Experts at knowing what should never touch your skin and what should always be on it, dermatologists and aestheticians are the perfect source for makeup advice. Here, top skin care professionals reveal their favorite foundations—and why.
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Celebrity aesthetician J’ai Ione
“Foundations are truly the hardest part of a makeup to add for my clients. We work so hard on making the skin even, glowy and firm that the usual application of foundations are a thing of the past. Oxygenetix is the foundation of choice at my studio. It is a wonderful sunblock foundation that is great for all skin types. This product can be layered easily and for my clients that are golfers, tennis players or out in the sun for other activities, this is the perfect foundation for the job.”
Dr. Roshini Raj, founder of TULA
“A makeup artist turned me on to Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Sticks a few years ago and I have yet to find a better match for my skin tone. I like to use the shade Golden — it blends perfectly and looks totally natural while still offering coverage. The olive extracts and shea butter make my skin look dewy and never ashy or dried out. The best part is, I can use a lot for TV appearances or a little for regular life – I love a multi-tasking product!”
Jaklin Idris, National Director of Education for DECLÉOR Paris
“My requirements for a foundation are very specific since I do not like to feel as though I’ve masked my face. I look for a formula with anti-aging skincare benefits, sensorial pleasure, unique texture, delicate scent, easy to apply and a natural finish all while delivering a luminous completion with a transparent, yet matte finish. My perfect foundation is the CARITA Haute Beauté Teint Sublime Radiance Veil in Beige. This by-phase formula is unfused with oxygen and it contains more than 50% Rose water, Vitamin C, and micro-proteins of Moringa. It glides on easily, creating a veil of freshness with a long-lasting, matte finish.”
Babor Deluxe Foundation ($45)
“Babor Foundation is my favorite. I love mixing it with my moisturizer so I am able to make my own tinted moisturizer. Not only is it age concealing but since it is oil based it doesn’t show imperfections. Oil is the main cement between the epidermal cells, the foundation works as a treatment for the epidermis. I also love that they only offer a few shades so it is not overwhelming to match your skin. You can always add a couple shades together if you skin tone changes, based on the season.”
Kate Somerville, celebrity aesthetician and founder of Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts
“I have used Jane Iredale’s mineral makeup for years. It’s free of oil, talc, FD&C dyes, and synthetic fragrance. I also love mineral makeup for additional SPF protection. Some people are sensitive to sunscreens, so incorporating mineral makeup is a great way to achieve sun protection without breakouts.”
Alpine, UT, dermatologist Cheryl Lee Eberting, MD
“I like this foundation for a few reasons: It doubles as a good sunscreen with an SPF of 30 (20 and below is borderline useless in my opinion) and it has wrinkle- and pigment-fighting peptides, vitamins and lipids. I also like that it does not contain any of the chemical sunscreens that have been associated with reproductive hormone disruption (avobenzone) and allergies (avobenzone and the cinnamates). However, the one drawback of this— and pretty much every foundation that doubles as a sunscreen—is that it still contains titanium, which is known to release free radicals when exposed to UV light. I prefer a zinc-only sunscreen option.”
Celebrity aesthetician Julia March
“My personal favorite for day-to-day light coverage is SANTE Naturkosmetic Soft Cream Foundation. This a wonderfully soft, creamy foundation that adds extra moisture to the skin. I don’t feel guilty wearing it all day long, as it does not contain petroleum-based silicone oils, synthetic colors and fragrances. The pure ingredients list was the main attraction factor, but after applying this mineral-based foundation, I fell in love with its velvety feel and the completely naturally enhanced, radiant look of my skin. However, if you are looking for a better coverage, I suggest you find another foundation, as this is a great foundation for a fresh, ‘undone,’ everyday look.”
“My favorite foundation for better coverage or a special occasion is Avène’s High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50. Perfect for those with dry or very sensitive complexions, or for those of us in premenopausal/ menopausal stage of life combatting hyperpigmentation and loss of moisture, this rich, buttery cream has an SPF of 50, which protects skin from triggering more melanin production. However, it also features high covering power without feeling greasy, heavy or occlusive, which left me forever enchanted. Avène’s foundation cream is free of fragrance, preservatives and parabens and is long-lasting and resistant to smudging and perspiration (I never have to worry about reapplying another layer in the middle of the day or checking the mirror—who has time for that?!). Plus, packed away in a sleek round container with a mirror, it instantly becomes your constant purse companion!”
