Text by Sabrina Rinaldi

 

Over the past month, I tried, tested, and wore every single one of these foundations. I wanted to see how they performed on my less-than-perfect, normal-to-oily skin. I also tried them on the many, many models I work with on a daily basis. It took time to try and assess each product multiple times, but the results speak for themselves. Read on to find your new favourite foundation!

Thanks to Instagram and its myriad of filters, brands are pumping out long wearing, ultra-matte formulas that give you that FaceTune flawlessness in real life. These formulas are definitely not for those with dry skin or who want a minimal look. But if you’re looking for perfect skin from first sip of coffee ‘til last sip of wine, these long-lasting formulations will have you looking celeb-worthy all day long!

 

Make Up For Ever Velvet Matte Skin ($48)

What excited me the most was that MUFE also has a hydrating base to prep skin for the gorgeous matte foundation that follows. This base is the perfect amount of moisture and silkiness to ready your canvas (to be consistent with all the brands, I used this base under all the matte foundations). The Velvet Matte formula glides onto skin and lasts all day. This stand-out product comes in a 40-shade range that makes it so that there is a colour for everyone.

 

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear ($60)

This 14-shade range feels lightweight but delivers full coverage. It sets quickly, so I had to bounce that Beauty Blender along my face to efficiently blend the product into my skin. But once it was on, it lasted a full 14-hour day on set.

 

Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation ($42)

Wow, if there was ever a foundation to fill in pores and flawlessly cover imperfections, this one is it. It’s definitely the fullest coverage of all the long-wear options. For each foundation, I used a wet Beauty Blender to apply, which was definitely a key to perfectly applying this full coverage foundation. This would be ideal for those on TV, red carpet appearances, doing drag, or anyone wanting to look the epitome of flawless.

 

Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation ($60)

NARS’ take on long-wear yields an uber matte finish. The 33 shades apply creamy and set fast to deliver maximum matte realness. Unsure whether it was just my skin or if this happens universally, but I found it hard to get bronzer and blushes to grab and blend on top of the foundation. However, for those who can never be matte enough – this one’s for you.

 

Urban Decay Naked Skin ($49)

For those wanting to step into the matte skin arena but don’t want the full coverage look, you may want to give Naked Skin a try. Much like its name suggests, this goes on as a second skin. It’s light-weight in feel and pay off. The liquid formula dries to a matte finish while still giving the skin a hint of transparency that would let the cuteness of freckles show through. This is a solid option for a daily foundation.

 

Fenty Pro Filter ($42)

Riri sets the bar high with the Pro Filter foundation. This glorious, full coverage matte goes on as a creamy liquid and gives you enough time to blend before it sets into an immaculate matte finish. Let it be said that while I don’t especially love matte foundation, it certainly loves me and my oily Italian skin. These long wear formulas only get better as the day wears on and they stay strong.

 

Revlon ColorStay Full Coverage Foundation

Iconic drugstore brand Revlon steps forward with an excellent 14 shade range of their latest Colour Stay foundation. This almost-mousse-like cream foundation applies well and leaves a demi-matte finish that leaves the skin feeling supple and not dry. It gives maximum coverage that lasts.

 

Milk Makeup Blur Liquid ($48)

If you don’t know Milk Makeup, you should quickly acquaint yourself. This brand – who launched from the legendary photo studio in New York – is style plus performance in one cute little package. The Blur Liquid foundation is a testament to that. It offers a demi-matte finish that leaves skin impeccably smooth and yields a hint of creaminess to take the edge off of the extra-matte look of other brands. This, to me, makes it a stand out in its category. While not touting to be as long lasting as some other brands, this got me through an entire night of eating and crying at an Italian family wedding! Bellissima!

 

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation ($49)

This foundation is pretty much at cult status by now, and there’s good reason why: there are 35 shades in the matte/long-wear category. It applies beautifully and imparts a full coverage finish that makes you look like you were ‘born this way’, baby!

 

Too Faced Peach Perfect Foundation ($45)

The latest by Too Faced is a new way to wear matte. You still get your perfect medium coverage but with the added benefits of slight luminosity and a demi-matte finish. Don’t get me wrong – this is still 100% transfer resistant and long-wearing, it just accomplishes this goal with new technology and the added bonus of a peachy scent. Peachtastic!

