Skincare over makeup — that’s the mantra we’ve always lived by, and still do. But sometimes one just needs a little push, or, in this case, a magic potion to fake near-perfect skin. Admittedly, we weren’t always the greatest fans of foundation, because of the tendency of many to be rather cakey, and pore-clogging. Thankfully, the choices in the market today are increasingly sophisticated with technological advancements spelling better skincare-infused formulas, textures, and a wider range of shades. See these Sephora exclusives for proof.
Best for covert coverage: Stila Hide & Chic Fluid Foundation
Barely-there makeup will never go out of style for those of us who want to still look like ourselves — only better. The Stila Hide & Chic bags top marks for its formula; they’re created with a firming plant collagen extract, baobab seed extract to defend against skin impurities, and hydrating Irish sea formula. As its name suggests, the texture is fluid, and liquid-like. One pump delivers a sheer veil to your skin, two gives you light to medium coverage, and three gives you medium coverage. Want it to look like second skin? Shake it to activate its nutrient-filled ingredients, then rub the product between your fingers to warm it up before smoothing it onto skin. The result? Skin that looks smooth, and glowy in all the right areas.
Best for everyday: NudeStix Tinted Cover
When shopping for foundations, note that anything with the word ‘tinted’ will have a sheer finish. Vegan and cruelty-free, this is Nudestix’s first foray into foundations, although its new approach may be confusing for longtime fans, as the brand was created on the basis of easy-to-wear makeup sticks. Still, this tinted cover is foolproof enough for the time-crunched individuals and makeup newbies. Apply with your fingertips for a quick and effortless application. This imparts a gorgeous sheen while ensuring that it still feels like nothing. Botanical extracts in the formula help fight inflammation and the effects of pollution. These extracts include camellia flower, white mulberry and aloe leaf, lifting edelweiss and cranberry, and eucalyptus and peppermint as antibacterial agents. Our only gripe? It’s a tiny bottle so it doesn’t exactly give you bang for your buck.
Best high-end foundation: Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation
We’re happy to confirm that Pat McGrath certainly lives up to her reputation as a superstar makeup artist. There are 36 shades in the foundation range of her namesake brand. Impressively, the most number of shades belong to the deepest range. You can easily find a shade closest to yours as the shade range also extends to a wide variety of undertones. Texture-wise, a few drops of the buildable formula go a long way for a flawless, satin finish. Made to last through the day, it does not require a setting powder. It’s also highly nourishing for skin. A vita-serum complex boosts the natural production of hyaluronic acid and ceramides, while a Diamond Core Powder Technology helps blur skin imperfections and fine lines. To mimic the look of a radiant complexion, soft focus pigment help to scatter the illusion of light on skin. It’s flawless skin in a bottle, and worth its high price tag.
Best shade range: Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Luminous Foundation
Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) has a cult following and it’s easy to see why. Its Luminous Foundation offers a natural finish that lasts through the day, rain (quite literally, as the formula is water-resistant) and shine. This one scores top marks in our books for its largest shade range of 50, out of which 10 of these are dedicated to deep shades, 9 for tan, and the largest number of 15 attributed to the medium range. Cruelty-free and vegan, it leaves skin radiant and luminous, while gently masking blemishes and an uneven skin tone.
Best for portability and on-the-go touchups: Kat Von D Beauty Lock-it Powder Foundation
The word ‘powder’ on its name is a little misleading. This Kat Von D foundation offers the highest amount of coverage among them all. The tiny little compact is all you need to fake good skin. Use a sponge for maximum impact, or apply with a brush for a lighter finish. You won’t need a makeup primer with this one. Rice powder extract blurs blemishes, while the clay mineral of kaolin works to provide a smooth, matte finish.
Best for a cause: Zoeva Authentik Skin Natural Luminous Foundation
Rosehip oil is the magic ingredient in this Zoeva foundation. A little goes a long way with this. One pump of the creamy formula is all you need. It glides on smooth and stays budge-proof throughout the day. A total of 44 shades make up the line with undertones in a variety to cater to different skin tones. Note that when we tried it, it oxidises to make you look a shade darker, so a shade lighter that your natural skin tone might be the way to go. If you need further reason to shop this, Zoeva was created from a place of love and humanity as founder Zoe Boikou is committed to aiding charitable organisations for women, after her own family’s experience with domestic abuse.
All photos are credited to Sephora, unless otherwise stated.