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15 Best Foundations for 2023

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Choosing a foundation means sifting through all kinds of fabulous options. Powders, creams, liquids, even stick formulas are all different forms of foundation. Beyond that, you’ll have your choice of everything from sheer coverage to full coverage, which is great for blemishes. The type of finish is another big consideration because you can choose a foundation with a glowy look or one that’s more natural-looking. 

When setting out to find the perfect foundation, you’ll also want to consider your skin type and any specific needs you may have. If all of this sounds overwhelming, we hear you — and we’ve got your back with this list of the best makeup foundations.

Best foundations overview:

How we chose the best foundations

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including finish, coverage, shade ranges, and more, to create a short list of the top makeup foundations. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best foundation for each category.

Our picks for the best makeup foundations

Best overall
Too Faced Born This Way Flawless Coverage Natural Finish Foundation

What we love

  • 35 shade choices
  • Natural finish
  • Buildable coverage

What we don’t love

  • Feels heavy
  • May crease

Overall, our pick for the best foundation goes to Too Faced’s Born This Way. This foundation offers 35 shades for easier matching and provides a natural finish. Some reviewers noted the makeup may crease after several hours of wear and feels a bit heavy. However, you can build up the coverage as much (or as little) as you’d like. So you can always start with just a bit of foundation and use it as a medium coverage option. If you’d like more coverage, simply add a little more to build your perfect foundation. 

It’s a non-comedogenic, oil-free pick, so it won’t contribute to acne. Feel free to take plenty of selfies, too, since this product provides photo-friendly coverage with no flashbacks. As if that weren’t enough, it contains coconut water and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moisturized.

Finish: Natural | Coverage: Medium to full | Shade range: 35 | SPF: No | Size: 0.45 oz

Best budget
Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation Dewy

What we love

  • Low price
  • Buildable coverage
  • Gluten-free

What we don’t love

  • Limited range of shades
  • Not ideal for oily skin

It’s hard to beat the low price of this foundation. For under $7, it lends your skin a beautiful dewy glow with medium coverage. Plus, you can build up the coverage if you’d like, allowing you to customize your look for the day. The shade range could definitely be more extensive and is particularly suited for normal to dry skin, but it’s gluten-free and a beauty steal that even minimizes the look of pores.

Finish: Glowy | Coverage: Medium to full | Shade range: 20 | SPF: No | Size: 0.95 oz

Best splurge
La Prairie Switzerland Skin Caviar Complexion Concealer Foundation Sunscreen SPF 15

What we love

  • Firms skin
  • Full coverage
  • Glowy finish

What we don’t love

  • Limited number of shades
  • Concealer shade may not be what you need
  • Expensive

Treat yourself to this splurge-worthy glowy foundation with SPF 15. Though the 13 shades are quite limited, the foundation provides full coverage while assisting your skin with firmness and elasticity. Plus, it comes with a concealer for a super convenient duo. Be cautious, however, as the concealer may not match perfectly for your coverage needs, depending on your skin tone.

Finish: Glowy | Coverage: Full | Shade range: 13 | SPF: 15 | Size: 1 oz

Best shade choices
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

What we love

  • Absorbs oil
  • Resists sweat and humidity
  • Non-comedogenic

What we don’t love

  • Not ideal for dry skin

With a whopping 59 shades to choose from, this is an excellent foundation for those with oily skin. It’s not ideal for dry skin, but if you tend to have excess oil, this foundation will help absorb it. It’s also non-comedogenic and even resists sweat and humidity. Build your coverage from medium to full and enjoy the beautiful matte finish all day long.

Finish: Matte | Coverage: Medium to full | Shade range: 57 | SPF: No | Size: 1.08 oz

Best anti-aging
Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless

What we love

  • Hydrating
  • Plumps skin
  • Reduces the look of wrinkles

What we don’t love

  • Limited shade range
  • May feel heavy

This glowy foundation contains both hyaluronic acid and vitamin C for hydration and anti-aging benefits that minimize the look of wrinkles. The shade choices are a bit limited; however, your skin will look nice and plump. Choose whether you want sheer or full coverage with this buildable foundation — just know that using it as a full-coverage foundation may cause it to feel heavy.

