Whether you're an occasional or daily makeup wearer, no beauty kit is complete without a good quality foundation. It provides a base for the rest of your makeup, covering up blemishes and evening out skin tone for a healthy, dewy glow - or a smooth matte look if you prefer!
There are plenty of excellent foundations from drugstore brands such as L'Oreal, Maybelline, and Max Factor that are perfectly suited to drier skin, including formulas for patchy, mature, sensitive and acne-prone combinations too. Check out our top 10 favourites and feel the hydration! Moreover, we have partnered with Makeup Artist Marie Dancer for reviewing and fact-checking the article so that we can deliver the best information.
As a professional make-up artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all her clients she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
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As a professional makeup artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK, working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all of her clients, she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
Find out more about Marie and what are her favourite makeup products are through her Instagram! She even shares some industry tips on makeup application too. And if you're interested in getting your makeup done by Marie, you can contact her via her email found at the top of her page.
Dry skin tends to be more textured, and powdered foundations tend to not adhere properly to the skin. Their particles settle on the surface, enhancing fine lines and wrinkles instead. Liquid foundations are easy to apply with the fingertips, or using a brush or sponge. They allow you to gradually build up to your desired coverage and can be mixed or blended with other makeup and beauty products.
The coverage you desire, and the thickness of the product will determine which tool is best for the job. Fingertips create warmth that blends lightweight foundations and tinted moisturisers in seamlessly for sheer, natural coverage. If you want fuller coverage, a foundation brush will allow you to buff liquid formulas into the skin quickly, different densities will provide varying levels of coverage.
You can still achieve a natural look if you use a fluffy foundation brush, but you may need to use a sponge on top to even out any streaks. Not only are they the best choice for filling in visible lines and wrinkles, but they provide a protective barrier on the skin that helps to retain moisture - a much-needed benefit for dry and thirsty skin!
To reduce the appearance of textures with or without makeup, remember to use a face mask for dry skin!
Cream foundations are available either in a solid or soft texture. Solid cream foundations usually come in stick form, similar to a concealer but in a larger size, and soft cream foundations will generally sit in a pot or compact. Both varieties are great for on the go or when you are in need of a quick touch-up.
Cream foundations have fantastic emollient properties, making them one of the most moisturising foundation types for dry skin, and will still provide medium to full coverage.
Use fingertips to pat the cream into the skin for a seamless finish, or draw the stick directly onto the skin and buff out with a brush if you prefer more coverage. Cream foundations can also be used as a highlight and contour by choosing a lighter and darker shade to sculpt the skin.
Tinted moisturiser works primarily as a facial cream with a small amount of pigment. Similarly, BB cream, or blemish balm, prioritises skincare in its formulation. Both tinted moisturiser and bb cream are great options for those who only want light coverage and some colour correction.
Tinted moisturisers often include SPF to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays which dry out the skin and cause premature ageing. The main ingredients are skincare driven so you can ensure your skin is completely hydrated throughout the day and not just in the morning. Available in liquid form, these foundations offer the most hydration and give a youthful, dewy look. They are also the most suitable for sensitive skin.
Click here to browse our recommendations for the best stick foundations!
Those with dry skin will want to retain as much moisture as possible, namely because adequate hydration helps smooth the surface of the skin and prevents peeling and flaking. One of the ways to achieve this is to look for products that contain ingredients with moisturising, humectant and emollient properties.
Humectants attract and retain moisture from the air, whereas emollients create a protective barrier that prevents water evaporating from the skin. Both help maintain and regulate hydration levels for vibrant skin that looks and feels softer. Ingredients to keep an eye out for that possess these properties are hyaluronic acid, glycerin and vitamin E.
Explore our favourite Korean moisturisers here!
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True Match Foundation｜30 ml
A Game-changing Hydrating Foundation Available in 40 Shades
Colorstay Foundation｜Normal/Dry Skin (30 ml)
An Oil-Free Formula for Dry/Combination Skin That Won't Clog Pores
Serum Foundation｜30 ml
The Best Day-to-Day Hydrating Foundation
Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation ｜30 ml
All the Hydration of a Liquid in a Handy Cushion Applicator Compact
Infallible Pro Glow Longwear Foundation｜30 ml
A Glowy, Long-Wear Foundation to Take You from Day to Night
Fast Base Stick Foundation｜31.8 g
Get Full Coverage in Seconds With This Solid Cream Stick
Miracle Match Blur & Nourish Foundation｜100 ml
A Dewy Foundation for Youthful Looking Skin
Total Control Drop Foundation｜13 ml
The Best Matte Option for Dry and Combination Skin
SkinActive Classic Perfecting All-in-1 BB Cream｜50 ml
All-In-One Skincare and Foundation Combo for Dry Skin
True Nutra Effects Radiance Tinted Moisturiser｜50 ml
A Dry-Skin Tint for People Who Don't Wear Makeup
L'Oreal Paris True Match Foundation is our favourite drugstore foundation for dry skin. The ultra-hydrating formula helps improve overall skin quality, with ingredients including hyaluronic acid, glycerin and vitamin E to lock in moisture and soothing aloe vera for chapped or peeling skin.
