Foundation gives wearers the appearance of clear, flawless skin which can lead to feeling more beautiful and increased confidence. Deciding on a foundation can be overwhelming since there are so many options these days. You can choose sheer, medium, or full-coverage foundations. Some offer skincare benefits, such as wrinkle reducing formulas or those with sun protection. While you definitely want good coverage of any redness or large pores, you still want to look natural. You also want something long lasting so that you won't have to reapply throughout the day. Choose a foundation that matches your skin tone, and remember that this could change with the seasons – you may need a lighter color in the winter versus summer. Apply foundation to your jawline to test the color, since you want to make sure that where the foundation application ends at your jawline it disappears into your skin instead of creating a noticeable line and shade difference between your face and neck. Most foundations are either in liquid or powder formulas. Though there are foundation sticks and spray-on foundations now, these are limited and not used as often so we did not include them in our recommendations. Liquid foundations tend to be better for dry skin. They also tend to hide wrinkles and acne better than powder foundations. Keep in mind in regards to acne to choose an oil-free, noncomedogenic (non-pore clogging) formula. Powder foundation is good for those with oily skin or who are prone to sweating. Make sure you don't overapply foundation so that your face does not appear cakey. Use a foundation brush or sponge to get good, even results that aren't streaky. Now, onto our favorite foundations!
Best Cream Foundation: L'Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Compact Makeup SPF 17
If you prefer something in between liquid and powder, a cream foundation is a great way to go. L'Oreal's True Match Super-Blendable Compact Makeup comes in SPF 17 to protect your face from the sun. Reviewers did find that it needed to be reapplied throughout the day. The compact comes with a mirror and sponge to make it easy to apply wherever you are. It's not greasy or cakey, and comes in 18 shades formulated with Precise Match technology. It is oil-free and won't clog pores. It offers light-to-medium coverage that looks natural and is moisturizing. It's intended for all skin-types, but some of our testers with shiny skin felt like this wasn't the best product for them.
Best Drugstore Liquid Foundation: Maybelline Fit Me! Dewy + Smooth Foundation
If you're looking for a drugstore liquid foundation, we love the Maybelline Fit Me! Dewy and Smooth Foundation. It comes in a 1-ounce bottle. This foundation is formulated with SPF 18 to give your face some protection from the sun. It is hydrating and ideal for normal to dry skin. It helps to smooth the appearance of your skin with a fresh, luminous finish. It is non-comedogenic so it won't clog pores, and it is fragrance-free. It feels lightweight, is easy to apply, and blends well. We recommend applying this foundation with a sponge rather than your fingers for a smooth, even finish. It comes in 16 different shades. Unfortunately, those with darker skin tones may find it harder to get a good color match from this makeup. It is available on Amazon for just $5.69.
If you're looking for a makeup that will help keep your skin looking young, look no further than Estee Lauder's Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Serum Makeup SPF 25. This formula tied with Maybelline's formula as one of our top three favorites, and would have scored higher if it's price was a bit lower. We all know by now how important protecting our skin from UV rays is – both for general health and to prevent an aged appearance – so we love that this foundation comes with broad spectrum SPF 25 (more than most other foundations we considered). It offers medium-to-full coverage with a satin finish.
Best Long-Lasting Drugstore Foundation: Revlon ColorStay Liquid Makeup for Combination/Oily Ski
For a long-lasting liquid makeup at a reasonable price, consider Revlon ColorStay Liquid Makeup. This makeup is good for up to 24 hours. The combination/oily skin formula contains salicylic acid to keep your face dry and help protect against breakouts. It is available in 22 shades to match most skin tones. It has SPF 15 so also gives you some sun protection. This foundation feels lightweight and provides a matte finish. The pump makes it easy to dispense onto your favorite foundation sponge for easy application.
Best Drugstore Powder Foundation: NYX Stay Matte but Not Flat Powder Foundation
If you're looking for a drugstore powder foundation, we like NYX Stay Matte but Not Flat. It is easy to apply and lightweight with a matte finish without a cakey look. It evens out skin tone and since it's a powder, it doesn't leave your skin feeling oily or clog your pores. You could also use it to set a liquid foundation if you prefer. Some reviewers did have to reapply during the day, while others noted no complaints with it lasting all day. It is available in 30 shades.