Beauty Makeup The 16 Best Foundations for Mature Skin for an Airbrushed Finish We love the finish, feel, and wearability of the Clinique Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 By Michelle Rostamian Michelle Rostamian Michelle Rostamian has been writing about makeup, hair, and skincare for the last 12 years. She covers beauty trends, how-to’s, and commerce roundups and reviews. In addition, she writes about topics relating to travel, food, wellness, and home tech. InStyle's editorial guidelines Updated on March 31, 2023 @ 03:06PM Pin Share Tweet Email In This Article Expand Jump to a Section Our top picks Reviews What to Keep in Mind Your Questions, Answered Why Shop With Us We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. InStyle / Brian Kopinski As we age, our skin's needs change. The acne-fighting cleanser you swore by in your 20s probably is of no use to you in your 50s. Just like how we alter what products we use in our skincare routines, the same goes for our makeup, too. "Mature skin has many dynamics ranging from creasing, dryness, discoloration, pigmentations (i.e. sun damage), sensitivity, dullness, and lack of vibrancy and healthy tones," says New York-based makeup and hair artist Lindsey Williams. "It's a lot to consider, but it takes patience and many tries with various formulas and brands to find what suits your needs best." We selected Clinique’s liquid foundation as our Best Overall because of its lightweight feel, sweat- and humidity-resistant formula, and radiant finish. Our Top Picks Best Overall: Clinique Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Foundation at Sephora Jump to Review Best for Dry Skin: ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation at Sephora Jump to Review Best Budget: Unicorn Glow Sleek Serum Foundation at Amazon Jump to Review Best Splurge : Shiseido Future Solution Loose Powder at Macy's Jump to Review Best Drugstore : Maybelline New York Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation at Amazon Jump to Review Best Full Coverage : Lancôme Teint Idole Foundation at Nordstrom Jump to Review Best Medium Coverage: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation at Amazon Jump to Review Best Lightweight: Catrice Cosmetics HD Liquid Coverage Foundation at Amazon Jump to Review Best Sheer: Daybird Tinted Skincare at Daybird.co Jump to Review Best Cream: Iris & Romeo Best Skin Days Tinted Moisturizer at Credo Beauty Jump to Review Best Overall Clinique Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Foundation Sephora View On Sephora View On Clinique.com View On Macy's What We Love: The lightweight nature of this formula means it can be blended effortlessly with your fingers for quick, on-the-go application.What We Don’t Love: This can leave a tacky finish on the skin. Looking for a fluid formula that's a solid everyday option? This one from Clinique is infused with vitamin C to keep skin bright and radiant, plus it contains SPF 15 to ward off sun damage. We're a huge fan of the youthful, radiant finish this leaves behind (just be mindful of its finish if your skin leans on the oily side). But the best part: You don't need a brush or sponge to apply — in fact, it blends perfectly well using the warmth of your fingers. It may leave a tacky finish, though, if you apply too much, so make sure to start slow and build until you reach your desired coverage. Price at time of publish: $33 Size: 1 oz. | Finish: Radiant | Shade Range: 30 | Coverage: Light Best for Dry Skin ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation 4.4 Nordstrom View On Sephora View On Dermstore View On Iliabeauty.com What We Love: It’s a silky, breathable formula that blends easily into skin, mimicking the look of real skin.What We Don’t Love: You may need a mid-day blotting paper or a brush of translucent powder to tamp down shine. If you love the look of an airbrushed finish, but hate the feel of foundation, ILIA’s True Skin Serum Foundation could be your new go-to. It combines skincare and makeup into one fantastic product by marrying nutrient-rich ingredients, like aloe leaf, rosehip and marula oil, all of which help your skin look brighter and smoother with fewer lines and visible wrinkles. But it’s the niacinamide and allantoin that are the true heroes, minimizing the look of pores, redness and uneven tone both immediately and over time. The natural finish ensures that your skin still looks like skin, just without the so-called imperfections. Price at time of publish: $54 Size: 1 oz. | Finish: Natural | Shade Range: 30 | Coverage: Medium Best Budget Unicorn Glow Sleek Serum Foundation Amazon View On Amazon View On Unicornglow.com What We Love: This has slightly more product than typical foundations (which are usually one ounce).What We Don’t Love: If you have redness or scarring, this won't cover it up. Unicorn Glow's Sleek Serum foundation is perfect for no-makeup makeup days where you want a slight tint to your skin — without the cakiness that comes with a full-coverage finish. This breathable formula is packed with skin-nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and it offers a dewy finish that renders pores invisible for a smooth, even complexion. For an under-$15 foundation that brings your skin to life, we'd say this is definitely a keeper. Price at time of publish: $12 Size: 1.59 oz | Finish: Radiant | Shade Range: 6 | Coverage: Natural Best Splurge Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Radiance