6 Hollywood Makeup Artists Reveal Favorite Foundations for Flawless Red Carpet Skin
The new, high-performance foundations that get stars like Rami Malek and Saoirse Ronan ready for their close-up.
Which product is the building block of every celebrity makeup artist's kit? Foundation. "Foundation should always fuse seamlessly with skin for the most natural look," says makeup artist Laura Mercier, founder of the cult eponymous brand and pioneer of "the flawless face." But how do stars achieve that perfectly glowy, red carpet-ready skin in the depths of winter, amid a grueling schedule of long haul flights, awards-show mixers and press junkets? With the help of super-charged, breakthrough formulations that do more than just cover and conceal. Below, six celebrity makeup artists share the foundations they turn to for an award-winning complexion.
1. Kosas Tinted Face Oil
"One of my favorite products for the winter months is Kosas Tinted Face Oil," says makeup artist Marissa Machado, who used a blend of shades four and five on Rami Malek at the Golden Globes to lightly even out tone and build a natural feeling of warm, sun-kissed skin. The serum-like formula contains three types of mineral pigment in a base of six active botanical oils to instantly even skin tone, minimize pores and erase imperfections. "It's not only hydrating; it's super lightweight so your skin never feels cakey. It's the perfect coverage with the most natural-looking finish."
Kosas Tinted Face Oil, $42 at kosas.com
2. Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation
"I'm all about skin that looks like skin, so I love a blendable, creamy formula," says makeup artist and Westman Atelier founder Gucci Westman, whose clients include Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Gwyneth Paltrow. "I always use at least two shades of the Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation to ensure that I'm creating a customized complexion story — whether it's on myself or my clients." (Westman used shades V and VI on Paltrow at her recent wedding). Formulated with phytosphingosine to conserve moisture, reduce the appearance of fine lines and target redness and inflammation, and vegetable-derived squalane to restore suppleness and flexibility to the skin for a dewy, fresh finish.
Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick, $68 at Barneys.com
3. Chanel Ultra Le Teint
Known for her legendary red carpet looks, makeup artist Kara Yoshimoto Bua used Chanel’s Ultra Le Teint Flawless Finish Foundation, a liquid matte foundation that lasts in even the most environmentally strenuous conditions, on Rachel Weisz and Saoirse Ronan for the Golden Globes. "Take a couple of pumps and first blend by rubbing the hands together. then blend upward and outward to create a veil over the face, jawline and neck to create a satin-like porcelain finish," she advises.
Chanel Ultra Le Teint foundation, $60 at Chanel.com
4. Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance-Perfecting Foundation
Formulated with brightening Vitamin C and Silver Ear Mushroom extract (which is 400 times as moisturizing as sodium hyaluronate) to plump the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance-Perfecting Foundation reveals brighter, clearer, more even-toned skin over time so that even without makeup, your skin is radiant and hydrated. "It gives you a perfect natural glow and looks luminous no matter what light you are in," says Mario Dedivanovic, whose clients include Kim Kardashian, Kate Bosworth and Ariana Grande.
Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Foundation $48
5. Dior Forever
Actresses Emily Blunt, Michelle Yeo, Zoey Deutch are all fans of Dior Forever 24-hour-wear, high-perfection foundation containing ultra-hydrating, antioxidant-loaded wild pansy and rose fruit extracts. "Whatever relationship women have with their makeup, everyone wants that perfect, sublime complexion that foundation gives them," says creative director Peter Philips. The new Forever foundations come in two finishes: a velvet matte and a luminous glow. "The matte finish evens out the complexion and blurs imperfections and fine lines while the glow is more versatile: in soft lighting it catches the light intermittently, in the sunlight its presence is bolder."
Dior Forever foundation, $52 at Dior.com
6. Beautycounter Skin Tint Hydrating Foundation
"What’s amazing about this product is that it leaves your skin looking like skin, while the hyaluronic acid in it acts as a moisture magnet," says the clean beauty brand’s chief artistic officer, Christy Coleman, who used Skin Tint in Honey on Connie Britton for the Golden Globes. "It’s also completely buildable and blends easily, giving you the ability to go from a light to medium coverage while simultaneously evening out skin tone.” Presenter Maya Rudolph also used Skin Tint in Tan on the night.
Beautycounter Skin Tint Hydrating Foundation, $42 at Beautycounter.com