A solid foundation is the foundation (pun intended) of any great makeup look. “The purpose of foundation is to even out your complexion, enhance your skin tone, and minimize any skin concerns,” explains celebrity makeup artist Alexx Mayo. It's meant to enhance your natural beauty, he says, and there are many different types that can help you do just that—think full-coverage liquids, sheer powder formulas, creamy sticks, and more.
With hundreds of options on the market, it can be hard to figure out which one is best for you. After all, everyone has different skin types, needs, and preferences. So, we’re sharing a comprehensive list of the best ones out there in order to help you find your perfect match. At Byrdie, we’ve put nearly 100 foundations to the test in The Lab and at home in the real world, evaluating each one based on its formula, application, wear, finish, shade range, and feel on the skin. From lightweight liquids to full-glam options and more, we’re sharing the foundations that have outperformed the competition.
Keep reading to find the best foundations tested by Byrdie.
Those with acne-prone skin know that finding a foundation that both covers breakouts while not exacerbating them or clogging pores can be tricky. Off the bat, we love that this formula contains salicylic acid, an acne-fighting ingredient that also exfoliates and removes excess oil. But in addition to the thoughtful formula that was created specifically for those dealing with acne, we were impressed by how well it performed during our test. It has a creamy, lightweight texture that blends out well with a brush and a sponge, and it provides full coverage in just one layer. One layer completely camouflages redness and dark spots without looking heavy or makeup-y on the skin. It didn’t emphasize texture or settle into fine lines, and it did a nice job of smoothing the appearance of blemishes.
We loved everything about this foundation except for the shade range which lacks options for deep and dark and could use more options generally across the spectrum of skin tones.
Of course, this liquid foundation is excellent for people with acne prone skin, though it’s also great for people with hyperpigmentation or an uneven skin tone thanks to the excellent coverage. We also appreciate that it’s suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin.