Best Beauty Buys

Liquid Foundations

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        Best Foundation for Medium-Dark Skin 2016

        Burberry Fresh Glow Foundation in Dark Sable No. 36

        Best Foundation for Medium-Dark Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Burberry Fresh Glow Foundation in Dark Sable No. 36

        Blemishes disappear under this illuminating caramel base.

        $52
        Best Foundation for Dark Skin 2016

        Jay Manuel Beauty Skin Perfector Foundation in Deep Filter 2

        Best Foundation for Dark Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Jay Manuel Beauty Skin Perfector Foundation in Deep Filter 2

        There’s no gray, orange, or yellow in this base.

        $38
        Best BB/CC Cream 2016

        Diorskin Nude

        Best BB/CC Cream 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Diorskin Nude

        As great for every day as it is for an evening out (one word: glow), this complexion booster feels superlight yet lends a sheer-to-medium nish. As one of the few BB creams “with a yellow, not pink, undertone,” says Washington, D.C., pro Johny Saade, “it’s ideal for neutralizing redness.” It also plays well with others; mix it with base for added coverage under eyes.

        $45
        Best Oil-Free Foundation 2016

        Chantecaille Future Skin

        Best Oil-Free Foundation 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Chantecaille Future Skin

        When it comes to this base, it’s all about the texture. With its “nice slip” (pro-speak for smoothness), the gel-like formula could easily be the love child of “a tinted moisturizer and a bb cream,” says L.A. makeup artist Kirin Bhatty. In other words, it gets you glowing but never greasy. Oil-free but with a high water content, it’s a great pick for dry and less dry complexions alike, notes L.A. makeup pro Mai Quynh, who works with Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon.

        $76
        Best Foundation for Fair Skin 2016

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in No. 4.5

        Best Foundation for Fair Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in No. 4.5

        Try a neutral vanilla that covers without turning o the lights.

        $62
        Best Foundation for Fair-Medium Skin 2016

        Givenchy Teint Couture Balm in Nude Honey

        Best Foundation for Fair-Medium Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Givenchy Teint Couture Balm in Nude Honey

        This satiny camel lotion blurs lines while evening skin tone.

        $44
        Hall of Fame
        Best Inexpensive Foundation 2016

        L’Oréal Paris True Match

        Best Inexpensive Foundation 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

        L’Oréal Paris True Match

        Makeup artists marvel at this well-priced foundation line’s eyebrow- raising 28 hues (with cool, warm, and neutral tones that can sync with all complexions, says Grayson) that provide a non-chalky, oil-free nish. L.A. pro Ashleigh Louer notes that the satin-like formula “mimics the look of skin instead of just covering it up.” Dabble or go all in, says L.A. makeup artist Daniel Chinchilla: “No matter how much you put on, it still looks natural.”

        $11
        Hall of Fame
        Best Liquid Foundation 2016

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk

        Best Liquid Foundation 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2013, 2009

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk

        We know streak-free, goof-proof foundation is the holy grail of makeup—and this liquid gold has been satisfying epic quests for more than a decade. "It can take a red, blemished complexion and turn it into a gorgeous, glowing one," says N.Y.C. makeup artist Gita Bass. In an impressive range of shades (24 hues in all), the buildable, blendable base adds "radiance without looking greasy," no matter your age, says Bass, who has used the product on clients such as Selena Gomez and Debra Messing.

        $62
        Best Tinted Moisturizer 2015

        Laura Mercier

        Best Tinted Moisturizer 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2014, 2009

        Laura Mercier

        We can be as finicky as Goldilocks when selecting tinted moisturizer: Some are too sheer, some too bronzy. However, this anti- oxidant-spiked hydrator is just right. It gives skin a hint of color and “blurs unevenness and redness without looking cakey or makeup-y,” says King.

        $44
        Best Foundation for Medium-Dark Skin 2015

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in No. 7.5

        Best Foundation for Medium-Dark Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in No. 7.5

        This sheer caramel liquid creates an even canvas for bold, bright hues.

        $62
        Best Foundation for Fair-Medium Skin 2015

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in No. 5.5

        Best Foundation for Fair-Medium Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in No. 5.5

        A fawn-colored base that balances vibrant colors.

        $62
        Best Foundation for Fair Skin 2015

        Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in No. 10 Beige

        Best Foundation for Fair Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in No. 10 Beige

        As light as light can be while still looking warm, not ghostly. 

        $47
        Best BB Cream 2015

        Smashbox Camera Ready

        Best BB Cream 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2014

        Smashbox Camera Ready

        Alphabet-cream skeptics, listen up: This tinted, peptide-rich lotion will make you a believer. It fades sun spots and broken capillaries, leaving a lit-from-within vibrancy. “It’s essential for the five- minute-makeup person,” says L.A. pro Tasha Reiko Brown.

        $39
        Best Oil-Free Foundation 2015

        Hourglass Immaculate

        Best Oil-Free Foundation 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Hourglass Immaculate

        Oh, you’re one of those people who think that unless your face is naturally flawless, foundation just makes you break out? Please reconsider. Blend a pump of this mousse-like whip and watch it dry down to a soft, shine-free finish thanks to oil-absorbing kaolinite clay. “It’s not a matte that looks dull, either,” says L.A. makeup artist Carola Gonzalez.

        $55
        Best 2014 Dark

        Bobbi Brown in Walnut

        Best 2014 Dark
        WINNER 2014

        Bobbi Brown in Walnut

        It comes in a chubby stick with glide-on sheerness that won’t leave behind a gray cast.

        $48
        Best 2014 Liquid Foundation

        Giorgio Armani Maestro

        Best 2014 Liquid Foundation
        WINNER 2014

        Giorgio Armani Maestro

        Armani's Luminous Silk foundation dominated this category for nearly a decade, only to be unseated by its new little sister —this ultralight fluid. The velvety matte finish "mimics flawless skin," raves L.A. makeup artist Mai Quynh. "It's perfect for women who don’t like to wear a lot of makeup."

        $64
        Best 2014 Fair to Medium

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in No. 6.5

        Best 2014 Fair to Medium
        WINNER 2014

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in No. 6.5

        Spots and pores vanish under an ultrasuede finish.

        $62
        Best 2014 Shade for Fair to Medium Skin

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in No. 8

        Best 2014 Shade for Fair to Medium Skin
        WINNER 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007

        Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in No. 8

        Spots and pores vanish under an ultrasuede finish.

        $62
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