With thousands of beauty brands crowding virtual shelves and influencers touting a new product every day, how do you decide what's actually worth a shot? You leave the trial and error to the pros. In Elite Daily's new beauty review series, What's The Deal With..., we'll sift through and test the buzziest products to give you an honest, no-bullsh*t look at how it works IRL, from the price and packaging all the way to the actual results. From there, you can decide which ones deserve a coveted spot in your beauty arsenal.
When I first opened up the new Sephora Collection Best Skin Ever Foundation, I was skeptical based on the name alone. Quite frankly, my skin has been on X-Games mode since the pandemic started and is, therefore, not at its best. I wasn’t sure a medium-coverage foundation was about to swoop in and help any sort of new life emerge out of my pimples and redness. Despite what my girlfriend would tell you, I am happy to be proven wrong, and this Sephora Collection Best Skin Ever Foundation review is a shining example of just that.
Dropping on Jan. 15, Sephora Collection's Best Skin Ever Foundation ($20, Sephora), I've come to find out, is a bit of a dark horse. With its slender, bare-bones packaging, it's unassuming on the outside. Inside the small glass bottle, though, the buildable formula packs an unexpected punch. The foundation is infused with hyaluronic acid and red and brown algae extracts to deliver a solid dose of hydration alongside its natural-looking coverage, which, IMO, sits nicely on the line between too much and not enough. With no-makeup makeup reigning supreme in quarantine, this type of "your skin but better" coverage and finish is something Sephora Collection National Artist Helen Phillips says the brand hoped to deliver. "[The foundation] has a really natural finish, so it's not shiny, it's not radiant, and it's also not matte at all," she tells Elite Daily. "It kind of falls right in the center."
The foundation's happy medium between matte and luminous, and between completely sheer and heavy coverage, also speaks to what Phillips believes the dominating complexion "look" will be over the next several months. "Bare skin was one of the big [trends] we saw down the runway," she says. "But I think that's not necessarily possible for every single person, because people can't get the expensive facials that maybe they normally get, or maybe they just don't do that anyway." Enter: Best Skin Ever, which feels weightless, but offers enough coverage to address the stress spots, dark circles, or other blemishes you might not want peeking through. In other words, it really does look like your skin on a really, really good day — and it's good for it, too. "You can make it look like you're wearing nothing. You don't have to go for the full-medium coverage," says Phillips. "You can go in the more medium to light, and it'll still look like your skin."
Retailing for just $20 and coming in a whopping 50 shades in varying undertones — which Phillips says was possible thanks to the mounds of consumer data the brand is able to pull from — Sephora Collection's Best Skin Ever Foundation certainly has all the makings of a major hit. But does it hold up in the eyes of picky beauty editors? Here's how the Elite Daily Beauty team scored it in the following areas:
If I were you, I'd have a hard time believing me, too, but I can't lie: The foundation is good. While the packaging feels a little, well, fine (it gets the job done) as does the smell (it smells like makeup), Elite Daily's Fashion & Beauty Writer Margaret Blatz and I were hard-pressed to find any major flaws. Between the can't-beat price point; the easy-to-use pump; and the airy feel, Best Skin Ever clocks in at a solid, natural-looking foundation.
"It has a very lightweight feel that doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight or bogged down. It goes on very easily and blends into my skin with a consistent finish," says Blatz. "What I especially love is that it doesn’t look like a mask, but like it could be my natural skin." I can't help but echo her thoughts. After applying the foundation with a slightly dense, round, domed brush — per Phillips' recommendation — my skin felt soft and hydrated to the touch. Even more, the product covered up the rosacea flare I'd woken up with, but my complexion still looked natural. Peep the before-and-after pictures for proof:
Theresa Massony, Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor
Margaret Blatz, Fashion & Beauty Writer
Granted, it's important to consider that foundation is a deeply personal affair. From the finish to the formula to the texture to the undertones, its many variables prevent there ever truly being a one-size-fits-all foundation. That said, if you prefer a super-duper full coverage foundation, Best Skin Ever may not be exactly what you're looking, even though it is buildable. On the other hand, if you prefer your foundation so sheer it's almost clear, consider mixing this with some moisturizer for an ever-so-tinted look. And, if you want something that enhances your natural complexion, feels good on the skin, lasts all day, and is only $20? Well, you know what to do:
We only include products that have been independently selected by Elite Daily's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.