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Best Foundations For Mature Skin

As we age, our skin changes. Sunspots, smile lines, and other imperfections are more visible. The products that worked for us as children no longer work. It’s important to assess how well our go-to foundations are still serving us, just as we do with our skincare routines. Professional makeup artist J Guerra recommends a combination of medium coverage concealer and full coverage for mature skin. This will give you a natural look, while allowing you to build it up where needed.

We tested foundations for women with different skin concerns such as redness, dry skin, wrinkles and dull skin. We also looked at whether they brightened the skin and offered additional benefits like sun protection or hydration. We carefully noted our findings after 16 hours on coverage, finish, and feel. We looked at whether the foundations felt hydrating or had a matte finish. Also, we checked if they pilled and if they allowed for a buildable coverage. Before narrowing down our list, we considered everything from the lightweight feel to the shade range.

Best Overall

Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation

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Dior Backstage Foundation was a miracle. It left us creaseless, greasy-free, and speechless. With just one swipe across the face, we looked as if we had been professionally Photoshopped. A layer of even skin tone quickly covered adult acne, patches on cheeks, and uneven complexion. The redness under our nose and chin was completely covered. The foundation blended smoothly with a sponge (a brush was slightly slower to blend) and covered our dark circles without concealer.

It felt smooth and invisible once applied. The foundation did not feel heavy or greasy on the skin. It was light and airy, which surprised us considering its full coverage. We found that the foundation matted our oily skin to give it a healthy glow. What is the overall result? The overall effect? This foundation is so good that we wish there were more shades available for darker skin tones.

Best Drugstore

L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Serum Foundation


L’Oreal is known for its quality products and wide range of colors. We found that the Radiant Serum Foundation, which comes with an extra 50 SPF sunscreen, has a medium-coverage, perfect for blending our skin in one sweep. We could easily add more coverage to our cheeks if we needed it. The extra layering did not make the formula feel heavy or cakey.

It does appear a little wet in order to achieve the “radiant” appearance that is the foundation’s name. It doesn’t have to be runny. Just a bit oily. This would be best set up with primer, or finished with setting powder to achieve a matte finish. It also settled into the creases of our eyes after about 30 minutes, especially if we added several layers. One layer was enough to keep the look smooth. This foundation is a good choice for summer, given its wide color range, medium coverage and SPF.

Best Full-Coverage

Chanel Ultra Le Teint Flawless Finish Foundation


Once you have covered your face with this Chanel foundation, you won’t need anything else. The soft, luxurious formula blended easily over the face and required minimal effort. The matte finish was full coverage without feeling caked-on, patchy or bumpy on our wrinkles and breakouts. We got a great, natural-looking finish with minimal product.

The formula was light and creamy, despite the amazing coverage. It wasn’t necessarily hydrating but it didn’t feel heavy or drying either. It was easy to apply, didn’t crease and maintained a soft and silky appearance throughout the day. It was great to find a product that gave a pore refining finish and eliminated dark spots and blemishes without having to combine three different products. The Chanel Foundation was able to do it all at once.

Best light coverage

Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous silk Foundation


You want to make your skin look its best, so you should use a foundation with a light covering. Giorgio Armani’s best-selling foundation created a silky finish that masked any imperfections while reducing redness. The product is sheer but it can be built up without feeling cakey. You’ll want to use concealer on any hyperpigmented spots (like old scars or dark under-eye circles).

It felt great on my skin. It is almost cooling, and it has a silky and watery feel. It has a soft, almost serum like consistency and glides easily over the skin. It wasn’t patchy or clingy. It did not wrinkle our fine lines, even when we emphasized our expressions. It was especially beautiful in the summer. We used powder to get a bit more coverage when we needed it.

Best Liquid

Nars Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation


We were eager to see if the Nars foundation would live up to its reputation. We were not surprised to find that we fell in love instantly with this full-coverage, silky foundation. It’s liquidy so you only need one pump to cover your entire face. It didn’t appear cakey on my skin, despite the fact that it was so full of color. It looked just like our own skin but better. As if it blended with our complexion, making us look uniform and well blended.