Available in 40 different easy to blend shades, you're sure to find the perfect colour match! The foundation applies smoothly and can be layered to your desired level of coverage, providing a natural glow. Best of all, this foundation is dermatologically tested and non-comedogenic making it a suitable choice for acne-prone or sensitive skin.
For those with combination skin, don’t think you need to buy multiple foundations. Revlon’s Colorstay foundation’s oil-free formula with hyaluronic acid is suitable for all skin types, hydrating without clogging pores to prevent excess oil and sebum production.
This lightweight foundation is humidity and sweat-resistant, keeping your skin looking flawless throughout the day. With only a small amount required, this product provides medium to full coverage and effortlessly conceals blemishes and skin discolouration.
This silky smooth serum from The Ordinary is made with the brand's proprietary "spreadability system", which ensures that it glides onto the skin like a dream. The lightweight formula has a closer consistency to a serum rather than foundation that sinks into the skin and dries down to a flawless, semi-matte finish.
We love the unique formulation of this foundation the pigments look very natural whilst being able to provide a light to medium coverage. Plus, with SPF 15 sun protection and 21 shades available, we think this can be a great everyday go-to for a wide range of complexions!
Maybelline’s Dream Cushion foundation comes in a handy compact for on the go application, but it's much more hydrating than its powdery counterparts. Just slip it inside your bag or pocket ready for when you need a little touch up during the day.
The cushion applicator ensures you always get just the right amount, preventing unnecessary wastage and helping your product go further for longer. The creamy consistency gives dry skin a satin-like finish without the shine.
Fed up of tired, dull-looking skin? L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Glow foundation is all about giving you a healthy radiant glow. The smooth liquid formula glides over dry skin, providing enough coverage to hide imperfections without looking too heavy.
A perfect base for going from day to night looks, L’Oreal’s impressive foundation lasts up to 24 hours. So next time you get invited out for spur of the moment drinks after work, you won’t need to factor in time to reapply your makeup!
If you like things bold when it comes to beauty, the Fast Base Stick from Revolution is here to give you full coverage, fast. This solid cream foundation stick is super easy to apply, whether you're using it as a base, as a concealer or for contouring.
It may look as hard as a wax crayon, but you’ll be amazed at how seamlessly the cream foundation melts into your skin. While the formulation may not contain any of our top key hydrating ingredients, when it comes to a full coverage foundation for dry skin we seriously recommend checking this one out!
For those with dry skin, matte foundations aren’t always going to be your best friend. Many matte foundations will only enhance the texture of the skin, that’s why we recommend giving a ‘dewy’ foundation a go instead.
Max Factor’s Miracle Match Blur & Nourish Foundation won’t leave skin looking wet or greasy, but fresh and youthful instead. The lightweight formulation blends with your skin tone to provide a flawless nude appearance, letting your natural beauty shine through!
If you’re looking to achieve the matte look without your foundation caking and flaking throughout the day, give NYX’s Total Control Drop Foundation a go! The liquid formula provides sheer to full coverage with a velvety matte finish that won’t look chalky or too heavy.
Available in 30 shades, we recommend this one for combination dry/oily skin or for those with normal skin who experience increased dryness during the winter months. NYX foundations are a little more expensive than other drugstore brands, however, the highly pigmented formulation and dropper applicator mean a little goes a long way.
Looking to cut down time spent applying skincare and makeup? Garnier’s SkinActive All-In-One BB cream provides up to 24 hours of hydration with vitamin and mineral extracts to help repair and rejuvenate.
A great choice for moisturising dry skin without having to layer heavy products, this BB cream provides just the right amount of coverage to even out skin tone and neutralise redness for a radiant complexion. Unfortunately, this product has a very limited colour range as it's only available in a few shades, light, medium or dark.
Avon’s True Nutra Effects Radiance Tinted Moisturiser is a foundation for people who don’t like to wear foundation! It’s got everything you would expect from your regular daily moisturiser, but with tiny beads of pigment that burst to create a warm, even and smooth appearance.
This hydrating blend gives much-needed relief to dry skin, as well as providing a subtle pop of colour to increase luminosity. Whilst it's ultra-light coverage is intended for multiple skin tones, it does only come in one shade, so for the best results, we recommend this one for fair to medium skin types.
Written and Researched by Wren Mann
No. 1: L'Oreal Paris｜True Match Foundation｜30 ml
No. 2: Revlon｜Colorstay Foundation｜Normal/Dry Skin (30 ml)
No. 3: The Ordinary｜Serum Foundation｜30 ml
No. 4: Maybelline｜Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation ｜30 ml
No. 5: L'Oréal Paris ｜Infallible Pro Glow Longwear Foundation｜30 ml
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