Choosing the right foundation for your skin can be tough, but choosing the right foundation for *mature* aging skin is even tougher! There are plenty of products out there, but how do you know what to look for when choosing an effective foundation?
As we age and mature, our skin’s needs change, the texture changes, and what wears well on it changes. We tend to get drier as we get older – whether that’s being over 40 or 60, fine lines and wrinkles settle in fast. So the last thing you want is makeup that’s really going to impact and show the dryness and the lines and the wrinkles in the skin.
So here are a couple of reviews of different foundations: we’re going to talk about the best drugstore and high-end foundations, and which ones are great for full coverage, dry skin or to cover large pores. These are foundations that have been widely reviewed as best rated, popular, effective, tested, liked!
These reviews are not sponsored and all products shown were purchased.
How to make a foundation work best for mature, dry skin
But before going into each foundation review and what makes it great for mature skin, let’s talk about what’s going to make a foundation wear well. In general, whether you are somebody with mature skin or not, there are some basic tips that are really important to get the most out of your foundation coverage:
- Always apply a moisturizer before your foundation. Aging skin is usually dry and it can use an extra dose of moisture both morning and night to make sure the foundation goes on as smoothly and evenly as possible.
- Exfoliate. It’s also important to exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells that can give your skin a rough texture and dull appearance. Use a chemical exfoliator like a retinoid AHA gel, like Sunday Riley Good Genes, or a scrub to manually exfoliate your face then, of course, use your favorite moisturizer before you apply foundation.
- Add oil to the foundation for added moisture. You can mix a drop or two of facial oil in your foundation before you apply it. That oil can give the makeup a little more slip so it glides over fine lines and wrinkles while adding some extra moisture too.
- Try using a primer – a primer that blurs fine lines, wrinkles, and other texture issues before applying foundation can help give your skin smoother finish. One of my favorites is by Milk and it’s the Hydro Grip Primer, wonderful for creating that extra barrier of moisture.
- Use a sponge. A makeup sponge like the Beauty blender is usually the best tool for applying foundation to aging skin because you can use it to press the makeup into the skin. That prevents the foundation from settling into fine lines in wrinkles. Using your fingers to apply foundation can leave you with some splotchy and uneven areas that only accentuate those fine lines and wrinkles. But if you want to brush, up for a soft one with synthetic bristles.
- Next on my list is to try a setting spray instead of powder. Aging skin usually doesn’t do well with powder, so you may not want to use it to set your foundation. It can emphasize dry patches, fine lines. Powder foundation usually has a matte finish as well which can make aging skin look flat and dull. Some exceptions are the mineral-based foundations. They’ve got that light reflecting property to give you kind of a healthy glow. I highly recommend using a setting spray instead. My favorite is Urban Decay All Nighter – you basically pump it like a T and then an X on top of your foundation and it will help to set it, prevent it from moving, but it won’t give you that dry cakey feel.
L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation with SPF 50
Best Drugstore Foundation for mature skin
So my first foundation is L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation with SPF 50. Made with vitamin B3, it’s a hydrating serum that doesn’t settle into lines and says that it a light coverage. It’s $11.97 and comes in 26 shades from ivory to espresso. I went with Natural Beige.
Even though it says it offer light coverage, this foundation is offering some really nice coverage and you can actually get away without using a concealer.
It’s actually a little bit more buildable – I find it to have more than a light coverage, which I personally like. As somebody who wears a heavy foundation for work, specifically matte and full coverage, I’m used to getting some coverage out of a foundation. So the fact that this was a little bit more than what it said, is great!
It feels very smooth on the skin. It doesn’t feel sticky or greasy in any way, but it does Iuminize a little bit. You can still see the skin coming through it, but it has a nice medium coverage and it wears very well during the day.
Shop it here:
L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation with SPF 50, $11.97 https://amzn.to/3mcRnlN
CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation
Best Hydrating Foundation for a dewy finish
The next one on my list is by CoverGirl. It’s CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation. This one says it reduces wrinkles, improves tone, hydrates, contains hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. It is cruelty-free as well.
It’s $11.18, has 15 shades, from classic ivory to soft sable. I went with Soft Honey.
The foundation has a really nice coverage to it, sort of between a light and a medium. And I feel it has a little bit more of a dewy effect compared to the L’Oreal, and that could be the infusion with the Olay product in there.
