“If you are looking for a long-lasting, pigmented lipstick in a unique color that’s perfect for melanated skin, look no further. This one can withstand me putting on and taking off my mask multiple times a day before the need to reapply. Mented’s liquid lipsticks have a velvety matte finish and doesn’t suck the hydration out of your lips. This blood orange color looks so beautiful on. Every time I wear it, I get compliments.” —Danielle James, Beauty Director, ELLE.com
“I’m rarely ever moved by an eyeshadow palette—blame the surplus of neutral mattes we’ve been inundated with this year alone. But one swipe from this Danessa Myricks’ palette made me a believer all over again. The looks are endless with this 14-pot palette; the shimmery top and bottom rows are a creamy, blendable delight that deposits an insane amount of pigment. With this palette, everyone is a pro!” — Nerisha Penrose, Beauty Commerce Editor
Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronze
“As someone who can never say no to a vacation, Charlotte Tilbury’s cream bronzer remains a constant in my rotation for those days when I want to mimic a post-OOO glow. Where many cream bronzers give a muddy finish, one swipe of this is all you need to chisel those cheekbones and add dimension back to your face.” — NP
Ami Cole On Point Precision Brow Pencil
“Ami Cole’s products take the mundanity out of doing your makeup. Aside from its gorgeous orange packaging—hard to miss in any makeup bag—the brand’s newly-released brow pencil already has my other brow products shaking. The dual-sided feature helps me to mimic Zendaya-esque fluffy brows in just a few light strokes.” — NP
Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Talc-Free Vegan Powder
“I lean more dewy than matte, but a light dusting of powder is a must-have for my T-zone. I hate the chalky finish most powders have, but this one is super smooth, barely-there but erases any oily spots while still leaving my skin hydrated.” — Tatjana Freund, ELLE.com Commerce Writer
Sania’s Brow Bar Angled Mechanical Brow Pencil
“When I first showed up to Sania’s Brow Bar, my left eyebrow was noticeably smaller than my right one. Fortunately, founder Sania Vucetaj, aka NYC’s resident brow wizard, took pity on me and introduced me to this genius brow pencil. Equipped with an angled applicator and unique formulation, this handy tool not only evened out my brows—it made them actually look natural. All hail.” — Claire Stern, ELLE.com Deputy Editor
Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gel
Look, it’s just that good. This “lip gel” has a nice glossy finish without feeling sticky and has the perfect amount of pink tint to enhance the natural color of my lip without giving me that ashy pink look. You know the ashy pink look I’m talking about.” — NP
Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector
“Small but mighty! I’ve tried a lot of different concealers in my life and most of them never fully covered up my dark circles. The key, it turns out, was to first apply a peach under-eye corrector, and then, boom! Gone. The Bobbi Brown eye corrector is slightly tacky but, surprisingly layers well with other products. It’s been my go-to for years now.” — Leah Romero, ELLE.com Senior Digital Designer
Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation
“This is, by far, the best foundation I’ve found for my combination skin. The formula blends effortlessly, goes on smooth but dewy, and stays in place all day, even if I (yikes) rub at my face. You can wear it multiple days in a row without the cream causing breakouts, plus the moisturizing hyaluronic acid in the formula means even dry patches will be happy.” — Lauren Puckett-Pope, ELLE.com Associate Editor
Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Soft Pinch Liquid Blush
“I’ve never been an orange blush girl until this one from Rare Beauty stole my heart. One dot is all I need to create a soft flush on my cheeks, so that should tell you how pigmented this blush is. Selena Gomez, A+ in my book!!” — NP
Glossier Cloud Paint
“I’ve written the phrase ‘I don’t know how to use makeup’ more times on this website than I care to count, but this blush doesn’t care! It’s nearly foolproof. It lasts forever. You can use your fingers. And it looks so damn pretty.” — MF
“If you’ve yet to convert to liquid blush and want to try a decent stop-gap, this fantastic cream blush from Tower 28 comes in a range of sumptuous pinks, reds, and purples. You needn’t worry about doling out too much product either; simply dip your blender or brush onto the cream to pick up as much (or as little) as you need.” — LP
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
“On the days I don’t feel like wearing makeup, this miracle mascara always makes my lashes pop. While the lipstick colors and eye palettes change, it’s a steady standby in my beauty arsenal.” — Alyssa Bailey, ELLE.com Senior News and Strategy Editor
Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Primer
“Though this is technically a primer, I use it as a light-coverage foundation, and it gives the most candle-lit, non-cakey glow you can possibly imagine.” — Jessica Roy, ELLE.com Site Director
Maybelline New York Superstay 14 Hour Lipstick in Endless Raisin
“I believe a bright, bold red lip is appropriate no matter the occasion: work, home, dinner, parties, gym (yes, the gym!). This Maybelline lipstick in Endless Raisin is my go-to color. It slides on easy and doesn’t smudge.” — Rose Minutaglio, ELLE.com Staff Writer
Joey Healy Brow Structure Clear Set
“I have long, lazy eyebrow hairs. This is the only gel that keeps them held in place without making them crunch or look spackled onto my face. It’s also the perfect baby hair or frizz tamer for days when your hair just won’t behave.” — MA
Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer
“I love this smoothing primer. It totally minimizes the appearance of all my pores, and doesn’t feel heavy on my face. Plus, a little goes a longggg way. One tiny tube lasted me for almost an entire year.” — RM
L’Oréal Paris Infallible THe Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner
“Of all the drugstore and high-end eyeliners I’ve glided across my eyes, none comes close to the love I have for L’Oréal’s Infallible Super Slim liner. The rich pigment, ultra-fine tip, the easy application, and matte black finish—I have no choice but to stan!” — NP
If you were to flip through a yearbook that had Senior Superlatives for the best beauty products of all time, there’s no doubt that concealer would win “Most Likely to Succeed.” The reason? Concealer is one of the most versatile makeup items you can have in your collection. It addresses a handful of different beauty concerns, including disguising dark under-eye circles, hiding blemishes, camouflaging redness, evening out skin tone, and blurring imperfections. It can also be used to highlight, contour, and enhance bone structure to add more depth to the face.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
What We Love: This long-lasting concealer is suitable for all skin types.
What We Don’t Love: This concealer can crease if too much is applied.
“NARS is very well known for its full coverage foundation, so you can only imagine how amazing their concealer is, too,” says beauty and fashion educator Tracy Faith. “The Radiant Creamy Concealer is designed to provide all-day crease-free coverage.” On top of lasting for over 16 hours (yes, an InStyle editor put it to the test), this top-rated product can effortlessly cover everything from acne breakouts to dark circles with nothing more than a tiny drop. (It’s worth noting that a little goes a long way, so be sure to only apply a small amount at a time.)
