Foundation For People Who Hate Foundation — So Good

Photo: MCV Photo.
Foundation is a beauty product many of us wish we could forgo, but the majority of us weren't blessed with even, blemish-free skin. After all, finding the perfect one shouldn't be as difficult as finding your soulmate on Tinder. And, swiping a screen to locate an elusive love match is much more enjoyable than sifting through countless formulas that cake, crease, quickly disappear, or make your complexion dull and flat.
Luckily for you, we turned to four makeup professionals to identify breathable bases that deliver the flawless coverage you covet and give tips on how to apply it. Ahead, 10 foundations that will make any BB-cream addict a convert.
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Don't forget to let us know your favorites in the comments.
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Photo: Via Kevyn Aucoin.
New-ish to the market, this luxury foundation feels like cashmere on your skin. Makeup artists Desirae Cherman and Edward Cruz both rave over it. “It’s my newest obsession,” said Cherman. “It’s super lightweight and feels like a serum going on. And, it’s formulated with anti-aging ingredients.”

For application, Cruz swears by dual-fiber brushes, which are easy to spot because of their black-and-white bristles. “Apply a small amount of foundation directly to your cheeks and forehead, and then buff in circular motions outward until you see a polished and natural finish.”
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Photo: Via Perricone MD.
Anti-aging, SPF 30, and weightless on the skin: This one kills it in every department. Makeup artist Andre Sarmiento tells us Perricone's cleverly named formula is for people who want to feel like they have absolutely nothing on their skin.

“For me, it's mostly skin care, with just enough tint to give the complexion a healthy glow,” he said. “It absorbs, and then it’s like nothing was there — all that’s left behind is healthy-looking skin.”

You can keep things simple and use fingers to apply, or Sarmiento suggests a buffing brush, which diffuses lighter foundations to almost nothing.
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Photo: VIa Giorgio Armani.
This product basically started the foundation-as-serum trend. It's pigment suspended in oil and dispensed in a dropper, which drives home the fact that it's intended to be applied with your fingertips. “It feels like you have nothing on, since it’s formulated to adapt to your skin texture and tone,” said Cherman. “Plus, it provides a good dose of hydration!”

To boost longevity of this lightweight base, Sarmiento uses a combination of primer and setting spray to seal it in place. “I start with a long-wear primer, like Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, and apply the makeup as usual,” he said. “Then, I finish by misting the Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray onto a Beautyblender and use the loaded sponge to do one last blend of the base. That way everything still feels light, but is totally locked into place.”
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This dropper foundation gives your face a “your skin but better effect” (like our favorite Snapchat filter in a bottle). The silky-smooth formula glides on, blurring fine lines and pores and resulting in a soft-focus finish.
Simply shake the bottle, release a couple of drops onto the back of your hand, and dab the product over your forehead, cheeks, and chin. Then, use a foundation brush to blend and buff outward for your desired level of coverage.
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Photo: Via Shiseido.
During the winter months, when our complexions tend to look more weathered, a light base that offers medium-to-full coverage can be a lifesaver. According to Cruz, this foundation provides full coverage while sheering out beautifully in areas that need less attention. The formula also comes packed with long-lasting skin-care benefits.

For long-wear, Cruz swears by the Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder because it’s colorless, won’t cake, and can be reapplied all day without changing the look of your makeup.
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Photo: Via Chanel.
A holy grail for beauty gurus and makeup artists alike, this soft-fluid makeup is the epitome of natural perfection. Cherman swears it’s amazing when you want just a tiny bit of coverage and a gorgeous, even glow.

“It's made with water-light textures, so your skin looks and feels refreshed,” Cherman said. For a truly natural finish, she advises using a wet sponge to apply. This helps the foundation become one with the skin instead of just sitting on top. For those with oily skin, dust a translucent powder over your T-zone to keep shine at bay.
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Photo: Via L'Oréal.
We love a good drugstore buy just as much as you do, and when it comes to foundation, you simply can’t go wrong with a classic. Cherman loves this breathable base because it’s easy to apply, lightweight, and has a ton of shade options. Makeup artist Adam Breuchaud recommends setting makeup with a finely milled, light-reflecting powder like Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder.
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Photo: Via Yves Saint Laurent.
With an endless range of shades and comfortable, long-lasting wear, it’s no wonder this foundation is one of Sarmiento's favorites. Unlike most of the other options on this list, the formula dries to a luminous matte finish, which makes it the perfect choice for oily or combination skin.

It also boasts true long-wear properties, even though it feels light going on. For a lightweight, controlled application, Sarmiento highly recommends using your fingertips. “Rubbing product between your hands warms and diffuses it,” he said. “Plus, that way you apply the product like moisturizer, and really work it in and thin it out.”
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Photo: Via By Terry.
One of the only foundations of its kind, this innovative base makes application a one-step process. Its built-in brush dispenses the product with a simple click. Sarmiento is a huge fan because of its portability and effortless use.

“It works to brighten and neutralize unevenness in skin tone,” he said. “Instead of masking uneven tones, this product has pigments that cancel them out. As a result, you need very little of this light-as-air foundation.”
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Photo: Via Bobbi Brown.
Bobbi Brown herself calls this base “the ultimate nude foundation.” The iconic stick makeup was made for on-the-go gals.

While it provides buildable coverage, Sarmiento swears its thin texture is breathable and light. For flawless application, lightly dab where needed and blend with your fingers. With this method, you can use it both as a concealer and a foundation without it looking too heavy.
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Photo: Via Givenchy.
This creamy fluid works wonders on imperfections while imparting a glowing visage. It's another stellar option if you’re in need of optimum coverage, but still crave that no-makeup feel.

“This foundation builds beautifully to a full coverage, but keeps a dewy, healthy look to the skin,” said Breuchaud. To thin it out, he suggests mixing it with a dollop of your daily moisturizer. Bonus: It contains SPF 20.
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