Dry skin and foundation

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How to Choose the Best Foundation Makeup for Your Skin

Searching for the best foundation makeup to suit your skin color, skin type, coverage needs, and other personal preferences can feel like an endless quest. Let us help you discover the benefits of the different types of foundations so you can find your perfect match.

Foundation: One Size Does Not Fit All

Just because a foundation looks great on your friend or looks like a good match in the bottle, doesn’t mean it’s going to be the right fit for you. It’s extremely important to choose a foundation that balances the needs of your particular skin type and skin concerns, and matches your skin color perfectly.

To help you narrow down the choices, we created a guide to the most popular types of foundations so you can find your perfect match.

Matte-Finish Liquid Foundations

Benefits:

  • Lightweight texture and finish (doesn’t feel heavy on skin).
  • Typically easy to blend; buildable coverage.
  • Excellent for holding back excess oily shine.
  • Generally a safe choice for covering blemish-prone skin.
  • Beneficial for those who live in humid climates and cannot get their foundation to last.

Downsides:

  • Foundations with a matte finish can exaggerate flaky skin or wrinkles if the finish is too dry. You can remedy this by applying a light layer of moisturizer or a serum underneath, although that can reduce the matte aspect of the finish.
  • Attempting to blend mistakes after it sets can cause rolling or streaking, which is hard to correct.

Moisturizing Liquid Foundations

Benefits:

  • Typically provide light to medium coverage that allows for a natural look.
  • The best for hydrating skin without being greasy.
  • Satin or satin-matte finishes, perfect for normal to dry skin.
  • Many have a slight sheen for a youthful-looking glow.

Downsides:

  • Not the best option for oily skin because the moisturizing finish makes oily areas look even more oily.

Anti-Aging & Serum Foundations

Benefits:

  • Best multitasking foundations, providing coverage and anti-aging ingredients that are beneficial for all skin types.
  • Complement an anti-aging skincare routine to net you even better results.

Downsides:

  • Some “anti-aging” serum foundations exaggerate their superstar ingredients’ benefits or include only minute amounts, so you’re not getting what you pay for.

Pressed-Powder or Loose-Powder Foundations

Benefits:

  • Fast, easy way to get a smooth finish for normal to slightly oily or slightly dry skin.
  • Some powder foundations offer subtle luminescence for a soft glow.
  • Pressed-powder versions are easily portable, for on-the-go touchups.
  • Lightweight feel.
  • Excellent for use over a daytime moisturizer with SPF to reduce the shiny finish of some sunscreens.

Downsides:

  • If you have very oily skin, powder foundations can look clumpy or slip into pores.
  • If you have dry or flaky skin, the powder will absorb moisture, making your skin drier.
  • Powder’s pigmentation can change when it mixes with skin’s excess oil and oxidizes.
  • Building coverage can look cakey or powdery.

Cream-to-Powder Compact Foundations

Benefits:

  • Easy to blend with a sponge or brush, and sets to a semi-matte or powdery finish.
  • Ideal for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin if you don’t want a true matte or dewy finish.
  • Wide range of coverage, from sheer to full.
  • Work well for on-the-go touchups.

Downsides:

  • Tend to look more heavy than other types of foundation.
  • Not for very oily skin because the cream portion exaggerates shine and the powder finish isn’t strong enough to keep excess oil in check.
  • Not for very dry skin because the finish exaggerates dry areas.

Stick Foundations

Benefits:

  • Typically offer medium to full coverage to conceal imperfections.
  • Works well for on-the-go touchups.

Downsides:

  • Some stick foundations have a thick, waxy texture that looks heavy and can lead to clogged pores and/or worsen breakouts.
  • Not always easy to blend over large areas.
  • If the finish is too creamy, it can crease into lines around the eye.

Tinted Moisturizers and BB Creams

Benefits:

  • The sheer nature of tinted moisturizers (and many BB creams) makes it easier to match skin color because they tend to blend on almost invisibly.
  • Often combines soft coverage, hydration, and sun protection in one product, for triple the benefit.
  • Bonus if the formula contains skin-replenishing ingredients.

Downsides:

  • Coverage can be too sheer for obvious imperfections.

