Make-up routine of a pretty woman

The 10 Best Foundations, Chosen by Makeup Artists

Their favorite formulas begin at under $20.
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Picking out a new foundation is a notoriously difficult process. There's plenty to consider when making this important makeup decision, but with the help of some experts, we're hoping to simplify your glam. A handful of makeup artists are allowing you a peek inside their beauty kits and sharing their picks for the best foundation.

Deciding on a foundation should begin with familiarizing yourself with your skin, makeup artist AJ Crimson suggested. "Know the look you want to achieve," he said. "If you have dry skin you don't want a matte foundation. If you want to look fresh and dewy, you want a foundation that dries with a dewy or semi matte skin-like finish and vice versa."

How foundation appears on the skin also comes down to your application method. While some experts have cautioned against using your fingers, Crimson notes that it remains a personal choice. He pointed to blenders and sponges as possible options, adding, "When it comes to traditional foundation brushes, I find they are harder to work with for me and can streak depending on the formulation."

Ready to add a new foundation to your beauty routine? Read on for ten makeup artist-approved picks.

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Best Foundations
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

LYS Beauty Triple Fix Serum Foundation

"This clean formula boosts hydration and has vitamin E and ginseng to fight signs of aging," celebrity makeup artist Jamie Dorman tells Southern Living. Choose from 35 shades of the liquid-based product that produces light-to-medium coverage. Plus, with the addition of hyaluronic acid, a skincare ingredient known for its moisturizing impact, you won't have to worry about potential dryness on the skin.

BUY IT: $22;

Best Foundations
Credit: Courtesy of Tower 28

Tower28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation

Celebrity makeup artist and Guide Beauty founder Terri Bryant relies on this tinted option, calling it a "go-to for instant revitalizing." She added, "When you want healthy, radiant skin this is that one magic formula that seems to wear beautifully on everyone."

BUY IT: $30;

Best Foundations
Credit: Courtesy of Credo Beauty

Vapour Beauty Luminous Foundation Stick

Makeup artist Nicole Cudzilo named this her favorite stick foundation. "It's super lightweight and offers light to medium coverage with a luminous finish due to its special blend of nourishing plant oils and waxes."

BUY IT: $46;

Best Foundations
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

Trust in this foundation if you prefer a matte formula that doesn't wash out your skin. "It gives the skin this super soft-focus finish, like walking around with a ring light," Bryant said. The creamy, soft matte formula was made for long-wear and has nourishing ingredients that include hyaluronic acid and vitamins A, C, and E.

BUY IT: $30;

Best Foundations
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Westmore Beauty Instantly Flawless Foundation

"This buildable foundation plumps skin with hyaluronic acid and tightens pores with niacinamide," Dorman said. Resistant to water and sweat, the foundation is available in six shades that allow for medium-to-full coverage.

BUY IT: $39;

Best Foundations
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Armani Beauty Luminous Foundation

Makeup artist and Beia founder Brittany Lo calls this one of her "absolute favorites." She suggests building to the coverage you want by applying this with a makeup brush, adding, "It applies onto the skin beautifully and leaves a very natural radiance while giving full coverage."

BUY IT: $64;

Best Foundations
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Foundation

If you prefer a foundation that doesn't appear heavy on the skin, Crimson pointed to this Beautyblender option. "It's more of a liquid, which I love to blend with cream," he added. Made for 24-hour wear, the liquid formula gives skin full coverage and includes hyaluronic acid and white birch extract, an antioxidant that should soothe and brighten skin.

BUY IT: $20 (orig. $40);

Best Foundations
Credit: Courtesy of Dermstore

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation

This long-lasting foundation will outlast even sweat, Cudzilo assured. "It softly blurs with effortlessly buildable coverage and [has] a natural satin finish that suits all skin types." The creamy formula, featuring aloe vera, jojoba oil, and shea butter, moisturizes skin while providing full coverage of blemishes. 

BUY IT: $55.30;

Best Foundations
Credit: Courtesy of Nordstrom

AJ Crimson Beauty Dual Skin Creme Foundation

Crimson created this foundation with multiple makeup purposes in mind. Approved for light to medium coverage, he also suggested using the creme as a contour and concealer. "The colors are rich and light, [which is] perfect for shaping," he said. "The overall look is fresh and modern."

BUY IT: $45;

Best Foundations
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

This full-coverage foundation which comes with SPF 50+ and hyaluronic acid is part of Lo's daily beauty routine. "This allows your skin to still look like skin while having a holding power to keep your makeup in place all day," she said.

BUY IT: $42;