And we take our foundations *very* seriously.
Buying a foundation can be one of the most frustrating shopping experiences (will it actually match your skin tone? Will it last more than a few hours? Will it make you look like a cake-y mess?), which is not to mention the steep price tag of testing out allllll the different formulas to find the truly great ones. You don't need that kind of stress in your life, so we've laid out our favorites for you.
Chloe Metzger, Digital Beauty Editor:
"I have super dry, flaky skin, which means virtually all foundations end up making me look like the Crypt Keeper in the middle of the Sahara. Except maybe worse. But this lightweight formula feels like a tinted moisturizer with a ton of coverage, so it neutralizes all my red spots and blotchiness, while keeping my face completely hydrated and soft. I'm seriously obsessed."
BUY IT: sephora.com.
Alexandra Engler, Associate Beauty and Health Editor:
"This melts onto skin right on contact, so application is so easy: I just make a few swipes along my T-zone, blend, and I'm ready to go. It has a fair amount of coverage, but the formula is so dewy that it never looks overdone. And it's great for people on-the-go or who travel a lot (like me) because it's a cream stick, so you don't have to worry about TSA or the bottle accidentally opening and getting all over your makeup bag."
BUY IT: nordstrom.com.
Taylore Glynn, Beauty & Health Assistant:
"I shy away from heavy options in the summer months, but still need that desk-to-drinks staying power. This gem has it all: flawless coverage that feels weightless, a satiny finish sans the shine, and it plays well with any texture I layer on top. And with SPF? More like MVP."
Jazmin Jones, Video Editor:
"I'm the type of person to apply a full face of makeup at rush hour on the subway. Liquid foundations are too messy for my commute, but Clinique's Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick really simplified my on-the-go beauty routine. I also love that it's paraben-free, the coverage is buildable, and the creamy formula blends seamlessly into my skin. Grandest Golden Neutral is my favorite because it picks up on the yellow undertones of my skin."
Danielle McNally, Digital Features Editor: "I recently switched to this foundation (my previous brand, which I used for years, was too much $$ for how little it did) and I love what a multitasker it is! I get a little bit of color and coverage, plus SPF, and protection from pollution. I usually mix in a dab of Lorac's Light Source Illuminating Highlighter, because I want to look tan and glowy without ruining my skin."
Simedar Jackson, Writer:
"Finding foundation is another beauty hangup that many women of color struggle with. Many brands don't make a wide variety of darker shades to complement the various undertones and colors present in the world. Right now, I'm in love with this liquid foundation. Black-Up is a makeup brand founded in Paris which works to match ANY skin type to the perfect foundation. It's a little too much coverage for NYC in the summer but as the weather drops I'll be back to beating my face with it!"
Lori Keong, Assistant Digital Editor:
"I'm not a huge foundation person, so basically any low-maintenance liquid formula that will give me flawless coverage is what I'm here for. I love how easily this CC cream (with SPF 50 sun protection!) smooths over imperfections in the morning—whether that means post-shower redness or blotchy skin—and makes me feel like a glowy, poreless angel."
BUY IT: amway.com.
Jessica Pels, Digital Director:
"I love it because a *tiny* amount gives you tons of super lightweight coverage–I'm shocked every time I use it that three little dots will cover my entire face. Stays in place all day and looks natural. Ideal!"
Lauren Valenti, Beauty Editor:
"After being a powder devotee for years, I recently made the switch to liquid foundation, having discovered so many lightweight, natural-looking formulas. The only downside was not being able to do touch-ups on the go. Then, Estée Lauder ingeniously dreamed up this liquid compact, which meant I could fit their magical 'Double Wear' elixir (with its not-too-heavy matte finish) in the smallest of clutches."
BUY IT: neimanmarcus.com.
Erin Flaherty, Beauty & Health Director:
"I wear Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 as my foundation. The texture has a nice, silky slip to it and it's ever-so-slightly tinted so that I don't feel 100 percent naked, but not mask-y either. Plus it means I'm good on sunscreen before I walk out the door."
BUY IT: amazon.com.
Jennifer Goldstein, Executive Beauty & Health Editor:
"Foundation is like Spanx: You don't want to look like you're wearing it or trying too hard, but you do kind of want the benefits. And that's why I like Dior Diorskin Nude Air Serum. It's a sheer veil of pigment that evens my skin tone, but doesn't take a ton of effort to apply and has a barely-there feel."
Chelsea Peng, Assistant Digital Editor:
"No *foundation* foundation for me ever, but most days I wear Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint around my nose/between my eyebrows/on any other red areas. The diamond powder gives great glisten-y alien effects (my aesthetic), plus it's fun to splodge on the liquid-y formula with your fingers, then blend until it seeps in and magically evens everything out."
BUY IT: glossier.com.
Samantha Leal, Senior Digital Editor:
"It's the best for people who *hate* wearing foundation, but aren't born with perfect skin. It's seriously weightless and does a good job at covering and evening out skin tone while giving you a glow, but you won't feel like you just straight up covered your face with paint."