Our foundation needs change as we age. The best foundation for mature skin will blur pores and enhance the skin while not settling into fine lines and wrinkles. Bonus points for added skincare benefits.
It’s simply more frustrating to find a good foundation when you’re over 40. And I find that many websites try to label everyone with mature skin as having dry skin, which just isn’t true. While we do need more hydration as we age due to skin changes, many of us have a difficult time finding a foundation for mature skin that mattifies without looking heavy, powdery, or cakey or that gives radiance with looking too dewy and greasy.
If you’re like me, different occasions call for different types of foundations. And of course, different skin types have different foundation needs. Many of my mature skin foundation picks are perfect for any skin type. But there are definitely foundations that are suited towards a specific skin type. For reference, I have oily/combination skin but enjoy foundations of all types.
Below are my holy grail picks for various categories of high-end foundations. If you’re looking for budget foundations, I have a drugstore foundation video HERE and will be converting it to a blog post shortly.
Looking for the best BB and CC creams? Check my picks out HERE.
My detailed review video of these foundations is below. You can see all of my NC25 / NC30 foundation shade matches HERE.
Best Natural Radiant Foundation
Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Radiance Perfecting Foundation barely beat out Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation for the top spot. I’m so glad I discovered this foundation earlier this year. It’s truly lovely for any skin type.
It’s hard for us oily/combo gals to achieve the naturally healthy, radiant, glowy look and not look greasy several hours later. But Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière delivers a beautiful, natural radiance without looking like an oil slick, even in my hot, humid climate. It provides medium to full, buildable coverage while feeling lightweight and giving natural, long-wearing coverage.
For mature skin specifically, it blurs, smooths, and just presents your skin in a very flattering light. As a bonus, Flawless Lumière has some nice ingredients like: vitamin C (over time reveals brighter, clearer, more even-toned skin), super crystal clear pearl (reflects light), and silver ear mushroom extract (diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles).
Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Foundation is perfect for any skin type. I have the shade Macadamia, which is a bit too light for me. You can find Flawless Lumiere HERE. I deepen this foundation with my beloved Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi drops. D-Bronzi is invaluable to me for deepening foundations (for summertime or if they’re too light) without changing the texture. You can also add it to your moisturizer or primer for added glow. I’m on my second tube! You can find D-Bronzi HERE.
Best Skin Like Foundation (Light Coverage)
I recently did a video on foundations that look like skin which includes this foundation. I also have another skin like foundation in this list which gives a bit more coverage. But this is my pick for a sheer to light coverage foundation that evens out my skin tone. You know, the foundation you choose when you want to really fool people into thinking that’s what your bare skin looks like? This is it. It truly looks like I’m not wearing makeup yet it controls my shine throughout the day (which is really important if you have oily skin or live in a hot climate).
I find myself reaching for the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Fluid Powder Foundation a LOT. I should tell you that I’ve never liked liquid to powder foundations until discovering this bad boy. You should also know that it does self-set. But not so quickly that you don’t have time to work with it in sections (see my application video under my Full Coverage foundation pick below for this super easy technique).
It settles into a soft matte finish and has UV filters in that not only protect from UV rays but from blue light as well. This foundation also has a protein powder complex that’s supposed to keep your skin looking smooth and healthy. I just love the way my skin looks when I wear this. My pores look diminished. It never settles into fine lines, creases, or wrinkles.
Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Fluid Powder Foundation offers sheer to light coverage and is perfect for oily and oily/combination skin and for anyone who gets shiny in the hot months and wants to stay matte but look natural. I would not recommend it for normal to dry skin. I mix Warm Beige and Natural Tan most of the year and wear Natural Tan in the summer. You can find it HERE.
Best Bulletproof Foundation for Soft Matte Skin
When I want a medium to medium/full coverage, soft matte, sweat-proof foundation to keep me shine-free (and maintenance-free) for a long time, I reach for Too Faced Peach Perfect Comfort Matte Foundation. Peach Perfect is usually my go-to foundation for special occasions, like, say, a wedding where there’s a lot of dancing.
The light-weight, long-wearing, oil-free formula looks beautiful and natural on the skin. It also blurs pores and never settles in fine lines or creases. It does have a peach and sweet fig cream scent upon application, which I find is completely unnoticeable once my makeup is applied. I adore this foundation for both day and night.
Too Faced Peach Perfect Foundation is great for normal, combination, and oily skin. I wear shade Warm Nude. You can find it HERE.
Best Powder Foundation for Mature Skin
Recently, I did a video covering my best and worst powder foundations. I have a few really great powder foundations that I love for different reasons. But when I think about the very best powder foundation for mature skin and for me, it needs to have very versatile coverage, nice longevity, and look natural. For me, MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation fits the bill, which is surprising. Many years ago, I recall disliking this formula because it broke me out and was heavy. I’m not sure if they changed the formula, but I adore it now.