Choosing the Right Shade of Foundation

Now that you know what type of foundation makeup best suits your skin’s needs, the next step is finding your ideal shade. Use our guide to determine your skin and hone in on your perfect match.

Learn more about makeup.

When it comes to selecting the best foundation for dry skin, it’s important to look for a product that provides decent coverage as well as a hit of hydration.

As dry skin can get quite flaky and textured, you want to select a formula that will not only give a much-needed boost to moisture levels, but also one that won’t settle into lines, as this can make skin look drier, older and duller.

Here, we’ve rounded up the best foundations for dry skin, which are sure to cover imperfections without transforming your skin into the Sahara dessert.

And remember – apply a good dollop of moisturiser to your face prior to application!

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation

Lookfantastic

BUY NOW Lookfantastic, £7.99

This creamy mousse foundation blends into the skin seamlessly to create a smooth finish. Packed with polymer silicone technology, it has a weightless feel and doesn’t cake – meaning there’s no fear of it settling into dry patches.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 Hydrating Colour Corrector

BUY NOW Clinique, £30

While it’s not exactly a foundation, this tinted CC Cream is the perfect solution to dry and dull skin. As well as providing a hit of hydration, this product has been developed with Clinique’s Smart Colour Correcting Technology, which combats issues with the skin’s undertone, from redness to dullness.

Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation

BUY NOW Amazon, £11.99

Nobody wants a dull or ashy complexion, which is why this inexpensive foundation is one of our saviours. Filled with subtle skin luminizers, this handy product provides coverage as well as a healthy and luminious glow.

MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation

BUY NOW Lookfantastic, £27

Thanks to its buildable coverage and moisturising properties, this MAC foundation glides on to the skin seamlessly and doesn’t stick to dry areas of the face.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury

BUY NOW Charlotte Tilbury, £32

Vitamin C, hyaluronic filling spheres, mushroom extract; Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation is packed with nourishing ingredients. From plumping wrinkles and fighting ageing free radicals to tightening pores and reducing the appearance of acne, this is all your skin could ever need.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

BUY NOW Feelunique, £33.50

There are many reasons behind why this foundation has become such a cult favourite. From its hydrating effect to its antioxidant properties, it helps to boost the skin for a healthier appearance. Best of all it embues an illuminating and dewy finish to the skin. Lets face it, who would ever turn down the option for a glowing complexion?!

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation

BUY NOW Boots, £8.29

This super lightweight formula feels comfortable on the skin and doesn’t budge, meaning you don’t need to worry about touch ups as the day goes on.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation

BUY NOW Lookfantastic, £10.99

Developed with a vitamin-rich fruit formula, this foundation provides an even finish and instantly perks up the skin, getting rid of any dullness and fatigue.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel

BUY NOW bareMinerals, £29

Combining makeup and skincare, this bareMinerals wonder is a makeup bag must-have. Formulated with a range of hydrating and nourishing ingredients, including marine botanicals, glycerine and coconut-derived elements, this gel cream product will be your skin’s new best friend.

Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation

BUY NOW Space NK, £68

Don’t let the fact that this foundation is oil-free put you off – because it’s incredibly moisturising. It contains 60% charged water and seaweed extracts, which work hard to transfer water to the skin. What’s more, if your flaky skin leads to irritation, this pot of wonder contains aloe, chamomile and arnica to sooth and calm the skin.

No7 HydraLuminous Moisturising Foundation

Boots

BUY NOW Boots, £15

With a blend of vitamins A, C and E and grapeseed oil, this No7 foundation will provide an instant hit of hydration as well as buildable coverage with a luminous finish.

Zoeva Authentik Skin Foundation

Cult Beauty

BUY NOW Cult Beauty, £25

Zoeva’s first-ever foundation is perfect for those who want a glowy base. The lightweight liquid foundation is buildable and offers a silky, dewy finish.

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Related Story

When your skin is so dry that it snows more than, well, nature, applying makeup to mask it can actually draw more attention to the flakes and scaly patches. Before you know it, that radiant glow you were striving for ends up resembling fine grit sandpaper.

Bottom line: “It’s difficult to create the appearance of a smooth surface on a textured surface—whether it be painting a wall, your nails, icing a cake, or putting foundation on your skin,” says Dana Rae Ashburn, New York-based makeup artist and founder of ABLE Cosmetics.

