Nars Foundation

They say that a good skin-care routine is the best makeup, in the sense that good skin equals less cover-up and concealer. But once in a while, you stumble upon a great foundation that can fake a good skin-care routine—and in my opinion, that’s sometimes even more satisfying. It feels like I’ve been searching for years for such a unicorn, one that gives me that “my skin but better” look, but I only recently found the One.

Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation has been my gold standard for the past months. It’s one of those rare options that doesn’t feel cakey or dry like a mask. Instead, I’ve found that it’s super lightweight, actually allowing my combination, breakout-prone skin to breathe. A little goes a long way too, which is helpful for minimizing my urge to do the most to cover a pimple. With just a hint of a dewy (nongreasy) sheen to it, my newfound radiance has caught the attention of all my friends: Just about everyone is asking me about my skin-care routine.

The medium- to full-coverage foundation is buildable based on my needs, so I typically never need to add more than two pumps at a time to my makeup brush before dotting the product all over my face. I like to focus on standout areas first (here’s looking at you, dark spots), before completely blending out my foundation. This method, combined with moisturizer and a great primer, helps my skin look natural but slightly enhanced (like I’m wearing my own personal filter).