built up and layered to whatever coverage is desired. Skin consequently appears flawless but - and this is key for us on set - it still looks like skin, with nuanced details like freckles remaining visible.”
It comes in 15 shades, which doesn’t sound like that many these days when brands are releasing at least 25 to make sure they’re able to cater for all skin tones. However, thanks to its unique consistency, one shade of Future Skin can stretch across multiple tones - which again perhaps explains why makeup artists love it so much as they don’t need to carry as many shades in their kit. “The tones of the foundation are really versatile,” says Cate. “They can easily be mixed to suit anyone but because the texture is so fine and gel-based it’s really easy to blend. It’s easy to apply and it won’t feel heavy or look clumsy.” She also thinks it’s a foundation that spans all ages. “It doesn’t build up and sit in wrinkles and fine lines and has just the right amount of reflectiveness to compliment mature skin. Conversely, with youthful skin, Future Skin is sheer enough to let the natural skin quality shine through.”
How to apply Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation
As with any base product, how you get it on your skin is really up to you and your preference. But if you want to follow Cate’s lead and do as she does on set then this is how she applies it.
- Less is more. “I would say with any foundation, only apply where you need it - over discoloured skin or red patches - and make sure you blend well. You can always add more so rather than going in heavy, start conservatively.”
- Prep. “To give skin a really healthy hydrated glow my team used the Victoria Beckham x Augustinus Bader Priming Moisturizer, £140 and the Mac Studio Radiance Moisturizing + Illuminating Silky Primer, £28. We would also use the 111 Skin Under-Eye Patches and let the skincare sink in whilst prepping the actor’s hair.”
- Add some glow. “The By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum, £61 works wonderfully as an illuminator which we used on highlight points (top of cheekbones, above the brow bone, down the nose etc) underneath Future Skin so the skin appears to be glowing from within.”
- Choose your tool. “On set, I use a brush and then a damp egg sponge to buff it into the skin.”
- Finishing touches. “For some extra coverage, we would use Glossier Stretch Concealer, £25 or Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealers, £32.”
Our verdict on Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation
Beauty Director, SJ tried it out:
“The first thing that struck me about this product is the texture, it is almost gel-like and a bit bouncy to the touch. It’s really easy and almost refreshing to apply and almost melts into the skin as soon as you buff it in. It delivers a light veil of coverage and is quite sheer. I have quite a bit of redness in my skin and it took that all away but you definitely need to team it with a heavier concealer if you are trying to conceal pigmentation and I’m not sure this would be the foundation of choice for anyone with rosacea or acne as I just don’t think it would do enough.
In terms of finish, it left my skin feeling soft and velvety smooth - it contains a few skincare ingredients such as glycerin, so I put that down to that along with its light consistency. it creates a very natural complexion but is not as glowy as the It Cosmetics CC Nude Glow which I’ve also written about. Because of its pot packaging, it’s not what I would reach for if I was doing my makeup on the go however perhaps this is a moot point as it also has very good staying power - I applied it first thing and I didn’t feel I need a touch-up all day. So who is it best suited for? I think this is ideal for anyone who has Goldilocks requirements when looking for a foundation. If you want a base that’s not too shimmery nor too matte, not a cakey full-coverage foundation but something that has enough of a concealing punch to add something to your skin, then this is a brilliant and makeup professional-approved choice."