A girl can’t be expected to settle down with just one foundation! I personally need a different formula based on season, event, temperature, day of the week… why limit yourself? It’s your FACE. If my skin is super dry, the last thing I want to do is shellac a heavy layer of makeup over it. And if it’s broken out, I need more coverage. Each foundation in my repertoire is a little bit different and has a different beauty perk. No matter your skin type, coverage preference, or whether you prefer matte or dewy, I’ve got you “covered” with my favorites, reviewed here.
Before we go on: Remember to get a winter foundation and a summer foundation. You don’t want a pale foundation covering your sun-kissed skin, and the reverse is true in the winter. Nobody likes a dark foundation line on your chin.
Best for “No Makeup” Look: Chanel // Offers light coverage, but even-toned, glowing skin (almost dewy if it’s weren’t matte). The formula is velvety and soft to the touch, and feels as light on your skin. A great option for those “I just look like this” days or those who prefer low maintenance makeup but still need some coverage. My go-to in summer.
Best for medium/buildable coverage , all day wear: Fenty // This is my weekday “office” foundation. It is buildable, so I can apply thin layers as needed based on how my skin in behaving. It’s more matte, but it’s not heavy. The texture is smooth and it stays on all day. Fenty offers 40+ shades, so you’re bound to find one that’s a perfect match for you. Note: It dries slightly darker after it’s been applied to your skin, so when you are testing, make sure you let it sit for a minute before you buy.
Best for full coverage, all day: Lancôme or Smashbox // For the lovers of matte skin, try either of these two options. Lancome and Smashbox provide full, long-lasting coverage for picture-perfect matte skin that looks great in photos. I like these options for a night out, weddings, or if I need to be “on” all day long. Add a light layer of powder and a setting spray for more staying power.
Best for medium coverage and dewy skin: Bobbi Brown // This one is expensive but a total dream. Go this route if you prefer a dewy, natural look. It has staying power but doesn’t settle into fine lines. The texture is light and airy. Bonus: It has SPF 30, so if you don’t like the feel of thick sunscreen on your face, you kill two birds with one, er, foundation.
Best Budget Buy/Buildable coverage: L’Oreal // I used this foundation for YEARS before switching to Smashbox, and to be honest I’m not exactly sure why I stopped using it. It stays on ALL DAY. The texture is smooth but not smothering. It builds really well too: you can apply multiple thin layers to build the level of coverage you need. I’d pay double for this formula. Good for daily wear and events, because it makes skin glow in photos.
Don’t forget brushes make a big difference in application. I recommend springing for a nice brush to maximize your makeup and extend the life of your foundation. (Sponges tend to soak up foundation, forcing you to go through it more quickly). The two I use, pictured here: Hourglass or Sephora but I also like Sephora Airbrush to blend foundation and blush.