Women use makeup to transform from fresh-faced to all-out glam. But if there’s one product that's essential to putting our best face forward, it’s foundation. Foundation is the key to evening out skin tone and creating a smooth canvas for any makeup look.
Psychology Today reports that the application of foundation was proven to have the most difference in female attractiveness from a study where a group of men rated the attractiveness of women based on the amount of makeup they were wearing (ranging from none to a full-face look). In addition, Science of People claims that women who wear makeup at work have higher earnings and promotion potential. So, if wearing makeup improves professional and personal relations, and foundation products make the most immediate impact on that front, we want to make sure to get it right!
Finding the perfect foundation can be a challenge since formulas range from powder to mineral, liquid, or cream-based, along with different staying powers and shades. Women are set on finding the perfect one— as noted in Forbes— spending 13 percent more on foundation overall. Unsure of your perfect foundation or just looking to switch it up this season? Follow along for the pros and cons of 20 of the hottest liquid and powder foundations on the market.
20 A New Skinsation In IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+ is the perfect compact for on-the-go beauty babes looking to protect their faces from the sun.
According to Allure, this foundation contains an array of skin-loving ingredients such as collagen, peptides, niacin, and silk.
It can be applied with a brush for buildable, blendable coverage. Plus, use of daily SPF may help improve your complexion over time. One flaw? The powder is only available in seven shades, so it may not be a fit for some skin tones. Hopefully, IT Cosmetics expands the line soon so more women can enjoy this foundation.
19 Feels Like Second Skin With Becca Aqua's Luminous Perfecting Foundation
As per Elle’s Lead Video Producer Angel Lenise, “I've always been a skincare girl, so my goal was never to use foundation as a coverup. I really needed a formula that would act as a second skin—literally. Something lightweight that made for a good base to layer on blush and contour, and still allowed my skin to shine through…When I discovered this formula [Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation]—thanks to my friend, makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes—I was hooked! And the best part is that it's packed with luminizers, so I've got a dewy glow, all year-round."
How's that for a full-featured foundation?
18 Kiss And Make Up With The Pro Finish Multi-Use Foundation By Make Up For Ever
For makeup fans who crave a polished look, Make Up For Ever is the industry go-to! The Pro Finish Multi-Use Foundation is a lightweight, breakthrough formula designed to give a long-wearing, natural matte finish.
According to Make Up For Ever, this foundation will hydrate, soothe and its nourishing ingredients are best suited for normal to combination skin.
Reviews are predominantly positive except Tiki Girl—a Make Up For Ever customer—claims, "I'm so disappointed that Pro Finish shade #130 is no longer being offered. I went to my local Sephora Store and tried other shades, but they weren't close to looking as great as shade #130."
17 Woke Up Like This, Courtesy Of Chanel’s La Teint Ultra Tenue Ultrawear Flawless Foundation
According to Elle, “The best foundations make those around you wonder whether you’re just naturally blessed with impeccable ‘I woke up like this’ skin.” Conveniently, Chanel’s La Teint Ultra Tenue Ultrawear Flawless Foundation incorporates a light diffusing complex that gives a radiant finish when applied. You'll look fresh-faced even after pulling an all-nighter.
The product contains amino-acid-covered pigments that blend with the skin to create that perfect no-makeup makeup look. However, some beauty babes may find the formula too sheer. According to Sephora shopper emilynj85, “Coverage is good but definitely not for combination/oily skin. It works for 2~3 hours and that's about it.”
16 Minimal Problems With Mineral Fushion's Pressed Powder Foundation
A Dermstore customer claims, "Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation is by far the best make-up I've ever used, in terms of appearance, ease of use, and healthy ingredients." Hmm— maybe we should try what she's having! After all, Mineral Fusion's silky formula has customizable coverage and an array of antioxidants and UV shields to protect skin against sun and other damage.
The brand also happens to be cruelty-free, making it an excellent choice for beauty babes who follow an animal-friendly lifestyle.
A potential drawback is the limited color collection. With just 12 shades available, this powder may not flatter all skin tones.
15 Give Chantecaille's Future Skin Foundation A Try
Voted by InStyle as one of 2018's Best Beauty Buys, Chantecaille's Future Skin Foundation is piquing interest in the beauty community. Described on Chantecaille as an ultra lightweight, oil-free foundation, this seems to be the miracle potion for those with a history of troubled skin.