Loose Powder Nordstrom View On Macy's View On Saks Fifth Avenue View On Shiseido.com What We Love: The formula is non-comedogenic, so it's a great option for those with oily or sensitive skin.What We Don’t Love: We wish this came with more sanitary packaging. You'll feel the luxury with just one use of Shiseido's Future Solution LX Total Radiance Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen. Display-worthy packaging aside, the formula has a velvety-smooth feel that easily blends into the skin to create a radiant finish that still manages to cover breakouts, pores, and fine lines well. Though this sits at a near-$100 price tag, it marries a slew of Japanese botanicals with the brand's Aura Radiance Technology for a flawless complexion free of fine lines, enlarged pores, and dryness. Price at time of publish: $92 Size: 1.2 oz | Finish: Luminous | Shade Range: 9 | Coverage: Full Best Drugstore Maybelline New York Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Ulta What We Love: This foundation hides dry skin and rough patches beautifully.What We Don’t Love: The bottle doesn't come with a pump, so you'll have to be careful while pouring it out. Maybelline's Fit Me Dewy + Smooth foundation is a drugstore favorite that leaves skin with a healthy glow and undetectable coverage. As someone with severely parched skin, I've never found it to cling onto any of my dry patches. In fact, it smooths right over without accentuating them, and gives me a luminous finish that rivals my favorite skincare products. The formula is also incredibly forgiving — it applies beautifully both with a brush and a beauty sponge — and buildable for days where I'm not sure what kind of coverage I want. One drawback I wish was different: because there's no pump, it can get messy when it comes to pouring it out. Price at time of publish: $9 Size: 1 oz | Finish: Dewy | Shade Range: 24 | Coverage: Medium Best Full Coverage Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation 4.7 View On Nordstrom View On Sephora View On Lancome-usa.com What We Love: Not only does this come in 50 shades, but the formula stays true to its color throughout the day.What We Don’t Love: Because it's oil-free and has a matte finish, it may become cakey on those with dry skin. Lancôme’s medium-coverage foundation has developed quite the cult-following, and it's easy to see why. It's an oil-free formula that can be layered with little effort, and it’s packed with special color pigments that maintain the skin's pH levels. That means your foundation won't oxidize throughout the day. In fact, it stays true to its initial application color for up to 24 hours without running, smudging, or fading, which makes it perfect for long days when you don't have time to touch up or reapply. Price at time of publish: $57 Size: 1 oz | Finish: Matte | Shade Range: 50 | Coverage: Medium The 11 Best Full Coverage Foundations of 2023, Tested and Reviewed Best Medium Coverage Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation 4.8 Sephora View On Amazon View On Nordstrom View On Sephora What We Love: You can apply layers and layers of this foundation without fear of caking.What We Don’t Love: It’s packaged in a glass bottle, so it's not the most travel-friendly. Revered as one of the most coveted foundations of all time by makeup artists, celebrities, and beauty enthusiasts alike, Armani Beauty's Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Foundation checks all the boxes. For one, it's suitable for all skin types — aging skin included. The formula is oil-free and thanks to its naturally luminous finish, those with dry skin won't feel like their complexion is further dehydrated while wearing. The real secret sauce at play here is the brand's patented Micro-fil technology, which causes the color pigments to lay flat on the skin for a filter-like finish that instantly eliminates the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Price at time of publish: $69 Size: 1 oz | Finish: Satin | Shade Range: 40 | Coverage: Medium Best Lightweight Catrice Cosmetics HD Liquid Coverage Foundation Amazon View On Amazon View On Catricecosmetics.com What We Love: The dropper applicator makes it easy to apply the correct amount of foundation — and nothing more.What We Don’t Love: Though this comes in 24 shades, we'd like to see it come in more darker variations. Full-coverage, but make it lightweight. Catrice Cosmetics' HD Liquid Coverage Foundation covers up your imperfections, but won’t emphasize texture, draw attention to fine lines, or clog pores in the process. Each of the 24 shades can withstand sweat, water and color transfers. Plus, the formula is what photogenic dreams are made of: No flashback, cakiness, or clinging to dry patches, despite its natural matte finish. What more could you ask for from a $10 foundation? Price at time of publish: $10 Size: 1 oz | Finish: Matte | Shade Range: 24 | Coverage: Full Best Sheer Daybird Tinted Skincare Amazon View On Daybird.co What We Love: This provides skincare benefits as it covers imperfections, making it ideal for anyone looking to streamline their skincare routine.What We Don’t Love: We'd like to see this offered in more colors Think of Daybird's Tinted Skincare as your serum, moisturizer, SPF, and foundation all rolled up into one insanely good formula. Perfect for those looking to cut down on the number of products they use, it's also a good formula to have in your arsenal if your skin is sensitive