T&C Luxury Beauty Awards: The Best Base Products You'll Ever Need

This is how you start with a strong foundation.

There’s nothing like the perfect base to set everything else in your makeup routine. The great thing is that there are gorgeous new products to help you enhance—if not fake—the perfect complexion. We’ve rounded up the most luxurious and hardworking foundations and concealears we’ve discovered this year as well as some tried and tested favorites to help you pick according to your skin texture and skin type.


Best Light Coverage Foundation, Dewy Finish: Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Nude Water Fresh


A variant of the infamous Double Wear foundation, this fresh and watery blend is easy to apply and stays in place all day—no need for touch-ups. It's great for a full-face kind of day without the heavy, cakey feel.

Rustan's The Beauty Source

Best Light Coverage Foundation, Satin Finish: Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

Photo by KOH GEN DO.

The Aqua Foundation is not as watery as its name suggests. It produces a dewy glow with subtle coverage. A few pumps should suffice to cover the face completely, as it spreads on the skin quite effortlessly. The foundation marries the benefits of skincare and the aesthetic qualities of makeup. The serum nourishes with natural water from the French region of Brittany, and is infused with a blend of jojoba oil, olive squalane, and shea butter to soften the skin. While full coverage isn’t promised, the buildable Aqua Foundation does it part in minimizing any unsightly pores.

P2,750, Beauty Bar

Best Medium Coverage Foundation, Dewy Finish: Guerlain L’Essentiel Natural Glow Foundation 16H Wear SPF20

Photo by GUERLAIN.

Rarely can you rely on a foundation that tries to be many things (skin-caring, sun-protecting) to deliver the sole purpose of a foundation which is perfect coverage, but this new release by Guerlain definitely changes the game. The L’Essentiel Natural Glow Foundationsilicone-free and with 97 percent of its ingredients naturally derived!hydrates, balances, and protects the skin from pollution” while delivering that glass skin glow especially when buffed in using its special retractable brush. Once you’ve found your match (from 30 available shades), expect a perfect complexion as this wonder quenches flaky patches and neutralizes discolorations with its buildable coverage.

P3,500, Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Best Medium Coverage Foundation, Satin Finish: Make Up For Ever Reboot Foundation


Imagine the lauded Waterblend Foundation and the Ultra HD Liquid Foundation having a baby, and it would be this wonderful Make Up Forever new product called Reboot Foundation. It’s dewy enough to like skin, but thick enough to provide a buildable light to medium coverage.

SM Megamall

Best Full Coverage Foundation, Matte Finish: M.A.C  Studio Fix Fluid Foundation

Photo by M.A.C.

There’s a reason this M.A.C favorite always finds itself among makeup base winners and contendersit just marvelously delivers, covering up every imperfection, from scars to zits, without creasing, cracking, or accentuating pores or dry patches. The great thing with full-coverage makeup bases like this transfer-resistant Fluid Foundation is that it practically allows you to layer over it and create your desired look or finish with other products perfectly, whether you add highlighter, shimmer, or contour. You know what they say, build the right foundation and you can conquer the world. That’s true with this winner.

P1,900; Rustan’s The Beauty Source; Power Plant Mall; SM Aura

Best Full Coverage Foundation, Satin Finish: Clinique Even Better Refresh

Photo by CLINIQUE.

Looking for an everyday foundation? Clinique's Even Better Refresh provides full coverage with a minimum amount of product. Dab a few points onto your nose, skin, cheeks, and forehead, and spread. Don't be afraid to build it up because the product provides the most satiny, skin-like finish you'll ever get your hands on.

Rustan's The Beauty Source; SM Megamall

Best Foundation Stick: Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation

Photo by TOM FORD.

True to its name, this foundation stick won’t give you away, hiding its presence as it seamlessly blends into the skin, feels lightweight, and banishes blemishes and imperfections like magic. Its creamy texture delivers a medium coverage, real skin finish.

Adora, Greenbelt 5; Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Best Cushion Foundation: La Mer The Luminous Lifting Cushion Foundation SPF 20

Photo by LA MER.

This could be the most expensive cushion foundation you’ll ever own, but it could also be the best one. This luxurious compact provides a dewy finish, perfect for those with dry patches or uneven skin texture. Infused with La Mer’s signature Miracle Broth and featuring its Color Capsule Technology, this hardworking compact hydrates and plumps while providing serious coverage. It comes with a cushion refill and an extra sponge applicator. 

P6,900; Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Best Mineral Foundation: Mineral Fusion Liquid Foundation


We gasped out loud after applying this foundation because we were so surprised by how this certified non-toxic, cruelty-free, all-natural wonder delivers results from application to finish. We applied it using our fingertips and it made us forget every misconception we’ve heard about mineral makeup. Its initial feel seems thin for a foundation, but it blends beautifully and hides blemishes, redness, and flakes as it sets into a velvety matte finish. 

Healthy Options

Best Tinted Moisturizer: Shiseido Synchro Skin Tinted Gel Cream SPF 30

Photo by SHISEIDO.

For days when we don’t feel like wearing anything too heavy or looking too made up, we rely on tinted moisturizers. Shiseido’s gel cream iteration works well for all skin types and complexions, and is a pretty high-performance tint with SPF 30, moisturizing extracts, and pollution fighters. What’s more, it’s oil-, paraben-, and fragrance-free.

P2,400; Power Plant Mall; Glorietta; Alabang Town Center; Greenbelt 5; Shangri-La Mall; S Maison Conrad; SM Megamall; Ayala Center Cebu; Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Best Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder


Lauded as the setting powder to end all setting powders, the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder is a fine, weightless, and luminous powder that easily settles into the skin. This sheer final layer on your makeup routine sets with a matte finish and a promise of 12-hour efficacy.  It performs well in keeping the unwanted shine away, while also working with utmost subtlety—never caking or creasing into your laugh lines or wrinkles. The powder might be transparent, but it works wonders in blurring out enlarged pores and fine lines.

P1,950; Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Best Concealer: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer


Easily the holy grail of concealers, this newbie has been enjoying rave reviews since it launched last year and we get why. It covers up dark circles without looking like we Photoshopped our under-eyes and banishes every evidence of our late night binge-watching without accentuating fine lines or bumps. It’s creamy and incredibly lightweight, Laura Mercier must have done something otherworldly for this formula to actually last all day. 

P1,550; Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Best Primer: Koh Gen Do Makeup Base

Photo by KOH GEN DO.

This hardworking wonder converted us back to using primers with its ability to correct color, tone, and texture while prepping the skin for all kinds of foundation and concealer finishes. It uses a stretch gel technology, which prevents makeup from caking or settling into fine lines.

P2,400; Beauty Bar

With additional reviews by Hannah Lazatin and Nicole Cruz.

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About The Author
Nicole Limos Morales
Contributing Beauty Editor
Nicole is the former managing editor of Town&Country. After working as features editor and beauty editor of the title’s print edition for 6 years, she helped launch in 2016, creating new concepts and story formats, analyzing data, and mastering digital audiences—establishing the title to become the Philippines’ leading luxury lifestyle website. She left her full-time position in 2019 to focus on family life, while carrying on writing beauty content for T&C as a contributing editor. “I think what’s amazing about beauty is that in its arena, you can really only be a skeptic for so long,” she says. “There will always be a product that will make you believe.”
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