Looking for the best winter foundation? These are our picks.
It’s the changing of the seasons. Winter is upon us and the holidays are here. Yes, it’s time to pull out all your glam makeup looks, deck the halls and enjoy yummy food. But, many of us are or will be experiencing the dreaded seasonal skin change, dealing especially with dry skin, chapped lips (don’t leave home without a good lip balm!), and redness. Regardless of your skin type, we can all use a little extra TLC (aka hydration) during colder months. We’ve put together a list of our favorite foundations that are perfect for the wintertime. And, don’t worry – we’ve included both lighter coverage tinted moisturizer options to full coverage and everything in between. Did your favorite winter foundation make the list?
Best Foundation For Winter: NARS Light Reflecting
Why We Love It: NARS is known for their stunning foundation formulas and Light Reflecting is no exception. With this NARS foundation, skincare meets makeup to instantly blur imperfections, smooth texture, and conceal any type of blemishes, dark spots, or redness. But what really makes this foundation perfect for the winter months is its ability to strengthen skin’s moisture barrier while defending against environmental stressors and blue light. The breathable formula is vegan and formulated with over 81% naturally derived ingredients, making it suitable for daily use on even sensitive and acne-prone skin. In addition, you’ll always be photo-ready with what NARS calls ‘photochromic technology’ and ‘light reflecting complex,’ which both help boost skin clarity and help adjust the complexion to any light. You can achieve buildable medium coverage with NARS Light Reflecting Foundation to suit a wide variety of makeup looks, from daytime chic to nighttime glam.
Best Foundation For Dry Skin: HAUS LABS Triclone
Why We Love It: Lady Gaga, color us impressed! Triclone Skin Tech HAUS LABS Foundation is one of the best foundation launches of 2022. First things first, it’s packed full of innovation and skincare: (1) patent-pending Fermented Arnica reduces redness and imitations, evens skin tone, and protects skin from environmental stress; (2) BioFerment 7 Complex is a patent-pending antioxidant rich complex that promotes anti-inflammation, anti-aging, and protection from oxidative and environmental stress; (3) IntelliZen 7 Complex is a proprietary blend of medicinal herbs that work to promote skin healing and calming. Not only does this foundation help skin, but it also looks gorgeous on skin too. It smooths over texture, pores, and lines without settling, exaggerating, or clinging. HAUS LABS Foundation has a natural finish that doesn’t look too dry or too dewy. Because of this, we love this formula for all skin types, but dry skin especially.
Something we do want to note is that Triclone Skin Tech doesn’t play well with all primers. When paired with mattifying, blurring, or gripping primers it can look heavy – like it’s sitting on top of the skin. In our opinion, HAUS LABS foundation is best worn on its own or paired with a skincare-esque primer (something like RMS ReEvolve, $40). Another thing to note is HAUS LABS’ unique undertone system. It is based on a true color wheel and feels opposite to what you may be used to. They define their undertones as the following: warm (pink, rosy, or peach tones), cool (yellow, golden, or olive tones), and neutral (balance of golden + rosy tones). There are 51 shades across 6 color families to choose from, meaning all skin tones should find a match.
Best Cream Foundation: Patrick Ta Creme Foundation
Why We Love It: Housed in a pretty rose gold compact you’ll find Patrick Ta Major Skin, a cream foundation and setting powder duo. This is a newer launch from Patrick Ta, but we can only imagine the accolades it will get in the future. The cream foundation provides a stunning skin-like finish, delivering buildable light to medium coverage. With a brush, it applies and layers easily without accentuating imperfections like peach fuzz, texture, lines, and bumps. Major Skin wears for 6-8 hours with minimal settling, creasing, or need for touch-ups. Whether cream formula is your jam or you’re in the mood to try something new, this one should be on everyone’s best foundation radar.
If your skin is on the drier side, we recommend prepping with a good moisturizer and/or hydrating primer. Some of our favorite moisturizers for under makeup are SkinFix Barrier+ ($40) and iNNBEAUTY Slushy ($28). Hydrating primers we love are RMS ReEvolve ($40) and MERIT Great Skin ($38).
Best Full Coverage Foundation For Winter: Hourglass Ambient Soft Glow Foundation
Why We Love It: Full coverage, but make it winter ready with Hourglass Ambient Soft Glow Foundation. This Hourglass foundation promises 16 hours of wear with a natural, soft glow finish that provides buildable medium coverage. It promises to blur pores, fine lines, and wrinkles with a transfer-resistant wear that is both sweat and humidity resistant. The formula is infused with exclusive technology, such as light-diffusing pigments that deliver a soft-focus effe and blurring spheres that minimize the look of imperfections, fine lines, and wrinkles. Plus, the formula is infused with White Tea Extract, vitamin E, and antioxidants to help protect against free radicals.
