Build a brilliant canvas with the latest and greatest beauty bases that have landed at Boots

Foundation and concealer formulas have come a long way in recent years. You no longer have to choose between ample coverage and a good glow – the latest crop of beauty bases do it all, while boasting myriad skincare benefits.


From colour correcting and smoothing skin tone to brightening under eyes and locking in moisture, the latest breed of base products are true multitasking heroes. ‘I love to use complexion products that are infused with skincare,’ says Val Garland, L’Oréal Paris global make-up director, ‘as they give skin a natural radiance.’


Whether you’re after something hydrating or a foundation that will nix excess shine, we have you covered with our expert tips and tricks, as well as a round-up of the latest and greatest foundations, concealers and make-up brushes. Happy shopping!


How to pick the best foundation and concealer for you


‘First things first, consider what you want your foundation to do, the coverage you’d like and your preferred finish,’ says Rachel Hardie, lead make-up artist at Nars. Do you want full coverage or light coverage? To blur blemishes or tone down redness? A matte or dewy finish?


‘If you have an oilier skin type, the main goal is usually to reduce shine – so you may choose a mattifying longwear foundation,’ says Rachel. If your skin is dry, Val recommends something like L’Oréal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation, £9.99, that’s ‘enriched with hyaluronic acid, which can help increase skin moisture for smooth, radiant results’.


As for concealer, Rachel recommends doubling up. ‘On areas where there’s dryness, like under the eyes, go for a creamy formula,’ she says. ‘But on oilier areas that are blemish-prone, apply a mattifying concealer that will take down shine.’


Fingers vs brushes – which one’s best and when?


Both fingertips and/or brushes can be used to create a seamless blend – it often comes down to personal preference. However, if you’re using water-based products, which will list water as one of the first ingredients and doesn’t usually contain silicone or oil (great for dry skin), a fluffy brush and damp sponge work wonders, creating a lightweight, dewy finish. For silicone-based products (ideal for oily skin) – that contain ingredients ending in -cone or -siloxane – a brush or fingertips work well.


Val prefers to use professional brushes and tools as they give a more perfected finish, but fingers are OK ‘if you’re in a rush or using cream-based products, as the warmth from your fingertips help push the product into the skin’, she adds.


How to get the perfect base for foundation


‘One of my favourite tricks is to multiprime,’ says Rachel, where you use different priming products to cater to different areas of the face. On the cheeks, Rachel recommends using a radiance-boosting primer to give a beautiful glow. ‘On the T-zone, I love Nars Soft Matte Primer, £29, as it absorbs shine,’ she adds. ‘The eyelids are the oiliest area on the face, so instead of concealer here, I recommend using an eyeshadow priming base.’


When picking the perfect primer, it’s also important to consider your foundation formula. ‘When working with a water-based foundation, it’s best to use a water-based primer,’ says Rachel, ‘as mixing a water-based primer and silicone foundation may lead to pilling.’ Rachel notes that there are exceptions to this rule and it’s best to try the combination of products (using samples) before you buy. 


Our pick of the best foundations from boots.com


Now that we’re all clued up on picking the best foundation for our needs, which ones are worth adding to our carts? From the newest bases on the block to bestsellers, best-reviewed and hidden gems, here are six all-stars for any skin type and budget.

Best for mature skin


Try: No7 Restore & Renew Serum Foundation SPF30, £19.95


• Size: 30ml

• SPF30

• Shades: 18

This brilliant base is formulated with eight skin-loving ingredients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, pro-retinol, ginseng extract, hibiscus extract, ceramides and collagen peptide technology to help boost radiance, even the appearance of skin tone  and smooth skin – all while providing great coverage. Impressive, right?

Best for a natural finish


Try: Nars Light Reflecting Foundation, £37.50


• Size: 30ml

• Shades: 36

This lightweight formula, featuring biomimetic oats, Japanese lilyturf and cacao peptides, melts into skin to deliver a natural finish that helps blur imperfections, conceal blemishes and improve skin’s clarity. What’s more, it’s created with Photochromic technology, which can help adjust your complexion’s tone to suit indoor and outdoor light exposure. Clever!

Best for dry skin


Try: No7 HydraLuminous Moisturising Foundation, £14.95


• Size: 30ml

• SPF15

• Shades: 19

After a moisturising foundation that delivers medium coverage? Turn your face to this skin-savvy base from No7. Brimming with a cocktail of antioxidants (including vitamins A, C and E), as well as grapeseed oil, this formula hydrates like a hero while helping to protect skin from daily aggressors. Expect fresh, radiant results.

Best for buildable coverage


Try: 17. Second Skin Enhancing Foundation, £5


• Size: 30ml

• Shades: 20

Coming in at £5, this glow-bestowing base is an absolute steal. Not only can it be built up from light to medium coverage (allowing you to add a little more where needed), but it’s loaded with hyaluronic acid to help moisturise skin and spherical powders that help blur imperfections.

Best for plumping


Try: L’Oréal Paris True Match Nude Plumping Tinted Serum, 1% Hyaluronic Acid, £14.99


• Size: 30ml

• Shades: 9

Combining the skincare benefits of a serum with the coverage of a foundation, this formula is a brilliant multitasker. The perfect pick for the summer months where you want to avoid anything too heavy, this sheer base lends skin a lightweight veil of coverage that’s loaded with hyaluronic acid to help plump up your complexion.

