One of the exceptions to the “you get what you pay for” rule: makeup. While flawless skin—or the illusion of it—is priceless, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Drugstore foundations may be a dime-a-dozen, but there are a few standout formulas that will be a perfect fit for your skin type, and offer the same coverage you’re after as your favorite luxe brands.
But, finding a good drugstore foundation is kind of like hitting shuffle on a new Spotify playlist. Sifting through the options until you find “the one” can get time-consuming. Since no knows what products actually perform and hold up like makeup artists, we grilled a few of our favorite pros to fill us in on what drugstore foundations they keep in their kits.
The good news? You’ve got affordable options. Whether you’re looking for full-coverage or the added bonus of ingredients that address your skincare struggles like acne or fine-lines, there’s a drugstore foundation that will have you covered. Here, we’ve rounded up the best foundations you can pick up on your next drugstore run, according to makeup artists.
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L'Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup
“This foundation is sheer to full-coverage making it a great choice for camera and day wear. When I first started out as an artist, this was the foundation I carried in my kit, and it’s still a foundation I recommend for those on a budget. I’m also a HUGE fan due to the vast range of colors, making it a sure bet.” —Lindsey Williams, NYC-based makeup and hair artist
Neutrogena Skinclearing Liquid Makeup
NYX Professional Makeup Total Drop Foundation
“This foundation offers light to medium coverage and has a beautiful finish to it. It can be mixed with moisturizer, and beautifully blends into the skin. I feel like there’s a melted-into-the-skin quality to this foundation. It’s so important to me for companies to have a broad range of shades, and NYX wins here too.” —Lindsey Williams, NYC-based makeup and hair artist
NYX | $14
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation
“I recently discovered the L'Oréal Infallibe Pro-Glow Foundation and I'm loving it. It has definitely become one of my favorite drugstore foundations. Not only does it give you nice, glowy coverage, but it also lasts all day. I love a product that is low maintenance!” —Daniel Chinchilla, celebrity makeup artist who works with Ariana Grande
Honest Beauty Everything Cream Foundation
“One of my favorite drugstore foundations is Honest Beauty's Everything Cream Foundation. This is the foundation I ALWAYS use on Jessica Alba for not only red carpet, but also for her personal appearances. It’s an incredible medium to full-coverage formula that gives great payoff and wears comfortable for hours on the skin. I use this with a buffing foundation brush to maximize the coverage without having to use a lot of product.” —Daniel Martin, celebrity makeup artist who works with Jessica Alba and Olivia Palermo
Honest Beauty | $30
Revlon Colorstay Makeup With Softflex for Combination/Oily Skin
“Revlon Colorstay for Combination/Oily Skin is one of my go-to foundations. It has great medium to full coverage and a beautiful matte finish. This is a perfect option for these hot and humid times during the summer. A little also goes a long way, and I don't feel like this foundation requires much touch-up!” —Daniel Chinchilla, celebrity makeup artist who works with Ariana Grande
Revlon | $10
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector
“For a more sheer foundation that evens out skin tone, adds coverage, but also gives a nice, polished finish to the skin, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Aging Perfector is amazing! It’s also great for guys too because it doesn't look or feel like makeup" —Daniel Martin, celebrity makeup artist who works with Jessica Alba and Olivia Palermo
Neutrogena | $15