It has a beautiful, nice, medium coverage.
If you’re looking for something that feels hydrating, I definitely think this is your product. And I do like this buildable light to medium coverage.
Shop it here:
Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation https://amzn.to/2Yeq56v
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector Tinted Facial Moisturizer and Retinol Treatment with Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Best for natural, sheer coverage and dry skin
Neutrogena’s Healthy skin anti-aging perfector tinted moisturizer is said to even skin tone – it has retinol, antioxidants, vitamins and a dewy finish. This one wears a little bit more like a BB cream than a foundation.
There’s six shades, with a blendable sheer coverage. The shade I used was 40, neutral to tan. It’s $11.22.
This foundation is definitely lighter and more sheer, no doubt about it. The sunscreen in it, which is the titanium dioxide, does give it just a little bit of a lighter cast to it. So you may want to go a bit darker when choosing your shade than you normally would.
To me, this is something that I would wear on the weekend if I have really a no-makeup look or I’m going off to a yoga class, have some errands to run and I just want a little bit of coverage and a little bit of sunscreen. This is not going to give you the kind of coverage of a full-on foundation per se.
In terms of foundation coverage, I find it to be incredibly light, so if you’re in the market for this type of foundation, it would be one the best.
Shop it here:
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector Tinted Facial Moisturizer and Retinol Treatment with Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen https://amzn.to/3usUZDO
Estee Lauder Futurist Hydro Rescue Moisturizing, Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 45
Best liquid foundation for luminous, full coverage
Next up, one of my favorite foundation companies, Estee Lauder Futurist Hydro Rescue Moisturizing, Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 45. This is said to be a breathable, lightweight foundation, moisturizing, natural-looking, buildable, medium to full coverage, free of parabens, daylights, drying alcohol, and mineral oils.
There are 28 shades from porcelain to rich espresso. It’s $45.
This is such a great foundation! I usually wear the Estee Lauder Double Wear Matte Foundation for work. Talk about an awesome full coverage foundation, and it works great for mature skin because it’s not going to settle into the lines and wrinkles. Instead, it will give you coverage, and I’m not quite sure how you’re going to beat this one.
Its formula is just really, really, really great for women over 40. I love this foundation for me on the weekends when I’m not going for such a heavy look and I want more of that sort of dewy JLo glow, and then I kick on a bronzer on top of this and it’s really, really great.
The formula is also very luminous, you will see a little bit of that glow. If you love that, that’s great. It is a hydrating foundation, but it does have more coverage than most.
Shop it here:
Estēe Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 45 $45 https://estee.cm/3AW6NB9
Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Foundation
Best matte, long wearing foundation
Number five on my list is Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Foundation – it costs $39 and comes in 50 shades. It’s also vegan and has buildable, medium coverage. It’s a lightweight foundation said to have a real skin look to it.
This is a matte finish for up to 24 hours. I went with shade 51NN. I like to apply my matte foundations with a brush instead of a sponge. I often feel like a sponge will soak up too much of the product.
So this will be different in that it is a matte finish – not everybody wants that super dewy glowy look. Sometimes you have occasions where you need a matte polished finish and you don’t want to have to add that powder at the end, which will only settle into those lines and exaggerate them.
This is a foundation that’s going to offer you a matte finish and a powderless finish.
Even if it has a matte feel to it, it’s not a drying feel. Some matte foundations have a very chalky appearance. This one allows the skin to come through. There’s a little bit of luminosity going on, but still, it’s not a dewy finish.
It’s more matte and I have to say the coverage is pretty good. It’s a buildable coverage but this one seems to be a winner in my book.
Shop it here:
Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Foundation $39 https://seph.me/2YbYQtr
IT Cosmetics Your Skin Better Foundation
Holy grail foundation for covering up large pores on mature skin
This foundations has a buildable medium coverage foundation. It is said to minimize the look of pores and imperfections, offer all-day hydration and wear with a natural radiant finish. It promises to be suitable for all skin types, infused with hyaluronic acid for moisturizing, aloe vera extract for calming, plus it’s got vitamins E and B5.
It even claims that your skin actually will look better after two weeks of wear. I definitely sense the hydration in this product with the hyaluronic acid. I’d say out of all of the ones that I have used, this is probably the most hydrating!
