When you think of exciting new beauty launches, what usually comes to mind are colourful eyeshadow palettes and new gorgeous lipsticks. Foundation is one of those makeup products that seems to just fade into the background. After all, the foundation shades that we use everyday rarely vary, unless you get a tan after a day at the beach.
In recent years, foundation has undoubtedly been moved into the spotlight. We pay an increasing amount of attention to creating skin that is flawless, dewy, bouncy, blurred, filtered, chok-chok – all the adjectives you can possibly conjure when you think of ‘good skin’. We demand more inclusive shade ranges, convenience, vegan ingredients, and beauty brands have certainly started paying attention to our voices.
In this article, we celebrate the nine best foundations that have changed the way we do makeup, and laid the foundation (no pun intended) for better products to come.
1. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
No one would deny Fenty Beauty the honour of being the brand that made competitors sit up and take concrete action on diversity and exclusivity.
Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation was first launched in 40 shades, which was truly groundbreaking in the beauty scene. It was later expanded to a further 50 shades, which is possibly still one of the widest shade ranges offered by any foundation. And it wasn’t just the shade range that earned this foundation praise: there was clear effort made to create more of both fair AND dark shades, unlike other brands that catered to one or the other.
With an oil-free, sweat-resistant formula and amazingly diverse shade range, you could say this foundation is as flawless as the finish it gives your skin!
You can get Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation at SGD52 from all Sephora stores and website.
2. HERA Black Foundation
K-beauty foundations have a notorious reputation for limited shade ranges, with most shades catering to fair-skinned women. HERA, however, has taken a huge step forward in shade diversity with their latest Black Foundation.
This comes in 12 shades that are said to be representative of Asian women – this was determined after extensive skin shade research was done among 2,000 Asians. While the shade range is smaller than that of, say, Fenty Beauty, we definitely applaud the Korean brand for leading the way in creating more shades to fit darker-skinned Asians.
Plus point: the long-lasting foundation promises to stay on for 24 hours without oxidising or drying the skin.
You can get HERA Black Foundation at SGD75 from all HERA boutiques and counters.
3. IOPE Air Cushion
Cushion foundation compacts are all the rage these days, thanks to the convenience it provides. You could apply foundation on your face anywhere without creating a mess, and touch up on the go when your foundation oxidises.
Most of us know that cushion foundation compacts started from Korea, but you may not know that the first of its kind is actually the IOPE Air Cushion. The naturally dewy finish, good coverage, and moisturising properties has made this a fan-favourite since its launch in 2008. According to parent company AmorePacific, one IOPE Air Cushion is sold worldwide every 30 seconds – that is how popular the OG cushion remains today.
So the next time you use your cushion compact, remember that IOPE’s Air Cushion was the one that started it all.
You can get IOPE Air Cushion at SGD15.38 from Shopee.
4. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick
Foundation sticks are also loved for being convenient, portable, and multi-functional. However, they weren’t always as well-liked by beauty junkies in the past. Common complaints included poor blendability, thick formulas that clogged the skin, and greyish colours that didn’t quite match consumers’ skin tones.
Hourglass’ Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick was the game-changer that made this way of applying foundation coveted again. This foundation stick has a super easy application and melts into your skin with a flawless finish that looks like your skin. It also stays true to the multifunctionality of foundation sticks: you can also use the array of shades for everything from sculpting to highlighting.
You can get Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick at SGD76 from all Sephora stores and website.
5. beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation
beautyblender gave people a new way of applying foundation smoothly on their skin, and now they are looking to shake things up again with their first-ever foundation.
The weightless, full-coverage foundation is created precisely to be used with your favourite beautyblender. The whipped texture of the liquid glides and bounces easily on skin, so that you can keep building layers on without it caking. It promises to make your skin look perfect on- and off-screen for up to 24 hours.
It also helps that the foundation comes in such a portable and mess-free applicator for easy dabbing with your beautyblender – no wonder 90% of testers actually said that they would replace their current foundation with Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation!
You can get beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation at SGD60 from all Sephora stores and website.
6. Revlon PhotoReady Candid™Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation
Thanks to Instagram filters and apps like Meituxiuxiu and Snow, we crave a complexion in real life that is as smooth, bright, and young as our filtered photos show.
Revlon has actually made this a reality with their newest PhotoReady Candid™Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation. This skin-enhancing foundation provides natural, medium coverage – almost as though you used a Snow filter on your skin. It is also formulated with anti-pollution, antioxidant, and anti-blue-light ingredients to protect your skin, so that it looks photogenic even when you are not wearing any makeup.
If you need any further convincing that this is truly amazing, a reviewer remarked that at the age of 70, she is still getting compliments from strangers on her beautiful skin when she applies this product – now that is something we would like to be able to boast about as well!
You can get Revlon PhotoReady Candid™Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation at SGD23.70 from all Guardian stores and website.
7. Giorgio Armani Beauty Power Fabric Foundation Balm
Is this a balm, cushion, liquid, or powder foundation?
Giorgio Armani Beauty’s award-winning Power Fabric natural-matte full coverage liquid foundation was transformed into the Power Fabric Foundation Balm for people to bring and use on-the-go, and this formula remains one of the most fascinating ones that you have ever seen.
The balm-to-powder technology transforms from a completely-solid balm to a blendable cream that you can apply to your face, and then it finishes as powder for a flawless, non-greasy look. Having three different textures in just one product for the best possible application at each stage of the makeup process is a truly innovative product that you may have never thought possible – at least not until the Power Fabric Foundation Balm.
You can get Giorgio Armani Beauty Power Fabric Foundation Balm at SGD120 from all Giorgio Armani Beauty boutiques and counters.
8. Kosås Tinted Face Oil Foundation
Applying foundation properly can be the most tedious stage of your makeup routine, hence many people choose to skip it if they feel that it’s not worth the effort. With Kosås Tinted Face Oil Foundation, you may be putting foundation a lot more often.
This foundation is a unique blend of three mineral pigments in six botanical oils. People with oily skin may not find a mix of oils and pigments to be a fantastic combination for their clogged pores, but it is actually a lot very beneficial for your skin. It leaves your skin feeling remarkably supple, soft, and soothed throughout the day – almost like a facial that gives you an instant glow-up.
The best part is that you just need three simple steps to create this naturally gorgeous skin: pour out the Oil Foundation as needed, slap onto your face, blend on the go with your fingers, and voila!
You can get Kosås Tinted Face Oil Foundation at USD42 from Sephora US website.
9. MMUK MAN Foundation for Men
It is no surprise that more men are wearing makeup these days, and the most common product they use is certainly foundation. However, there was a time where men did not have foundation formulated for them, and they often had to buy the ones made for women.
One of the brands that made makeup much more accessible to men was undeniably MMUK MAN, and their Foundation for Men remains the UK’s number one foundation for men since its launch in 2012. It is specially made with a dual-combative formula of white clay and witch hazel – this helps to resize large facial pores and provide a more even skin tone, which are common male skincare issues.
This foundation is said to look as subtle as possible, so even men who are shy about being seen in makeup can use this confidently. It certainly paved the way to more foundations being made for men, and truly deserves to be recognised as a game-changing pioneer.
The brand will soon be available in Singapore and we’ll update this article once they’ve live their online store and have their stockist ready.
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