6 Bestselling Foundations Put to the Test

Light, heavy, sheer... This is everything you need to know about foundation.

By: Noah Lehava
Photography: Jake Rosenberg

If we were to list out the beauty products that most important to us, foundation would fall somewhere between SPF and mascara—a.k.a. very important. Ask any makeup artist and they'll say it's so (exhibit a) here; and b) here). In the pursuit of the perfect complexion, we took the most highly-rated, OG foundations and beauty blended/brushed/smeared them on to see how they stacked up in terms of sheerness, coverage, and overall amazingness. Let's talk about it.

Let's Get Started, Shall We?

Meagan Wilson: I wear foundation pretty much everyday—I always have. I feel like lately everybody is shitting on foundation. Everybody is like, it’s so bad, it’s so scary, I don’t know how to apply it. Do you get that?

Noah Lehava: Yeah, but I can’t not wear foundation. I try to change it depending on the season and how my skin feels—even day-to-day. If I feel like my skin is more greasy, I can go to a foundation that has a little bit more of a matte, powdery finish. Whereas other days, if my skin is dry and it’s hot out or something, then I’ll use something light. I change it all the time. I also mix them together.

MW: Yeah, I mix mine with BB Cream to cut it.

Alicia Cesaro: I can’t wear foundation. I’m scared of it. I just do concealer.

Emily Ramshaw: Sometimes I put on foundation and I’m scared by how one color I am, so I’ll add blush or bronzer because it looks pretty unnatural. But otherwise, if I don’t wear foundation, I feel like my skin is a million different colours. But I’m the same as Noah; I switch what I use every other day. More often than not, especially in the summer, I’ll just use BB cream and in the winter I wear foundation.

NL: You know how I find out which foundation I like the most? It’s the one that I pack for travel. Because you're limited on space, so you can’t pack more than one—you’ve got to chose.

 

 

1.

NARS Luminous Foundation

MW: I tried the NARS and it's so lightweight—I usually like a really creamy one. It was buildable—you can pick if you want it to be really sheer or a lot of coverage. I did find that the staying power was great, which was kind of crazy to me, considering how light it is.  I liked that you can make it super natural, and it was easy to apply. The shade was good, I appreciate that it’s casper-y enough for my skin.

AC: I also tried the NARS one, and I found that it was really fluid as well—it was a good first foundation for me because I didn’t feel like I was putting on a mask.  But I also found by the end of the day I felt like I didn’t have any makeup on.

VERDICT: Light and buildable—a.k.a perfect for that no makeup makeup thing. 

 

2.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

NL: I really liked it. I love the texture—I thought it was super silky and easy to apply. It really felt like I wasn’t wearing anything, but was enough to cover up at least a little bit.

ER: Yeah, I agree. I really liked it. It was light. I wouldn’t use it if I needed a ton of coverage, again, but it gave me an even skintone, which was nice. And it’s light enough that you can use it in the corners of your eyes and it doesn’t gather.

AC: Do you guys think it lived up to it’s hype?

ER: I think it’s a really good go-to. When I was using it—I liked it a lot and I was traveling with it. I used it for a month non-stop and when I needed more coverage I would just add another layer and it didn’t look bad. It didn’t look cakey, it just was more coverage.

 VERDICT: The OG is *that* for a reason.

 

3. 

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation 

ER: I actually used it this morning because my skin is terrible right now and I like it for that. Because first of all, it stays on your skin—and when you layer concealer on top it sticks.

MW: It’s so hardcore, it's great. I used my Beauty Blender to make it a little more sheer and I really like it.

VERDICT: Kardashian-level coverage in the best way.

 

 

4. 

Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation 

NL: The thing with the Kat Von D one is it was slightly too light for my skintone but I gave it a chance anyways. But it’s heavy coverage, especially because I have dry skin.

AC: I loved the Kat Von D.

MW: That makes no sense [laughs].

AC: But! I cheated and I used it as a concealer. I tried to put it all over my face for the sake of the story, but it was too much. So then I was like, wait, maybe I can use this as a concealer. I need something that’s more heavy duty, and a lot of concealers don’t do that for me, so I’ve come to find that if I get a really heavy duty foundation I can just dab it on the spot, use a beauty blender, and it stays really well. This one was amazing for me. If I had scars, acne, sun spots, and it would cover it up all day. I’m addicted to it now and I use it almost everyday, but I only put it where I need it.

VERDICT: Peak coverage! 

 

 

5. 

CHANEL Vitalumière

NL: I tried it this morning and I love it.

MW: Your skin looks really good.

NL: Does it? Thanks! This one has really nice coverage. I like foundation that leaves you a little bit more glowy than matte and I found that this one does that. It’s sheer, feels like it’s moisturizing and not drying out your skin. It’s lightweight. I mean, we’ll see but I think it’s going to last the day. And it was just easy to blend—the texture was really nice. So I’m definitely going to use that.

AC: Yeah, I also tried the CHANEL and it was my favorite out of all of them for a foundation. If I was ever going to use one or if I ever needed it for an event, I would definitely use the CHANEL.


VERDICT: French glow in a bottle. As in, get it RN. 

 

6.

Maybelline FitMe Foundation

MW: Okay. It’s crazy how good it is. First of all, the shades are great. Normally drugstore foundations are always orange, but this was perfect. It was so good, it lasts all day—it’s like the perfect consistency. It’s not too watery but it’s not too hardcore creamy. I don’t know, I just really liked it.

NL: I’ve always really liked Maybelline foundation, too. I’ve used it throughout life and it’s so good because it’s like $15 bucks or something.

VERDICT: Best drugstore buy hands down. 

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