 

YSL Beauty All Hours ($66)

Luxury brands are luxury for a reason, and this soft matte foundation is no exception. It’s very lightweight and imparts the most natural of matte finishes. It did a pretty good job of standing up to a long day shooting outdoors on location. The temperature was set to 32 degrees and my face was set to last.

 

Sephora Collection 10HR Wear Perfection Foundation ($25)

This is a solid formula from Sephora – straight forward and delivers on its promise. It perfected my skin and gave me hours of coverage that lasted all the way through date night.

 

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation ($50)

Charlotte Tilbury is known for her passion and dedication to the quality and performance of her products. That can definitely be seen with her Magic Foundation. Its magical blend gives way to a gorgeous semi-matte finish. It not only looks luxurious on the skin – it feels luxurious too. While it is long-wearing, it doesn’t make claim to last a magnitude of hours, but that’s ok. It’s a beautiful foundation that will work on most skin types.

 

bareMinerals Bare Pro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation ($42)

This long-wear foundation applies, blends, and stays just like its competitors but where it stands out is its naturally-derived ingredients. This product redefines how we think about full coverage long-wear. Its mineral pigments meld with skin’s natural lipids to lock in its all-day coverage. Let’s not forget it’s also made without parabens and sulphates for those with skin sensitivities.

 

Burt’s Bees Goodness Glows ($19.99)

Another brand known for their natural ingredients and good-for-your-skin products is Burt’s Bees. I absolutely loved the lighter, dewier pay off of this foundation. The meadow foam seed oil keeps skin feeling moisturized without a greasy or heavy feel. My favourite way to apply this was with my fingers, as it blended easily into my skin.

 

Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation ($38)

As always, Benefit wins me over with their cute packaging and attention to detail. Testing the Hello Happy foundation gave way to complete awe and adoration. This foundation blew my mind. It evened out my skin and applied perfectly. It then set into my skin in the most natural and undetectable of matte finishes. It proceeded to last all day without falter. For those wanting a matte long wear in a light-to-medium coverage, I highly recommend Hello Happy!

 

 

Those who travel often or live their lives on-the-go might find the idea of a liquid foundation plus Beauty Blender too cumbersome. Enter stick foundations: as simple to use as they are to carry around. These formulas are practical and functional all in one.

Nars Velvet Matte Foundation Stick ($55)

This stick foundation from NARS has a built-in sponge on one end and a creamy, matte foundation on the other. It applied easily to my face and I found blending with my fingers the best way to work it into my skin. It felt light-weight and softly matte, however slightly drying to my skin.

 

Cle de Peau Radiant Stick Foundation ($130.28)

I underestimated just how creamy and glowy a stick foundation could be. The minds behind Cle de Peau have certainly delivered with this light and dewy foundation stick. Its soft consistency blends into the skin with such little effort, making the skin feel supple and fresh. It’s definitely for those striving for a minimal look.

 

Smashbox Studio Skin Shaping Foundation Stick ($48) at Shopper’s Drug Mart

I reviewed these sticks for my highlight and contour review, but they deserve another mention. The formula comes in two shades on a double-ended stick. There’s a lighter colour and darker colour, so you can custom blend, highlight, and contour your face like a pro. I love applying multiple shades of foundation to a face to create depth and dimension. This stick allows you to do that with the added convenience of the stick format.

 

The latest from many brands comes in the format of a compact. A creamy cushion of product sits inside beautiful packaging. Quick and easy to apply, these cushions definitely have staying power.

Chanel Vitalumiere Glow Luminous Touch Foundation ($70)

When you think of Chanel, you think of sophistication. And so you should, with this foundation in a compact. It imparts the most perfect glow without being too sheer, nor too heavy. The creamy consistency is perfect and blends into the skin like butter on a hot baguette. C’est magnifique!

 

YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau ($75)

Much like the Chanel compact, this foundation is the ultimate for luxury and payoff. It’s a definite tie as both formulas are foundation perfected! Definitely worth the splurge.

