There are so many different types of foundation available that it’s difficult to figure out which are worth their price. So, we’ve rounded up a few of the best foundations for flawless skin.
Each of the following products comes in a wide range of shades and offers medium-to-full coverage. Unless your skin is already near-perfect, anything less than medium coverage will allow marks and blemishes to show through, even with the best formulas.
When shopping for a foundation, be sure to consider the method of application as well. Very few foundations are best applied with fingertips, so you should invest in a foundation brush or a beauty sponge to prevent a streaky or patchy look.
The most unique feature of this foundation is the fact that it is dispensed via an ultrafine, aerosol mist. The formula is a liquid-to-powder and dries down to a demi-matte finish. The overall idea behind this unique mist application is to give you an airbrushed appearance without the hassle of airbrush makeup.
The product can be sprayed directly onto the face, though this will take a bit of finesse and practice. For greater accuracy, you may opt to apply the foundation with a brush or a sponge. Dior sells a specially contoured brush that is designed to pair with the Airflash foundation, but using any high-end foundation brush and a light hand will allow you to achieve the same level of weightless, airbrushed coverage.
Regardless of your preferred application method, be sure to use the foundation sparingly because a little goes a long way.
The formula does not oxidize, so the shade you purchase will stay true throughout the day. Although it isn’t branded as a long-wearing base, but even the oiliest of skin types can easily get over eight hours of coverage without reapplication. Because the finish is semi-matte and the formula does not settle into pores or lines, this foundation can be comfortably worn by all skin types without fear of sliding, caking or accentuating blemishes. The $60 price tag may seem unreasonable, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a foundation that can match its performance.
Airflash can be worn alone for a more luminous, glowing finish or under a setting powder for a more fully matte look.
Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Foundation
YSL’s All Hours foundation is touted as a 24-hour, flawless, liquid formula that not only provides lasting coverage but also benefits your skin. Of the four products recommended in this post, this foundation is the best in terms of shade choices and potentially beneficial additives.
The product contains SPF 20 and a black tea antioxidant complex to keep your skin protected and actively fight the aging free radicals and pollution your skin is exposed to throughout the day. The pigment molecules in this foundation are also specially formulated to absorb excess oil while remaining resistant to fading, melting or flaking.
All Hours comes in a sturdy, frosted glass bottle with an airless pump dispenser for easy, sanitary use. Unlike many luxury brands, YSL recommends that you apply the product with your fingertips so that the warmth of your hands can help the makeup melt into your skin more fully.
If you prefer full coverage, this foundation works beautifully with a soft-bristled paddle brush like the ones offered by Artis. Simply pump a few drops onto the brush and sweep it over your skin, blending outward.
This formula is branded as a matte foundation, and it lives up to the marketing hype. It’s waterproof, transfer-resistant and free from pore-clogging ingredients. Coverage is matte but still soft and luminous, so your skin never looks dull or flat.
As the formula warms up on your skin, it does not settle into lines or pores, nor does it accentuate dry patches. Because of its true matte finish, it can easily be worn without setting powder as well, which can save you some time and cash. Overall, it wears comfortably for hours and can easily be transitioned from day to night without reapplication. All of these features are offered for roughly the same price as Dior’s Airflash.
Tarte Clay Stick Foundation
The Tarte Clay Stick is a creamy, solid stick foundation that dries to a natural, glowing finish. It features Amazonian clay and vitamins A, C, and E to nourish your skin while providing full, easy coverage. The formula can keep your skin moisturized or mattified depending on your skin type, and the natural ingredients make this formula well-suited to sensitive skin.
The simplicity of the stick applicator makes this a great choice for beginners or people who want something they can throw into a bag and travel with. You can quickly swipe the stick over your face and blend it out flawlessly with your fingertips, or you can dab it into your skin with a beauty sponge.
The formula goes on creamy and dries to a more satin, powdery finish. Any skin type can comfortably wear this foundation, and it offers complete, comfortable coverage for redness, unevenness and blemishes. Because the product adjusts based on your skin type, it won’t crack, crease, flake or melt away. Tarte Clay Stick Foundation offers complete coverage for a reasonable $40 price tag.
Milani Conceal + Perfect
Milani Conceal + Perfect is a two-in-one drugstore foundation that performs far beyond its $10 price tag. It combines concealer with a waterproof, full-coverage foundation to give you a flawless, lasting base.
To use this as a concealer, pump a small amount onto the back of your hand and use your ring finger to gently tap it onto areas that need concealing. For all-over application, a dampened beauty sponge or paddle brush will give the best, most consistent coverage.
This foundation gives your face a satin finish, so it can be used by dry, normal or oily skin types. The formula can cover dullness, redness, blemishes, unevenness and freckles without looking heavy or artificial. It is also able to blur pores and hide dark circles, which makes it perfect for achieving flawless skin.
Milani Conceal + Perfect is long-wearing and does not transfer, separate or fade throughout the day.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
Users continue to rave about Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup. Although prices start at around $42, it’s definitely money well spent.
If you plan on attending an all-day event, Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup is the perfect solution. Because this makeup doesn’t contain any fragrances and won’t clog pores, it’s a great choice for all skin types.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup is relatively easy to apply. Simply mix a pea-size amount of this liquid foundation with your favorite moisturizer. You can then use a brush to cover your face. If you’re looking to keep the coverage light, use a wet makeup sponge.
One of the best aspects of Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup is its durability. Even after 15 hours, expect this long-wear makeup to still look stunning. It’s an especially great option for outdoor affairs. Although the weather may be humid, you don’t have to worry about experiencing any runs. A matte finish makes Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup even more impressive. Most importantly, it works well with a variety of different skin tones.