The 20 Best Foundations That Our Beauty Editors Swear By 2024

The best foundations for every skin type, budget and need according to our Beauty Editors


by Sameeha Shaikh |
Updated on

The best foundations on the market are thankfully plentiful, but what we need from them changes seasonally – a little like our skincare. In the winter months, something hydrating and long-wearing that will kick dry skin to the curb without irritation is a must. Whereas for summer, a foundation that can withstand warm temperatures, humidity and sweat is essential. And if it's got added SPF, well then that's a bonus! Knowing what you require from a foundation is the first step in making the job of selecting the right one fairly easy.

What to consider when picking a foundation

As a rule of thumb, there are a few things to consider when selecting a new foundation:

  • Your skin type (are you dry, oily, combination or normal?)

  • The coverage (do you like a barely-there base or a heavy-duty foundation?)

  • The finish (are you penchant to a matte, dewy, or second-skin finish?)

  • The lasting power

  • The formula and ingredients

The Best Foundations At A Glance:

Best for all-day wear: Fenty Beauty PRO FILT'R Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Best lightweight foundation: MAC Cosmetics Face and Body Foundation

Best glow-giver: NYX Professional Makeup Born To Glow Naturally Radiant Foundation

Best full-coverage: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup

Of course, things aren't always so clean-cut. Typically, in the past, we would have associated long-wearing foundations with high coverage, matte formulas. But that needn't be the case any more as so many skin-savvy foundations have hit the mainstream, all boasting a dewy finish that will last all day long. Not to mention foundations that will suit a multitude of skin types, tones and even budgets. So whether a natural-looking, lightweight foundation is your MO, you need a base to support your combination skin or you're on the hunt for a foundation suitable for acne-prone skin, the best foundation for you is within reach.

Many brands now offer an inclusive shade range, too, making most foundations available in an average of 40 shades. As well as this, some brands offer try-before-you-buy tools to ensure you get the right product for your skin tone.

From the likes of Fenty Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury and MAC Cosmetics – we've scored brands aplenty to bring you a curated edit of the very best foundations that get top marks for staying power and are available to buy now. You'll also find a foundation to suit every need – from full coverage and matte to natural and radiant in a mix of liquid and stick formulations. Which foundations actually last all day? Which won't have worn off by lunch? Read on to discover our top picks...

Shop: The Best Foundations 2023

Best For All-Day Wear

Summary: Who needs a Valencia filter when you have Fenty Beauty's Pro Filt'r Foundation? The make-up bag staple gives skin an instantly smooth, pore-diffused, shine-free finish. This foundation comes in 50 different shades and it is a matte formula, with a buildable coverage to give you a medium-to-full coverage.


  • It has a range of shades to give you the perfect match


  • If you have dry skin this may not work for you
Shade Range<meta charset="utf-8">50

Best Full-Coverage

On Sale

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup
Price: £31.60 (was £39.50)

Summary: A firm favourite that is probably used by 85% of your friends at any given one time. This foundation promises to (and definitely does) last all day long. Over 60 shades to choose from with this product and has 24-hour staying power. We love it for its lightweight formula that gives a matte finish and a buildable coverage to blur blemishes.


  • This is sweat, heat and humidity-resistant, as well as being waterproof. Consider it budge-proof.


  • You'll need to apply it in light layers to avoid a cake-y look.
Shades Range60
Finish Matte

Best Lightweight Foundation

Summary: Not only does this foundation boast 8-hour wear, it's waterproof, hydrating, and provides stay-true colour while being non-acnegenic. This foundation works for all skin types, including sensitive skin and it is available in 11 flexible shades. I especially love it in the summer when all I want is a light, fluid, stretchable base. Its ultra-dewy coverage and satin, sheer finish is perfect when the sun starts to shine.


  • The glossy, skin-like finish is comfortable and perfect for summertime.