to using too many products or you're just a busybody who can't be bothered with a 12-step routine. In addition to providing a sheer finish, it contains niacinamide to brighten, chamomile extract to reduce inflammation, and SPF 50 to keep skin protected. Plus, the packaging is recyclable. Price at time of publish: $40 Size: 1 oz. | Finish: Natural | Shade Range: 4 | Coverage: Sheer Best Cream Iris & Romeo Best Skin Days Tinted Moisturizer Credo View On Credo Beauty View On Irisandromeo.com What We Love: This feels incredibly lightweight on the skin.What We Don’t Love: We love that this has SPF; we just wish it had the minimum recommended amount of SPF 30. Best skin days, indeed. Iris & Romeo's Best Skin Days SPF 25 is the ultimate workhorse, performing five functions to improve your complexion. It acts as a serum, moisturizer, skin tint, SPF, and blue light protector. It's also loaded with nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate, vitamin C to brighten, and fatty acids to protect the skin. Even better, its dewy finish and creamy consistency always feels comfortable on the skin. Price at time of publish: $42 Size: 1.2 oz | Finish: Dewy | Shade Range: 12 | Coverage: Sheer Best Liquid IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare 4.2 Sephora View On Amazon View On Sephora View On Ulta What We Love: The pump applicator disperses a good amount of product — not too much, not too little.What We Don’t Love: This isn't super longwearing. Thanks to a blend of anti-aging peptides and nourishing vitamins, this foundation-serum hybrid smooths over fine lines and wrinkles without accentuating them. True to its name, the formula delivers coverage that looks like your skin, only free of any uneven texture and hyperpigmentation. It also feels extremely lightweight on skin, making it a great option to wear daily. The brand offers an impressive 40 shades to choose from, each of which delivers a naturally radiant glow that never looks greasy, so both dry and oily skin types can wear without worry. Price at time of publish: $44 Size: 1 oz | Finish: Natural | Shade Range: 40 | Coverage: Medium We Tested 27 of the Best Liquid Foundations, These 6 Make Your Skin Look Flawless Best for Large Pores Covergirl Simply Ageless Instant Wrinkle Blurring Pressed Powder Amazon View On Amazon View On Target View On Ulta What We Love: Even though this is a matte powder, it contains hydrating ingredients and never looks cakey.What We Don’t Love: If you have a lot of redness or uneven skin tone, this may not cover it up. It's hard to find a powder foundation that doesn't suck up your skin's moisture and leave your complexion looking flaky, but Covergirl’s Simply Ageless Instant Wrinkle Blurring Pressed Powder does the exact opposite. Enriched with ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this formula offers a natural veil of coverage and a hydrating finish that'll feel as creamy as your traditional liquid foundations. What's more, it uses blurring properties to make enlarged pores a thing of the past; it’s a perfect foundation choice if you're going to be photographed or if you're just looking to give your skin a smoother-looking finish. Price at time of publish: $12 Size: 0.39 oz | Finish: Matte | Shade Range: 8 | Coverage: Medium Best Stick Hourglass Cosmetics Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick 4.8 Nordstrom View On Amazon View On Nordstrom View On Sephora What We Love: This smooths fine lines and diminishes the appearance of enlarged pores — no blurring primer needed.What We Don’t Love: The nearly-$50 price tag can be out of budget for some. Want a shine-free finish? Hourglass' Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick glides right onto skin and won’t highlight fine lines and wrinkles. It feels featherlight on skin, despite its full coverage, and delivers a rich pigment, which requires little to no effort to blend. This innovative stick is also waterproof and will last up to 12 hours. Price at time of publish: $48 Size: 0.25 oz | Finish: Natural | Shade Range: 32 | Coverage: Full Best Clean Ever Forever Daily Facial Foundation Ever View On Ever.com What We Love: This is great for sensitive skin since it doesn't contain synthetic fragrance or color.What We Don’t Love: The shade range could be expanded. If you're looking for a clean foundation that still performs, look no further than Ever's Forever Daily Facial Foundation. The formula is free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, and chemical sunscreens, yet still covers up fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores like a dream. Though its shade range is limited, it offers medium coverage and an impressively long-lasting weartime (12 hours, to be exact). But what really makes this formula stand out are the skin-first ingredients: Red algae to boost hydration, magnolia extract to condition dull skin, and papaya enzyme to gently whisk away dead skin cells. Price at time of publish: $48 Size: 1.08 oz | Finish: Radiant | Shade Range: 7 | Coverage: Medium The 14 Best Clean Celebrity Beauty Brands of 2023 Best Hydrating Makeup By Mario SurrealSkin Liquid Foundation Sephora View On Sephora What We Love: While this foundation can be used with any brush or sponge, it launched alongside the brand's F4 Brush for enhanced results.What We Don’t Love: Though this claims to have a 12-hour wear, it's prone to separating on some skin types. We love when makeup artists come out with complexion