Add these foundations to your wishlist.
Think of your foundation collection like your wardrobe: you need something for every occasion and it’s great to have the best foundations list on hand. What you wear in the winter will probably differ from summer. You have to consider things like the formulation (powder is great in the summer, but not so in the dry winter season), the type of coverage (full coverage foundation is great for glam day), and the type of finish you’d like (matte or glowy?).
We’ve broken it down category by category to bring you the best of the best, plus we’ve thrown in some honorable mentions for good measure. Whether you want to save some pennies or want a splurge, we’ve scoured the makeup world to bring you the best foundations you need to try. Don’t worry, there’s something for everyone on this list. Oh and, if you want more in depth details about any product, click on the photo that will take you to individual makeup post.
Best Drugstore Foundation: L’oreal infallible foundation
Quick Rating Rundown
If you want to see more details and one-to-one comparisons see the individual makeup foundation posts. We provide similar item recommendations based on same price category (e.g. value, pro, luxury), with same finish (e.g. matte, natural, dewy), and similar coverage (light, medium, full). Furthermore, for deeper market comparison(s), we provide makeup rating graphs strictly based on performance just in case you want the best performing makeup product period. We want to provide you an easy way to the best foundation, best drugstore foundation options/lists. Just click on the photo of any product.
Why We Love It:
Affordable, easy to apply, and long wearing are just the main reasons why we love L’Oreal Infallible Fresh Wear. L’Oreal promises up to 24 hours of waterproof, transfer resistant medium to full coverage that won’t clog pores. We find this L’Oreal product lives up to its promises. Truly, this foundation rivals our higher-end favorites with its performance. The texture is lightweight and creamy, applying with any tool for buildable medium to full coverage. It easily has 12+ hours of wear that resists transfer and smudging with little to no settling. We don’t find this foundation contributes to excess oil, but do think it wears best when paired with a setting powder on top.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better all-around foundation at the drugstore in terms of a natural, lightweight finish that withstands a full day of wear.
Best Luxury: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
Why We Love It: Oh, Armani Luminous Silk – how we love thee! This foundation is simply gorgeous. Pricey, but gorgeous, AKA why it’s the best luxury foundation. From the inclusive 40 shade range, texture, application, and wear, there isn’t much we don’t love about Luminous Silk. It provides a buildable medium to full coverage that has a natural luminous finish and lightweight feel. This foundation applies easily with a brush, sponge, or even the fingers, delivering a stunning airbrushed complexion. It looks virtually undetectable on skin, photographs beautifully, and wears all day with little to no transfer, settling, or fading. There’s just something about this foundation that we think makes it worth every penny. It’s worth the splurge, trust us! You can also purchase this in a mini size that’s easier on the wallet for $45, and every shade is included!
Tip: Despite its ‘luminous’ name, it can cling to dry spots. Prep skin with a primer, set with a powder, and spritz a face spray on top to achieve the best wear.
Best Matte: Fenty Beauty Pro filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Why We Love It: When you think of matte foundation, it’s easy to picture a dry, cakey looking face that looks painted on. Well, those days are long gone! Fenty foundation delivers a natural matte finish that covers redness and blemishes, blurs pores, and has a beautiful long wear. Pro Filt’r controls excess shine and oil, but still allows a healthy glow to peek through. Its texture is thicker and can be harder to blend with a brush, so we recommend applying with a damp beauty sponge. You’ll get buildable medium to full coverage that looks natural and skin-like.
Also, we gotta brag on Rihanna for a second with her inclusive shade range – 50 shades is quite impressive!
Honorable Mention: Juvia’s Place I Am Magic ($22) is a close second as our favorite matte foundation. As a drugstore foundation, it doesn’t get much better than this one. Not only is the shade range bomb (42 shades at the drugstore!), but its performance is also stellar. Despite its thicker texture, I Am Magic blends easily with a brush or sponge, giving an immediate medium to full coverage. You’ll be impressed with its long wearing formula that doesn’t accentuate imperfections like texture, dryness, pores, or lines or contribute to extra oiliness. This one belongs on the best foundation list, unfortunately L’oreal infallible took the ‘best drugstore foundation’ spot.