It’s not just beautiful, but it feels invisible. It is feather-light and doesn’t feel heavy or sticky. It gives a natural, dreamy finish without the need for powder (unless you want a matte finish). It is free of mineral oil, parabens and silicones. We think it’s a good summer foundation because of its moisturizing and fresh feeling.

Best with SPF

BareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation


The best way to get extra protection is with foundations that have SPF built in. The SPF 20 is a great amount of coverage for your sunscreen. (The American Academy of Dermatology suggests SPF 30 and higher.) This foundation applied smoothly and evenly. It did blur away some inconsistencies, but there were still a few dark spots which needed to be covered up with concealer.

When applying this foundation, we recommend using a Beautyblender over a brush. The brush spread the formula more evenly, and required fewer pumps (to be precise) to cover the face. The medium coverage foundation has a drying effect once applied, so it’s best to apply a moisturizer first. The formula is lightweight and has a satiny, powdery finish. You don’t need to apply a powdered powder afterwards.

Best for Dark Skin

True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation in Blk/Opl


BLK/OPL offers affordable makeup for darker skin tones since nearly 30 years. In these three decades they have perfected their Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation. One pump of the full-coverage liquid foundation was enough to even out our skin tone and cover hyperpigmentation. The foundation dried quickly and blended smoothly into our skin. The lightweight foundation felt just like our skin but was better. The foundation also produced a smooth, flawless finish that required minimal manipulation. It even covered creases around our eyes and on our foreheads. Our fine lines were hidden no matter how long it took. Even our pores on the cheeks and nose were less noticeable.

We felt radiant and confident about our skin as it dried. It’s not a particularly hydrating product, so it is recommended to layer a moisturizer beneath first.

Best for over 40

Fenty Beauty Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation


Fenty Beauty will have a wide range of colors, so you can be sure to find your perfect match. This medium-to-full coverage foundation conceals without caking is our pick for the best over-40 foundation. It is lightweight, but still highly pigmented. The foundation was applied with less than two pumps and we achieved the desired result: a soft matte finish, with all dark spots covered. The foundation dried quickly and blended in naturally, so it was easy to add more coverage.

It was amazing how the lines around our eyes and forehead, as well as our nasolabial creases, were blurred without appearing caked. It matted so quickly, and did not look dry. There was no transfer to our hands or clothing. The skin was normal, not sticky or wet. The product stayed in place all day long without becoming runny or settling into our bumps.

Best for Sensitive skin

It Cosmetics Better Foundation for Your Skin


This foundation is a combination of skincare and makeup. It provides skin health benefits, as well as a beautiful, smoothed out complexion. This medium-coverage makeup made us feel and look healthy. The formula contains hyaluronic, aloe extract, vitamins B5 and E, and hepes acids, which heal and hydrate sun-damaged and dry skin. It did not sink into the skin nor did it float on top. This was the perfect balance between being non-intrusive and covering our skin imbalances.

This foundation blended out better with a sponge than a brush, and helped to cover some acne scarring. The foundation would sometimes clump up around scars if it wasn’t blended properly, so we took a bit more time to spread the foundation on those areas. It created a glowy, dewy finish once applied. It didn’t transfer to fingers or clothing thanks to its quick-drying properties. We were extremely satisfied with the foundation.

Best for over 50

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation


Pat McGrath’s Sublime Perfection Foundation has a number of great features. First, the lightweight formula can be built up to achieve a fuller coverage without feeling heavy on the skin. Second, the formula glided over our forehead folds, nasolabial lines, and bumpy chins to conceal any unevenness. The foundation didn’t settle into these fine lines even after wearing it for several hours. It’s also oil-free so it didn’t clog our pores and gave us a fresh feeling all day.

If we were to use a single layer or double, then we would need a concealer for some dark areas. The foundation doesn’t provide a perfect finish. We didn’t care, since concealer was already a part of our daily makeup routine. The satiny finish is radiant and beautiful. It could be topped with powder to give it a more matte finish. We think that the Pat McGrath foundation is a great everyday foundation, especially for women over 50, because of the range of colors, the light-weight feel and the ability it has to conceal fine lines all day.