In addition to camouflaging blemishes and dark spots, this concealer can also be used to contour and highlight certain facial features. (We especially like using it to brighten up our cheekbones since it has a radiant finish.) “Once you blend the product into your skin, you will automatically appear fresh,” Faith says. For best results, apply a small amount to the areas of your face that you want to cover, and blend out lightly — with a brush, sponge, or your fingers — until you get the coverage you want. Since this concealer offers buildable coverage, start small and work your way up if you want a fuller finish. If you have oily skin or are worried about creasing, you can set this concealer with a translucent powder for longer wear.
Price at time of publish: $32
Shades: 30 | Coverage: Medium| Finish: Radiant
Maybelline Super Stay Active Wear Liquid Concealer
What We Love: This full-coverage concealer is lightweight and breathable.
What We Don’t Love: Though long-lasting, it can start to crease toward the end of the day.
If you’re looking for an affordable, long-lasting concealer, we have just the thing for you. At less than $15 a pop, Maybelline Super Stay Concealer is a drugstore favorite. We love that it’s made with a lightweight formula that provides full coverage. (Normally, full-coverage concealers have thicker consistencies since they have to mask red blemishes and dark circles, but this airy formula can do that without being too heavy.) It feels light on the skin and effortlessly covers up imperfections, plus it has a 30-hour staying power, which is more than two times what some other concealers offer thanks to its waterproof formula (but it does tend to crease slightly if worn for extra long hours). What separates this product from other drugstore picks — aside from being lightweight and having insane staying power — is that it has a flexible wand that allows users to easily apply the product to the hard-to-reach corners of their eyes. On top of that, the pliable wand seamlessly glides across skin, which means you won’t tug or pull on delicate areas.
Price at time of publish: $12
Shades: 16 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte
Tarte Shape Tape Full Coverage Concealer
What We Love: A little goes a long way, which means this concealer will last you months on end.
What We Don’t Love: It’s not ideal for dry skin.
Named InStyle’s best concealer for under eyes, it only makes sense that Tarte Shape Tape Full-Coverage Concealer would score a spot on this list. For starters, this concealer provides full coverage with a matte finish, meaning it has the ability to mask dark circles, hyperpigmentation, and acne with just one application. On top of that, the formula is made with good-for-your-skin ingredients like shea butter (which soothes skin), mango butter (which adds hydration), and licorice root (which brightens from the inside out). Plus, these ingredients work overtime to keep the product from creasing and settling into fine lines. As for the standout feature: This concealer has incredible staying power, which means you won’t need to reapply throughout the day.
While this concealer costs $31, we named it the Best Value because one tiny dab can be blended out to conceal your whole under-eye area. Plus, each tube holds 0.33 fluid ounces, which means you’ll have it for months to come. As an avid concealer-wearer, I can attest to this. I’ve had my tube of Shape Tape for over six months, and I’m not even halfway through it yet — even though I use it every day. To make the most of this product, I like to apply a dot of it to the back of my hand and then use my fingers to apply it under my eyes or to spot-treat blemishes. It blends out really well and gives my skin a natural-looking matte finish.
Price at time of publish: $31
Shades: 35| Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte
Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer
What We Love: This concealer can last for up to 24 hours (seriously).
What We Don’t Love: The formula is a bit thick, which can make it hard to blend.
If there’s one brand we’re bound to splurge on, it’s Dior. The beloved label has created a handful of our favorite beauty products, including the Backstage Face & Body Foundation, the Diorshow Lash-Extension Effect Volume Mascara, and, most notably, the Forever Skin Correct Concealer. This creamy concealer provides full coverage for all skin types without the need to apply multiple coats. It’s able to hide redness, pimples, dark spots, and dark circles, all with just one swoop. Plus, it can blur pores, which can make skin appear practically airbrushed.
Since this product is a bit of a splurge, it’s worth pointing out that the formula is unlike most concealers. This is because it is made with a special combination of ingredients, including iris extract (which hydrates skin and locks in moisture), wild pansy extract (which soothes skin and reduces redness), and nasturtium extract (which can revitalize skin and make it luminous). Oh, and did we mention this concealer can stay on skin — and look good — for up to 24 hours? Yeah, that’s something to boast about. Because the formula is a bit thicker, it requires a bit more blending — but we promise the end result is totally worth it.
Price at time of publish: $38
Shades: 28 | Coverage: Full| Finish: Natural
Best for Dark Circles
Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer with Hyaluronic Acid
What We Love: This creamy concealer hydrates delicate skin under the eyes.
What We Don’t Love: Lighter shades tend to sell out.
It’s a fact: Charlotte Tilbury’s beauty products have taken the world by storm. While the brand has been around for years, it recently made a huge splash after TikTok users couldn’t stop raving about the Flawless Filter primer. And, while we ourselves love the Flawless Filter with everything in us, there’s one product that deserves just as much attention: The Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer. This concealer offers medium-to-full coverage (depending on how much you use) and can stay on skin for up to 16 hours. Plus, it comes in 30 shades, which means you can find the perfect fit for your complexion.
“I am extremely picky when it comes to concealer because my under eyes get dried out so quickly. I need something that will (most importantly) mask my dark circles, but also keep the area hydrated and plump throughout the day,” says InStyle Commerce Editor Mary Honkus. “Let me tell you, I’m not easily impressed by concealers, but from the first blend, I was immediately blown away. Two small dabs make me look so well rested, even when I’m most certainly not, and my under-eyes stay comfortable even through a full day’s wear. If you have fair skin like me, you’ll want to snatch this up quickly as the lighter shades tend to sell out fast.”
Price at time of publish: $33
Shades: 30| Coverage: Medium to Full| Finish: Radiant
Best for Blemishes
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Concealer
What We Love: This concealer is made with oil-absorbing ingredients that work to dry out pimples.
What We Don’t Love: This shouldn’t be used near the delicate eye area because it is drying.
If you have acne-prone skin, you might have noticed there are a limited amount of concealers that cater to inflamed blemishes. While, yes, there are countless concealers that work to hide pimples, there are very few that work to heal pimples while they hide them. Instead of just covering up the problem, why not address it? Luckily, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Concealer does just that. Made with a blend of powerhouse ingredients including zinc oxide, kaolin clay, witch hazel, tea tree, sulfur, and a gentle AHA/BHA complex, this formula works to taper down zits by absorbing excess oil. Plus, it’s infused with anti-aging peptides and hydrolyzed collagen, both of which help to soothe and smooth out skin.
As for the concealer itself, it offers a full coverage finish that effectively conceals the look of blemishes, acne, redness, and discoloration without creasing or cracking. Plus, when you wash it off, you’ll notice that your blemishes are smaller and more dried out, meaning skin clarity will improve with each wear. We will note that since this is essentially a drying formula, only use it on zits and not on the delicate skin around the eyes.
Price at time of publish: $38
Shades: 7| Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte
Best for Red Spots
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector in Green
What We Love: This concealer is offered in seven bold hues (including green, red, and purple), which are made to address discoloration for different skin tones.