The cause of your dry skin could be as obvious as the winter weather—when the humidity level drops, the loss of moisture in the air (combined with the frigid temps) can rob the skin of moisture, says Debra Jaliman, M.D., NYC-based board-certified dermatologist and author of Skin Rules. Or, the cause could be subtler, such as your penchant for taking super-hot showers (the hot water and steam can strip the skin of its natural oils), getting a little too happy at happy hour (alcohol dehydrates the skin and dilates blood vessels, causing redness), or eating too many salty foods on the regular (which steals water from your body, including your skin).

Ideally, you could go makeup-free and let your moisturizer do its thing—but not everyone is blessed with a perfectly even complexion. That’s where a full-coverage, moisturizing foundation comes in.

How to find the best full-coverage foundation for dry skin

Avoid matte products: “These foundations typically contain oil-absorbing ingredients like silicone and talc, which can make dry skin look even drier, worsen dry patches, and feel tight and uncomfortable on your skin,” says celebrity makeup artist Michanna Murphy. (That goes double for powder foundations.) You’ll stand a better chance of your foundation not caking and settling into dry patches by choosing one with a creamier finish.

Steer clear of salicylic acid: This ingredient does acne-prone skin a solid by sopping up excess oil. For those with a case of the flakes, however, it will dry out your skin even more, says Dr. Jaliman. Instead, look for hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, dimethicone, and vitamin E.

Look for hydration-centric lingo: Foundations that have serum, oil, or hydrating in the name are a solid indicator they’ll offer up some added moisture to your skin, says Ashburn. Other keywords to look for include radiant, dewy, illuminating, glow, and water. Because dry, dehydrated skin has a tendency to absorb newly applied foundation and leave your face a patchy mess, says Murphy, an extra dose of hydration from your makeup can help keep flakes at bay for that much longer.

Skip the scents: It can be difficult to find a foundation without fragrance in it, but stick to unscented varieties if you can. Fragrance in your foundation means that it also contains alcohol, which can lead to more dryness, says MŌDA Brush executive makeup artist Dominique Lerma.

Now that you’re armed with the necessary intel to find the perfect full-coverage foundation for dry skin, check out the super-hydrating options below to get started.

10 Of The Best Cream Foundations Out There Esha Saxena Hyderabd040-395603080 November 21, 2019

Cream foundations are a godsend for anyone with dry and dehydrated skin. These formulas have a thicker consistency and provide impeccable coverage to conceal dark spots and blemishes. Unlike their liquid counterparts, cream foundations offer far more staying power, especially if your skin feels parched and thirsty all the time.

If your skin is on the mature or drier side, a moisture-rich cream foundation is precisely what you need. But don’t just buy anything – we’ve put together a round-up of the best cream foundations from top brands like Laura Mercier and Nars, so you know what you should really be investing in. Keep reading to find your pick.

Products Check Price
Dermablend Cover Creme Full Foundation Check Price
Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation Check Price
Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation Check Price
M.A.C Studio Tech Foundation Check Price
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick Check Price
Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer Check Price
Laura Mercier Silk Crème Oil-Free Photo Edition Check Price
Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation Check Price
BlackUp Full Coverage Cream Foundation Check Price
e.l.f HD Mattifying Cream Foundation Check Price

10 Of The Best Cream Foundations That You Should Try

1. Dermablend Cover Creme Full Coverage Foundation

Review

Looking for a foundation that offers super high coverage? Dermablend’s Cover Creme Foundation is one formula that actually covers all skin conditions, including scars, tattoos, and vitiligo spots while feeling good on your skin. Here’s the best part: despite its ability to provide extreme coverage, it does not look cakey or feel heavy. It lasts up to 16 hours and comes in 27 shades for every skin tone.

Pros

  • Long-wearing
  • Easy to blend
  • Great coverage
  • Wide range of shades
  • Value for money

Cons

None

2. Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

Review

Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation is inarguably one of the best cream foundations ever to exist. Its versatile formula blends seamlessly and evens out your skin tone with minimum effort. You can apply it either dry or wet, and no matter what you choose to do, you will end up with a natural, lightweight, luminous finish that lasts all day. This foundation is available in 15 shades.

