A great foundation is hard to find, especially one that gives you the perfect weightless, long-lasting coverage without drying your skin out. Enter: serum foundations!
This foundation type has steadily become more popular over the years thanks to its silky, lightweight texture, but it also delivers some serious benefits for your skin. We talked to celebrity makeup artist Joyce Bonelli on the trending makeup essential that "brings together the two worlds of skin care and cosmetics."
What is serum foundation?
Also called skin tints or foundation fluids, serum foundations are formulated with reparative, hydrating nutrients and ingredients often found in skin care products. It's also known to leave your skin feeling velvety smooth after application.
Bonelli says her clients often love serum foundation because it provides coverage on their face while treating and moisturizing skin at the same time. "Serum foundations allow you to treat your skin while having full foundation coverage," she told Shop TODAY. "[Many also] have an extra benefit of sunscreen, which is a bonus. There are also quite a few options in a range of prices and shades."
She also mentioned that serum foundation is popular right now because it's ideal for women (and men!) who are on-the-go.
"It allows them to treat their skin while getting full coverage and it's not complicated," said Bonelli. "Glam should be fun. No matter what your day brings — work, running errands, red carpet events or hanging with your kids — you'll be [fully] covered with a serum foundation."
How to apply serum foundation
To apply this foundation, Bonelli recommends starting with a clean dry face and applying the foundation fluid with the fingertips or a synthetic fiber brush or a beauty sponge.
"Blend in circular motions, and be sure to blend all the way to the hairline — you don't want lines — or do your neck and décolletage also for a full look," recommended Bonelli. "Wait a few moments until it's dry to brush on your finishing powder or mist with a setting spray, then continue with the rest of your look."
According to shoppers, these serum foundations are perfect for those who want to try it out for the first time — or if you're looking to give your makeup routine an expert-recommended upgrade.
Best serum foundations and skin tints, according to reviewers
Who says you have to splurge on glowy skin? This drugstore tinted serum not only provides natural, dewy coverage, it's also loaded with buzzy, skin-loving ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
According to reviewers across several retailers, this serum will leave your skin super glowy and luminous. They have this formulation's hyaluronic acid to thank, since the ingredient is known to hydrate and brighten your skin.
We could also rely on Fenty Beauty to release "flexible" makeup essentials that cater to just about everybody — and the brand's skin tint is no exception. With over two dozen shade options, the blurring foundation provides a smooth, long-lasting coverage that's easy to build on. If you're the sort to rush out the door in the morning, several Sephora shoppers also proclaimed that it's ideal for "5-minute makeup friends."
The Ordinary's serum foundation comes in over 30 shades, making it simple to match it to any skin tone. The affordable price point isn't the only major selling point. According to one five-star reviewer on the brand's website, "I expected this foundation to provide very little coverage. What a surprise! It blurs everything."
Packed with moisturizing glycerin and brightening diamond powder, this Glossier skin tint lets you naturally embrace the "no makeup" makeup look with comfort and ease. Its hundreds of five-star ratings are also hard to argue with.
Designed for mature skin, this lightweight serum foundation contains SPF 50, along with moisturizing vitamin B3. The formula is also perfect for sensitive skin and is available in a wide range of shades, which is a huge selling point for hundreds of Ulta shoppers who rated this L'Oreal Paris foundation a perfect five stars.
Want natural-looking skin? Try this Flower Beauty serum foundation, infused with antioxidants and lavender flower water that'll leave your skin radiant and refreshed. According to shoppers on the brand's site, this pick works especially well for mature skin.
This oil-free serum foundation from Clinique includes powerful ingredients like hyaluronic and salicylic acid, plus vitamin C. It's perfect for all skin types, from oily to dry, and leaves skin feeling smooth and hydrated. QVC, Sephora and Ulta shoppers have even rated it a glowing average, with several noting its expansive shade selection and long-lasting wear.
This beauty balm contains palm oil and proline, amino acids that boost the penetration of active ingredients like vitamin E. Designed to hydrate, protect and conceal normal and dry skin, it's gentle enough to be used after peels or other dermatologic procedures.
A blend of botanical ingredients — squalane, aloe and pore-refining mastic, for starters — helps this Ilia foundation soothe irritation, eliminate redness and plump fine lines on the face. Along with leaving a natural-looking finish, several Sephora shoppers note that it "delivers a buildable coverage."
This SPF-loaded serum foundation improves the skin's appearance while improving dark spots and improving uneven skin tone, thanks to key ingredients like wrinkle-fighting neuropeptides and brightening bisabolol. Several passionate QVC shoppers have rated this Perricone MD product a perfect five stars, with many noting its "natural looking protection" and "smooth and creamy" consistency.
With UV filters to protect against environmental stressors, prevent collagen damage and fight against aging, this Bobbi Brown serum foundation is worth the splurge. Its weightless, smoothing formula — including high-powered ingredients like lychee, bamboo and mushroom extracts — leaves skin looking brighter and flawless.
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