Makeup Artists, TikTok, and Editors Say These Are the 13 Best Matte Foundations
Matte foundations can be real challenging, to say the least. If you have dry skin, it's probably best to avoid them altogether, but if you have oilier skin, you've come to the right place. Using a foundation with a matte finish can help control oil and achieve that poreless, airbrushed look we all adore. It may sound perfect in theory, but Renée Loiz, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Color May Vary, has some valuable advice on selecting the right one for your skin. Check out her tips below.
Of course, I also reached out to Loiz and another celebrity makeup artist, Beck Wainner, to share their favorite foundations that they use regularly. To complete the list, we have also included a few foundations that have gone viral on TikTok and some picks from beauty editors. It's truly a comprehensive lineup, with a formula for everyone. Keep scrolling to discover our top recommendations for the best matte foundations out there, in our humble opinion.
What to Look for in a Matte Foundation
Matte foundations are typically formulated without heavier oils to minimize shine and oiliness on the skin. To maintain a balanced complexion, it's a good idea to look for formulas that contain light hydrating skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, snow mushroom, or non-comedogenic oils. These components will help keep your skin hydrated without clogging pores, causing breakouts, or creating excess shine. Loiz also offers a few additional tips to consider.
"With matte foundations, I like them to have a satin velvet finish so the skin still looks natural and soft," she says. "I'm not a fan of skin looking too heavy or powdery from matte foundations. Matte foundations are usually oil-free formulas that help skin that is on the oilier side or skin with larger pores. They help even out oily skin and conceal those larger pores. They're often medium to full coverage as well, so make sure you start out with a light hand and add more only if you need it."
The Makeup Artists' Favorites
Best Overall: Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation
Pros: Full-coverage, transfer-proof, provides a soft matte finish, contains skincare ingredients that help balance sebum production.
Cons: Matte formula dries quickly, may be too drying for those with combination skin.
Makeup artists have spoken—this is officially one of the best matte foundations out there.
"This formula absorbs oils and is shine-proof. It also wears all day and leaves skin with a natural matte finish. I love that it doesn’t oxidize (aka change colors after applying). The color stays true throughout the day and it comes in 34 shades." — Loiz
"If you're looking for a matte foundation that lasts all day and is good for oily or combination skin, look no further. This foundation is strong enough to cover blemishes but soft enough to have a natural matte finish and is perfect for any camera!" — Wainner
Customer Review: "I’ve been using this foundation for years now, and it has never done me wrong! Of course, with a purpose base, it will melt right into your face. I like to set it with a dewy spray plus the Sephora microsmooth powder and it looks flawless. Try it out!"
2. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation
Pros: Provides a soft matte finish, large shade range, climate-adaptive technology to fight heat, sweat, and shine.
Cons: May be too drying for those with combination skin.
"This is an elevated foundation that works perfectly for those with oily skin, leaving a soft matte and natural finish. It also stays in place all day but doesn’t clog your pores." — Loiz
Customer Review: "I have used this foundation for YEARS and I can't beat it. I am extremely oily but do not like looking completely matte so this foundation does it for me. The initial application is very dry, but my oil comes through within the hour and keeps it looking natural throughout the day. It also doesn't rub off very easily. I apply it with a sponge and use the Milk [Makeup] matte primer underneath and set it with the Urban Decay All Nighter [spray] which is my holy grail combo. In the cold, I think it looks too dry so I switch to Fenty's skin tint but for the hotter days, it is amazing."
3. Uoma Beauty Say What!? Weightless Soft Matte Foundation
Pros: Large shade range, infused with biomimicry pigments that think like your skin to give a flawless finish and blurred effect, infused with skincare ingredients.
Cons: Matte formula dries really quickly.
"Uoma Beauty's Say What!? Foundation meets your skin where it’s at, which is perfect for those with combination skin. It mattifies oilier areas of the skin while hydrating drier areas. It has a silky and lightweight feel to it but definitely has amazing coverage. It's also Black-owned and there are 51 shades." — Loiz
Customer Review: "I really like this foundation. It is on the watery side and you have to work fast with it, however, it is buildable with coverage. They have a great shade range and it blends into the skin smoothly."
4. Too Faced Born This Way Matte Foundation
Pros: Oil-free, contains noncomedogenic hydrating ingredients, provides a natural matte finish.
Cons: Not full coverage.
"This oil-free, matte foundation lasts for up to 24 hours and boasts a large shade range to choose from. I’d recommend this foundation to anyone more on the oily side. It blends like a dream while not looking cakey and gives you a flawless finish." — Wainner
Customer Review: "This foundation is a must if you're looking for [something] long-wearing. I have worn this product for 12+ hours before and it still looks fresh at the end of the day. It’s a bit on the lighter coverage side, but adding concealer with it makes it look flawless."
The TikTok Favorites
5. Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation
Pros: Provides a velvety matte finish, full coverage, waterproof, contains a "flexi-fit complex" to deliver oil-absorbing powders that ensure shine control.
Cons: Can flake if used without proper hydration.
Several TikTok users placed this full-coverage foundation on their best-of-the-best list. It features the brand's Flexi-Fit complex that delivers oil-absorbing powders for shine control and keeps the formula from flaking, even after hours of wear.