What We Don’t Love: The formula is thick and can be hard to blend.
According to celebrity makeup artist Tonya Riner, Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Color Corrector works well to cover red blemishes on both light and dark skin tones. (If you have a fair complexion, use the Green shade and if you have a darker complexion, use the Brick Red hue.) Because this formula has a thicker consistency than other concealers, it’s important that you apply it correctly so it goes on smoothly. “Use a tiny brush for pinpoint concealing so the color corrector is only on the discoloration,” Riner says. “Then press (so you don’t disturb the coverage you just created) a foundation that matches your skin tone on top to blend.” This will ensure that the color corrector is hiding the discoloration while also blending in with the rest of your makeup.
What we like about this product is that it’s suitable for all skin types, and it is offered in seven different shades, which means you can find the ideal hue for your skin. Here’s the lowdown: Those with light to medium skin tones should opt for the green shade to minimize redness, the yellow hue to cover dark circles and hyperpigmentation, and the lavender color to address sallowness. Those with medium skin tones should grab the peach hue to minimize dark spots, dark circles, and acne scars. As for those with deeper skin tones, try the orange/red shade or the brick red color to cover dark spots, dark circles, and acne scars.
Price at time of publish: $31
Shades: 7| Coverage: Full| Finish: Matte
Best for Dry Skin
Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer and Daytime Eye Cream
What We Love: This ultra-creamy concealer is made with hyaluronic acid and peptides, which help hydrate skin.
What We Don’t Love: It can crease if it is not blended out well enough.
As a beauty editor, I’ve had the ability to try countless (and I mean countless) different makeup products. While I love testing new formulas and experimenting with all kinds of items, I’ve noticed more often than not, I tend to go back to my tried-and-true products. But, after learning that Hailey Bieber uses the Kosas Revealer Concealer, I knew I had to try it. From the first swipe, I was a convert. This incredibly creamy concealer glides over my skin effortlessly, covering my dark circles and pesky acne scars in no time. I love how blendable the formula is and how I can build on top of it if I want more coverage (which I usually don’t need since this concealer is so good).
On top of being supreme at covering dark circles and blemishes, this concealer also has an all-star formula that’s ideal for dry skin. It’s made with hyaluronic acid and peptides, which work to hydrate skin and make it more supple, as well as caffeine, which fights dark circles, puffiness, and dullness.
And if you had any doubt about this concealer, celebrity makeup artists love it, too. “Kosas Revealer Concealer is my number one pick for any skin type and any age,” Riner says. “The formula is creamy and never creases which makes it foolproof, and they offer a wide range of shades.”
Price at time of publish: $28
Shades: 28| Coverage: Medium| Finish: Radiant
Best for Oily Skin
Smashbox Studio Skin Flawless Oil-Free 24 Hour Concealer
What We Love: Because it’s oil-free, it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts.
What We Don’t Love: It dries fast, which means you need to blend it quickly when you apply it.
If you have oily skin, finding a concealer that stays put is no easy feat. Luckily, Smashbox Studio Skin Concealer is made with a creamy, oil-free formula that is ideal for greasier complexions. Because it’s not made with oil, it won’t slip into fine lines and cause creases. It also won’t melt off the skin if it comes in contact with oil because it has long-lasting capabilities that are made to withstand damp, greasy skin. On top of that, this concealer hides dark circles and hyperpigmentation as well as redness and age spots to boot.
What really makes this concealer stand out is that it’s very buildable, which means it offers a range of different coverages (from light wear to full coverage). We will note that the formula dries fast and has a thicker consistency than most concealers, so just be sure that if you want to build on top of it, you apply each layer quickly. As for the cherry on top: It’s made with a vegan formula that’s non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts — a huge win for oily skin!
Price at time of publish: $29
Shades: 30| Coverage: Medium to Full | Finish: Natural
Best for Dark Skin Tones
Dermablend Cover Care Full Coverage Concealer
What We Love: This hydrating concealer is waterproof and transfer-resistant.
What We Don’t Love: It can be hard to wash off completely if you don’t double cleanse.
Created by physician Craig Roberts and his makeup artist wife, Flori Roberts, Dermablend is the ideal brand for anyone who is looking for a hybrid between makeup and skincare. The products in the line have the perfect combination of good-for-your-skin formulas and high-powered makeup ingredients, which are safe for all skin types, tones, and conditions. One product in particular that delivers both skincare benefits and makeup capabilities is the brand’s top-rated full-coverage concealer.
“Cover Care Full Coverage Concealer is my fave,” says celebrity makeup artist Andrew Velázquez. “The skincare ingredients infused in this formula are very helpful for balancing out discoloration, without getting cakey throughout the day.” (You can thank sunflower seed oil and vegetable glycerin for this since they keep skin hydrated.) Plus, this concealer is 100 percent vegan and made without alcohol and parabens.
In terms of dark skin tones, this product offers a handful of shades that seamlessly blend into darker complexions. “There are a variety of shades in this line, from olive to deep, beautiful ebony,” Velázquez says. “The undertones of this formula also offer a warm finish without looking too red, orange, gray, or ashy.”
Price at time of publish: $28
Shades: 16| Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte
Best Shade Range
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer
What We Love: This creamy, long-wear concealer feels light on skin.
What We Don’t Love: This concealer can crease if too much is applied.
Complete with 50 shades — ranging from very fair to very deep — Fenty’s long-wear concealer has a hue that will match anyone’s skin tone. On top of having colors that pair well with a diverse range of skin tones, each concealer in the line features different undertones (a couple being neutral, neutral warm, cool, warm yellow, and warm olive), which means you can find the absolute perfect shade to address your skincare concerns, whether you want to cover dark circles, red blemishes, age spots, or something in between. Plus, the creamy formula is lightweight and breathable, and provides skin with medium-to-full coverage. It also offers a soft matte finish that brightens skin, especially the under-eye area. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way — just a dab should be enough to cover any concerns (and layering too much can cause it to crease).
Price at time of publish: $28
Shades: 50| Coverage: Medium to Full| Finish: Matte
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer
What We Love: This bestselling concealer blurs and smooths uneven skin texture.
What We Don’t Love: This concealer is not suitable for dry skin.
“NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer really describes itself in the title,” says New York City-based makeup artist Elisa Flowers. “It’s a soft, creamy concealer that blurs imperfections, blemishes, and dark circles, yet has a delicate, matte appearance and gives excellent coverage.” This product’s full-coverage capabilities are due to the unique formula that contains what NARS refers to as “Optimal Diffusion Powder,” a lightweight powder that actually transforms the look of skin by blurring imperfections with the help of light-diffusing spheres that are designed to absorb and refract light for a soft-focus finish.