According to Chantecaille shopper Cassandra, "Nothing has ever given me the feeling of being in my own skin and still being flawless. I have terribly dry skin and eczema on my face and this product has never irritated it, but rather concealed it with ease." The only downside— this luxury foundation runs on the pricier end of the spectrum.
14 From Blah To Oh My Gah, Glossier's Wowder Is A Winner
Glossier has developed a cult-like status in the beauty space, especially amongst brand-savvy millennials. So, when they launched a powder foundation, fans were eager to try. According to Glamour, Glossier's Wowder was created to "cut shine, blur the appearance of pores, set makeup, and look like skin."
One tester said that the product "helped me achieve that even-toned skin I've always wanted," and held up nicely over time.
One reviewer noted, "It kept me completely matte during a long day of traveling." On the flip side, this product may not give adequate coverage for oily/combination skin, although; "this powder worked wonders when I applied it under my base makeup."
13 Sunday Self Care Is Even Better With Sunday Riley The Influencer Foundation
Beauty Influencers are buzzing about this successful skincare company's foray into cosmetics. According to Allure, Sunday Riley The Influencer Foundation is the perfect solution for putting nourishment into tired, dry and dull skin. Kaleigh Fasanella— a Digital Associate Editor— claims, “I've received compliments on how amazing my skin looks when I'm wearing this foundation."
This cruelty-free line is recommended for those with redness, uneven skin tone, or oiliness, but according to several reviews on Sephora, there may still be some kinks to work out. Users who rated this product one out of five stars claimed the product was oily, too light in coverage, doesn't stay, and even caused breakouts.
12 No Need To Nix NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat
For ladies seeking an affordable option, NYX Stay Matte is the way to go. The Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation is a simple formula that can be customized based on desired coverage. Seeking something lighter? Sweep lightly over the face with a powder brush. Looking for fuller coverage? Use the sponge and pat into the face.
Some NYX users complain of fall out, but pros include affordability ($9.99 for 0.26 ounces) and staying power.
According to Ulta Shopper CandyFairey, "So far it's holding up well in the Southern summer heat and humidity and my blush and highlighter apply easily on top of it. Definitely give this a try."
11 Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation For The Win
Fenty Beauty founder Rihanna is responsible for creating 40 shades of one of the most explosive foundation lines to date. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation creates a soft matte look with buildable medium to full coverage that aims to leave skin looking like skin rather than a cakey makeup concoction.
We're loving the fresh (and inclusive!) beauty vibe! According to Joe96 a Fenty Shopper, "I would recommend this to people who want the no makeup-makeup look great for both genders imo." Hard to find any negatives in this foundation— however, some users say it doesn't match their skin or stay on very long.
10 Compact BFF With Kat Von D's Lock-It Powder Foundation
Unlock perfect glam with this pigment-packed, silky-soft formula. For the application, try a light sweep all over followed by a gentle pat over areas that need extra attention.
Reviews on Kat Von D are positive when it comes to ethics, feel, and long wear but— like other powder foundations— some users have color issues.
According to shopper Lorehorrible, "Absolutely love this foundation. It is the best kind I've ever used, and I love that it is cruelty-free. I haven't been able to re-purchase it in my shade recently, though, which worries me. I wear 42 because I am very fair, but the site and stores have been out of stock for a while."
9 It's All A Blur With Benefit’s Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation
Benefit’s Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation is a lightweight formula designed to even out skin tone and mask imperfections such as wrinkles or acne scars. It even contains shea extract for a beneficial moisturizing and smoothing effect to appeal to health-minded shoppers.
According to Allure, some beauty influencers have qualms about the range of colors (12 in total), but the team maintains that the foundation is versatile. According to Benefit master makeup artist Jose Rivera, "We tested a panel of over 500 women to carefully craft shades that are slightly more neutral to offer flexibility and stretch across a broad range of skin tones. It simplifies and makes shade matching easier."
8 Get Lush With Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation
Based on a 4.7 out of 5-star rating across more than 1,007 reviews, there's something to be said about the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation. Use the mesh sifter and the Airbuki Bamboo Powder Foundation Brush to get buildable coverage and 12-hour wear.
Many reviewers love this long-lasting vegan formula.
