Best Foundations and Tinted Moisturizers, According to Skin Pros

Hollywood dermatologists and aestheticians share their favorite picks

By Diana Nguyen Jun 18, 2018 9:59 PMTags
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Foundation can be a gift and a curse. 

The right amount offers a flawless base for the rest of your makeup, while too much of the stuff can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Not to mention, there are so many options on the market, with a range of ingredients, that you can never be too sure what's right for you. 

In a time when skin is in—or at least naturally-look skin (read: not caked-on product)—we asked Hollywood's leading dermatologists and aestheticians—from Shani Darden, Jessica Alba's facialist, to Dr. Ava Shamban, who's worked with Kris Jenner, what are some of their go-to foundations. If these products weren't good for skin, you can bet these expects wouldn't use them.

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The seemingly unending search for the perfect foundation starts here. 

Shani Darden

Credits: Clients include Jessica Alba, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Emmy Rossum

"This is a great choice for everyday wear. I love the oil-free formula because it's hydrating but won't clog your pores." 

SHOP: Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer, $45

Angela Caglia

Credits: Clients include Jasmine Sanders and Hilary Duff

"It's a very light texture, but the coverage is excellent and looks like I'm not wearing foundation! I'm obsessed. (Sometimes I cocktail it with my face oil for an extra dewy, luminous glow."

SHOP: Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation, $67


Sonya Dakar

Credits: Clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin and Jenna Dewan

"I don't wear foundation daily, but for special events I like a "tinted moisturizer," I mix a few drops of Armani Luminous Silk Foundation with my Sonya Dakar Organic Omega Booster Face Oil for a tint of color and a healthy glow."

SHOP: Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $64

Joanna Vargas

Credits: Clients include Emily Ratajkowski, Mindy Kaling and Elisabeth Moss

"This foundation looks great on camera. It's smooth and the coverage isn't overwhelming."

SHOP: Hourglass Veil Foundation, $60

Renee Rouleau

Credits: Clients include Demi Lovato, Miranda Cosgrove and Dana Gordon

"I'm all about my skin shine through. Makeup is to enhance and not hide under. This helps to even things out a bit while not feeling heavy or greasy—and gives a nice glow. Ever since I switched to it, I get a lot more compliments on my skin which is never a bad thing!"

SHOP: Laura Mercier Candlelight Glow, $48

Dr. Ava Shamban

Credits: Clients include Kris Jenner

"I'm a big fan of the IT line as it both serves as an excellent foundation and an effective SPF. So, IT CC +Cream with SPF 50 or their BYE BYE foundation line, which has lots of shades."

SHOP: IT CC +Cream with SPF 50, $38  

Gina Mari

Credits: Named "top celebrity facialist in Los Angeles" by Allure magazine

"During the day I use AmorePacific's Moisture Bound Tinted Treatment Moisturizer SPF 15 (#104). I've been using this product for years! Having combination skin, it has proven to never break me out and provide hydration to the areas I need…not to mention providing necessary sun protection. If I want more coverage for special events, I turn to  Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation (#5.5). I can apply this foundation, and it stays put for hours."

SHOP: AmorePacific Moisture Bound Tinted Treatment Moisturizer SPF 15, $70


Ryan Christopher

Credits: Cosmedix Global Director of Education

"PUR 4 in 1 Pressed Mineral Makeup is a versatile foundation that I can build up or blend lightly depending on how much coverage I need. It has staying power, which is most important for my event applications! Not only does it have SPF, but it is also made with coconut oil, vitamin E and PUR's Ceretin Complex, which combines retinol and hydrating ceramides to smooth lines and wrinkles."

SHOP: PUR 4 in 1 Pressed Mineral Makeup, $29.50

Dr. Patricia Wexler

Credits: One of the first to use Botox; awarded the Excellence in Cosmetic Surgery Award by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery

"My favorite foundation is Giorgio Armani Designer Lift smoothing firming foundation with broad spectrum SPF 20 sunscreen. It has a light texture, but good coverage. It leaves my skin matte but never dry. I look hydrated and smooth all day."

 SHOP: Giorgio Armani Beauty Designer Lift Smoothing Firming Foundation SPF 20, $67

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