There have been a lot of discussions lately amongst my friends regarding their favorite drugstore foundations. I wasn’t surprised that this was of interest, drugstore foundations have come a long way in the last ten to fifteen years and are pretty amazing now. What did surprise me was how often my friends try new products and still come back to the same foundations over and over. There’s a reason these products stand out!
For Makeup Wars we decided to share our favorite drugstore foundations and concealers. I had enough foundations to share that I decided to ignore concealers for today. I’ll tackle those soon, I promise!
1. For Aging Skin, try Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector (at Amazon, or ULTA): This is more of a BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizer than foundation, a sheer coverage product with hydration and active ingredients to help fight aging! You’ll find Retinol, the gold standard ingredient for topical skin care to even out skin tone, increase cell turn over and improve fine lines and wrinkles. It also has a dewier finish, great for skin that has become drier as you’ve gotten older.
2. The Drugstore Cushion Compact worth trying is Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation (buy it from ULTA or Amazon): I love the cushion compact foundations! They’re lightweight and have good coverage with a more luminous finish. I use a more expensive version from Lancome, but this Maybelline version is very, very close. I’ve tried other drugstore versions, this is the one you should try first.
3. Cult FavoriteL’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup (buy it from ULTA or Amazon): When this foundation came out, beauty junkies everywhere rejoiced! It offers a broad range of shades that blend well, have medium coverage than can easily build to full coverage, and has a luminous finish that looks great on oily or dry skin.
4. The best drugstore BB Cream is Maybelline Dream Fresh BB (buy it from ULTA or Amazon): This light to medium coverage BB cream just blends perfectly into skin and stays put all day. It works particularly well on oily skin, and comes in the regular lightweight version and one with Salicylic Acid for acne prone skin (you can find that one at Amazon).
5. The Long Lasting Duo of L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte (buy it from ULTA or Amazon) and Pro-Glow Foundations (buy it from ULTA or Amazon): This is a long lasting duo of foundations, one is matte and better suited for oily skin; while the other is a dewy finish and better for drier skin. They both offer medium to full coverage and can be built upon to add more coverage. I love to mix them together for a luminous but semi-matte finish! You can read my full L’Oreal Infallible foundation review here. Note that Maybelline offers a similar duo in their Fit Me foundations, but I have found they are a lighter coverage product and don’t last quite as long as the L’Oreal.
6. For Acne Prone Skin try Neutrogena SkinClearing Liquid Makeup (buy it from ULTA or Amazon): If you want a semi-matte finish and need to fight blemishes, this foundation offers salicylic acid and won’t clog pores. Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB also offers a salicylic acid version, but I’ve found this is a bit gentler and offers more coverage.
7. For One Step Coverage, try CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation (buy it from ULTA or Amazon): This is super creamy and moisturizing, but blends perfectly and is enough coverage that I don’t need to pair it with a separate concealer.
8. For Dry Skin, try Revlon ColorStay Whipped Creme Makeup (buy it from ULTA or Amazon): This foundation is actually a Red Carpet secret of many Hollywood celeb makeup artists! It is hydrating, offers great coverage and won’t settle into dry, flaky areas.
9. To Customize Your Coverage, get NYX Total Control Drop Foundation (at ULTA or NYX): Super pigmented foundation drops like this aren’t new, but in the past they’ve only been found at much higher price points. This one works just as well, but at a fraction of the price! You can layer more drops for additional coverage or mix it into products like moisturizer or even your foundation for a little more coverage.
Honorable Mention: Both CoverGirl TruBlend Liquid Makeup (get it from ULTA or Amazon) and Revlon ColorStay (at ULTA or Amazon) have been mentioned by a lot of my friends. They both have medium coverage that can build to full coverage, blend well and last all day. I didn’t include them in the graphic because I’ve tried them and the L’Oreal Infallible foundations, and I feel that the L’Oreal is simply better (for me at least!), though the CoverGirl and Revlon are close! It is likely one of those things where something just works a bit better for one person.