Mattifying or illuminating, sheer or high coverage, creamy rich or powder light—there’s an innovative new foundation to suit every need
By Lauren Kerbel
THE PRODUCT: Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
THE PROMISE: Despite its feather-light consistency, this foundation offers maximum coverage. Yet the oil-free liquid vows to leave a natural, radiant finish, with a wear time of up to 16 hours.
THE INGREDIENTS: The long-wear technology—flexible polymers plus treated pigments—creates a second-skin moisture barrier for a comfortable feel. A combo of green and gold pigments neutralizes redness and counteracts dullness.
HOW-TO: Shake the bottle well before use. A little goes a long way, so just one pump should suffice for your entire face. Blend with fingers.
WHO IT’S FOR: Those looking for full coverage without the dreaded mask-like effect. Available in 20 shades.
THE PRODUCT: Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation
THE PROMISE: This lightweight liquid absorbs excess oil throughout the day. It lends medium coverage and diminishes the appearance of enlarged pores.
THE INGREDIENTS: Mineral-based micro-powders keep skin slick-free, while nylon powder particles smooth over fine lines and other imperfections.
HOW-TO: Use a makeup sponge to apply the product, then continue blending with your fingers for the most flawless finish.
WHO IT’S FOR: Those with oily skin who can’t seem to ditch shine. Available in 16 shades.
THE PRODUCT: Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation
THE PROMISE: This medium-coverage powder uses transparent filters to alter the way light hits your face, providing a flaw-blurring, Instagram-ready result.
THE INGREDIENTS: Based on the same technology used in liquid bandages, photoset polymers create a barrier between the foundation and your skin, protecting the formula from sebum. This allows the powder to stay put without drying out, caking or creasing.
HOW-TO: Smooth it on with the double-sided sponge included (a brush won’t pick up and distribute the creamy powder as well). Use the velvety side for light coverage, or the smooth side for fuller coverage.
WHO IT’S FOR: Those who love the convenience of a powder but prefer the finish of a liquid. Available in 10 shades.
THE PRODUCT: Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation
THE PROMISE: This semi-matte fluid comes in a breakthrough “ink-like texture,” delivering buildable coverage that lasts up to 24 hours. The calligraphy-inspired tip controls the amount of product dispensed, without dripping it all over your counter.
THE INGREDIENTS: Credit the feels-like-naked finish to oils that are able to evaporate post-application. The mattifying effect comes from lipophilic actives, particles with honeycomb-like structures that can absorb up to four times their weight in sebum.
HOW-TO: Drop a small amount of product onto the back of your hand, then blend it quickly where needed onto your face using your fingertips or a brush.
WHO IT’S FOR: Those who want shine-absorbing benefits but in a dry-oil-like finish. Available in 16 shades.
THE PRODUCT: Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Radiance Foundation
THE PROMISE: This creamy foundation features both makeup and skincare ingredients to restore radiance immediately and over time. It delivers medium to full coverage while filling in fine lines.
THE INGREDIENTS: Uniquely shaped powders reflect light for a renewed glow. An ingredient called 4MSK hinders tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin production, to help prevent dark spots.
HOW-TO: Use the mini spatula included to apply a small amount onto your skin; blend outwards starting from the centre of your face.
WHO IT’S FOR: Those with dull, dry skin experiencing premature signs of aging, especially uneven tone. Available in 11 shades.
This article was originally published in the January/February 2015 issue of Cosmetics magazine. For more, download our iPad edition.