Beauty & Wellness


The best foundations for every skin type

Words by Chanelle Ho

19 March 2024


Six beauty editors weigh in on the best foundations to choose for every skin type – considering lifestyle, geographic location, age, and season.

Many struggle to select the best foundation – one size does not fit all. There are various things to consider before finding your perfect match… Does it have a diverse shade range to suit your skin tone? What's your skin type? Do you need a non-comedogenic, fragrance-free or water-based formula? Are you after the 'clean girl' aesthetic, or do you prefer full coverage?

With all that in mind, trawling beauty counters to find your next foundation might seem overwhelming. Luckily for you, we've done the research and asked a few beauty editors for their favourite foundations – because who better to ask than the people who have tried and tested hundreds of products over the years?

Chanelle Ho, Contributing Beauty Editor

'I have a normal skin type prone to sensitivity and dryness, particularly in the colder months. I usually turn to oil-free foundations, which I find last longer and look fresher on my skin – especially in the summer. I love anything lightweight, hydrating and gives a your-skin-but-better finish.

'Chantecaille Future Skin Gel Foundation is the most incredible everyday foundation. It's oil-free and has a gel texture, made with 60% water, so it feels feather-light on the skin. It's my go-to when I want sheer, buildable coverage to hide any redness, and it's so quick and easy to apply (I just use my fingers as I find it gives the most natural finish). The soft, creamy texture melts into the skin seamlessly without highlighting any rough, dry or uneven patches that I am prone to in the winter. It's magic in a pot!

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1. Chantecaille Future Skin Gel Foundation | 2. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation | 3. Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Foundation

'I'm constantly testing new foundations, but NARS Sheer Glow Foundation is always the one that I always come back to, and it's been a staple in my makeup bag since my early days as a beauty journalist. It has a smooth and silky texture that adds buildable coverage without feeling too heavy; a long-wear formula that stays on all day (tried, tested, and verified during hot and humid holidays in Dubai and Singapore); and it gives a gorgeous healthy glow to my complexion. Whenever I've received compliments on my skin, I'm almost always wearing this one.

'I very rarely wear matte foundations as I like my skin to have a dewy glow, but Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Foundation has the most natural finish that leaves my skin looking matte but still fresh. There's huge internet hype around this product, thanks to its flawless, streak-free formula and, surprisingly, its online shade finder. I'm usually sceptical of these quizzes, but this one actually works, and my colour match was surprisingly perfect. It has a medium to full coverage, but worry not; it doesn't feel heavy or look cakey on the skin.'

Georgia Day, Contributing Beauty Editor at Vogue & SHEERLUXE

'My skin would be classed as normal/combination, but it's become less oily as I've gotten older. I'm lucky – especially in my job where constant product testing is par for the course – that my skin is not reactive and is very resilient. As with most people, I get a little dehydrated in the winter months so layer my products a bit more; moisturisers with ceramides and lovely oils packed with fatty acids to increase suppleness and elasticity.

'I feel like Shiseido foundations are a bit of an insider secret in that most of the people I know who wear them are beauty editors. I cannot overstate just how gorgeous the formulas are, though, and that goes for every single one I've tried – especially Revitalessence Skin Glow Foundation. The texture is silky and sophisticated, gliding onto skin like nothing else; plus, it's truly buildable in such a seamless way. For me, Shiseido is a refined, high-spec brand; this is exactly the kind of coverage you get with this foundation.

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1. Shiseido Revitalessence Skin Glow Foundation | 2. Glossier Stretch Fluid Foundation | 3. ILIA Skin Rewind Complexion Stick

'I was such a huge fan of the Glossier Stretch Balm Concealer, so I was excited when the Stretch Fluid Foundation launched, and luckily, it didn't disappoint. What I love most about this, and the Stretch franchise, is how second-skin its finish is. I buff it in with a blending brush, and it just sort of melts into my skin, taking any redness and discolouration with it. It really does just look like my skin, only better and what more could you want in a foundation?

'ILIA Skin Rewind Complexion Stick is my latest obsession and a product I look forward to putting on each morning. Historically, I've never been a huge fan of stick foundations, finding them generally too cakey and drying but this is a revelation. It has a slight sheeny, balm-like texture, which you imagine will just go on super sheer, but it covers really well and lasts so well. I'm so impressed.'

Rebecca Fearne, Freelance Beauty & Features Editor

'I usually have a normal to combination skin type with an oily T-zone. I'm also prone to dryness during winter and when using prescription retinol. I have been known to experience some sensitivity, especially around my eyes.

