The Best Foundation for Every Skin Type, According to Beauty Experts
Overwhelmed by the sheer number of foundations available? These expert-recommended picks will help you look flawless—no matter what you need in a formula.
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A flawless look starts with foundation
Foundation is a key component of any look. After all, if you want to ace your makeup, you’ve got to start with a good base, so it’s worth your time and energy to find the best foundation for you. While you’ll want to nail the right shade to achieve a more natural makeup look, you also need to pay attention to the type of formula that will work best for your skin type. For example, perhaps you need a foundation for oily skin or want sweatproof makeup; if so, a matte finish would be good for you. On the flip side, if you have dry skin, you should reach for a hydrating formula. There are even foundations created specifically for mature skin and acne-prone skin.
How we found the best foundations
With so many choices on the market, how can you possibly choose the best one? That’s what this list is for, of course! We consulted top makeup artists, who regularly work with people of all skin types, to get their favorites—from full-coverage wonders to sheer formulas that double as skin care. (Bonus: They also shared tips for how to apply foundation properly, the importance of prepping products like moisturizer and primer, and how to blend with different concealers.) We also sorted through hundreds of products to find the ones with tons of five-star ratings and glowing user reviews. Scroll to find your best fit, then decide which setting powder will keep your look locked in place.
- Best for all skin types: Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
- Best for normal to dry skin: Ilia Beauty Super Serum
- Best for dry skin: Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Radiance-Perfecting Foundation
- Best for combination skin: Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
- Best for oily skin: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
- Best for acne-prone skin: Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup
- Best for mature skin: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Foundation
- Best for sensitive skin: Anastasia Beverly Hills Foundation Stick
- Best options for darker skin tones: Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation
- Best full coverage: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation
- Best lightweight formula: Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum
- Best matte foundation: Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation
- Best dewy foundation: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Foundation
- Best long-lasting foundation: NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation
- Best pore minimizer: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare
- Best for SPF: It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
- Best stick foundation: Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Skin Finish Buildable Foundation Stick
- Best powder foundation: L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Powder Foundation
- Best foundation-concealer combo: Trinny London Just a Touch Foundation-Concealer
- Best drugstore foundation: Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation
- Best splurge: Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Cream Foundation
Best for all skin types
Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
An affordable foundation with a large shade range (40 hues!) and a long-lasting formula that smooths skin? It sounds almost too good to be true. And yet that’s exactly what Fit Me Matte + Poreless from Maybelline delivers—which is why it has more than 49,000 five-star reviews on Amazon from people with all skin types. Verified reviewer Pam Hankins notes, “I am 65, and it doesn’t settle in wrinkles”; another raves that it’s perfect on her sensitive skin. For a little extra coverage in certain spots, pair it with Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Eraser, a concealer with more than 69,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.
- Wide range of shades
- Matte finish
- Contains SPF 18
Best for normal to dry skin
Ilia Beauty Super Serum
Get ready to fall in love with the lightweight formula of Super Serum Skin Tint. “This little bottle contains a formula that is skin care and foundation in one,” says Katya Gudaeva, a makeup artist in Seattle. “Ilia is a clean beauty line, and this is perfect for someone with dry to normal skin.” The inclusion of hyaluronic acid and squalene means it’s incredibly hydrating and will leave you with a glowy finish. Plus, it’s fragrance-free, making it a good option for those with sensitive skin. Read our editor’s review for the full scoop.
- Light, dewy coverage
- Natural ingredients, including mineral-based SPF
Best for dry skin
Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Radiance-Perfecting Foundation
If you’ve got thirsty skin, it’s important to quench it with a good moisturizer. But you should also make sure your other skin products pack a hydrating punch. Flawless Lumière from Laura Mercier is best for dry skin thanks to the inclusion of hydrating and plumping silver ear mushroom extract. “This makes your skin look naturally luminous,” says Katrina Hess, a Boston-based makeup artist. “I also like it because it has a 15-hour wearability, so it’ll last all day.” Dry skin would also benefit from these anti-aging creams dermatologists trust the most.
- Hydrating formula, which includes vitamin C to brighten
- Fragrance-free and non-comedogenic
Best for combination to oily skin
Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Everyone has the right to good foundation, and that’s why Rihanna’s makeup line offers 50 shades of this beloved formulation. The matte finish of Pro Filt’r leaves skin shine-free without looking chalky and dry. It also has climate-adaptive technology that makes it humidity-resistant—so it stands up to even the hottest summer days. It also has more than 9,000 five-star reviews on Sephora, including this one: “I have oily skin, and it wears really well, even after an eight-hour shift.” Don’t miss these other Black makeup brands that everyone can use to get gorgeous.
