I've Tried Over a Hundred Foundations – This Clean One Is the Best

I always get compliments on my skin when I wear it.

CLEAN SLATE: Exa High Fidelity Semi-Satin Foundation
Photo: Credo Beauty/ InStyle

I've been wearing makeup since I was a teenager, and throughout the years, I've tried over a hundred complexion products. I'm talking foundation, concealer, BB cream, skin tints, and tinted moisturizer. And while I appreciate a clean beauty product, being clean is never what makes me fall for a product — it has to work, and do so very well.

As someone with slightly acne-prone skin and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, I appreciate a good amount of coverage, but most foundations that have it tend to cover up the rest of my skin too much. I like my skin to look like skin, and it's hard to get a natural finish and good coverage.

It wasn't until I tried Exa's High Fidelity Foundation that I believed it was possible to have both. The formula is buildable, has a semi-satin finish, and comes in 43 shades. Since it's a Credo in-house brand, it's also incredibly clean.

Every time I wear it, someone compliments my skin. It makes my skin look luminous, it feels lightweight, and it covers everything I want to hide seamlessly. It rivals a cult-classic $65 foundation I'd been loyal to for years. And if I'm being honest, I like this one better.

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Exa High Fidelity Foundation

exa high fidelity foundation review

Apart from making my skin look incredibly healthy and clear, the vegan formula is also packed with nourishing skincare ingredients. Aloe leaf juice soothes the skin, peach fruit and coffee seed extract slightly plump it, glycerin hydrates it — and that's only the beginning of the long list of impressive ingredients. It's a true makeup-meets-skincare product.

VIDEO: 7 Expert Tips on How to Apply Makeup on Dry Skin and Avoid Flakes

I'd be remiss not to mention the accompanying primer — the two together are a true power duo. And while I don't usually use primer (I know, I know, but ain't nobody got time for that), this one is a pleasure to use. It's called the Jump Start Smoothing Primer and it does exactly what the name says: It smooths the skin for the perfect canvas.

While using them in tandem, my skin looks like the best version of itself. It doesn't feel like I'm hiding my skin when I use the foundation (either alone or with the primer), rather, it feels like it's enhancing what's already there. It sounds cheesy, but I've never felt more myself and more confident than when I'm wearing it, so regardless of its clean claim, this is the best foundation out there.

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