The Foundations That Go That Extra Mile

By Tamara Corin | 9th June 2024

Choosing the right foundation is like searching for the best-fitting jeans; it can take months, even years. With an overwhelming amount of choice with sheer to full coverages and everything in between, not to mention dewy, matte, satin, velvety finishes – the list goes on. From high-end to high street heroes, we’ve been trying, testing and slapping on our bases to lessen your workload and reveal our edit of the very best foundations that provide impeccable coverage, every time. Want to make sure you have the best base for your new foundation? Add these key skin ingredients to your routine for a flawless finish, and to complete your finished look, fix it with these setting sprays.

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Jones Road What The Foundation, £40

Why we love it: Don’t be put off by the shocking abbreviation (WTF); this is modern makeup innovation at its best! WTF is a tinted moisture balm meets traditional foundation. It blends seamlessly into the skin—leaving you with an even, fresh complexion that looks like your skin on its best day. Containing key skin-boosting ingredients, including jojoba oil and vitamin E that hydrates to the max in a super lightweight formula. Plus, it has 12 shades that surprisingly complement all skin tones.  

Best for: Skin that needs a drink and great coverage. 

Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation, £40

Why we love it: Applying their top-class skincare R&D to their makeup, this foundation is heat-proof, oil-proof and basically anti-shine proof that gives a demi-matte finish that doesn’t crease or crack. With an incredible 30 shades to choose from, you can be sure you’ll be well-covered.

Best for: Mature skin and extra protection. 

IL Makiage Woke Up Like This Foundation, £36

Why we love it: If you’re still searching for that perfect match, this beyond-accurate online shade-matching tool is heaven-sent. So precise that you can’t believe this was all matched via a website. The finish gives you the perfect no makeup makeup look, thanks to the clever corrective powders in the formula that camouflage all the bits you want to cover. And there’s an incredible 50 shades to choose from. Worth every bit of its Insta-famous hype. 

Best for: All skin types and the wow factor. 

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation, £36

Why we love it: As always, this celebrity makeup artist gets it perfectly right with her latest foundation, which is intensely moisturising, non-cakey and leaves a dewy veil on skin. The creamy texture makes blending easy work, leaving ample coverage behind, allowing your skin to glow. 

Best for: Even skin tones and a barely-there finish. 

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF50, £33

Why we love it: This full-coverage foundation and concealer has been making waves since it launched mainly because it boasts an anti-ageing formula (skin-loving peptides, vitamins, antioxidants plus SPF50) that leaves an airbrushed appearance that covers blemishes, dark circles, pigmentation, and everything in between, without creasing and cracking.  

Best for: Skin protection and long-lasting coverage.  

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation, £60

Why we love it: We don’t expect anything less from the queen of makeup. Infused with the brand’s Diamond Core Powder Technology and soft-focus pigments, you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth. This silky formula feels incredibly lightweight and leaves a semi-matte finish that still allows your skin to look warm, radiant, and well looked after. 

Best for: Tired skin, especially those with yellow undertones. 

L’Oréal Paris Infallible 32H Freshwear Foundation, £11.99

Why we love it: Full coverage foundation doesn’t have to mean a matte finish. This long-lasting formula covers all blemishes while leaving a subtle dewy finish that is anything but heavy, cakey, or drying. Plus, it’s waterproof and lasts for up to 32 hours – this is not an excuse to leave your makeup on for bed!

Best for: Full-on coverage without the mask. 

Chanel Ultra No1 Revitalising Foundation, £55

Why we love it: Chanel has always led the pack when it comes to great foundations, and this is no exception to the rule. Combining its signature red camelia oil and a host of other moisturising ingredients that make this base much more than just a great foundation that delivers lightweight, buildable coverage, but also serious skincare benefits. Best of both worlds. 

Best for: Skin TLC and a youthful glow. 

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation, £6.40

Why we love it: How can you not love a foundation with a price point that is so refreshingly affordable? But this is deserving of a place for good reason other than just its affordability. This base gives a decent semi-matte coverage that isn’t heavy or cakey and blends well, allowing your natural skin to shine through. And it comes in an incredible 36 shades.

Best for: Tight budgets. 

Fenty Beauty PRO FILT’R Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, £24

Why we love it: Rihanna’s uber-popular beauty brand – one of a host of celebrity beauty lines – was launched with diversity as its backbone, and never is this more present than in the 50 considered foundation shades. Velvety soft, long-lasting with an airbrushed ultra-matte finish that lasts with no pigment overkill. 

Best for: Very oily skin and shiny T-zones.  

bareMinerals Original Loose Foundation SPF15, £21.75

Why we love it: An oldie but still a goodie. If you want that barely-there finish but need some coverage too, a powder foundation is a sensible choice. This beauty editor favourite is lightweight, breathable and makes skin look airbrushed, blurring imperfections without caking and blending seamlessly into skin. 

Best for: Not feeling like you’re wearing makeup. 

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, £42

Why we love it: This is the ultimate people-pleaser of foundations. Whatever your skin type this incredibly silky formula will cover imperfections while giving skin a slight glow. Although it sits in the medium-to-full coverage camp, there’s no caking and the skin looks perfect but not overdone.

Best for: Insta-worthy skin minus the heaviness. 

The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some products purchased through affiliate links.

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