Aside from making skin look airbrushed, this concealer also stays put for hours since it’s made without oil. As for what it’s made with, that’s what has turned this concealer into a bestseller. Infused with peptides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins A, C, and E, this product will actually make skin appear smoother, softer, and plumper over time. Now if that’s not a skincare win, we don’t know what is. Keep in mind though, that because it has a more matte finish it can feel slightly drying — so if you have dry skin you may want to go with something else.
Price at time of publish: $30
Shades: 30 | Coverage: Full| Finish: Matte
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
What We Love: This lightweight concealer is water, sweat, and humidity-resistant.
What We Don’t Love: The pump dispenses too much product.
“MAC Pro Longwear Concealer is an excellent long-wear concealer,” Flowers explains. “It’s not only brightening, but it’s also waterproof, has very buildable coverage, and its matte texture is excellent for oily skin.” Aside from being able to brighten skin, this full-coverage concealer also camouflages zits, covers up dark spots, and evens out texture.
Ultimately, this concealer’s fragrance- and oil-free formula is the star of the show. It’s made to stay on skin for up to 24 hours, which means you won’t need to reapply it. On top of that, it can withstand just about anything since it’s water-, sweat-, and humidity-proof. (You can wear this concealer to the gym, beach, and anywhere in between.) This is also a great concealer for those who want to add more coverage to their look because it can be built on top of without becoming cakey. As a bonus, it’s also ideal for aging skin since it doesn’t settle into fine lines. While there’s so much to love about it, we wish we could change the pump, because it dispenses entirely too much product at once.
Price at time of publish: $28
Shades: 16| Coverage: Full| Finish: Matte
What to Keep in Mind
Finding the right shade for your skin is undoubtedly the most important step when it comes to purchasing a concealer. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for a concealer that’s about one to two shades lighter than your foundation if you want to camouflage dark circles, age spots, and hyperpigmentation. On the other hand, if you’re looking to hide blemishes like acne or red spots, you should opt for a concealer that’s the same shade as your foundation so you can seamlessly blend the two together. Luckily, most concealers (including a variety on this list) offer a wide range of shades that are sure to provide you with the color match you’re looking for.
Model: @katienoskova Products: – Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter – Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD foundation, concealer, & loose powder – Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit – MAC Cosmetics blush in Melba, highlight in Soft & Gentle, BlackTrack liquid eyeliner, lipstick in Come Over, clear Lipglass, & Give Me Sun bronzer – Benefit Precisely My Brow pencil & Gimme Brow setting gel – Natasha Denona Love & Retro eyeshadow palettes – Sigma Beauty brushes.
The numbers don’t lie: Blush is back. While makeup sales understandably dramatically dropped during the pandemic, they’re finally recovering and, in the case of blush, soaring. Marketing research firm NPD Group reported that blush sales increased 39% over the course of 2021, with sales of stick and cream blush specifically doubling from 2020, and growing even from prepandemic 2019.
According to all-in-one shopping app and payment service Klarna, purchases of blush overall increased by 17% from 2020 to 2022. However, purchases of cream blush increased a whopping 89% over the same time period, while powder sales jumped 37%. Sephora declined to share specific sales data with Glamour, but David Razzano, beauty director at Sephora, confirms the retailer has noticed a growing popularity in creams as well.
“We’ve seen more and more clients gravitate toward cream blush because its creamy texture creates a smooth, natural, and skinlike finish that blends seamlessly into your complexion,” Razzano tells Glamour. “Cream formulas also often have the added benefit of creating a dewy glow and flushed appearance, which is so covetable—and trending—right now.”
The trend has made its way off TikTok to real life as well. Anecdotally, most of my friends skip daily face makeup, but don’t leave the house without a swipe of cream blush (or lipstick as blush) on their cheeks—even if they’re still wearing a mask. Bright blush has popped up on the runways and red carpets, with celebs like Selena Gomez and Lily Rose Depp making a pink flush their trademark beauty look. Gomez even launched her brand Rare Beauty in 2020 with liquid blushes—a bold move that has paid off, considering the product is a staple of BlushTok, and one of Klarna’s most shopped blushes.
“Selena wanted to launch Rare Beauty with products that reflected her makeup philosophy,” Joyce Kim, Rare Beauty’s chief product officer, tells Glamour, “so it was important for her to create products that are easy to use, buildable in coverage, and can be used on the go—like liquid blush. Selena has always loved a healthy, natural flush of color that blush adds to your complexion, and Soft Pinch Liquid Blush has become a staple for her when she wants to add some dimension to her look.”
Mega-retailer Ulta Beauty confirms that its blush sales are booming as well. While the brand didn’t share specific sales data, a representative did reveal that blush sales have increased steadily over the past year. “Blush is certainly having a moment at Ulta Beauty,” Jordan Pious, senior director of merchandising, strategy, and insights at the company, says. “Excitement for the category has only been amplified as mask mandates loosen across the country. We’re encouraged by the incredible growth we’re seeing and are proud to have maintained increased blush sales year over year since 2019. This strong trajectory indicates blush will continue to be a meaningful part of our guests’ makeup routines and a significant driver within our cosmetics assortment.”
Interestingly enough, Pious says that powder formulas are still the retailer’s top sellers—including favorite’s like Nars Orgasm and Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush—but that sticks, creams, and tints are gaining popularity. Particularly, multitasking formulas that can be used on eyes and lips like Chanel’s new No.1 de Chanel Lip and Cheek Balm and Undone Beauty’s Lip to Cheek Palette are gaining steam.
Celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta, who has made hyper-bright blush looks his calling card, says that these newer, sheerer formulas have directly led to blush’s jump in popularity. “For a long time, the application method around how to use blush has been too heavy-handed and outdated for the current beauty landscape,” he tells Glamour. “In recent years there has been a lot more education about what points on your face to emphasize, and how to use color to highlight natural beauty.” He says that he kept that in mind while formulating the cream and powder blush duos for his own line, Patrick Ta Beauty, which are other Klarna top sellers.
Ta also credits TikTok for educating women on how to wear blush in a more modern way—for example, high on their cheeks for a “snatched” look rather than on the apples, as our moms taught us. “People who are tapped into the makeup artist side of TikTok can see how these creators are moving through and reviewing product to find the very best of each and share with their networks,” he says. “In terms of the techniques and hacks, TikTok is a great resource for newer consumers that are looking to find the best makeup routine for them or people who are looking for inspiration.”
NPD’s data supports this theory, and Natallia Bambiza, NPD’s makeup category analyst for beauty, recently wrote a blog post directly linking the increase of blush sales to TikTok, in particular a technique called “underpainting,” whereby a heavy amount of blush is applied under your foundation for a more natural look.