Best Full Coverage Foundation: Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
Why We Love It: We all know and love the iconic Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation. This one has been around for years and is a bestseller for good reason, it is the best foundation for coverage. It provides ample coverage, a matte finish, and lasts all day on the skin. The formula is virtually life proof – controlling oil all day, resistant to sweat, heat, and humidity, plus waterproof. It has a buildable medium to full coverage that we find applies best with a sponge for the most natural results. Double Wear is one of the best for true full coverage that evens out the complexion and covers imperfections, even without the need for concealer! Say hello to flawless, all day coverage.
If we had to complain about one thing, it would be that you have to purchase a pump separately ($12).
Best Long Wear: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear
Why We Love It: This classic Lancome foundation is an oldie but a goodie. Teint Idole recently celebrated its 20th birthday and is still flying off shelves just as fast. What we love most about this foundation is its lightweight, full coverage that lasts all day long. It promises humidity and transfer resistant 24-hour wear, and it delivers. Though we can’t say we’ve worn it for 24 hours straight, it does wear beautifully for over 12! There’s minimal settling and creasing, keeping it looking fresh from application to removal. Its natural finish also mimics whatever skincare and primer you wear underneath. We love the versatility!
Best Skin Care: LYS Triple Fix Serum Foundation
Why We Love It: LYS Triple Fix Serum Foundation not only gives a flawless complexion, but it improves skin over time, too. The formula is infused with nourishing ingredients like ashwagandha, hyaluronic acid, turmeric, and avocado oil which work to promote visibly healthier-looking skin. Triple Fix has a customizable light to medium coverage that conceals blemishes, dark spots, plus any other imperfections. It’s suitable for normal to combination skin tones, but we think sensitive, dry, and mature skin will especially love this serum foundation!
At $22, this foundation is a great value and comes in 35 shades that span 3 universal undertones.
Up And Coming: Makeup By Mario Foundation
Quick Rating Rundown Chart
:Makeup by Mario Surrealskin Foundation
Why We Love Surreal Skin Foundation
Makeup by Mario Surreal Skin foundation went viral on its release date. So what does it have going for it? This makeup foundation is supposed to be your skin but better with natural luminosity. In my opinion this foundation layers up to light- medium coverage delivering a natural pearlized skin finish.
Now the down sides: 1. I have a difficult time finding my perfect skin tone shade. The shades in person don’t resemble what they show and claim to be online. For example, the foundation shades that I purchased 4C (light with cool undertone) and 2N (fair with neutral undertone) pulled yellow and warmer. 2. The working/play time with this foundation is very short (under 1 minute). The best application is to blend right away to get a flawless finish. 3. Longevity… Surreal Skin foundation claims to have 12 hours of wear time. In my experience, it wears 6, up to 7 hours max before my natural oils start breaking the foundation down.
Makeup by Mario has some real competition and we are not sure it has what it takes to keep up. The big hitters are NARS Light Reflecting Foundation which we consider to be the best foundation for all weather types – for dry skin and for oily skin situations. And another relatively new foundation by Haus Labs Triclone Skin Tech Foundation with tons of skincare infused into their cosmetic product.
Why we love Haus Labs Triclone Skin Tech Foundation
Is it just us, or was everyone dying to get their hands on Lady Gaga’s new HAUS LABS foundation launch? We are so glad it lives up to the hype, too, as it’s quickly found its home in the top drawer of our vanities. Triclone Skin Tech is a buildable medium coverage foundation with over 20 skincare ingredients making it great for all skin types, even sensitive and acne prone. Did we say it look phenomenal on the skin! If you are looking to try a new makeup foundation give this one a try.
We do want to mention HAUS LABS’ unique undertone system. It is based on a true color wheel and feels opposite to what you may be used to. They define their undertones as the following: warm (pink, rosy, or peach tones), cool (yellow, golden, or olive tones), and neutral (balance of golden + rosy tones). There are 51 shades across 6 color families to choose from, meaning all skin tones should find a match.
