We Tested $271 Worth Of Foundation — & Here Are Our Honest Opinions

Contrary to popular belief, the FOMO phenomenon is not exclusive to social events and Saturday nights — it can be applied to makeup, too. Even if your current lineup is perfectly good, even great, it’s hard not to feel a little covetous of the newest, most innovative launches, to want to test out $300 worth of mascara or $280 worth of concealer just to say you’ve tried them all. And when our favorite brands are pushing out yet another brand-new product on the regular before we can even finish our morning coffee, that fear of missing out on the latest and greatest is admittedly a tough habit to kick.
Now, to add insult to injury (to our bank accounts, that is), more foundations than we can count have already hit the market this year — and it’s not even April yet. But before we eschew our old favorites and replace them with the fresh new launches, we wanted to put the most popular, most inclusive, and buzziest new foundations to the test.
Ahead, six R29 staffers gave the most hyped new formulas a whirl — and found out whether they’re really worth ditching your go-to.
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The Foundation: Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation

Shades Available: 16

The Claims: Similar to the airbrushed effect of the brand's Blur Stick, this full-coverage, oil-free matte formula incorporates tiny powder-filled spheres meant to diffuse light for a soft-focus finish — kind of like you've got a ring light on you at all times.
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Shade(s): Ivory

Skin Type: Dry

The Verdict: "I have pale, dry skin with freckles, and I'm always on the lookout for a foundation that won't flake off on my chin and cheeks where I'm most dry, but will cover up any red spots and also still let my freckles show. Add that to the fact that I need my foundation to come in a very pale shade, and I'm not left with many options. Still, this formula managed to do all those things.

This is what I call a 'high-maintenance' foundation: You really need to prep your skin for this one — serum, moisturizer, primer — and you really need to take time to carefully blend and top it with a setting spray. However, when you take the time to go through all of the steps, the foundation looks great. It'll definitely become my special-occasion foundation, and it'll be good for the days I wake up early and can dedicate time to my makeup routine, but it's not something I could put on every morning or travel with. Oh, and don't worry about the price tag — a little goes a long way, so you won't have to repurchase so soon after buying." — Rebecca Smith (@rebecca_m_smith), Managing Editor
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The Foundation: Sleek Makeup Lifeproof Foundation

Shades Available: 24

The Claims: An oil-free, everything-proof matte foundation made to evolve with your skin throughout the day, whatever that might entail.
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Shade(s): LP11, LP10

Skin Type: Oily, combination

The Verdict: "I'm really, really, really picky when it comes to foundation because my skin's so darn fickle. All it takes is one bad product to spark a catastrophic breakout that takes days — if not weeks — to clear. Although I was hesitant at first, I'm happy about this full-coverage formula. It offers the kind of coverage it promises and leaves my skin with a natural and dewy glow. To be honest, it reminds me of concealer but just not as thick. The only downfall is that I wish more product came in each tube. Bummer." — Brianna Arps (@briannaarps), Lifestyle & Entertainment Editor, Branded Editorial
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The Foundation: Marc Jacobs Beauty Shameless Youthful-Look 24H Foundation SPF 25

Shades Available: 29

The Claims: In addition to offering one of the most shade-inclusive ranges on the market today, this buildable, medium-coverage formula also includes an impressive level of SPF protection, and promises it's clinically tested for 24 hours of wear.
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Shade(s): R550, Y570

Skin Type: Combination

The Verdict: "Since I first started wearing foundation at 16, it was always the hardest beauty product to shop for. I had to ask myself, 'Will this be too oily? Too light? Too dark?' There are so many questions that spark when buying just one foundation, and years later I still get worried when shopping around for a new brand. Although there are still some troubles in the beauty industry in terms of foundation range, there are a few brands that really show up when picking shades for women of color. Now, this is my new favorite: Its light, oil-free finish is perfect for acne-prone skin, and I don’t need to set it with any powder because it seriously last 24 hours — even without anything but a primer underneath. If you're looking for an effortless, no-makeup makeup look that has the ability to have fuller coverage, this is it." — Nana Agyemang (@everystylishgirl), Associate Content Strategy Editor
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The Foundation: Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15