- Comes in 50 different shades
- Long-wear formula
Best full coverage
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation
If you have an event or you’re going somewhere that involves lots of pictures being taken, consider the full-coverage formula of Double Wear. “It’s long-lasting and great for special occasions,” says Gudaeva. “But add a little moisturizer to it and you can make it more sheer for everyday wear.” (Try one of these moisturizers for oily skin for the perfect match.) And even though this foundation provides full coverage, it’s a non-acnegenic formula—meaning it won’t clog pores. It’s also oil-free and has a matte finish, making it great for those who tend to get greasy mid-day. Find out which beauty store is better: Ulta or Sephora.
- Long-lasting, buildable coverage
- 49 shades available
- Matte finish
Best for SPF
It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
On no-makeup days, face sunscreen is a must. But on days you’re wearing makeup, combine steps by picking a foundation with SPF in it, like this CC+ Cream from It Cosmetics. “A little goes a long way when it comes to this option,” says Gudaeva. “I love that it has SPF and that it works on all skin types.” Aside from the sun protection, this formula landed on our list of the best foundations because it contains a hydrating anti-aging serum that leaves the skin looking smooth.
- Contains mineral sunscreen with SPF 50
- Good for mature skin
- Doesn’t crease or crack
Best for acne-prone skin
Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup
If you’re prone to acne, blemish creams, concealers, and dark spot correctors are probably all staples in your beauty arsenal. But it’s important that your foundation work for your skin, too. Enter: Clinique Acne Solutions. “This foundation has salicylic acid in it to get rid of blemishes,” says Hess. “It also is very blendable, which is important when dealing with acne.” After all, you don’t want makeup caking on pimples and drawing more attention to them—you want it to blend right over them. Pro tip: Always apply your foundation with a makeup brush to avoid transferring oil from your fingertips to your face, which can potentially cause more breakouts.
- Contains acne-fighting salicylic acid
- Fragrance- and paraben-free
Best for oily skin
Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
“This Hourglass foundation goes on as a liquid but quickly sets to a powder,” says Hess. “That makes it a great choice for anyone with oily skin.” The magic is in its cashmere kaolite clay, which absorbs any oil that may be on your skin and leaves you with a velvety complexion. What more could you ask for?
- Oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores
- Lightweight formula
- Transforms instantly from a liquid into a powder for a matte finish
Best for mature skin
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Foundation
“If you have mature skin, you want to avoid a heavy foundation that will sink into fine lines and wrinkles,” advises Hess, noting that this makeup mistake can make you look older. “Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Foundation from Armani is silky and lightweight. Plus, you can stipple more on with a sponge in areas where you need a little extra coverage.” Because of the lightweight formula, it’s less likely to build up on grooves and lines. It’s also formulated with Micro-fil technology, which helps the pigments lay flat. When applying, start in the center of your face and blend outward for fresh, glowy coverage.
- Natural finish
- Medium, buildable coverage
- Doesn’t sink into fine lines
Best long-lasting foundation
NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation
The name of this product says it all: NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation is one of the best long-wear foundations out there. With more than 5,600 five-star reviews on Amazon, there are some pretty serious devotees out there. Here’s why: The formula feels lightweight, but it won’t budge, no matter what you do—it’s even waterproof! “It doesn’t smear or come off on clothes,” says one reviewer who gave it a top score, adding that it doesn’t dry out her skin. Another major perk: It’s only $10. Talk about a steal!
- Lasts up to 24 hours
- Lightweight and waterproof
- Controls shine and leaves skin velvety and matte
Best matte foundation
Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation
Everyone has a different opinion about what makes a foundation the very best. If you believe a formula that leaves your skin perfectly matte is what rules, Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation can’t be beat. It’s made with micro-algae extract, which gets rid of excess sebum, helping to eliminate excess oil on your face. Makeup pros suggest exfoliating your skin to get rid of any scaly patches before applying a matte foundation. If you don’t, the makeup may look extra cakey in that area. Some expert-recommended facial scrubs and exfoliators should do the trick!
- Matte finish that’s good for oily skin
- Full coverage and long-wearing
- Anti-oxidation formula, so the shade stays true all day
Best dewy foundation
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Foundation
Glow, baby, glow! Hollywood Flawless Filter Foundation has a cult following—and for good reason. Fans love it because of the smooth yet dewy finish it gives. It was literally inspired by the filters you can add to your photos on social media, and it contains a lightweight oil that both moisturizes and reflects light and makes your complexion look luminous. It’s also a multitasker. On the days you go without foundation, use it as a highlighter on your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose.
- Leaves skin looking dewy
- Blurs pores
- Can be used as a highlighter
Best drugstore foundation
Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation
Looking for the best foundation you can buy at a drugstore? Look no further than Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation. “This goes on like a dream,” says Hess. “It glides on and blends the way an expensive foundation does.” It’s lightweight and leaves your skin matte, without it looking dry or rough. And it has staying power—you won’t get shiny all day! Also, did we mention that it costs less than $3? You really can’t go wrong. For the days you want to skip the foundation, these self-tanners can also give you a sun-free glow.
