The best foundation in the UK 2023

In the past, foundation was just a way to cover the skin to improve its appearance and perhaps hide fine lines, wrinkles and skin imperfections of all kinds. Today, they can play a much more important and beneficial role. If you want to get one, this buying guide of the best foundation will be of great help!

Lancôme PREP & MATTE Foundation 1

Editor's Choice

Lancôme PREP & MATTE Foundation

Best foundation in 2021

With its PREP & MATTE, Lancôme offers us a mattifying and moisturizing foundation. It is distinguished by its ability to offer a matte and long-lasting finish.

30 £ on Lancôme

This ultra-lightweight, oil-free foundation mattifies your complexion to reduce the appearance of unwanted shine while visibly reducing the appearance of pores and fine lines. It helps foundation apply more evenly and stay on longer. Plus, it's formulated to let light reflect off the skin's surface, so there's no flashback.

This foundation is primarily composed of salicylic acid, synthetic fluorphlogopite which minimizes the appearance of pores and improves the staying power of the foundation you'll be using over it. There is also glycerin and glycol for skin hydration, but also Air Licium™, an active ingredient that is increasingly found in cosmetic products and has the ability to absorb excess oil on the skin to reduce shine.

Rimmel Lasting Matte Foundation 2

Best entry-level

Rimmel Lasting Matte Foundation

Best entry-level foundation

With Rimmel Lasting Matte Foundation, you'll be able to create the perfect base for your everyday makeup. For less than £10, it aims to act as a pore minimizer and anti-shine agent to keep skin looking even and smooth.

5,95 £ on Amazon

This Rimmel Lasting Matte Foundation is light and full of coverage. It controls shine to keep your skin comfortably matte. The formula is advertised as cream, but in reality, out of the tube comes mousse to give your face a powdery matte finish and ensures your complexion is hydrated and balanced for up to 12 hours.

You'll find that this foundation is fully covering and ultra-lightweight, and will leave your skin truly matte without feeling tight or cakey. Rimmel's Lasting Finish Matte instantly hides blemishes, spots and dark circles. Rimmel's unique triple balance powder technology absorbs twice its weight in oil. The finish is powdery matte, but not drying, so you'll find yourself with well-hydrated skin.

Yves-Saint-Laurent Top Secrets Foundation 3

Best high-end

Yves-Saint-Laurent Top Secrets Foundation

Best high-end foundation

Yves-Saint-Laurent's Top Secrets foundation is distinguished by its moisturizing properties. It is able to blur the imperfections of your face while giving you a radiant and luminous complexion.

34,79 £ on Marionnaud

This Yves-Saint-Laurent Top Secrets foundation offers instant and long-lasting hydration to moisturize skin to perfection. This foundation with a long-lasting, yet ultra-lightweight silky moisturizing formula instantly revitalizes your skin's appearance, with a fresh, watery effect that leaves skin feeling soft. Skin is plumped up and allows your makeup to appear more even.

This foundation contains anti-tarnishing ingredients, including Burnet Root Extract and Ginger Root Extract, to revitalize and protect skin from damage. It can be used before your foundation and/or BB/CC cream and can also be used alone to achieve a natural skin finish.

Base de teint Baby Skin Maybelline 4


Base de teint Baby Skin Maybelline

Excellent foundation

Maybelline Baby Skin is a foundation that minimizes the appearance of pores. It also acts as a moisturizer to help create a smooth canvas on which to apply your favorite foundation or CC cream.

19,85 £ on Amazon
Buying guide • November 2023

Best foundation

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Best foundation in 2021

Best entry-level foundation

Best high-end foundation

Excellent foundation

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Comparison table of the best foundation

