High-end and drugstore foundations for flawless skin

Sadye Matula

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. There is a reason foundation has the name it does. It quite literally forms the foundation for the rest of your makeup routine by creating a smooth, even canvas that other […]

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

There is a reason foundation has the name it does. It quite literally forms the foundation for the rest of your makeup routine by creating a smooth, even canvas that other products like blush and bronzer can stand out against. If you’re looking for a new foundation, you’re in luck! You’ll find plenty of options out there, whether you want a formula that gives medium coverage and a sheen to the skin or a full-coverage, matte look. To help narrow it down, we picked out 18 of the bestselling options with rave reviews. 

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1. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup

Your makeup will stay in place all day with the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup.

The Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup has been a fan favorite for years, thanks to its full-coverage, long-wearing and transfer-resistant formula. The liquid foundation claims to be best suited for oily or combination skin types, though reviewers will tell you that it knows no bounds. It has a naturally matte finish that won’t look dry on the skin but won’t add unwanted shine, either, and it claims to stay fresh-looking for 24 hours despite heat or humidity. It comes in 55 cool, neutral and warm shades ranging from a light cream to a deep brown.

One Sephora reviewer writes: “I’ve used this foundation for about a year and once you get it there’s no going back! The coverage is great, my makeup stays in place for hours and I love the way my skin looks. Don’t think twice, you won’t regret getting it.”

Get the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup from Sephora for $43

2. It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

Use the It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ to color correct your skin.

A CC (color correcting) cream serves the same purpose as a foundation, but offers beneficial skincare ingredients while adding coverage to the skin. The It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ even says it’s your “foundation, anti-aging serum and mineral sunscreen in one.” It claims that the inclusion of collagen (a skin protein) firms the surface, niacin evens out the tone, peptides reduce fine lines and wrinkles, antioxidants reduce signs of skin damage and hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps. Meanwhile, it offers a full-coverage, natural-looking finish that’s not too matte or dewy. It’s available in 12 shades from fair to deep. 

One Sephora reviewer raves: “Love love love this product! I have very sensitive skin with eczema on the face and I was struggling with make up drying out my skin and not covering up all my redness. This product is hands-down the best product I’ve used so far! The coverage is amazing and it feels so light on my skin.”

Get the It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ from Ulta for $39.50

3. E.L.F. Cosmetics Flawless Finish Foundation

The E.L.F. Cosmetics Flawless Finish Foundation gives you a full-coverage finish at an affordable price.

E.L.F. Cosmetics is one of the most affordable brands available at the drugstore and it just so happens to make one killer foundation. This has a creamy, medium-to-full coverage consistency and dries to a semi-matte finish. To keep your skin hydrated, it contains glycerin, a humectant that draws moisture into the skin. Find your best match among the 40 shades that range from fair to deep with cool, neutral and warm undertones.

One Amazon reviewer writes: “I’ve used tons of different foundations—from super-expensive to drugstore. This is the best bang for your buck I’ve found! Tons of colors, lasts all day and works just as well as expensive foundations!”

Get the E.L.F. Cosmetics Flawless Finish Foundation from Amazon for $2.97

4. Dior Airflash Spray Foundation

Get a smooth, dewy finish with the Dior Airflash Spray Foundation.

Applying spray paint to your face? Not a good idea. But a spray foundation… entirely different story. The Dior Airflash Spray Foundation gives a full-coverage, airbrushed finish that is glowy instead of matte. Being water-resistant, it claims to cover and smooth the skin for 12 hours. To apply it, shake the can for five seconds, spray your face in a Z-formation about eight inches from the face and blend it with a brush or sponge. You can also spray it directly onto a makeup brush and blend it on the skin from there. The product comes in 24 shades and neutral, cool and warm undertones.

One Sephora reviewer gushes: “I absolutely adore the Dior Airflash Spray Foundation! It’s amazing! It won’t sink into your fine lines and wrinkles and it isn’t mattifying. I have very dry skin and this has that perfect amount of dewy finish. Will always purchase again and will always recommend to literally everyone!”