There are forty shades to choose from fair warm to deep cool. I use shade Medium Neutral, number 33, which is a pretty decent match, maybe just a hair lighter than what I would normally wear, so keep that into account when you’re choosing your own shade – the colors run a bit lighter.
If hydration is something that’s really important to you, then I think the IT Cosmetics and the Futurist by Estee Lauder will be your most hydrating, although the IT Cosmetics ones is offering the most coverage.
Its formula is very silky, and not sticky at all, despite its hydrating properties. The skin feels silky, but yet it sort of a dewy look to it, and the coverage is great. I really, really like the way this foundation wears and the facts that it’s supposed to make the skin better in two weeks!
Shop it here:
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation $39.50 https://bit.ly/3mawszL
KVD Beauty Lock-It Tattoo foundation
Best clean & vegan foundation for full coverage
This is the famous KVD Beauty Lock-It Tattoo foundation. It costs $38 and it’s terrific. There’s a concealer as well, reviewed in our list of the best concealers for mature skin, here on the blog.
The formula is free of parabens and phthalates. It is also vegan and cruelty-free, and most importantly, it promises to be transfer-resistant.
As shades go, there are 26 available in their range, and I’ve got actually two to combine, because sometimes my skin is a little bit more on the peachy side, sometimes it has a little more of a golden tone, and it can be hard to find the perfect fit. So, what I do is, I’ll buy two foundations and I’ll blend them to get the right color. The two that I have are medium number 58, and medium number 57. Fifty-seven has a bit more of a golden tone, fifty-eight a little bit more of a peachy tone.
The coverage on this is absolutely tremendous, and it does work well on events or when you have to take photos – it performs well with the high-definition cameras and the lights. Sometimes you may have a function or an event where you just want a more full coverage look, and you’re looking to conceal things, especially if it’s evening, or some formal attire. I think this type of a foundation is perfect for that. We all have those events in our lives when we just want to cover every little bump, and pimple or red mark, and brown spot – all these fun things that you pop once you get over 40.
The KVD Lock it foundation has a matte nice finish and it’s really easy to apply, despite being a full coverage product. It’s not oily or greasy at all either, compared to other full coverage foundations.
When it sets, especially with powder, it really gives just a nice, matte, flawless foundation.
Overall, I am very impressed! Easy to apply, easy to blend, sets well, and stays very well. I find sometimes with full coverage foundations, your oil can break through and you feel like you have to blot all the time. Not with this. Stays pretty matte.
Two thumbs in my book!
Shop it here:
KVD Beauty Lock-It Tattoo foundation https://www.sephora.com/product/lock-it-tattoo-foundation-P311138?icid2=you%20may%20also%20like:p311138:product
CIRCA’s Color Balance Liquid Foundation
Most versatile drugstore foundation
Next on the list of best foundations for mature skin is CIRCA’s Color Balance Liquid Foundation.
It’s supposed to even your complexion and hide the imperfections that dry skin has with this silky fluid. Its creamy formula says to deliver instant hydration and promises to blend effortlessly for a flawless finish that enhances your skin’s natural beauty.
This product is just $15, so I had to give it a try.
Sometimes, I’m in search of a foundation that has more of a weekend wear to it, maybe not quite as heavy and high coverage as the KVD Lock-it Tattoo Foundation. This one goes on very, very easily. It is silky, smooth, hydrating, and it does provide a really good amount of coverage. So, what surprised me with this foundation is that now I have discovered I have two types of wears for this.
This foundation is really buildable. I can do just one layer, and use this for more of a weekend look where I want a polished look. And you can also apply a second application on top of the first, for a high coverage effect. I did two layers of it with my FACE atelier translucent loose powder in number two.
So, two thumbs up for this CIRCA Color Balance Liquid Foundation. I am a happy camper!
So, go out there with your brand-new flawless foundation for only $15.
Shop it here:
Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able foundation
Most lightweight, full coverage best for oily and combination mature skin
I’m a huge fan of the KVD Lock-It Tattoo foundation. I always love the full coverage that it gave, wore very well, and was perfect for my line of work with cameras, and lights, and for anybody needing a full coverage foundation.
So, when I went to my local Sephora to buy a new bottle because I was running low, the girl who worked there says, “Have you tried Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able foundation? It’s got the full coverage that you like, it’s great on mature skin and it’s also lightweight.” And I said, “Hold up. Full coverage and lightweight? Is this not an oxymoron?” So I had to try it, and here’s the review!
