I think foundation finish is one of the biggest points of difference that I have with my fellow beauty editors. It’s common amongst my peers to prefer a dewy, radiant finish for their base, if they even choose to wear one at all. It suits them; it just doesn’t tend to work for me thanks to my highly oily T-zone. No matter what my skincare routine is, or the time of year, or if I’m having an eczema flare-up, within a few hours of doing my makeup, I will always need to powder. So knowing this, a dewy foundation has never made sense for me, as it increases the oily look that I’m blessed with. That’s why I prefer matte-texture foundations.
A matte finish means that my oiliness will be suppressed for a little bit longer, and when it does inevitably come through, it looks more like radiance than grease. For many years, matte foundations were only available in thick, cakey formulas, which made them more suitable for backstage or red carpet looks that needed to be photographed than looked at in real life. But now there are a ton of great matte foundations ranging from light to full coverage that can be layered and have all-day staying power. Here are the ones I have had in rotation in my makeup collection.
Best Matte Foundations
1.Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation
Such a fail-safe option if you are just exploring the matte-foundation options, as it’s a very liquidy texture, making it pretty easy to blend. It’s available in 60 shades and is a medium to full coverage. I honestly don’t know anyone who wouldn’t recommend this as a great matte foundation.
2. Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Liquid Foundation
One of the best budget foundations out there, in my humble opinion. It mattifies, but it’s lightweight, so you can still see your natural texture. I first tried this after buying it in New York before it was available over here and have been raving about it ever since.
3. Nyx Professional Makeup Can't Stop Won't Stop Full Coverage Foundation
I promise you only need a drop of this foundation for stunning coverage. The pigment is so good I find I get the best results from this using a damp beauty sponge to blend in. Don’t use more than one pump, as it’ll be heavier than you want with no extra coverage.
4. MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF15 Foundation
This was the first foundation I ever bought (let’s forget about Dream Matte Mousse, shall we?), and I still have it in my collection. It’s lightweight but offers up to full, matte coverage with no caking in 67 shades. Try the MAC website "try-on" service if you're unsure of your perfect shade match.
5. Huda Beauty #Fauxfilter Luminous Matte Full Coverage Liquid Foundation
Since they changed the formula of this, it’s become one of my favourite "going-out" foundations. They removed the fragrance so it's better for easily irritated skin and rejigged the colour offering. The texture is like a whipped mousse and blends really effortlessly. You have tens of shades to pick from, and if you used the old formula, the Huda website will rematch you.
6. Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation
Weightless is the right way to describe this foundation. It’s light but gives medium coverage and doesn’t mask your skin. It's available in 50 shades with nine shade intensities and seven undertones, so you're bound to find your match.
7. Fenty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Powder Foundation
Powder foundations often get a bad rap because past iterations have been so cakey, but don't let that put you off this Fenty find. I will often apply this just on my T-zone and blend as a powder/foundation hybrid. I love the blurred effect it gives the skin without looking 2D.
8. Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation
A matte foundation that still gives radiance? It doesn’t make sense, and then you try this, and you’re like, "Oh! I get it." I would call this super full coverage, though, so I reserve it for picture-heavy occasions. It lasts all day with little need for blotting or touch-ups.
9. Sculpted by Aimee Connolly Second Skin Foundation Matte Finish
The matte lover's answer to an everyday foundation, this medium-coverage base is a treat to apply and contains hydrating hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture without your skin looking slick. It blends easily, and while it definitely needs blotting by the end of the day for me, it's the most natural matte of the bunch.
10. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Oil-Free Matte SPF40
11. L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24hr Matte Cover Foundation
12. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear 24h Foundation
This creamy formula blends into a matte finish that isn’t overly drying and lasts all day with minimal touch-ups. It's available in a whopping 45 shades, and if you're on the hunt for a concealer too, the Ultra Wear offering pairs perfectly.