- Affordable price point
- Matte finish
- Easy to blend
Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Cream Foundation
This one’s a splurge, but if you can afford it, Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Cream Foundation is totally worth it. “This foundation is so good, it makes you feel like a movie star,” says Hess. “And it works for all skin types.” The formula has pearl elements that give skin a radiant finish. Plus, it has hyaluronic acid to keep skin moisturized all day long. Since this is on the pricier side, be sure to apply with a damp sponge. If you use a dry sponge, it will suck up more makeup and waste it.
- Great for all skin types
- Contains SPF 24
- Leaves skin luminous
Best stick foundation
Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Skin Finish Buildable Foundation Stick
The triangular tip on #FauxFilter from Huda Beauty makes this the best stick foundation out there. Well, that and the full-coverage formula. Use the tip to get foundation in tricky areas, like the corners of your eyes. It’s also so creamy that blending is a breeze—you can even do it with your fingers if you’re in a pinch. Stick formulas work great for people with oily skin. The slightly drier formula can counteract any greasiness in your complexion.
- Pointed tip makes it easy to apply in tricky areas
- Sweat- and humidity-resistant
Best powder foundation
L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Powder Foundation
This pick went viral on TikTok for being the best powder foundation—yup, it’s that good. Apply the lightweight Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Powder and you’ll be amazed at how effortlessly it glides on while also erasing your pores. The powder will help dry up oily areas, but it’s lightweight enough that it won’t get cakey on dry spots. Even so, our makeup pros suggest that you moisturize your skin thoroughly before using any powder foundation, so it doesn’t look rough or textured in any spots. When it’s time to remove this foundation and the rest of your makeup, try these makeup removers that beauty experts swear by.
- 24-hour matte finish
- Waterproof and won’t transfer onto clothes
- Lightweight formula
Best pore minimizer
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare
Infused with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, and vitamins B and E5, this buildable liquid foundation minimizes pores, which can become more prominent as you age, while hydrating your skin all day. And despite the name, Your Skin But Better Foundation doesn’t just make your skin look better when you wear it—it also works behind the scenes to smooth skin in the long term, like an amazing face serum. Its micro-fine powder gives you a naturally radiant finish, too. All of this makes it one of the best overall foundations on the market!
- Lightweight but buildable
- Minimizes the appearance of pores
- Has skin-care-like benefits
Best lightweight formula
Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum
There’s a reason Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum comes in only seven shades: The sheer, lightweight formula is super blendable, so you can find your foundation color match quite easily. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide adequate coverage! It easily diminishes dark spots and evens out skin tone, making it another great option for aging skin. It also acts as a serum, providing major skin-softening benefits, and contains SPF 20, so your complexion will be protected as you go about your day.
- Doubles as skin care
- Lightweight and blendable
- Contains SPF 20
Best for sensitive skin
Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Foundation Stick is a light- to full-coverage formula with a natural-looking appearance that you can build up if you need more coverage. You can apply it directly to your skin (the sleek applicator makes it easy to take on the road for midday touch-ups) or use a damp sponge or stippling brush. The formula, which comes in 30 different shades, will counteract any redness on the surface of your skin. Plus, it’s made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates—which are often irritating to sensitive skin.
- Counteracts redness
- Easy to apply
- Full coverage
Best for darker skin tones
Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation
With 41 shades, most of which are for those with medium to dark skin tones, Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation uses biomimicry pigments that mimic your skin for a flawless finish. The long-lasting, matte formula is also great for those with oily skin. “It mattifies oily areas,” says Renée Loiz, a celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles, “but will simultaneously hydrate any dry areas, making it great for combination skin, too.” Blurring technology also helps to smooth out pores, so your complexion looks flawless.
- Matte finish
- Wide variety of shades for medium to dark skin tones
Best foundation-concealer combo
Trinny London Just a Touch Foundation-Concealer
There’s no need for concealer if you use Trinny London Just a Touch, because it’s a foundation and concealer in one! Highly pigmented, it covers anything you need to, which also helps it last all day. But that doesn’t mean it’s cakey. The formula is lightweight and has anti-aging properties. One five-star reviewer gets right to the point: “I am confident wearing this product because it does exactly what it says it will.” Try it, and it might quickly become the beauty secret that always helps you look put together.
- Foundation and concealer in one
- Buildable coverage
While you’re all set to pick the right foundation for yourself, make sure to check out the makeup symbols on the products before purchasing them.
- Katya Gudaeva, a makeup artist based in Seattle
- Katrina Hess, a Boston-based makeup artist
- Renée Loiz, a celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles