Culture Loves: Base Product Edition

Our complexion-perfecting products of choice.

The WSN culture desk list some of their all-time favorite base products and why. (Staff Illustration by Min Ji Kim)

Even in this age of prioritizing skincare over makeup, we all need a little last-minute help before walking out the door sometimes. Read on for the Culture Desk’s top picks for when you need to cover up that allergic reaction or inconvenient pimple.

Dr. Jart Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30

Invisible redness fighter.

As the frequency of my breakouts has dropped, my primary concern has been camouflaging the redness that dominates the center of my face. I’m not looking for full coverage. I just want something that will minimize the blotchiness of those irritated areas. Enter Dr. Jart’s Cicapair Color Correcting Treatment. This creamy, green goodness comes in a little jar — which I hate because it feels so unhygienic — and like magic, turns into a nice beigey color as soon as I blend it into my skin (unfortunately, it’ll only adjust to a limited number of skin tones, so I recommend trying it out in-store before purchasing. Curse you, Korean beauty brands). Most importantly, it instantly corrects any redness while remaining virtually undetectable on the skin. It honestly feels more like skincare than makeup. If I need any extra spot correcting, I just go in with my handy dandy RMS concealer, and that’s it. That’s my entire everyday base routine. — Carol


NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Lightweight and breathable.

Foundation overwhelms me. There are so many options out there and the thought of trying multiple ones to find the right one for me just seems exhausting. When I was really getting into makeup in high school, I decided to start with a tinted moisturizer and eventually transition to using foundation when I was older. Turns out, after I started using a tinted moisturizer, I would never turn back. I was extremely loyal to NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint for the four years but lo and behold, it has recently been discontinued. Probably because a substitute, their Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, has an extreme cult following. And after replacing my go-to with the latter, I can understand why. Why did I spend the past four years wanting to be matte when a world of dewiness existed was at my fingertips all along? I prefer NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer not only because it’s buildable, but because it’s breathable as well. It’s lightweight but still has the ability to cover up redness and general concerns like foundation does; the main difference is that I can barely tell it’s on my face. As a tinted moisturizer advocate, if you hate the feeling of makeup but still want some coverage, I promise this product is the one for you. And if you’re iffy about the coverage, I can confidently say that tinted moisturizer has been there (and stayed on) for me at every school dance, concert and 12-hour workday. — Bella

Maybelline’s Dream Pure BB Cream

Effective and affordable.

I’m back with my fake-it-’til-you-make-it drugstore makeup suggestions. On today’s topic of base makeup, I raise you Maybelline’s Dream Pure BB Cream (a fancy name for one of the company’s tinted moisturizers). Back in middle school when my peers and I first discovered makeup, there was a lot of over-application happening. Makeup was new and we were enthusiastic beginners. However, I quickly began dodging hugs from friends, fearing the smudge of base makeup on the shoulders of my dark-colored sweaters. Something had to change, so I decided I would only wear tinted moisturizer from then on. Also, tinted moisturizer feels less heavy on my skin and lessens the guilt I feel when I fall asleep without washing my face. The nice thing about drugstore makeup is that it’s cheap. I always keep two shades handy because New York City-living me is never as tan as Southern California summer-living me. — Calais

bareMinerals BAREPRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation

Stay-all-day coverage.

By the grace of God, I found this $35 bareMinerals foundation in my color (warm light) for a mere $13 in the TJ Maxx beauty section. While I don’t wear foundation every day, this medium-to-full coverage base is perfect for special events when my skin needs to look extra flawless, and can double as a concealer when applied with a small brush. My combination skin isn’t particularly dry or oily, and this foundation gives me my ideal satin finish — a canvas for my powder blushes and liquid highlighters. I also love how long-lasting this formula is — when I want to dance the night away, I trust this base not to budge. — Lauren

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