We love a good makeup steal. In this case only a high performing best full coverage drugstore foundation for under $25 will do! Yes, please! But the endless amount of options can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. That’s why we’ve made a list of six top full coverage foundations under $25. Each of face bases have some huge benefits at affordable prices. The Milabu Team has hand picked a range of matte foundations, from liquid to cream, that all promise full coverage with long wearing results.
Revlon:Colorstay Longwear Makeup
What Makes a Good Full Coverage Foundation?
A commendable full-coverage foundation is defined by its ability to seamlessly mask imperfections, from blemishes to hyperpigmentation, without compromising the skin’s natural vitality. It possesses a rich, blendable consistency that offers a uniform veil over the complexion, neutralizing any discolorations or uneven tones. But it’s not just about coverage; a superior formula also maintains breathability, ensuring the skin doesn’t feel weighed down or suffocated. Longevity is key, with the best foundations resisting fading, creasing, or transferring throughout the day. Additionally, a good full-coverage foundation should cater to a diverse array of skin types and tones, be it oily, dry, or combination, and offer a spectrum of shades for inclusive matching. Ultimately, the hallmark of an excellent full-coverage foundation is its ability to deliver a flawless canvas while still allowing the skin to look and feel like skin.
So, let’s get into our Best Full Coverage Drugstore Foundation list.
Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Combo/Oily Skin:
Revlon is a staple of Drugstore lineup and they make of the best full coverage foundation formulas. I’m talking about their ColorStay Makeup for Combo/Oily Skin. Let’s see the foundation specs:
MILABU RATING **** (4.3)
Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Combo/Oily Skin is a renowned foundation within the drugstore beauty realm. Specifically formulated for combination to oily skin types, it promises long-lasting coverage that remains in place for up to 24 hours. With its medium to full buildable coverage, the foundation delivers a semi-matte finish that effectively controls oil and shine throughout the day, ensuring a flawless appearance. The range boasts a variety of shades, catering to diverse skin tones, and its lightweight formula ensures comfortable wear without clogging pores.
Why is it best of Drugstore?
Their ColorStay Makeup range, especially the variant for Combo/Oily Skin, is a testament to their ability in offering high-quality products at an accessible price point. Consumers consistently praise its ability to deliver medium to full buildable coverage that rivals even some high-end brands, effectively camouflaging imperfections, redness, and uneven skin tones. The foundation’s longevity, boasting up to 24-hour wear, ensures that the makeup stays fresh and radiant throughout the day, without the need for constant touch-ups. Additionally, its formulation caters to a wide range of skin types and concerns, from oil control to hydration. The expansive shade range further underscores Revlon’s commitment to inclusivity, allowing individuals of diverse skin tones to find their perfect match. Given its impressive performance, coupled with its affordability, Revlon undeniably ranks as one of the best full-coverage drugstore foundation options in the beauty market.
Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Velvety Matte Foundation
Full coverage, matte, and long wearing are the main promises of this Juvia’s Place Foundation. It features a 42 shade range, suiting all skin tones from the fairest of fair to the deepest of deep. And, it claims to never look cakey or feel heavy.
MILABU RATING **** (4.3)
Hello, flawless full coverage foundation! Despite its thicker formula, I Am Magic Foundation blends in easily and smoothly. Our recommended application is with a damp sponge to have better control. A little bit goes a long way, so start light and build up. As with most thicker, full coverage foundation formulas, it can look heavy if too much is applied.
This full coverage foundation wears beautifully without the need for touch-ups. It doesn’t settle or cling to any imperfections, from dryness and texture, bumps, fine lines, and pores.
We love the shade range this foundation offers, however, the shades do run a bit warmer. We found even the neutral cool shades pull yellow. Keep this in mind if purchasing online!
Why is it best of Drugstore?
I Am Magic Foundation is, well, kind of magic. It has a phenomenal 42 shade range, suiting most skin tones. This matte foundation gives an immediate medium to full coverage without having to build and layer. A little bit goes a long way, and it feels lightweight on the skin. It wears beautifully with minimal creasing, settling, cracking, or fading. You can easily get 12+ hours of wear without a need for touch-ups or blotting. This workable foundation is blendable and travel friendly. It’s the perfect entry full coverage foundation. For $22 and an extensive shade range to choose from, you can’t go wrong with this Juvia’s Place foundation.
NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop – Full Coverage Foundation
This NYX foundation promises to be an overachiever with its full coverage, up to 24 hours of wear, shine control properties, and extensive 45 shade range. The transfer proof and waterproof formula is noncomedogenic and suitable for all skin types.
MILABU RATING **** (4.0)
Once you get the hang of this NYX foundation, it’s a good one. When used with a brush, it can feel heavy and look thick. But, when applied with a damp sponge, the formula becomes more workable and more one with the skin. A little bit goes a long way with this foundation and you barely need half a pump to cover your entire face!
And, this NYX foundation doesn’t stop there. It only gets better as you wear it. The formula melts into your skin, creating a diffused, soft focus effect. It doesn’t accentuate imperfections, to include peach fuzz, fine lines, pores, or texture.
With 45 shades to choose from, you should be able to find a near exact match. It can oxidize when it warms up on the skin though, so pick a color a tad lighter or cooler in tone than you would normally go for.
Why is it in the top six?
Between its extensive shade range, long wear, and natural matte finish: NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation is a drugstore gem. It provides solid medium to full coverage that doesn’t settle, crack, or fade. Gone are the days where matte foundations cling to imperfections like peach fuzz, texture, bumps, fine lines, etc. This matte foundation has an impressive long wear (NYX promises up to 24 hours, but we’d give it a solid 10 hours of wear) that keeps skin relatively shine free. If forehead oils can stay at bay without primer and setting products, it’s a winner in our book. Though, if you have extremely oily skin, you will benefit from setting this foundation. We were genuinely surprised with how much we enjoyed this makeup foundation and think it definitely deserves to be on the ‘Best Full Coverage Drugstore Foundation’ list.
Almay Skin Perfecting Comfort – Matte Full Coverage Foundation
You can expect buildable coverage with a soft matte finish from this foundation. Skin Perfecting claims to keep you shine-free without feeling dry, looking cakey, or fading away with a promise of up to 16 hours of wear.
MILABU RATING *** (3.5)
Using a brush, Almay Skin Perfecting Foundation blends in easily, giving skin a soft focus, blurred effect. We like that this foundation has buildable coverage, making its thicker texture user friendly and easy to apply.
The natural, soft matte finish allows the glow from any skincare or primer underneath to peek through, which we love. But, it can settle into fine lines and pores, accentuating any texture or imperfection as the day goes on. To get the longest wear, this foundation is best layered with a primer and setting powder.
Something we don’t love about Skin Perfecting Comfort is the packaging and shade range. The glass bottle isn’t very travel friendly, and it doesn’t come with a pump. It has a smaller shade range, with only 16 to choose from, meaning you’ll probably need at least two shades to mix for your ideal match.
Why is it in the top six?
Despite it’s couple flaws (a tiny shade range and no pump included in the packaging), this is still a really solid full coverage foundation. We rank Almay Skin Perfecting Comfort among the best full coverage foundations from a drugstore for a few reasons. First, it has an easy, user friendly application. Whether you use a brush or a sponge, you’ll find this face base is easy to blend, providing a buildable medium to full coverage. Second, we love that the finish is a soft matte instead of true matte. We think that makes this Almay foundation suitable for a range of skin types. If you are oilier, pair with a gripping primer plus setting spray. If your skin leans dry, you can pair with a hydrating primer. Third, it has a decent wear – when paired with proper prepping and setting.
While we don’t find this foundation to meet Almay’s 16 hour wear promise on its own, it does still have a beautiful wear that can be extended by layering a primer, setting powder and/or spray. For the price and formula, we don’t mind these few extra steps.
Maybelline Super Stay Active Wear – Full Coverage Foundation
SuperStay Active promises up to 30 hours of long wear that feels light as air and is transfer, water, and sweat resistant. The lightweight foundation has a comfortable matte finish that promises to transform the look of skin while still looking natural.
MILABU RATING *** (3.6)
When applying Maybelline SuperStay Foundation, you’ll need to work a bit quickly. It does dry down and set pretty fast, so we recommend blending out with a damp sponge and working in sections for best results. Immediately as you blend it in, you’ll notice full coverage and the matte finish promised.
This foundation made my pores look airbrushed and it’s easy to apply any other makeup over top without it getting patchy. We like that it doesn’t settle or cling to any imperfections.
