Many people use a drugstore foundation in their quest to have healthier and younger looking skin.
The right foundation can cover anything from blemishes to fine lines and even hyper-pigmentation.
If you spend enough time on social media, you will understand why drugstore foundations are sought-after by beauty enthusiasts. If you choose the right formula for your skin type, you will reap the benefits of wearing foundation. Here are the ten best drugstore foundations:
1. L’Oreal True Match Foundation
Best Foundation For Full Coverage: L’Oreal offers a foundation which is available in 23 shades, and as the name suggests, there is indeed a shade for everyone. Alongside this, the foundation matches 98% of skin tones. The new and improved formula contains three new shade enhancers for matching precision. Skin perfecting pigments and velvety texture also ensure a flawless finish. It also provides longer wear and exceptional comfort. It is very hard to fault this foundation as the majority of fans have reported good results as far as total effect is concerned.
2. NYX Cosmetics Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation
NYX’s Stay Matte Not Flat does a lot more than just mattify the skin. The oil-free and water based formula provides a mineral-enriched matte finish. Mineral makeup has many benefits which include helping to soothe, heal and protect the skin. It also creates a barrier between the skin, elements and free radicals. Available in 28 shades, it also caters to each undertone so it’s hard to go wrong with this foundation.
3. Iman Second To None Stick Foundation
Providing medium to full coverage, this lightweight, oil free foundation stick creates a natural matte finish. Whether you preference is light, medium or full coverage, this buildable foundation caters to your needs. Every foundation from IMAN Cosmetics contains vitamins, which are great for the skin. The difference between stick foundations and liquid foundations is that they are much easier to apply: within minutes you will have flawless looking skin. They also blend out pretty quickly too. IMAN Cosmetics is applauded for being one of the first cosmetic brands to formulate foundations based on skin undertones.
On the brand’s website, there is a Find Your Shade tool which helps you determine which shade group you fall under: Sand, Clay or Earth.To finish, all you need is a dash of setting powder to guarantee a shine free complexion all day.
4. Elf Flawless Finish Foundation
This best seller from Elf Cosmetics comes in 40 different shades. This lightweight, oil free formula is creating a buzz in the beauty world with many influencers claiming that it lasts all day! As if that wasn’t enough, it also restores uneven skin textures and tones for visibly brighter skin and is perfect for all skin types. Some customers have even rated this foundation as ‘better than department store makeup’. For a foundation that’s under £7, it’s a steal. Another benefit is the SPF 15, which makes it perfect for use on summer days. Elf advise applying the foundation on your forehead, nose, cheeks, chin, jawline and upper neck. Once this is done, blend out the foundation evenly by using a blending sponge or foundation brush. Repetition is advised for added coverage.
5. Revolution Conceal and Define Foundation
Since Revolution unveiled this winner just over a year ago, the beauty industry just can’t get enough. One foundation that does two things is an essential for anybody’s beauty bag. With an offering of over 50 shades, the foundation diffuses blemishes and uneven skin tone. For those who prefer more of a natural look, add a small amount to a damp beauty blender for veil-like coverage. The Conceal and Define Foundation is vegan and cruelty free. It is also free from parabens and oils. If you are unsure about which shade would be right for you, fret no further: there is a very descriptive shade finder so finding out which colour your undertone is before purchase is advised.
6. Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation
Anyone with oily/combination skin longs for the poreless look. If you’re a fan, there’s now an equally effective foundation. While most foundations can look thick and cakey, this one matches skin tone and texture.The mattifying liquid formula is ideal for normal to oily skin, and also contains micro powers to control shine and blur pores. This foundation is one of few on the high street to be dermatologically tested and is non comedogenic.
7. Revlon Colorstay Foundation
This budget friendly option from Revlon is perfect for those with oily/combination skin.The colour stays true to skin all day long, which makes it even more appealing. Nobody wants their foundation oxidizing by the end of the day (which is what happens with most). As well as a matte finish, this foundation has also been formulated with salicylic acid, which helps to control oil and provide a poreless finish. Another great thing about this foundation is its waterproof properties. It clings to your face practically making it budge proof. Your days of worrying about wind and rain affecting your makeup are over with this wonder.
8. Burt’s Bees Goodness Glows Foundation
Glowing skin is always in, regardless of the condition of your skin. This addition from Burt’s Bees is a mineral makeup that leaves skin looking smoother and radiant. The 98.9% natural moisturising foundation also hydrates and nourishes the skin. Acne sufferers will lean towards foundation more than most so it is important to look for a foundation that doesn’t clog up your pores.This foundation is perfect for dry and combination skin, so if you have sensitive skin, this is probably not for you.
