There are times in life when only the best beauty product will suffice (your wedding day, the morning you'll be promoted at work, the evening you know you'll be running into an ex, etc.). Given the importance of beautiful and healthy looking skin, which can make or break any look, foundation is usually one of those makeup items that experts agree you should splurge on. A great foundation--one that blends easily, won't clog pores and matches your skin tone perfectly--is a unicorn in the cosmetics universe. When you find one, regardless of its price (well, within reason), you stock up and pray it will never be discontinued. These 7 designer foundations may set you back more than your drugstore favorites, but their many fans can't stop raving about them--here's why they're so special.
Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation
Airbrushed makeup, the kind most of us reserve for special occasions, may make you look like you belong on the cover of Vogue, but it isn't always easy to replicate the salon effect at home. We found the exception: Dior's spray foundation gives "flawless porcelain full coverage," according to one user, but doesn't look or feel heavy. There's some debate over whether this is an everyday foundation or one you should save for formal events. Maybe this tidbit will make it easier to decide: you can apply the foundation by spraying it straight from the can for a lighter work-appropriate finish or apply it with a Kabuki brush for a more dramatic look--this foundation gives you options.
Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation ($62)
Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Liquid Foundation
This buildable foundation scores points for containing SPF 20 and staying in place all day long, even on oily complexions. Users rave about how it "settles flawlessly" on the skin and provides full coverage when you need it. The one complaint is that customers wish Guerlain would provide a more extensive range of dark skin shades--but the ones they do have blend effortlessly and look natural.
Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Liquid Foundation ($63)
Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation
The worst crime a foundation can commit is creasing on your skin--you'll have zero worries of that happening with Shiseido Synchro Skin, which users say provides medium coverage and won't settle into fine lines. Although this product is marketed as having a "buildable" formula, most agree it's best to apply one layer to avoid a cakey appearance and that this is more than enough to cover "imperfections" like rosacea and acne.
Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation ($45)
bareMinerals Matte Foundation
Boasting more than 4,000 five-star reviews, this powder foundation is lightweight and looks more natural than many liquid foundations. Customers say its simple five ingredient mineral-based formula works wonders on sensitive and acne-prone skin and the range of shades--20 in total--make it a cinch to find one that works with your skin tone. Did I mention it contains SPF 15? So, basically, they created the perfect foundation.
bareMinerals Matte Foundation ($28.50)
Smashbox 'Studio Skin' 15 Hour Wear Foundation
Long summer days and nights call for a foundation that can handle humidity and sweat like a pro. Smashbox came through with this long-lasting liquid formula, which can be applied with a light hand for just a bit of color and concealment, but also has buildable coverage for those times when you need more. Customers with dry skin love the unexpected dose of hydration this foundation provides, but many said the coverage wasn't intense enough to help anyone with problem skin.
Smashbox 'Studio Skin' 15 Hour Wear Foundation ($42)
Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation
Mineral makeup has never felt this smooth or luxurious. Jane Iredale provides a sheer/semi-matte foundation made with natural ingredients like plankton and algae extracts. Many customers say this makeup nourishes their skin and can even help clear up blemishes. Speaking from experience, I can attest to the fact that this foundation will make you forget you're even wearing makeup--and your skin will look especially gorgeous and glowy after a quick spritz of Jane Iredale Hydration Spray.
Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation ($42)
Estée Lauder 'Double Wear' Stay-in-Place Liquid Makeup
Thousands of satisfied customers know this reasonably priced (for a luxury brand) foundation is a "holy grail" product for a number of reasons: it provides medium-to-full coverage, but leaves a semi-matte/sheer finish; last an impressive 15 hours and can withstand heat, humidity, and even rain; and won't aggravate skin or clog pores. This fragrance and oil-free formula comes in 33 shades and--the kicker--will not rub off on your hands or clothes.
Estée Lauder 'Double Wear' Stay-in-Place Liquid Makeup ($38)