Pros

  • Boosts moisture levels by 80%
  • Medium, buildable coverage
  • Ideal for aging, mature skin
  • Sleek and travel-friendly packaging
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

None

3. Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation

Review

Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation is loaded with emollients and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Its luxurious formula protects your skin against free radicals while providing a radiant, second-skin like finish. Its creamy, ultra-blendable texture has made this foundation a cult-favorite for contouring too. You can find your pick from its range of 40 global shades.

Pros

  • True to color
  • Long-wearing
  • Hydrating
  • Lightweight
  • Buildable coverage

Cons

None

4. M.A.C Studio Tech Foundation

Review

M.A.C’s Studio Tech Foundation certainly belongs among the cream of the crop. This tri-system blend of water, emollients, and powder glides on a soft, creamy emulsion. Its innovative formula provides a full range of coverage, allowing for true-to-skin shading in a natural powder-perfect finish. If you have mature skin, its light-diffusing properties will help soften fine lines to create a fresh, flawless texture for you. It comes in 19 shades.

Pros

  • Easy to blend
  • Long-wearing
  • Instantly refines skin texture
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

None

5. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick

Review

This award-winning foundation stick from Bobbi Brown is designed to look and feel like skin – and it does a spectacular job. It is formulated with a unique transparent base and is expertly tailored to match your undertone to even out and correct your complexion. It features a blend of rich emollients like shea butter and olive extract to keep your skin hydrated, while its light-diffusing and oil-controlling ingredients target shine control. This foundation is available in 43 shades.

Pros

  • Weightless formula
  • Long-wearing
  • Buildable coverage
  • Softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Mimics the look of a healthy skin tone and texture

Cons

  • Expensive

6. Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer

Review

The Sensual Skin Enhancer is a versatile, waterproof complexion perfector that covers, corrects, and conceals flaws. Its highly pigmented formula contains jojoba oil and honey and can be layered for buildable coverage. Despite its high concentration of pigments, its impressive formula is non-cakey and does not settle into fine lines or pores. No wonder this is a go-to product for both professionals and beauty lovers! It comes in 16 shades.

Pros

  • Long-wearing
  • Easy to blend
  • Great for uneven skin tone and redness
  • Neutralizes skin tone and color-corrects
  • Suitable for contouring

Cons

  • Expensive

7. Laura Mercier Silk Crème Oil-Free Photo Edition Foundation

Review

Laura Mercier’s Silk Crème Foundation helps create a flawless canvas that lasts up to 12 hours. The extraordinary thing about this foundation is how comfortable it feels on your skin while hiding even the most stubborn imperfections. Even makeup artists can’t stop raving about it! When applied with a damp sponge, its true-to-color pigments virtually disappear into your skin, leaving it looking fresh, healthy, and flawless. It is available in 16 shades.

Pros

  • Long-wearing
  • Easy to blend
  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Natural luminous finish

Cons

None

8. Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation

Review

Koh Gen Do’s Moisture Foundation has been a cult-favorite for about 30 years now. Its feather-light formula boasts the coverage of a cream with the comfortable moisture of a liquid. Its light-diffusing mineral pigments visibly blur fine lines, pores, and imperfections, while its plant-powered moisturizers help your skin stay significantly healthy. Find your pick from its range of 12 shades.

Pros

  • Infused with 80% moisturizing ingredients
  • Enriched with hydrolyzed yeast and aloe extract
  • Long-wearing
  • Buildable coverage
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

None

9. BlackUp Full Coverage Cream Foundation

Review

BlackUp’s Full Coverage Cream Foundation is a holy grail for women of color. It comes in a range of 15 shades from medium to very dark, accompanied by the ultimate coverage. It helps hide even the most severe imperfections, such as acne scars, dark spots, and pigmentation without ever caking. If you can’t seem to find your foundation shade in other brands, do check out their exclusive range of shades for melanin-rich skin tones.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Long-wearing
  • Easy to blend
  • Buildable coverage
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

None

10. e.l.f HD Mattifying Cream Foundation

Review

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cream foundation, this one from e.l.f is our favorite drugstore pick. Its cream-powder formula creates a long wear matte finish that softens fine lines for a flawless, even complexion. It is housed in a sleek compact that comes with a handy sponge for easy and portable application. This foundation is available in four shades.

