My Top 5 Favorite Foundations

I don’t wear foundation every day but often reach for light coverage BB or CC cream. A tinted moisturizer or sometimes just a layer of moisturizer that contains sunscreen is good enough for my daily work face and running errands. I work in a lab, so sometimes I find myself lazy to really dress up and put on a full face of makeup. As a woman in her 20s, I am fully aware of the importance of having a feel-good and look-good skin. It takes a village! Overall, I have a normal and healthy-looking skin most of the time. It occasionally gets dry around my cheeks area in the winter, and it gets oily around the forehead and especially on my eyelids. I have learned to moisturize and apply primers to prevent any smudges or sunning makeup at the end of the day. I make sure to use sunscreen on the daily, drink as much water as I can, and take off any specks of dirt or makeup remnants before heading to bed.

I hope to get to share my skincare routine pretty soon. But for today’s post, it is a long-awaited one that I have been dying to share: MY TOP 5 FAVORITE FOUNDATIONS. So read on if you want to find out why they are my favorites, and hopefully, you will give it a try and love it as much as I do too!

1. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Shade Cuzco – medium with a neutral pink/peachy undertone

I bought this tinted moisturizer before my Hawaii trip in August last year. I loved how it kept my skin so moisturized straight after the beach to restaurants, and it was so easy to apply with just my fingers. In the winter, my skin has gotten a bit lighter, but I find myself reaching for it often regardless. I like how it is so light yet gives my skin a good enough coverage, dewy and radiant as if it glows from within. I love everything NARS does, from their black and white chic minimal packaging to their actual products, except their NARS sheer glow that everyone raved about couple years ago. I found it did not last long on my face. I use NARS eye primer and the NARS radiant creamy concealer in a pot, and trust me it is life-changing! As mentioned many times that I don’t wear a full face of makeup, but these 3 NARS products are basically my daily face staples and must-haves. This tinted moisturizer is retailed for $45, but remember a little goes a long way! I don’t think I have found any better-tinted moisturizer or BB/CC cream in this same category that can beat NARS’ radiant tinted moisturizer.

2. TARTE Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation

Shade Light-Medium Neutral – light to medium skin w/yellow & pink undertone

I have gone through many phases of experimenting with many high-end and drugstore foundations and loved Tarte as a brand that offers products in the happy middle price range. Tarte is known as a natural eco-conscious brand that does amazing clay blushes that stay put with wide ranges of colors. Their products are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, formulated without parabens, mineral oils, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances, and gluten. I am dying to try out their Shape Tape concealer, but it always is sold out on the Sephora website. For foundations, I own two shades of their 12-hour clay foundations and use them on the weekends interchangeably with my fancier foundations (mentioned below). This powder foundation, however, really stands out from the rest of the liquid foundations I have. If you have a really sensitive skin, give this a try since it does not contain harsh chemicals as well as water (the main ingredient that houses bacteria or stuff that will break out your skin). Surprisingly as a powder, it gives a pretty good medium coverage and is build-able. I love the mesh apparatus that keeps all of the powder contained and makes it super easy to pick up using a dense foundation brush. Tarte does make a dense foudnation brush that is perfect to use with this foundation, so check them out below.

3. FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation 

Shade 250 – for medium skin with warm and very peach undertones

Fenty beauty was launched at the end of 2017 and made a storm in the beauty lover world for their impressive and inclusive foundation color range. I watched so many people doing reviews and giving praises to Fenty as the brand of the year. I waited for the hype to calm and made my first Fenty purchase online using my 20% Sephora code. I picked a color based on their description on the Sephora website since I kind of had an idea what my skin color was, ‘medium with a pink or peachy undertone’. It ended up working out just fine for me. As mentioned above, I have dry skin. Knowing that this is a matte finish foundation, I always make sure I hydrate and spray some MacFix+ to seal all of the makeup and make sure I don’t have dry patches or flaky skin anywhere. One trick that I have learned is to apply this foundation using a wet beauty blender since it does set on the skin pretty quickly. It is very affordable compared to the majority of the foundations being offered at Sephora these days, so that is another great thing that Fenty is doing. You might as well add their super well-known foundation brush in the cart, and trust me. You won’t be disappointed!


Shade: 40 Beige

Welcome to the higher end spectrum of this foundation post. As I shared above, I do take skin care and products that go on my face seriously as I believe ‘we pay for what we get’ these days. With that, regardless of what the price is, I would totally splurge on a few high-end things if I know I get quality stuff and that it lasts and does not harm nor damage my skin. This is my second purchase of this Chanel bottle in replace to the first one that got dropped on the floor two years ago. Sadly, I was not nearly halfway using that bottle, and it broke. I decided to get a new one since I loved it so much! I had been using the Chanel AQUA one and literally had just finished using it after 2 years. Chanel does incredible makeup and face products, with a price of course! Since I don’t wear a full-face of makeup every day, I find it is worth it to invest in a few like these! And they last me years! I love how lightweight it feels and how smooth and skin-like it looks too. It has a medium coverage and is build-able, moisturizing and feels lux on the skin. I find Lancome and Chanel products tend to have that heavy fragrant scent, but I don’t really mind it since the smell does not linger on my nose for so long. Well, I find it is weird, but I do get a headache from heavy scented things. Besides the fact that this bottle is made from a glass container (which easily breaks!), I love any Chanel foundations that I have ever bought. They are truly amazing to the skin and do look amazing as well! I also have the powder compact to keep in my bag for touch-up, and I love it so much as well!

5. GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTY Luminous Silk Foundation

Shade: 6.25 – medium to tan skin with peachy undertone

I love how this foundation makes my skin looks so radiant and natural. And yes, I am aware that I have repeated this sentence multiple times. But I truly am a fan of radiant, natural, skin-like texture that these products can offer to our skin. This bottle is my guilty-please that I had to really think about it many times before purchasing. But this is seriously good! It lasts me all day till whenever I decide to take it off. It goes on sheer initially that I always feel like I need more, so often time I’d go back with a second pump. But again, this foundation does stand up for its fam!! It is by far my most expensive foundation or makeup product I have ever owned. For event days, special occasions, or sometimes on the weekends when I feel like treating my skin, I immediately grab this foundation and can fully trust that it will give my face a perfect base!


  1. Know your skin type & get foundation matched with your color and undertone: I have dry to normal skin. My forehead and eyelids get oily at the end of the day, so I always make sure I have primers on before applying makeup. My foundation shade is medium with a peachy/pink undertone. And this is determined by having my skin matched multiple times at makeup counters before I buy any foundations.
  2. Use the right tool for your foundation. A densely packed and round brush is best to apply powder foundation (foundation #2 above). A flat or angled flat brush is perfect for any liquid foundations. I love to wet my Beauty Blender and use it interchangeably with my foundation brushes. I even use that same sponge to apply powder and bake my under-eye area, and it works every time.

Foundation tools that I use to apply my foundations:

the Beauty Blender

the Flat Kabuki brush 

I own this Sigma brush set (I’d totally recommend investing in a set as this includes everything that you will need for your makup application)

I am working on a few beauty posts this coming week, so stay tuned! Hope you’ve found this post helpful! Share in the comment section below what are your foundation favorites as I’d love to try as well!



An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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