New This Month

The Best Foundation for Your Skin

We help you find your foundation match so you can update your status to #nofilter.

If you have full-coverage foundation phobia, welcome to the brave new world of better options. The latest formulas feel as light and silky as tinted moisturizer, but conceal imperfections like nobody's business. Plus, there's a dream cream for every skin type and tone. Here's how to find your match.

Foundation Master Class

1. Choose the best formula for your skin type

  • Acne-Prone

    LOOK FOR: Oil-free formulas to preempt future breakouts, a liquid consistency that looks smooth even when layered, and sebum-blotting ingredients so your makeup won’t melt off by lunchtime.

  • Dry

    LOOK FOR: Skin-plumping, nourishing ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, which hold in moisture and make foundation feel comfortable -- not tight or flaky -- on skin.

  • Lines and Dullness

    LOOK FOR: Formulations that bridge the gap between skin care and makeup -- antioxidants and vitamins are a few key ingredients that help soften lines and make skin look brighter.

  • Uneven Tone

    LOOK FOR: A highly pigmented base to camouflage dark spots (you can use a lighter touch in lighter areas), and SPF to help prevent future hyperpigmentation.

  • Red and Sensitive

    LOOK FOR: Calming additives to neutralize and prevent flare-ups, and SPF (the sun is a known rosacea trigger), with no potential irritants like fragrances or alcohol.

  • Acne-Prone

    LOOK FOR: Oil-free formulas to preempt future breakouts, a liquid consistency that looks smooth even when layered, and sebum-blotting ingredients so your makeup won’t melt off by lunchtime.

  • Uneven Tone

    LOOK FOR: A highly pigmented base to camouflage dark spots (you can use a lighter touch in lighter areas), and SPF to help prevent future hyperpigmentation.

  • Dry

    LOOK FOR: Skin-plumping, nourishing ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, which hold in moisture and make foundation feel comfortable -- not tight or flaky -- on skin.

  • Red and Sensitive

    LOOK FOR: Calming additives to neutralize and prevent flare-ups, and SPF (the sun is a known rosacea trigger), with no potential irritants like fragrances or alcohol.

  • Lines and Dullness

    LOOK FOR: Formulations that bridge the gap between skin care and makeup -- antioxidants and vitamins are a few key ingredients that help soften lines and make skin look brighter.

2. Pick Your Finish

  • MATTE
    MATTE

    With 30 shades ranging from fairest porcelain to deep cocoa, Bare Minerals Bare Pro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation SPF 20 is truly universal. $34, bareminerals.com.

  • MATTE
    MATTE

    The hyaluronic acid and tribehenin in Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation help skin retain water. $42, smashbox.com.

  • MATTE
    MATTE

    Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick SPF 21 has antiinflammatory ambora extract to mute flushed skin. $42, lancome-usa.com.

  • MATTE
    MATTE

    By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Wrinkle Control Serum Foundation contains mimetic factor, a plant active that firms facial contours. $116, barneys.com.

  • LUMINOUS
    LUMINOUS

    The gentle lemon and papaya extracts in Lorac Porefection Foundation refine skin texture so pores appear smaller. $38, lorac.com.

  • LUMINOUS
    LUMINOUS

    Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation incorporates hyaluronic acid spheres that immediately plump with water, flooding skin with moisture. $44, charlottetilbury.com.

  • LUMINOUS
    LUMINOUS

    Oatmeal, aloe, and chamomile give It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting Cream soothing powers. $32, itcosmetics.com.

  • LUMINOUS
    LUMINOUS

    The enmei herb found in Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Radiance boosts cell turnover; green tea prevents UV damage. $90, shiseido.com.

  • LUMINOUS
    LUMINOUS

    The gentle lemon and papaya extracts in Lorac Porefection Foundation refine skin texture so pores appear smaller. $38, lorac.com.

  • MATTE
    MATTE

    With 30 shades ranging from fairest porcelain to deep cocoa, Bare Minerals Bare Pro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation SPF 20 is truly universal. $34, bareminerals.com.

  • MATTE
    MATTE

    The hyaluronic acid and tribehenin in Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation help skin retain water. $42, smashbox.com.

  • LUMINOUS
    LUMINOUS

    Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation incorporates hyaluronic acid spheres that immediately plump with water, flooding skin with moisture. $44, charlottetilbury.com.

  • MATTE
    MATTE

    Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick SPF 21 has antiinflammatory ambora extract to mute flushed skin. $42, lancome-usa.com.

  • LUMINOUS
    LUMINOUS

    Oatmeal, aloe, and chamomile give It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting Cream soothing powers. $32, itcosmetics.com.

  • MATTE
    MATTE

    By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Wrinkle Control Serum Foundation contains mimetic factor, a plant active that firms facial contours. $116, barneys.com.

  • LUMINOUS
    LUMINOUS

    The enmei herb found in Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Radiance boosts cell turnover; green tea prevents UV damage. $90, shiseido.com.

3. Grab a brush

For the most even application, a foundation brush is best, says Kelli J. Bartlett, Glamsquad’s director of makeup artistry. (We like the Artis Oval 8 brush; $67, artisbrush.com.) It lays down a bit more product, but blends it in more seamlessly than fingers can.

4. Apply it right

Dab a dot of foundation onto your forehead, nose, chin, and each cheek, then blend outward, advises NYC-based makeup artist Daniel Martin. To smooth away streaks, blot with a dry makeup sponge. Last, cover any remaining spots with concealer -- though you may not need it, he says.