I’m Always Testing High-End Foundations—These 15 Are Worth the Extra Dollars

Fashion

I’m not going to lie to you. Before I became a beauty editor, my foundation options always came straight from the aisles of my local CVS. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with drugstore foundation. In fact, many pricier foundation formulas are actually not much different than the ones you find at the drugstore. But there is also an argument in favor of high-end foundations that I’m willing to present today. Having had the privilege to try so many next-level formulas at this point, I’ve found there are a few that are worth the extra dollars spent. 

Sometimes, spending a little more means you’re getting an innovative product filled with ingredients traditional foundations may not have. I know some of you might still be on the fence about investing your hard-earned money in a simple base product, but if you are excited to see what the luxury end of the spectrum has to offer you, keep scrolling. Skeptics are also welcome.

This is easily one of the best high-end foundations I own. Sure, it’s on the pricier side, but let me tell you why the formula is worth it. The gel-like texture is just beautiful. It melts straight into the skin, creating this flawless, poreless look that every other foundation *claims* to give you. This one actually delivers. It also keeps my skin so hydrated throughout the day, and the shade Sand matches me perfectly—another rare occurrence when it comes to foundation.

Chanel’s Sublimage formula offers a serum-like texture that creates a smoother, plumper, and more radiant complexion.

Luminous Silk is a favorite among celebrity makeup artists for a reason—it’s truly liquid gold. It’s also a great option for those with acne-prone skin, as it’s completely oil-free and noncomedogenic. I use it myself, and it’s another personal favorite.

Shiseido’s Synchro Skin is worth the extra dollars for its weightless formula that synchronizes with your own skin. It self-refreshes and manages to look freshly applied after even 12 or 24 hours of wear.

“Sublime perfection” is right, folks. This foundation from Pat McGrath contains unique polymers that provide lasting wear; high-purity pigments that deliver creamy, buildable coverage; and diamond-core powder to enhance your skin’s natural radiance.

Although Surratt’s Dew Drop Foundation offers lighter coverage (light to medium), it’s great for those who like a dewy, natural, and hydrating finish. It’s glowy summer skin in a bottle.

I expect only luxury from La Mer, and this Soft Fluid Long Wear formula contains the brand’s cult-loved Miracle Broth, just as its other hero skincare products do. It provides deep hydration to the skin and a soft, velvety finish.

All the full-coverage queens out there, try Lancôme’s luxe, oil-free foundation stick. It’s a cream-to-powder formula that provides a natural matte finish and comes with its own kabuki brush on the other end. You can use it to conceal, contour, cover, highlight, and blend to perfection.

Dior’s Forever Skin Glow Foundation contains skincare ingredients like iris extract to guard against oxidation, hibiscus extract to renew the skin, and wild pansy extract to help the skin maintain its hydration throughout the day. It even provides a bit of SPF protection.

What’s a list of the best high-end foundations without an option from Tom Ford? Many beauty lovers I know sing this foundation’s praises, so it’s definitely on my list to try. It’s a medium- to full-coverage formula that creates a blurred effect on the skin for a flawless finish. It’s soft and silky and contains hyaluronic acid for a boost of moisture.

This may be a long-wear foundation, but it certainly doesn’t feel like one. It provides a natural matte finish that’s lightweight and helps even out your skin tone. It’s also oil-free and oil controlling, so it’s another great option for acne-prone skin.

The Vital Skin Foundation Stick offers a creamy finish and is rich in antioxidants and calming actives. It soothes redness, boosts hydration in the skin, and can be used as both a concealer and foundation.

YSL’s All-in-One Glow Liquid Foundation is designed to even out your complexion, smooth fine lines, and eliminate dullness, making it a great option for dry or mature skin. The formula contains 70% water, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and antioxidants to keep skin supple, hydrated, and luminous throughout the day.

This cult-favorite foundation really does deliver a flawless finish every time. It keeps skin feeling fresh with AirCool technology and even helps reduce the appearance of fine lines. Pro tip: layer it over the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter for a truly airbrushed finish.

I know. I almost fully spit out my water when I saw the price tag. But hear me out on this option. La Prairie offers some of the best luxury skincare around, and I have faith that this concealer and foundation with SPF will deliver serious complexion-perfecting results. It offers full coverage and a soft, emulsion-like texture that glides onto the skin. Full disclosure: The shade range isn’t at all impressive, but hopefully, the brand is planning to expand it soon.

Up Next: We Tried Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Most Coveted Products—These Are Worth the Hype

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