The best Inexpensive Top of the line Excellent
Lancôme PREP & MATTE Foundation 5
Rimmel Lasting Matte Foundation 6
Yves-Saint-Laurent Top Secrets Foundation 7
Base de teint Baby Skin Maybelline 8
Lancôme PREP & MATTE Foundation
Rimmel Lasting Matte Foundation
Yves-Saint-Laurent Top Secrets Foundation
Base de teint Baby Skin Maybelline
With its PREP & MATTE, Lancôme offers us a mattifying and moisturizing foundation. It is distinguished by its ability to offer a matte and long-lasting finish.
With Rimmel Lasting Matte Foundation, you'll be able to create the perfect base for your everyday makeup. For less than £10, it aims to act as a pore minimizer and anti-shine agent to keep skin looking even and smooth.
Yves-Saint-Laurent's Top Secrets foundation is distinguished by its moisturizing properties. It is able to blur the imperfections of your face while giving you a radiant and luminous complexion.
Maybelline Baby Skin is a foundation that minimizes the appearance of pores. It also acts as a moisturizer to help create a smooth canvas on which to apply your favorite foundation or CC cream.
Clear gel
25 ml
30 ml
30 ml
20 ml
Powdered mat
Satin sheen
Long lasting
Medium duration
Long lasting
Medium duration

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Buying guide - foundation

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How to choose your foundation

In this section, we will explain how to choose the right foundation. All you have to do is to take into account the following criteria.

#1 - Skin type

For best results, it's essential to know how to properly match the foundation to your skin type. If your skin retains a lot of moisture, then choosing a foundation for oily skin should help control that shine, cover blemishes and absorb excess oil.

Using a lighter foundation is the best foundation for acne-prone skin. It balances and evens out your skin tone and provides good coverage without making it look cakey. The best foundation for acne-prone skin should be breathable and not too heavy on your pores. The best foundation for dry skin moisturizes without being greasy. Avoid a matte finish as this can exaggerate dry patches.

#2 - Shade

The differences in shades can be remarkably subtle and often the only variation between two colors is that one has warm shades and the other cool shades. Knowing what you need makes it much easier to sift through the endless array of foundation products on the market today.

Not sure where to start? Try the vein test. A cool-toned person will have a pinkish tint to their skin, with bluish veins that you can see through the underside of the wrist or neck; while a warm-toned person will have a yellow or golden tint to their skin and greenish veins. Similarly, a person with a neutral tone has a mixture between the two. Many complexion bases are labeled "neutral," "warm" or "cool," so once you determine your shade, it will be much easier to choose the right color.

#3 - Coverage

Loving your freckles? Let them show through with a light coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer. Go for medium coverage if you want a more airbrushed look and full coverage if you suffer from redness or acne scars or want a more dramatic look for a night out.

Choose a more sheer foundation when you're not sure what kind of coverage you need. On the other hand, if you want a long-wearing foundation that doesn't require mid-day touch-ups, or if you have acne-prone skin, opt for a full-coverage foundation.

#4 - Formula

Don't just go by what it says on the bottle, beauty jargon can be confusing. Instead, choose the formula that works best for your skin. If your face is rather dry, choose a liquid or stick foundation, as it will be creamy and have the most hydrating properties. If your skin is oily, choose a powder foundation that will help absorb excess shine, leaving a matte finish.

Neutral skin seems hard to gauge, but it's really a matter of being careful where you apply foundation. The powder formula is the most versatile, as you can layer it lightly on dry areas and more heavily on oily areas.

#5 - Ingredients

In addition to the above criteria, be sure to read the ingredient list to get the most out of your foundation. Do you have acne-prone skin? Use a foundation that contains pimple-fighting salicylic acid. Dry, flaky skin? Look for serum-infused products that will help you stay hydrated. And if you don't feel like putting on sunscreen before foundation, find a formula that already contains at least SPF15.

What is a foundation?


Foundation is a neutral-toned facial product designed to even out skin imperfections and create a blank canvas for traditional makeup application. Foundation is available in many different formulations, including liquid, cream and powder. And as we discussed earlier in this guide, choosing the right foundation depends on skin tone, texture and desired level of coverage.

The fundamental purpose of a foundation is to make the skin on the face even and flawless. Some formulations use special compounds or fillers to diminish the appearance of wrinkles or scars. Ideally, the foundation will match the natural skin tone, so that the face does not appear to be a different color than the neck or hairline. Depending on the level of coverage, the foundation can also help reduce the appearance of dark circles, acne , freckles and moles.

Liquid foundation bases come in tubes or bottles and are often applied with a liquid-based sponge or brush. The lightest type of liquid foundation is often called a tinted moisturizer, which offers extremely sheer coverage for those who don't like heavy makeup or don't need much coverage. Cream formulas typically offer high coverage, come in a compact form and should be applied with a sponge. Powder or mineral foundations come in loose powder form and should be applied with a diffusing brush.