Get the Dior Airflash Spray Foundation from Sephora for $62

5. Too Faced Born This Way Undetectable Medium-to-Full Coverage Foundation

Build up coverage on the skin with the Too Faced Born This Way Undetectable Medium-to-Full Coverage Foundation.

This foundation from Too Faced offers medium to full coverage depending on how much you apply and how you blend it. (For more coverage, use a makeup brush and for less, try a makeup sponge that’ll absorb some of the formula.) The hydrating foundation uses coconut water to moisturize, alpine rose to support the skin’s health and hyaluronic acid to plump the skin. It has a natural finish and comes in 30 shades from very fair to very deep with neutral, rosy and golden undertones.

One Sephora reviewer writes: “I have recently found this again after trying other foundations for a few years and I have no idea why I ever strayed away from this! I love it because it’s medium coverage but it can definitely build up to full coverage! Very light and breathable.”

Get the Too Faced Born This Way Undetectable Medium-to-Full Coverage Foundation from Ulta for $40

6. Lancôme Teint Idôle Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation with SPF 15

The Lancôme Teint Idôle Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation will absorb your skin's oil to keep your skin matte all day.

A long-wearing foundation that won’t transfer onto your clothing can be hard to come by, but this one from Lancôme claims to give you 24 hours of wear, thanks to three key ingredients. The brand says that its perlite and silica absorb the skin’s oil, the “eternalsoft polymer” keeps your skin comfortable throughout wear and the “NAI pigments” (described as specially coated pigments) maintain your skin’s pH to prevent the color from oxidizing throughout the day. The result is a matte, full-coverage formula that stays put through any event or day at work. The foundation comes in 50 shades with neutral, cool and warm undertones.

One Sephora reviewer writes: “This foundation is phenomenal! Even on hot days, it does not budge and is never cakey. I can rest assured that this foundation will provide full coverage and stay looking great throughout the day.”

Get the Lancôme Teint Idôle Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation with SPF 15 from Sephora for $47

7. BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation SPF 15

Tamp down shine with the BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation.

Liquid foundations seem to outweigh other kinds, but a powder formula is a great option for those with oily skin or who sweat a lot or even as a second step to set liquid formulas. The BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation offers sheer to full coverage, depending on how much you layer on the skin, and a natural-looking, not powdery finish. While oily skin types will enjoy the tamp down of shine, the powder is suitable for even dry complexions. You can snag it in 30 shades from very fair to deep with neutral, cool and warm undertones to match your complexion.

One loyal customer and Sephora reviewer shares: “I started using BareMinerals in high school back when it was an infomercial on TV! It was the only foundation that didn’t clog my pores or break me out so I continued to use it. I still am a loyal customer and always [will] be! I’ve also tried [the brand’s] liquid foundations but still always return to this one. It’s a must-have for my makeup bag.”

Get the BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation SPF 15 from Sephora for $32

8. Urban Decay Cosmetics Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation

The Urban Decay Cosmetics Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation feels comfortable and light throughout the day.

This liquid Urban Decay foundation claims to feel ultra-lightweight on the skin while offering a medium amount of coverage. With a matte finish that the brand describes as looking akin to bare skin, the foundation should last up to 24 hours and wear comfortably throughout the day. It comes in 50 shades from “ultra-fair” with cool undertones to “ultra-deep” with neutral undertones. 

One Sephora reviewer writes: “I really wanted something ultra-natural and light where it doesn’t look like you’re wearing anything at all. This foundation is perfect! It truly is like a second skin. Just enough coverage to minimize pores and make skin look flawless with minimal amount of product.”

Get the Urban Decay Cosmetics Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation on Sephora for $39 

9. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

For easy application, try the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick.

