Aside from the occasional bit of bronzer (and that regrettable body glitter from elementary school), many of us have left leg and body makeup to the professionals. But we’re here to tell you that even if you’re not hitting a red carpet anytime soon, body makeup is a surprisingly useful product, whether you’re looking for a little self-tanning, bronzing, or cover-up for blemishes or hyperpigmentation.
“There are a ton or real-life practical uses for body makeup, including covering bruises and varicose veins, acne and acne scars, a fading or blotchy self-tan, or even just wanting a more even tone,” explains celebrity makeup artist Allie Renee. “Body makeup can range from sheer to full coverage, so if you just want sheer coverage to even out tone, a sheer or light coverage may be your best bet,” she explains. “On the other hand, if you’re covering scarring or bruising, you may want a medium or full coverage.” And don’t count on your regular foundation brush to apply the product, either. “Pro tip: Get a body makeup brush to apply and blend body makeup,” says Renee. “This will provide the most even application as well as save you time, energy, and product!”
With body makeup, finding the right color match is more important than ever—for obvious reasons. “Finding the correct shade of body makeup is similar to how you would find a shade for your complexion,” explains Renee. “Match to your tone first—fair, light, medium, deep—then choose the undertone within that range.” Many formulas even do double duty: “Some amazing body makeup is designed for both face and body, which makes it even easier to pick the shade that will match body and face seamlessly,” says the pro. To find your perfect match, read on for the body makeup formulas we love and why.
With 40 shades to choose from, this product all but guarantees you’ll find the perfect match for your skin tone. Plus, “this formula has a buildable coverage, is sweat-, water-, and transfer-resistant, and looks like skin,” when applied, says Renee. It’s no surprise that this pick is a runway favorite, as it can easily build up to your desired coverage with a photo-ready finish.
Fans of the brand’s best-selling Shape Tape Concealer will be happy to know its body-focused spinoff is just as spectacular. This formula blends seamlessly into your skin, moisturizes with glycerin and vitamin E, and stays put for hours. And while you won’t find a hint of shimmer, this product does manage to scatter the light just right to help minimize the look of fine lines, scars, and uneven texture.
ESTĒE LAUDER Double Wear Foundation is as classic a formula as they come, and here it is in body-makeup form. This fave features built-in SPF (which is perfect whether you’re forgetful with sunscreen or you just like a little extra protection), and a whopping 30% pigment that translates into full coverage that never feels cakey.
While we love how amazing liquid formulas are great for covering more surface area, the convenience of this stick formulation can’t be beat. Its shape makes it easy to target specific areas of your skin, and it even fits in your purse for touch-ups on the go. This formula also has maximum coverage that also makes it perfect for covering tattoos, bruising, or birthmarks.
Kim Kardashian developed this foundation to camouflage her psoriasis symptoms and has regularly featured the jaw-dropping results on Instagram. But while the formula is one of the top in the market, we think the best part may actually be the dense brush that accompanies it, as it perfectly distributes just the right amount of product each time.
Many body foundations are matte, but this hydrating gel-cream is decidedly dewy. Made with babassu oil and vitamin E, it helps moisturize skin as it imparts a sexy glow that evens out the skin tone and stays on all day and night. This baby is perfect for those beachy days laying out in the sun.
More body shimmer than foundation, this product does a similar job as panty hose did back in the day, blurring and evening out the look of your skin. Use it on its own for bronzing, or mix it with another foundation on this list for a touch of shine.
Many body makeup formulations are on the heavy side, but if you prefer sheer coverage, consider trying this lightweight—but still long-lasting—foundation. This formula provides a satin finish with consistent pigment that won’t oxidize throughout the day.
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