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Just because a product is expensive doesn't necessarily mean it'll outperform the more affordable formulas. That's why we do our due diligence and give them a test-drive to determine whether they're worth the hefty price tag.
To that end, we found the very best high-end foundations for flawless skin. Sure they may cost as much as a meal at a five-star restaurant but our editors agree they are completely worth the investment—even if it means we're eating ramen for a week.
If the foundation world had a prom queen, this would be the sure winner. Everything about it feels luxe, from the chic packaging all the way to the beautiful, creamy formula. It's also a makeup bag mainstay among celebrity artists, including Mario Dedivanovic who famously uses this formula on clients like Kim Kardashian West. What's more, this buildable foundation quite literally has a silky finish that, not for nothing, photographs incredibly well.
The best part about Chanel’s hybrid fluid is it doesn’t look or feel like you’re even wearing foundation—it’s the your-skin-but-better look. Byrdie contributing writer Jenna Igneri agrees: "It melts into the skin almost instantly and blends seamlessly like a tinted moisturizer," she wrote after testing it herself. "The result is a natural glow with the dreamiest finish." Just a dab of it goes a long way, evening out your skin tone and brightening your complexion. You can thank the light-as-water texture for its fresh-faced effect and softness. Choose from a range of shades that are designed to match the skin's undertones.
Those with oily skin know that mid-day makeup meltdown is real. But Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation can help eliminate excess shine. This 15-hour long-wear foundation stays put on your skin without any chalky side effects of harsh matte formulas. It's medium-to-full coverage and waterproof, perfect for warmer, sweaty months, especially since it's filled with fine powders to help control oil throughout the day.
A time machine in a bottle, Charlotte Tilbury’s Light Wonder Youth-Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation is worthy of its title. Packed with active ingredients to boost collagen, moisturize, and create a smooth canvas, it brings light, buildable coverage with a sheer finish and major radiance. Plus, it reduces pores and fine lines, and has SPF 15 to guard against UV damage.
The price tag might be steep, but think of it this way: You’re getting two products for the cost of one. The foundation comes with a built-in concealer on top, including a concealer brush. The full coverage foundation is buildable and brings natural coverage, while the concealer blends like a dream and works as great camouflage.
Both are infused with La Prairie's signature caviar extracts to lift and firm the skin while boosting elasticity. A foundation sponge and 2x magnifying mirror in the cap are also included to ensure you get a perfect application every time.
Yes, this is technically a CC cream, but trust us when we tell you that it delivers full coverage like a foundation—and a whole lot more. Your skin will look brighter, smoother and more uniform thanks to the impressive hydration it brings, courtesy of hydrolyzed collagen, vitamins and antioxidants. It delivers UVA/UVB broad-spectrum physical sunscreen and anti-aging peptides to keep you looking young, and the built-in serum helps in that department as well. Plus, the CC cream will never crack or crease.
Tom Ford’s full coverage foundation lives up to the “perfecting” in its name. It has buildable coverage, so you can go a little lighter on casual days. Essentially a filter for your face, it erases pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and spots, creating an even base. Designed to last all day, the formula is humidity resistant to give it extra hold and includes broad-spectrum SPF 15 protection.