Customer Review: "This is the best foundation I own when I know I need to have a full face for a long time or even when I want to look flawless. I have acne/combo to dry skin, which completely covers and smooths my acne. Prep is key—make sure you are using a really good hydrating skin prep and a good primer and you’re golden."
6. L'Oréal Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder
Pros: Provides 24 hour matte coverage, full-coverage formula, lightweight formula that feels breathable, waterproof, heatproof, and sweatproof.
Cons: Powder formula may be too drying for combination skin.
TikTok users had a complete field day with this matte powder foundation from L'Oréal. I mean, it's hard to argue with the results they achieved. I'm not usually a huge fan of powder foundations, but this one is definitely a great drugstore option that really works. It looks so silky and gives a total airbrushed effect without being cakey.
Customer Review: "Great coverage! Doesn't feel like you have anything on."
7. KVD Beauty Good Apple Skin-Perfecting Hydrating Foundation Balm
Pros: Matte finish, full-coverage, noncomedogenic, long-wearing formula, hydrates with sodium hyaluronate.
Cons: Offers less product than a full-sized foundation bottle.
Another viral favorite is KVD Beauty's Good Apple Foundation Balm. I, too, joined the craze on this one and did love the matte finish. This is a bit of a heavier formula, though, and isn't quite as breathable as other options on this list. But if you're looking for a fuller-than-full coverage foundation, this is the one for you.
Customer Review: "Goes on well and has excellent coverage. Once applied, it dries down quickly into a sort of powdery finish that doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything at all. A little goes a long way!"
8. One/Size Turn Up the Base Versatile Powder Foundation
Pros: Medium-to-full coverage formula, provides a soft matte finish, stays matte for up to 12 hours. Texturizers and microspheres blur pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and texture.
Cons: Powder formula may be too drying for those with combination skin.
Although this powder foundation didn't go quite as viral as a few others, it still garnered some serious attention on TikTok for its buttery-smooth and buildable coverage.
Customer Review: "The best powder foundation to date. Leaves your skin looking flawless and smooth. Great for oily skin and wears amazingly throughout the day."
The Beauty-Editor Favorites
9. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation
Pros: Skincare ingredients in the formula help hydration and reduce the appearance of fine lines, sweatproof, waterproof, and transfer-resistant.
Cons: Formula mattifies quickly and may be too drying for combination skin.
Charlotte Tilbury's cult-classic Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation provides a full-coverage, matte finish and lasts all day long. The formula is also considered a makeup-skincare hybrid that has Magic Replexium technology that reduces the appearance of fine lines.
Customer Review: "Best foundation ever. I received this as a sample and went online and bought a full size bottle right away. I absolutely love it."
10. Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation
Pros: Budget-friendly, mousse-like formula, provides 24 hour shine control.
Cons: Not the best option for longwear.
This liquid, mousse-like formula from the drugstore blends so seamlessly. It provides a natural-looking finish but still gives quite a bit of coverage. Pro tip: It also blends beautifully with the brand's Natural Bronzer.
Customer Review: "This is one of my longtime favorites from the drugstore! The shade match isn’t perfect, which is my only gripe. I wear NC45 or NC45.5 in MAC and this shade is too deep and warm, but I can make it work. If you have dry skin, this definitely benefits from a hydrating base. Otherwise, I have no notes. Would recommend!"
11. Make Up For Ever HD Skin Undetactable Longwear Foundation
Pros: Powered by a micro-skin system that syncs with the skin for true-to-skin finish, blurs out blemishes, provides 24 hour hydration.
Cons: Coverage may be too sheer for some.
Personally, I found the coverage offered by this foundation to be too sheer for my liking, but if you like a light blurring effect, this is definitely the one for you. My fellow beauty editor Katie Berohn is also a big fan of this formula. "I kind of manipulate it to make it not matte when I use it, but I do really like the formula!"
Customer Review: "After searching forever for a foundation that flattered, this did the trick for my Mediterranean skin tone. I put it on the top of my hand along with my Obagi face cream, mix it with a sponge, and when I'm done applying it, my face is flawless and natural. You only need one pump if that."
12. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation
Pros: Evens out your skin tone, coverage lasts up to 24 hours, provides a matte finish, fragrance-free, large shade range.
Cons: Packaging has no pump.
The name of this formula truly says it all. This matte-finish foundation really does last 24 hours, creates a flawless finish, and is great for oilier skin types. It also comes in over 55 shades.
Customer Review: "The only choice for oily skin!! I have extremely oily skin and after wearing for 10+ hours, it stays on without separating. Beautiful coverage and does not feel thick at all like some people say."
13. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
Pros: Large shade range, oil-free, leaves a natural matte finish, noncomedogenic, micro-powders control shine.
Cons: May be too matte for combination skin.
This matte foundation from Maybelline was my ride or die for years before I became a beauty editor. It actually is one of the best drugstore matte foundations in my opinion. It really refines the look of your pores and provides great coverage, especially for the price.
Customer Review: "I am typically a high end makeup girl—especially for foundation—but this is a dream. It covers so well, does not feel cakey, and has such a good color range."
Up Next: A Celebrity Makeup Artist Walks Into Ulta—These Are the Foundations She'd Snag
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
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