Just like fashion works on a seasonal cycle (sandals and floral dresses in spring and ankle boots cosy knits come autumn), so does beauty. While the new year is always about trending ingredients and glowy skin, the colder weather always leads to a resurgence in more classic beauty products—eye creams, red lipsticks and this year, foundations.
Yes, the amount of new base products that landed on my desk over the past couple of months has been, quite frankly, insane. Not that putting them to the test has been much of a hardship—I love foundation. From innovative cushion formulations inspired by Korean beauty technology to traditional liquid formulas, I don't discriminate when it comes to foundations—I'll try them all in my quest for my ideal base. Disclaimer: For me, that means not too dewy but not too matte; something that will minimise the appearance of blemishes but still looks like skin and a formula that will last for at least the working day. (Not much, then.)
But with multiple foundations launching every single week, it can be pretty hard to know where you should start looking if you're currently in the market for a new one. Worry not, though—I've done all of the hard work for you.
Whatever finish you like or skin type you have, I've tried out a new foundation every single week for the past few months to bring you a comprehensive edit of the best new launches. Keep scrolling to shop the 10 best new foundations (in my opinion).
When this foundation launched back in August, it had a 17,000 person waiting list, and I can see why. When most people think of foundation, this is probably the kind of formula that they think of—an opaque liquid that provides coverage. The difference with this one, though, is that it also contains skincare ingredients to hydrate your skin during use and to reduce signs of ageing over time. (Pretty genius.) It has a matte finish that manages to still have a soft glow and serious staying power.
I didn't really know what to expect from a foundation claiming to be self-refreshing, but it turned out to be exactly that. I don't know what magic this foundation contains (in actual fact, it's ActiveForce technology that defends the coverage of your foundation against everything from humidity to muscle movements, but it looks as good in the morning as it does by the end of the day. It's also oil-free and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog your pores. Plus, it leaves you looking fresh-faced without looking shiny.
Victoria Beckham's brow expert Anastasia Soare might be renowned for her brow products, but it turns out that she's pretty damn good at foundations too. This new one has an impressive shade range—50, to be precise—so there's a hue for everyone and it really delivers on coverage. I wore this daily during a particularly intense bout of pregnancy acne and was really impressed with the way that it managed to conceal spots without looking cakey or cloying. It's water-resistant, subtly luminous and feels totally weightless on the skin which is surprising given the amount of coverage.
Matte foundations have definitely fallen in popularity this year, with all things glow leading the way instead. However, I think that some occasions really do call for a matte finish—especially if your skin is on the oily side like mine. If I'm going to be out all day and want my makeup to last, then I prefer to opt for a matte foundation and add radiance where I want it with highlighters. This one from Rimmel contains powder technology to actually absorb oil throughout the day (genius). It offers an even, matte finish without feeling dry or cakey on the skin.
First up, I'm well aware that £105 is an extortionate amount of money to spend on a foundation, but this formula is the result of decades of research and cutting-edge Japanese technology. For me, this has the most innovative texture of all the new foundations that I've tried—it's almost like a serum—and it really does a brilliant job of evening skin tone and brightening your complexion. Every time I wear it, I get a compliment on my skin, and it's always down to the glowy-but-natural–looking finish of this foundation.
Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturiser has been around for years and years and is a bit of a cult base product amongst beauty editors and makeup artists. However, it was recently repackaged and reformulated and makes the perfect foundation alternative for people who are just looking for a hint of coverage or a skincare-foundation hybrid. This, for me, is my perfect Sunday foundation when I only want to spend 30 seconds on my makeup before heading for brunch.
I'm a big fan of Surratt as a beauty brand, but I wasn't sure I'd get on with this foundation at first try as it feels so hydrating. However, just a couple of drops were enough to cover my whole face—blurring over pores and minimising blemishes with ease. When I looked in the mirror, I genuinely couldn't believe how even my skin tone was despite it appearing as if I didn't have any product on my skin at all. This is seriously good stuff and a little goes a long way.
Physicians Formula is an American beauty brand that stateside beauty editors have been raving about for years due to its purse-friendly products and expert formulations. I was so excited when it landed in the UK this year, and this foundation really didn't disappoint. It's a classic liquid foundation with buildable coverage that hydrates, brightens and evens skin tone. Plus, it contains SPF 20, so you're protected from the sun too.
A bold claim indeed, but it really was love at first try for me and this new cushion foundation from Nars. If you don't know, then cushion foundations are huge in Korea. They come in handy compacts with the foundation soaked into a sponge. All you have to do is use a pressed applicator (or a brush if you prefer) to apply it. I've never really got on with them previously, but this one is so versatile. You can apply it lightly for a sheer, glowy skin tint or layer it up for majorly good coverage that veers on just the right side of dewy. It's a great one for on-the-go application as well.
A first of its kind, this foundation balm from makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin has a formula unlike anything I've ever tried before. It comes with a small, flat-topped brush that you buff over the surface of the balm and then onto your skin to impart a healthy glow. Drier skin types will love the rich texture of this foundation which uses vitamin E and avocado oil to care for the skin. Personally, I like to buff in a couple of layers for a full-coverage finish.