A cream foundation stick can offer heavier coverage than a liquid with less formula, and it’s a great on-the-go option. The Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick is one of the most-loved of this kind, thanks to how well it blends into the skin. Fans also rave about its natural finish (not dewy or matte) and triangular shape that allows you to easily maneuver around the contours of your face before blending with a sponge or brush. It claims to be water-resistant and last 12 hours on the skin. It comes in 32 colors and neutral, warm and cool undertones.

One happy Sephora reviewer writes: “I have finally found my holy grail foundation. It’s so gorgeous on the face it literally looks like skin. I have some hyperpigmentation that it hid perfectly and I was able to build it up on areas that I wanted without it looking cakey at all. It didn’t break me out either and it stayed on all day. Will repurchase forever!”

Get the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick from Sephora for $46

10. Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Foundation

Improve your skin's tone over time with the Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Foundation.

Who would say no to a foundation that can benefit your skin concerns while temporarily concealing them? The Clinique Even Better Makeup claims that 12 weeks of daily wear can brighten dark spots from sun damage, acne or age. The creamy liquid formula also purports to hydrate the skin and dry to a natural finish with medium coverage that’ll last 24 hours. You can grab the foundation in 56 colors from in cool- or warm-neutral tones.

One Sephora reviewer writes: “I love this foundation! I’m on my fourth bottle. Easy to apply and blend; nice, medium coverage; doesn’t make me look cakey and my skin really does look better after using it.”

Get the Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Foundation from Sephora for $31

11. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation

For an ultra-matte foundation, go with the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation.

This full-coverage foundation from Fenty Beauty by Rihanna isn’t kidding when it claims to be best for normal, oily or combination skin, if it’s many happy purchasers are to be believed. It dries very matte and claims to feel “light-as-air” and provide an “instantly-smooth, pore-diffused, shine-free finish.” Its secret, says the brand, is “climate-adaptive technology” that resists heat and humidity and keeps your skin shine-free. It has a vast, 50-shade range and is available in neutral, cool or warm undertones.

One Sephora reviewer writes: “This is my go-to foundation, I literally won’t wear anything else. It’s silky smooth and makes your skin look poreless and beautiful without feeling super heavy and oily. It’s light and breathable and my skin feels better than before I started using it months ago!”

Get the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation from Sephora for $36

12. NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop 24HR Full Coverage Matte Foundation

Your skin will stay matte for hours with the NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop 24HR Full Coverage Matte Foundation.

For an ultra-matte foundation you can pick up at the drugstore, the NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop foundation fills the bill. Whether you’re in humid conditions or bundled up in the cold, this foundation withstands all weather conditions or transferring with its “long-wear, waterproof, transfer-proof, mask proof, humidity-proof formula.” Though full-coverage and matte, it claims to moisturize your skin with vitamin E. That said, with its shine control, it’s meant for oily skin. It comes in 40 hues with warm, neutral and cool undertones.

One Amazon reviewer shares: “I’ve tried dozens and this is the one that goes on with excellent coverage and a flawless finish. I don’t have to use a primer nor do I have to use a finishing spray. I can just put the foundation right onto my face and look perfect until the moment I take it off.”

Get the NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop 24HR Full Coverage Matte Foundation from Amazon for $10.44

13. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation

For a radiant finish, snag the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation.

A silky foundation? Say no more. This Giorgio Armani option offers up to medium coverage with a lightweight, buildable formula. If you prefer a slight sheen to the skin, this claims to give a “lit-from-within glow” and an airbrushed appearance with “Micro-fil technology” that should help the foundation blend and layer seamlessly onto the skin. The 40-shade line offers a wide range of undertones, including pink, olive, golden and peach to complement nearly any skin tone.

One Sephora reviewer: “This foundation really lives up to its hype, and is definitely worth the splurge! It is a buildable foundation, which is just how I like it. I wore it to a wedding and the color match was amazing, my skin had this perfect glow to it, and it stayed on all night!”

Get the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation from Sephora for $64

14. Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

Keep oily skin looking shine-free with the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation.