Not only has TikTok educated younger women on how to use blush in a fresh way, but it’s home to subcultures and micro trends that have made blush part of their core looks. Back in early 2020, we saw the rise of “e-girl” beauty, which included two bleached streaks of hair and excessive blush across the bridge of the nose, accented with faux freckles. Now we’re in the era of the “clean girl” aesthetic—think Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner—the key pillars of which include fluffy brows, clean glowing skin, and a healthy but subtle flush. There’s also the coquette community, an update from Tumblr’s nymphette subculture, which prefers a rosy, doll-like blush.
It’s also important to note that rosy cheeks are a sign of health, and we’re still in a pandemic with no clear end in sight. But celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendaño has a much simpler (and more cheerful) explanation.
“I think people really missed some color in their lives,” he says. “With the pandemic, we were inside a lot. Now that we have much more freedom to go out, it adds color and brightness to the face. Also with a lot of people working from home, I think blush is a way of dressing up the face for zoom or virtual calls.”
Ta has to agree: “I think a lot of people during lockdown went natural because there wasn’t much to dress for, but now that life is getting back to normal, people seem to be loving blending the natural look with a glowy, dewy, highlighted chic It-girl beat. Embracing the blush is the way of the future—masks or not!”
It’s the ultimate 2018 American Dream success story: A New York City kid, raised by Albanian immigrant parents in the Bronx, becomes an entry-level Sephora employee and then works his way up, eventually turning pro, linking up with Kim Kardashian and becoming one of the most sought-after, world-famous makeup artists of a generation. That’s pretty much exactly how it went down for Mario Dedivanovic, aka @makeupbymario, the social media handle by which he’s immediately recognizable to his 4.2 million followers around the globe.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #99 series on my blog.
Tell me about your background. Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in beauty?
Growing up, I never knew anything about makeup or even really thought about it. My sister wore makeup and there was always makeup in the house because my mother was a cleaning woman for the L’Oréal building in Manhattan. She’d come home [with makeup they’d give her].
You never had any kind of inkling that you’d want to pursue a career in beauty?
From the time I was a very young child, I was inspired by beauty — models, interior design, beautiful homes. I didn’t have much growing up, and we lived in a small basement apartment, so I wasn’t surrounded by that much beauty. I always looked outside to see beautiful things. I’d ask my dad to drive me to Westchester or wherever they had beautiful houses because I wanted to see the lawns and the homes. My mother would clean these beautiful apartments in Manhattan and I’d beg for her to take me with her, because I loved to go and see the homes, the design, the furniture, the artwork. I didn’t know at that time what that feeling was, but it was me being inspired. The feeling of being inspired was so powerful to me, and then when I discovered makeup later on that feeling came back, like I had found my calling.
How did you first come to that realization that beauty was your calling?
When I was 17, I graduated high school and went to look for a job in Manhattan with my mother and I walked into a Sephora, not knowing what it was at the time. It was the first Sephora in the United States; this was in 2000. I immediately felt overwhelmed by the feeling that I wanted to work there. It just looked so cool to me: Everyone had black suits and black gloves on; it smelled really good.
I eventually wound up getting hired as a ‘fragrance consultant.’ They put me by the door to say, ‘Welcome to Sephora!’ to every single person. Because I was near the door, there was like a lipstick gondola nearby, and women would ask questions. I just started giving them advice… even though I wasn’t supposed to [laughs]. I quickly became obsessed with makeup and began to research and study it after work.
When you first started experimenting with makeup did it come to you naturally, or was there a learning curve?
I had always liked to draw and paint — nothing serious — but I was always creative. In the beginning, it really came naturally to me. The first makeover I did when I was at Sephora took me three hours, but it came out really beautiful. I’m good at manipulating materials and things, so I think that just translated to the face.
Once you decided that you wanted to build this into a long-term career, what were your next steps?
I started doing research. I don’t think I even had a computer at that time; I went to the library and started researching makeup artists and the entire industry. I was so fascinated. I’d get all of the magazines and immerse myself in everything that I could — makeup artistry, hairstyling, photography — and then I started meeting photographers and building my book little by little.
I started booking gigs outside of Sephora even before they had hired me as a makeup artist; I was still working there as a fragrance consultant. I remember when I booked my first gig: It was for two singers who were doing a cabaret show. I think I charged them $25. I literally didn’t have a makeup kit — I had a Nike shoebox with some makeup in it and brushes that my manager at work had given me. We could all choose what kind of gratis we wanted [at Sephora]; I never took the fragrance, I always took any makeup I could get. That’s how I started building my kit.
I eventually left Sephora and went to work with Lorac Cosmetics, becoming their regional makeup artist, traveling around New York and New Jersey. At the same time, I was building my portfolio and I began assisting. I assisted makeup artists for several years — never full-time; it was always a few days a week here and there because I was also making money doing my own thing on the side.
How did you get into celebrity and editorial work?
I met a celebrity photographer, Fadil Berisha, who is Albanian like myself. A model I’d worked with called him and said, ‘I met this Albanian kid, you should meet with him, he’s talented.’ This was when I was 18 or 19, and I met with him and he gave me a chance. He had me come in one weekend to shoot with him, and I got really good images for my portfolio. I began assisting some of his makeup artists and then I went on to assist some of the greats in the industry.
But before that, I had assisted some makeup artists for smaller magazine shoots, commercial jobs and catalogs. Then I began assisting bigger makeup artists and was doing fashion magazine covers, cosmetic and fashion campaigns for brands like CoverGirl, Max Factor and Dolce & Gabbana. It was very different types of artists. Some were very glam artists who did celebrities, and then I assisted some high fashion artists, so I got a taste of all of it at a really young age.
Can you share any of the names of the people you worked with most back then?
I usually don’t, but Billy B. was one of the celebrity makeup artists that I assisted back in the day, and Kabuki. I worked with him for over a year. That’s where I really worked on all of these massive campaigns and shoots. We were on set with Steven Klein all the time.
At what point did you feel like you’d really established your career?
It’s tough to say. I had an agent from a pretty young age, about 20 or 21, but even with that, I still struggled. I always kept some kind of freelance position in retail. When I finally left retail it was because I’d gotten a job at Fox News, doing the anchors’ makeup. I did that one or two days a week, just to have a little bit of steady income. This was 2006 or 2007.
That job must have been such good training for perfecting the skill of on-camera makeup.
Oh, definitely, and the pressure — they would come in late and have to go on live. That’s where I really learned how to work together with a hairstylist and get it done. I’d be doing liquid liner while they’d be blowing their hair out, so I really learned a lot from that experience.
Was there ever a specific moment when you remember feeling like you’d gotten your big break?
I got my first magazine cover for a magazine called Philadelphia Style. They sent a car for me and I went to Pennsylvania and I thought it was such a big deal. I was on set and I called my manager at Lorac to quit over the phone. In my mind, I was like OK, this is it, I’m doing a magazine cover! [Laughs] Then reality set in once it was done.
