There’s a huge range of foundations available, amazing foundations are more accessible than ever, and the makeup industry is evolving rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re a longtime reader of the Curology blog, you’ll know that we’re obsessed with a good foundation that won’t clog your pores. So, which foundation is best for you? Here are the latest reviews of the best foundations for 2023 from drugstore to Sephora.
Finding the right foundation for you
There are thousands of foundations to choose from, each with different qualities. Here’s a brief overview of what it all means so you can pick a foundation that’s right for your unique skin type.
★Coverage: how much the face is “covered” – refers to the amount of pigmentation in the foundation.
★Full: Highly pigmented – for those who like a big face or want a lot of coverage
★Medium: moderately pigmented – easier to cover or deepen, with the flexibility to choose your coverage level
★Light: low pigmentation – for a no-makeup look with coverage that focuses on correcting skin tone
★Clear: no pigmentation – the most natural look; these foundations don’t conceal, but are designed to even out skin texture and tone (usually contain silicones and moisturizers)
★Finish: how the foundation dries and how well it adheres to the skin.
★Matte: smooth, no shine – best for oily skin
★Satin: semi-matte, slightly shiny – best for combination skin
★Glossy: shiny, glossy – best for dry skin
★Natural: shiny, your skin is better – best for mature skin
★Formula: the consistency of the foundation – this depends on personal preference and how you like to apply and blend your makeup.
★Liquid: for dry or aging skin – apply with a damp beauty blender (or similar sponge)
★Powder: for oily skin – apply with a fluffy powder brush
★Cream: for full coverage – apply directly to skin; blend with a stiff brush
The Best Foundation for Acne-Related Skin
bareMinerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Bulk Powder Foundation
This powder has a matte finish, and its active ingredient, salicylic acid, can help ward off active breakouts – but if your breakouts aren’t active, then bareMineral’s Original Loose Powder is a better choice for an everyday powder. Both products are mineral-based and non-comedogenic, making them perfect for sensitive skin.
29.00 USD via bareMinerals
Best Foundation for Dry Skin
Elia True Skin Serum
Aloe Vera is the main ingredient in this moisturizing foundation, making it perfect for dry skin. This foundation is lightweight, provides great coverage, and is easy to blend, which means you can apply enough product to cover imperfections without caking or flaking on dry areas of your face.
54.00 USD via ILIA
Best Foundation for Combination Skin
M.A.C. Studio Fix Plus Powder Foundation
This is a medium-coverage foundation that gives a matte finish, smoothing the face while keeping shine at bay. This mineral formula is gentle on dry skin and long-lasting on oily skin.
31.00 via M.A.C.
Best Full Coverage Foundation
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra-Lasting Foundation Stick
This foundation stick features an ultra-full coverage formula with a matte texture that maximizes the shape of your face. It comes with SPF 21, but dermatologists recommend that you use an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen.
$43.00, Lancôme USA
Best Long Lasting Foundation
Fenty Beauty PRO FILT’R Soft Matte Lasting Foundation
This is a long-lasting foundation with full coverage and semi-matte finish. One of the main ingredients is dimethicone, which helps makeup to comfortably adhere to your face from morning to night without drying you out. It’s one of the highest rated foundations of all time, and the hype is real.
35.00 USD via Fenty Beauty
The Most Affordable Foundation
Maybelline Fit Me Luminous + Smooth Foundation
A semi-matte finish with medium coverage gives this drugstore foundation more flexibility, which adds to its price point appeal. It’s also a great foundation for dry skin – key ingredients include glycerin, which moisturizes, and dimethicone, which helps lock in moisture.
Maybelline retails for $7.99
The Best High-End Foundations
Glo Skin Beauty Foundation
This is a mineral foundation that is suitable for most skin types, especially for mature skin. The formula contains a number of anti-aging ingredients, including vitamin C in the form of retinyl palmitate and ascorbyl palmitate.
50.00 USD via Glo Skin Beauty
Best Natural Looking Foundation
PUR Cosmetics 4-in-1 Mineral Foundation
This is a mineral-formulated foundation that provides light coverage and a luminous finish for healthy-looking, radiant skin. It also contains retinol to help with breakouts and aging. It contains SPF 15, but dermatologists recommend that you use SPF 30 or higher.
29.00 USD via PUR Cosmetics
Best Lightweight Foundation
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra-Clear Foundation
This is a lightweight coverage foundation designed to improve the natural appearance of your skin. It has a semi-matte finish that minimizes uneven skin texture, while the moisturizing formula keeps skin hydrated and gives it an inner glow.
Available through Urban Decay for $40.00.