The 8 Best High-End Foundations of 2019

It’s all about that base

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Just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it’s good. That might sound like something your mom would tell you, but it’s true! And that goes for luxe foundations. We found the best high-end foundations that give your skin some loving and make it look gorgeous. These are all worth the splurge—promise! 

Best Overall: Giorgio Armani Beauty Power Fabric Longwear Foundation

giorgio armani foundation

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. The foundation has a rich consistency and dries down to just the right matte finish. Armani Beauty’s Micro-fil Technology features super fine pigments to allow for the most coverage in a foundation with the lightest and thinnest texture possible. Bonus: It has SPF 25 to protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays. 

Best Sheer Coverage: Chanel Vitalumière Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup

Chanel
 Nordstrom

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. 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. It comes in a range of shades that are designed to match skin's undertones.

Best for Oily Skin: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation

Laura Mercier
Sephora 

Those with oily skin know that mid-day makeup meltdown is real. But Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation comes to the rescue! The 15-hour long-wear matte foundation won’t budge without any of the typical drawbacks of foundation with major staying power—it doesn’t look cakey or chalky.

To really keep excess oil at bay, it is infused with fine powders to zap shine all day. The buildable coverage is medium to full, and it’s even waterproof, making it perfect for the sweaty summer months. It evens out skin tone while blurring fine lines and other imperfections.

Best for Dry Skin: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream

IT Cosmetics
Ulta

Yes, this is technically a CC cream, but trust us that it delivers the same full coverage as 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.

Best Full Coverage: Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation

Tom Ford
 Sephora

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. Despite its camouflaging magic, it has a completely natural finish. Made to work with a range of skin types, ranging from normal to dry to combination to oily, it includes broad spectrum SPF 15 protection. 

Best for Mature Skin: Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Skin Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury
 Sephora

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. 

Best Splurge: La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation Sunscreen

Skin Caviar
 Nordstrom

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 the perfect application every time.

Best Natural: RMS Beauty Un Cover-Up Concealer/Foundation

RMS foundation

This twofer by natural makeup favorite RMS does double duty as a concealer and foundation. It does it all: calm redness, cover flaws, minimize pores, and give a gorgeous glow. It never feels or looks heavy or cakey.

Our Process

Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular high-end foundations on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different high-end foundations overall, screened options from 23 different brands and manufacturers, read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 6 of the high-end foundations themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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