The 15 Best Cream Foundations of 2023, Hands Down

Choosing a foundation isn’t always easy, ultimately because it’s such a personal choice. When considering finish, coverage, and most importantly formulation, the best foundation for you totally depends on what your skin needs. If your complexion is prone to dryness and redness, and you want a medium-to-high-coverage foundation that is easy to apply, has a natural finish and is boosted with added moisturizing benefits, then it’s time to introduce a cream foundation to your routine.

Cream makeup products such as cream blushes and highlighters are certainly having a moment. Why? According to Hollie Ellis, pro artist for Bobbi Brown, because they keep skin looking like skin. “They are also less mess when it comes to applying the product,” she adds. “And cream foundations are amazing for only pinpointing where you need coverage.” The beauty of a cream formula is that it really melts into the skin, meaning it blends seamlessly with other cream products and gives skin a fresh, natural-looking and never-cakey finish. 

Cream foundations tend to be a little richer, more nourishing, with a little extra coverage,” says RMS Beauty founder and celebrity makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift. It’s this richness that makes cream formulas especially beneficial for dry skin types. The rich, buttery formulas are often packed with powerful hydrators like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. According to Ellis, they’re also great for problematic or redness-prone skin that requires coverage strong enough to cancel out redness. “Their moisturizing textures help to cushion and even out the complexion in a more natural way,” she adds. If your skin is more on the oily side, however, then cream foundations might not be the best option for you, since you probably don’t need the added moisture. Instead, look for powder or liquid formulas with a matte finish.

Although you might think that due to their thicker textures, cream foundations would look and feel heavy on the skin, with the right tools and technique, you can achieve really natural-looking, weightless results. “The beauty of a cream foundation is you can either use your fingers and press into any areas where it needs coverage or you can use a brush,” says Ellis. “For a lightweight coverage, blend and circulate the foundation into the skin, and for a fuller coverage, press and stipple into the skin.” If you’re keen to try this technique, look specifically for a stippling brush. Designed with two layers of bristles—a shorter, more compact one to press the product in and a longer, looser layer to pick up and deposit the product—these brushes are perfect for achieving an airbrushed finish.

Converted? To help you narrow down your options, we’ve tried and tested 2022’s best-selling, highly rated cream foundations, including drugstore and luxury options. There’s also a variety of finishes and coverages, from matte to dewy, sheer to full, and everything in between.

1. Suqqu The Cream Foundation

This ultra-pigmented foundation is perfect for achieving a really full-coverage result (think skin that appears poreless and flawless). Coverage aside, fans also love that it gives skin a lit-from-within glow.

2. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick

It’s the perfect on-the-go formula that provides instant moisture,” says Ellis. “With its customisable coverage, you can wear it for a lightweight everyday finish, or you can build it up to a full coverage.”

3. Tarte Face Tape Foundation

Tarte's Face Tape Foundation was made both to be full-coverage and to keep skin looking matte all day long. Like the famous Shape Tape Concealer, it effortlessly covers redness, pigmentation and breakouts.

4. RMS Beauty UnCover-Up Cream Foundation

“This highly moisturising, concentrated formula incorporates our signature beauty oil for rich, radiant hydration that works to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” says Swift. “Perfect for someone with mature skin or someone in need of a little more coverage and hydration.”

5. Danessa Myricks Vision Cream Cover

Billed as a two-in-one concealer and foundation, this formula provides impressively full coverage without the need for layers of multiple products. A moisturizing ingredient lineup (including squalane and vitamin E) prevents skin from ever looking dry or cakey.

6. Ere Perez Oat Milk Foundation

Light in both texture and coverage, this silky cream formula blends into skin seamlessly, making skin look even but (thanks to a dewy finish) never flat. One layer is perfect for an everyday look, but it builds up beautifully for a more full-coverage finish.

7. Chantecaille Future Skin Oil-Free Foundation

Ideal for those with oily skin who do wish to try out a cream foundation, this oil-free formula has a unique gel-cream texture that feels totally weightless on skin but still provides medium-to-full coverage.

8. Jouer Cosmetics Essential High Coverage Crème Foundation

Available in over 40 shades, just one layer of this cream foundation will instantly see redness, blemishes and uneven skin tone disappear.

9. Chanel Sublimage Le Teint Ultimate Radiance-Generating Cream Foundation

This luxury Chanel formula’s texture is lightweight and buttery, so it glides on with minimal blending and buffing required.

10. Kevyn Aucoin Foundation Balm

Don’t be put off by the initially solid texture. This balm instantly melts into a silky texture once it's activated by skin's warmth. It smooths skin and blurs imperfections, creating the perfect base for further makeup application.

11. Inglot YSM Cream Foundation

This water-based cream formula is boosted with vitamin E, peptides and silicones to keep dry skin hydrated. The gel texture gives skin a satin (but not shiny) finish.

12. L’Oréal Paris Infallible Fresh Wear 24HR Foundation

L’Oréal’s Infallible Fresh Wear 24HR Foundation is a tried-and-trusted favorite. Blended with a blurring and mattifying serum formula for long-lasting coverage and shine-resistance, it’s famously sweatproof, heatproof and transferproof.

13. Estée Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup

An even more powerfully pigmented version of the classic Double Wear formula, this rich cream foundation has the ability to cover acne scars, birthmarks, sun spots, and even surgical scars. Expect full matte coverage that lasts all day (and night).

14. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream With SPF 50

You have options when you use this CC cream since it layers easily from light to full coverage without feeling heavy or looking powdery. In fact, the formula is packed with moisturising ingredients like niacinamide and collagen peptides to boost hydration and add glow.

15. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick

This foundation stick quickly and cleverly melts into skin, delivering the coverage of a concealer with the blendability of a liquid and the lightness of a powder. The result? Maximum coverage with minimal effort required.

Next Up: A Celebrity Makeup Artist Walks Into Ulta—These Are the Foundations She'd Snag.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.