Forget Skin Tints — Medium Coverage Foundation Is Better Than Ever

It's my full-time job to have an opinion on beauty, and I'm very good at it. But even though I love the likes of color changing makeup and press on nails, I have to admit that I am Refinery29’s Chief Resident Foundation Hater.
And after years of full-coverage foundations and concealers dominating the market, it was a relief when we entered skin tint summer. Finally, the tinted moisturizer and barely-there coverage girlies got their time in the sun. But now it's all about the Goldilocks of the makeup world: welcome to medium coverage foundation season, and it's juuust right.
For the people like me who need something that is a little heavier than a tint, but don’t want to leap head first into the concrete-like texture of some full coverage foundations, it is our time. The thing about the latest foundation drop is that it's really putting the medium part to work. And here’s what I mean: medium coverage foundation allows you to see your skin texture, but still has the ability to even out skin tone.
The dream medium coverage foundation is lightweight but buildable. One such product, which has definitely ushered in Medium Coverage Fall, is the Haus Labs Triclone Skin Tech Medium Coverage Foundation. In fact, this foundation is making me (a person with a face on the No Foundation Ever Mountain) reconsider my stance on the topic.
What has Haus Labs put into this foundation? I would like to personally thank Miss Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta herself, because it is magic. Remember “Why Did You Do That?” from A Star Is Born? It's literally what I sing to this foundation every time I wear it. I’m a 440 Medium Deep Cool in the line, which Sephora describes as “medium deep with cool golden olive undertones”. I fully mean it when I say this is the first foundation — ever, period — that actually matches my skin tone on first application.
As we know, a lot of darker foundation shades come with strictly yellow or red undertones. My mom said, “You’re not applying anything,” when I ran to show her the magic, and that’s how good the color match is. The reason why I have been anti-foundation for years is that most makeup brands never made a shade for me. Maybe I’m biased because I finally feel represented in the space where I’m expected to be an expert, but this foundation is good. 
Every time I wear it, someone asks me what’s on my skin because it looks so even, glowy, and yet, like my actual skin. My best friend (who makes Casper look tan) even found her correct shade. What's more, the formula is made with over 20 skincare ingredients to be mega-comfortable on the skin as well as long-wearing. Think fermented arnica to quell redness, green tea which acts as an antioxidant against the environment and moisturising squalane, found in so many brilliant lotions.
As a result, the texture is like a serum. I wore this foundation to my friend’s wedding in September and it lasted through a full hair appointment, a drive in 80 degree weather and many tears throughout the ceremony. After over three hours of celebrating, it was still intact and looked beautifully glowy.
Another of my favorite entries into the category of medium coverage foundation includes YSL Beauty's new All Hours Luminous Matte Foundation with Hyaluronic Acid, which gives me a similar vibe to the Haus Labs foundation (though it's a bit more in the coverage arena). The brand boasts that this skincare-forward foundation is actually meant to improve the feel of your skin over time thanks to hydrating hyaluronic acid and moisturising glycerin. Sure enough, I got so many compliments while wearing it. (Touche Éclat loyalists may be turning a new leaf when they try this — just saying.)
Then there's BASMA Beauty and its Foundation Stick. The velvety formula is great for those on-the-go as it applies so smoothly. When blending, I use my fingers rather than a brush — it's that easy. You could apply this in heavy layers and it still would look like your skin when blended, as though you haven't tried at all. It's great for the days when you need to feel like you did something, but don't want to do anything.
Finally, celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta has delivered for those who want to kill two birds with one stone. Introducing the Major Skin Crème Foundation and Finishing Powder Duos. The foundation is creamy, moisturising and buildable, and you can use the powder on areas which require a little more coverage. NudeStix's Tinted Blur is also great for those who prefer a stick foundation to a liquid version, while Lancôme always deserves a mention in the medium coverage category. The Teint Idole Ultra Wear Care & Glow Foundation​ has carried this market on its back for years.
Now for concealer. If you're after something which tucks away blemishes but doesn't appear cakey or heavy, try something medium coverage. I recently used the Too Faced Born This Way Ethereal Light Illuminating Smoothing Concealer, and was so impressed by how effortlessly it melted into my skin. While it covered up what I wanted it to, including my dark circles, it allowed my skin’s natural glow and texture to shine through. Even better, this is full of soothing ingredients like aloe as well as moisturising squalane, and the skincare benefits me feel like I did something without trying too hard. That's my ultimate goal.
Last but certainly not least is Milk Makeup’s Future Fluid Hydrating Cream Concealer. This is available in 30 shades and it gives a bit more variety. A wide shade range means that this concealer is stellar for both concealing and contouring (or for emulating Katie Jane Hughes' model complexion hack). It's pretty perfect for 'soft beat' people, who love to look naturally sculpted.
Whichever product you go for, it's safe to say that this is the best time for medium coverage foundation fans — and I'm certainly loving the sweet spot between full-coverage and featherlight.
Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission.

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