Pros

  • Easy to blend
  • Buildable coverage
  • Long-wearing
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Limited shade range

Cream foundations are an excellent choice for dry or mature skin. If you have oily skin, it is best to steer clear of cream-based formulas. However, a cream stick foundation is an exception and can be worn if your skin is somewhat oily.

That was our round-up of the 10 best cream foundations. Which one are you looking forward to trying? Let us know in the comments below.

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Esha Saxena

Esha Saxena is a writer, journalist, and a full-time wallflower. She holds a Master’s degree in Media and Mass Communication and firmly believes that makeup is nothing less than art. Combining her love for writing with her passion for makeup, she brings to you reviews, techniques, and her ever-growing knowledge on this form of art. In her spare time, she loves reading, listening to obscure indie bands, and writing poetry – all of this while being a crazy dog lady.

Dry skin is a bit of a catch 22: you may want to cover it up, but more often than not putting foundation on makes it appear all the more obvious. That’s where the best foundation for dry skin comes in.

Armed with the right formula, your foundation can deliver a hit of moisture to your skin while simultaneously disguising it under a veil of pigment. It’s all about knowing what to look for.

Keep scrolling to find your new complexion hero, whether your dry skin is flaky or acne-prone. Because crumbly make-up is just not the one, is it?

Best foundation for dry skin with full coverage

Chanel Vitalumiere Satin Fluid Make-up, £40, John Lewis

Hyaluronic acid and liquorice extract work together to hydrate and give luminosity to the skin, guaranteeing eight hours of comfortably nourished skin.

Buy now

Best drugstore foundation for dry skin

Revlon ColourStay Makeup, £12.99, Boots

Specially formulated for skint that’s on the dry side, this one will balance your skin’s moisture levels throughout the day with a satin-y finish – the opposite of the dry and flaky texture you love to hate.

Best foundation for dry sensitive skin

Cover FX Natural Finish Oil-Free Foundation, £34, House of Fraser

This foundation has sheer but buildable coverage and is water based rather than oil-based, so won’t clog your pores. It contains moisturising Vitamin F Esters and peptides to keep skin soft without irritation but is formulated without parabens, fragrance or mineral oil.

Best foundation for dry patchy skin

Bobbi Brown Extra SPF 25 Tinted Moisturising Balm, £40, Fabled

Argireline® peptide boosts skin’s natural collagen production, while clary sage ferment strengthens skin’s protective moisture barrier. Plus, although the formula seems more like a tinted moisturiser, the coverage is pretty buildable.

Best foundation for dry skin with acne

Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation for Acne Control, £54.50, Amazon

Containing 2% of sebum-busting salicylic acid, this acne treatment foundation hydrates while helping sensitive, spot-prone skin.

Best long-lasting foundation for dry skin

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, £33, Fabled

NARS’ cult favourite foundation gives the perfect amount of coverage, a gorgeous luminosity, plus it lasts for hours upon hours.

See more of our favourite foundations for dry skin below.

Rest assured your dry skin worries are a thing of the past…

The right foundation will not only elevate your glam but also enhance your existing skin tone. Whether you’re looking for light, deep or neutral undertones, getting the base of your makeup on point is essential. At Target, we have a wide collection of some of the best foundations in the market. For a picture-perfect complexion, look through our range of full-coverage foundations, L’Oreal foundation and foundation makeup. A good foundation is sure to make you look like a star. The best full-coverage foundation will help you get rid of redness and dark circles in a jiffy. We have something for every skin type. Check out our range of foundation for oily skin, foundation for combination skin, oil-free foundation and matte foundation that will give you a poreless finish. A special day coming up? Look effortlessly glamorous with our collection of powder foundations, liquid foundations and foundation creams. The best liquid foundation comes with a pump that makes application easy, whether you use your fingers or a sponge. Amp up your makeup game with some of the best lightweight foundations. Perfect for a flawless finish that will last all day. Ideal for on-the-go beautification, our range of foundation sticks will definitely do the trick. Create a look that you want no matter how busy you are. Finding the best makeup foundation for your skin can be challenging, but we’ve got you covered. Browse through our large collection of foundations to find the right pick for you.