The Best Foundations That Double as Instagram Filters

no filter foundation
1/6 Shutterstock

Progress. . .or narcissism? Cosmetic surgeons say patients who once requested celeb features now come armed with their own ultra-filtered selfies. And when you're your own muse, inspiration is errywhere. About 1 million self-portraits are taken daily, and more than a third of these are retouched with any one of 20-plus Instagram filters (or a parade of photo-editing apps). Yahoo Labs reviewed 7.6 million Flickr photos and found that doctored shots were more likely to be viewed and draw likes.

So where's the filter for real life? Especially since by 2016 (uh, in a couple months!), our mobile devices will boast 4K tech (way high-def) that'll capture lines and pores like never before. Reach for a new breed of foundations, says makeup artist Beau Nelson, a former photo retoucher. He spills on the best formulas—we give them filter names for fun!

high def foundation
2/6 Matt Rainey

Product: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Stick Foundation ($43,

Best for: Women with normal to dry skin who prefer medium coverage. (Acne-prone? The thick-ish formula may be too much.)

The deets: Listen up, tourists, this is what you call a true selfie stick. Make Up For Ever has always been known as the techiest of bases, so when news of 4K dropped, the company had its geek squad of cosmetic chemists reformulate its original, best-selling HD line. The upgrade cradles its teeny pigment particles in amino acids for a blurring effect, reflects light with sericite minerals, and plumps skin with dewy hyaluronic acid spheres. Bonus: "This stick doubles as concealer," says Nelson.

pore foundation
3/6 Matt Rainey

Product: Stila Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector ($39,

Best for: Those with normal to combination skin who want to erase pores or acne scars

The deets: If you've got massive pore probs, send 'em to this shrink. A clever new mashup of cream foundation and pressed powder, it's the closest thing we've seen to pore kryptonite. Tap it on your skin with the sponge (it'll feel like a healing clay as it's applied—almost spa-like, in fact). Then blend into oblivion for a clean, matte finish that also moisturizes. Or just use your fingers to seamlessly fill in any dent or pockmark that's been driving you bananas. Toss the no-spill solid in your bag for touch-ups.

4/6 Matt Rainey

Product: Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate ($55,

Best for: All skin types who want full coverage without a masklike feel

The deets: This formula is mega-pigmented—we're talking the coverage of a saturated concealer that'll nix the darkest of birthmarks and the honkiest of zits. Yet it's anything but tacky. Why? Its patented golden mica pigments are enveloped in liquid droplets that melt color into skin (22 shades, BTW). So you get twice the intensity of a typical foundation in a base you can barely feel. Using the special dotting applicator, place three or four small dabs on your forehead, nose, and cheeks, and using circular motions, seamlessly blend into skin with a damp sponge.

even steven foundation
5/6 Matt Rainey
Even Steven

Product: Clinique Beyond Perfecting Powder Foundation + Concealer ($27,

Best for: Normal to oily types with pigmentation and redness. (Skip this one if you have a dry complexion, since powder formulations can exaggerate crepiness.)

The deets: "This powder has a hint of sheen for a soft-focus look," says Nelson. Double-milled to a superfine dust, it gently evens out skin. The formula feels creamy going on and absorbs shine without parching (props to glycerin and murumuru butter for locking in moisture). Use the teardrop-shaped sponge to build coverage in thin layers; the pointed end is designed to nestle into tight spots around the nose and under the eyes.

long lasting foundation
6/6 Matt Rainey

Product: Sally Hansen Airbrush Face Makeup Foundation ($10, at drugstores)

Best for: Gals who want buildable coverage that lasts 10 hours—for 10 bucks

The deets: The silicone mix lends serious staying power. Close your eyes and spray the mist on your face in a Z motion, starting at the forehead and ending at the chin; blend with a makeup sponge. Use a headband to protect against accidental beige highlights.

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