The Beauty Insider:

Your go-to guide to foundation

Looking for your perfect matchHere, we bring you the best of the best foundations, from flawless full-coverage bases through to barely-there glow givers, and everything in between. Whatever your desired finish, we’ve got you covered (quite literally).

The flawless finish 

Coverage: High 

Finish: Flawless, matte 

Number of shades: 44 
 

If you’re a beauty buff, it’s likely you’ve spotted this Charlotte Tilbury foundation cropping up on your Insta feed of late. Developed with ingredients to boost hydration and plump the skin, the highly pigmented formula delivers (ahem) flawless results that last all day. Charlotte’s top colour-matching tip: wait five minutes for the true colour to optimise when finding your shade.

The multitasker

Coverage: High 

Finish: Soft-focus, flawless

Number of shades: 32 
 

Delivering full coverage and a dewy complexion, Hourglass’s original stick foundation boasts the coverage of a concealer that can be blended out (with the brand’s brilliant densely packed buffing brush) for a soft-focus finish. The liquid formula provides the same long-lasting coverage as the stick (both are water- and sweat-proof) but feels lighter on the skin.

The #filter effect

Coverage: High 

Finish: Flawless, matte 

Number of shades: 30
 

Trust social-media mogul Huda Kattan to create a foundation that gives your skin a flawless filter effect IRL. This full-coverage formula is not messing about – it delivers a demi-matte finish that covers quite literally anything, from spots and pigmentation through to tattoos. A little goes a long way, and it’ll last through anything you throw at it.

The cult CC cream

Coverage: Medium to high 

Finish: Natural, radiant

Number of shades: 12 
 

Take it from us, once you’re introduced to this unsuspecting miracle tube, there’s no going back. This multi-tasking colour corrector (CC) cream is packed with skin-loving ingredients that hydrate, diffuse the look of wrinkles, even skin tone, minimise pores and contain SPF 50. Apply with fingers for a natural glow, or use their new foundation brush for days when you need a little extra coverage.

The all-rounder

Coverage: Medium to high 

Finish: Natural, matte

Number of shades: 67 
 

There’s a reason Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 has earned itself a die-hard following – the reliable formula lasts through thick and thin (even on the oiliest of skin), gives a smooth, flawless finish and comes in a whopping 67 shades. If you’re already a Studio Fix fan, MAC’s new stick version is perfect for on-the-go touch-ups.

The pro’s go-to

Coverage: Medium 

Finish: Natural, radiant

Number of shades: 50 
 

As the name suggests, this foundation is a firm backstage favourite among make-up artists. Why? Well, the ultra-buildable formula means you have full control of coverage – you can go from an au naturel glow to a full airbrushed finish (that still looks like skin) with ease. Plus, light-reflecting pigments give you a lit-from-within effect that looks particularly good in pictures.

The skin saviour

Coverage: Medium 

Finish: Natural, radiant

Number of shades: 23 
 

This serum-meets-foundation is made for skin that’s feeling a little lacklustre or dry. The silky formula is packed with supercharged ingredients, including lychee and bamboo extract, to kick-start the skin back to life. Stipple in with Bobbi Brown’s foundation brush for a radiant, full-coverage look – oh, and the new packaging now comes with a pump for easier application.

The brightening booster

Coverage: Light to medium 

Finish: Natural, radiant

Number of shades: 40
 

NARS’ Sheer Glow has swept up a number of awards and fans over the years thanks to its skin-boosting and brightening benefits. Perfect for those who love a bit of glow, the sheer-yet-buildable formula contains antioxidants and turmeric to hydrate and revive dull or dry skin. Think of it as the ultimate wellness green-juice shot for your skin.

The glow giver

Coverage: Light to medium 

Finish: Ultra-radiant

Number of shades: 16 
 

The ultimate for glow seekers, this illuminating foundation from Kevyn Aucoin ticks all the boxes. The sophisticated formula imparts a natural radiance without any tell-tale signs of shimmer or glitter. Apply with fingers for a sheer, dewy finish, or buff in with a brush for a more refined medium coverage.

The low-key base

Coverage: Low 

Finish: Natural, radiant

Number of shades: 3 
 

Part skincare, part make-up, Erborian CC Crème’s ultra-nourishing formula adjusts to your skin tone and provides a luminous, fresh-faced complexion (all while increasing collagen production and strengthening the skin barrier). It’s the perfect Sunday foundation; for the days you want to skip a full face of make-up but need a little something to get you out the door (brunch and yoga class, optional).

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