These days makeup artists have access to just about every foundation brand in the world. Gone are the days they'd have to wait for their next trip to stock up on luxe and niche brands like Nars, Make Up For Ever, and 3CE. Now they can just mosey on down to Sephora or Mecca for a global beauty brand hit. Add to that the zillions of high-end base formulations available and you'd expect makeup artists to bypass drugstore brands altogether. But while there's no denying the skin-perfecting magic of luxe formulas like MAC's Face and Body ($30) and Charlotte Tilbury's Light Wonder ($46), it turns out makeup artists do count affordable foundation among their makeup bag MVPs.
Given their indisputable experience and authority, we quizzed four Australian makeup artists on the drugstore foundations they love and use on the regular. The reason being, if a supermarket brand happens to rock their socks, there's a good chance it'll blow us away too. Plus they understand the average woman's quest for flawless skin. From a full-coverage wonder that can camouflage everything from hyperpigmentation to tattoos (!), to a long-time beauty editor favorite, ahead you'll find 7 drugstore foundations makeup artists can't stop repurchasing.
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"What I love about Models Prefer is that the products are designed by makeup artists. This foundation was modeled on my all-time favorite base, Nars' Sheer Glow. For me, the color and tone of a foundation formula is #1 on my list of criteria, and this range performs so well. Most of the formulas have a slightly yellow base that works well for most Australians skin as it cancels out redness. The formula delivers a medium-to-heavy semi-matte finish which I favor as you can apply it as a sheer wash or build it up." —Fern Madden, makeup artist
"I first discovered this foundation backstage at MBFWA last year. Two positive aspects attracted me to the formula. First, the color range is perfect for just about everyone as each formula has a slightly yellow or tan tint. I always find this kind of undertone to be the truest match for most skin tones. And secondly, the creamy, dewy finish is beautiful. It glides onto the skin, has a really luxurious feel, and gives great coverage while still feeling lightweight—it gets all the ticks from me! I would describe it as being similar to MAC's Face and Body ($30), however, the Maybelline has a little heavier coverage." —Madden
"Personally I use this BB cream as a foundation as it sits nicely on my skin and doesn’t make me break out." —Rae Morris, makeup artist
"I recommend Dermablend for anyone with extreme pigmentation because it gives great coverage. You don't have to use it all over, just spot apply it to the areas that need it." —Jasmin Lo, makeup artist
"The Combination to Oily Skin variant of Revlon's ColorStay foundation is my absolute must-have in summer. When it's really hot and humid, and you're finding it hard to keep your makeup on, this foundation really lives up to its claims! It really does last all day and keeps the skin looking even, not flushed." —Yolanda Lukowski, makeup artist
"My other favorite—for the other end of the coverage scale—is Healthy Mix. Great for when your complexion is feeling a little dull and you want a dewy glow, it actually reminds me of a budget version of Dior's Diorskin Nude Fluid Foundation ($53). It creates fresh, glowy and natural-looking skin." —Lukowski
"If you want Victoria's Secret skin—the kind that gives you the look of having an inner glow—this is the foundation for you. Not only does it give great coverage, but it also has a dewy finish which is very on trend at the moment." —Morris