Looking for a matte liquid foundation for a drugstore price? This medium-coverage option from Maybelline claims to give the skin a poreless look while absorbing oil and keeping shine down with clay. It’s labeled as best suited for normal to oily skin, but many customers with dry skin say this Matte + Poreless option is better than its dry-skin-designed Dewy + Smooth counterpart because it gives the skin such a beautiful finish. And though drugstore brands often have limited shade ranges, this product is available in 40 colors from very light to very deep.

One Amazon reviewer put it plain and simple: “I have used this product for about three years now and wouldn’t ever change. I am 65 and it doesn’t settle in wrinkles and it has great coverage… not too heavy and not too light.”

Get the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation from Amazon for $3.15

15. Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation

For a light-as-air feel, go with the Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation.

Actress-singer Selena Gomez added her own iteration of complexion-evener to Sephora’s offerings with the Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation. Rather than a creamy formula, this feels more akin to a serum with a thin, runny texture that layers well on the skin. It claims to soothe, calm and moisturize the skin with lotus, gardenia and waterlily extracts. The medium coverage foundation is available in 48 colors with neutral, warm and cool undertones.

One Sephora reviewer raves: “I am not one to normally review but I was blown away by this foundation. It is so light on the skin and easy to apply. I have rosacea and some breakouts around the chin and I have no issues with covering them with this foundation. I would recommend this foundation to everyone!”

Get the Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation on Sephora for $29

16. Nars Sheer Glow

The Nars Sheer Glow evens out the complexion without too much coverage.

Unlike others on this list, the Nars Sheer Glow is designed to not mask the skin underneath. While it can be built up to medium coverage, as the name suggests, you can also get a sheer layer that looks like an enhanced version of your natural skin. The formula also contains vitamin C that brightens the skin and turmeric that claims to even the complexion. It’s available in 40 shades with undertones like red, yellow, olive, peach and pink.

One Sephora reviewer can’t get enough: “Whether I’m having a good skin day or a bad one, I always come back to this foundation for its creaminess, medium-to-buildable coverage, and overall skin-like finish.”

Get the Nars Sheer Glow from Sephora for $47

17. Pür 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15

Keep the Pür 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation on hand for touchups.

A pressed powder foundation makes for a great addition into any makeup routine, as you can keep the compact in your bag and use it to bump up your coverage or tamp down shine throughout the day. This one from Pür has medium coverage but can be sheared out or built up for less or more. It claims to not settle into fine lines, plump and firm the look of skin and reduce dark circles and discoloration with skincare ingredients like waltheria (a plant) extract, shea butter, vitamin E and the brand’s “proprietary Ceretin Complex” of retinol, lactic acid, shea butter and ceramides.

One Amazon reviewer writes: “This makeup is amazing. Once I got to a certain age, I could no longer wear powder foundation… or so I thought. Then I saw this presented on a shopping channel and thought I’d give it a try. … This foundation does not settle into my pores or fine lines and still looks great at the end of the day. I have extremely sensitive skin and rosacea, but I haven’t had any breakouts or issues using this product. All in all, I couldn’t be any happier with how well this foundation works for me.”

Get the Pür 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15 on Ulta for $29.50

18. L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation

Build up coverage on the skin with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation.

For an ultra-thin liquid that blends like a dream and lasts all day, try this foundation from L’Oréal Paris. It offers medium to full coverage with a buildable formula that dries to a smooth finish that’s between matte and radiant. It claims to resist sweat and water and won’t transfer onto clothes or other skin for all-day wear. It’s available in 30 light, medium, tan and dark shades.

One Amazon reviewer put this to the test: “I am a Latin dancer, so I was looking for a foundation that was going to hold up to hours of high intensity dancing and sweating. I can dance for 5 hours plus and not have my makeup running off my face, and I sweat and blot my face throughout this time. Now, I do set my makeup with powder, but this foundation does not move. I love how lightweight this foundation is and how natural and skin-like it looks.”

Get the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation from Amazon for $9.96

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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