13 Best Foundations for Dry Skin (Tried and Tested)

13 Best Foundations for Dry Skin (Tried and Tested)

Best Foundations for Dry Skin – Get That Fresh and Luminous Skin Every Time

So you want to put some foundation on your face and look radiant and fresh, but your skin is so dry that it looks just the opposite of that? And it even feels very uncomfortable? I know the feeling.

Finding the best foundation for dry skin can be tricky, especially in the winter months when it’s so cold and windy outside, but hot and dry indoors. Your skin is not only dry, but also red, flaky and irritated.

You want to get a foundation that will give your skin moisture, but also not disappear in two hours? Keep reading to find out about my top picks for you.

1. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Liquid Foundation

So let’s start with a holy grail foundation for many people out there – the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. It’s a bit expensive, but very much loved by customers.

The reason for this is simply the fact that its formula is outstanding, made to give your skin a silky smooth finish. This foundation does not oxidize by any means and it gives a medium coverage that is also buildable. Apply it with a brush, sponge or with your fingers – it will always look good.

It is such a good foundation for dry skin. A silicone and oil-free hybrid, that you don’t have to set with powder and it is so lightweight. The foundation doesn’t cake around dry patches and it is very easy to apply. Makeup artists all over the world swear by it!

2. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

My personal beloved foundation that I use up to this day is Born This Way by Too Faced. I can’t say enough about this one. 

You get a natural finish and an even base, ready for layering your blush, bronzer, etc. Never gets cakey. It will hide your texture but still make your skin look hydrated. Just amazing!

The bottle looks so cool and with its pump you can easily control the amount of product you will use.

The texture of this foundation is fine and thin, which really helps with building it up from a medium coverage to a full coverage. You can easily apply it with a brush or a damp sponge. Smear it all over your face using just your finger, it will still look good.

So I would say that overall Too Faced Born This Way is a good foundation and a good value for money.

3. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost is great if you are a bit afraid to wear foundation. It comes in a quite luxurious bottle, considering it is a drugstore foundation.

It is very easy to apply, using its doe foot applicator. You just need to blend it out with a damp sponge or a brush. It will melt right into your skin and make it look fresh, hydrated and super natural.

This is a lovely foundation that will not give you a lot of coverage, hence the “tint” in its name, which I actually quite enjoy. However, it is packed with Hyaluronic Acid that helps your skin look plump and glowy.

It is great to just even out your skin and blur out some imperfections. To cover up blemishes, just spot conceal and you have yourself a perfect complexion. 

4. Kosas Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation SPF 25

Kosas Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation is a water-based foundation that is perfect for dry skin. It is tried and tested for sensitive skin as well, infused with a bunch of skin care ingredients such as Zinc Oxide (7.5%) for SPF, hyaluronic acid, peptides, squalane, niacinamide, vitamin B5, arnica, and caffeine.

It gives you a light to medium coverage and it lasts a long time on the skin. I love it for its power to give your skin a glow and a “no makeup” look. If you want a bit more coverage, try to apply it by pressing it with a sponge or even better, using your fingers.

If you have blemishes to cover up, no worries. This foundation will give you a natural looking skin, and then you just spot conceal with a high coverage concealer. This might be the best technique for extra dry skin to look fresh but also perfectly covered.

5. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation

When L’Oreal released this foundation, everybody jumped on that train. Myself included, considering I have combination skin, with very dry parts, especially around my nose. 

This foundation is a dream for people with dry skin that actually want to look glowy, but make it a decent coverage. The texture of this foundation is liquidy and creamy, so it will blend pretty easily. Just make sure to really blend it into the skin so it does what it has to do. 

It is very buildable, so you can achieve a good medium coverage if you reapply where needed. Once you get the hang of it, your skin will look like it has a filter on!

After you apply it, the glow will peak through the rest of your makeup, which I quite like. Use a setting powder for the best result in case it looks even a bit too glowy.

The Pro-Glow does not oxidize, it does not get cakey and even celebrity MUAs are hyping it up.

6. YSL Touche Éclat Le Teint Foundation

Searching for a lightweight foundation for dry skin that is also transfer-proof? YSL Touche Éclat Le Teint Foundation is your safe bet. It is a luxurious foundation that will not budge and your skin will love it. They have improved the formula and this time for the better.

With a bit of a random SPF 22, but not so random skin benefits! In the ingredients you can find stuff like mallow extract, vitamin E, marigold and ruscus extract. Those will help with making your skin hydrated and nourished.

The best way to apply it for a light coverage is to use just one pump, and for a medium coverage use at least two pumps. Start from the center of your face and blend it away. Set with powder if you want to reduce the glow.

Some YSL foundations oxidize just a bit, so pick a lighter shade just to be safe. However, the Touche Éclat Le Teint foundation did not oxidize on me. 

7. Make Up For Ever HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation

This Make Up For Ever foundation is basically recommended by everyone. Not only do the celebrity MUAs praise it, but common folk love it as well. The reason for this is the fact that this new and improved formula is able to go from light sheer coverage to a full coverage “I’m ready for my wedding day” kinda look. 

I apply this one using a brush and gently cover my entire face. I use just a small amount, but feel free to use more, since the formula is very buildable. The skin looks great, my redness is gone and it doesn’t feel cakey or too heavy.

But do keep in mind that there are people who love full coverage, and there are people who love FULL COVERAGE. This one definitely goes more towards the natural (medium coverage) looking side. It is silicone and water based.

Bonus points, this foundation is non-comedogenic, waterproof and sweat-proof! 

8. No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation

Another great serum foundation that you can find in stores is the No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation. 

This one is amazing for dry skin, but also sensitive and mature skin. What does it do? It reduces the appearance of pores, discolouration, fine lines and wrinkles, but leaves your complexion looking radiant.

