As I've continued to phase out foundation over the past several months, I've nonetheless remained utterly loyal to my beloved Laneige BB Cushion ($38). The natural-looking coverage blends well with moisturizer for more of a sheer tint than a "done" foundation look, it's never cakey on my dry skin, and the built-in SPF offers the perfect layer of sun protection on a daily basis. Laneige, you've been good to me.
But lately, as I've worked my way down from using equal parts foundation and moisturizer to more of a 10:90 ratio, I've come to the terms with the fact that it may be time to graduate to an all-in-one product that meets my (admittedly specific) needs. The irony is that until now, I wasn't even sure what that product might look like. A hybrid of a pore-perfecting primer, moisturizer, and sunscreen perhaps. It would need to have the tiniest hint of coverage, and—most importantly—it would need to be compatible with my very finicky skin.
As fate and the beauty goddesses would have it, that very product very serendipitously came to me. While on a video shoot for Byrdie yesterday, the look we were aiming for was fairly specific and not all that different from my day-to-day vibe. Because the tutorials we were filming were skincare-related, we wanted the look to be clean and almost bare-faced but still polished. Nico Doniele, the very lovely makeup artist who would be prepping my face for this endeavor, immediately whipped out a silvery tube. "Have you used this before?" she asked. "It's amazing."
The product in question was Elizabeth Arden's Prevage City Smart, an ultra-moisturizing product that's technically a sunscreen but also lists about five other capabilities on its résumé. It protects against skin-aging environmental pollutants (a must in smoggy Los Angeles), hydrates skin with an enzyme complex, and, perhaps most remarkably, contains a "universal skin tint" that refracts light and leaves skin looking natural but silky-smooth and even.
I've gone through enough products in my lifetime to know to practice a healthy amount of skepticism, but after hours of camera close-ups and putting my skin through several tutorials, frequent touch-ups with this formula—as well as the occasional dose of additional color from the brand's Prevage Foundation ($65)—kept my skin looking bright, energized, and hydrated. I was so hooked that I immediately went home and ordered it online after wrapping for the day.
So while Laneige forever has a place in my makeup bag for those days when I might need a little more coverage, I'm stoked that my search for a less-pigmented replacement ended before it even really began. That and I now have a killer sunscreen to get me through the rapidly approaching summer months.
Need a little more coverage? Check out the SPF-fortified foundations we love.