There are more choices than ever when it comes to foundation. Here's how to choose the best formula for the look you're going for.

By By Kate Sandoval Box

Velvety, bronze, or glowy and sheer-whatever skin effect you're after, the key is finding the right foundation. (A solid skin-perfecting primer helps too.) These next-gen formulas have you covered.

The Look You're After: Flawless But Also Completely Natural

Photo: Peter White / Getty Images

The new fluid formulas are stocked with pigments to fully hide blemishes, yet they feel and look like nothing. Built-in powders act like light diffusers that distract from imperfections, while polymers absorb oil so makeup lasts longer. "You're left with a finish that's fresh and matte enough that you don't need additional powder," says Peter Philips, the creative and image director for Dior Makeup. To apply: "I dot foundation on different areas of the face with a finger or a brush, then blend it all in with a slightly damp makeup sponge, which creates the most seamless result," says makeup artist Gita Bass, a brand ambassador for Simple Skincare.

Go for full-coverage liquids:

  • Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation ($49;
  • Dior Forever Undercover 24H Full Coverage Foundation ($52;
  • Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation ($34;

The Look You're After: Bronzed with a Healthy Vacay Vibe

Photo: Brian Dowling / Getty Images

To make skin look believably sun-kissed, apply bases in very sheer layers. First up is a tinted primer, which warms skin and fixes unevenness in one pass, says Maybelline global makeup artist Erin Parsons. Smooth it all over with your fingers, then add a second layer to cheekbones. "This time use an angled blush brush to better target the area," Parsons says. For more luminosity and to conceal blemishes, layer on a medium-coverage moisturizing foundation. It's still sheer, but it has enough pigment to hide blemishes plus hydrating ingredients for a natural dewiness. (If you decide to go for a more drastic color change, read everything you need to know about self-tanner before you swipe some on.)

Combine a bronze primer like Gigi Hadid x Maybelline New York Tinted Primer ($12; with a hydrating foundation like CoverGirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir ($9;

The Look You're After: That Just-Worked-Out-Superglow

Photo: Anthony Harvey / BFC / Getty Images

If your goal is simply to even out your complexion, you can now do it while creating a radiant finish with a new skin-care–makeup hybrid called a skin tint. "These formulas contain moisturizers for a hydrated glow but are translucent enough that they won't cover up that added dewiness," says Ashlee Glazer, a makeup artist in NYC. Apply with your fingers just as you would any skin product. Now tap on a medium-camouflage liquid foundation to any spots that need extra coverage. Then amp up your glow with a moisturizer (or a bit of Aquaphor Healing Ointment, $7; "Put it on top of your foundation for a natural, no-shimmer sheen," Parsons says. (Apply a highlighter on top for an even more intense glow.)

Try a skin tint like L'Oréal Paris Visible Lift Luminous Serum Tint ($15; or a liquid foundation like Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable Foundation ($15;


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