Top 6 Clean Foundations

If you ask most women what their favorite makeup product is I bet the answer would be foundation. The majority of women are not after cake face coverage, but rather an effortless veil of dewy perfection that enhances their natural beauty. There are two non-negotiables I won’t budge on when it comes to quality; food and beauty products. As I’ve moved into the conscious, clean beauty lane one of my biggest challenges has been finding a foundation formula that measures up to my mainstream favorites.

The quest for finding a ‘perfect base’ has become sort of an obsession for me. My arsenal consists of a tinted moisturizer, concealer/base combo, stick foundation, full coverage foundation, a breakthrough foundation/serum and lastly a beautiful mineral foundation.

After extensive investigative research I’ve nailed down six skin transforming foundations. Consider this my starting line up.

clean foundations, rms uncoverup, arbonne tinted moisturizer, Well people narcissist foundation, concealer, tart 12 hour full coverage foundation, alima pure satin mineral powder, Arbonne mineral powder

Sheer Finish Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen, Medium– My go-to tinted moisturizer. It’s one of the first clean products I found that performs like a mainstream tinted moisturizer. I would compare this to the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer that I no longer use.

I wear this foundation the most due to it’s super natural coverage and built in SPF.

How-to use:  Apply using your fingers and blend down onto the neck. I use a damp beauty blender to seal the deal for an airbrush look. For long wear or evening I apply the Tarte 12-hour primer first. Let it dry and then apply the tinted moisturizer.

RMS Un-Coverup Foundation–  A favorite among dewy skinned beauties like Giselle, Miranda and Olivia Munn.

Un-coverup is formulated to enhance the condition of your skin while delivering a feather light, buildable coverage. You will never walk outside looking chalky or dried up again. All of the shades adapt to the skins natural undertones and help to reduce redness. What I love most is who it melt into your skin and creates a seamless finish that covers without looking heavy or creasing.

During the winter months my skin is lighter so #22 works as an all over foundation. For the summer I transition it into my routine by adding bronzer for days when I am a bit tan.

How-to use: I wear it two ways. 1) As a foundation, this is great for “no makeup” makeup days. Apply with fingers and buff into skin with a damp beauty blender. If I want a little more coverage I will apply a tinted moisturizer and then RMS on the major points of my face like under eyes, forehead, bridge of nose, sides of nose and chin.  2) As a concealer. It gives a light/medium coverage as concealer and has a creamy consistency. No creasing! The coconut oil base has a hydrating affect on the skin without feeling greasy. For oily skin, use a primer.

W3LL People Narcissist Foundation + Concealer Stick– Who doesn’t love a stick foundation?! Handbag friendly, fun to use and totally mess-proof. Narcissist is a light/medium coverage foundation that leaves skin with a soft-focus finish and yummy glow.  The stick packaging makes it handy for cab ride touch-ups. To avoid germy hands touching your face be sure to carry a foundation sponge or brush in your makeup bag to blend! BOOM.

How-to use: • Warm and blend onto the face using fingertips, and blend in with beauty blender.  • Use for spot correction, or over entire face to balance and even skin tone for a natural appearance • Build to desired coverage

Tarte 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation with SPF 15– The perfect full coverage foundation. Since I’m a less-is-more kinda gal I save the full coverage look for evening makeup or on-camera. It’s ideal for photography and video because it reduces the appearance of pores, discolorations, and imperfections. The SPF is low enough that it won’t cause the shiny disco ball effect on your face when a picture is taken. We’ve all been there!

I’m obsessed with this line and am totally convinced Tarte can do nothing wrong when it comes to performance and pigmentation. When I danced for the NFL this was my ride or die foundation because it performed under the most crazy conditions (think sweat, rain, snow) and always looks gorgeous on camera.  Bottom line, I’ve used this as my full coverage foundation for years and nothing compare.

Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation– Breakthrough product alert!! My latest discovery will give you a lit-from-within glow like none other and really brightens the face! Gressa Minimalist Foundation is an oil-based serum, foundation and multivitamin for your face that covers, conceals while it conditions your skin. Yes, please!

Gressa is an medium coverage foundation with a luminous sheen and sets to a light powder finish.The pigmentation of the product really stands out to me. It also erases discoloration and dark circles under the eye.

I wear this during the day and touch up to transition into nighttime makeup. provides a helpful color guide or for a personal color match you can email them a photo of yourself  and they will email you back with the perfect shade!

How-to use: A tiny bit of the product goes a long way. Shake the foundation and apply directly to skin using your fingers. Apply 4-6 drops onto the face and blend under the eye and onto the neck. You can always layer for more coverage.

Alima Pure “satin matte foundation” in the shade–  The first powder foundation that actually works year round for my dry, combination skin. Alima has 61 color options to choose from making it available for most skin tones and shade. They also offer samples on their site to match the perfect shade! You can go from light coverage to full coverage with this foundation by layering.

Note: Most conventional mineral foundation brands have a nasty ingredient called Bismuth Oxychloride. Alima is one of the only mineral products that exclude this ingredient making it very safe for the skin.

How-to use: Apply with a kabuki brush for light coverage or a dense brush to take it from light to medium/full coverage.

july favorites

Face: Tarte 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation and  RMS Un-Coverup Foundation as concealer.

Lips: Ilia Neon Angel




  • You did not title the sheer tinted moisturizer! It is ARBONNE!!!

  • Thanks for the great post! I’ve battled skin issues for years and switching to cleaner make-up has definitely helped so I am always on the look out for great clean products. I have been using Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Powder Foundation and noticed you left it out. When you mentioned Bismuth Oxychloride I got to wondering and sure enough, Tarte’s powder foundation has it listed as an ingredient. I checked EWG’s Skin Deep site for info and they classify it as totally benign: (though it looks like it’s sometimes derived from animals, which is not cool with me). I am just wondering if you have more info on this ingredient and why it’s harmful? Thanks!

  • I love the W3LL People Foundation + Concealer Stick and have been eyeing the Gressa Skin Minimalist Serum Foundation.

    • admin

      Amazing! The W3ll People Foundation stick is super easy on the go, right? If you have normal to oily skin you should absolutely try out the Gressa foundation. It is super lightweight but has amazing build able coverage. I would say one of the best buildable clean foundations I have ever tried! I will say that the Gressa works really well in warmer months for my skin because it gives a matte finish it is great for humid limits as well! Let me know what you try out!