12 Of The Best Foundations For Every Skin Type
From sheer skin tint formulas to it-won’t-budge matte coverage, we present the best foundations for all skin types and concerns.
There’s an art (and patience) that comes with finding the right foundation. A wisely chosen base evens out the complexion, offers the right amount of coverage—according to preference—and factors in all your skin conditions. The good news is that we have seen, in recent years, a new assemblage of base options. Think foundation-serum hybrids, vegan and cruelty-free offerings and companies extending shade ranges on cult classic commodities. NARS, for example, extended the Sheer Glow range to offer 40 shades to perfect, as the name suggests, your sheer glow.
The questions that now stand: Do you prefer sheer or full coverage? Perhaps a radiant finish over demi-matte? Once you nail down your choice, there’s also the undertone to think about. Warm, cool or neutral? As most of us have varying tones in the centre and perimeter of the face, be sure to road-test a sample of the foundation you land on, in natural light, before you ‘add to cart’.
The idea is to look as natural as possible, to conceal and smooth over while achieving a candle lit-from-within glow. And whatever your preference, always remember to prep the skin with a hydrating moisturiser and to tone down any shine with setting powders. Here, we roundup the best foundations to try according to your skin type and concerns. Sometimes veering out of your comfort zone can do the trick…
Best Foundation for oily skin
Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation
Second-skin matte finishes will forever stand as the greatest accompaniment to the oily skin ode, and Dior’s Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation can attest to this sentiment. As a formula commonly used for event and wedding applications, it provides long-lasting full coverage that still feels fresh and is waterproof. Stipple the product in to give you maximum blemish correction thanks to highly concentrated pigments.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
For those who find they lean towards the dewier side naturally, Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Foundation leaves the gift of an undetectable soft-matte, shine-free finish. It feels breathable when worn (even though it’s matte!) and can easily be layered to achieve your desired amount of coverage between medium to full. If you find shade matching a challenge, Rihanna certainly delivers with an impressive 50 shades of foundation. Hot tip: with any matte foundation don’t forego a hydrating base.
Best foundation for dry skin
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation is an icon that has remained unchanged for the last 15 years. It has a creamy consistency that appears luminous and healthy while blurring pores, texture and fine lines. Inspired by charmeuse silk (aka the fabric of emperors) the foundation allows flexible coverage that sits in the medium range and nails that must-have natural finish. It’s also available in 40 shades making this luxury buy extra easy.
Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation
If you’re after skincare meets a medium, natural coverage foundation then this hybrid is for you. Including ingredients such as aloe, niacinamide and allantoin—the serum-like texture works at moisturising and soothing the skin while covering and correcting. The foundation is very lightweight that you might forget you’re wearing it and its non-comedogenic nature makes it a great choice for sensitive skin.
SHOP NOW: Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation, $89
Best foundation for full coverage
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
Too Faced’s Born This Way Foundation is a heavy hitter. This classic foundation is a best-seller that has been a favourite go-to for its full-coverage finish. The formula is oil-free and comes infused with coconut water, alpine rose and hyaluronic acid to provide sustained hydration for comfortable wear. These ingredients—along with the foundation’s semi-matte finish—work hand-in-hand so your complexion can look radiant and smooth.
SHOP NOW: Too Faced Born This Way Foundation, $75
Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation
Once you’re a Nars girl, you’re a Nars girl. Is that how the saying goes? Either way, the Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation looks untraceable on the skin, is easy to layer and lasts through a balmy night. The finish feels like velvet on the skin thanks to a satin finish that also happens to be fragrance-free. For best application use the warmth of your fingers and buff out with a dense blending brush.
Best foundation for long wear
Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation
If you’re in the market for a long-lasting foundation with a seamless finish, the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation will stop your search. It offers medium-to-full coverage that won’t move for 15-hours. For application less is more—you’ll find it to be a reliable friend.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF 10
She’s a beauty veteran! Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation is an intergenerational staple that was first released in 1997. As an oil-free, thicker consistency formulation, it appears like a natural-matte on the skin (taking you from 9 to 5 and 5 to 9). Available in a phenomenal 56 shade colour range—the formula doesn’t oxidise, lasts well in humidity and is a well trusted base choice to reach for. Essentially, the secret is in the name: stay-in-place.
Best foundation for mature skin
Shiseido Synchro Radiant Lifting Foundation
You’ll find Vera Wang in Shiseido’s Synchro Radiant Lifting Foundation when she’s on the red carpet. This camera-ready skin perfecting foundation features a blend of light-adjusting technology, radiant microcrystals and mandarin-peel extracts that will refine skin texture, reduce the look of pigmentation and smooth fine lines. Dermatologist-tested and non-comedogenic, the finish is medium-to-full coverage and radiant.
Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint
For an alternative to liquid foundation, Hourglass’ Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint is a skincare hybrid that features SPF 15 and a pro-ageing hyaluronan complex. The foundation feels more featherweight to its counterparts, plumps fine lines while deeply hydrating the skin and leaves a dewy but not greasy glow behind. If ultimate luminosity is your thing, you’ve found her.
Best foundation for sheer coverage
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
The Nars Sheer Glow Foundation is the OG sheer foundation. It offers enough coverage to naturally even out pigmentation, feels like your skin (but better) and is made complete with the addition of Nars complexion brightening formula, vitamin C, Glycerin and Turmeric. What does this mean? Essentially, when used daily, the product improves the skin’s brightness and texture over time, and hydrates alongside offering antioxidant protection. Our only qualm is that the foundation pump is sold separately.
SHOP NOW: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, $78
Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation
This foundation first made its headlining round on social media thanks to the show Euphoria. Featuring an innovative gel-cream texture, the radiant finish starts off sheer and is customisable up to a full-coverage finish. You’ll also discover that the Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation has a cocktail of soothing ingredients such as aloe, chamomile and green-tea that harmoniously work to calm and minimise any redness or irritation. It appears Euphoria didn’t just sway us on crystalised eyeshadows frosted with gems!