The application is so easy, it doesn’t flake and it is very lightweight. It can get a bit transferred once you touch your face, but this is expected from a serum foundation that gives you a lot of glow. The foundation contains Vitamins A, C & E, and the formula helps to brighten your skin.

To keep it in place, just set it with powder. You can use this one from No7 as well – I like it and recommend it very much!

9. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Full Coverage Moisturizer with SPF 50+

Okay, so this one is very exciting, in my opinion. And the best way to use this Bye Bye moisturizer is to treat it for what it is, a tinted moisturizer. It has mineral (physical) SPF and skin care ingredients, it wears beautifully throughout the day and it fades away seamlessly. 

You get a nourished and very hydrated looking skin. This also means that it will stay tacky and somewhat sticky. For this reason I very much recommend it as a daily foundation for very dry skin.

You can set it with powder if you want to keep it transfer-proof and to reduce the shine a bit. However, try to experiment with powders so you don’t get the opposite effect, meaning you get flakey and cakey looking skin.

The difference between this foundation-moisturizer and their CC cream (that a lot of us also love) is the shade range, and coverage. Their CC cream is full coverage, while this one is not. Which I quite like for a product like this one. The best for daily use!

10. Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation

Whenever I go to Maybelline for a drugstore goodie, they rarely ever disappoint. The Dewy + Smooth Foundation is no different. This is a must for people with dry skin that want to save some money, but get results.

This foundation is very sheer and applies so easily. It makes your skin look nice and glowy. It’s not full coverage, so maybe you’ll need a little spot concealing to do, but the finish is so beautiful and worth it. 

I recommend that you set your entire face with a powder after you apply this foundation. You will get a long-lasting effect. It will look very flattering 🙂

The only possible downside is that it has fragrance. It didn’t bother me and my skin was fine, but let’s just mention it for the sake of the extra sensitive skin types.

11. Estée Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup SPF 19

Estée Lauder really knows how to create the most long lasting foundations. This one is no exception. Not only does it last until the next day, it looks so seamless and matte. It is thinner than their regular Double Wear, and it feels lighter on the skin.

It is great for dry skin, not cakey at all. You can build it up for more coverage, but your skin will still look fresh. The texture is very liquidy though, so keep that in mind once you start applying it. Work in section, with a brush to get better coverage, or apply it just with your fingers to get that effortless “I don’t care” vibe. 

You truly get a second-skin, and a soft matte finish with this one. This foundation does not oxides, it stays true to color. However, I would consider this one to be an everyday go-to, and for events I would stick to the original one.

12. Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation

Okay now, if you truly want your skin to look sublime, buy this foundation. The Sublime Perfection Foundation by Pat McGrath is something else. Amazing foundation for dry skin. Its very liquidy texture is performing almost like a serum foundation, but it lasts all day long. 

Because of its lasting power, and skin like finish, it has to be a foundation of thin consistency. For this reason, the best way to apply it is actually just using your fingers. You can apply it as if you were applying your moisturizer.

You can get away with applying it using a brush, but your skin would need to be well moisturized and you have to be quick, working in sections so that it doesn’t get dry too fast.

All in all, the price is high for this foundation, but the experience of using it, fast application, including the luxurious packaging and its overall finish is worth the price for any beauty lover out there, in my opinion.

13. Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Medium Coverage Liquid Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Medium Coverage Liquid Foundation With Hyaluronic Acid. What a name, am I right? But to be frank, the name says it all. Amazing foundation, and very unique.

The texture of this one is just nice. It is a rich, creamy formula that blends beautifully onto the skin. It is also lightweight and long-wearing. It stays on my face until I need to take it off.

It gives you a natural glow with buildable medium coverage. It promises to hydrate and brighten your skin, but also to smooth out and blur your pores. All true. 

It will cover up all your redness and other skin issues easily. I Highly recommend it!

What Is the Best Full Coverage Hydrating Foundation

It is somewhat hard to achieve a full coverage look with a foundation that also gives you a lot of hydration, especially on dry and very dry skin. This is why most foundations for dry skin are either serum-like or sheer.

However, it is possible of course. I would recommend the Too Faced Born This Way foundation that can give you all that. For a drugstore version, I would go for the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow.

You can play with both of these and find the way that it works best for you. Either you’ll need extra hydration with a setting spray, or just a good amount of spot concealing if you are still not happy with the coverage.

The overall look of your skin with these two should look pretty flattering.

What Foundation Is Best for Dry Acne Prone Skin

The best foundation for dry acne prone skin would be the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Liquid Foundation. It is an overall praised foundation from people with all skin types basically. 

Considering how much money people spend on skin care and treatments for acne and other skin issues, this one would seem to be the safest bet.

How Should You Wear Foundation if You Have Dry Skin

The best way to wear foundation if you have dry skin is to take care of the skin itself. I know this is easier said than done, but a well nourished and exfoliated skin will be a great base for foundation.

Depending on the issues that your skin has, whether it is flakey, just dry or even large pores and acne, you need to pair proper products with your foundation.

Jamie Paige here talks about her favorites, and I trust her opinion completely!

Is Primer Good for Dry Skin

Yes, a good primer can do wonders for dry skin. Not only can your skin benefit from hydrating or luminous primers, but you can also get a flawless looking complexion with smoothing primers specifically designed for dry skin.

In case you have dry flakey skin, there are primers for dry skin (Tatcha liquid silk canvas primer) that help minimize these issues.

Finding the perfect foundation for your dry skin is not an easy task. However, we can see that it is possible. Hopefully some of my suggestions can help you decide which one would be the best fit for your needs. 

Stay informed,

Best Rated Beauty 

Best Foundations for Dry Skin – Get That Fresh and Luminous Skin Every Time

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