Shades Available: 30

The Claims: A semi-matte, natural-finish formula that looks just like your skin, only better, and lasts for 16 hours.
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Shade(s): Beige

Skin Type: Oily, combination

The Verdict: "Full-coverage foundations have gotten a bad rap in the past for being heavy, drying, and borderline caky, but that's not the case for this one — it feels straight-up like a tinted moisturizer, right down to the medium coverage. Still, it covers everything, from redness to post-acne hyperpigmentation, without looking or feeling obvious. It's everything I love about a lightweight tinted moisturizer, with the longevity and coverage of more heavy-duty formulas." — Mi-Anne Chan (@mianne.chan), Beauty Writer & Host Of Beauty with Mi
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The Foundation: Cover FX Power Play Foundation

Shades Available: 40

The Claims: This long-lasting, sweat-proof vegan formula promises to match your skin's unique undertones without oxidizing throughout the day, while leaving behind a non-drying matte finish.
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Shade(s): G60

Skin Type: Normal, dry

The Verdict: "This color matched me perfectly and the shade range is really inclusive. I’m lucky if one shade ever matches me when looking for foundations, and this time, G60 was a clear, perfect match. That said, I don’t think this foundation is the best for my skin type. I have normal to dry skin and I think this foundation could be better suited for people who are on the oilier side. I have to put a thick layer of moisturizer on before using this foundation; otherwise, it doesn’t blend out properly. I also have to apply it to my cheeks first and use the leftover foundation on my brush for my nose, or else it cakes up. But I'm still able to make it work, and I actually think I'll end up using it as a light concealer instead of foundation because of its staying power." — Meghal Janardan (@meghaljanardan), Video Producer
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The Foundation: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Perfector

Shades Available: 10

The Claims: A sheer-to-medium coverage tint that perfects the look of skin for a fresh, natural finish that still hides everything you need it to.
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Shade(s): 3

Skin Type: Sensitive, combination

The Verdict: "I have a very specific vision of what I want my skin to look like: clear, fresh, slightly dewy, and damn near poreless, as if I've never picked a zit until it bled, broken all the capillaries around my nose from squeezing at my imaginary blackheads, or smoked a cigarette in my life.

After years of inadvertently making my skin worse instead of better, by treating it like a problem that needed to be fixed instead of a highly reactive whiny baby that needed to be coddled, I think I've finally gotten things figured out — and this foundation is an absolute dream for creating a clear, fresh, slightly dewy, and damn near poreless finish for skin that's pretty good but not yet great.

I'm fully on board, with one reservation: Supposedly each shade in the range is capable of adapting to three to five different skin tones, eliminating the need for a wider variety. Though all of the existing reviews online have good things to say about that claim, I'm still a little skeptical... but I could be wrong." — Rachel Krause (@rchlkrs), Senior Beauty Writer
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The Foundation: NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

Shades Available: 33

The Claims: A medium-to-full coverage foundation that creates a radiant, natural base without the heavy sensation of a traditional, long-wear formula.
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Shade(s): Zambie

Skin Type: Combination

The Verdict: "The people closest to me know two things: I’m deathly afraid of cats, and I do not wear foundation unless absolutely necessary. Sure, I know that it creates an even base, but I feel like liquid foundations just make me break out. But when I do have to use it, it’s matte full-coverage or nothin’.

"I was skeptical of this sheer formula, because the whole name of the game is to hide my flaws, not highlight them. And while this new formula did go on as lightly as it promised, the formula, somehow, still managed to bring life to my otherwise dull complexion (which I owe to that extra glass of white wine from the the night before). My dark spots were mostly covered, and instead of having to overcompensate with the highlight, my high points looked dewy and natural. Now, I know the foundation I'll wear all summer long."
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