9. The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation
Finding the perfect foundation when you have oily skin can seem like a mission. It’s a constant struggle of looking in the mirror several times a day to see if your makeup is still intact. People with oily skin deserve a foundation that mattifies skin and minimizes shine, and thanks to The Body Shop this is now possible. As well as being 100% vegan, this lightweight foundation is enriched with Tea Tree Oil and leaves a breathable, yet full coverage matte finish.
10. Milani Conceal and Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation and Concealer
In the past few years, Milani have extended their offering which now includes foundations. The Conceal and Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation applies seamlessly all over the face. With this foundation, there’ll be no need for a concealer as the formula is richly pigmented. You can create the coverage you desire while covering everything from blemishes and redness, to dark circles and imperfections. There are 29 options, which is a little less than some of the other foundations mentioned but many reviewers are reporting success in finding a suitable match.
Who should buy drugstore foundation?
People usually start experimenting with drugstore foundation in their teenage years. Most teens will have familiarised themselves with drugstore foundations before moving on to premium ones.
Skin issues are one of the common reasons why people turn to foundation. Foundation covers a multitude of imperfections, and also makes the skin looks flawless. People who have long days or hectic schedules will benefit from wearing foundation. If a lot of your time is spent out and about, you will also benefit from using an SPF. A high quality sunscreen is ideal for maintaining protection against ultraviolet rays. Whether you use foundation or not, wearing an SPF is essential.
Partly due to the rise of the influencer, beauty lovers are now in awe of all a budget foundation has to offer. Original drugstore foundation leaders such as Revlon, L’Oreal and Maybelline are firm favourites.
How we ranked
We looked for foundations that contained effective doses of skin enhancing ingredients. The most ingredient of all is Vitamin C, which is known to reduce skin damage and even out the skin tone. Clinical studies have found that in order for a product containing Vitamin C to be of biological significance, it would need to have a concentration of higher than 8%. (1)
The presence of vitamins plays a critical role in the effectiveness of a drugstore foundation. Manufacturers are required to share the ingredients of a foundations. Cosmetics (including foundations) must be labelled in accordance with trade laws. The key ingredients present in most cosmetics include water, emulsifiers, preservatives, thickeners, moisturisers, colours and fragrances. (2)
Other studies with a focus on the content of mineral makeup in foundation were also taken into consideration. According to manufacturers, it is made purely from crushed minerals and is said to comprise of zinc oxide and titanium oxide, two ingredients that are in the majority of foundations in the market. However, makeup that isn’t mineral based isn’t as effective at treating acne. (3)
Research has found that foundations with small concentrations of retinol proved to have a transformative effect, such as younger looking skin and a reduction of fine lines. However, consulting a dermatologist before hand is recommended (3). An article published by the AOCD supports the fact that retinol has been used extensively for treatment of acne, which may be the reason for it’s skin repairing benefits.
Every foundation should contain the following ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium oxide, bismuth oxychloride, retinyl palimate (vitamin A) and tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E) (4). Shade enhancers also play a role in ensuring that the foundation doesn’t oxidize. A minimum of 35% pigment is needed in order for full benefits to be reaped.
All foundations are great for promoting radiance. There are a few in the market that have been created to specifically boost the skin’s radiance and luminosity. Light reflecting pigments are usually responsible for this and combined with moisturising ingredients such as plant extracts, they aim to leave the skin glowing all day.
Foundation can also help to give the skin a pore-free look. The key to using foundation to minimize the appearance of pores is to know that less is more. Applying an excessive amount of makeup is a mistake made by many. All this will do is just clog up your pores and it will lead to that cakey look we all despise. The best thing to do is apply your foundation in small amounts and then use a mattifying powder and blotting papers to keep any oil at bay.
Blemishes can affect anyone’s confidence, so it’s great that a good foundation can help to reduce their appearance. In order to cover blemishes effectively, you’d need to be looking at using a medium or full coverage foundation. You may also want to use a concealer either before or after application.
Foundation also gives the skin a seamless look. The key to this is to apply your foundation in natural light. Applying foundation in artificial light isn’t recommended because it won’t highlight any areas that you may need to touch up again. As far as application tools are concerned, the best ones are beauty blenders and buffing brushes. Both are excellent for blending and are also great for any touch ups you may need throughout the day.
The options are endless.With four main types of coverage (full, light, medium and sheer), there is something for everybody. A full coverage foundation can cover anything from birth marks to hyper-pigmentation. It is highly pigmented and leaves the skin looking radiant.
Light cover can diminish blemishes but isn’t as pigmented as the others. Medium cover will reduce the appearance of discoloration and blemishes. Sheer cover is the least pigmented of them all. An example of a sheer cover foundation would be a BB cream. All a sheer cover foundation can do is minimize the contrast between discoloration and the rest of the skin tone. In simpler terms, it provides more of a natural look.
