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The 7 Best Matte Foundations for Smooth, Velvety Skin


Whether you have oily skin, dry skin, or any skin type in between, there's a matte foundation for you–that won't look cakey or crease and settle into any fine lines. 

And, if you have oily skin or find yourself getting a shiny T-zone throughout the day, a matte foundation might be just what you need to get a hydrating, natural finish that won't slip, slide, or shine. As any makeup artist will tell you, the most important piece to getting an oil-free makeup look is mattifying foundation, applied in the right order with the right tools.

Whether you choose a powder, liquid, or stick formula, you can count on matte foundation to keep your skin looking smooth and shine-free without blotting sheets. Think of it as a “true neutral” base that you can add dimension to with highlighter, contour, or blush.

Below, we've gathered our picks for the best matte foundations, from light to full coverage, so you can get the oil-free finish of your dreams.


1. Best Pressed Powder Matte Foundation – Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Matte Powder Foundation

This makeup bag mainstay is considered one of the best foundations for oily skin for a reason. A super-versatile powder foundation that offers buildable coverage with a matte finish, swipe on this matte formula with a powder brush to absorb excess oil throughout the day, or use a makeup sponge for a long-wearing matte look that you won't have to touch up.

2. Best Loose Powder Matte Foundation – BareMinerals Loose Powder Matte Foundation SPF 15

The top three reasons why this loose powder foundation is still one of our faves in 2019: 1) it creates a poreless, silky smooth canvas that blends down like a liquid and feels like nothing at all. Oh, and if you have acne-prone skin, it won't make you breakout. 2) SPF 15 = one less step in your morning routine. 3) 100% vegan and cruelty-free since forever ago. Also, 30 shades for every skin tone. And a control-top dispenser. Go ahead, get to mattifying.

3. Best Skin-Nourishing Matte Foundation – HALEYS Beauty RE:SET Liquid Matte Foundation

Need studio-lit skin in a snap? Two words: HALEYS BEAUTY. A lil dab of this well-loved full coverage foundation instantly blurs imperfections and masks oily skin, leaving a matte finish that lasts all day long without oxidizing or drying out. What's even more awesome? This liquid foundation covers up blemishes so well, you might not even need to use concealer.

4. Best Full-Coverage Matte Foundation – Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15

This creamy, medium-to-full coverage foundation will get you through even the most humid, oil-inducing weather without breaking a shine. The oil-free longwear formula is perfect for an evening out, hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and redness, and it stays matte for up to 12 hours. Plus, it’s packed with SPF 15 and free of parabens, gluten, and phthalates, so you’ll look good and feel even better about using it.

5. Best Buildable Coverage Matte Foundation – City Color Cosmetics Flawlessly Matte Foundation

City Color Cosmetics wants you to have it all: the convenience of a pump bottle, a buildable liquid formula, a matte finish for combination-oily skin, vitamin E for those dry patches, and cruelty-free for your conscience—all under $10. Why not use those coins you saved to grab a new brush or beauty sponge to apply it with?

6. Best Powder Finish Matte Foundation – Lord & Berry Cream to Powder Foundation

Another one of the best foundations out there for hot and humid situations, and for those with oily skin types. For a seamless matte finish, wet down a stippling brush or makeup sponge to apply it like a cream, or dab it on dry for seamless medium coverage. Either way, it blends easily and settles quickly for a smooth, powder finish that’ll leave you looking and feeling fresh all day long. To balance out the shine-controlling agents, this foundation is infused with vitamin E, high nutritional valued pharmaceutical castor oil, and Ecocert amino acids. One step, countless benefits.

7. Best Stick Matte Foundation – Bellápierre Cosmetics Full Coverage Foundation Stick

A foundation stick is the perfect no muss, no fuss product to keep in your purse, because let’s face it—who hasn’t done their makeup in an Uber or on the train at least once? Stick foundation is also really easy to blend out with just your fingertips, making it a great option for beginners. We love this matte bullet from Bellápierre for its longwear power, full coverage, gentle ingredients, and light-reflecting pigments that keep you filter-flawless with minimal effort.


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About the author
Seetha Sankaranarayan
Ipster, gym rat, highlighter obsessed
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Article Last Updated March 19, 2020 12:00 AM