But, when it came to the wear, you’ll need to put a bit of TLC into a properly prepped and set face. It’s not the best at controlling excess oil and can actually break apart in the T-zone. To alleviate this, use an oil control primer underneath and pair a setting powder and setting spray over top to really lock it in. You may need to blot throughout the day to remove excess oil that can contribute to the foundation breaking apart.
Why is it in the top six?
While Maybelline SuperStay Active Wear isn’t the longest wearing on its own, it is one of the better drugstore full coverage foundation formulas out there – the ‘best’ list is short. It provides immediate full coverage that is easy to work with (using a damp sponge). The matte finish doesn’t look heavy or cakey, which is a total win in my book. Paired with an oil control primer and some setting powder, you’ll extend the wear and avoid and excess oil. We appreciate that this foundation doesn’t settle into fine lines, wrinkles, or pores, and how it doesn’t cling to any texture or dry spots. Even though it doesn’t meet all of its claims, it sits accessible upon a drugstore shelf and at a solid price point.
Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 – Full Coverage Foundation
Per its name, this Milani product is a 2-in-1 foundation and concealer combo with a natural matte finish. Providing medium to full coverage, Conceal + Perfect hides redness, under eye circles, and imperfections. It features an extensive shade range (45) and boasts waterproof and sweat proof claims for an all day wear.
MILABU RATING *** (3.6)
Gone are the days of cracky matte full coverage. With Milani Conceal + Perfect, you don’t have to sacrifice much. Its thicker formula blends out easily with a damp sponge and is buildable from a solid medium coverage to super full coverage. Just, don’t use too much product because it can look heavy fast!
We love that this foundation has that natural, soft matte finish. It doesn’t look dry or cakey on the skin and still allows the natural radiance of skin to peek through. Conceal + Perfect has a beautiful long wear that keeps skin looking airbrushed all day long. Though, it can wear off around the nose and on the chin (at least in our experience). We’d recommend pairing with a primer to allow the makeup foundation to grip onto something and help extend the wear time.
Why is it in the top six?
Can Milani do any wrong? They make some bomb drugstore products. That being said, Milani Conceal + Perfect makes it on the best full coverage drugstore Foundation list. This foundation harnesses the powers of both a foundation and concealer to hide anything from redness, under eye circles, to any imperfections and blemishes. It has a waterproof and sweat proof wear for a truly long lasting wear. The natural matte finish is oil free and won’t contribute any excess oil production. The buildable formula that provides medium to full coverage depending on what you’re trying to achieve. It’s versatile, affordable, and has an extensive shade range of 45!
Note that this makeup foundation does have a slight scent, but it’s nothing too overpowering and does go away as it wears.
A Makeup Lover’s Guide to Full Coverage Drugstore Foundations
Step into the world of full coverage without the full price. This guide is your gateway to achieving a flawless complexion with drugstore finds that don’t sacrifice quality for affordability. Whether for daily wear or special occasions, learn how to master the art of full coverage foundation with drugstore prices for the best you.
Your Skin Type
- Dry Skin: Your foundation should offer more than coverage; it should be a source of hydration. Look for formulations boasting hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or natural oils that offer a creamy texture and dewy finish without settling into fine lines.
- Oily Skin: Seek out oil-free formulas with mattifying properties that keep excess shine at bay. Silicone-based foundations can be beneficial for smoothing over pores and offering a long-lasting, velvety finish.
- Combination Skin: Balance is key. Opt for a foundation that maintains a matte finish in oily areas while providing hydration where you need it. A satin finish foundation can be your best bet for an even, adaptable coverage. (e.g. Smashbox Skin Balancing Foundation)
- Sensitive Skin: Go for foundations free of fragrances and irritants, focusing on soothing ingredients like aloe or mineral-based formulas that can provide coverage while protecting the skin.
Why Consider Spot Concealing
- Economy of Product: Extending the life of your foundation by supplementing coverage with concealer where necessary.
- Targeted Perfection: Utilize a high-coverage concealer on blemishes or under-eye circles for personalized perfection. This prevents the “mask effect” often caused by over-application of full coverage foundations.
- Concealer as a Tool: A concealer can double as a highlighter or contour when used in lighter or darker shades, respectively. This makes it a multifaceted tool in your makeup kit, alongside your foundation.
When Full Coverage Foundation Might Not Be Best
- Daily Wear: Consider if you truly need full coverage every day. Allowing your skin to breathe with lighter makeup can improve its health over time.