If we added ‘best lightweight foundation’ category this makeup item would be one of the considerations. The texture and feel of this product on the skin is very lightweight. This alone is a very desirable quality that many customers are looking for. If that is your case, this is one cosmetics formula to try.
Best Foundation For Dry Skin: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin
Why We Love It: The hype is real. Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation is, well, beautiful and one of the few makeup products that belongs on the ‘Best Foundation For Dry Skin’ list! The formula has skincare properties to help skin look better over time, promising a more hydrated, plumper, smoother, brighter complexion. Applied with a brush, this foundation gives solid, true medium coverage. The fluid formula applies evenly with or without a primer and doesn’t cling to texture or dry spots, really stretching across the skin. It conceals redness, hides blemishes, and evens skin tone. It has minimal settling and creasing (with a primer!) and doesn’t contribute to any excess oiliness.
The texture of Beautiful Skin is perfect for mature skin. It isn’t too thick and doesn’t look cakey or crepey on the skin. It provides a stunning youthful glow that lets whatever skincare you applied peek through.
Honorable Mention: One of the best drugstore foundation options for dry skin is Maybelline Fit Me Dewy & Smooth ($8.99). It applies and blends easily with a sponge or brush, providing buildable medium coverage. The finish of this formula mimics whatever type of skincare and/or primer you wear underneath. For instance, a more glowy primer will make this foundation more luminous, while a mattifying primer will give more lit-from-within radiance. It has an even, all day wear (6+ hours) with minimal transferring, settling, and creasing – no clinging to dry patches around here! We do want to note that although Maybelline claims this makeup product to be fragrance free, it is heavily fragranced.
Best Clean Foundation: ILIA True Skin Serum
Why We Love It: When it comes to clean beauty, few do it better than ILIA, the clean beauty brand. ILIA Foundation got a revamp in 2022 and, we’re here to tell you, it’s even better than the original. This clean foundation has an infusion of skincare all-stars, like skin smoothing niacinamide and soothing allantoin. With this face base, you’ll get a solid medium coverage that feels lightweight and breathable. It lasts around 4-6 hours with minimal settling, creasing, and fading – plus, it doesn’t accentuate or cling to imperfections. But, where this foundation shine is its ingredients. The formula is dermatologist tested, noncomedogenic, safe for sensitive skin, fragrance free, cruelty free, and vegan. ILIA also bans tons of other ingredients that aren’t deemed “safe” for daily skin use. You know this makeup product was going to be considered for the best foundation list, especially seeing how big clean beauty is getting.
Honorable Mention: Another brand that can do no wrong (in our opinion) is Kosas. A newer launch to the market is their Revealer Foundation ($42), which takes their coveted Revealer Concealer formula to the max. With this Kosas foundation, you’ll get a medium to full coverage that blurs skin and minimizes pores for a diffused look. Just like ILIA True Skin, Kosas Revealer contains a powerhouse of skincare ingredients: niacinamide and caffeine that brightens and smooths; peptides and hyaluronic acid that hydrate and plump; squalane, arnica, and provitamin B5 to soothe and balance. In addition, Revealer contains SPF 25 and blue light protection.
Best Powder: bareMinerals Original
Why We Love It: bareMinerals Original Loose Powder is the OG mineral powder foundation. Formulated with just 5 ingredients, this talc free powder promises not to clog pores, cause breakouts, or settle into fine lines all while promoting clearer, healthier-looking skin over time. Swirl, tap, and buff your way to buildable sheer to full coverage that minimizes the look of pores and imperfections. In our opinion, Original Foundation is perfect for no-makeup makeup look lovers. We also recommend this foundation for those younger who are just getting into makeup. With such minimal ingredients, it’s a great place to start!
bareMinerals Original does oxidize on the skin. We recommend getting color matched in-store for the best results!
