We all want perfect skin, and if we can’t have it, we at least want to look like we do. When it comes down to it, most of the products that promise to give us a flawless complexion—foundations, tinted moisturizers, concealers, and the like—not only make us look like we’re wearing tons of makeup, but end up harming our skin in the long run. That’s no good… which is where the new wave of base products comes in. Lightweight, light-to-medium coverage, and totally natural-looking at the end of the day, you’ll actually want to wear these formulas. They’ll make you look even more incredible, and nobody will ever know you’re wearing them.
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide ($48, lauramercier.com)
Makeup artist Laura Mercier is the number one authority on creating flawless skin with the least amount of makeup possible, and her eponymous line certainly reflects that. This newer offering is incredibly lightweight but still provides a surprising amount of coverage, and it’s long-wearing, sweat-proof, and non-comedogenic, so it’s well-suited to all skin types. The best part? It comes in—wait for it—24 shades, running the gamut from the fairest to the deepest tones. Amazing.
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream ($29, sephora.com)
Our love for this unique skin care-turned-makeup product is already well-documented, but that certainly doesn’t mean we’ll stop singing its praises any time soon. bareMinerals had a great idea and ran with it—this base, not quite a BB cream and definitely not a foundation, combines real skin care benefits with a dewy, medium-coverage formulation that blends into the skin rather than just sitting on top of it. It has the perfect natural finish that won’t result in a “glowing” (read: greasy) effect, even on oily skin.
Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer ($48, spacenk.com)
A favorite of beauty editors, models, actresses, and regular people alike, this unique primer is excellent for those “good skin days” when used on its own, when your skin isn’t quite flawless but just needs a little something to finish it off, but it can also be layered beneath your usual foundation or tinted moisturizer for a smooth base and extra coverage. It really feels great on the skin and allows it to breathe, and while it only comes in two shades, it’s sheer enough that most skin tones should be able to find a fit.
Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer SPF 30 ($35, tartecosmetics.com)
Another base product of the “tinted primer” iteration, the light coverage of this long-lasting multi-tasker gives us flawless skin every time. It goes on super silky and leaves skin feeling matte and smooth but not dry, and it’s perfect even for sensitive skin types. You can use a thin layer for sheer coverage if that’s all you need, but it’s also buildable to up to medium coverage, so don’t count it out for skin emergencies—and with the built-in SPF 30, it’s perfect for summer days. Worn over your regular sunscreen, of course.
Eve Lom Light Illusion Concealer ($40, neimanmarcus.com)
As far as non-caking, pleasant-to-wear formulas go, concealer is a tough category, but this version is one we’re almost happy to apply every day. You can use it on everything from dark circles to acne scars because the light-reflecting properties help to brighten and hydrate, even if you have dry spots. The silky formula—in a click pen, no less—goes on smooth and creamy and blends easily, and the antioxidant-rich ingredients actually work to heal and protect skin while concealing flaws. What more could you ask for out of a concealer?
Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint ($40, jouercosmetics.com)
We all need a little extra luminescence from time to time, which is exactly where this mineral-based moisturizing tint comes in. If dewy, light-reflecting skin is what you’re after, then it doesn’t get much better than the healthy-looking finish of this lightweight product, which helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and imperfections while using protective ingredients to repair the skin while you wear it. And if it’s similar benefits but a matte finish you’re after, then Jouer’s mattifying sister product is perfect for you.
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