- Embracing Imperfections: Sometimes, embracing natural beauty means letting some imperfections show. A lighter foundation or BB cream can provide a fresh, more authentic look while still evening out your skin tone. Even skin tone goes a long way, don’t let tik-tok-ers dictate what beauty is.
Consider Setting Powder to Get Matte Flawless Finish (and Longevity)
- Seal the Deal: A translucent setting powder can seal in your foundation and prevent it from transferring. This step is crucial for oily skin types to maintain a matte finish throughout the day. And did I say, it can blur and make the makeup look flawless.
- Powder Selection: Whether you prefer a pressed or loose powder, choose one that complements your skin type. For oily skin, consider something that can soak in more oil.
Consider the Importance of Skincare Benefits
- Beyond Coverage: Foundations that incorporate SPF, antioxidants, or anti-aging ingredients offer a dual function, protecting your skin from environmental stressors while covering imperfections.
- Pre-Foundation Care: A well-prepped skin with a suitable moisturizer can make a significant difference in how foundation applies and wears. Never underestimate prepped and hydrated skin before applying makeup (those dry spots can be an issue for any makeup).
Your foundation should be more than a veil; it should be a second skin that enhances, not masks, your natural beauty. This guide is a starting point to finding your best drugstore foundation that provides ‘full coverage’ with a comfortable feel. Remember, the right foundation not only elevates your makeup look but also contributes to your skin’s overall well-being.
The Final Ranking Of ‘Best Full Coverage Foundation’
#1 & 2
Revlon Colorstay for combo oily Skin takes the no. 1 spot for being able to handle all skin types better than any other. It is well balanced foundation that deserves all the accolades. Even though it makes it onto the Best Full Coverage Drugstore Foundation list, it is a serious contender even outside the value category.
#1 & 2
Juvia’s Place I Am Magic sits along with Revlon at the top spot in this ranking. Its phenomenal shade range (42) is easier on the wallet, with a bigger chance of having a perfect shade match. Unlike the typical true matte foundation with thick consistencies, this one applies easily with a damp sponge. When it comes to long wearing, this one beats the rest. It has an all day wear (10+ hours) with no fading, settling, cracking, or excess oil production.
Coming in second place is NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. With buildable coverage and a soft matte finish, this NYX foundation is like a second skin. It applies easily with a sponge or brush which gives it more versatility than Juvia’s Place (we do recommend a damp sponge, though!). A little bit goes a long way with this über pigmented formula. It has a long wear that just becomes more skin like as it mixes with your natural oils. No breaking apart or accentuating imperfections here!
Almay Skin Perfecting Comfort Matte is the least matte out of the bunch. It has a natural soft matte finish that wears beautifully throughout the day with no excess oils. It doesn’t have as long of a wear as others, but paired with a primer and setting powder will extend its longevity. Since it is a soft matte finish, we think this foundation is suitable for all skin types.
#5 & #6
Next, we have Maybelline SuperStay and Milani Conceal + Perfect. These foundations aren’t perfect, but they aren’t the worst you’ll find at the drugstore. Perhaps you have drier skin and don’t mind your natural oils peeking through. In that case, you might enjoy Maybelline SuperStay Active Wear. We think Milani Conceal + Perfect is your average, middle of the road drugstore foundation. It performs and meets its claims, but doesn’t stand out. The coverage is bomb, but, again, those with drier skin would prefer this formula.
Comparing to Best of Full Coverage Foundations
Quick Rating Comparison
- Full Cover
- Matte Skin Finish
Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Matte:
- Full Cover
- Soft Matte Finish
NARS Soft Matte Complete:
Are you wondering how these best full coverage drugstore foundations compare to the best of the makeup industry, no matter the price? Firstly, you will come head to head with Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation. This is the standard of full coverage foundations, she comes at a high price, but she also delivers. When it comes to Full Coverage Foundation there are only a few that stand head to head. She does have her bestie to challenge her, who is even more bougie, Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation – the best performing full coverage foundation. Of course there’s the thirst friend, the nice one, Right behind comes NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation with skincare in mind.
To our surprise, Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Matte Foundation gives the high hitters run for their money. It provides great full coverage and outstanding longevity. The one place where it’s not all that refined is the application process. It takes a bit of elbow grease to get that perfect base. But, it might be worth the effort considering the price difference between these full coverage foundation formulas.
Looking for makeup foundation with different characteristics, for instance a more natural or dewy finish – Check out ‘12 Best Foundations You Need To Try’
Edited by Maddie