Meet your match: Our 10 bestselling foundations

Locating the right foundation is a little like shopping for the perfect pair of jeans—it requires patience, time and can sometimes feel disheartening in the unflattering lights of the change room. But, when you finally locate that impeccable fit, it’s as though the stars have aligned and you can take on the world. We’ve rounded up our top 10 bestsellers as an indispensable guide. If they're beloved by our clued-up customers, then you know they're good.

10. Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer

This full coverage, long-wearing and matte multitasker is a popular choice among women who seek an eternally flawless finish. Whether it’s for a wedding, work conference or a big night on the town, the lightweight formula glides on and sets to a completely matte look that is even waterproof. Rain, hail or shine is an impressive attribute for a foundation. The refillable concealer that lives in its lid makes it a reliable travel companion for on-the-go touch-ups, too.

9. Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation

The name says it all. This is a base that will go on, set to a matte (but never flat) finish and last for hours. Oil-free and injected with three times the pigment of UD’s Naked Skin Liquid Foundation—which means a little goes a long way—this base delivers an airbrushed finish that stills looks fresh 12 hours on. It’s also waterproof, with a formula that diffuses light, blurs imperfections and absorbs any excess oil to reduce the appearance of shine. The saucy brand recommends it for “scandalous activities” and “all night affairs” but we can vouch that it’s just as dependable for daily wear free of scandal.

8. bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation

For the foundation resistant, this mineral-based everyday base is weightless, never drying and silky to the touch. Don’t be fooled by its airy consistency—it can still stay put for up to eight hours, while the powdery formula blurs the appearance of pores and imperfections. Added SPF makes it a great “all terrain” product, too. The best bit? It’s created using only five mineral ingredients and sans talc, parabens, and other undesirables. A win-win, really.

7. Ellis Faas Skin Veil Foundation

Ellis Faas is one of the most influential makeup artists in the biz; her work has appeared in Paris Vogue countless times. With years of experience under her brush belt, it’s not surprising she knows how to create a heavenly foundation. This one diffuses light to impart a seamless, soft-focus finish that never feels like a mask. The exquisite formula becomes one with your skin—it’s buildable, so you can create a wash of ethereal colour or layer up for medium coverage akin to a porcelain-like effect. It’s also infused with Vitamin E to protect the skin. It’s the most expensive of the ten but it’s a complexion game changer.

6. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

This humidity-proof, longwearing wonder is a popular choice for those with uneven or problematic skin (including acne scarring or pigmentation). Why? It offers complete coverage that still feels comfortable. It’s powered by a tone-correcting technology, which works to neutralise the appearance of dullness, redness and discolouration. Though astonishingly lightweight, it is water-, sweat- and sebum-resistant. This is one hard-working foundation. Consider it for your next big event.

5. MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15

A global fave, this complexion marvel delivers a natural-looking matte finish, keeps oil at bay and helps disguise the appearance of fine lines and pores. Plus, it contains SPF protection, which is not be dismissed. Revered by Beauty Junkies for its 24-hour wear time (not that we condone sleeping in your makeup!) and its generous shade range, this is a great foundation to introduce into your everyday base routine.

4. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundations Stick

By far the easiest foundation to apply in transit or if you hit snooze one too many times in the morning. This stick foundation doubles as a concealer as well as being easy to build from a light wash of colour to all-out coverage (it’s got two times more pigment than the average foundation). Once applied, the formula melts seamlessly into the skin, imparting the complexion with an undetectable finish that’s waterproof and will hold for up to 12 hours. Buff this one into the skin using the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Brush for best results and prepare to fall in love with the finish.

3. NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

The latest foundation created by NARS is available in 33 shades, and is one of the easiest to colour match thanks to a formula infused with amino acid-coated pigments and mineral tone-balancing powders that mimic your skin’s natural undertone—hello, perfect match! Radiant Longwear isn’t just about long wear. it’s about strong wear. Translation: It’s created using a lightweight, breathable, fade-resistant formula, so the colour should look the same after 16 hours. In addition, it’s sweat-resistant and transfer-resistant, in case you’re planning a romantic tryst.

2. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

When Lady Gaga sang ‘Baby, you were born this way’, she could have been referring to this Too Faced icon—it totally deserves its own theme song. There are 24 shades of this your-skin-but-better foundation, and we really do mean better. It’s oil-free but still infused with hydrating elements (coconut water, hyaluronic acid) and skin-brightening alpine rose that boosts skin elasticity. It’s that dreamy, soft-focus base you’ve always desired, but perhaps never discovered. Beauty Junkies love it for its buildable coverage and natural-looking finish. No cake face here.

1. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

With over one thousand five-star reviews on, it’s perhaps no surprise that this NARS base is the top of the heap. Beauty junkies are full of praise for its wondrous ways: ‘My favourite all-rounder foundation’, ‘The best foundation I’ve ever used’ and ‘Sheer perfection’ are among the accolades. Sheer Glow evens out skin tone in a flash, and creates a luminous, buildable finish that looks natural and never cakey or heavy. It’s a crowd favourite for events, especially at night when the camera flash goes off (no SPF means no flashback). There’s only one way to see what all the fuss is about.

Words by Emily Deacon
August 2018