When you have dry skin getting makeup to look good can be pretty difficult. Foundations and concealers are tougher to blend, and even thinking about powder can make flakey patches suddenly appear on your skin. However, by finding the right foundation for dry skin and by applying it with the best technique you can end up with makeup that looks flawless and even dewy!
Below, we’ve put together a list of the best foundations for dry skin, as well as explain how to choose the right makeup for dry skin.
In this article:
- Our Picks of the Best Foundations for Dry Skin
- What to Look for in the Perfect Foundation for Dry Skin?
Our Picks of the Best Foundations for Dry Skin
Looking for the best foundation for dry skin that won’t flake? Look no further! Here you can find 19 amazing options that really work!
1. Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation
This sheer to medium foundation for dry skin will help even out your skin tone while giving it incredible luminosity. It will make your skin look youthful and dewy, without ever feeling heavy or cakey. You won’t have to worry about dry patches or a tight, comfortable feeling from it. The color range is commendable, with options for all skin tones. Find it at Sephora!
2. NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation
When you have dry skin it’s hard to find a high-coverage foundation that won’t emphasize skin dryness. Well, NARS made it easy with this long-lasting, skin-luminizing formula. A tiny amount goes a long way to cover the skin, whereas overapplying can lead to cakiness – something to keep in mind if you tend to be generous with your foundation application. It is available at Nordstrom.
3. Tarte Water Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 – Sea Collection
This water-based foundation for dry skin from Tarte has a very hydrating formula that is rich in skin-quenching glycerin. Despite the moisturizer-like formulation, it actually offers buildable coverage that is long-lasting even without face powder. It looks fairly natural on the skin – neither overly glowy nor dry. Note that it’s best used with a none-silicone primer. You can buy it from Sephora.
4. Lancôme Absolue Replenishing Cream Makeup SPF 20
The Internet is obsessed with this foundation for dry skin, and for a good reason. It is rich and creamy, with high coverage that somehow never settles into fine lines. It offers respectable sun protection while also helping to moisturize the skin with a variety of hydrators. It also has a skin-brightening effect, thanks to licorice extract. Because it’s on the thicker side of things a small amount goes a long way. Jar packaging does mean you gotta take it out with a small spatula. Get it at Nordstrom!
5. Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation
Despite the name, it’s better to think of this as a tinted moisturizer or maybe even tinted serum. It hydrates the skin beautifully while imparting just a bit of color to even out the skin without covering too much. It is made with silky coconut alkanes and hydrating butylene glycol to make the skin soft and nourished. While the color range might seem small, because of the sheerness of the product one shade can suit multiple skin tones. Order it online from Dermstore!
6. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
Though their branding leaves some people cold, it is undeniable that Too Faced complexion products are some of the best on the market. This is the best foundation for dry skin types that also require full coverage because it can hide all kinds of marks and blemishes without ever catching on dry patches. It makes the skin look moisturized and feel moisturized. Pick it up at Sephora!
7. La Mer Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF 20
La Mer is a brand that knows how to justify their high price tags with very high-quality products. Do you need a foundation that costs more than $100? Maybe you don’t, but if money is no object then we gotta admit this might be the best foundation for dry skin. The ultra-soft formula covers all kinds of imperfections and gives a dewy glow without looking like makeup. In addition to sun protection, it is loaded with various botanical oils, vitamins, and peptides to give the skin hydration and to prevent premature aging. Buy it at Nordstrom!
8. Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation
This is another fabulous low-silicone formula from one of my favorite complexion brands. If your skin is both dry and sensitive then this is definitely the best foundation to try. It is totally free of any irritants and is instead made with soothing and nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and squalane. The shade range and classification are excellent, and the coverage itself is medium but buildable. You can get it from Sephora.
9. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation
This illuminating foundation gives dry skin a beautiful glow. It offers a fair bit of coverage, but nothing extreme, and it’s a perfect choice if you like a very strobed makeup look. Unlike other luminizing foundations, it doesn’t emphasize texture issues. It is sold at Sephora.
10. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation
Following the hype of the wonderful Magic Cream comes this unique full-coverage foundation for dry skin that is technically recommended for all skin types. It has a natural finish that is neither matte nor dewy, though you won’t have to powder it with dry skin. It does help to hydrate the skin with a dose of hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Despite being full coverage, it doesn’t feel heavy on dry skin. Purchase it from Nordstrom!
11. bareMinerals COMPLEXION RESCUE Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
This super hydrating tinted gel-cream has an amazing texture. It moisturizes dry skin while also helping to provide light coverage. Once applied, the skin looks glowy and healthy. Note that since it’s a water-based foundation for dry skin, it should be used with a silicone-free primer. If you are acne-prone, do a patch test, as it contains coconut alkanes. Get your match out of the 16 shades sold at Sephora!
12. MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
This is another full-coverage foundation for dry skin. The combination of dewiness and pigmentation in this formula gives what we can best describe as Barbie doll perfect skin. It looks good for hours, even through rain and sweat, and yet it keeps the skin luminous. Buy it at Nordstrom!
13. ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation
This is one of the best natural foundations around, especially for those with dry skin. Instead of the typical silicones, it is made with creamy coconut alkanes as well as some natural oils that soften and nourish the skin. It really is a makeup product that also functions as skin care. Be careful with it if you’re acne-prone, and don’t expect it to act exactly like a mainstream product. You can get it from Sephora.
14. bareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation
This is the second product on this list from bareMinerals – clearly this brand knows how to make the best foundations for dry skin. This one offers a bit more coverage while also helping to improve skin texture and moisturization over time. It is made with papain to lightly renew the skin. Unlike the tinted gel-cream, this product offers full coverage. It is available at Nordstrom.
15. Chantecaille Future Skin Gel Foundation
This super soothing foundation is great for sensitive dry skin. It is made with chamomile and arnica to keep skin calm, but it also offers medium coverage to hide sensitivity. It is lightweight, however, it has a hydrating texture that glides over dry patches instead of catching on them. Keep in mind that it comes in a jar and will require scooping out with a spatula. Pick it up from Nordstrom!
16. Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30
Lots of respect goes to Milk for making such a cute product with such high SPF, although it’s always worth remembering that the amount of product required for full protection is higher than the amount of foundation you’d normally want to put on. This foundation for dry skin has a hydrating effect on the skin but little coverage, so it’s a lot like a tinted moisturizer. The formula comes in a unique cooling rollerball applicator that some people adore and others dislike. You can find it at Sephora.
17. Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 25
This is another great foundation for all of you natural beauty aficionados with dry skin. Marketed as a BB cream, this product contains skin-nourishing ingredients like aloe and sunflower oil. It has a natural finish that is not overly dewy and fairly high coverage for a natural BB cream. It is sold at Nordstrom.
18. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Perfector Skin Tint Foundation SPF 25
This is the best foundation for dry skin for those low-maintenance days when you just need a light touch of makeup. This lightweight formula evens out the skin tone lightly and looks extremely natural. It contains a touch of glycerin to keep your skin hydrated all day long. Buy it from Sephora!
19. Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15
This lightweight foundation from Chanel will refresh your complexion with just a drop of product. It is made to stay in place for hours once applied, keeping the skin even-toned and glowing with nourishment. It tends to work especially well with mature skin because it doesn’t settle into creases or fine lines. Pick it up at Nordstrom!
What to Look for in the Perfect Foundation for Dry Skin?
The best foundation for dry skin is either a hydrating liquid foundation or an emollient cream formulation. Historically, many liquid foundations were too mattifying for those with dry skin, but newer formulations have been simultaneously light and moisturizing.
The foundation you choose should be advertised as having a natural or dewy finish, while matte foundations should be avoided. Avoid foundations with a thick, velvety texture, as they will be hard to blend and there is also an increased risk that they’ll drag on your skin and emphasize dry patches. Thick foundations that feel a little oily, on the other hand, will work just fine.
Product descriptions that include the words “radiant,” “hydrated,” “moisturized” and such will be the best foundation for dry skin, as will formulas that contain some oil or lots of humectants. When you test out your foundation, it should feel slippery and easy to move around.
Photos via @marianna_hewitt, Instagram, Sephora