From luxury brands with celebrity followings to bargain high street steals, we’ve found the best foundation for every skin type.
Finding the best foundation for your skin type can be tricky (especially for those of you looking for the best foundation for pale skin).
That’s why we’ve created this handy guide to help you find the best foundation for every skin type. From luxury brands with celebrity followings to bargain high street steals, we’ve pulled together a list of the best foundations for oily skin, dry skin, combination skin and more. We’ve even added in some expert tips to help you find ‘the one’ that’s your match made in heaven.
First things first, think about what texture and finish you prefer. The best powder foundations will give you a matte finish and is great for oily skin types. Liquid, on the other hand, can create a matte or dewy finish, while creams and mousses will literally make light bounce off your skin.
Not sure which one you need? This foundation quiz will match you to the best one for you.
Once you’ve browsed the options and found a texture you like, find the right colour match by visiting a make-up counter. An expert will be able to find your ideal fit. But, if you can’t find an expert to help you find your shade, test it yourself. Instead of swiping the foundation on the back of your hand, find a mirror and apply a strip of the product to your jawline. This is the perfect area to see if the colour will blend seamlessly with your skin tone. Make sure it blends with the tone on your neck too.
Don’t know what you need? Zoe Taylor, make-up Artist for Chanel, told us: ‘The foundation formula you choose must be compatible with your skin type. For example, on dry skin I apply a thick mask or oil an hour before I apply the foundation, this creates a beautifully dewy base for flawless application, or if the skin is super oily I use it alone and buff it well into the skin.
‘Choosing the right colour might mean mixing colours if you are going for something with full coverage, and a more sheer coverage is best tested on your jawline. Always match your face to your chest colour for a fresh healthy and CORRECT colour.’
To achieve a flawless, long-lasting finish, invest in a good foundation primer to wear underneath. This should be applied after you moisturise and before foundation. If the foundation you choose doesn’t contain SPF, choose a primer with sun protection to prevent premature ageing and fine lines. Or apply an SPF before your foundation if it doesn’t contain one.
And remember, the tools you use to apply foundation will impact the finish you achieve, so choose the right make-up brush. For a natural finish use a large, soft brush or fingertips. For a more even, flawless look, try a round or flat make-up sponge or a smaller flat foundation brush.
There’s a plethora of foundations for pale skin, foundations for dark skin, even the best formulations for particular events. And before you think you have to pay an arm and a leg for an amazing foundation, think again. There’s a price that will suit every budget. Just look at the £12.50 foundation that Britney Spears swears by, EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation.
So if you’re looking for the best foundation, rest assured that there’s one out there.
If you have problematic skin, opt for mineral make-up. These foundations are non-comodegenic, so they won’t clog your pores. Plus, if you have oily skin, the minerals will absorb any excess oil, giving you a fresh-faced look.
Another option is to browse oil-free foundations that won’t add to the oiliness of your skin, like Clinique’s Superbalanced make-up, which will leave you with an even and non-shiny finish.
Powders absorb excess oil, so it’s best to avoid these if you have dry skin as they can enhance rather than disguise its appearance.
Instead, opt for a liquid foundation or one that contains hydrating agents such as hyaluronic acid, which holds 1,000 times its own weight in water. And if you like the matte look, try a liquid foundation that dries with a powder effect so as not to emphasise the appearance of dryness.
Always prep your skin with your best moisturiser for dry skin to ensure it gets a boost of hydration before you apply your make-up.
If you suffer from oily skin, combat the shine with mattifying foundations. Also, look for oil-free foundations that claim to absorb excess oil.
If you want something more specific though for your skin type, the best foundations for oily skin are worth taking a look at too.
Browse through our round-up of the best foundation on the market and find your perfect match. Once you’ve found it, you’ll never look back.
Best for: Oily skin
About: This oil-free gel foundation formula boasts the unique combination of full coverage with a super-light texture. Aloe, chamomile and arnica calm irritation while charged water and seaweed boost hydration while keeping shine at bay.
Best for: Even and long-lasting coverage
Bobbi Brown’s Skin foundation stick delivers a smooth and seamless coverage that lasts throughout the day. The coverage is good enough that you don’t need to apply concealer to your blemishes – just dab a little extra on problem areas. It’s no wonder it’s a best-seller.
Pop into your local counter to get colour matched for your perfect shade.
Best for: Luminous skin
About: A sure staple in any artist’s kit, Chanel’s ultra-light foundation is the perfect pick if you want to achieve a light to medium coverage with a natural glow. Apply with fingertips over a light moisturiser for a natural, dewy finish.
Best for: Long-lasting colour
About: A favourite backstage at fashion shows, MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid gives a full to medium coverage that covers any imperfections or colour variation, keeping your skin looking smooth and even all day. This is a great pick for a special occasion like a wedding or festival where you need to rely on your make-up to stay put.
Best for: Even texture
About: If your main skin concern is imperfections, blemishes or uneven texture, Rimmel’s full coverage Lasting Finish Foundation is the pick for you. A snip at under £10 it will keep your skin looking flawless all day.
Best for: Natural glow
About: The brand’s famous Touche Éclat glow in an all-over face foundation; the light reflecting particles in this super-soft formula give skin a smooth, even appearance while giving your complexion a natural glow.
Best for: Anti-pollution
About: With SPF30 and an anti-pollution screen, Bourjois City Radiance Foundation is the perfect choice for city girls. It gives a medium to full coverage that will last all day, so you won’t need to worry about your skin as you run around being oh-so-busy.
Best for: Combination skin
About: Clinique’s complexion concern specific foundations are great for problem skin. We love their oil-free formulas, but our pick of the bunch for combination skin is their brilliant Superbalanced Foundation. Absorbing oil across the T-Zone while moisturising dry areas, this nourishing colour formula is an absolute cult classic.
Best for: The professional finish
About: Loved by beauty boffins and make-up artists alike, Charlotte Tilburys magic foundation is true to its name. The smooth formula glides on evenly and covers blemishes and imperfections while conditioning skin to fight dehydration and premature ageing. No wonder its a celebrity favourite.
Best for: A natural glow
About: Particles of light- reflective mica and translucent pigments combine to give skin a sheer, luminous finish with a smooth, even texture. This is the best choice if you love that no-make-up-make-up model-off-duty look.