35 Best Drugstore Foundations for All Skin Type

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best drugstore foundations

Every foundation has a different gimmick. They all have different formulas and finishes. They’re all designed with different skin types in mind. When it comes down to it, you can quickly feel lost navigating the beauty section of your local drugstore. With so many options and no testers available, how will you know which foundation is going to work out for you?

Department stores and specialty beauty retailers will generally let you try the product – and some even offer samples so you can give the foundation a shot for a few days before you drop your hard-earned money on the product. At the drugstore, you don’t have that luxury. If you purchase something and you don’t like it, you’re stuck with the product depending on the drugstore’s return policy.

Use this as your ultimate shopping guide. You’ll easily be able to recognize your holy grail drugstore foundation once you’ve tried it, and this is a guide that can narrow down the wide market of products to help you get one step closer to the foundation of your dreams.

Table of content

Best Drugstore Full Coverage Foundations
Best Drugstore Foundation for Combination Skin
Best Drugstore Foundation for Oily Skin
Best Drugstore Foundation for Dry Skin
Best Drugstore Foundation for Acne Skin
Best Drugstore Powder Foundation
Best Drugstore Pressed Powder

Best Drugstore Full Coverage Foundations

Full coverage foundations are rarely targeted toward skin types, and most of the time, that’s alright. Since full coverage foundations are intended to be used on special occasions, wearing them once in a while is unlikely to create an imbalance on your skin. Just remember to remove your foundation and properly cleanse your face before you call it a night!

NYX Invincible Fullest Coverage Foundation

 NYX Invincible Fullest Coverage Foundation

Invincible is comparable to Dermablend. If you aren’t familiar with Dermablend, it’s one of the fullest coverage foundations that’s ever been made commercially available. Invincible is tough enough to cover acne marks or scars, boasting one of the highest pigment concentrations out of any drugstore foundation. It’s so full coverage that you may look flat if you don’t add in some highlight and contour – this is the closest thing to paint you can get for your face.

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Up to 24 Hr Demi-Matte Finish Foundation

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Up to 24 Hr Demi-Matte Finish Foundation

This foundation is said to be the equivalent of Urban Decay’s Naked Skin foundation, only at about one third of the price. The finish you’ll get from Infallible Pro-Matte is very similar to the finish you’ll get from Naked Skin, and there’s another huge bonus – many users report that Infallible Pro-Matte lasts a little longer while boasting the same full coverage.

Revlon Colorstay for Normal Skin Makeup with SoftFlex

Revlon Colorstay for Normal Skin Makeup with SoftFlex

Revlon Colorstay is often touted as a dupe for MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid. While both foundations have a similar consistency, most people report that Colorstay feels a little less drying on the skin. This foundation is hard to remove and it sets very quickly, but you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that offers fuller coverage. Just work with it quickly!

Rimmel Lasting Finish Liquid Foundation

Rimmel Lasting Finish Liquid Foundation

Rimmel’s longwearing offering packs a hefty punch in the coverage department. There is one minor downside to this foundation – some people find it drying. If you moisturize your face and apply a primer beforehand, the dryness won’t be nearly as bad. It’s worth spending a few extra minutes prepping your face to be able to save money on this less-expensive foundation.

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

Stay Matte is the least expensive offering on the list, which makes it the most appealing option for teenagers who experience acne. You’ll get full coverage and a beautiful complexion at a price you can’t afford. You can’t beat the sweet spot of quality and value offered by Rimmel. The coverage is so good, you may be able to skip the concealer. With its superior matte finish, you may not even need a setting powder!

Best Drugstore Foundation for Combination Skin

When it comes to base makeup, combination skin can be tricky. Foundation doesn’t know how to target and address different areas of your face. Combination skin requires balance, and you’ll most likely need to use a few different products to achieve the right balance. The most common type of combination skin is the mixture of normal skin and oily skin – regular skin in some areas, but oily zones that tend to pop up throughout the day.

Revlon ColorStay for Combination/Oily Skin Makeup with SoftFlex

Revlon ColorStay for Combination/Oily Skin Makeup with SoftFlex

This foundation boasts a good balance. Even though the name suggests it’s good for oily skin, it may not have the chops to stand up to the oiliest of skin types. People with combination skin that features lightly oily zones swear by its ability to stay intact all day, without ever needing a touch-up. If you have any concerns, you can always carry blotting tissues for your t-zone. You probably won’t need them, but peace of mind is always welcome.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation

Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation

This foundation offers a little oil resistance, which is exactly what a combination skin type needs. The majority of your face will look fresh and intact throughout the day, and your oily zones will see little product breakdown. It helps to set this foundation with loose powder, paying close attentions to the zones and accumulate breakout oil. You’ll be fine with a little backup.

CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-In-1 Foundation

CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-In-1 Foundation

Outlast Stay Fabulous is perfect for combination skin because of its finish. This foundation offers a satin finish, which is a little matte, but a little radiant. It’s a difficult finish to find in foundations, and CoverGirl really knocked it out of the park with this one. Because it’s slightly mattifying without feeling dry on the skin, this is great for people whose combination skin is an even mix of normal and oily. It will provide an even texture, and grab onto all zones of your skin equally.

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation

Match Perfection boasts an impressive combination of moisturizers and mattifying ingredients. It’s hard to find a foundation that addresses skin that is combination dry, and this is one of the only products you’ll find that meets those specifications. It’s a lightweight formula that’s soothing on dry patches without creating shiny spots on normal zones.

Wet n Wild CoverAll Crème Foundation

Wet n Wild CoverAll Crème Foundation

CoverAll contains a complex that rids the skin of excess oils, but does not completely mattify the skin. This helps the wearer achieve the difficult balance that they’re looking for. You want your oil to stay at bay, but you don’t want your foundation to crack on the planes of your face that don’t accumulate oil. With CoverAll, you’re getting exactly what you need. It’s matte, but not too matte. You’ll be able to wear it comfortably, and that’s always a plus.

Best Drugstore Foundation for Oily Skin

Oily skin is a lot harder to shop for than you may think. Many makeup brands believe that all oily skin needs is a strong mattifying foundation. While that’s partially true, as mattifying foundations tend to prevent excess oil from seeping through their finish, there’s also a remarkable downside. Oftentimes, foundations that are intensely mattifying become difficult to wear. They dry, they crack, and they break down. On the other hand, some companies produce foundations that aren’t mattifying enough, which is almost as bad!

Boots No. 7 Beautifully Matte Foundation

Boots No. 7 Beautifully Matte Foundation

This foundation is designed to hold up to the trials and tribulations of even the oiliest skin, all without causing discomfort for the wearer. It’s the perfect matte finish without the dry, cracking texture. Even the oiliest skin types can make this foundation work. If you’re concerned, you can always top it with a loose translucent setting powder to help it stay locked on.

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation

Stay Matte But Not Flat is the answer to a problem that a lot of people face. Matte foundations are great for oily skin, but they sometimes leave our complexions looking dull and sallow. This is because matte foundations concentrate pigments very heavily, allowing none of our skin texture to show through. This foundation is a happy medium. You’ll be able to get that matte finish that protects you against breakthrough oil without sacrificing radiance.

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Transforming Foundation

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Transforming Foundation

What makes SuperStay a great choice for oily skin is its skin balancing ingredients. At first, you may have to set this foundation with a powder to make it through the day. After you’ve worn it for a few weeks, its key ingredients will begin to take effect. The end result is skin that’s more balanced, thanks to the nutrients in the formula. This is both a foundation and a skin serum that can keep your oily woes away.

Almay TLC Truly Lasting Color 16 Hour Liquid Makeup

Almay TLC Truly Lasting Color 16 Hour Liquid Makeup

Almay is known for their gentle products, and that’s why this foundation makes the list. TLC is a long wearing foundation with a semi matte finish, but it’s formulated with sensitive skin in mind. A lot of people with oily skin struggle to find a foundation that will work for them, because they often experience adverse reactions to harsh ingredients in many foundations. With TLC, you’re less likely to experience a negative reaction.

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation

If your skin is only slightly oily, you probably have a difficult time finding a foundation that works for you. Oily skin foundations are often too dry, but normal skin foundations simply don’t make the cut. Dream Matte Mousse is a great alternative for oily skinned people who have a hard time finding the ideal amount of oil protection. Light oil buildup will be cast aside, and you won’t have to worry about excessive drying.

Best Drugstore Foundation for Dry Skin

Dry skin can certainly be hard to work with at times. Longwearing or matte foundations will sometimes grab onto dry patches, causing our complexions to look flaky and uneven. This makes most foundation a no-go for dry skinned beauties who crave a radiant, flawless finish. If you suffer from dry skin, you want to find a foundation that incorporates some kind of skin care that will help address the problem. You’ll usually find these marketed as anti-aging foundations. In most cases, moisturizing foundations are enough to do the trick. Just make sure you apply your regular moisturizer before you apply foundation.

CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation

CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation

This one is easy to recognize, as it’s been around for a long time. This foundation is swirled with a special Olay moisturizer that helps prime the skin and keep it feeling soft. It will hydrate dull and dry patches as it provides medium coverage to the skin. Try applying this foundation with clean hands, massaging it into your skin to make sure you’re getting the maximum effects from the moisturizer.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Radiant Firming Liquid Makeup

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Radiant Firming Liquid Makeup

Dry skin tends to look dull because of all of the dead cells stuck to its surface. These weigh the skin down, causing it to look droopy beneath the eyes or along the jaw. Instant Age Rewind provides adequate moisture while also combining ingredients that revitalize the skin. Not only will your skin look plump and hydrated – it will also look livelier and firmer. No foundation is a miracle cure for aging, but this one can at least provide some short term benefits that will help you look your best for a few hours.

CoverGirl Advanced Radiance SPF 10 Age-Defying Sunscreen Makeup

CoverGirl Advanced Radiance SPF 10 Age-Defying Sunscreen Makeup

The sun is one of the biggest enemies of dry skin. Since the sun makes us sweat and dry skin already lacks moisture, you’ll quickly find that this combination is your downfall. Advanced Radiance is designed to replenish skins radiant appearance that disappears with sun damage. While this makeup does contain broad spectrum sunscreen, it doesn’t contain enough alone. Try wearing it over top of a moisturizer that contains a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher for complete effects.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup

This foundation is widely regarded as a dupe for the beloved Nars Sheer Glow foundation, and it earns its reputation. This is a lightweight foundation that provides light to medium coverage in a sheer, buildable formula. It’s designed to provide nourishment to your skin, and its thin formula will cover the skin without grabbing onto unsightly dry patches. If all you’ve ever wanted is radiant, dewy skin, Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup is the best choice for you.

Revlon Age Defying With DNA Liquid Makeup

Revlon Age Defying With DNA Liquid Makeup

It doesn’t matter how old you are – you just need a high level of moisture. You want the burden of dryness away from your skin, and you want a boosted, smooth complexion that gives the appearance that you are fresh, awake, and ready to take on the world. This foundation can give it to you. With its high concentration of moisturizer, skin repairing peptide complex, and positive rating for sensitive skin, there’s no one with dry skin who won’t benefit from Revlon Age Defying DNA Liquid Makeup.

Best Drugstore Foundation for Acne Skin

Acne hates foundation, and you hate acne. Because of this, you may find yourself in a conundrum. You want your breakouts to disappear, but you don’t want to make them worse by applying a harsh foundation. Thankfully, most drugstore makeup brands understand your struggle, and that’s how the “clean” foundation was born. These foundations are formulated to do the least amount of damage to acne prone skin, while covering unsightly active breakouts.

CoverGirl Clean Oil Control Liquid Makeup

CoverGirl Clean Oil Control Liquid Makeup

CoverGirl Clean comes in two formulas, but people with acne will most likely find the Oil Control formula to be the most beneficial. This non-comedogenic (a fancy word for “won’t cause blackheads”) foundation will give you the coverage you need while combating the buildup of acne causing skin oils. If you’re working with oily, acne prone skin, you’ll find CoverGirl’s Clean line to be very agreeable.

Rimmel Clean Finish Foundation

Rimmel Clean Finish Foundation

This foundation contains vitamins A and E to promote healthy, nourished skin. It’s formulated with mineral powders that are designed to control breakthrough shine without clogging your temperamental pores. Since this foundation is fragrance free, it’s less likely to irritate sensitive areas of your face that are prone to redness or swollen breakouts.

Neutrogena SkinClearing Liquid Makeup

Neutrogena SkinClearing Liquid Makeup

This oil-free foundation contains MicroClear, which is Neutrogena’s prized acne eliminating treatment. It uses salicylic acid to speed up the healing process for existing blemishes while preventing the emergence of new breakouts. It’s pigmented enough to cover your blemishes, and since it’s also treating them, this foundation offers the perfect win-win situation.

Almay Clear Complexion Blemish Healing Liquid Makeup

Almay Clear Complexion Blemish Healing Liquid Makeup

Almay bills this foundation as being a 4 in 1 product. It’s designed to cover, clear, calm, and control acne. Its skin targeting ingredients work against acne, preventing the worsening of existing blemishes and reducing the potential for the development of more. Rather than being mattifying like most anti-acne foundations, this one offers a slightly radiant coverage that still combats oil buildup.

E.L.F. Acne Fighting Foundation

E.L.F. Acne Fighting Foundation

E.L.F.’s offering is impressive, especially for its price point. This lightweight foundation contains a number of ingredients that have been proven to fight and control acne. With witch hazel, salicylic acid, tea tree oil, aloe, and camphor, this foundation is packed with ingredients that are valuable to acne sufferers. This foundation may be too harsh for you if your acne is mild – this is the toughest of the tough, and it should only be used by people with oily skin who experience very frequent breakouts.

