This is the time of year that I get multitudes of clients coming to me complaining about pasty, dull, tired, skin. They want bronzers, they want blushes, they want powders. Which is going about it all the wrong way, because first and foremost you need to be sufficiently hydrating and exfoliating your skin. And some vitamin C products wouldn't be remiss either (they give good glow). But let's face it, Winter is a bitch on the skin. So say you are doing all that and you still want more vibrant skin - then you can turn to the appropriate makeup solutions. And I've got some good ones for you too, whether your skin is dry, mature, or just has the doldrums.
If you are going to use a foundation, try layering it on top of Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Radiance. This will give a great baseline for whatever makeup you use - it'll make your skin look moist and healthy. I have to say when this primer came out last year it was an instant hit - beauty editors and makeup artists alike could not stop talking about it. So consider adding it to your make up routine - it will also help your foundation last longer.
If you want a good medium coverage foundation that doesn't look cakey or dry I highly recommend Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation. This stuff is gorgeous and smooth with light-reflecting particles. And yes it is mildly hydrating but this does not let you off the hook from using a moisturizer as a base - you must still do that. What you will get is considerable coverage that doesn't look like you are wearing makeup - it just makes your skin look supple and alive. Definitely a cult favorite.
If you like a sheer, natural-looking coverage, go for Stila Stay All Day 10-in-0ne Illuminating Beauty Balm. This one step wonder will even out skintone, increase collagen, and literally light up your skin. It is the answer for people who prefer a low-maintenance make up routine because it covers all the bases. You will never experience a dull moment with this souped-up tinted moisturizer. Plus it has spf 30!
If you have mature skin your best bet may be Lancome Renergie Eclat Multi-Lift Mulit-Action Tinted Skincare. It's more sheer than a regular foundation, and more beneficial than a tinted-moisturizer. It has wonderful anti-aging ingredients in it as well as provides positively luminous color. The reason I like it for mature skin is because of its emollience. Unless it is very dry, younger skin may not appreciate the oilier quality. Note I say "oilier" NOT "greasier" because this stuff absorbs well into the skin. If you have the right skin type, oil is a good thing, and you will fall in love.
*** since I wrote this there has emerged a new 'must have' luminous face product. Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream gives the dewiest of dewy finishes, all the while providing color, hydrating, priming, dark spot correcting, and protecting you from the sun. You gotta try it!