Foundation has come a long way in the last 10 years. BB creams and CC creams have taken over the category, and even traditional liquids now pack good-for-your-skin ingredients. However, compact foundations have seriously lagged behind. They're notoriously drying and tend to look flat and unnatural — that is, until now.
Thanks to better technology, finer powders and multidimensional colors, new compact foundations from some of our favorite high-end brands offer buildable coverage that won't give you mannequin skin. Plus, while liquids can make an oily complexion shiny, compact foundation keeps greasy skin at bay. Even better, it's totally spill-proof — ideal for en-route application.
Even if you think there's zero chance you'll give up your favorite BB, give one of these compact foundations a shot — they're nothing like they used to be.
The most brilliant thing about Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation, $36, is that it can be applied wet or dry. To get extra coverage, dampen the sponge and use the smooth side to stipple the product wherever you need it. For a sheer, matte finish, apply the dry powder with the textured side of the sponge. No matter how you use it, the creamy formula brightens skin with built-in highlighters.
Eve Lom Radiant Glow Cream Foundation SPF 30, $55, feels like a cross between a cream and a powder. Despite being thick and opaque, it glides on easily. To boot, moisturizing and anti-aging ingredients create an ever so slightly dewy finish.
Ever wish the entire world would see you through a gauzy Mayfair filter? As the name and design embossed on the powder suggest, Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation, $42, essentially gives your face the Instagram treatment. In addition to color pigments, it contains light-filtering particles that blur imperfections and make skin naturally luminescent. It also stays put all day, thanks to special technology borrowed from medical-grade liquid bandages. Seriously. This stuff doesn't budge.
Foundation minimalists rejoice: Clé de Peau Radiant Powder Foundation SPF 23, $150, comes with a brush for a light dusting of powder. Or, for more concentrated application, use the sponge. The formula is chock-full-of light-reflecting particles that make your skin glowy — but not too glowy.