The different types of foundation

There are many different types of foundation that are suitable for all skin types. On the other hand, there are types of foundation that are more suitable for certain skin types.

Liquid foundation

Liquid foundation is perfect for offering an easy-to-mix consistency and smooth appearance, making this liquid form of foundation one of the most popular options available. There are formulas to suit every need and skin type, such as the oil-free, waterproof, 24-hour wear liquid foundation. You can create fuller coverage by applying multiple layers of liquid foundation.

Cream foundation

Cream foundation is a great option for on-the-go and is ideal for touch-ups during the day. Whether it's compact or stick form, cream foundation can help achieve a matte finish, which is great for oily skin.

Powder foundation

Compared to other types of foundation, pressed powder foundation has excellent oil absorption properties. When applied correctly, powder foundation helps to reduce shine throughout the day and smoothly even out skin tone. It provides effective yet barely noticeable creative coverage.

Mineral foundation

Of all the types of foundation, the so-called "mineral" type is known for being made of all-natural ingredients that do not clog pores. Mineral foundation helps limit the appearance of breakouts and is as blendable as a liquid foundation, giving a clean, natural finish.

Foundation or BB cream


Foundation is one of the most important makeup items. The main purpose of a foundation is to cover all skin imperfections such as blemishes, acne marks and large pores, pimples and dark circles. It evens out skin tone and creates a perfect base for other makeup products. A foundation comes in many different colors and tones. From light and beige to cocoa and dark, there is a wide range of shades available. The main drawback of a foundation is that it produces terrible results if you accidentally put too much on.

BB cream

The "BB" in BB cream is short for beauty balm or blemish balm. Basically, it is an all-in-one makeup that is not only designed to cover the skin, but also acts as a skin care product. BB cream offers sun protection and enough coverage to even out redness and smooth out rough texture. BB creams have finishes ranging from barely there to medium coverage. BB creams also have the added benefit of helping breakout-prone skin.


Foundation is usually used to achieve full coverage of the facial skin. Its consistency is thicker than BB creams and this provides good coverage to hide skin imperfections. A BB cream will not be able to mark all the imperfections. But really, your choice will depend mostly on the characteristics and needs of your skin.

So, if your goal is to have a smooth and even complexion, you should opt for a foundation. Because a foundation can offer more coverage than a BB cream or CC cream, it is the best choice to hide all imperfections, from redness to blemishes. On the other hand, BB cream is your best alternative if you want a great skin care product that can also hide some imperfections, but not totally.

Why buy a good foundation?

It has anti-aging properties

When you leave the house, you are exposed to a wide variety of pollutants, and because your face and hands are the most exposed areas of the body, they will be the most affected by this pollution and therefore require the most protection. It's perfectly fine to buy a foundation to give your skin a new lease on life.

It forms a protective barrier

Unfortunately, applying moisturizer or lotion to your face and hands every day won't stop pollution from coming into direct contact with your skin. So what you really need is a product that forms a barrier on your skin, something that will give it that extra bit of protection. That product is foundation.

It helps improve the look

If you're tired, sick or going through a phase where your skin doesn't have its natural glow, you can trust your foundation to help you look presentable. Some foundation products contain shimmering particles that mimic the skin's natural glow, while others contain agents that help your skin regain some of its original radiance and elasticity.

It protects the skin from heat and cold

A good foundation is one that has UV protection, allows your skin to breathe and gives it enough elasticity and moisture. It creates a protective layer that shields your facial skin from the cold air of winter or the harmful UV rays of the sun in summer. So if you put in a little time and effort and find the right foundation for your skin type and preferences, you'll literally be killing two birds with one stone.

It hides small imperfections

It's all about choosing the right shade to match your skin tone and neutralize any problems you may have. A well-chosen and properly applied foundation not only looks and feels completely natural, but also neutralizes redness and makes brown spots, scars and even freckles less visible.

The best brands of foundation

In our opinion, the best brands of foundation in 2022 are :

Maybelline New York
L'Oréal Paris

Founded in 1915 in New York City, Maybelline has become one of the best known and most loved cosmetic brands in the world. We particularly appreciate the long-lasting nature of its products.

This Clarins Group brand was founded in 1954. The group is known for its high-end cosmetic products. We appreciate the fact that it only offers very high quality products.