Make up is an art, and it does require diversification. Most people who apply makeup love to experiment with it. Once you become more confident with your skills, you’ll be able to master a variety of different looks. If you want to enhance your makeup skills, there are lots of videos and articles that can help with this.
Drugstore foundations can cause the skin to break out. It doesn’t matter how much your foundation costs or how many hours you have had it on for, it must be removed at the end of the day. Your skin will not thank you. Failing to remove foundation before you sleep can result in dull skin, breakouts and clogged pores. Bid farewell to sleeping with your makeup on now.
The wrong drugstore foundation can also cause a multitude of skin issues, which is why choosing the right formula is essential. Certain makeup products can make your skin look drier and oilier than it is. If you wear makeup every day, think about how you can protect your skin.
Chemicals known as parabens are used as preservatives to prevent bacterial growth in cosmetics. Parabens can cause various allergic reactions like skin irritation and blemishes. Another common allergen to be aware of is salicylate, which can cause hives if you have sensitive skin. The best way to avoid this is to read the label for parabens before you buy.
Prolonged use of cosmetics can have an impact on your health. It can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland. This could lead to a number of issues such as headaches, weight gain and even depression.
Although foundation can even the skin tone, some contain ingredients which can cause discoloration. If the ingredients used are of poor quality, then you can be at risk of patches, pigmentation and even redness. Even though your skin is meant to protect you, it is sensitive so treat it with care. If you’ve suffered from discoloration, it will be best to reduce the use of cosmetics or switch to natural products.
Q: What does foundation do?
A: Foundation is a support system for your makeup. It should be applied after moisturising and priming the skin. A good foundation will cover imperfections, minimize pores and neutralise skin tones – which will leave you with flawless skin. Times are changing and many foundations now come enriched with skin enhancing vitamins and even SPF. Most brands have an extensive shade offering, making a picture perfect complexion 100% achievable.
Q: Do drugstore foundations oxidise?
A: The majority of drugstore foundations will oxidise. Here are the best ways to deal with foundation oxidation:
- Set using a lighter powder
- Use the foundation in the summer
- Always use a primer before applying a foundation
- Mix the foundation with a lighter shade
- Use foundation whiteners to lighten the foundation (or a moisturiser)
Q: What is an undertone and how do I find mine?
A: In order to find a good foundation, you need to know what your undertone is. An undertone is the color from underneath the surface of your skin that affects your overall hue. The three main undertones are cool, warm and neutral. The easiest way of identifying your undertone is to look at your veins:
- Blue/Purple – cool undertone
- Green – warm undertone
If your veins are in between the two colours, it’s likely that you have a neutral undertone.
Q: How can I make my foundation last all day?
A: Prep your skin with a primer before you apply your makeup, apply your foundation with a brush, set your foundation with a setting or mattifying powder, use a setting spray, do not rush the application process, use blotting papers if you have oily/combination skin and most importantly, use the right foundation for your skin type
Q: What’s the best way to apply foundation?
A: The best way to apply foundation is with a brush or a sponge. Some brands believe finger application is best but if you want your makeup to last, this isn’t the ideal method. A brush or sponge will allow you for easy blending and will leave your skin looking radiant.
Q: How can I make my foundation look more natural?
A: Foundation these days can look like actual skin. The key to makeup application is to use as much as you need, don’t overdo it and take your time to blend it in. Buffing the makeup into your skin is the best way to ensure it is evenly distributed. Using a damp sponge will give your foundation even more of a natural look. Once you’ve applied your foundation, apply your concealer on the places where you actually need it.
Q: My foundation doesn’t match my neck – what should I do?
A: We have all done this at some point during our makeup journey. Guessing your shade just by looking at the bottle can be deceiving. A small swatch has always proved to be effective as you’ll be able to see which one is the best match with your jawline. Do remember to test each shade in natural light. Shop for foundation when the sun is out and check how it looks outside before you make a purchase.
Q: Why does my foundation cake?
A: There are a number of reasons why your foundation would cake:
- You are using the wrong shade/undertone
- Texture issues
- Flaky or dry skin
- Forgetting to prime
- Usage of the wrong formulation
The strongest and most effective drugstore foundations have a number of moisturizing properties. Be on the lookout for foundations that are free from chemicals such as parabens and also contain antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Research suggests that they can be very beneficial for the skin. If you decide to opt for a foundation with retinol, your sensitivity to the sun will increase so be sure to invest in a good SPF.
If you apply your foundation in the morning, do cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin. Don’t forget to apply a primer as this reduces the chance of you damaging your skin. Remember that looking after your skin is key to your foundation looking flawless.