I’m really, really loving this formula for a variety of reasons. It’s a foundation that delivers instant full coverage with a natural finish – and it promises a 24-hour wear. I haven’t tested this claim, and I don’t recommend you wear foundations for 24h, but during the time I wore it, it hasn’t transferred or moved at all.
It is truly lightweight and has incredible full coverage – this foundation actually markets itself as a “foundation concentrate” and the pigmentation in this product is truly astonishing. The other thing that’s remarkable is that it dries to an almost soft powder-like finish.
I found out that as the day progressed there wasn’t any need for touch ups with powder as much as with the KVD foundation. The KVD was heavier and it created a little bit more of a sheen, so it’s probably a better foundation if you have very, very dry mature skin. For a more normal mature skin, the Re(marc)able foundation would work better.
This foundation does exactly what it says does, tremendous, coverage and it’s very easy to apply. It has a little dot on the end of its wand, and they suggest that you just dot it on, and then take a blending brush – I used the Make Up For Ever 108 foundation brush.
Another great thing with this foundation is that you can use it as an eyelid primer before you put on any eye makeup. It sets the stage for great eyeshadow application. It gets rid of any redness or skin discoloration on the lid, makes it an even tone, so it really makes your eyeshadow colors pop.
Flawless coverage, check! Lightweight, check! Full coverage, check! Loving it, check!
This product is $55, so it is not on the inexpensive list by any means, but a little dab will go a long way. You can really stretch this out and get a lot of use out of it.
Shop it here:
Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer
Best cream foundation for mature skin, with full coverage
Next on the list of best foundations for mature skin is the Sensual Skin Enhancer by Kevyn Aucoin.
Kevyn went to Japan many, many years ago, and he was completely enamored with the geisha girls’ skin. So he did some research into what made their skin so fabulous, and he formulated the Sensual Skin Enhancer foundation using a lot of different minerals and some oils.
It is a dewy finish, a buildable foundation, and it covers everything. In fact, it is not only a foundation, it’s also a concealer. You can use it as both.
And a little bit goes a long way. If you go to the link I shared and see the little jar it comes in I’m sure you’ll be thinking “I’m going to use that up in a week!” – trust me, you won’t!
It’s $48 and it comes in 16 different shades, which is not a lot – there are a lot of light, light to medium, and then, all in a sudden, the shades jump to really dark. Because I couldn’t find my exact shade, I combined this foundation with a Cover FX Custom Cover Drops – this product is pure pigment. This will apply to any foundation that you use, especially in the summer months if you get a little bit darker in color, whether it’s from the Sun or a self-tanning product. You can get yourself some of this pigment in a little bit darker color, mix it into the foundation that you have, and you can save and prolong your foundation.
With the Sensual Skin Enhancer a little goes a long way – its formula spreads really, really well, and the coverage is fantastic. Depending on the kind of finish you want, you can leave it a little bit on the dewy side and just dust a little bit of a loose powder over this. It doesn’t move or transfer.
So if you are in the market for a very full coverage foundation for events, weddings, parties, something where you need a little bit more of a made-up look, might I encourage you to give this one a try!
Shop it here:
Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer https://www.cultbeauty.com/kevyn-aucoin-the-sensual-skin-enhancer-10g-various-shades/13209114.html?
Takeaways on choosing the best foundation for your mature skin
I hope you found these foundations reviews helpful.
First let’s tackle the lower-end ones. I would say the Neutrogena Healthy Skin is probably my least favorite. It didn’t give me the coverage that I was hoping for.
It’s a true tie between the L’Oreal visible lift and the CoverGirl Simply Ageless. I think that this was a little more dewy, the CoverGirl.
The L’Oreal was a little bit more matte, a little bit. So it really depends on the kind of finish that you’re looking for, but both of these are excellent products and gave me the kind of coverage, a nice medium coverage that I was looking for.
On the higher end side, this is where it gets really tricky – I’m a huge fan of the Estee Lauder The Futurist.
The Urban Decay Naked, the matte one, I loved. I was thrilled to be able to offer a matte product in the mix that didn’t dry out my skin, and the IT Cosmetics foundation was just incredible. So it’s probably going to be between these two on the higher end.
You’ve got this fabulous assortment of foundations for mature skin from which to choose. So with all your new foundations to try, go out, be bold, and be blessed!
Up next, don’t miss our best concealers for mature skin!