The right foundation can make or break your beauty look. It covers up imperfections, hides pores, helps to cover dark under eye circles (along with concealer) and gives your face a glowing finish. If foundation is too cakey or unnatural, however, it can turn into a beauty disaster. Which is why we’re always on the hunt for the best foundations out there and these days, drugstore beauty aisles are killing it in terms of selection and quality.
There are plenty of drugstore foundation products that will give you just that. Here are some tips to find the best foundations for your skin — even when you can’t sample them ahead of time.
A few secrets:
1. For oily skin, try a powder foundation. The powder soaks up extra shine and oil, leaving you with a matte complexion.
2. For dry skin, use a hydrating liquid foundation that adds hydration to your skin as you apply coverage.
3. No matter what your skin type, look for a drugstore foundation with sunscreen. Even the best drugstore foundation can’t hide years of sun damage. Great-looking skin starts with sun protection.
4. Hold the product up to your neck or the back of your hand at the front of a store window where you can see it in natural light for the best foundation match.
5. Keep your receipt. You may not be able to sample drugstore foundations before purchasing, but most drugstores have return policies that allow you to bring back the item for a refund if it doesn’t work out.
Save your cash for a new pair of shoes and get flawless coverage with these 10 best drugstore foundations that won’t break your bank or your face.
1. CoverGirl CG Smoothers AquaSmooth Compact Foundation, Available at Amazon
CoverGirl is a drugstore favorite among reviewers who say that the foundation provides buildable coverage and applies like a dream. Plus, the foundation’s compact case makes it travel-friendly. How’s that for perfect?
2. Revlon ColorStay Whipped Crème Makeup, Available at Amazon
This drugstore foundation’s medium-to-heavy coverage and lightweight finish have made converts out of readers who usually shy away from full coverage foundation.
3. Maybelline New York Dream Matte Mousse Foundation, Available at Amazon
For those seeking a smooth and creamy foundation that doesn’t leave skin oily, this is it (according to reviewers). In fact, the product contains mattifying powders to help those who struggle with a little extra shine and provides medium to high coverage.
4. Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Liquid Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 20, Available at Amazon
Users say they love the time they save getting ready in the morning thanks to the drugstore foundation being a two-in-one moisturizer and a full coverage foundation. It doesn’t come off in streaks — leaving you looking botched from unevenness.
5. L’Oreal Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation, Available at Ulta
Women are ditching their high-end foundations for this drugstore find — at least according to reviewers, who say the foundation perfectly matches their skin tone and gives great coverage. Only bummer? It doesn’t actually last 24 hours — but would you actually want to sleep in it? Users are still impressed by its six- to eight-hour lifespan (some even claiming 10 hours).
6. Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15, Available at Ulta
What’s worse than foundation that falls into the crevices and cracks in your skin? Even the finest lines and wrinkles become a trap for foundation lines blotchiness — but not with this foundation. According to consumers, the foundation hides signs of wrinkles and lines by lifting (hence the name) and smoothing skin for an airbrushed look. Adding to its anti-aging perks is its SPF 15 content, which is an absolute must in the best products.
7. NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation, $11.05 at Amazon
Why waste your time with a mattifying powder when it’s included in your foundation? Users love the dual function of this powder foundation and claim it lasts all day. Plus, it gives you a classic matte look without making you look flat (hence the name). What’s not to love?
8. Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Combo/Oily Skin, Available at Amazon
For ladies with oily skin, finding a foundation that lasts through the work day can be a serious challenge. Luckily, users say Revlon’s Colorstay Makeup for Combo/Oily Skin is the oil-fighting foundation they’ve been looking for. Reviewers say it lasts all day, provides full coverage to hide imperfections and even lasts longer than some high-end brands. Talk about getting bang for your buck.
9. CoverGirl Ready, Set Gorgeous Liquid Makeup Foundation, Available at Amazon
CoverGirl delivers yet again with this top-ranked drugstore foundation, according to reviews. Users everywhere are floored by its light feel, full coverage and flawless end result. They claim the consistency is smooth and blends well into the skin. Plus, it comes in a wide array of shades to suit any woman’s skin tone.
10. Almay TLC Truly Lasting Color Makeup, Available at Ulta
There’s nothing worse than patchy foundation towards the end of the day, especially when you’re trying to hide imperfections. Readers say this foundation doesn’t rub off and is guaranteed to last you through the day, regardless of heat or humidity. Bonus: the foundation even contains the powerful antioxidant vitamin E to help nourish your skin and prevent wrinkles.