I was brave in the sense that I never let myself become really comfortable. I remember when I got my first ad campaign, and I think it paid $5,000 a day. To a young, 20-something, that’s huge — $15,000 in three days. I just remember calling my mom and telling her what the rate was for the job. Nothing impressed her because she didn’t want me doing this kind of work. Throughout the early years, everything I did was to try to make my parents proud. Doing that campaign was one of those moments where I was like, OK, I can do this.
Through word of mouth, I started working regularly with celebrities like Natasha Bedingfield and some others. And then I met Kim. It was 2008.
Tell me more about meeting Kim — did you know it would be a turning point for your career?
Sebastian Smith, a photographer I worked with often, called me one night and said ‘Hey, I’m shooting this girl tomorrow for a magazine cover, her name is Kim Kardashian.’ I didn’t really know who she was. Season one of her show had just aired. I almost said no because I had to work at Fox News that day, but he convinced me. She just loved the makeup I did for that shoot so much. She kept asking what I was using throughout the entire process, and she was taking selfies nonstop. This was right around the time when her fame started to pick up nationally in the U.S.
After the shoot, she asked me if I would take her makeup shopping to buy everything I’d used so she could take it to LA for her makeup artist to use. I took her makeup shopping, we went to Henri Bendel and bought a few things that I’d used on her on the shoot that day. That was it.
How did your professional relationship with her evolve after that?
She started requesting me for whatever she had, and she started getting more and more famous. Kim was so busy. A typical celebrity will release a film or an album, so they work a lot for a few months doing promo. But with Kim, it was literally 365 days a year. There was something happening every single day, whether it was a shoot or red carpet or her show.
She also had a blog. This was a time when celebrities didn’t really credit their hair and makeup [teams]. There was no social media, so where were they going to credit them? But Kim had a blog and had me answer questions for her fans. Then one day she asked me to shoot a makeup tutorial for her blog. I almost didn’t do that, either, because I was really sick. I was going to cancel, but my friend who was shooting [the video] was like, ‘get up!’ We created a tutorial of her VegasMagazine cover shoot and that went on her blog and onto YouTube. That video and the reposts of it have since been seen hundreds of millions of times around the world.
I had all of these Facebook and MySpace messages from people all over the world, asking makeup questions. I’m talking about hundreds of messages. So it all started like that. Kim was incredibly loyal, and I was loyal to her and loved working with her. Her face was just kind of made for me, and when I started working with her I was able to establish my style of makeup. It just so happened that that style that worked really well on her and that was the style that she loved for herself.
How would you describe your aesthetic and approach to makeup?
That changes for me. My style back in the day was definitely different than it is now. I had a super glam aesthetic, where it was heavier with super light undereyes and really long lashes. It was extremely polished and glam. Now I still love a polished and glam aesthetic, but there has to be an element of softness to it and it has to be blown-out. I don’t like very harsh makeup. It’s hard for me to answer that question because it changes. I like all different types of makeup: soft makeup, dramatic makeup, I really do love all of it and I enjoy doing all of it.
How has social media has impacted your career, especially working with someone like Kim who is such a master and pioneer of using it?
Social media to me in the beginning was kind of a joke. I got onto Twitter because one of the anchors on Fox News put me on it. But I was always on Facebook and MySpace. And then when Instagram happened, and I was pretty late to join, I wasn’t serious about it — I didn’t post every single day, it wasn’t a big deal to me. It wasn’t until I reached about a million followers that I started to really see a change in everything, career-wise. Celebrities and clients really started looking at Instagram. Our portfolios as artists started to become obsolete. Celebrities and makeup brands would find me on Instagram.
When I hit a million followers and realized that it was growing really fast, I got serious about it. I set aside time every day to plan out posts and review my numbers. It became really a work thing, but something that I do genuinely enjoy as well. It’s been such an amazing tool for me in my career. It’s also a controversial one, I think, amongst my peers. Some people who have been doing makeup for 15-plus years like myself think it’s ruined the business. But I saw it as something that really could work to my advantage.
I’m sure you have so many brands approaching you and trying to work with you. How do you decide which ones to partner with?
I’ve got to give props to my management team, who really help me with it. I turn down way more than I take on. We get approached every day by several brands [who want to] work with me in some capacity. I’ve never done a coupon code, I refuse to do any of that kind of stuff. How it works is: An opportunity will come in from a brand; it has to be a brand that I like and respect. I have to bring [the product] home, I have to use it, my assistant has to use it and sometimes my sister tests it. I get the different opinions and if it’s something I believe in, I’ll agree to do it. In 2017, I did 18 brand contracts.
You also really pioneered the concept of the Master Class — how did that first come about?
It was around eight or nine years ago, and people would message me on Facebook and Twitter with so many questions. I started thinking it’s crazy that unless you’re in LA, New York, Paris or London you’re not going to have the opportunity or access to learning the tricks of the trade. So that’s when I came up with the idea of doing a class for artists from all over the world.
The first class was 20 students. These were aspiring makeup artists, and they were seeing [techniques like] contouring for the first time in person. To an aspiring makeup artist at the time, it was mind-blowing. The classes started getting larger and larger; after [I hit] one million followers on Instagram, the classes really took off. It went from 20 students in that first class to upwards of 1,200.
Tell me about “Glam Masters.” How did you decide to get involved and what was it like to shoot?
Kim told me that she was executive producing a show about makeup and that she wanted me to be on it — I don’t even think it had a name at the time. I was so scared. I never had an interest in being a celebrity or a reality TV star. I have all the respect for them, but it’s not for me. But when we started, I saw quickly what it was all about. It was an amazing, amazing experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Kim knew I was kind of scared, and she told me, “Mario, just be yourself, say what you want to say when you’re judging.” And that’s what I did.
I had an amazing chemistry with my fellow judges and with the host. We basically met for the first time on the first day of shooting, with mics on, under the lights. We’ve become really great friends. We laughed and cried together. It was quite an emotional experience because you’re dealing with artists who have dreams, just the way you did when you were younger. Everything resonated with me. I could see how badly these artists wanted it, and you’re breaking some of their hearts and making some of their dreams come true, so there’s a lot of emotion that goes into it.
I also wanted to ask you about the collaboration you’re working on with Kim for KKW Beauty. What are you able to tell me?
I can’t tell you that much. But my 10-year anniversary with Kim is approaching in a couple of months, and so even before her line started, she told me that she wanted her first collaboration to be with me for her line, so we began working on it months ago. We tried to have it be something that’s going to sum up our past decade of glam. She’s had such a massive influence globally in the world of beauty, and she’s had such a massive influence on my career as well. I just wanted the collaboration to reflect our 10 years of working together. We wanted to give the fans and followers something so that they’d be able to re-create any of the looks that we’ve done over the past decade.
What advice do you have for aspiring makeup artists who are just starting out?
I always say at the Master Classes I think the number one thing is to try and assist. You really learn so much about doing amazing makeup, and also set etiquette and professionalism and all of the things that go along with makeup artistry.
Secondly, I think for me it’s about working hard, not saying no and not giving up on opportunities that come your way. You have to sacrifice — I sacrificed so much in my career in my early days. While my friends were going out clubbing all night, I was waking up at 4:00 a.m. for a press junket. I think all of that stuff really pays off.
Then of course, my mother — although she doesn’t know much about this career — her advice was always, ‘Whatever you do, just be a good person.’ So that’s always in the back of my mind. Be a good person and good things will follow.
TikTok’s buzziest beauty trend is all about creating a soft matte look, while still letting your skin shine. Get the lowdown on how to achieve the cloud skin finish.
Beauty lovers can finally have the best of both worlds.
There’s no denying TikTok is the gift that keeps on giving, especially when it comes to showcasing fun and functional techniques people can implement in their daily makeup routines. And now, TikTok’s buzzy cloud skin trend is a win-win for everyone, as it perfectly blends a dewy and matte finish.
So, what exactly does that mean? Well, the cloud skin craze consists of creating a soft and hazy matte look, while still letting your skin breathe allowing a natural glow.
MAC Cosmetics’ Global Senior Artist, Dominic Skinner—who originally coined the term cloud skin—explained why people were opting for the versatile look. Fun fact: The trend initially took off in 2020 during London Fashion Week, but it’s been picking up steam once again on TikTok.
“People are becoming fascinated with skincare and skin treatments but they also aren’t seeing foundation and powder as something they simply put on and run with,” Dominic told Refinery29 at the time. “It’s all about specifically placed powder, a touch of foundation and a facial oil to prime the skin.”
As for where you should dust your powder? The makeup artist suggested you mattify the inner corners of the eyes and around the nostrils, which will make your foundation last longer.
But if you tend to shine in other areas that you don’t want to be highlighted (no pun intended), he said, “I always powder the jawline so it makes the cheeks look slightly shiny and sheer. And when you powder your forehead, just powder the hairline because you control the placement of the shine, and the powder will slowly dissipate and graduate to nothing.”
All in all the cloud skin trend adds softness and radiance to the complexion, with Dominic adding, “It’s sort of lightness and a fluffiness.”
Products: – Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter – Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD foundation, concealer, & loose powder, single eyeshadows – Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, and gel eyeliner – MAC Cosmetics blush in Melba, highlight in Double Gleam, lipstick in Laissez-Faire and Russian Red, Clear Lip Glass, & Give Me Sun bronzer – Benefit Precisely My Brow pencil & Gimme Brow setting gel – Sigma brushes.
(Disclaimer: I do haveShantel’s consent to post the images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)
Let’s be honest: Sometimes powder foundations and tinted moisturizers just don’t cut it. When the goal is smooth, even, radiant-looking skin, liquid foundations are often the recommendation. However, with so many formulas on the market, it can be hard to know which product is actually worth weaving into your makeup routine. With that in mind, editors set out to find the best liquid foundations. To do so, they enlisted the help of a handful of reviewers to research the most popular formulas and test them out firsthand to see which actually live up to the hype.
After rigorously testing 27 top-rated liquid foundations—taking into account the formula’s coverage, finish, active ingredients, and overall wear—we uncovered the top six liquid foundations. In the end, the NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation came out on top thanks to its extensive shade range and high scores in all of the aforementioned categories.
Ready to uncover the other five winners? Keep reading for the best liquid foundations, according to InStyle testers.
NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation
What We Love: This lightweight liquid foundation has a glowy finish that doesn’t sink into creases at all.
What We Don’t Love: The formula is a bit watery, which makes it drip a bit when you pump it.
The NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation boasts a lightweight liquid formula that offers buildable medium coverage. “I would say [the coverage claims are] true—it has a great coverage that builds very easily,” our reviewer reveals. The foundation is sold in 36 shades ranging from light to dark, with options for warm, cool, and neutral undertones alike.
This liquid foundation formula doesn’t only offer color coverage, though. It’s made with biomimetic oat to reduce the appearance of redness, Japanese lilyturf to help reinforce the skin’s moisture barrier, and cacao peptides and milk thistle to counteract the negative effects of environmental stressors like blue light. In that way, this foundation helps protect and nourish skin just as much as it perfects its color tones.
The best part is that, thanks to its lightweight nature, it dries quickly and leaves skin looking radiant in a flash. “It is dewy and very natural looking,” our reviewer notes. “It is glowy and doesn’t set into my creases at all.”
The one downfall is that, since the formula is so lightweight, it’s a bit watery. As such, when you pump it out, it tends to drip a bit, which can potentially waste precious product.
Even with that one shortcoming, our reviewer remains head over heels for this product. “I loved the formula. It melted into my skin and it looks great. I really don’t have any dislikes,” she shares.
Price at time of publish: $49
Coverage: Medium | Finish: Natural | Active Ingredients: Biomimetic Oat, Japanese Lilyturf, Cacao Peptides, Milk Thistle | Size: 30 mL | Cruelty-Free: No
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation
What We Love: It’s notably more affordable than other high-performing liquid foundations we tested.
What We Don’t Love: This foundation does include fragrance and the smell a con for some of our testers.
Newsflash: The way-too-thick, orange-tinged foundations of drugstores past are long gone. The L’Oréal Infallible Fresh Wear 24HR Foundation was one of the top performers of our tests thanks to its just-right consistency and its ability to dry down quickly while still being able to blend for seamless coverage. Plus, it doesn’t crease or cake with wear.
“This feels like the perfect combination of a thick and thin foundation,” our reviewer says. “It is not runny but still light and not overly thick.“
From a coverage stance, this drugstore staple delivers buildable coverage with a natural, semi-matte finish. “I love the finish of this product and the packaging,” our reviewer shares. “Upon first use, there is nothing I do not like about this product. It looks beautiful on the skin without being drying or cakey and it went on like a dream.”
In addition to evening out skin tone, the foundation, which is sold in 40 shades, also offers SPF 25 sun protection. (Though, considering dermatologists recommend at least SPF 30, don’t let that fool you into thinking it replaces the sunscreen in your skincare routine.)
Price at time of publish: $16
Coverage: Medium | Finish: Natural | Active Ingredients: Octinoxate, Titanium Dioxide | Size: 30 mL | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Light Coverage
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint with SPF 40
What We Love: This serum-like formula has a dewy finish that never looks oily or greasy.
What We Don’t Love: It has a slightly tacky finish.
If your goal is radiant, natural-looking coverage, this lightweight liquid foundation is a must. The ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation is sold in 30 shades, all of which have skincare-meets-makeup benefits, and is Cindy Crawford-approved. This formula is lightweight and fairly thin—serum-like, as advertised.
In addition to creating natural-looking coverage, this serum-foundation hybrid revitalizes skin with a blend of hydrating squalane, smoothing niacinamide, and plumping hyaluronic acid. What’s more, it’s infused with zinc oxide to deliver SPF 40 protection, so it acts as a sun shield, too.
