The Best Foundations For Every Skin Type


When it comes to foundation, trial and error is something you want to avoid. If you’re covering your face in something—hell, even if you’re just spot concealing with the stuff—you want to make sure it’s going to wear well, not going to break you out, and maybe even fix any so-called “problem areas.” Which is why we’ve put together our most comprehensive list of the best foundations, upated for 2016. Reviews are sourced from the people who know: you! You gave us 250 recommendations a few years go, plus more in every story we publish. So not only did we want to give you a list, but we wanted to tell you why everyone loves them so much. Now you don’t have to search for them. Bookmark this page for future reference.

Best for everyday foundation users: Armani Maestro
“It literally just melts into your skin and doesn't feel cake-y at all. I can't use anything else now.”

“If you want a glow without looking orange, or you're desperate to look like you have even skin without looking unreal...this is it.”

“Light coverage, isn't oily, and it blends so easily that it takes about a minute to apply, tops—which is nice, as a person with a small child.”

“I have combo skin and it gives a beautiful, flawless finish.”

Best buildable coverage: Lancôme Miracle Cushion
“No creases, no cracks, nothing.”

“It’s basically everything people love about a BB and a CC cream, but with more perks.”

“It’s super sheer, but the coverage is insane to the point where I don't need concealer with it. I use my fingers and put it on my red areas around my cheeks, nose, eyes, and on any spots on my forehead.”

Best foundation with skincare benefits: Chanel Vitalumière
“Moisturizing but not oily, and it gives skin a beautiful glow without appearing ‘shiny.’ The shade selection is phenomenal.”

“Gives you flawless skin that is the perfect matte for photos, and lasts all day.”

“The only product that has helped with my oily skin. Evens out my skin tone and doesn't cause me to break out.”

“Evens without causing flakiness on my dry, sensitive skin, and has the perfect amount of coverage. In warmer weather, I only put it on my T-zone and the tops of my cheekbones for a mattifying, perfecting effect.”

Best for acne-prone skin: Laura Mercier Silk Crème
“The coverage is about as close to perfect as you can get. I find the best way to apply is start with a primer and then dab on the tiniest dots, starting in the middle of my face, around my nose, chin, etc. Using a clean Sephora Platinum Foundation brush, I gently start buffing the foundation into my skin. I kid you not, it's like someone is sweeping a Photoshop wand across your face.”

“My lifeline for the past three years. I have combination/acne-prone skin, which needs coverage, but of course I still want it to look like skin, and fortunately this foundation delivers on both counts.”

“Laura Mercier allllllll the way for fair, sensitive, and acne-prone skin.”

Best drugstore option: Bourjois Healthy Mix
“You can't see it on your skin and it doesn't settle into pores or fine lines, plus it's packed with antioxidants! Semi-matte finish and a reasonable price tag.”

“It makes my dry skin look glowing and it smells really good!”

“I've heard it's made by Chanel so I checked the addresses on the bottles and they're the same!”

Best 2-in-1: Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer
“I'm usually wary of foundations that tell you that they'll fix things about your skin, but I have noticed a bit of a change in my skin tone at the end-of-day wash off. Clinique is basically the bomb; I don't know why I didn't take my grandma's advice until now.”

“So hard to find a good color match for pale skin, but so far this is probably the best I've tried in terms of looking normal and not too orange or pink or yellow. And it evens out redness without feeling heavy.”

“Good for sensitive skin and doesn't make me break out. Plus, good coverage and not too heavy.”

Best lightweight formula: Diorskin Nude Air Serum De Teint
“You can layer for coverage or mix it with a bit of moisturizer for a sheer look. It’s ridiculously comfortable.”

“Lovely, natural finish with a bit of glow and a bit of velvet.”

“Can easily be built up without looking heavy. It covers pigmentation, but my skin still shows through. Makes my skin glow without looking shiny or glittery and it does not settle into fine lines. I'm on my second bottle now and I think this is the first time I have ever purchased the same foundation twice.”

Best shade range: Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover
“Has coverage, but still sheer so you look like you have really good skin.”

“The only foundation I've found that matches my skin EXACTLY. It's awesome. It goes on like a dream and no one can tell I have foundation on.”

“The be-all, end-all. It looks like my skin, only better. It's also buildable—I haven't used concealer since I started using MUFE foundation a couple of years ago.”

“Covers every blemish and makes my skin look flawless in pictures (which is good, you know, for posterity!).”

Best Brightening: Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
“Blends seamlessly with my skin, provides sheer-to-medium coverage, and photographs so beautifully. I've repurchased at least four times.”

“Provides great coverage and gives skin a beautiful glow. Love it.”

“So easy to apply sparingly just where you need it, or build it up for fuller coverage. It's very glowy and moist, too.”

“Feels so nice against the skin.”

Easiest to apply: Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Tinted Balm
“Coverage without covering. It doesn't hide my skin at all, but let me assure you that it perfects it.”

“Takes zero effort to apply and comes in a very chic tube.”

“Flawless coverage and the range of shades is amazing.”

Photo by Elizabeth Brockway.