  • The sheer formula will not fare well for those who prefer high coverage.
Shade Range11

Best Pore-Blurring Foundation

Summary: This foundation ticks all of the boxes and then some. Charged with skin-loving ingredients to hydrate, protect and cool skin - this weightless formula grants a natural matte, full coverage finish. Combining skincare with make-up - yes please. The foundation has ingredients to refresh your complexion, boost hydration, cool the skin, limit exposure to pollution, and reduce the look of pores, phew! And that 'airbrush' finish? I can attest.


  • Flawless skin day-to-day while giving long-term benefits.


  • Those who prefer a dewy finish won't love its matte finish.
Shande Range44
FinishNatural Matte

Best Foundation Overall

Summary: A firm favourite with the A-List pack - this wonder product is a must-have in any beauty junkie's arsenal. Not only does it blur imperfections, but it lights up your skin to give you that post-holiday glow. The 30ml foundation comes in 40 different shades. The formula is infused with glycerin to provide all-day hydration. I've been hooked since I found it offers perfect olive undertones for my medium South Asian skin.


  • The silky formula helps impart glowy skin while being oil-free.


  • If a heavy-duty, full-coverage foundation is your MO, this may fall short ever so slightly.
Shade Range40
CoverageMedium, buildable

Best Foundation For Radiance

Summary: A skincare and make-up hybrid, a light layer of this will create an even, smooth, second-skin base. It is loaded with a skincare-infused formula and light-reflecting technology to blur the look of imperfections. The best of both worlds, I adore how this light foundation with a medium to buildable coverage gives you breathable, all-day wear and is available in 36 inclusive shades.


  • The buildable texture boasts a breathable, natural-looking finish.


  • Oily skin types may not enjoy its skin-like, light-reflecting technology.
Shade Range36
CoverageMedium, buildable
FinishNatural, second-skin

Best High Street Foundation

on sale

L'Oréal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation with SPF and Hyaluronic Acid
Price: £8.24 (was £10.99)

Summary: A tried-and-tested classic that puts skin first. The formula includes hyaluronic acid, glycerin and aloe vera extract and boasts 48 inclusive shades that promise to match a whopping 99.5% of skin tones. Expect impressive shade matching, all-day hydration and an enhanced natural glow thanks to skin ingredient heroes. It's been my everyday classic for sometime, not least because of the affordable price tag.


  • The built-in SPF will provide an extra layer of UV protection


  • If you like full coverage, you will have to build the layers of this.
Shade Range48
CoverageLight, buildable
Finish Natural-looking

Best Nourishing Foundation

On sale

No7 HydraLuminous Moisturising Foundation
Price: £10.46 (was £14.95)

Summary: Perfect for achieving a natural finish, this foundation feels ultra-light on the skin yet will last the entire day. The foundation is full of a blend of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E and grapeseed oil to moisturise and protect.


  • Ideal for dry skin as it is full of hydrating properties to keep skin moisturised, healthy and bright.


  • Combination to oily skin types may not love its luminous finish.
Shade Range19
Coverage Medium, buildable

Best Glow-Giver

Summary: If you prefer your finish to be glowing, not matte, try this NYX cosmetics foundation. At just £10 it's an absolute steal and loved by many beauty editors for its long-lasting, glow-giving results. Ideal for medium coverage that can be built on for evening skin tones and reducing the appearance of pores. Even better, it gives you a just-applied glow for 12 hours.


  • It's lightweight yet boasts a medium coverage


  • The glowy finish makes it unideal for oily skin
Shade Range5
Coverage Medium

Best Skincare Foundation

On Sale

Givenchy Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Glow Foundation
Price: £36 (was £45)

Summary: Here's a foundation that truly puts skin first. With a 97% natural-origin formula that boasts 24-hour hydration and up to 12 hours of radiant coverage, it blurs, corrects and leaves behind a believable natural glow. Colour-corrective pigments and light-reflecting micro-pearls encourage radiance while reducing the look of imperfections. I adore how it leaves my skin looking like healthy skin!


