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Since 1996, yes, 27 years ago! — Laura Mercier launched its Tinted Moisturizer and it changed the beauty game as we knew it. Finally, folks who didn’t love full coverage foundation had a lightweight option that felt more like skincare. I became a fan quickly in my teens, probably stealing it from my mom. Now, all these years later, Laura Mercier is back with a more typical foundation this time, Real Flawless Weightless Perfecting Foundation. But like the OG skin tint, it’s hydrating and skin-like still for those who run from heavy coverage.

There are 30 shades of the medium-coverage, buildable formula that’s vegan, non-comedogenic and fragrance-free. (Key for those with sensitive skin types.) What the brand calls “high-resolution pigments” and “3D smooth priming powder” deliver cake-free coverage and a flawless base with one pump. Blurring bamboo silk powders and a hydro-lipid “matrix” balances moisture and controls shine, and antioxidants (camelia seed, vitamin E and cacao extract) help protect the skin’s barrier.

laura Mercier foundation

Laura Mercier.

I have dry-combo skin with rough patches so I like a hydrating formula to slide right over. But I also get hormonal breakouts so I try to stay away from pore-clogging ingredients. This seems like the perfect formula for me. I used just one pump and applied it to my face with my fingers, which I tend to do with almost all complexion products. But to get an even finish, I blended it with the Laura Mercier Real Flawless Foundation Brush ($46 at Laura Mercier).

Right away I noticed how the fine lines under my eyes were less noticeable and my skin tone more even but you could still see my freckles. I applied another layer and it blended seamlessly. The brand promises its humidity-, sweat-, and water-resistant though I didn’t put that to the test since it’s chilly right now in Los Angeles. Still, I felt like it lasted all night when I hopped around beauty events and I didn’t even use a primer.

I wouldn’t say this a particularly glowy foundation that folks are going to freak out over the shine. Instead, I think it’s that perfect every day, skin-like coverage that isn’t too thin or too heavy, not too matte or too shiny. It’s staple, just like Tinted Moisturizer is and was and you’ll be reaching for it for pretty much any occasion.

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