8 Long-Lasting Foundations That Really Stay on All Day
When choosing a tried-and-true foundation for everyday use, there’s one characteristic that’s non-negotiable: Long-lasting. There’s no point in swooning over a base formula that will fade, crack, or cake after an hour or two. Thankfully, beauty brands are catching wind that users want (and need) longwear foundations that don’t disappoint. Enter: Longwear foundations. These base makeup options won’t disappear with water, oil, or sweat, and your makeup will look just as fresh at 8 a.m. as it will at 8 p.m. — meaning no more midday mirror checks that show splotchy, worn-off foundation. Can I get an amen?
A good, dependable foundation should be great at covering blemishes, easy to blend, and able to last well past your 9 to 5. But the (unfortunate) fact of the matter is, just because a label says long-lasting, doesn’t necessarily mean it is. That’s where I’m here to help. After being a beauty editor for nearly 8 years, I’ve swatched and tested hundreds of foundation formulas. And while some are disappointing, others have impressed me with how long they last.
Here are the 8 best long-lasting foundations that stay put all day long.
- Best Overall: NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation
- Best for Medium Coverage: Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15
- Best Drugstore Option: L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24-Hour Freshwear Foundation
- Best Shade Range: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10
- Best Clean Formula: Bare Minerals barePRO 24-Hour Full Coverage Liquid Foundation SPF 20
- Best for Oily Skin: Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Longwear Foundation SPF 25
- Best for Face and Body Coverage: Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation
Best Overall: NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation
This cult-favorite foundation has stood the test of time for a reason. It looks flawless on the skin, blends with ease, and doesn’t smudge, budge, or transfer once it’s applied. This longwear foundation is a top pick amongst makeup pros and editors alike, often touted for its natural, glowy finish. Instead of a traditional matte or satin-y finish, this foundation dries down to a natural finish with a subtle glow — we’re talking about that lit-from-within glow you’ve always dreamed of. And even though you’ll be getting full-coverage with this option, it won’t feel like you’re wearing a face full of makeup because the formula never gets cakey Plus, it offers up to 16 hours of coverage, so you don’t have to worry about touch-ups throughout the day.
Shop now: $49; sephora.com
Best for Sensitive Skin: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation
When a foundation is non-comedogenic, oil-free, and fragrance-free — like this option from Laura Mercier — you don’t have to worry about adverse reactions if you suffer from acne or have sensitive skin. The Flawless Fusion is the brand’s longest-wearing foundation and promises to stay put for up to 15 hours (well past your 8-hour work day). The formula is buildable so you can customize your level of coverage, and it even doubles as a concealer for blemishes. And since it’s sweat- and water-proof, it’ll even stand up to hot, humid summer days. It’s available in 30 shades with a variety of undertones so you can find your perfect color with ease.
Shop now: $48; sephora.com
Best for Medium Coverage: Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15
A tried-and-true foundation that Olivia Palermo once told InStyle she’s been sporting since high school, this long-lasting Bobbi Brown foundation is hydrating, mattifying, and smudge-proof. And even though you may have a love/hate relationship with matte foundations, this option isn’t prone to creasing or cracking midday. Available in 30 shades, it blends into the skin seamlessly and even has built-in SPF 15 so your skin stays protected year-round.
Shop now: $47; sephora.com
Best Drugstore Option: L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24-Hour Freshwear Foundation
Finding a quality foundation doesn’t have to break the bank, and this 24-hour option from L’Oreal Paris proves that. In fact, I’ve swiped on dozens of designer formulas, and this drugstore best-seller remains as one of my go-to- picks. Available in 40 shades, this featherlight formula won’t clog pores or feel heavy; it literally feels like air on your face. It’s formulated with SPF 25 and three oil absorbers that protect your foundation from melting away with sweat and water. The best part, though, is its under-$15 price point.
Shop now: $11; amazon.com
Best Shade Range: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10
This iconic formula first hit shelves in 1997 and has been a mainstay in the beauty world ever since. Even though there’s been a few formula changes throughout the years, the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation still impresses me with its long-lasting abilities. The consistency is not thick or thin, but perfectly in the middle, meaning it’s easy to blend and lightweight enough that you don’t even feel like you’re wearing makeup. And if that doesn’t win your heart, the brand promises this base makeup lasts for 24 hours of wear with no fading. Not to mention, the shade range is beyond impressive. Offering a whopping 56 shades, there’s a perfect fit for everyone.
Shop now: $43; sephora.com
Best Clean Formula: Bare Minerals barePRO 24-Hour Full Coverage Liquid Foundation SPF 20
A two-in-one formula that covers blemishes and nourishes the skin, this mineral liquid foundation from Bare Minerals blurs imperfections and helps to improve skin texture over time. It also packs SPF 20 and is free of all the gunky stuff, like parabens, sulfates, talc, and mineral oil, so you can feel good about wearing it. This liquid foundation is also self-setting, so transferring onto your little white dress is no concern.
Shop now: $34; sephora.com
Best for Oily Skin: Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Longwear Foundation SPF 25
This fan-favorite is for those who find themselves with oily skin before lunchtime. Choosing a foundation that is completely matte will help keep your complexion looking balanced throughout the day — and that’s where this designer foundation comes in. The long-lasting formula has a velvety-matte finish that keeps oil at bay for hours at a time, while the inclusion of SPF 25 keeps skin protected. And since it blends effortlessly into your skin, don’t be shocked if your friends and co-workers think you woke up like this. If you’re worried about a matte finish washing out the natural luminosity of your skin, try adding a light bronzer or highlighter atop your base for a hint of shimmer without any extra oils.
Shop now: $64; nordstrom.com
Best for Face and Body Coverage: Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation
If you’re looking for an airbrush effect that blurs out imperfections without looking like you’re wearing makeup, this is the foundation for you. With a super buildable and lightweight formula, this dependable base makeup can be used on both the face and body. It’s waterproof and sweat-resistant, so you can wear it through workouts and long days on-the-go without any fading. What’s more, it’s the perfect formula to give you that “no makeup” makeup look.
Shop now: $40; sephora.com
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