  • Perfect for a glowy, smooth finish.


  • Combination to oily skin types will prefer the matte version.
Shade Range30

Best Foundation For Buildable Coverage

Summary: This editor-approved foundation begins serum-like and allows you to build from a skin tint finish to a medium coverage base, so you really do get the best of both worlds. It boasts a soft focus satin finish and light-as-air texture thanks to the inclusion of skin-loving ingredients that work to hydrate, smooth and keep skin radiant for 12 hrs a day.

Shade Range36
CoverageMedium, buildable

Best Every Day Foundation

Summary: If it's natural-looking, radiant skin you're after, look to this. Its best quality is the way it enhances the look of your natural skin – something that is made possible by ingredients like hyaluronic acid, rose and coconut extracts. My skin is always left comfortably glowy and healthy-looking with a few swipes of this, I also love how the shades cater to variations in medium skin tones.


  • A perfect, everyday base for natural, glowing skin


  • Those who like a long-lasting matte finish may want to skip this
Shade Range30
Finish Gowy, natural-looking 

Best Stick Foundation

Summary: My all-time favourite foundation comes in stick form. It may look thick and uber-coverage at first but upon application you'll find it blends out a dream and comes equipped with a natural-looking finish – and that's all down to the innovative formaula which means it boasts the fluidity of a liquid and the weightlessness of a powder in one. It's both my go-to for a quick fix face and an ultra-glam evening.


  • Innovative formula and finish


  • Very dry skin types may not love the thick(ish) coverage

Best Second-Skin Foundation

Summary: A gorgeous light-to-medium coverage foundation which has easily become my go-to since the day it launched. It delivers a natural-looking, silky second skin finish and the gel-crème formula hydrates while blurring and controlling shine simultaneously. It's not hard to see why this is such a viral hit.


  • Flexible and inclusive shade range


  • Bulky bottle

Best Cult Foundation

Summary: A new update on a cult classic. This foundation bears all the charm of the original - oil-free, transfer-resistant, cake-free make-up with a 24-hour, buildable medium to full coverage - but with the added benefits of 87% skincare ingredients, a soft-matte finish and a whopping 71 shades.


  • Skin-first formula and 71 shades available


  • Glass bottle may be heavy to travel with but is a win for sustainability

Best Photo-Ready Foundation

Summary: If you're after a full coverage foundation which doesn't compromise on comfort and radiance, this is the answer. I found that it smooths, blurs and corrects with a semi-matte finish that impressively boosts skin luminosity and your natural glow that really lasts. I especially love the way it photographs - you'd be surprised how many bad photo ops one can have with the wrong foundation...


  • Full coverage matte luminous finish


  • May be too heavy for those who prefer lightweight bases

Best Powder Foundation

Summary: When I was first introduced to this product, I thought it was too good to be true. I powder foundation that can boast the same coverage as a regular foundation but with the lightness of a powder? No way. But this proved me wrong. 'Full coverage in one swipe' – are the words of make-up artist Adeola Gboyega, who demonstrated its benefits on my skin when it launched. The results still astound me.


  • Full, buildable coverage with the lightness of a powder


  • Limited shades

Best Viral Foundation

Summary: The last time I stopped a lady at a party to compliment her buttery skin, I was told it was the work of Lady Gaga's Triclone Skin Tech Medium Coverage Foundation. A revelation of sorts, it's taken the TikTok community and make-up experts everywhere by storm thanks to its wide shade range, gentle and weightless feel and impressive coverage. I love the way it manages to make skin look natural but doll-like at once.


  • Skin-first and loaded with 20+ skincare ingredients


  • If you want barely-there coverage, this one isn't for you

Best Dewy Foundation

Summary: From celebrity make-up artist Mario Dedivanovic, comes this creamy, luminous and breathable answer to foundation. It's not hard to see why it is a product of his craft and artistry. Wearing it, I found it blended with ease, kept my skin looking hydrated and worked a dream with anything it is laid atop of. 10/10 marks.


