Finding your perfect drugstore foundation can be daunting. We've taken all the guesswork out by collecting 10 of the highest-rated (and affordable) foundations around. These picks are from some of your favorite brands, like CoverGirl, Revlon, and Maybelline, but the prices clock in right at (or below) $10.
This season when your skin is looking less-than-glowing, one of the best brightening tools in your makeup arsenal is foundation. This beauty staple can combat anything from dry, flaky skin to a sallow complexion, just with a few quick changes to your regular routine. Find out how to make foundation your cold-weather secret weapon when you read more.
Ever wish you could have the makeup artists from backstage at Fashion Week doing your makeup? Allure has the next best thing with these foundation tips straight from the pros.
Foundation can do wonders to mask some of our biggest skin issues, but successfully blurring the lines isn't always as fun as Robin Thicke makes it sound. When your complexion is spackled with redness, uneven skin tone, scars, and dark spots, it's easy to forget that you don't actually need a mound of coverage to hide it all. In fact, getting a base that looks natural starts before you even dip into your makeup bag: exfoliate first, then moisturize. "I massage moisturizer into the skin and really get the blood flowing," says makeup artist Pat McGrath. Here are more tricks from the pros on the ins and outs of applying every type of foundation.
Celebrity makeup artist Troy Jensen (pictured above) has been making stars like Kim Kardashian, Rachel Bilson, and Nicole Richie ready for their close-ups, and now he's sharing his foundation tips with Make Up For Ever's Foundation Nation campaign. So stop getting frustrated with mismatched foundation, powder mishaps, and oil-slick situations. Jensen is here to help.
1. Determine your skin type. Knowing your skin type will help you find the right formula for your complexion, which will also aid in better wear throughout the day. Oily skin types should use a primer and stick to more matte formulas and oil-free options, while dry skin types should focus on properly prepping the face with skin care products, Jensen notes.
2. Find your right shade. Heading to the makeup counter where a trained artist can match you is your best bet. But as your complexion changes from season to season, Jensen recommends mixing in a color-correcting primer to brighten or darken your foundation. "If your foundation is too light because your skin has tanned, mix a caramel-toned primer underneath," he says. "If your skin has become lighter, use a brightening primer underneath."
3. Master the application. While most women use their fingers to apply their foundation, Jensen says only a brush will give you the most perfect application. And instead of the standard flat foundation brush, Jensen is partial to the Make Up For Ever's Medium Highlighter 152 Brush ($37), which has a plush surface that has a "nice buffing effect." While he likes to build coverage with a brush, he'll opt for a sponge like the Beautyblender ($20-$29) when full coverage is desired. And in case you already have a flat brush, don't forget to go back and use the tip to buff away any streaks.
Get more if Jensen's clever tricks after the jump.
In the case of the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush ($30), "perfect" is not an adjective. It's a fact. It might be the only foundation applicator you need, because unlike most flat brushes, its slightly angled bristles reach all the contours of your face without the telltale streaks. Don't limit this brush to liquid foundation, though. As one who likes to switch up her foundations throughout the year (altering between liquid, powder, and tinted moisturizer), I can honestly say this brush offers a uniform application with all types of products — concealer included. It's also rather small in size, so it can fit into the most compact of makeup bags. It's a splurge at $30, but worth it for the mere fact that it can make any complexion product work as if it cost a million bucks.
Getting a flawless makeup look means you have to master the basics first. MAC senior makeup artist Romero Jennings shares the essential steps to perfecting your complexion so you have the ideal base for creating any makeup look. Click through to see his step-by-step guide.
Is your foundation more like a thick layer of makeup than a second skin? Then you might want to reconsider how you apply it. Step away from that heavy hand and learn how five dots of foundation is more than enough to cover your entire face. Plus, discover when in your routine you should apply foundation and concealer, along with what tools you need to make it look most natural.
On Kirbie: Splendid top
Pressed and loose powders can save foundation from melting and dripping during a sweltering day, but did you ever think to also wear powder under your foundation to create a budge-proof base? Double up on the product to stamp out oil before it starts. "Powder your face before makeup to absorb sebum before it can get to your foundation," recommends David Horne, Director of Product Development for Illamasqua. "Then, press a Kleenex against your face before applying another layer of powder to remove any extra oils in the foundation."
Horne also recommends avoiding gel and wax eyeliner formulas during the hottest months. Instead, mix your favorite product with a sealing gel to avoid "candle wax" liner later in the day. And when you're shopping for a crease-resistant eye shadow, test on your wrist where the skin wrinkles naturally. Now you can focus on more important things than melting makeup . . . like an afternoon outing for frozen yogurt.
You don't have to travel far (or spend much) to find an innovative and perfect-for-Summer foundation. Just head to your local drugstore to pick up L'Oréal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation SPF 18 ($11). This bottle of seemingly ordinary foundation quickly smooths down to a silky, powder-like finish. It buffs away imperfections and evens out your skin tone for an airbrushed, "no makeup" makeup look. The airy quality gives it a lightweight feel, and since it dries down matte, it's an ideal choice for a hot and humid Summer.
Countless shirts have been ruined by an innocent hug that left a large foundation smear. While your first inclination might be to reach for the makeup remover, think again. The oil, which is meant for the skin, might actually make the situation worse. Save your shirts, towels, bath mats, and more with three tips for removing foundation stains. Just keep reading for the details.