For me, finding the perfect foundation has always been the ultimate beauty dream. Having skin like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's is an understandable goal, but one that has had me on a constant hunt throughout my career—and even before it began. I've worked in beauty for nearly five years now, and I'll be honest: I've tried a lot of foundations. (I'm talking in the hundreds.)
I don't say this to brag, but for one, it's a part of my job, and secondly, it's my favourite thing to take home and test. If you get the base right, everything after that kind of follows and makes for a flawless complexion. From high-street options you can buy in your local Boots and Superdrug stores to luxury designer brands, I've tested out some of the most iconic formulas along with lesser-known ones over the years.
So I went over my foundation collection and gathered some of the very best, taking before and after pictures (so you can genuinely see if it delivers) until I decided on my top eight foundations. Along with being able to shop them all below, I've also included details about each product's coverage, finish and shade range (along with my unfiltered thoughts, of course).
For reference, I have combination skin that can be a little oily at the T-zone and sometimes drier on the cheeks. I prefer a glow-enhancing finish, but nothing that will make me too shiny on the nose and chin. My skin is fairly pale and has a neutral-cool undertone, but I've included plenty of foundations with a wide range of skin tones, so I think there will be something for everyone.
Keep scrolling to shop the very best foundations, IMO.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation
Finish: Radiant Matte
No. of shades: 44
Charlotte Tilbury complexion products are always amazing, and I'm impressed by the number of shades the makeup artist has created in her brand-new, full-coverage formula. It's not out until August 22, but I think this may just be her best one yet.
Suqqu Extra Rich Glow Cream Foundation
No. of shades: 7
This is perhaps my absolute foundation of all time, although I admit the fact it only has seven shades and comes in at a cool £68 are two things that are hard to get on board with. The formula is ultra-rich, however, meaning a little goes a very long way, and the finish is radiant and luminous. Its superpower is its longevity. It has the staying power of a true hero foundation—no matter what you put it through.
MAC Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation
Coverage: Sheer but buildable
No. of shades: 23
What I like about this most is the ultra-lightweight gel-serum/water texture, which works really well with combination/oily skin. It gives sheer coverage (perfect for weekdays) but can be built up to medium coverage. The packaging is also a definite plus, as the dropper pipette allows for precise application and zero waste.
Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation
No. of shades: 30
Huda Beauty was a pioneer (much like Fenty) in creating a more diverse foundation shade range. This full-coverage, blurring formula is highly pigmented and works best when applied with a misted Beautyblender following a hydrating or illuminating primer. It's one of my favourites for a night out because it really does last for hours and hours.
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover
No. of shades: 7
Another option that would benefit from a shade range extension but that's still a good high-street formula. For just under £10, it's great at hiding redness, blemishes and hyperpigmentation. It also comes in a super-handy travel-friendly tube.
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick
Coverage: Medium, buildable
Finish: Comfort matte
No. of shades: 32
This is the foundation that changed my mind about stick formulas. I've always found them to be drying, even with my own skin, and I'm combination/oily. However, this creamy stick is hydrating, easy to blend and lasts all day and night.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
No. of shades: 30
Nothing short of an industry icon, Giorgio Armani's foundation is a favourite particularly at weddings thanks to its great long-lasting coverage and lack of SPF (aka no flashback in bridal pictures). It promotes a lit-from-within glow that's never oily or greasy, and comes in 30 shade options.
Dior Forever Foundation
No. of shades: 31
One of my all-time favourite foundations was the classic Dior Forever formula, and this updated version offers more radiance and more glow. It's beautifully illuminating, has the perfect level of mid coverage and has effective staying power.