Best for radiance


Try: Max Factor Miracle Pure Skin Improving Foundation, £13.99


• Size: 30ml

• SPF30

• Shades: 20

Infused with some of the best skincare ingredients around, including vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this formula helps smooth skin’s appearance while boosting radiance, firmness and suppleness over time. We love the fact that it can help tone down the appearance of redness and conceal blemishes, while feeling non-existent on the skin.

Our pick of the best concealers from boots.com


Now that you have your base sorted, fine-tune your handiwork with the perfect concealer. Whether you’re looking to disguise dark circles or an annoying spot that’s decided to pop up at the most inopportune time, these concealers – both new and cult – have got you covered.

Best for full coverage


Try: KVD Beauty Good Apple Lightweight Full-Coverage Concealer, £23


• Size: 10ml

• Shades: 30

If you’re after the heavy-duty stuff, this is the concealer for you. The opaque, pigment-rich formula stretches over skin for undetectable full coverage. It helps conceal blemishes and dark circles, without settling into fine lines or creases. Top tip? Let the formula sit on the skin for 30 seconds before blending to boost coverage.

Best for a natural finish


Try: Revlon ColorStay Skin Awaken 5 in 1 Concealer, £9.99


• Size: 8ml

• Shades: 11

Formulated with caffeine and vitamin C, this concealer perks up tired under-eyes and refreshes skin, while blurring blemishes and dark circles. Ultra lightweight, it blends in effortlessly for a natural finish that never looks caked on. Oh, and the antibacterial sponge applicator prevents the build-up of bacteria.

Best for hydrating


Try: Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Skincaring Concealer, £22


• Size: 6ml

• Shades: 9

If you find that concealer often settles into dry patches, try this hydrating number from Elizabeth Arden. Designed to moisturise skin (especially the under-eye area), the lightweight cream is packed with skin-loving ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E. Apply with the provided plush applicator and blend in with a brush.

Best for budget


Try: 17. Second Skin Enhancing Concealer, £2


• Shades: 10

Since launching, this budget beauty buy has garnered quite the fanfare, receiving countless rave reviews for its impressive formula that stands its ground in a competitive market. Easy to build with a velvety finish, it blends in effortlessly for medium coverage that stays put for hours.


Are you as excited as us for 17.’s comeback? Read our 17. deep-dive, complete with swatches, for the full insider scoop.

Best for under-eyes


Try: Benefit Boi-ing Bright On Concealer, £21.50


• Size: 5ml

• Shades: 12

If dark circles are your beauty bugbear, try swiping on this beloved Benefit concealer. Loaded with red algae extract and vitamin C, the lightweight liquid formula helps brightens, colour correct and seal in hydration in one fell sweep. Apply three dots under each eye and blend in with fingertips.

Best for a radiant finish


Try: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, £24.50


• Size: 6ml

• Shades: 28

A backstage staple, this cult concealer is a must for anyone who adores that luminous, radiant finish. It can be used to brighten under-eyes, soften fine lines and even highlight cheekbones – dot on and blend in with a small fluffy brush for a lightweight, dewy finish.

Best for buildable coverage


Try: NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Concealer Serum, £11


• Size: 9.6ml

• Shades: 13

A TikTok sensation, this creamy concealer has finally made it onto UK soil. Super hydrating with medium coverage, the buildable formula is blended with tremella mushroom, cica and green tea to help moisturise and nourish skin while covering blemishes, dark circles and dryness.

Best for dark circles


Try: No7 HydraLuminous Dark Circle Concealer, £13.95


• Size: 3.9ml

• Shades: 8

This full-coverage cream concealer makes light work of dark circles with a radiance-boosting formula that brightens under-eyes for a fresh-faced, more awake finish. Complete with a cushion applicator (that mimics fingertips), simply press on and blend out with a brush.

Our pick of the best foundation and concealer brushes


The right make-up brush can make a huge difference to the look and staying power of your go-to base and concealer. For a seamless finish, look no further than these brilliant tools of the trade.

Best for liquid foundation


Try: KVD Beauty Lock It Edge Foundation Brush #10, £26


Designed for liquid foundations, this sculpted brush features densely packed, super-soft bristles that conform to the contours of the face for a seamless, even blend. It’s ideal if you’re after medium-to-full coverage.

Best for two-in-one


Try: IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe and Concealer Make Up Brush, £36


This double-ended complexion perfector features a large, fluffy brush at one end to apply liquid foundations and a small, tapered brush at the other to apply concealers. The ultra-plush synthetic hairs seamlessly apply make-up for natural, medium coverage.

Best for concealer


Try: No7 Concealer Brush, £9.95


A soft, small brush that’s perfect for concealing dark circles, broken capillaries and blemishes. Apply your chosen concealer using the brush, before patting it in with your fingertips to set in place.

Best for full coverage


Try: Fenty Beauty Full-Bodied Foundation Brush 110, £26


With more than 140,000 ultra-fine synthetic bristles, this medium-density foundation brush blends in liquid foundation for an air-touched, full-coverage finish. For ultimate coverage, press the brush into skin, roll off and repeat.

Best for even application


Try: NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won't Stop Foundation Brush, £14.50


If you’re after a streak-free, flawless finish, then this is the brush for you. The soft synthetic bristles melt foundation into skin, while the angled head allows you to expertly move with the contours of your face for an even blend.

All prices correct on date of publication
Photography: Stocksy