'I don't know a person alive who doesn't love Charlotte Tilbury's Beautiful Skin Foundation. It offers medium buildable coverage with a natural-radiant finish. Over the years, I've stepped away from foundation in favour of lightweigt skin tints, but for days when I need a touch more coverage, this is the perfect compromise.

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1. Charlotte Tilbury's Beautiful Skin Foundation | 2. Hourglass Veil Hydrating Skin Tint | 3. The Beauty Pie Superluminous™ Skin Glow Filter

'My current base of choice is the Hourglass Veil Hydrating Skin Tint, thanks to its gorgeously dewy finish (I like to GLOW), an impressive level of coverage for a skin tint, and its hydrating INCI list. I would love to see the shade range extend slightly, but that's my only qualm.

'The Beauty Pie Superluminous™ Skin Glow Filter has been my summer pick since last year, as it's lightweight and boosts your natural complexion's radiance. It has a dewy, luminous finish and can be built up well. Again, this would benefit from added shades to cater to more skin tones.'

Chloe Burcham, Freelance Beauty Editor 

'My skin is a little sensitive and dehydrated, but other than that, it usually plays ball. I've learned what products my skin will love (anything hydrating or vitamin C for glow) and what will stress out my complexion (exfoliating acids and retinol). When the seasons change, I'm prone to getting a few breakouts – but I like skin bases that boost my glow, hydrate my skin and don't feel heavy or drying on the skin.

'Since the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream launched, I have never been without a tube of this foundation in my makeup bag and I honestly recommend it to everyone. It has a medium-buildable coverage (and expertly covers redness) but looks really natural and glowy on the skin. I often get compliments on my skin, and I swear this is the reason why. It's also packed with skincare ingredients, so it actually nourishes your skin while you wear it, bingo. 

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1. IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream | 2. Sculpted By Aimee HydraTint | 3. Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick

'For days when I want less coverage, Sculpted By Aimee HydraTint, a lightweight serum foundation, is the one. Its light, runny consistency melts effortlessly into your skin, leaving behind a glow that looks like you've just had a facial. Gorgeous.

'If my skin isn't playing ball, I reach for the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick for on-the-go touch-ups and flawless coverage. Simply swipe it over your T-zone and use a foundation brush to blend it out. The coverage is really buildable and gives your skin a photo-ready finish that lasts all day long.'

Ava Welsing-Kitcher, Freelance Beauty & Wellness Editor

'My skin used to be combination until moving to LA, but it is now dry and drinks up moisture super quickly. Foundations that were too oily for me in London are now perfect, and I don't even need to use powder here that often. My skin's also quite sensitive to oils and intense fragrance, so anything neutral and water-based is perfect and won't give me texture or redness.

'I fell in love with the Saie Glowy Super Skin Tint Foundation formula as soon as I tried it, and wore nothing else for months afterwards. It's truly innovative – 85% is hyaluronic serum, the rest just pigment – and you can see your skin getting plumper and dewier hour by hour, but in the summer it can get a little too shiny.

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1. Saie Glowy Super Skin Tint Foundation | 2. YSL Nu Bare Look Tint

'I must admit, I overlooked the YSL Nu Bare Look Tint range as none of the shades seemed to match my golden undertone – but this winter, my tan started to fade, and nothing I tried would match my complexion. Except for this in shade 11, it's the perfect neutral with hints of yellow and olive and brought my lacklustre skin back to life. It's brightening and hydrating with glycerin and mallow, and so buildable and flexible.'

Perdita Nouril, Beauty Editor at Women's Health

'My skin type is a combination, and I'm prone to dehydration during the colder months. Large pores are my bugbear.

'For the days where I don't want to wear any foundation, Vieve Skin Nova is my go-to. It dials up my skin's brightness like nothing else and manages to cleverly blur imperfections without feeling as though I'm wearing anything on my skin at all. There are also some skincare powerhouses in there, such as niacinamide and beta-glucan; I'm obsessed!

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1. Vieve Skin Nova | 2. Monika Blunder's Blunder Cover

'Monika Blunder's Blunder Cover conjures up all the words you want your base product to be associated with: Think flawless, seamless, glowy, natural and long-lasting. It sits perfectly between a foundation, a concealer and a contour cream – and whether you use it for full coverage or to conceal blemishes – you can expect a dreamy, natural finish. My large pores are no match for this formula.'

Imagine breezing into one of the world’s most exclusive spas for a complimentary treatment. Or sitting down for a consultation with industry-leading practitioners and experts. You’ll feel your best inside and out with a Quintessentially membership – find out more here.  

Words by
Words by

Chanelle Ho

Chanelle is our London-based beauty writer and loves nothing more than a new product launch or innovative treatment. She also writes about exquisite spas and where to find them, both in the UK and worldwide.

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