 

Amore Pacific Colour Control Cushion Compact ($78) at Nordstrom

You had me at SPF 50! Anytime a brand has a serious level SPF, I take note. Suncare is of utmost priority to me, so to have the protection plus the hydrating benefits that this foundation provides makes it an enjoyable product to wear daily!

 

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense ($110)

I recently became aware of the magic that is Sulwhasoo. A fellow makeup artist raved about their skincare, and I immediately went out and bought it. Not only do I love it for myself, but I use it on the models I work with daily. So, I was excited to try their version of the cushion foundation. It did not disappoint and had the most perfect finish that was neither too heavy nor too light. Sulwhasoo, I love you!

Cream pot foundations have that old school feel but today’s formulations and technologies make it any but. Combine that with the ease of applying with a Beauty Blender and you are good to go!

Rodial Airbrush Makeup ($50) at Murale

If you have been reading my articles or following my Instagram, you will know just how much I love Rodial! This British brand is absolutely stellar in my eyes, and I am now a devoted and loyal fan. Their take on a full coverage foundation comes in a little glass jar. It is dense and highly-pigmented, allowing you the option to apply sheer or go full coverage. This product packs a punch!

 

Cle de Peau Le Fond de Teint ($343) at Nordstrom

Oh, Cle de Peau, how does everything you touch turn to gold? The packaging, the consistency, the pay off – such a flawless foundation! I used this product on set during a shoot that had me working on numerous models with different skin. The foundation transformed and highlighted their beauty without ever making them look overly made-up. J’adore!

What’s better than a dewy glow? A dewy glow that also imparts the most natural of shimmering, glowing iridescence. While I only got to try two foundations in this category, both exceeded my expectations of skin transformation. #glowup

IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better CC+ Illumination ($49)

Let it be said that the It Cosmetics CC Cream is my #1 foundation. I have been using it and recommending it for years. Last year, they arrived at Sephora. Prior to that, I had to stock up at Ulta on my US visits. Now that it is easily available, I am happy I have access to the entire line. The shimmer and glow from their illuminating CC cream are in line with their brand mentality: making skin gorgeous. The shimmer is so fine and minimal that it just adds to the overall glow. So, for those wanting to look less like a holiday ornament and more like they are just lit from within, this is your new favourite foundation.

 

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating ($56)

The tinted moisturizer from Laura Mercier has been one of my ultimate choices for that minimal “no-makeup” makeup look. No one quite does it like Laura Mercier and the illuminating version adds a shimmer and glow to their original formula. Bolder in payoff than IT Cosmetics, this is one of my new must-haves!


Let it be said, I love minimal, dewy and effortless looking skin, but it does not love me. My skin is far too oily and eats up makeup far too fast. Nevertheless, I do get to live my dewy dreams on the faces of the models I work with. These following foundations have now found a home in my makeup kit.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Shameless Youthful Look 24H Foundation ($56)

This foundation is everything you want it to be and more. Like the perfect pair of jeans, this formula hits all the right notes and is sure to make you a loyal customer.

 

Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow ($58)

Housed in beautiful glass bottles, this is one divine foundation. It worked to enhance the already flawless skin of the model I tested it on, bringing out her natural glow and radiance. It also did a pretty good job on my skin, which is quite the feat for a minimal formula.

 

YSL Touche Eclat All in One Glow ($59)

This foundation is exactly what it says: all you want in one tube. A creamy formula that covers while being natural, a finish that is neither too matte nor too dewy, all the while imparting that natural glow we all strive to achieve.

 

 If you were old enough to wear make up in the early 2000’s, you most definitely wore MAC Studiofix powder foundation. It was THE product for a reason and still stands the test of time. These two brands offer their versions of the iconic powder formula.

YSL Le Compact ($75)

This medium-to-full coverage formula applies like a traditional powder foundation. It may have needed a primer underneath, as I found it exacerbated the look of my large pores. However, those with pore-less skin may not notice this or feel the need to add a layer of primer.

 

IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation ($45)

Just when I thought I would never return to a powder formula, IT Cosmetics changed my mind with their Celebration Foundation compact. It glided over my skin and covered it in a veil of matte, powdery goodness that only improved as it blended with my natural oils.

 

 

 

 

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