The Best High-Street Foundations Worth Adding To Your Beauty Arsenal

Because you shouldn't have to break the bank to ace your base.

best high street foundations

by Marina Avraam |
Updated on

News flash: your favourite foundation doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, the best high-street foundations often outperform their high-end counterparts, proving that it's not all about the money. With that being said, choosing the best high-street foundation for your complexion and skin tone is definitely a skill, and - luckily - one that we've mastered.

Whether you're looking for something dewy, matte or full-coverage, you can trust the high street to have an appropriately priced foundation for a tenner or less. Just think of L'Oreal's True Match, the £9.99 foundation that rivalled every other brand with its 28 shade ranges, or The Ordinary's £5 offering which garnered a cult following, before it even launched.

So, if you're yet to find your perfect high-street foundation, we've rounded up the best options, according to the Grazia team. Shop our top picks below.


SHOP: The Best High-Street Foundation

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Max Factor Miracle Touch Second Skin Foundation

Loved by our Beauty Director, this lightweight foundation lets your skin peek through whilst giving a touch of natural coverage - just enough to even out skin tone and disguise any sign of redness.

Coverage: Lightweight
No. of shades: 12
Customer review: 'I can't say enough about this foundation it is absolutely amazing. It is easy to apply, goes onto the skin smoothly and is easy to blend and build up if necessary. It does not need a primer underneath and does not clog pores or cause dryness. It leaves a lovely soft glow and is a lovely texture and makes skin look flawless. Also has SPF in it which is fantastic.'

elf Camo CC Cream, £142 of 8

elf Camo CC Cream

Elf offers some of the most sophisticated bases on the high street, and its CC cream is no exception. This one leans to the full coverage side but doesn't appear flat or dull on the skin. It's infused with skincare ingredients too, like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, to brighten and hydrate skin. Smart.

Coverage: Medium-to-full
No. of shades: 31
Customer review: 'Such an amazing product. Glowy, has good coverage, adapts to your skin tone. A perfect budget everyday wear foundation.'

L'Oreal Paris True Match Nude Plumping Tinted Serum, £13.993 of 8

L'Oreal Paris True Match Nude Plumping Tinted Serum

Possibly the MVP of high-street foundations, True Match is an example of a foundation that feels more expensive than it is. It provides perfect, natural-looking coverage and is available in an impressive 48 shades. It's infused with a healthy dose of hyaluronic acid, that keeps dryness at bay and keeps skin looking juicy.

Coverage: Medium blendable
No. of shades: 48
Customer review: 'I bought this as I was looking for a dupe for my Charlotte Tilbury beautiful skin foundation and discovered this, it is practically identical to the CT one, it matches my skin perfectly and has a subtle glow, I was a bit worried at first as it is very watery but it applies beautifully and blends well, I prefer serum foundations as I like the skincare aspect and the natural look, it is ideal for daytime use and I will definitely repurchase.'

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Revlon Photoready Candid Anti-Pollution Foundation

Ideal for city-dwellers, Revlon's Candid foundation features antioxidants, anti-pollution and anti-blue light technology to really protect skin from environmental stressors.

Coverage: Medium buildable
No. of shades: 32
Customer review: 'Fantastic foundation, beautiful skin-like finish, truly long-lasting, perfect match tone, beats the high end!'

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Maybelline Dream Radiant Liquid Foundation

If combating shine and minimising pores is at the top of your priority list, this foundation is for you. It glides on effortlessly, providing buildable coverage that blurs pores and controls shine with its natural, matte finish.

Coverage: Medium
No. of shades: 18
Customer review: 'Oh my god, I’ve been looking for a foundation like this for years. I want something with medium/lightweight coverage that’s buildable and doesn’t look like I’ve caked loads of foundation on. This looks like my skin but 1000x better! It’s not too drying and leaves my skin feeling so smooth it doesn’t feel like I have anything on, but with beautiful coverage! Definitely going to be re-buying!'

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Rimmel Lasting Radiance Foundation

The perfect Monday morning foundation, this formula reawakens skin, eliminates signs of tiredness and gives a healthy, radiant glow.

Coverage: Medium
No. of shades: 12
Customer review: 'Bought this today and it’s absolutely beautiful..coverage and finish are amazing will be using this foundation from now on I’m seriously blown away.'

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The Ordinary, Serum Foundation

Remember the foundation with a 25,000-strong sign-up list before it even launched? Well, it certainly lived up to the hype. Courtesy of The Ordinary - the no-nonsense brand that took the beauty industry by storm - this serum foundation is everything you could want from a low-coverage foundation and more. It gives a natural, fresh finish that enhances the skin without masking it.

Coverage: Lightweight, natural
No. of shades: 20
Customer review: 'My favourite foundation! I've tried many different high-end, drug store and K beauty... This is however the first foundation I've ever found that is a perfect match to my skin tone. Props for low price. The texture is beautifully light but also easily buildable for more cover. Amazed at how amazing this is for being in such a low price range.'

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No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED All in One Foundation

This is the ticket if you're after a 'your skin but better' finish. Concealing imperfections and smoothing the appearance of skin without covering it completely, the light-reflecting particles ensure your complexion will look luminous.

Coverage: Medium
No. of shades: 20
Review: 'How many foundations have I tried? Too many. This is the only one that leaves my skin flawless and youthful covering up any fine lines. I love it. The other bonus is it doesn't look caked on, it gives a natural look.'

How to find your foundation shade at the drugstore?

Over the course of the last few years, our shopping habits have changed dramatically with lots of us either spending less or spending more online. In the make-up and skincare sphere - it happens to be the latter, with many of us stockpiling these feel-good buys. And if you're continuing to shop online, there's a brilliant platform that can help you find the perfect drugstore foundation match virtually. Enter:

Simply enter your current foundation brand, formula and shade as well as any previous foundations you’ve owned and their shades (the more brands/shades the better). Findation will then generate a list of several different foundations in your suggested shades based on your current/previous foundations. The extensive list includes lots of affordable bases from the likes of NYX Cosmetics, L'Oreal Paris, Kiko and Morphe.

What is the best drugstore foundation for older skin?

As our skin ages, it tends to become drier and fine lines become more visible. This means you want to avoid any matte or full-coverage foundations that will settle into lines and look caked-on. 'Go for light-reflecting products with a dewy, fresh finish,’ recommends Lancome Make-up Artist, Shehla Shaikh.

No7 HydraLuminous Moisturising Foundation, £15, gets rave reviews and hydrates while lending the skin a lightweight veil of coverage. Or, try a tinted moisturiser that combines the benefits of skincare with make-up - like Makeup Revolution's Super Dewy Tinted Moisturiser, £9, for a balmy hint of colour that creates that 'no make-up make-up' look. (For more foundation suggestions for mature skin, shop our curated edit).

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us