Foundations: It’s likely there are more bottles than faces for them to cover. And, while all those choices may seem to make your decision easier when picking your best option, it can actually make things a heck of a lot more confusing. Not all foundations are created equal, but where do you even start when it comes to finding what’s right for you?
Consider us your face-makeup guinea pigs. We’ve done the legwork and come out on the other side with a list of foundations worthy of the Makeup Hall of Fame. These aren’t necessarily the new kids in the makeup aisle, but they’re the bottles we rely on time and time again — and some of our editors’ absolute top picks.
Click through to find our favorite foundations of the bunch. It may just be that your new go-to is hiding somewhere in the pages ahead.
A color corrector and a foundation – all (literally) baked into one swirly, non-irritating formula? Okay, we’ll bite.
Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation, $33, available at Nordstrom.
This compact may be shiny, but the powder within will ensure that your face isn’t.
Pur 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15, $29.50, available at Ulta Beauty.
This easy-to-use stick comes in over 20 shades and goes on like butter.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation, $25, available at Sephora.
The words “matte” and “hydrating” may sound like oxymorons when paired, but this tinted moisturizer proves it’s possible to have both. The mousse-like texture glides onto the skin effortlessly — and leaves our complexions soft, even, and shine-free.
Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, $40, available at Nordstrom.
This tinted moisturizer makes your beauty routine way easier, so you can hit the snooze button approximately two extra times in the morning. It blends right in and covers minor scratches, blemishes, and dark spots — no concealer necessary — while leaving your skin looking like skin.
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, $29.50, available at Sephora.
Finally, a glow-inducing foundation that lets freckles show through, provides sun protection, and blends seamlessly. We give this one an enthusiastic A+.
Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation, $45, available at Charlotte Tilbury.
Your new favorite fall/winter foundation is here. This full-coverage, creamy base offers all-day hydration and comes in 25 shades, so every skin tone is covered.
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15, $39, available at Sephora.
Cushion foundations are portable, so you can get the dewy skin finish they deliver at all hours of the day, no matter where you are. Pat this light formula where needed for medium coverage and a healthy glow.
Loréal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation, $16.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
This foundation delivers a skin-like finish we swear by, plus it’s oil-free. While it’s listed as full coverage, it never feels heavy and can be easily thinned out with a dab of moisturizer.
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation, $39, available at Sephora.
This is one of the only stick foundations we’ve tried that manages to provide heavy-duty coverage without looking cakey on the skin.
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, $46, available at Sephora.
Although this CC cream isn’t technically a foundation, it can definitely replace your cover-up. The creamy formula offers medium-to-full coverage and leaves a dewy glow on the skin.
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+, $38, available at It Cosmetics.
Bobbi Brown’s foundation gives you lightweight coverage that is still buildable, with the added bonus of SPF. Plus, because it’s water-based, it’s extra-hydrating so it won’t cake on your skin.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation, $50, available at Sephora.
Shiseido’s brand-new Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation provides lightweight, buildable coverage while enhancing skin’s clarity. Plus, the product combines mother-of-thyme and St. John’s Wort extracts to prevent skin roughness and damage from oxidation.
Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation, $45, available at Shiseido.
If a dewy finish isn’t for you, then you’ve come to the right place. This matte formula sets to a smooth, velvety finish that won’t cling to dry patches or blemishes. A tinted moisturizer with SPF that’s hydrating and free of oil? Yeah, we can hardly believe it, either.
NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $44, available at NARS.
This luminous foundation from L’Oreal is made with 40% water, so it’s great at hydrating your skin. And, with the added antioxidants and vitamins, it not only provides lightweight coverage but helps to improve skin’s clarity and tone.
L’Oréal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup, $12.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
This oil-free foundation from Dior provides long-lasting coverage with an SPF of 30 (and it doesn’t have that sun-protection smell or heavy feel). Plus it’s lightweight, yet leaves skin looking flawless.
Dior Diorskin Forever Perfect Makeup Broad Spectrum 35, $50, available at Sephora.
The beloved foundation from Yves Saint Laurent has been upgraded into an “anti-fatigue” formula to help energize skin by stimulating circulation. So, not only do you get great coverage, but you’ll also have bright and luminous skin.
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation, $58, available at Sephora.
