Best foundation? We’ve got you covered with these hero formulas

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  • The best foundation for your skin is out there – shop the best buys in the Marie Claire approved edit below

    Finding the best foundation for your skin type and personal preferences can be tricky. But once you’ve found your perfect match, you’ll never let it out of your sight (or your make-up bag).

    The best buys will keep your skin’s moisture levels in check without sticking to any dry patches, for a fresh-faced complexion overall.

    Whatever your preferred formula, we’ve got you covered (quite literally). Keep scrolling to find your new match made in heaven.

    Best foundation for dry skin

    NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, £33.50, Lookfantastic

    NARS Sheer Glow Foundation - best foundation Marie Claire UK

    Powders are great at absorbing excess oil or mattifying shine, but can cling to dry patches of skin. Opting for a liquid or cream formula is your one-way ticket to the best foundation for dry skin. Look for hydrating agents such as hyaluronic acid, which can hold as much as 1,000 times its own weight in water. If you prefer a matte look, try a liquid foundation that dries with a powder effect so as not to emphasise any dryness. Always prep your skin with your best moisturiser for dry skin before applying make-up to really nail a smooth canvas.

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    Best foundation for oily skin

    bareMinerals Original Loose Mineral Foundation, £29, Lookfantastic

    bareMinerals Original Foundation - best foundation Marie Claire UK

    If you struggle with oiliness, combat shine with mattifying foundations that work to absorb excess oil. Powder foundations, like bareMinerals’ Original formula, are a particularly effective choice. It may be worth looking for oil-free foundations so as not to exacerbate oiliness, but the key is a formula that’s ‘non-comedogenic’, or non pore-clogging. This number is surprisingly glowy for a powder foundation and only has five ingredients, so it’s a pretty clean buy. If you’re not into powder, check out our other best foundations for oily skin. Or if your skin is very prone to breakouts, be sure to read up on the best foundation for acne prone skin.

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    Best foundation for full coverage

    Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup, £34, Lookfantastic

    Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup - best foundation Marie Claire UK

    What’s the best foundation for full coverage, we hear you ask? I’d go out on a limb and say that, if they don’t use it themselves, everybody knows someone who uses this next foundation. A strong contender for the world’s most famous formula, Estée Lauder’s Double Wear is renowned for its excellent coverage and longevity, as well as offering a broad range of 54 shades. It’s a fairly thick formula, but that’s definitely not a bad thing – it doesn’t feel heavy or go cakey on skin, and its staying power lasts for hours.

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    Best drugstore foundation

    L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Foundation, £9.99, Lookfantastic

    L'Oreal Paris Infallible 24hr Matte Foundation - best foundation Marie Claire UK

    If we had to pick the budget foundation out of a line-up, this one would never be our first guess. Super full coverage with a flawless, slightly powdery finish, this bargain buy will blur pores, cover blemishes and even out your skin tone to perfection. And all that for under a tenner!

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    Best foundation for mature skin

    Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, £34, Cult Beauty

    Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation - best foundation Marie Claire UK

    Ever the perfectionist, Charlotte Tilbury spent a mammoth five years perfecting her magic formula so that it catered for every skin type out there. It’s an adaptable, one-size-fits-all foundation, hence the name ‘Magic’. What makes it so good for maturer skins is its collagen-boosting properties, which help to plump and even out the skin, mushroom extract to tighten vitamin C and hyaluronic spheres to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. For more tips and tricks on caring for mature skin, see our round up of the anti-ageing beauty products your regime needs.

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    Best foundation for combination skin

    Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick, £32, Lookfantastic

    Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick - best foundation Marie Claire UK

    The iconic Skin Foundation Stick launched almost 30 ago in 1992 and since then it’s gone on to become one of the best-selling foundations on the market. The reason it’s so good for combination skin in particular is that it can adapt to your skin’s needs, with oil-absorbing minerals for shiny days and hydrating properties for when your skin is more on the dry side.

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    Best dewy foundation

    Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, £43, Lookfantastic

    Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation - best foundation Marie Claire UK

    We guarantee as soon as you try this foundation, you’ll fall head over heels in love with it. It’s so lightweight, that you’re able to see your skin’s natural texture and appearance, but it can be built up if you want more coverage. With famous fans including the likes of Meghan Markle and Kim Kardashian, it’s such a beautiful formulation that Armani rarely touch it. The expression ‘If it ain’t broke’ comes to mind…

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    Best foundation for dark skin tones

    Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, £27, Harvey Nichols

    Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Foundation - best foundation Marie Claire UK

    Rhianna almost broke the entire internet when she released her eponymous make-up line – and boy, did it live up to the hype. You’ll find many of the brilliant products in Team MC’s make-up bags. The Pro Filt-r foundation spans an impressive range of 50 shades, with great options for darker skin tones, and its fluid formula with a soft matte finish caters to the foundation tastes of modern women everywhere. Ri-Ri, we take our hats off to you.

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    Best foundation for pale skin

    Make-up Forever Ultra HD Foundation, £34, Guru Makeup Emporium

    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation - best foundation Marie Claire UK

    Known as one of the go-to foundations for professional make-up artists who make up faces for TV cameras, this foundation is the ultimate complexion perfector with a number of great shades for fairer complexions. It’s got a medium but buildable coverage and light-reflecting properties, making it the ultimate in creating a flawless base, whatever the occasion. For other excellent options for the best foundation for pale skin, read our round up of the lightest shades.

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    Best powder foundation

    Huda Beauty Easy Bake Loose Powder, £29, Cult Beauty

    Huda Beauty Easy Bake Powder - best foundation Marie Claire UK

    Powder foundations are an excellent choice of formula, and the baking powders from Huda Kattan’s eponymous line are an even bigger treat. Pigment-rich with an airbrushed finish on the skin, the dense formula controls shine throughout the day while keeping your make-up in place – whether you’re into the baking method or not. Plus, they offer no flashback in photographs, meaning you’re camera ready at all times. Genius.

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    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!

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