Clinique Even Better Foundation
First of all, there is no getting away from the fact that this requires more effort to get right. You can't just slap it on in a half-sleepy zombie fashion and hope it will look ok. You have to use a primer (I am still adoring Dior Maximiser) and you have to delicately dab dots of it round your face and blend properly. It probably takes twice as long as a tinted moisturiser to apply but even then, we're still only talking about a minute or so of your time. I then use a foundation brush to give it a more flawless finish which is an extra 10 seconds work.
As someone who has also avoided powders for years, a foundation does require some powder around the nose area. The lightest of dustings does the job. Basically, years of habit are being thrown out of the window as a new routine comes home to roost.
It's worth it though because the result is glowy, even skin. A divine base for blusher and again, a change for me. I've always preferred cream blushers but somehow this look requires powder blusher so I am rediscovering long-lost loves. I am currently enjoying a Bobbi Brown favourite I bought a few years ago. It all looks far more polished. Better still, after 10 hours in the office, it's all still on my face. This is a revelation and worth the extra effort in the morning.
If you've not tried foundation for a while, I urge you to revisit. I think the formulas have improved no end and I am very much loving the result. This Clinique one is £26 which although isn't cheap, it's by no means expensive and it's very impressive.