Figuring out the best foundation for combination skin is no easy task. It often means having to deal with both the drawbacks of having oily skin and the drawbacks for having dry skin. The foundation that looks good over your oily T-zone makes your dry cheeks feel parched, and the foundation that gives your dry areas a radiant glow turns your oily areas into a veritable pool of grease by midday.
We’ve selected the best foundations for combination skin, with a variety of finishes and coverage levels so you will definitely find something you’ll like! We also explain what to look for in the perfect foundation for you?
In this article:
- Our Picks of the Best Foundations for Combination Skin
- What to Look for in the Perfect Foundation for Combination Skin?
Our Picks of the Best Foundations for Combination Skin
The best foundation for combination skin of your dreams is by all means on this list of 19 cult-favorite options on the market, so go for the one that appeals to you most of all!
1. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
The great thing about having skin that is somewhere in the middle is that you can truly enjoy the best of both worlds with two-in-one makeup and skincare products that will nourish your skin without making you look greasy but will also cover without caking up or weighing you down. It just so happens that’s exactly what this cult product does, and this is why it is one of the best foundations for combination skin. As a bonus, it offers real sun protection. It is available at Sephora.
2. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
This foundation is normally a favorite of those with dry skin, but it’s also one of the best foundations for combination skin. It definitely gives the skin some glow, which not everyone likes, but if that’s your jam then definitely consider this one! It won’t smudge or crease, even if your T-zone gets a little oily, but it’ll also keep your dry parts hydrated. Buy it from Nordstrom!
3. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation
This is the best foundation for combination skin, especially if it is truly in the middle or leans a little towards oily. It offers medium coverage that will take care of unevenness and can be built up to even cover blemishes and has a natural finish that will skew matte on dry areas but will stay satiny over the oily areas. Pick it up at Sephora!
4. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Liquid Makeup
If you like full coverage and find it difficult to control those oily parts of your combination skin, then this is the foundation to try. It offers total coverage, without letting even a hint of discoloration show through, and it is fantastic for oil control. Avoid it if your dry parts get flakey sometimes, however. You can get it at Nordstrom.
5. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
Just because you have combination skin doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of a glow sometimes. This foundation has a radiant finish, but the formula sets and holds very well so it won’t make the oily parts of your face look greasy. Go for it if you like a dewy look. It is sold at Sephora.
6. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
People all over the skin type spectrum adore this tinted moisturizer, which is a good sign that it can be one of the best foundations for combination skin. It offers light, effortless coverage along with a bit of sun protection. Despite being quite hydrating, it’s not overly dewy, so if you set it with powder you’ll end up with a velvet finish, while if you skip the powder you can look just a little glowy. Find it at Nordstrom!
7. Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation
The foundation from this up and coming brand is going to be all the rage very soon, we can tell. It is a matte-not-flat option that gives intense coverage that feels like nothing, and doesn’t over-mattify so you don’t need to worry about the dry parts of your skin getting flakey. The shade range is incredible, with 51 colors to choose from, so you will definitely find a match. It is available at Ulta.
8. MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid Foundation SPF 15
If your combination skin leans just a little towards oily then this foundation is a classic. It offers full coverage and helps to control oils, but it doesn’t flatten the skin or dry it out. It’s a velvet finish in the truest sense of the word. The shade range is phenomenal, and the formula has been tried and tested by thousands of pros and average consumers over the years. Buy it from Nordstrom!
9. Benefit Cosmetics Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation SPF 15
This super lightweight foundation for combination skin blends into the skin in seconds. It gives light to medium coverage that can even out the skin tone but still let freckles peek through. It has a demi-matte finish that works no matter which direction your combination skin leans in. Because of the light coverage the smaller shade range is not egregious, and if you are prone to oxidizing choose one shade lighter. It is available at Ulta.
10. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Foundation
We’d be comfortable recommending this wonderful foundation to just about anyone, which is why it deserves recognition as the best foundation for combination skin. It is pretty simple: it works well on every type of skin surface. This foundation offers medium coverage that can be built up slightly, but it feels quite lightweight. Its skin care ingredients are quite robust, including the peptide complex Matrixyl 3000 to prevent premature aging and green tea extract to keep the skin calm. You can find it at Nordstrom.
11. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick
Stick foundations are well known for their blendability and high coverage, as well as for having a unique texture that is neither dewy nor matte. This foundation would be best for combination skin that is either balanced or leans towards oily, because although it doesn’t totally mattify it also doesn’t load the skin up with moisture. The focus here is on a quick application and good coverage, so it can also double as a concealer if necessary. Get it at Sephora!
12. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
Just because you have combination skin doesn’t mean you can’t rock a dewy makeup look. This glowy foundation is a classic, offering light coverage and a luminescent finish. It moisturizes the skin, so it is particularly nice if your combination skin leans towards dry. Order it from Nordstrom!
13. Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation
This is another amazing foundation for those with combination-oily skin. It mattifies completely and blurs out pores and fine lines, with full coverage to hide every little imperfection. The final result is makeup that looks like it’s been put through an Instagram filter, but naturally. You can pick it up from Sephora.
14. Sulwhasoo ‘Perfecting Cushion’ Foundation Compact
For those days when your combination skin is feeling a little dry, this cushion compact is a godsend. Cushion foundations are whipped with a lot of air, so they feel refreshing and light on the skin. This particular formula will make your skin a little dewier, but you can powder your T-zone to control excess shine. The formula is quite moisturizing, so your skin will feel soft all day long. The coverage is light to medium, and it’s especially nice for touch-ups. Buy it from Nordstrom!
15. Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation Refill SPF 20
This is a lovely pressed powder foundation for combination skin. It is quick and non-fussy the way powder foundation should also be. It would be best for combination-oily skin, but it’s not so mattifying that it won’t work on your dry days. Do note that to actually get sun protection from this you would have to apply more product than would actually look good. The coverage is light, but you can build it up to medium. It is available at Dermstore.
16. Dior BACKSTAGE Face & Body Foundation
Face and body foundations are often the best for combination skin. This is because they are made to look as natural as possible despite being self-setting. Once applied you’ll easily forget you have makeup on, because it’s so lightweight and really does look like skin. It has a medium coverage, and it doesn’t require any powdering. Order it from Sephora!
17. Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35
Sun protection, anti-aging ingredients, and a radiant finish, yet formulated for skin that gets oily sometimes – doesn’t that sound magical? It’s exactly what this phenomenal BB cream offers, with light coverage that is perfect for summer. It contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and firming caffeine so your skin will look good in the short term and even better in the long term. You can get it from Nordstrom.
18. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
When skin care companies branch out into makeup, they usually get the texture just right – what’s a little rarer is the color. However, FAB did it well, creating a wonderful tinted moisturizer in a respectable range of colors. This product helps smooth out the skin tone, protect from the sun, and moisturize the skin, but without causing breakouts or oiliness. It’ll definitely give you a dewy finish, but you can powder it to mattify. It is sold at Sephora.
19. Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Foundation
You don’t hear about this foundation a lot, which is quite unfortunate. If your combination skin manifests as dry patches and breakouts, then this is the best foundation to try. It offers full coverage, with a natural yet moisturizing finish that does not catch on dry patches – ever. It covers even the most persistent redness and can be mattified easily with a powder. Get it from Ulta!
What to Look for in the Perfect Foundation for Combination Skin?
With combination skin, you will usually want to avoid both the overly mattifying and the overly moisturizing foundations, and instead, stick to products that give a natural, demi-matte or satin finish. This is especially true if you want an all-over foundation.
Your personal preference also matters, of course. Opt for a foundation that leans more towards a satin finish if you like a more radiant look, or opt for a demi-matte foundation if you prefer a matte finish to your skin.
The way you set your foundation will ultimately have the biggest difference when it comes to how matte or dewy it looks, as well, but more on that in the powder section.
Some people with combination skin will use a more mattifying foundation over the oily parts of the skin, like their T-zone, and a more moisturizing foundation on the dry parts of the skin. You can absolutely give that a try, if you like and if you’re willing to spend that kind of time on doing your makeup.
Photos via @janicejoostemaa, Instagram, Sephora