SEPHORA is a French brand created in 1969 by Dominique Mandonnaud. Today, SEPHORA makes 250 of its own brands and 16,000 products available in its stores through a self-service inspired distribution model. We like the fact that it offers sophisticated product lines, but accessible to all.

This French brand has an international reputation that is not new. It has branches all over the world. This complete beauty care company is the most sought after in the world. It combines the latest technology with the highest quality for the ultimate in luxury beauty en masse without losing its value and always prizing luxury.

Collistar is a brand that specializes in beauty products for 30 years. It has become an expert in slimming products and never stops innovating for ever more effectiveness.

What is the price foundation

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

5 £ to 25 £
25 £ to 40 £
more than 40 £
Price range diagram


Cleanse your face

Maintaining a consistent skincare routine is essential for the foundation to provide optimal results. Just before applying foundation, it's important to cleanse your skin to help prevent clogged pores and remove any dirt that could dull your natural glow. Next, gently exfoliate your skin to remove any dry, dead skin cells that can make the foundation look uneven. Finally, apply a moisturizer. A foundation penetrates better into moisturized skin.

Avoid being too heavy-handed

Always start by applying just a little foundation, then add more until you have the right amount of coverage. The goal is to apply foundation only where you need it, so you get an even result.

Spread the foundation from the inside out

Concentrate foundation in the center of your face, where redness and blemishes tend to be most problematic. Apply just a dab of foundation to each side of your nose, and to the center of your forehead and chin, then blend outward. Then locate any other areas of your face where imperfections are visible and apply a light, additional layer of foundation to those specific areas.

Don't rub it in

Whether you use a brush with synthetic bristles or your fingertips, apply foundation in a dotting motion, meaning you gently tap it onto your skin. Avoid any wiping or rubbing motions, as this will only push the foundation out and cause streaking.

Don't forget your ears!

Often overlooked, your ears are also part of your face. If you're prone to red lobes, lightly sweep your foundation brush over them so they blend in with the rest of your face.


How to apply a foundation?

It takes effort and patience to create a smooth, flawless look with a foundation. Always start by moisturizing your skin. Then apply a small layer of foundation. Use a brush, beauty blender or sponge to spread or dab the foundation onto your skin. After applying this layer, give it time to settle on your skin. You can create a foundation that looks light to full depending on your needs.

What are the levels of coverage offered by a foundation?

Tinting bases are available in a variety of coverage levels, including sheer, light, medium and full. Sheer, light coverage can be good for people with beautiful skin and few imperfections. Medium coverage can help hide lines and dark spots, and generally lasts longer than a product with light coverage. Full coverage can be perfect for those who want to cover a lot of imperfections, such as acne scars?

Should you put something before the foundation?

Yes, before applying foundation, it's recommended to use a primer. This is an often underestimated prerequisite. The main job of a primer is to fill in open pores and smooth them out in preparation for applying foundation or concealer. To apply primer, place a small amount on your cheeks, T-zone (forehead and nose) and chin. Blend with your fingertips or a brush.

What type of foundation for oily skin?

If you have oily skin, use a powder foundation or an oil-free liquid foundation. These contain powders that absorb oil, leaving you with a smooth, matte finish. Mineral foundation bases also work well on oily skin, as the dry particles tend to absorb moisture and prevent any kind of shine.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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  2. What is a Foundation Foundation and how to choose it?,
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  5. Foundation Buying Guide: How to Buy the Best Foundation | Vogue India,
  6. How to Choose (and Use) the Right Foundation,
  7. How to Choose Foundation Color - Tips for Picking the Right Foundation,
  8. How To Buy Foundation - The Best Foundation For Your Skin,
  9. Commonly Asked Makeup Questions Answered,
  10. 14 thoughts on "Foundation Makeup: 11 Tips For Complexion Perfection",
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See more


March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Lancôme PREP & MATTE Foundation 9
Lancôme PREP & MATTE Foundation
Rimmel Lasting Matte Foundation 10
Rimmel Lasting Matte Foundation
Yves-Saint-Laurent Top Secrets Foundation 11
Yves-Saint-Laurent Top Secrets Foundation
Base de teint Baby Skin Maybelline 12
Base de teint Baby Skin Maybelline


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