Finish: Glowy | Coverage: Sheer to full | Shade range: 18 | SPF: No | Size: 1 oz

Best flawless
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation

What we love

  • Blurs pores
  • Smoothes the look of skin
  • Anti-aging benefits

What we don’t love

  • Works best with the brand’s Magic Cream

When you want a flawless look, reach for this foundation from Charlotte Tilbury. It’s anti-aging, thanks to the brand’s Replexium, which is used in its serum and cuts back on wrinkles. But ideally, you should use the brand’s Magic Cream first.

This foundation boosts hydration and refreshes the skin while resisting sweat or humidity. Plus, it contains peptides to fight back against pollution. The lovely natural matte finish and full coverage make this our favorite flawless foundation.

Finish: Natural matte | Coverage: Full | Shade range: 43 | SPF: No | Size: 1 oz

Best skin-improving
Kosas Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation SPF 25

What we love

  • Hydrates and soothes skin
  • Brightens skin
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores

What we don’t love

  • Thick formula
  • Can be tough to blend

Multitasking is a huge help on those busy mornings, so this is the best foundation when you want medium coverage that also improves your skin. As the name implies, the foundation hydrates and soothes skin while brightening it and minimizing the appearance of pores — thanks to ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, niacinamide, and squalane. Though the SPF formula is a little thick and can be a bit tougher to blend fully, it brings in a slight glow to start your day.

Finish: Glowy | Coverage: Medium | Shade range: 36 | SPF: 25 | Size: 1 oz

Best for redness
NARS Light Reflecting Foundation

What we love

  • Reduces redness
  • Protects against blue light
  • Made without parabens and phthalates

What we don’t love

  • High price

Redness and dull skin appearance are no match for this natural finish, medium-coverage foundation. Biomimetic oat boosts skin clarity while minimizing redness. The foundation reduces the impact of blue light on the skin, and it’s made without parabens, phthalates, and other potentially harmful ingredients. It’s a bit more expensive than the other foundations on our list, but it’s worth it for its many benefits.

Finish: Natural | Coverage: Medium | Shade range: 36 | SPF: No | Size: 1 oz

Best smoothing
Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation

What we love

  • Smoothes skin
  • Streak-free
  • Includes vitamin E

What we don’t love

  • Can feel heavy

This foundation lends a smoother look to your skin by reducing the appearance of pores. Some reviewers said it can feel heavy or “cakey,” but keep in mind that it allows for buildable coverage, so you can scale it back for a lighter feel. It goes on streak-free for a flawless look, and vitamin E is sprinkled in for an anti-aging bonus.

Finish: Matte | Coverage: Medium to full | Shade range: 50 | SPF: No | Size: 1 fl oz

Best sheer
Glossier. Perfecting Skin Tint

What we love

  • Minimizes the look of pores
  • Brightens
  • Breathable

What we don’t love

  • Limited shade range
  • Provides very subtle coverage

If you want just a hint of color, check out the Perfecting Skin Tint from Glossier. Know that it’s not designed to cover any blemishes and only offers 12 shades, though its sheer formula is super thin and breathable. The tint even moisturizes your skin while brightening it and reducing the appearance of pores. It’s a win-win-win.

Finish: Natural | Coverage: Sheer | Shade range: 12 | SPF: No | Size: 1 fl oz

Best lightweight
IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Brightening Glow Serum

What we love

  • Evens skin tone
  • Brightens skin
  • Serum-foundation combo

What we don’t love

  • Doesn’t last as long as other foundations
  • May be too glowy for some

Want to simplify your skincare routine by combining a medium, lightweight foundation with a brightening serum? IT Cosmetics has already done it for you. This glowy foundation-serum combo works to even your skin tone and texture while brightening it at the same time. 

Depending on your preferences, the glow may be too noticeable for you and you’ll notice that it’s not the longest-lasting foundation out there. But a simplified morning routine and beautiful lightweight formula make it a must-have.

Finish: Glowy | Coverage: Medium | Shade range: 22 | SPF: 40 | Size: 1.08 oz

Best powder
BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation

What we love

  • Contains only 5 ingredients
  • Buildable coverage
  • Great for travel

What we don’t love

  • Can be messy
  • May settle into fine lines

Powder foundations can be a little messier than liquids, but this foundation is the perfect pick for a natural look. Using it as a full coverage foundation may mean it settles into fine lines, but you can easily customize your coverage, thanks to the buildable powder formula. Plus, it’s great for stashing in your duffle bag when you fly. We also love that it contains just five ingredients, all of which are vegan.

