We know the perfect makeup look doesn't exist, but for every beauty look (whether done at the hands of a professional or an amateur), the road to perfection starts with a solid base â€” the products that make up our complexion.
We know it's hard to choose the best foundation when there are different formulas for every skin type. It's even harder to choose concealer when there are those that are better at covering blemishes versus those that are best for hiding dark circles. And, oh, don't even get us started on rifling through bronzers and blushes.
All that goes without even mentioning that this year has been a weird one for those of us who love a fully beat base. Though all of these products might not be a part of our daily routine the way they used to be, highlighters, setting powders, and the like are still an integral part of our beauty regimens (especially when used as a midday pick-me-up between Zoom meetings).
That's why our talented panel of judges swatched their way through 835 submissions, narrowing it down to 11 subcategories and 23 seal-worthy products to bring you the base winners for the 2021 ishonest Best of Beauty Awards. We can't wait for you to find your next go-to highlighter, can't-live-without blush, and so much more. â€”Talia Gutierrez
Primer: Make Up For Ever Step 1 Hydra Booster Primer
One thin layer of Make Up For Ever Step 1 Hydra Booster Primer locks in moisture for a luminous, poreless effect.
Primer: Shiseido Synchro Skin Soft Blurring Primer
And the oil-absorbing powders in Shiseido Synchro Skin Soft Blurring Primer seem to airbrush our T-zones away.
Powder Foundation: One/Size Turn Up the Base Versatile Powder Foundation
A buildable powder with an invisible finish, One/Size Turn Up the Base Versatile Powder Foundation lets us control the intensity of our coverage.
Foundation Stick: BLK/OPL Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation
Packing rich pigment into a dense bullet, BLK/OPL Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation goes on creamy and blends seamlessly.
Light-Coverage Liquid Foundation: EstÃ©e Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup
EstÃ©e Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup blurs pores and obscures fine lines with the lightest finish in the game.
Medium-Coverage Liquid Foundation: LYS Beauty Triple Fix Serum Foundation
LYS Beauty Triple Fix Serum Foundation uses hyaluronic acid to keep skin dewy while it diffuses imperfections.
Full-Coverage Liquid Foundation: BareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation
And the airy, mineral-based pigments in BareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation hover over creases instead of settling into them; a few drops conceal everything â€” and feel like nothing.
Undereye Concealer: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer Brighten & Correct Duo
There's more to Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer Brighten & Correct Duo than meets the eye. The dual-ended stick blurs, brightens, and hydrates for a wide-awake look you've got to see to believe.
Blemish Concealer: Bodyography Professional Cosmetics Skin Slip Full Coverage Concealer
The elegant pigments in Bodyography Professional Cosmetics Skin Slip Full Coverage Concealer blend so beautifully, you'll almost regret having to squander them on a zit (almost).
Powder Blush: Makeup by Mario Soft Pop Powder Blush
Makeup by Mario Soft Pop Powder Blush is saturated enough to create a gorgeous flush â€” and fine enough to let your cheeks peek through it.
Cream Blush: Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush
With the richness of a balm and the stay-put-ness of a stain, Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush imparts a wash of color that's indistinguishable from your own skin.
Liquid Highlighter: Pixi +Rose Radiance Perfector
For the frost-averse, Pixi +Rose Radiance Perfector delivers dewy warmth with a subtle rose tint and hydrating ceramides.
Powder Highlighter: Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Ultra Glow Highlighter
The only reasonable alternative to swallowing a light bulb: Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Ultra Glow Highlighter seems to illuminate skin from within using finely milled, high-wattage shimmer.
Cream Highlighter: Stila Heaven's Hue Highlighter
Like a cushion of air, Stila Heaven's Hue Highlighter yields to the warmth ofyour fingertips and melts into skin, creating a weightless veil of light.
Stick Highlighter: Joah Beauty Crystal Glow Tinted Luminizer Stick
Our editors had to test the entire 10-shade spectrum of Joah Beauty Crystal Glow Tinted Luminizer Stick. It's a tough job, but someone has to look like a walking advertisement for glass skin.
Bronzer: Em Cosmetics So Soft Multi Faceplay
A lush stick with a soufflÃ© texture, Em Cosmetics So Soft Multi Faceplay glides over the high points of the face, depositing warmth right where you want it.
Contour: Patrick Ta Beauty Major Sculpt CrÃ¨me Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo
We love anything that's well-edited, especially if it's going on our face. Containing one sculpting cream and one bronzing powder, Patrick Ta Beauty Major Sculpt CrÃ¨me Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo defines in the most refined way possible.
Multiuse Stick: Live Tinted Huestick
It takes a single Live Tinted Huestick to do the work of an entire makeup bag. In Perk, Balance, Rise, Origin, and Found, the creamy crayon disguises dark circles, protects with antioxidants, and drapes lips, cheeks, and eyelids in sheer color.
Pressed Powder: Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Setting Powder
A sweep of Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Setting Powder instills radiance and erases shine â€” because it's brilliant enough to know the difference.
Loose Powder: Mary Kay Translucent Loose Powder
Colorless and weightless, Mary Kay Translucent Loose Powder is like a real-life filter for your face.
Facial Self-Tanner: Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bronzing Face Drops
The genius of Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bronzing Face Drops is that it piggybacks on your normal routine for hassle-free color. Add a few drops to your daily moisturizer for a light tint; mix in a few more for a deeper bronze.
Mattifying Setting Spray: XX Revolution Quick FiXX Mattifying Setting Spray
A quick spritz of XX Revolution Quick FiXX Mattifying Setting Spray minimizes shine for the long haul, so you can set your makeup and then forget your makeup.
Dewy Setting Spray: MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance
And for a luminous finish that refuses to quit, MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance keeps skin plump and pliant while it perfects.
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