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Foundation: My 18 Top Picks for Every Skin Type


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My Top Picks for Dry, Oily, Sensitive and Mature Skin From Cheap to Steep

The best foundations for all skin types

Top left: BareMinerals, Revlon, Alima and Laura Mercier

Finding the best foundation for your complexion can be tricky. Most brands come in several shades, with sometimes up to 50 to choose from. Then there are the many formulations, from powder forms, to sticks to BB creams, tinted moisturizers, tinted sunscreens and mineral powders.

There's also the question of price: Should you pay for a department store brand or can you score a great budget foundation from the drugstore?

Daunting, right?

And then there are the recommendations from friends. But what is beloved by one can be hated by another: your best friend's mineral foundation may highlight your pores, while your favorite creamy formulation may cause her to break out. 

So how to find that elusive perfect foundation? The one that evens out your skin tone, blends in seamlessly, and makes you feel like you're wearing no makeup at all. The one that's not too oily and not too cake-y.

Here are few pointers:

  • Try a few foundations in a department store or in a Sephora. I like trying before buying mainly to find the right shade.
  • If you are going the drugstore route (and yes, there are some good drugstore foundations on this list), you should consider buying from a store with a good return policy. 
  • Your skin may be darker in summer than winter, so you may have to buy a couple different shades for those seasons and blend them for spring and fall. 
  • Pick a formula based on your skin type. Look for oil-free if you have oily skin and consider powder formulations. If you have dry skin, creams are your best bet. You can always add a drop of oil to your product. Make sure you moisturize well before applying foundation. Not sure your skin type? Find out what it is in my article, How to Tell What Type of Skin You Have.

For more information about picking the perfect foundation for you, see How To Pick the Perfect Foundation Makeup.

In this slideshow, I feature 18 of the very best foundations, explain who they work for best and the pros and cons of each. These foundations are universally beloved and meet the exacting standards of reviewers on the top review sites. I try to stay away from magazine-endorsed picks because I find they are based on paid advertisements.

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