  • Sits very comfortably on the skin


  • Avoid if you don't love a dewy, glowy finish

Best Barely-There Foundation

Summary: There are foundations and then there are barely-there bases which are second to none for those of us who love a fresh, but slightly enhanced complexion. Chanel's much-loved Les Beiges Water-Fresh Complexion Touch is one of those brilliant rare finds which really does strike the balance. It contains ultra-concentrated micro-droplet pigments that are suspended in a hydrating liquid formula which combines when blended into the skin. It makes for a perfect natural, flawless finish that is great when all you need is a little pick me up.


  • Ultra-light, yet even finish


  • On the pricey side

What's The Best Foundation For My Skin Type?

When choosing a foundation, consider your skin type and the finish you're after.

Best foundation for oily skin:

Oily skin? ‘The most common complaint for oily skin is that makeup disappears,' says Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting, ‘so avoid overly dewy foundations, as invariably these formulas end up moving around as oil reaches the surface of the skin.' Something like Milk Makeup's Blur Liquid Matte Foundation, £36, is a great choice as it's blended with powder microspheres that create a soft focus finish. Or, try a foundation stick like MAC's Studio Fix Soft Matte Foundation Stick, £27, which can be swiped on and blended in until you get the coverage you so desire. And if you'd prefer something lightweight yet full coverage, Urban Decay Stay Naked Foundation, £31, will be right up your street with its second-skin feel and matte finish that will last all day. Plus, it comes in an impressive shade range of 50 shades.

Best foundation for combination skin:

Combination is the most common skin type, and is characterised by ‘visible pores in the centre of the face where there is sheen due to oil production, but by contrast, pores on the cheeks are barely noticeable where skin is normal to dry’, explains Dr Sam Bunting. The secret to perfecting this skin type is to treat each area differently. ‘Apply face powder down the centre of the face only – where the skin creates oil and leave it free from the cheeks and outer edges, applying just a cream foundation and luminiser here to create shine and moisture’ says Lynsey Alexander. Dr Bunting recommends Armani Luminous Silk foundation, £42, ‘it’s dewy and sheer giving just the right amount of coverage.'

Best foundation for dry skin:

If you're dry-skinned and after a foundation that hydrates, look out for key ingredients like hyaluronic acid. L'Oreal Paris Skin Paradise Tinted Water-Cream, £10.99, is water-based and feels like a tinted moisturiser - lending skin a veil of dewy coverage that will stay put for hours. Or there's Fenty Beauty PRO FILT'R Hydrating Foundation, £27, (available in 50 shades to suit every skin tone) that combines sodium hyaluronate (a derivative of hyaluronic acid) with grape seed oil to really nourish skin while providing great coverage. Steer away from powder and matte formulas, as Dr Bunting explains, ‘matte finish products will make skin look cake-y or cracked as the day wears on.'

And finally, if you're in the market for a new foundation brush that will make application totally seamless, choose from our curated edit here. From stippling brushes to kabuki brushes, we've narrowed down the 10 best foundation brushes to achieve a blended, second-skin finish that will help your base stick around all day/night long. You can thank us later!

How to adapt your foundation

There are a few ways to adapt your foundation shade, the most simple way being to mix it with a lighter or darker foundation. If you don't have a choice of foundation shades at home, a good way to dilute the shade (if needed) is to combine with your moisturiser or a primer.

However, there are also specific products out there to adapt your shade which are super useful for the changing seasons (and hopefully upcoming holidays). For example The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops, £6 or Revolution PRO Foundation Mixer, £7. Simply add the drops to your foundation, mix in and apply as normal.


Sameeha Shaikh is Grazia UK's Beauty Writer, working across all categories to bring you insights on the latest trends, industry news and the products you need to know about, viral or not (most probably viral).

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