Finish: Natural | Coverage: Sheer to full | Shade range: 30 | SPF: No | Size: 0.28 oz

Best longwear
L’Oréal Paris 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation

What we love

  • Lightweight
  • Lasts up to 24 hours
  • Easily found at local drugstores

What we don’t love

  • Scent may not appeal to everyone
  • Can be tough to achieve full coverage

This foundation is lightweight, provides a natural finish, and lasts up to 24 hours. Though its scented formula may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’ll take you from desk to date night, thanks to its longwearing power.

You can easily snag this foundation at many local drugstores, and it offers medium coverage that’s slightly buildable. Use caution, though, as it can be tough to use as a full coverage option to cover a blemish or two.

Finish: Natural | Coverage: Medium | Shade range: 30 | SPF: 25 | Size: N/A

Best natural
NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

What we love

  • Lasts up to 16 hours
  • Lightweight formula
  • Oil-free

What we don’t love

  • May not be suitable for combination skin

Enjoy up to 16 hours of wear from this lightweight, natural finish foundation. Start with medium coverage, and add a little more if you want to build it up to full. It’s better suited for those with normal to oily skin, so keep that in mind if you tend to have dry or combination skin. The oil-free formula is noncomedogenic, so it won’t contribute to acne.

Finish: Natural | Coverage: Medium to full | Shade range: 34 | SPF: No | Size: 1 oz

Best stick
Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Skin Finish Buildable Coverage Foundation Stick

What we love

  • Convenient for on-the-go touch-ups
  • Creamy feel
  • Waterproof

What we don’t love

  • Feels like it sits on top of the skin
  • Some may find it drying

For mess-free makeup, try out this natural finish foundation stick. It’s waterproof, which could lead to feeling like the foundation sits on top of your skin instead of blending in. It can also feel drying, so try a bit of it first to see how your skin reacts to it. This is a particularly great option for on-the-go touch-ups since you can simply toss it into your bag with no mess. The creamy formula will bring a lovely, light coverage to your makeup routine.

Finish: Natural | Coverage: Light | Shade range: 39 | SPF: No | Size: 0.44 oz

Finding a foundation your face will love

The key to finding your perfect foundation relies on several factors. There are so many great options out there, including liquids, powders, and sticks. After careful consideration, we think Too Faced’s Born This Way Flawless Coverage Natural Finish Foundation is the best foundation overall. It comes in 35 shades, creates a natural finish, and offers buildable coverage.

How to pick the right foundation for you

When selecting the best foundation, you’ll want to consider your preferred finish and coverage as well as your undertones to ensure the perfect color match. 


  • Natural. A natural finish is usually lightweight and designed to look like you’re not wearing makeup. 
  • Matte. Matte foundations can be a heavier weight, though some are nice and light. Generally, you can layer this foundation for added coverage that lasts. These finishes are typically great for oily skin.
  • Glowy. Also known as dewy, these foundations give you a beautifully radiant glow and are another lightweight pick. Glowy foundations are typically ideal for drier skin.
  • Satin. Satin (or semi-matte) finishes aren’t dewy, yet they aren’t fully matte, either. They’re great in-between options.


  • Sheer. Sheer foundations add just a dash of color to even your skin tone or lessen discoloration.
  • Light. Light coverage is similar to sheer in that it helps even out skin tone just a bit but generally won’t cover acne or other blemishes.
  • Medium. This will give you a little more coverage while still providing a natural appearance.
  • Full. This is a great option when you want to cover up any skin blemishes while creating an airbrushed look.


  • Warm undertones. Those with warm undertones have skin that leans a bit yellow/gold. In this case, you’ll want a foundation with golden or olive hues. 
  • Cool undertones. People with cool undertones will generally notice hints of pink or red. It’s helpful to pick foundations with a similar hint of pink or red.
  • Neutral undertones. Others have neutral undertones, meaning you’ll want a foundation with warm and cool colors. 


What’s the most flawless foundation? 

Matte foundations can often provide an airbrushed look. However, matte foundations tend to highlight fine lines, so you may want to opt for a dewy foundation if you have fine lines or dry skin.

What foundation matches every skin tone?

Self-adjusting foundations slightly change color when applied to the skin, and they’re meant to make it easier to find the right shade. Though they exist, they likely won’t perfectly match every skin tone. They can offer a bit of grace, though, if you feel like you’re in between shades.

Should foundation be lighter or darker than your skin?

You’ll want to match your foundation as closely as possible to your skin tone. For an anti-aging benefit, try finding a foundation that’s slightly lighter than your skin by about half a shade.