The Best Foundations of 2018

Updated 08/08/19

Of all the products we take for a spin, foundation is probably the hardest sell. We all have our mainstays that perform the best for our specific skin types, and trying a new product without giving it a trial run is honestly a big risk—it could streak, photograph weird, or look completely different than when it did in the bathroom mirror (the worst), so why not rely on our old faithfuls? A mascara can flake, an eye shadow can crease, but foundation covers a lot of surface area—we're not about to roll the dice there.

However, this year, in particular, we've had a lot of enticing new foundations cross our desks—formulas that are so good that we've actually shoved our old foundations to the back of our cabinets to give these newcomers a bit more play time. Below are our top new picks.

The Ethereal Veil Conceal And Cover
Rituel de Fille Ethereal Veil Conceal and Cover $34

After Editorial Director Faith Xue introduced Team Byrdie to Rituel de Fille's Rare Light Luminizer, a creamy, sheer highlighter that delivers a dewy, believable glow, we jumped at the chance to try the brand's new concealer-foundation hybrid. It mimics that same natural finish with buildability as Luminizer, but without holographic sheen, of course. You can layer up to a full-coverage foundation or lightly apply for a second-skin look. We recommend using a Beautyblender for seamless application.

Ultimate Coverage 24-Hour Foundation Walnut 1.01 oz/ 30 mL
Becca Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation $44

24 shades, 24 hours of water-resistant, long-wear, full-coverage. Oily-skinned users, rejoice: The formula is 22% water, so there's little room for slippage and streaking. Plus, you'll only need a pump or two for a smooth, flawless finish, as the formula is incredibly pigmented.

Cover FX Power Play Foundation $44

Cover FX is known for carrying a wide range of shades, and along with that, creating high-quality foundation formulas to suit every skin's needs. The brand's latest Power Play foundation is 40 shades of blurring, transferproof matte color. It's also filled with ultra-fine powder to keep shine at bay all day long.

True Skin Serum Foundation Catalina 1 oz/ 30 mL
Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation Catalina $54

Come summertime, I love wearing less foundation. My skin is tinted bronze from sunless tanner (and maybe a little beach time—sorry, dermatologists!), so I don't need to rely on makeup to enhance my skin as much. I'll generally stick to tinted moisturizers, but sometimes I want just a tinge more coverage for days when my melasma is acting up. That's why I'm so excited to put this serum foundation from Ilia to use: It offers light to medium coverage, a luminous finish, and plenty of good-for-you ingredients like rose, aloe, jojoba, and marula so you're treating the skin while it's on.

Physician's Formula The Healthy Foundation $12

Byrdie NYC is collectively in love with this foundation. It's similar to Tarte's viral Shape Tape foundation in that it's also silky, full-coverage, doesn't budge, and has a doe foot applicator—but at a fraction of the cost. We love how flawless our complexions look post-application and can't get over the top-notch performance of a drugstore formula.

The Influencer Clean Long Wear Foundation 120 1.08 oz/ 32 mL
Sunday Riley The Influencer Clean Long Wear Foundation $42

Assistant Editor Maya Allen and Wellness Editor and The/Thirty Managing Editor Victoria Hoff both laud the finish of new foundation from skincare-first brand Sunday Riley. Says Allen, "I'm usually a full-coverage kind of girl, but I actually do like this foundation when I want a natural beat!" Touted as a "clean" foundation, this offering is skin-friendly and non-drying for a completely natural, lightweight result.

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