Foundation has to be one of the hardest makeup products to shop for, both in-person and most definitely online. And while that can make finding the right fit one painful journey, once you do find your foundation match, you’re lovers for life.
There’s plenty to consider on your search, starting with the type of coverage you’re after. Foundations can range from sheer and skin-like to full coverage and a buildable in-between – all of which will only work if you get that skin tone match just right. And even in 2020, there are few brands that offer a full shade spectrum, but we sure as hell praise the ones that do.
Then, you’ve got the finish. No longer is foundation broken down into dewy or matte only, there’s satin and velvet to consider, too. Of course your skin type and personal preference will also come into play, with liquid, powder, stick, cream and fluid textures all on the menu.
Phew it sure is a tall order, but one we take very seriously at marie claire. And so with all this in mind, we present to you our carefully curated list of the best foundations in Australia.
Best dewy foundation
Clinique Even Better™ Glow Light Reflecting Makeup SPF 15
If you’re someone who likes their skin to sheen and radiate when the light changes, you need to try this illuminating favourite. Sparkles are nowhere to be seen in the dew-only formula that remains fresh and juicy throughout the day.
$55 at Sephora
Best full coverage foundation
MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF15 Foundation
For full coverage fans, this buildable formula begins at medium but is easily built to a complete cover, offering the versatility and comfort often missing from a total camouflage. It has a matte finish with excellent oil control but isn’t drying.
$55 at Myer
Best lightweight foundation
Estée Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup SPF 20
If you want to wear foundation, but not feel like you are, this sheer-to-medium coverage blend deserves a crack. Its skin-loving formula will plump and hydrate while skin tone is evened-out without being masked.
$60 at Estée Lauder
Best matte foundation
Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
There’s a difference between a true matte foundation and one with just a slightly matte finish. Fenty’s first foundation drop was applauded for its shade range, but it’s also the formula’s ability to remain matte throughout the day, even on the oiliest of complexions, that impressed us. When testing shades, make sure to wait until it’s completely dried down for a true match.
$53 at Sephora
Best luxe foundation
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
Remember how we said there’s more to finishes than just matte and dewy? Say hello to silk. This lightweight favourite helps skin glow, but you can forget about any shine. It’s a rare formula as it works well on most skin types, which has earned it a top-shelf status.
$100 at Giorgio Armani
Best budget foundation
Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Mattifying Liquid Foundation
A lot of pharmacy foundations don’t cater to all skin tones, but this flawless favourite comes in an impressive 40 shades. It has a smooth matte finish, but it plays well with combination and normal skin as well as oily.
$21.95 at Priceline
Best natural-finish foundation
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
Having just been crowned a winner in MECCA’s Beauty Election Awards, there’s many who consider Sheer Glow their number one foundation. Despite the name, it has a satin finish that looks natural and feels lightweight, making it an ideal everyday base for a natural makeup look.
$75 at MECCA
Best versatile foundation
Dior Backstage Face And Body Foundation
If you want just one foundation that can do it all, Meghan Markle’s wedding choice is our top pick. It’s buildable all the way from freckle-enhancing sheer to full coverage. It’s lightweight, yet pigmented, with a glowing finish that mimics healthy skin. You can dial it up with an illuminating primer or mattify with a quick powder in oily areas; there’s no pilling no matter how you layer it.
$70 at Sephora
Best long-wear foundation
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF 10
Fans of Double Wear rarely stray. And with a comfortable, medium coverage formula that refuses to budge no matter what – who can blame them? It’s the ideal foundation for those on-the-go. Plus, the shade range has always been impressively broad, with 58 shades currently available.
$60 at Estée Lauder