18 Foundations ELLE Editors Won’t Shut Up About

Ask ELLE editors what their top foundation picks are and they’ll spend a lifetime explaining why they prefer tints over full-coverage formulas, or which base blurs their most stubborn skin concerns. Simply put: ELLE editors keep the foundation market running, no-makeup makeup trends be damned.

However, we know you don’t have time to scroll through an endless list of the best foundations out there so we narrowed it down to 19. Whether you want a filter-like finish or a no-blemishes-left-behind full coverage option, shop ELLE’s favorite foundations below.

Beautiful Skin Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury

“My skin goal is to look so glowy that I glisten so hard in the sun and all my friends need sunglasses to look at me. This new foundation from Charlotte Tilbury does the trick. It’s blendable, dewy, and looks just like my skin—only better.”

— Tatjana Freund, Beauty E-Commerce Writer

Soft Matte Complete Foundation

“You know what they say: It’s always the one you least expect that swoops you off your feet. Nars’ Soft Matte Foundation has been pushed around my foundation draw for quite some time, so I decided to bring it along during my summer vacations to see what the hype was about. Every makeup look with this foundation is a hit because not only is she a team player, but she can withstand any weather, any work shift, and any naps (shhh, we’ve all been there).”

Nerisha Penrose, Beauty Commerce Editor

Even Better(TM) Makeup Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15

“I’m not big on makeup, but skincare is paramount. Clinique remains the only foundation that gives ample coverage and doesn’t cause breakouts. I’ve been using it since I was a teenager and it never disappoints.”

— Claire Stern, Digital Deputy Director

Power Play Foundation

“It’s really tricky trying to find a foundation for my more neutral undertones. Not only does this CoverFX option hit the mark, but there are so many shade options that I can even find a match after being in the sun.”

— Nykia Spradley, Interim Beauty Director

Slip Tint Dewy Tinted Moisturizer SPF 35

“During the winter months, staying hydrated is key, and the Saie Slip Tint stands up to the task. The hyaluronic acid leaves my skin feeling moisturized, while the light but buildable coverage provides a natural, dewy finish. Plus, it has SPF 35 to keep you protected all day.”

Emily Burns, Assistant Beauty Editor

Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez

“This foundation takes the cake (while not feeling cakey)! I wear this foundation nearly every day, so if you’re looking for lightweight and consistent color, then this base is for you. It comes in a variety of shades [48 to be exact] and pairs nicely with your everyday serum or cream. The applicator wand glides on effortlessly but I’d recommend applying with a beauty sponge if you want that dewy look.”

— Leah Romero, Senior Digital Designer

Skin by Mented Foundation

mented cosmetics

“During the warmer months when I need a bit more shine control, a few swipes of this stick foundation mattifies oily areas while covering up my discoloration and blemishes. I go two shades lighter in the same formula when I need a concealer.”

— Nykia Spradley, Interim Beauty Director

Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40

Bobbi Brown

“I don’t like to keep a million products around, which means I love anything that can pull double duty. This foundation not only gives the light to medium coverage I’m looking for but the SPF 40 means I can feel extra protected throughout the day. Plus, this sleek packaging makes me feel fancy every time I pull it out.” 

Madison Feller, Staff Writer

Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15

Bobbi Brown

“My criteria for a great foundation are as follows: It doesn’t cake or flake, it looks natural enough to trick my Instagram followers, and it plays nicely with my other products. Bobbi Brown hasn’t been a go-to brand for me since I stole my mom’s eyeshadow as a kid, but this product changed that instantly. It blends like nothing else, makes me look super glowy, and looks great in photos, which is all I ever want. I keep gifting bottles to my friends, and now we’re like a perfectly-blended, blemish-free squad.” 

— Tatjana Freund, Beauty E-Commerce Writer

Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

Maybelline New York

“I absolutely love this Maybelline New York poreless foundation. I have sensitive skin, and this drug store reliable has never given me any trouble. For anyone looking for that perfect matte finish, this is it. Bonus: It stays on all day.” — Rose Minutaglio, Staff Writer

Sunshine Skin Tint Clean SPF 30 Foundation

Milk Makeup

“My skin is not a fan of full coverage foundation. The finish is always dry and flaky…not a good look! So I will always gravitate towards a tint or CC cream. This foundation from Milk Makeup is perfect because it adds a decent amount of coverage, isn’t drying, and has SPF! The product also includes plant-derived squalane that will leave your skin looking plump and moisturized.” — Emily Burns, Assistant Beauty Editor

Say What?! Foundation

Uoma Beauty

“‘Say what?’ is exactly what you’ll say in your head when you witness the magic of this foundation. This deceitful little gem startled me when I first pumped the product onto my face. But once I blended everything out, I looked like a more poreless, smooth, radiant version of myself.” — Nerisha Penrose, Beauty Commerce Editor

Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30


“I’ve been using BareMinerals Complexion Rescue for almost my entire adult life. Sometimes I’ll try to switch to other brands for fuller coverage, or because they get great reviews, but I always end up coming back to my tried and true fav. It’s the only foundation that covers up my rosacea, doesn’t cake or dry, and leaves my skin looking glowy. I layer it on top of the Becca Backlight Primer and voila! It’s the epitome of effortless no-makeup makeup.” — Jessica Roy, Digital Director 

BarePro Longwear Powder Foundation


“I’ve used BareMinerals’ powder foundation since high school, but what I love about its newer performance-wear foundation is that it really evens my skin tone and covers all my blemishes without feeling heavy—and the color lasts. In the summer, I have oily skin too, so having a good matte foundation helps keep my skin’s sheen in check. BareMineral’s powder foundations generally feel barely there for me but still work miracles on my skin. And it never breaks me out: a major plus!” 

Alyssa Bailey, News and Strategy Editor

Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Make Up For Ever

“It’s Make Up For Ever for me—specifically the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation. It does everything you want a good foundation to do: goes on easy without a ton of blending and re-blending and stays on easy, even through a long, hot summer night. (More like Make Up 5Ever, am I right? sry sry it was right there.)” — Katherine Krueger, Features Editor

Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

“I love the coverage, the extensive shade range, the feel of the creamy formula on my skin, and the fact that this foundation can last all day and all night. To brag for one second,  I’ve also been told by Rihanna’s makeup artist Priscilla Ono that the Bad Gal and I share the same foundation shades. It’s just pure love!” 

Chloe Hall, Beauty Director

Dior Forever Skin Glow Foundation SPF 35

A friend needed a recommendation for the foundation to wear on her wedding day and I had only one suggestion: Dior Forever Glow. It’s totally foolproof and lasts through morning Zoom calls and (multiple) masked coffee runs. I prefer to put it on with a fluffy foundation brush, and it instantly gives you smooth, even skin without covering your glow.  — Margaux Anbouba, Associate Beauty Editor

Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

“You know it’s true love when you own the same foundation in multiple shades. I tan easily and my complexion changes drastically depending on the hour, so I keep a few Nars bottles on my counter to match myself on the day. The formula is lightweight and gives you a silky, barely-there finish, which works well with my sensitive skin.”—Justine Carreon, Senior Market Editor

Luminous Silk Foundation

Giorgio Armani Beauty

“I’ve been in an entanglement with Armani Beauty’s Luminous Silk Foundation for two years now. This foundation isn’t stuck up; she gets along well with every product in my routine and still finds a way to stand out on her own. We’ve had our ups—eight-hour-plus workdays of non-stop radiant skin—and our downs—scraping the bottom of the bottle to get the last drop. But this is the best $42 I’ve ever spent in my life.” — Nerisha Penrose, Beauty Commerce Editor

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