New York aesthetician and makeup artist Nikki Morant
“One of my favorite foundations is Urban Decay’s NAKED Skin.
Not only does this product live up to its name by delivering a lightweight yet
buildable coverage formula that feels like second skin, but it’s also full of beneficial
ingredients which help repair cells, increase hydration and enhance the skin’s
Antioxidants: the formula includes the anti-aging heroines, vitamin E and green tea, that work to fight free-radical damage and heal distressed skin cells.
Sodium hyaluronate: This molecular level hydrator is essential to keeping the skin moisturized and assists with absorptions of nutrients.
Finally, the crème de la crème, Matrixyl 3000: A powerful peptide used to combat wrinkles and promote smoother, plumper skin.
Let’s think of it like this…you’re wearing a customizable foundation while treating your skin and this allows you to put your best face forward! Bonus points: It’s vegan friendly.”
Celebrity aesthetician Gina Mari
“For day time, I prefer to use AmorePacific’s Tinted Sunblock, which gives skin a natural finish while also giving it that all-important sun protection—vital whichever season and city you’re in! It contains green tea leaf extract, which acts as an antioxidant to protect skin from free radical damage, as well as bamboo sap to support natural cellular turnover and regeneration. I believe in the ‘French mentality’ that your makeup should simply enhance the flawless skin beneath instead of acting as a mask, which is why I particularly love this lightweight product when used post-facial!”
California-based aesthetician Sarah Becker
“My favorite foundation isn’t a foundation, per se, but rather a tinted sunscreen. It’s Suntegrity’s 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen, which is tinted, broad-spectrum SPF 30 and moisturizing. The texture is lovely and provides the perfect amount of glowy coverage while hydrating my skin with hyaluronic acid. I even use it at night when I feel I need a more polished look because the texture is so lovely. My clients love it because it’s not greasy, it doesn’t smell obnoxious and the colors seem to work well. I love it because it’s zinc-based, which is a much safer form of sun protection and it doesn’t cause breakouts because zinc is anti-inflammatory.”
Celebrity aesthetician Renee Roleau
“I never leave my skin without some sort of makeup. Most people think the ultimate skin care goal is have a complexion that’s so perfect that you won’t have to wear makeup. While this is a good goal, I educate my clients to think of makeup as a skin care product because it provides additional sun protection, coverage and a protective barrier to keep environmental debris off the skin. Of course, you only want to use a formula that is compatible with your unique skin type. I wear a custom-blend powder by pre-mixing three different ones together in a container. I blend Colorescience SPF 50 Mineral Powder to give sun protection, bareMinerals Illuminating Mineral Veil to add a nice glowy shimmer, and By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder to make pores look smaller and absorb oil. The combination of the three is perfect for my skin type. When I need more coverage, I’ll use Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation as a first layer underneath powder.”
Celebrity skin care expert and aesthetician Frankie Paige
“While I love a beautiful, smooth, makeup-enhanced complexion, my favorite kind of look is a ‘no makeup face.’ It’s what my clients and I work so hard to obtain! That said, I’m loving Honest Beauty’s Everything Cream Foundation and 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Foundation Powder.
I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2011. This not only changed me, but also the way I view ingredients. I wanted to be as conscious of what I’m putting ON my body as what I’m putting IN my body, which is a big reason why I ultimately chose to use more than 84 percent organic products in my skin care line.
I am thankful to be a cancer survivor, and recognize the need for skin care advocates to know how to treat active cancer patients. I was recently qualified by the Institute of Integrative Oncology to provide oncology skin care to cancer patients, and my goal is to educate as many people as possible about not only exposure to the environment and sun, but also about ingredients that are naturally derived AND effective! I recommend Honest Beauty and 100% Pure because they both have a great philosophy and integrity in their ingredients, and their products are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that help to moisturize the skin, as well as smooth fine lines to create a beautiful, soft, smooth and lasting finish.”