Best Foundation: The 2023 Glam Beauty Awards

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Foundation is a staple everyone needs in their makeup arsenal — it's literally the base on which we apply our other products. Without foundation to even out our skin, our face can not look completely finished, even if we put on some lipstick or mascara. Having a smooth base also ensures the rest of the makeup, such as blush and bronzer, will have something to adhere to and last throughout the day.


Even if you prefer a natural, no-makeup look, a light layer of foundation will have you appearing bright and fresh-faced. A great formula will blur out pores and cover any redness you may have. For those that love a full glam look, there are plenty of full-coverage products out there, too.

With so many different formulas and brands, it can be confusing as to which one is just right for you. We tried 10 different foundations with various coverages and finishes, and we handpicked five of the best.

Read more about the 2023 Glam Beauty Awards methodology and all the top picks here.

Best Overall: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation

Many celebrities have jumped on the makeup bandwagon only to disappoint fans with the quality of their products. Not this time! Rihanna's Fenty Beauty line can go head-to-head with all the other professional makeup brands. The Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation is highly pigmented, which means you get great coverage without having to use a lot of product. Don't be afraid of the full coverage though — the foundation blends onto the skin seamlessly and covers up pores and imperfections without looking cakey.


Fenty Beauty's foundation promises a matte finish, but we didn't find it to look dry on the skin, which many matte foundations tend to do. Instead, it had more of a velvety effect that didn't require too much setting powder. It is also incredibly long-lasting and we found that it didn't budge much after wearing it all day.

One of the great things about Fenty Beauty's foundation line is its inclusivity and the wide variety of shades. You can pick from a whopping 55 colors, ranging from pale porcelain to deep brown. There are also various options for warm, cool, and neutral undertones, ensuring that there is a shade for everyone. The foundation is priced at $40, which is a bit steep, but we can assure you that for the coverage, you will get a lot of bang for your buck. 


Purchase Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation at Ulta Beauty for $40.

Best Everyday Foundation: Pacifica Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation

For those that want a lightweight, easy-to-use foundation, look no further. Pacifica's Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation is the one you need to have if you just want to even out your skin, but don't want full coverage. CC (color-correcting) creams are typically sheer, almost like a tinted moisturizer. However, CC creams contain ingredients designed to even out discoloration and redness.


We found that applying one layer of Pacifica Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation is just enough to smooth out pores and cover any unevenness. The foundation is buildable, so you can apply a second coat if you need extra coverage. A great feature of this product is that it has a built-in moisturizer, which means you can skip a step if you're crammed for time and apply it directly to clean skin. The formula includes hydrating coconut water and other "multi-action extracts." It also has broad spectrum SPF 17, which gives you a bit of protection from the sun. A bonus for animal lovers: It's completely vegan and cruelty-free.

Because Pacifica's CC foundation is so sheer, the line only comes with six shades. You can choose from natural/medium, neutral/fair, warm/light, warm/medium, warm/tan, or cool/deep. However, with CC creams, you don't have to worry about getting a perfect match, as the sheer formula is a bit more forgiving than full-coverage foundations. 


Purchase Pacifica Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation at Target for $18.

Best Full-Coverage Foundation: Tarte Face Tape Foundation

Sometimes you just need all the coverage and a lightweight foundation is just not going to do it. If so, reach for Tarte Face Tape Foundation. We found the formula to be highly pigmented and didn't require a lot of product to cover imperfections. It has a matte finish, so if your skin tends to be on the dry side, we suggest using a heavier moisturizer. While the foundation is full-coverage, it didn't cover up large pores, which can be remedied by applying primer beforehand.


Because of the heavier coverage, we recommend applying Tarte Face Tape Foundation with a Kabuki brush to really blend the product into the skin. For a lighter application, you can use a damp sponge. After setting the foundation with powder, it lasted for hours until we took off our makeup.

Tarte Face Tape Foundation comes with an impressive array of 50 shades to choose from. If you're buying online, the shade descriptions, which describe the tone and undertone, make it easy to get a good match. The formula includes apple extract, snow mushroom, and hyaluronic acid, and is vegan and cruelty-free. At $40, it's an investment, but a little product goes a long way. If you're unwilling to commit just yet, the foundation also comes in a travel size, priced at $16. 


Purchase Tarte Face Tape Foundation at Tarte Cosmetics for $16/$40.

Best Lightweight Foundation: NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop Foundation

Although NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop Foundation claims to be full-coverage, we found it to be on the lighter side. That doesn't mean we weren't a fan, however. The formula has a creamy consistency that blended into our skin seamlessly. It has just enough pigment to even out discoloration without a heavy finish and you can still see your skin's natural texture peep through.


The foundation has a matte finish, but it didn't cause the skin to look overly dry. We observed that it didn't settle into pores too easily and we had to really work it into the skin with a foundation brush. However, for the $15 price tag, NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop Foundation is a great deal for those that prefer light to medium coverage.

There are 45 shades to choose from, ranging from Pale to Deep Ebony. The brand is also cruelty-free and 100% vegan. While it doesn't compare to our number one pick, it certainly does the job well enough if you're on a budget. 

Purchase NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop Foundation at Target for $14.99.

Best Drugstore Foundation: L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation

Last but not least, we tried L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation. For a drugstore foundation, it has surprisingly great coverage and blended really well into the skin. The formula has a creamy consistency and blurred pores even without a primer. It promises up to 24 hours of wear, but we didn't leave it on for that long. However, it did stay put until the end of the day. The foundation contains silica, which helps makeup adhere to the skin without causing cakiness.


L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation is described as "buildable," but we found that one coat was sufficient enough for a daytime look. If you want more coverage for the evening, two coats will definitely do the trick without the end result looking mask-like.

This foundation comes with broad spectrum SPF 25, which is a plus for those that forget to apply sunscreen. It does have a slight fragrance, which may be irritating to sensitive skin. The line comes with 30 shades, so it's a bit more limited than others on the market. It's priced at $15.99, which falls in the range of other drugstore brands. However, we think L'Oréal's one to beat and definitely holds its own against more expensive foundations. 


Purchase L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation at Ulta Beauty for $15.99.