UPDATE 2/7/18: NARS is no longer cruelty free
OK folks, my all time favorite makeup item: foundation! I have ranked my favorite 15 foundations by their coverage (lightest at the top, fullest at the bottom). I have included drugstore and high end options so you are bound to find something that works for you and your beauty budget. All items are cruelty free and some are even vegan [Those that are vegan, I have marked with a (V)] <3
1. Urban Decay Beauty Balm $34 (V)
This ultra lightweight balm works as a skincare product and leaves skin tone perfected. This is a great choice for those who want that ~*no makeup, makeup look*~ PRODUCT CLAIMS: Improved skin tone, improved skin radiance after 12 weeks of use, firmer skin after 12 weeks, and visibly smaller pores after 8 weeks of use.
This gorgeously light, but effective foundation is truly a standout product. Formulated without fragrance, silicone, oil, and parabens, it is a perfect friend to those with sensitive skin. It is also compatible with all skin types and leaves skin looking bright. PRODUCT CLAIMS: tone correcting mineral foundation + brightening serum in one, adjustable coverage with a natural finish
3. Botanics Age Defense Foundation $13.99
This is the perfect light coverage foundation, and can be built up to have medium coverage. It makes skin look radiant and healthy. If you have oily skin, beware, this foundation is quite dewey. Although it doesn't say this product is vegan on their website, none of the ingredients are derived from animals, yay! PRODUCT CLAIMS: For smoother younger looking skin, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.
4. Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation $40 (V)
This foundation never disappoints me. It manages to cover freckles and discoloration all while feeling light weight and providing a demi-matte finish. It can be built up to give more coverage, but you can always see your skin peaking through. PRODUCT CLAIMS: minimized fine lines and wrinkles, blurs imperfections, + improved skin radiance
5. Nars Sheer Glow Foundation $47
This foundation's reputation always precedes it, and for good reason. Although this formula is best suited for those with normal to dry skin, it provides the most stunning finish. I love the versatility of this product. You can use just a few drops for light coverage or build it all the way up to a full coverage foundation. Other products layer beautifully on top of it and it never gets cakey. Dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic, contains anti-oxidants, and is fragrance free. The only downside it that is doesn't come with a pump, so it can be a little messy. PRODUCT CLAIMS: hydrates for softer smoother skin, evens out skin tone, leaves skin bright + radiant.
Another cult favorite from Nars, big surprise. Nars just knows what they're doing when it comes to foundations (+ concealers, + powders, + blushes, + basically everything they do they're good at). This formula provides a flawless weightless base that lasts all day long. A little goes a long way with this product, allowing flexibility with coverage. PRODUCT CLAIMS: flexible polymers move with skin allowing for breathability + comfort, provides coverage without masking skin, neutralizes redness + dullness + works long term to reduce discoloration.
This is for the makeup lovers who want that glow! This foundation provides a medium to full coverage look with just one layer. It provides outstanding illumination that doesn't look greasy. It can be set with a powder to provide a satin like finish and it blends like a dream. This foundation is also great for photos and video because of its HD quality. Formulated with anti-oxidants and without parabens. The best part? Their shade range is amazing for a drugstore brand. They also offer a shade that is almost white to mix in with other foundations to lighten them. PRODUCT CLAIMS: high definition, full coverage foundation, comfortable for all day wear, hydrates + improves skin's appearance
This foundation is formulated with hyaluronic acid, infused with Alpine Rose, and also contains coconut water which is a combination fit for the hydration gods. It is formulated without oil, so it doesn't feel heavy and it is easily blended out. This foundation provides a medium to full coverage that sinks in and looks just like skin. PRODUCT CLAIMS: replenishes moisture, brightens skin's appearance, promotes elasticity, + provides undetectable coverage
9. Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation $5.99
If you want a lightweight, full coverage, photo friendly, affordable foundation, your search is over. Wet n Wild nailed it with this foundation. It looks beautiful in person and in photos and videos because it doesn't have a white cast when flash is used. PRODUCT CLAIMS: tested under 7 different light conditions to prevent flash back, delivers camera ready makeup, specially made with a matte, light-diffusing complex to give your skin #nofilter perfection.
If you are a fan of a full coverage foundation with a matte finish that is budget friendly, this Milani foundation is a great fit. It is formulated to work as a concealer as well, so the pigment is much more concentrated than a traditional foundation. It can cover up discoloration as well as freckles. Prevent looking cakey by using this product little by little and using a sponge to remove any excess. PRODUCT CLAIMS: combats under eye circles, redness, full coverage water resistant foundation + concealer, skin looks naturally perfect, + lasts all day long
This product is amazing because it is so versatile. It can be used as a medium or full coverage foundation with a matte finish if used all over the face. It can be sheered out with moisturizer to provide light coverage. They also have shades made specifically for contouring and highlighting if you fancy that. The best part is that it is easily applied and blends out flawlessly with a brush, sponge, or even with your fingers. PRODUCT CLAIMS: 30 different shades with buildable cream formula, natural matte finish, ideal for combination or oily skin [side note: I have normal to dry skin and it works well for me]
12. Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation $39 (V)
This is one of those foundations that pack a punch when it comes to coverage, but still manage to leave skin feeling soft and healthy. This formula is oil free, and Tarte always formulates without mineral oil, parabens, pthalates, tricoslan, sodium lauryl sulfate, + gluten. Be aware this product does oxidize (reacts with the oils on your skin causing a change in color of product), be sure to try before you buy. PRODUCT CLAIMS: Oil free, 12 hour long wearing formula, SPF 15 mineral sunscreen, hypoallergenic, contains Amazonian clay, Vitamins A + E, and mineral pigments that soften skin.
One of my favorite full coverage foundations. This creamy foundation goes on smoothly and covers anything and everything on your skin. It has a matte finish and works well with all skin types. The product does last a full day which is a definite plus. The downside is that the shade range can be hit or miss, be sure to try out the shade before you buy. PRODUCT CLAIMS: exceptional coverage with a natural finish, covers challenging discoloration, and leaves skin soft, matte, beautiful + flawless
This foundation is my holiest of grails when it comes to foundation. It contains a luxurious long lasting formula that covers everything you want to hide while providing a soft beautiful feel. This is what I wore on my wedding day, and it did not disappoint. It has 21% pigment, which is INSANE, most run of the mill foundations hover around the 7% range. Formulated without parabens, sulfates, + pthlalates. PRODUCT CLAIMS: Proven 24 HR wear, transfer resistant, water resistant, completely conceals imperfections, redness, hyperpigmentation + uneven skin texture.
15. Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation $40 (V)
Now, for the Mac Daddy of all things full coverage, I present to you the All Nighter Foundation by U.D. This one is not for the faint of heart. This foundation will go on, and stay on for the long hall. No commitment issues here, and there is a shade for everyone. This foundation is formulated without oil and one pump can cover up everything you wish to hide. The packaging it is dispensed from is an air-free pump, which means you are getting every last drop of this majestic product. PRODUCT CLAIMS: full coverage with modern matte finish, waterproof, paraben free, + absorbs oils.
That is a wrap! Thank you for reading. Please let me know if you have tried any of these foundations or which one you are dying to try next.