This lightweight foundation from Urban Decay’s Naked line, of course, feels just like your skin — and allows you to build and build on it without that cakey feel. Plus, the formula uses light-diffusing properties to blur any imperfections into a gorgeous, demi-matte finish.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup, $40, available at Urban Decay.
Koh Gen Do’s mineral foundation is created with botanical emollients and extracts, thus making it both conditioning and weightless at the same time. While many mineral products can be on the drying side, this one has the perfect balance of water to give you extra hydration and that subtle, dewy finish.
Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation, $62, available at Sephora.
While yes, Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation is a bit of a splurge, you get your bang for your buck with this buildable-coverage base. The lightweight liquid truly does feel like silk on your skin, providing a sheer, weightless coverage that you can easily control and build up.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $62, available at Nordstrom.
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This foundation scores major points in the wear department — whether you’re oily-skinned or on the drier side. It feels ultra-light and breathable on the skin, while still offering superb coverage. There’s no slip-and-slide, no caking, just a beautiful, seamless finish.
No7, $15.99, available at Target
Make Up For Ever’s cult-favorite foundation is a winner because of its natural-looking finish. It’s perfect for those up-close selfies, because it keeps your skin looking like actual skin.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, $43, available at Sephora.
The price tag isn’t the only thing going for Revlon’s Nearly Naked foundation. The shade range is incredibly realistic and inclusive, which can sometimes be a difficult find in the world of cosmetics.
Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation, $7.94, available at Walmart.
Don’t let the word “glow” in its name fool you. One layer of this creamy foundation blurs imperfections and offers a lit-from-within radiance that never looks greasy.
L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation, $12.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Laura Mercier’s foundation has one of the easiest applications on the market. It evens skin tone, helping you achieve an overall glow.
Laura Mercier Silk Crème Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation, $48, available at Sephora.
For an insanely radiant complexion, look no further than Chanel. This moisture-rich formula targets dry patches to give you an all-over, even base.
Chanel Vitalumière Fluid Makeup, $60, available at Nordstrom.
The real winner here is the range of colors that FitMe provides. It’s light-coverage, so it doesn’t look caked on, making it a top-notch foundation 365 days a year.
Maybelline Fit Me Dewey + Smooth Foundation, $7.99, available at Ulta.
Our beauty director loves how this foundation works with — not against — her oily skin. Hourglass’ formula strikes a balance between matte and dewy, which is no easy feat.
Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, $55, available at Sephora.
This cult classic not only lasts all day, but it also evens out skin tone. One of our staffers loves it because its coverage still lets her freckles show through — which is a bonus with any foundation.
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Wear & Comfort Foundation, $46.50, available at Macy’s.
Cream-foundation haters, prepare to meet your match. ByTerry’s bottle smooths on without feeling heavy, leaving you with a magically radiant complexion.
By Terry TerryBly Densiliss Wrinkle Control Serum Foundation, $115, available at Beauty.com.
Since this is a loose powder, it goes on super light and even, making it perfect for foundation newbies. Plus, it’s got an SPF, which (if you’re in a rush) means you’ve got one less thing to worry about.
BareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15, available at Ulta.
This miracle bottle somehow offers full coverage while still being incredibly light. It also infuses your skin with a dewy glow — without looking greasy.
Philosophy Hope In A Jar Foundation, $39, available at Ulta.
Another winner when it comes to color choices. Plus, Marc Jacobs’ formula is buildable, so you can wear it all year.
Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Oil-Free Foundation, $48, available at Sephora.
The ultimate in lazy-girl beauty. CK One’s makeup contains a foundation, primer, and serum, so you can slap it on and walk out the door.
CK One 3-in-1 Face Makeup, $30, available at Ulta.
If you have an innate fear of heavy foundations, reach for Clinique. It goes on smoothly, is never thick or cakey, and gives skin an even appearance.
Clinique Superbalanced Makeup Foundation, $24, available at Macy’s.
NARS’ foundation offers full coverage without feeling like a full-coverage foundation. Instead, you get makeup that covers up but doesn’t feel like you’re wearing makeup at all.
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, $45, available at NARS.
The dog days of summer are no match for Estée Lauder. This light formula stays in place all day — no melting and slipping.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup, $38, available at Nordstrom.
A pea-sized amount of NARS’ tinted moisturizer covers discoloration and leaves a radiant — but never greasy — finish on the skin.
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, $44, available at Sephora.
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