I’m extremely picky with powder foundations as many slip off my face or break down very quickly, despite using the best primers and studying sprays. Studio Fix is long-wearing without looking cakey or powdery. I also adore its versatility. I can have very light coverage if I apply with a brush or medium to full coverage with a sponge. It blurs and smooths the skin and doesn’t settle into lines. Not to mention all the shades that are available.
Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation is great for all skin types and is especially great for oily and combination skin. I wear shade NC25 most of the year and NC30 in summer. You can find it HERE.
Best Full Coverage Foundation for Mature Skin
I can’t even count how many videos I’ve done that include Estee Lauder Double Wear. This is, in my opinion, the best full coverage foundation for mature skin, or any age for that matter. I definitely think that the name can be off-putting. It sounds like it’s going to look like a mask, right? But if applied correctly, Double Wear never looks cakey and is extremely flattering on all skin types. It wears like nothing else out there and is buildable from medium to full coverage while looking natural. It’s is also a great mixer if you have another foundation that you want to get a little bit more coverage out of or have last longer.
Now, if you’ve tried Double Wear and have had less than stellar results, head HERE. I promise it will help you.
Because both Double Wear and Too Faced Peach Perfect are both bulletproof, I’ll share some differences. Double Wear isn’t quite as matte as Peach Perfect. Double Wear is more of a velvety-soft matte finish that can sometimes look a bit satiny (but not greasy). I do have to blot more with Double Wear, though not often. And while Peach Perfect will take you through a 12-14 hour day/night, Double Wear will take you through a 24 hour day with zero problems.
There’s a reason it’s been around for so long, why it’s used on so many brides, and why it continues to be on “top foundation” lists.
Estee Lauder Double Wear is perfect for oily-combination skin, though all skin types have been known to wear and love it. I wear 2W1 Dawn most of the year and 2W2 Rattan in the summer. You can find it HERE.
Best Skin Like Foundation (Medium to Med/Full Coverage)
This is probably the most versatile foundation I own. Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation is a foundation that truly looks like skin even when built it from totally natural coverage to medium/full coverage. It seems to melt into the skin instead of getting thicker on top of the skin as you build coverage. It’s a miracle of sorts.
Dior Backstage is waterproof and sweat-resistant, which is perfect for New Orleans heat and humidity. I’ve worn this outdoors many times in the dead of summer and it has held up beautifully.
A lot of makeup artists keep this in their kits because it’s great for any skin type and for achieving various coverage levels. In addition, I find that this foundation takes on the finish of various primers really well. So, depending on my mood, I can change the look with a radiant, natural or matte primer.
Dior Backstage blurs the pores phenomenally. Both Dior Backstage and Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Powder Foundation are skin-like foundations that make you look like you genuinely have really great skin that has smaller pores. Bobbi Brown is more sheer/light, controls oil, and is better for oily/combo skin, while Dior has more coverage and spans all skin types.
Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation is perfect for any skin type. I mix shades 2N and 2.5N most of the year and wear 2.5N in the summer. You can find it HERE.
Best Stick Foundation
I’ve tried numerous stick foundations over the years and never found one that I truly loved. Sure, I found a couple that worked decently well, but none completely blew my socks off. The popular ones seemed to break up or slide off my face or emphasize dry patches I didn’t even know I had. There was just always something I didn’t like.
Enter the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick which somehow lasts on my combo/oily skin, despite the normal/dry claims. I truly didn’t think this stick foundation would work for me. But I had heard it had worked for others with my skin type, so I took a chance. Boy am I glad!
I find that once I set it with powder, this gives me a gorgeous, natural, flawless finish. It blends out super easily and doesn’t settle into fine lines as the day goes on or slip off my face.
What I find truly unique about the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick is that it’s not just lightweight, but it feels really good on my skin. I’ve found that with a lot of foundation sticks I’ve tried in the past, I could feel them sitting on my skin.
At first, I couldn’t believe I spent the money on this product. But honestly, it’s kind of like when you try ten drugstore products and you could have just bought the one high-end product that works. I’ve tried so many stick foundations before this one but should have just grabbed this long ago.
Although Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation claims to be best for normal to dry skin types, I know there are numerous oily/combo skinned people out there who love it. I wear 6.0 Natural. You can find it HERE or HERE.
SHOP THE POST
Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick • Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation • Estee Lauder Double Wear • MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation • Too Faced Peach Perfect Comfort Matte Foundation • Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Fluid Powder Foundation • Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Radiance Perfecting Foundation
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