Best Drugstore Powder Foundation

There’s no shortage of reasons to opt for a powder foundation. Some people like to layer powder foundations on top of liquid or cream foundations to create a bulletproof full coverage finish. Other people simply want to control shine and oil without putting and excessive amount of product on their faces. Some people with sensitive skin find that mineral powder foundations promote the health of their skin, reducing the potential for clogged pores, breakouts, and irritation.

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation

This one is best for people with oily to combination skin types. NYX is well known for their finely milled, HD quality powders and powder foundations that can stand up to professional quality video and photos. You’ll get enough coverage to look glamorous at important events, and you won’t have to worry about the texture of your powder foundation causing you to look ashy or ghostlike in flash photography.

Free Mineral Loose Powder

Physician’s Formula MineralWear Talc-Free Mineral Loose Powder

Physician’s Formula has created a foundation that rivals Bare Minerals with their MineralWear line. These are loose powder mineral foundations that provide just the right amount of coverage without leaving behind too noticeable of a texture. This foundation is so soft and so blendable that anyone with any skin type will be able to put it to good use. Its impossible to go wrong with its natural, flawless finish.

Milani Even Touch Powder Foundation

Milani Even Touch Powder Foundation

Even Touch Powder Foundation is so smooth that you can build the coverage without having to fear that cakey look. A few swipes will provide a sheer to light coverage, and patting the product on can provide a medium to full coverage. Just make sure you use a large powder brush to dust off the excess after you’ve patted the foundation onto your skin. This will give you an airbrushed finish and remove the loose powder particles sitting on the surface of your skin.

Honeybee Gardens Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation

Honeybee Gardens Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation

If you’re into natural products, they don’t get much better than Honeybee Gardens. This foundation is vegan and certified talc, paraben, fragrance, and oil free. It doesn’t get much more natural than this. This powder foundation can be used on its own, or used to set a liquid foundation to add a little more coverage. You’ll get a satin finish that prevents oil buildup

L’Oreal Paris True Match Gentle Mineral Makeup

L’Oreal Paris True Match Gentle Mineral Makeup

People love L’Oreal’s True Match range for its versatility. With so many shades, everyone is able to find their perfect match. The same goes for the True Match Gentle Mineral foundation, which offers a much wider selection than competitive products. Designed with sensitive skin in mind, this foundation serves as a catch-all for anyone and everyone who is looking to find a top-quality drugstore powder foundation.

Best Drugstore Pressed Powder

No look would be complete without a pressed powder. These powders are used to set foundation, helping it stay all day. They also provide a smooth texture to the skin, making our faces look healthy and flawless. Some powders are translucent, and others come tinted to help add a little more coverage and evenness to our skin tones. Pressed powder is the quintessential finishing touch to any base makeup.

NYX HD Setting Powder

NYX HD Setting Powder

This powder is translucent, though it looks white in the compact. Once you’ve applied it, it’s completely invisible. This micro-milled pressed powder can stand up to the scrutiny of any photo or video you’re in, giving you an airbrushed, angelic finish that mimics perfect natural skin.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Stay Matte Pressed Powder is lightly tinted, providing the smallest bit of backup coverage when used to set your favorite foundation. This powder is great for people with oily skin, as it helps combat shininess that often accumulates in the T-Zone. Since it’s so expensive, why not buy two? Keep one at your makeup table and take the other with you in your purse to use for touchups throughout the day. You’ll be thankful you did.

Revlon Colorstay Pressed Powder

Revlon Colorstay Pressed Powder

This sheer pressed powder works as a wonderful compliment to any of the products in the Colorstay line. It’s lightweight and flexible, designed to set foundation and under-eye concealer that can sometimes smudge or travel across our faces throughout the day. It’s delicate enough to use beneath the eye area without caking up, making it succeed where many other pressed powders often fail.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder

Like most Neutrogena products, this powder is formulated with skin conditioning ingredients. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, you’ll be able to achieve a smooth complexion all while improving the health of your skin. Try using it to set your favorite Neutrogena foundation to get a combination of all of the benefits that the brand offers throughout their product line.

Boots No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder

Boots No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder

When you think of light infusing pressed powders, high-end brands like Hourglass generally come to mind. Boots No7’s Perfect Light Pressed Powder will give you an effect comparable to Hourglass’s powder, for substantially less cash. If you want your setting powder to give you a soft glow, you’ll find that this is perfect.

Don’t feel like you have to spend a ton of money at specialty beauty retailers to get a good quality foundation or powder. There are plenty of cost effective alternatives at your local drugstore waiting to be discovered. Anyone with any skin type, any budget, and any desired look will be able to find something that will work for them – and most of the time, it’s comparable to something that you’d spend twice as much money on.

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  • Eric Nguyen
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