Hourglass Ambient Soft Glow Foundation is best applied with a damp beauty sponge to help work the product into the skin better. This ensures a more second skin-like look rather than looking like it’s just sitting on top of the skin. It’s not going to be the most mattifying foundation, which is why we do like it for winter. If you still experience oily skin in the wintertime, you’ll benefit from setting with a translucent powder!
Best Drugstore Foundation For Winter: L’Oréal True Match Nude Hyaluronic Tinted Serum
Why We Love It: We love a makeup steal, and this L’Oreal skin tint was one of our favorite launches in 2021 and it is just not talked about enough. True Match Nude Hyaluronic Tinted Serum provides lightweight coverage with a natural finish, blurring imperfections for an even complexion. We find that it applies beautifully with a sponge for a second-skin like look. The texture is reminiscent of a mineral SPF with a little bit of a grippy feel to it, which helps it wear well with any complexion enhancers. In typical skin tint fashion, it does fade and wear off throughout the day, but it doesn’t look extra dry or extra oily. Since the formula is infused with hyaluronic acid, it is a great addition to any makeup collection for the upcoming winter months. Hyaluronic acid helps restore and protect the skin’s moisture barrier by increase skin’s water retention.
Best Face Palette For Winter: Make Up For Ever HD All-In-One Face Palette
Why We Love It: Full face makeup palettes are the trendy thing right now. If you’re on makeup TikTok, you’ve surely come across one or two on your FYP. Collectively, we’ve tried a few, but the best we’ve found is Make Up For Ever HD All-In-One Face Palette. So, what makes this face palette so special? It has a cream makeup for every use: foundation, concealer contour/bronzer, blush, and highlight. This makes it very travel friendly and perfect for the minimalistic girly who doesn’t want a ton of products cluttering their vanity.
For best results, you will want to pair this makeup palette with a primer and setting powder. The formula on its own has a solid 6 hours of wear before it begins breaking apart and wearing off, and looking a bit oily. For a cream formula, they layer beautifully without exaggerating texture, dryness, peach fuzz, or other imperfections. It looks pretty natural on and, when it does start wearing off, it doesn’t look patchy or uneven.
Most Splurge-Worthy Winter Foundation: Koh Gen Do Aqua
Why We Love It: It’s called most splurge-worthy for a reason, but Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation is just *chefs kiss* and worth every penny of its $96 price tag. A single pump of this foundation provides beautiful medium coverage that gives that glass-like, youthful glow. Its formulated with Koh Gen Do’s exclusive ‘Gloss Film Powder,’ light-diffusing minerals that brighten, minimize pores, and control excess oiliness. Aqua Foundation has a weightless, serum-like formula that is comfortable to wear and helps improve skin hydration. It does have a tacky texture that wears best when set with powder. But, even despite its more dewy finish, it doesn’t contribute to excess oiliness and is actually formulated to resist sweat.
If you want to treat yourself to a foundation that will make you feel and look bougie every time you wear it, Koh Gen Do Aqua is it.
Best Tinted Moisturizer For Winter: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint
Why We Love It: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint is a complexion product with big benefits. Super Serum Skin Tint provides lightweight sheer to light coverage for an even complexion. But, where this face base shines is its formula. The clean formula is silicone free, fragrance free, oil free, and more, plus contains SPF 40 via non-nano zinc oxide, which protects against UVA, UVB, UVC, blue light, and infrared rays. It’s infused with hyaluronic acid and squalane to hydrate and plump skin, while niacinamide helps soften fine lines, texture, and imperfections. These ingredients create a barrier to lock in moisture and plump skin, perfect for combating the dry winter air.
Now, this isn’t the most long wearing tinted moisturizer out there. But, there are ways to make it wear better. We recommend pairing it with a gripping primer, like Milk Makeup Hydro Grip ($36) and setting with a loose powder, such as ILIA Soft Focus Finishing Powder ($34).
Best Clean Foundation For Winter: Kosas Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation
Why We Love It: Kosas Revealer Foundation contains a powerhouse of skincare ingredients, including niacinamide and caffeine that brightens and smooths; peptides and hyaluronic acid that hydrate and plump; squalane, arnica, and provitamin B5 to soothe and balance skin. Dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, and non-acnegenic, the Kosas foundation is safe for sensitive skin. Kosas promises medium coverage that wears like a second skin, blurring, smoothing texture, and minimizing pores. While we do believe these claims to be true, there are a few secrets to getting the best results from this Kosas foundation. It is best applied with a damp sponge to thin out and work the product into the skin. It does have more of a dewy finish than the natural finish Kosas claims, which, for some, this is great. But, we recommend setting with a loose powder for best results (we love ILIA Soft Focus Finishing Powder, $34).
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Edited by Maddie
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