Best for dark spots

Kosas Revealer Foundation, SPF 25,


The shades of dark spots can vary from deep to light. This buildable, well-pigmented makeup will even out your complexion and conceal any imperfections. It may appear light initially, but it dries and settles beautifully. This is a great product for oily or combination skin because it’s not greasy and absorbs almost all moisture. It feels soft, gentle and breathable once applied, concealing any redness under the eyes and around the cheeks. Its opaque color evened out our skin’s imperfections and brightened it, despite feeling light. Did we mention that it has a mineral SPF 25 sunscreen? This is a real win.

It also didn’t settle in fine lines or wrinkles. It almost moves with our facial movements, without sinking in our pores. While we love its dewy finish, setting powder can be the perfect addition to create a flawless look.

Best for dry skin

Make up for Ever Reboot Active Care Foundation


We love a two-in one foundation. This option, with its hydrating components, left our skin feeling supple, smooth and hydrated even after we removed the foundation. This foundation, which contains ginseng and camellia japonica as well as mondo grass to moisturize and soften the skin, lasted long after being removed.

The coverage was overall light, but buildable. One layer was needed to remove redness, even out the skin texture, and cover dark spots. A second layer was required to conceal darkness and dark spots under the eyes. Two layers of the product gave us the perfect coverage, creating a smooth and radiant glow. The formula was never heavy or cloggy, even with two layers. It felt light, almost watery and had a pleasant fragrance, thanks to skincare ingredients. This made the application feel luxurious. This foundation would be perfect if it had SPF.

Best for oily skin

Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Soft Radiance Foundation, SPF 50


Oily skinned people often look for a foundation with a matte finish. The Tom Ford Foundation goes a step beyond mattifying by reducing excess moisture and drying out our oily skin. This formula was best applied with a sponge, which created an airbrushed look. It quickly settled into the skin and covered our entire face. There was no residue or transfer to clothes or fingers. It blurred out most of the redness and sun spots on our skin. We used concealer to cover any darker spots.

The foundation dried almost instantly to a powdery, lightweight feeling on our skin. This neutral base was perfect for adding any other products to, especially if you wanted to highlight your cheekbones. We would advise against adding more powder as the two powdery consistency could cause creasing.

Best Creme

Westman Atelier Vital Skin


The Vital Skin formula by Westman Atelier can be used as a foundation or concealer. You can use it to achieve a minimal look or build up for maximum coverage. It’s also easy to travel with, so you can get all your base makeup in one place. This magical stick was incredibly easy to use and creamy. We were able to conceal blemishes and redness around the eyes, as well as hollows under the eyes, with the consistency. The best way to spread this creamy formula was with our fingers. We used the stick to conceal more specific areas (such as under the eyes) and dabbed on the sponge. The formula blended nicely around the face and gave us the desired look, which was natural skin.

You don’t have to worry. It didn’t look patchy and it didn’t cling to the dry parts of our skin. We even noticed no creasing in our foreheads. It blended into the skin, creating a natural but bright look. It may be helpful to add a contouring or bronzer to complete the look.

Best For Pores And Wrinkles

Gucci Full Coverage Luminous Matte Finish Foundation


Gucci deserves a lot of credit for creating the most luxurious and impressive foundation on the market. This is a full coverage foundation which may not suit everyone. We only needed to use one pump of foundation to conceal our darker shadows and uneven skin tones, as well as our bumpy textures, to create a smoother surface. It’s obvious that we’re wearing makeup but it doesn’t look cakey or dewy. The opaque formula dries almost instantly, revealing a matte layer that looks natural. It only took one pump and a sweep to make us look like we had been touched up by an expert makeup artist.

It is neither drying nor heavy despite its matte finish. It’s almost impossible to feel anything other than a comfortable and breathable feeling on the skin. We were able to carry on with our day without worrying about the foundation fading, melting, or drying up. It was able to conceal our pores and wrinkles perfectly without needing any touch-ups. It is best to use a brush or your hands when applying the product, as a sponge absorbs too much.

Best for Rosacea

Bobbi brown Intensive Serum foundation

PHOTO: BOBBI Brown Cosmetics

It’s been difficult to conceal the rosacea on our cheeks. Bobbi’s Intensive Serum Foundation was the perfect foundation to blend over hyperpigmentation. We could build it up if one layer was not enough. It didn’t feel heavy. No matter how many layers we added, it never became finer.