Honorable Mention: When it comes to pressed powder foundation, few do it better than Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin ($40). Though this one won’t last you through a sweaty day, it does wear beautifully for the first 6 hours. It gives a smoothed, even complexion that looks blurred and airbrushed. Applied with a kabuki brush, it layers well for a buildable medium coverage that conceals most imperfections. It also pairs well with other cream and powder products, from concealer to blush, bronzer, and highlighter.
Tip: One thing about powder foundation is that it isn’t the longest lasting. We recommend starting with a gripping primer (Milk Makeup Hydro Grip, $36, is a great option) and finishing off with a setting spray. Powder formula also make a great touch-up powder, or are nice to layer over lighter coverage face bases!
Best Cream Foundation: Patrick Ta Major Skin Creme
Why We Love It: Housed in a pretty rose gold compact you’ll find Patrick Ta Major Skin, a cream foundation and setting powder duo. This is a newer launch from Patrick Ta, but we can only imagine the accolades it will get in the future. The cream foundation provides a stunning skin-like finish, delivering buildable light to medium coverage. With a brush, it applies and layers easily without accentuating imperfections like peach fuzz, texture, lines, and bumps. Major Skin wears for 6-8 hours with minimal settling, creasing, or need for touch-ups. Whether cream formula is your jam or you’re in the mood to try something new, this one should be on everyone’s best foundation radar.
Honorable Mention: If you like convenience, the MERIT Beauty Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick is a great option. This multi-use cream stick works as a concealer and foundation, giving breathable, light to medium coverage. It contains hydrating ingredients and skincare benefits to help diminish the appearance of dark spots – plus, it’s formulated without acne-triggering ingredients. What we love most about this product is its slim design. It’s the perfect size to toss in any bag for on-the-go touch-ups!
If you are looking for one of the best performing cream/stick foundations we would have to mention Westman Atileir Vital Skin Full Coverage Foundation and Concealer Stick.
Best Foundation For Oily Skin: NARS Soft Matte
Why We Love It: We can’t express enough how much we love this NARS Soft Matte foundation. It’s truly one of the best foundation formulas made, especially for oily skin. In our opinion, all of the NARS formulas are beautiful, but this one is our favorite. For a matte foundation, it has a fluid more liquidy consistency that makes it apply like a dream with a brush or sponge. The buildable medium to full coverage conceals redness, blemishes, and any other imperfections with ease. NARS Soft Matte gives a stunning finish that mattifies, but also lets your natural skin glow shine through – but not in a greasy way! It wears well throughout the day, controlling excess oil, resisting transferring and creasing, plus its humidity and sweat proof! All of these properties make it the best foundation for oily skin.
Even if matte formula isn’t your jam, we think you’ll love this one.
Honorable Mention: If you’re looking for something a bit less spendy, Infallible Pro Matte foundation ($13.99) is a great option. It is a thicker formula that takes a bit of work, but the result is worth it. We recommend pairing it with a smoothing/line and pore filling primer underneath because Infallible Pro Matte can separate and settle into lines. Applying in light layers with a damp sponge will give the best results with this formula. When it comes to true full coverage with a matte finish, Pro-Matte is a great affordable option. Some even say this is a dupe for the coveted Estée Lauder Double Wear. We have to say, it’s similar in some ways, but still few things beat Double Wear!
Recap – List of Best Foundations
- Best Value: Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation ($15.99)
- Best Luxury: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($69.00)
- Most Matte: Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation ($38.00)
- Best Full Coverage: Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation ($48.00)
- Most Long Wearing: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24HR ($39.00)
- Best Skincare Infused: LYS Triple Fix Serum Foundation ($22.00)
- Up and Coming: HAUS LABS BY LADY GAGA Triclone Skin Tech Foundation ($45.00)
- Best For Dry Skin: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin ($44.00)
- Best Clean: ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation ($54.00)
- Best Powder: bareMinerals Original Foundation ($35.00)
- Best Cream/Stick: Patrick Ta Major Skin Creme Foundation ($52.00)
- Best For Oily Skin: NARS Soft Matte Foundation ($40.00)
What Are Milabu Picks?
Edited by Maddie