5 Must-Try Foundations With Skincare Perks, According to a Makeup Artist

It's 2022, and foundation formulas have come a long, long way.

Charlotte Tilbury/ Nars/ Cle de Peau/ InStyle

Back in the day, there was the risk that a product could clog your pores and break you out. And while that can still be the case today, many foundations are now jam-packed with skincare benefits, and it makes perfect sense.

If I wear this product almost daily, I want to see my skin transform for the better over time. Why didn’t we think of this sooner? I say, better late than never!

But with the emergence of so many new multitasking foundations, choosing the right one for you can be hard to navigate. As a makeup artist and beauty expert, I am here to guide you in the right direction — and the following hybrid foundations have got you covered (quite literally).

18 Foundations ELLE Editors Won't Shut Up About

What should you look for in a foundation?

Knowing your skin well is key to finding the perfect foundation, as certain formulas can make or break your entire routine. Here's what you should consider when shopping for your next foundation.

Shade Range - An extensive shade range makes it easier to find a shade close enough to your complexion. When looking at the shades, understanding your undertone is especially important because a good undertone match will provide a seamless makeup look. You can always ask a sales associate to help you match your undertone, or refer to our guide here.

Coverage - Depending on your preference, most foundations are broken into three coverage categories: light, medium, and full. Lighter consistencies are similar to skin tints and BB/CC creams; they are sheer and lightweight, and enhance your skin, but don't necessarily conceal blemishes or dark spots as well as fuller coverage foundations. Medium and full coverage formulas cover most (if not all) spots and hyperpigmentation.

Finish: There are many foundation finishes you can choose from, including matte, natural, or dewy. Dry skin should favor foundations with a natural or dewy finish, while oily skin should typically reach for matte/soft-matte formulas.

What is the best way to apply foundation?

To avoid a mess-free application, it's always best to apply foundation with a brush. But certain formulas call for other tools. Light foundations can be applied with your fingers if you're looking to subtly enhance your natural skin. For the thicker formulas, brushes and makeup sponges help to evenly coat your skin, and can be used to build up the coverage to your desired look.

5 Foundations for Oily Skin

Oily skin is both a blessing and a problem: those with naturally oily skin tend to show signs of aging at a slower rate, however, no one wants to have a slick, shiny complexion in exchange for this benefit. Below are five foundations that will help even out skin tone and keep your face looking polished and oily-free.

Related: MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance

Revlon ColorStay Makeup for combination/oily skin, $19,

The ColorStay formula can be worn undiluted to create a full-coverage finish or can be applied with a damp sponge for a more natural-looking finish. Regardless of how you choose to apply it, it will not budge until you remove it (and an oil-based remover is in your best interest to effectively remove this foundation). This is due to Revlon’s patented SoftFlex technology, which is a polymer that allows extended wear without transferring, fading or drying skin out.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, $64,

This liquid-to-powder formula glides on effortlessly and sets to a radiant matte finish that is anything but dull. While it’s clearly geared towards anyone with oily skin, the formula contains anti-aging ingredients such as Lavandox, which inhibits muscle contractions that lead to fine lines and wrinkles, making it an interesting addition to any anti-aging skin care regimen. A little goes a long way with this formula, so a single bottle will last for quite some time.

Clinique Stay Matte Oil-free Makeup, $29,

Another patent-pending formula for oily skin that’s been tested at 31 degrees Celsius in 80% humidity to prove that it is sweat-resistant, and controls sebum production. The shade range is particularly appealing for deeper skin tones with red undertones.

Chanel MAT LUMIÈRE Luminous Matte Powder Makeup SPF 10, $63, at Chanel counters

This powder foundation can be applied dry with a sponge for a natural velvety finish, can be dusted on with a powder brush for lighter coverage (or worn as a mattifying setting powder), or applied with a damp sponge for long-lasting wear. The functionality of this single compact alone makes it ideal for travel and touch-ups on the go. Silicone polymers are at the base of this formula’s staying power.

Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+, $42,

A full-coverage, water-resistant liquid foundation formula that provides a natural matte finish offered in extensive shades ranging from very fair to deep skin tones. This formula controls oil with cornstarch and is water-resistant through amino acid coating pigments that provide such an effect. It also contains glycerin to ensure skin will not be dried out by this long-wearing formula.

Related: Shiseido Spring 2013 Makeup Collection

By Poonam Kaur Billing

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

Leave a Comment