Makeup Artists Say These Foundations Are Best for Dry Skin

Makeup Artists Say These Foundations Are Best for Dry Skin featured image

For those with dry skin—I’m combination, so I can relate half of the time—finding the right foundation can be frustrating. Though any makeup artist will tell you “the best foundation for dry skin” really starts with a base of great skin care, the foundation formula itself is also important. Picking one that will keep your skin dewy, not flaky, is key. If the latter sounds all too familiar, take one of these makeup artist–recommended foundations out for a spin.  

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Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation ($69)

“This celebrity must-have is one you want to splurge on if you have dry skin. It has a lightweight, yet buildable texture and leaves a silky, flawless finish. This foundation acts as a primer and foundation in one. It offers medium coverage, which you can easily build upon depending on your needs, and it never clings to dry patches on the skin.”

—Makeup artist Alexa Persico

“This is one of my classic favorites. It’s a liquid formula, has a buildable, medium coverage, and gives you a flawless, healthy glow.”

—Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg

“When it comes to dry skin and foundation, I first think we need to tackle which skin care is being layered under the coverage. A great serum and moisturizer combo can make almost any foundation sit and look better on the skin. Some serums I love include Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum and Bioeffect EGF Power CreamEpicuren Ultra Rose Treat Enzyme Moisturizer is a great choice too.

The best glow can always be achieved by using Armani Luminous Silk. It’s still the best for any skin type, including dry skin, and I love the color range. It can also be layered for more opaque coverage or worn sparingly for a sheer wash.

—Celebrity makeup artist Molly Stern

“This foundation is buildable with a natural finish and does a great job at blurring imperfections. While it isn’t budget-friendly, it is a great foundation! Again, I love to use a sponge with this. For dry skin, I find a sponge or fingers almost always beat out a brush!”

—Makeup artist Dakota Alexandra

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Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation ($44)

“I love this foundation! It goes on smoothly, making your skin look poreless, it’s anti-aging, anti-pollution and its hydrating ingredients make your skin look refreshed all day long.”

—Celebrity makeup artist Ermahn Ospina

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beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation ($29)

“I love that this formula contains hyaluronic acid, which helps retain moisture, and it’s weightless on the skin—skin still looks like skin. And even though it dries matte, it’s not drying. It comes in 40 shades, lasts up to 24 hours, has buildable coverage and blends well.”

—Celebrity makeup artist D’Andre Michael

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Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation ($47)

“Dry skin is often dull skin, so the radiant finish to this foundation works beautifully to revive and lift the complexion. It also has a ton of humectants—think little moisture magnets for the skin—to provide 24-hour hydration. Even better, the radiant microcrystals give an ‘Instagram filter’ effect to the skin.”

—Celebrity makeup artist Michael Patterson

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La Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation ($120)

“This foundation blends beautifully and provides even, medium coverage. But it gets better: Because it’s La Mer, it contains their famous Miracle Broth, which is packed with antioxidants and keeps your skin super hydrated, and it has SPF 20! It’s pricey, but worth it.”

—Celebrity makeup artist Katie Danza

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Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Foundation ($49)

“This hydrating foundation gives the most beautiful, luminous, subtle glow to dry skin. It glides on smoothly and won’t cling onto any dryness. Plus, it can be built up without ever looking cakey.”

—Celebrity makeup artist Dusty Starks

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Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation Cream ($82)

“This rich, nourishing option is my pick for dry, mature skin. It provides medium coverage and a flawless finish.”

—Celebrity makeup artist Justin St. Clair

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Foundation ($38)

“I have dry skin, and very sensitive, allergic skin as well, so I have tested a bunch of foundations and my favorite so far is this one. I just love it—it’s buildable and radiant, very skin-like and not heavy or uncomfortable to wear. It doesn’t settle into lines or look cakey. It’s water-resistant and doesn’t need to be set with a powder! This is a great benefit for those with dry skin. I personally like to set it lightly with ABH’s Vanilla Loose Powder, but the fact that it isn’t necessary is great. I also love to apply this foundation with a beautyblender.”

—Dakota Alexandra

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Maybelline Dream Radiant Liquid Foundation ($13)

“Working on the Maybelline backstage team for New York Fashion Week, this was a go-to for creating a glowy, radiant complexion. The secret: hyaluronic acid, which works wonders in plumping the appearance of lines and delivering a dewy result. My preference is to use a damp beautyblender and stipple this foundation as needed, starting in the center of the face and working out.”

—Michael Patterson

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Chanel Nº1 De Chanel Revitalizing Foundation ($70)

“The formula contains clean ingredients—red camellia oil and other moisturizers—that soften the skin and help protect against environmental aggressors. The coverage is buildable, it leaves a luminous finish, it makes the complexion appear plumper, and it comes in 20 shades.”

—D’Andre Michael

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Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Beautiful Skin Foundation ($44)

“This foundation offers buildable coverage for a flawless face. It is formulated for people with normal and drier skin types, and has skin-loving, hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, apple fruit water, olive oil, rose flower oil, and coconut fruit extract, to name a few. You also get a high amount of pore-blurring dimethicone and moisturizing glycerin, which are both amazing for dry skin types.” 

—Alexa Persico

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PUR 4-in-1 Mineral Makeup Powder Foundation ($29.50)

“Usually, I’d say avoid powder foundation for dry skin, but this one is different. It hydrates, has SPF and looks so natural on the skin no matter your skin type. When you have dry skin, you don’t want to pile on a ton of makeup. Multitasking products are your friend, and this is a great one!”

—Jamie Greenberg

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NARS Sheer Glow Foundation ($47)

“Not only does it provide great coverage, but it also works to hydrate and even out skin tone. The formula provides sheer, buildable coverage with a natural-looking satin finish. Harnessing the skin-care benefits of its ‘complexion-brightening formula,’ it helps hydrate skin for a more luminous, softer and smoother complexion.”

—Alexa Persico

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ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation ($54)

“This is a clean line that also hydrates skin with skin-care ingredients like aloe! If you have sensitive skin, this could be great for you as well.”

—Jamie Greenberg

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Kosås Tinted Face Oil ($42)

“This oil is a weightless, lighter-coverage formula that’s great for dry skin. It’s perfect for enhancing the complexion and leaving the skin supple and beautiful.”

—Justin St. Clair

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NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation ($49)

“The Skin-Optimizing Complex in this oil-free and fragrance-free formula—raspberry, apple and watermelon extracts—helps skin elasticity and smooths and improves skin’s texture. It provides a natural, weightless finish, 16-hour wear, the coverage is buildable and it comes in 34 shades.”

—D’Andre Michael

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Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation ($70)

“This celeb-favorite foundation literally melts into the skin. Its creamy, lightweight, moisturizing finish works wonders for drier skin that needs a boost of hydration. The finish is like second skin.”

—Dusty Starks

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Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation ($38) 

“The grape seed oil and sodium hyaluronate in this lightweight formula make dry skin look and feel fresh and hydrated. It’s also sweat- and humidity-resistant, the coverage is buildable, and it comes in 50 shades.”

—D’Andre Michael

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