According to Tarte shopper Kathryn L, "I have used this foundation for years now and swear by it. It creates a very natural glow that lasts all day. Perfect for everyday wear." Only con? As for the reviews on Tarte, it may not as be effective for those with acne scars or mature skin.
7 Boast A Front Cover Look With Giorgio Armani's Power Fabric Longwear High Cover Foundation SPF 25
Giorgio Armani is one of the top names in the biz when it comes to foundation. And its Power Fabric Longwear High Cover Foundation SPF25 is designed to cover imperfections with a natural, velvet-matte finish. However, as per Sephora, this foundation is on the pricier side.
According to Linda Cantello— a Giorgio Armani Makeup Artist— "As a makeup artist, the idea of combining a long-lasting foundation with an invisible finish seemed like an oxymoron, so trying power fabric in the studio, where skin needs constant retouching under the hot lights and yet still needs to look perfect and fresh after many hours of shooting, was the perfect testing ground. I was impressed."
6 Leave Me High-End Dry With Guerlain's Lingerie De Peau Nude Powder Foundation
Create a soft-focus effect with Guerlain's Lingerie De Peau Nude Powder Foundation. This product is best suited for women with clear skin who are looking for light coverage and a matte effect. According to a Sephora research study, "97% of women reported complexion appears even and 90% of women reported complexion appears corrected" from using this foundation.
Complement a fresh face with bronzer, blush, and pretty lip color to give a gorgeous glow and count on the moisture retaining formula to stay put through the day.
Too good to be true? The price point ($69 for 0.35 ounces) may deter some women who shop on a budget.
5 Hours Of Coverage With Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation is a fan favorite! According to Leah Chernikoff— an Editorial Director at Elle— "I've never been a foundation girl, but even so, I've dabbled with all types, brands, formulations, etc. My biggest complaint is that the coverage is usually too much—looking made-up is never the goal. This is super light and wears like a tinted moisturizer. I think it enhances my skin and lets it look like the best version of itself. "
Though this is a great find for some women, more selective or experienced foundation users make seek more thorough coverage. To each their own!
4 Keep It Classic With Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Foundation Primer
Laura Mercier is known for classic beauty. According to Sephora, Mercier believes a foundation's true purpose is to even out skin so it looks its best.
Mercier's line's Smooth Finish Foundation Primer is oil-free, lightweight, and can be applied wet or dry for custom coverage and a matte or natural finish.
This foundation can also help reduce shine and visibly reduce the appearance of lines and pores. Of those who did not like the product, the consensus was that the product was not the best for people with oily skin. As per Sephora shopper JulesTO59, "Pros: lots of shades to choose from Cons: no coverage, cakes on after a while, accentuates pores..."
3 The Clouds Will Part With Milk Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30
According to Elle, the Milk Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30 is preservative-free and hydrates skin with a blend of avocado, mandarin, grape, and olive oils. This sheer, buildable coverage is talc-free, vegan, and cruelty-free while providing SPF coverage for the face.
Sounds lovely, but Milk Shopper Jane believes the product is not worth the cost; “I used for special occasions but maybe the 3 time I went to go use it no product would come out. I spent 42 dollars to use it 2 times! Overall I was really disappointed.” Ugh, nothing worse than that! Always a new foundation to try for next time.
2 Bare Minerals Gives Us The Bare Necessities
BareMinerals is one of the most well-known brands when it comes to powder foundation. As per Allure, the BAREPRO Performance Wear Foundation comes in 30 shades, is made up of 90 percent vitamins and minerals, and can last up to 12 hours!
BareMinerals is perfect for rosé all day or a busy morning at the office.
Though some love the smooth compact, others may prefer the loose powder version as it gives a better visual of the amount of product being used. This foundation is designed to give a matte finishes, so girls who prefer a dewy glow may want to go with something else.
1 Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Is For Keeps
As per Elle, this creamy formula will cover any and all imperfections. For a polished, airbrushed look, the Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 35 is the way to go. This foundation lasts up to 16 hours in all conditions while projecting a luminous finish with correcting properties.
According to Macy’s, the skin’s texture will be 94 percent perfectly mattified, as well as refined and improved by the Poreless Effect skincare essence after regular use (major perk). Some women may find the full coverage and fluid formula too heavy for everyday use, so maybe this product should be saved for occasions that call for full-on glam!