products because they just get it. Cue Makeup By Mario's SurrealSkin Liquid Foundation, a game-changing formula developed by celebrity makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, that enhances the skin while providing medium coverage. Ideal for those with dry to normal skin types, this foundation is formulated with grapeseed oil, squalane, and MoistureGrip technology to ensure that your skin remains hydrated all day — without the need for hydrating sprays or moisturizing primers. Upon testing, I loved that this foundation could be layered on for stronger coverage or buffed out for a sheer, tint-like finish. Price at time of publish: $42 Size: 1 oz | Finish: Luminous | Shade Range: 30 | Coverage: Medium Best Longwear Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15 Sephora View On Nordstrom View On Sephora View On Ulta What We Love: The formula’s mineral powders help soak up excess oils so you stay shine-free all day.What We Don’t Love: Clocking in at $50+, this is a pricey option. Creases? Don't know her. If you're looking for your foundation to really last, Bobbi Brown's Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15 is the one to turn to. It stands strong against sweat and oil, and has a 16-hour wear time that'll make you wonder why you ever settled for less. It delivers a fresh-faced finish, thanks to its light-reflecting pigments and mineral powders, which keeps excess shine and oil at bay. This is ideal for those with oily to normal skin types seeking medium to full coverage. Price at time of publish: $52 Size: 1 oz | Finish: Natural matte | Shade Range: 43 | Coverage: Medium to full What to Keep in Mind Finish In the world of foundations, there are several finishes to consider, all of which will depend on your skin type. When you see a foundation described as matte, this means that it reflects very little light and dries down to a flat finish, says Dani Schmidt, Global Makeup Artist for Sigma Beauty. A satin finish lies somewhere between flat and shiny, while a dewy finish makes the skin look moist and glowing. These two finishes — satin and dewy — tend to be better for those with mature skin, says Elena B. Frankel, co-founder of Flyte.70. Coverage Foundations come in a whole spectrum of coverage options. Typically, if there are a few areas or features that you’d like to cover up, for example scarring, blemishes, redness, or discoloration, a full-coverage foundation is your best bet. Stay on the safe side by taking the texture of your neck into consideration if you go full coverage, as Frankel says oftentimes there can be a real disconnect between the face and neck and you can risk having that dreaded ‘mask’ effect if you have mature skin. Also, while full coverage formulas expertly camouflage, they also risk settling into fine lines and exaggerating texture in the skin, says Frankel. So if there’s not much you want to hide, a lighter coverage option may be a better option. "Medium coverage will tone down ‘imperfections’ while still looking somewhat natural,” says Frankel. “Light-coverage foundations will help to even out subtle skin discolorations like minor redness or sallowness.” As a general rule of thumb, Frankel notes that serum-like tint foundations will yield lighter coverage, while liquids, compacts, and cushions provide medium coverage, and creams, sticks, or solid creams will offer full coverage. Your Questions, Answered How do you apply foundation so it won't settle into wrinkles? "The more product you apply, the higher the risk of creasing and settling," says Schmidt. "Spot concealing is a great way to get your preferred coverage without adding multiple layers." Or, if you really have your sights set on using a foundation, first consider the type of formula you're working with. If you're using a tint or liquid, Frankel says to try applying a few drops to the center of your face with your fingers before gently buffing out with a soft foundation brush. For creams, try Schmidt's technique. She uses a dense brush for foundation so that she maintains control while applying. After brushing the foundation across your skin, she says to “go in with a damp blender and gently press the foundation into the skin." She says this helps smooth out uneven skin texture as well as soak up any excess foundation that is sitting on top of the skin, which could potentially slide into fine lines. Is matte or dewey foundation better for mature skin? According to Frankel, matte finish foundations can be difficult for those with mature or textured skin. While mature skin can still present as dry, combination or oily, it’s more common for it to lean into dehydrated territory because as we age, the skin naturally loses its ability to hold onto moisture like it used to, according to Frankel. "Regardless, no matter the skin type there is texture to contend with," she says. "For normal-to-dry mature skin, it’s best to stick with tints and liquids that result in dewy-looking skin. A satin-finish is great for normal-to-oily mature skin — just follow up with a soft powder in key areas to address those shiny trouble spots." Why Shop With Us Michelle Rostamian has been a beauty writer for 12 years. For this story, she researched dozens of foundations, from drugstore to high-end options. She consulted makeup artists including Lindsey Williams and Dani Schmidt, as well as skincare brand founder Elena B. Frankel to learn about the different finishes, coverages, and ingredients in a foundation.