I’ve mastered the trick to applying this foundation, and never received as many compliments

Jones Road’s What The Foundation went viral on TikTok, and for good reason, but it takes a while to figure out

Jones Road is probably the brand I get most reader emails about, and they all ask a version of the following question: “When is it coming to Ireland?” If you’re not familiar with Jones Road, it’s the creation of celebrity and editorial make-up artist Bobbi Brown, who announced she was parting ways with her Estée Lauder-owned eponymous brand in 2016. In 2020, she set up Jones Road, which focuses on wellness but still champions Brown’s famed easy, natural but enhanced aesthetic.

The brand is taking its time to get here. In the meantime, there is a way to get your hands on it. This may appeal only to those beauty enthusiasts who have been emailing me four times a year for the last two years, as it involves shipping fees and engaging in that potential dance of death with the lads at customs. But if you want to try the brand, you can order it through the Liberty London website. They stock it and ship to Ireland.

Jones Road’s What The Foundation (€54 plus shipping fees) went viral on TikTok last March. When I finally got my own hands on it during the summer – it comes in a pot and has a dense, bouncy and very moisturising formulation – I felt slightly more sympathy for the influencer whose video went viral after she applied What The Foundation all wrong. It’s a strange product, and it took me a long time to figure it out. For a while, I didn’t like it at all.

That said, I’ve worn it almost exclusively since the autumn, and have probably never received as many compliments on my skin – not my make-up – which is the Holy Grail of beauty compliments. If you can figure What The Foundation out, it never stops giving.


The skincare you apply first is very important. If your skin is in any way oily and you apply a rich moisturiser, you will look like battered cod by lunchtime. The foundation is so moisturising that, in warmer weather or on oily skin, it looks better with minimal skincare, just serum and SPF.

If you are the owner of dry skin, you may think “Hurrah! A foundation this moisturising will solve all my problems.” Hold your horses. It may, and it looks incredibly good on mature skin, but it’s important to wait at least 10 minutes before applying the foundation after moisturiser, or it tends to sit in and highlight dehydrated or patchy areas. Exfoliating will help too. On smooth, exfoliated skin, this foundation gives a glowy plumpness that is obscenely appealing to the eye.

But hang on – there are more hurdles to jump. As I discovered the hard way, the tool you use to apply this is incredibly important. A damp make-up sponge or Beautyblender will cause this foundation to look mottled, patchy and kind of curdled, like a custard gone terribly wrong. A flat foundation brush – I find – becomes overloaded by the foundation’s thick, dewy texture almost immediately, and the result is streaky product dragged awkwardly over the face.

“Ah!” you may think “Well, good old-fashioned clean hands are clearly the best tool, then.” Eh, again no. Not in my experience. I don’t find the application is even and natural-looking when applied straight to the skin with fingers. The perfect recipe – for me at least – is a very dense, fluffy brush to buff the foundation into the skin, followed by a technique I learned from watching legendary make-up artist Mary Greenwell apply other foundations. Greenwell has worked on everyone from Diana, Princess of Wales to Naomi Campbell and Cate Blanchett. Her trick is to take clean, warm hands and sort of (elegantly) press and “bash” (for want of a more elegant term) the foundation into the skin. I mostly use my ring finger (it’s the weakest) and tap over the surface of the foundation after I’ve applied it. It smooths and perfects it, removes any streaks or settled areas, and leaves everything looking finished and perfected. The coverage is not full, but buildable to medium, and I do use concealer where needed over the top.

Is this the most straightforward foundation ever made? No, but if you can unlock its secrets – which after all are just a dense brush and your own hands – the result is beautifully fresh, happy-looking skin.