In a world where the younger generations can increasingly afford less, drugstore foundations have become items of utmost importance. We might be poor, but we sure as heck don’t want to look like it. Thankfully, drugstore brands have stepped up their game since the 2008 financial crisis, and their complexion products rival the ones of expensive brands.
We’ve selected the best drugstore
foundations you can find online right now, and we’ve made it easier for you to
choose the best one for you by thoroughly explaining how they work and what
they’re best at doing. We then meditate a bit on the difference between
high-end and drugstore foundations and also give a quick guide to help you
determine your needs and select the best drugstore foundation for you.
Foundation Guide: Contents
21 Best Drugstore Foundations for Every Skin Type & Concern
Whether you have dry or oily skin, whether you are looking for a high-coverage or natural-finish product, you are sure to find the best drugstore foundation for you in our roundup below!
1. Best Overall: L’Oréal Paris Makeup True Match Super-Blendable Liquid Foundation
I’m happy to start with a drugstore foundation
that was my holy grail for years. It’s a buildable, medium- to full-coverage foundation
that can work for literally anyone. L’Oreal has made it available in an
incredible inclusive shade range that even offers three undertone options.
The finish is natural and satiny, so it can be easily mattified with powder or made dewy with some strobe cream. It blends like a dream, doesn’t oxidize, and is as close to “one-size-fits-all” as a foundation can get. The only drawback is the bottle, which is not travel-friendly and would be improved by a pump. Buy it on Amazon!
2. Best for Oily Skin: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup
This is the best drugstore foundation that changed the game when it first came out. It totally mattifies the skin and even self-sets, making powder optional, and gives the skin buildable medium coverage that feels weightless. The shade range is very wide and inclusive, which is another element we always appreciate, especially in an affordable product. It plays well with other products and has a silicone-based formula that acts like a primer to blur the pores. You can get it from Amazon.
3. Best Matte High-Coverage: Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin Longwear Liquid Foundation
This used to be one of the Internet’s favorite foundations, but it’s lost some of its popularity over the years. It’s still one of the best drugstore foundations, in our opinion, especially when it comes to coverage. It can save you the need for concealer, with a buildable formula that can hide all kinds of discolorations. That said, it is really easy to overdo things and look cakey, so be ready to blend. This formula is quite mattifying, so if you get dry patches, definitely stay away. It is available online on Amazon.
4. Best for Dry Skin: Bourjois Healthy Mix Anti-Fatigue Medium Coverage Liquid Foundation
Bourjois is slightly on the pricier end of drugstore foundations, but their products rival high-end ones, so they absolutely merit a mention. This stunning foundation glides perfectly over dry skin, boosting the skin with a blend of vitamins, giving medium coverage, and allowing dry skin to shine. As a bonus, we love that it comes with a pump, which makes it so much cleaner and easier to use. Pick it up from Amazon!
5. Best Satin High-Coverage: Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer
This full-coverage drugstore foundation also doubles as a concealer to camouflage all manner of blemishes and discolorations. We love it for all skin types thanks to its natural finish, which can be made more matte or dewier with a primer or powder. It has a creamy texture that doesn’t settle into pores or dry patches and makes it easier to avoid cakiness. We love that it’s cruelty-free since, unfortunately, many drugstore foundations aren’t, and we also appreciate the large selection of shades. Order it from Amazon!
6. Best Dewy Finish: Flower Beauty Light Illusion Liquid Foundation
We didn’t expect it, but somehow Drew Barrymore knocked it out of the park with her makeup line, and this drugstore foundation is a shining example of that. It gives buildable medium coverage and the most gorgeous luminous finish imaginable, making it a great choice for those with dry, normal, or combination-dry skin. It protects the skin with SPF 15 and is light on the silicones. The only drawback is the shade range, which is not large enough for everyone to find a match. Grab it from Ulta or Amazon!
