Decoder :: Fall Foundation Finder

By Tara Thompson Rasmus

I’ve never understood why women seem so hesitant to admit that they wear (and like!) foundation. In almost every beauty interview I read, the subject either denies wearing anything at all on her skin, or hesitantly admits to sporting tinted moisturizer or BB cream. (FYI: Most BB creams are essentially foundations with some bells and whistles added. Truth.) Me, on the other hand? I love a good foundation; always have, always will. There’s something about covering and smoothing out any imperfections that are bugging me that makes me feel like I’m a master of the universe. Which is exactly how we want to feel when we’re heading into the hectic autumn months, am I right? Admittedly, the foundation/tinted moisturizer/BB/CC universe has gotten a little bit overcrowded and confusing in recent years — so, if you’re looking for a cheat sheet to the best new skin perfecters, you’ve come to the right place!

featured image by david armstrong for british vogue

The Game-Changer

I have to start with this one, because it’s my personal favorite, and the one I think is most likely to convert foundation skeptics. This pseudo-liquid is a mix of pure mineral pigments in light-as-air natural oils, with zero parabens or pore-clogging nasties. It is magic, seriously. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. Oh, and it comes in TWENTY shades. That’s why I call it The Game-Changer.

bareMinerals BareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation, $29, available at Sephora

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The Powder Player

If you’ve avoided foundation because your finicky skin starts freaking out at merely the suggestion of oil, this shine-controlling powder foundation could be just the ticket. Light, mattifying, but satisfyingly pigmented, this powder means business — but will be gentle on your complexion.

Clinique Acne Solutions Powder Makeup, $31, available at Macy’s

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The Idealist

You know those moments when you wished you could just use Photoshop to airbrush your face… in real life? Well, now you can. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, this weightless mist contains red algae, which soothes and reduces redness, so that you will — huzzah! — need less foundation.

Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation, $28, available at Sephora

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The Morning Glory

I am the opposite of a morning person — which is why Origins’ caffeine-packed GinZing Eye Cream holds a very special place in my heart. Imagine my excitement when I learned that now Origins now makes GinZing, in makeup form, FOR YOUR ENTIRE FACE. Sign me up!

Origins GinZing Revitalizing Mineral Makeup, $32.50, available at Origins

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The Brilliant Bargain

If you’re ready to dip a toe into Foundationland but are working on a minuscule budget, I’d like to offer this super-reasonable pick up for consideration. Drugstore foundations can be hit or miss at best, but CoverGirl’s offerings are almost always light, long-lasting, and reliable — and this new formula is no exception.

CoverGirl Ready, Set Gorgeous Liquid Makeup Foundation, $6.99, available at

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The Illusionist

Another super-light foundation that has serious powder in the coverage department, this foundation leaves more of a matte finish, if that’s your M.O. — plus, it wears for 24 hours, which is perfect for all of you busy bees out there.

Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation, $60, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

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The Bright Idea

Looking for a major dose of moisture along with your coverage? Take Charlotte Tilbury’s Light Wonder (just now available in the States!) for a spin. This overachiever boasts illuminating, hydrating, and pore-minimizing ingredients for a one-stop-shop kind of glow.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Youth-Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation, $45, available at Nordstrom

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