Bobbi Brown’s color range is excellent, and it was easy to match the shade to our skin tone. The final result was a dewy, glowing finish without being oily or too wet. It felt more drying, and we recommend moisturizing the skin first. It doesn’t easily transfer to clothing, but because it is dry, it stays on for the entire day.

Best for over 60

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation


This foundation passed our test on post-menopausal, wrinkled skin with fine lines. This lightweight foundation was perfect because heavy foundations tend to settle into wrinkles. It covered some of our hyperpigmentation around the nose and between the eyebrows. It never created a patchy appearance or stuck to any bumps. It smoothed the surface with a single pump of luxurious cream, blurring any imperfections and hiding shadows.

It was also impressive to see that the formula did not transfer when we used blotting papers and our fingers. This is because the formula penetrated the skin in a hydrating and nourishing manner. The formula, which was originally a skincare product, combines skincare benefits to create a 360-degree beneficial product. The foundation doesn’t come in many colors, so we wish that more people could enjoy these benefits.

Best For Acne-Prone skin

Estee Lauder Futurist Moisturizing SPF 45


Fighting acne amongst all the other stressors in life can be tedious, but we found a foundation that’s non-acnegenic (aka it fights acne and won’t clog pores), is dermatologist-tested, and is free of parabens, phthalates, alcohol, and mineral oil. Let’s see how it looks on the skin. First, we were struck by how liquidy it was. The sponge was much more effective at spreading the cream than a brush, which created too many streaks. For a full coverage, we needed to apply about two layers. After blending, the foundation revealed a dewy skin tone that resembled a glow after a beach day. It took about five minutes for the product to dry completely, as it is so wet. Otherwise, it could transfer onto clothes. If you want a matte finish, set the product with powder.

The cream was also very light and hydrating. The cream plumped up our skin, giving it a healthy appearance.

What You Should Know About

Coverage Makeup artist Ashunta Sherriff-Kendricks recommends using light-medium formulas for mature skin. Sheriff-Kendricks says that heavy foundations can emphasize wrinkles and fine lines, whereas light to medium coverage creates a natural and youthful look. This coverage level evens out skin tone without appearing heavy or cakey. Guerra adds that “overly powdery or matte products can also accentuate texture and dryingness, which is why liquid formulations with sheer, building coverage tend to more forgiving.”

Application During our tests, we used a Beautyblender and a brush to test how the formula blended with our skin. Sheriff-Kendricks states that brushes are a good option for blending and precision application. They also help to reduce the risk of pulling or tugging on the skin. This is especially important for older skin. In these cases, we found that a Beautyblender was more effective. Sheriff suggests using your fingertips as a third alternative. She says that the warmth of your hand helps melt the product in the skin and gives it a natural look. “Gently press and pat the foundation into the skin. Focus on the areas that need the most coverage.”

Ingredients As we age, foundations with skincare benefits are more important than ever. Board-certified dermatologist Teresa Song, a NYC-based dermatologist, explains that our skin becomes more sensitive and dryer as we age. It also becomes more pigmented and texture. The foundations used for mature skin need to be nourishing and minimal, using ingredients like hyaluronic, ceramides and glycerin.


What is the best foundation for mature skin?

Dr. Song recommends that women with mature skin opt for foundations with a low to medium level of coverage. Dr. Song says that liquid and light creams will blend better and last longer on the skin than powders and heavy creams. Heavy creams can cause buildup and pilling.

Guerra agrees that “lightweight, hydrating and luminous foundations are typically the best for a radiant dewy finish because they give the skin a youthful radiance.”

Which foundation won’t settle into wrinkles when used?

We only included the foundations that did not show any creasing, even after wearing them for 30 minutes. Even so, Sheriff-Kendricks & Guerra offer a few tips & tricks to ensure that the foundation won’t settle into wrinkles.

Guerra suggests that you start by using a “rich moisturizing cream” to prepare the skin. This will reduce the likelihood of the foundation slipping into creases. He then applies a primer, which will help the makeup to last longer. It also creates a smooth surface that “fills fine lines and stops foundation from caking or settling.”

The expert recommends using liquid foundations or serums that are “lighter and more buildable” to avoid creases. As a last tip, “blot excess oil in order to prevent creases from forming throughout the day.”

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