7. Best Medium-Coverage: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Longwear Foundation Makeup
This is another medium-coverage drugstore foundation for those with oily skin. It glides over the skin smoothly and has a creamy texture that offers a lot of playtime for blending and building it up, which also means it is less likely to get cakey. Once it self-sets, it has a smooth, oil-controlling matte finish that looks fantastic all throughout the day. We also appreciate the tube packaging, which makes it a very convenient product on the go. Purchase it on Amazon!
8. Best Anti-Aging: CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation
Covergirl and Olay released their iconic drugstore foundation in a liquid formula that we absolutely love. It still has that same swirl of foundation and moisturizer, making for a very hydrating formula that still offers a decent amount of coverage. It’s easy to sheer out for lighter coverage or to build it up to full, and it doesn’t sink into fine lines at all. It includes a few anti-aging ingredients and leaves the skin looking glowy. We do wish it came in a larger shade range. Find it on Amazon!
9. Best Long-Wearing: Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Liquid Foundation
This is the best drugstore foundation if your main concern is longevity. It looks incredible for hours on end, so if you wake up early, go to bed very late, and always need to look on point, give it a try. It has a natural, semi-matte finish that works for most skin types, though if you’re extra oily, you can set it to guarantee it’ll stay in place. The color range isn’t bad, either. Shop for it on Amazon!
10. Best Stick: Makeup Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation
We love stick foundations for doing makeup in a rush or on the go, and this is definitely the best drugstore foundation in stick format. The packaging is gorgeous, the coverage is totally buildable, and the finish is surprisingly satiny and smooth. You can buy it in a few shades if you also want a stick highlight and contour cream. We think this option is best for those with normal or dry skin. It is sold via Ulta and Amazon.
11. Best Low-Budget: Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation
The only way to explain the gloriousness
of this extremely affordable foundation is dark magic. How else can a drugstore
foundation look so beautiful while costing less than $5? This liquid formula
gives a demi-matte finish, which works well for normal, oily, and combination
skin, but can even suit dry skin types in a pinch.
It looks amazing on camera, with buildable full coverage that still looks natural over the skin. There are a couple of drawbacks, though: the color-range only consists of 20 shades, which is just a few options short of being inclusive enough, and the formula has a strong raw ingredient smell. You can buy it from Amazon.
12. Best Silicone-Free: Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation
If you’re avoiding silicones in your makeup, this is the best drugstore foundation to try. It has an oil- and silicone-free formula made with squalane and caprylic/capric triglycerides giving it glide. It gives buildable medium coverage, so you might still need concealer for those persistent spots, with a luminous finish that is most suitable for normal and dry skin types. It’s not the most long-lasting formula, so make sure to set it with powder or setting spray. It’s available at Ulta and Amazon.
13. Best All-Natural: Honest Beauty Everything Cream Foundation
If you’re avoiding synthetics in your beauty routine, we can’t think of a better drugstore foundation to try. You don’t need to compromise on anything with this formula, which offers medium-to-full coverage and comes in a very convenient compact packaging. It has a waterless formula made with natural pigments and emollients, with a demi-matte finish that works for most skin types. Because it’s a little thick, we recommend applying it with fingers to get it to warm up and glide better. Buy it from Amazon!
14. Best Dewy Full-Coverage: L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation
This is another great budget foundation that gives a lot of coverage. Usually, the dewier and more luminous foundations offer light or medium coverage, but sometimes you want a full-coverage look that’s still glowy and ethereal, especially if you have dry skin or if you have acne-prone skin that can get a little flaky.
The formula even includes vitamins C and A for a bit of antioxidant protection. The only thing we don’t love is the 20-shade color range, which is too small for such a high-coverage product. Pick it up at Ulta or Amazon!
15. Best Transfer-Proof: CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation
High-coverage and very mattifying, this is the best drugstore foundation to choose if you have oily skin and a hard time keeping foundation on. This is one of the best drugstore foundations when it comes to longevity since it self-sets and stays on the skin even after a long day of action. It won’t even rub off on your phone! Since it is very…