I’ve worked in the beauty industry as a copywriter and editor for over 18 years, which means makeup and skincare brands will often send me products for free. It’s not me who’s bragging, but it’s is explaining to me that I have tried almost all the foundations on the market. So if I recommend buying a product, you can be sure that I know it works better than anything else.
When the Romper team asked me to write about the best foundations for moms, I immediately knew which 10 products I would recommend to any mom (or anyone) who needs to fake a glowy effect from eight hours of sleep. These are the formulas I keep coming back to, after two decades of testing every foundation under the sun.
It’s also important to note that I have super sensitive, acne-prone skin, so you can rest easy knowing that these formulas won’t trigger any additional breakouts (or at least that’s been my experience using them). ).
Behold, the best – my top 10, holy grail – foundations worth buying for any budget.
Best Pharmacy Foundation
I remember when the Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation dropped out years ago because I was an instant fan, and still am to this day. (Concealer is also an insanely awesome drugstore gem—think NARS Creamy Concealer.) Think of it like yoga pants for your face: formula slips on, makes your skin so smooth, feels so comfortable to wear, and moves easily with you until you take it off. Bonus: Your skin will also be radiant and dewy while it’s in place.
Available in 24 shades.
Best CC Cream
The Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective with Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 is a new launch from Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty brand, and it really blew me away when I tried it. A little goes a long way, but I love the finish – it’s dewy, leaves your skin looking plump and rested, and includes blurry spheres to even out blemishes and vitamin C to help brighten skin.
Available in nine shades.
Best moisturizing foundation
The Urban Decay Hydromaniac Glowy Tinted Hydrating Foundation hydrates your skin with marula oil and visibly brightens it with antioxidant-rich kombucha filtrate. I love it because it’s super soft and leaves your skin glowing (30% more hydrated!) without looking greasy. Tip: You only need a tiny bit for your whole face as it’s super concentrated, but doesn’t feel heavy on your skin.
Available in 12 shades.
Best foundation for acne prone skin
NUDESTIX Tinder Cover Foundation is unique in that it was originally created to be an innovative skincare product with tinted pigments to give a more even complexion, but it exploded as a cult foundation that also wicks away the water for a long-lasting effect. Personally, the reason I still use this formula (I oscillate between a few foundations – which I talk about in this same story!) is that it gives my skin a natural finish and doesn’t wrinkle. Plus, it has tea tree, which helps fight breakouts, and skin-brightening minerals that leave my skin looking its best.
Available in 15 shades.
Best Full Coverage Foundation
I still remember the first time I met founder Jamie Kern Lima about IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+, the cult product of its brand. I got hooked on the capital H after using it once and became an instant evangelist of the formula. I know it’s my job to spread the beauty word, but I was intentional tell people about this formula when it’s launched. It was, and still is, amazing. It’s full coverage and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. That said, it leaves you with that understated glow that makes your skin look healthy. Years after its launch, I still can’t say enough good things about it.
Available in 12 shades.
Best Filter Effect Foundation
In my opinion, Charlotte Tilbury never fails when it comes to makeup. So many of my favorite products from her line (like Pillowtalk lip liner and lipsticks, to name a few) are amazing – and she didn’t disappoint with her new Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation, of which Kate Moss is the face. Definitely worth a try as the formula wears out then good on your skin, making it look like a filter effect, IRL. It’s light to medium coverage perfect for every day.
Available in 30 shades.
Best foundation with SPF
The Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint Foundation SPF 40 is a staple in my makeup bag. I love how it has extra SPF protection (although it’s important to apply real sunscreen before layering on any makeup product). I also love how you feel when you put it on your skin, like putting on a silky serum, thanks to the hydrating squalane and skin-brightening niacinamide. And as far as wearability goes, it’s never appealed to me, gives a believable why-yes-it’s-my-perfectly-clear-skin finish, and it leaves skin with a dewy glow. That said, I suggest matching the shades somewhere near you, as I found the shades hard to find online. Personally, I mix two shades together during the summer and use another for all other months of the year.
Available in 30 shades.
Best Medium Coverage Foundation
A tried and true beauty editor favorite, NARS Natural Radiant Lightweight Foundation glides on like you’re using skincare – close your eyes and you might mistake it for your favorite moisturizer. It also leaves you with medium to full coverage and a glow that will last all day and night. Oh, and you won’t even need to touch it up, it’s so good.
Available in 33 shades.
Best long-lasting foundation
Dior Forever Skin Glow Foundation SPF 15 is rightfully one of the biggest out there. It won’t let you down when it comes to coverage – it’s medium to full and long-lasting – and it provides up to 24 hours of hydration, thanks to wild pansy extract. (But please wash your face at the end of the night and don’t sleep in your foundation!)
Available in 42 shades.
Best everyday foundation
The first time I used The latest from Chanel, the Revitalizing foundation n°1, it left me speechless. It gives a second-skin finish, leaving buildable, light to medium coverage. It also contains hydrating Red Camellia Oil that leaves you with a youthful glow that means you got eight hours of sleep last night, maybe even nine. It’s currently the foundation I use every day so when you see me in real life or in any photo or video on social media that’s why my skin looks so healthy and fresh.
Available in 20 shades.
Resting Mom Face is a bi-monthly column by Romper beauty contributor Carly Cardellino.