“This formula claims to provide dewy, lightweight coverage; I would say this is 100% true—it leaves my face with that ‘your skin but better’ look and blends really easily,” our reviewer notes. Part of what makes it so natural-looking, she adds, is the fact that it doesn’t sink into creases or fine lines—even over extended wear.
Two things to note: Despite the beautiful finish it delivers, from a physical feel stance, our reviewer found this serum foundation to be a bit tacky to the touch. Then, from an application standpoint, she says that the serum dropper is a bit more difficult to use than a classic one-handed pump. “It’s easier to dispense too much or too little product,” she admits.
Still, those two pitfalls weren’t enough to deter her from this popular liquid foundation. “Overall, I loved this formula,” she says. “Its coverage is definitely more sheer, but it imparts a dewy, natural-looking glow and blends incredibly easily. The added broad-spectrum SPF protection is also a bonus.“
Price at time of publish: $48
Coverage: Light | Finish: Radiant | Active Ingredients: Plant-Based Squalane, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid | Size: 30 mL | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Medium Coverage
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation
What We Love: This liquid foundation has the perfect consistency—it’s not too watery and not too thick—and it feels weightless on the skin.
What We Don’t Love: It’s not quite full coverage—but it is buildable, so you can still achieve adequate coverage.
The Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation claims to be a full coverage foundation but when our testers wore it from morning to night, they found that it’s actually a great option for medium coverage. That said, they admit that it is buildable, so it is possible to achieve fuller coverage if that’s your goal. And, even if you do opt for extra layers, they found that it remains lightweight and comfortable throughout wear—it never feels heavy on the skin.
Part of why it’s so comfortable is because it’s specifically formulated to be. “It contains eternalsoft polymers to provide an increased level of comfort for ultra-long wear,” our reviewer found.
Logistically speaking, the foundation, which is housed in a tall, frosted glass bottle, is sold in 43 shades ranging from light to dark. “It claims to have a natural-matte finish, which I agree with,” one of our reviewers says. “It is matte but still has a bit of a glow and does not look drying or cakey on the skin. It does not settle into fine lines or wrinkles. It has a very nice finish.”
Even though the coverage this foundation delivers doesn’t quite match up with its claims, our reviewers found that, overall, there’s nothing they don’t like about the product.
Price at time of publish: $52
Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte | Active Ingredients: Eternalsoft Polymers | Size: 30 mL | Cruelty-Free: No
Best Full Coverage
HOURGLASS Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation
What We Love: Although the finish is matte, it has a touch of dew to keep skin looking natural and healthy.
What We Don’t Love: It takes longer to dry down because it’s a thicker formula.
The HOURGLASS Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation is another liquid foundation that claims to offer full coverage, that our reviewers found to be closer to medium-to-full coverage in reality. Despite not fully living up to its claims, though, our reviewers concluded that this thick formula is truly something to behold.
“I love how full coverage this product is while still looking natural on the skin,” our reviewer says. “It claims to have a natural finish, which I agree with. The finish does not appear too matte and still has a bit of a glow. I do not feel that my skin looks heavy or cakey after applying. Overall, it looks very healthy and even on the skin.”
Like the Lancôme foundation, this Hourglass formula comes in a luxurious frosted glass bottle that feels heavy and expensive. “It also has a soft closure, which I love,” our reviewer says. “The foundation comes out in a pump and leaves no mess at all. I love the packaging.“
Although the HOURGLASS Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation is comfortable to wear, since its a notably thicker formula, our reviewer does note that she thinks it’s best for shorter wear. “It would be amazing for special events when I want to cover redness, acne, or other imperfections,” she says. “My skin still looks healthy and dewy without being overly heavy.”
Price at time of publish: $56
Coverage: Full | Finish: Natural | Active Ingredients: Sunflower Seed Wax, Jojoba Esters | Size: 25 mL | Cruelty-Free: Yes
N°1 DE CHANEL Red Camellia Revitalizing Foundation
What We Love: This medium-coverage foundation leaves skin looking even, smooth, and hydrated.
What We Don’t Love: It’s pricey and we wish it had a wider shade range.
Spending $70 for a bottle of liquid foundation may seem like overkill but our reviewers found that this medium-coverage makeup product is well worth the splurge.
“After applying the N°1 DE CHANEL Red Camellia Revitalizing Foundation, my skin looks so healthy and glowy in all the right places,” our reviewer marvels. “It does not look cakey or oily, just extremely fresh and healthy. I love the finish of this foundation. It doesn’t look too unnatural or like I’m wearing a lot of makeup and it doesn’t settle into fine lines.”
Speaking of a lot of makeup, this liquid foundation is buildable, so you can wear a single oat or layer it on for the tailored coverage you desire. “It is easy to layer this foundation,” our reviewers assure us. “It has a medium coverage, evens out skin tone, and leaves the skin looking super smooth and hydrated. It is not too heavy on the skin but still covers up imperfections.”
It doesn’t just make skin look smooth and hydrated during wear, though. Since it’s formulated with Chanel’s signature red camellia oil, it actually works to impart anti-aging benefits long after wear.
Given the high praise, you’ll be glad to know this luxury liquid foundation looks as expensive as the results it delivers. While the 20 shades span from light to dark, we do wish they had more skin tone offerings.
“I love the finish of this foundation and how my skin looks so healthy, dewy, and even,” our reviewer says. “I feel that I could wear this everyday or for special occasions. There is not much I do not like about this product, other than the high price tag.“
Price at time of publish: $70
Coverage: Medium | Finish: Luminous | Active Ingredients: Red Camellia Oil | Size: 30 mL | Cruelty-Free: No
What to Keep in Mind
Liquid foundations come in a variety of coverages, ranging from light to full. While many foundations fall in the medium to full category (with BB and CC creams offering lighter coverage), light coverage liquid foundations do exist. What type of coverage you choose, depends on your skin concerns as well as personal preferences.
Think about how you want your skin to look post-application. If you want to look dewy and glowing, consider a hydrating satin foundation (like our Best Overall pick, the NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation); if you want a mattified end look, focus on matte foundations. Oilier skin types may prefer a matte finish to help combat that mid-morning sheen of grease, whereas as drier may want the extra hydration from a dewy product.
Do you want a liquid foundation that wears flawlessly all day long? Or are you looking for something that you plan to only wear for shorter-duration special occasions (like a wedding or night out)? If you’re leaning toward the former, you’ll want to buy a foundation that’s designed to last for up to at least 12 hours (the the Lancôme Teint Idole Matte Foundation has a staying power of up to 24 hours), and that’s specifically marketed not to cake or crease. When working with special occasion makeup goals, on the other hand, you can be a bit more flexible with the wear duration of your liquid foundation.