These Are Officially The Best Foundations To Beat Dry Skin This Winter

Tried and tested by the Grazia Beauty Team

best foundations for dry skin

by Emma Stoddart |
Updated on

Finding the best foundation for winter is no easy task - primarily because of the dry skin that comes hand in hand with freezing cold temperatures. While dry skin is less likely to break out than other skin types, it can feel tight, flake and is prone to fine lines, so choosing a hydrating base is paramount. The more moisture you add back into your skin - the better, so opting for a foundation that boasts hydrating properties means your skin will reap the benefits - bring on the dewy complexion.

Whether you want full coverage or prefer a lightweight tinted moisturiser, there are so many savvy formulas out there. We're talking foundations that won't cling to dry patches, formulas that deliver a much-needed hit of hydration and up your dewy factor no end. Look out for skin-loving ingredients, too. Hyaluronic acid molecules hold up to 1000 times their weight in moisture, helping your skin to stay hydrated throughout the day - it's a real beauty catch in the dry skin department!

Read on to find out Grazia’s edit of the best foundations to combat dry skin this winter, and don't forget to keep scrolling for top tips and tricks from make-up artist Lynsey Alexander to lock down that perfect application technique too…

SHOP: The Best Foundations For This Winter


The Best Foundations For Dry Skin

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Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Beautiful Skin Foundation

Summary: You can rely on Charlotte Tilbury to create a foundation that mimics an Instagram filter on your skin. Beautiful Skin combines ingredients like hyaluronic acid and rose water with a radiant skin tint to create the ultimate seamless coverage that leaves the skin feeling hydrated all winter, and looking flawless.

Details: Available in 30 different shades with cool, warm and neutral undertones.

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Tom Ford, Shade And Illuminate Soft Radiance Foundation SPF 50

Summary: Yes, it's expensive but this creamy, luxurious foundation is blended with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump as well as anti-inflammatory Noni fruit extract to nourish and calm.

Details: It's SPF 50 to protect skin from harmful UV rays. Available in 39 shades to cater to a wide range of skin tones.

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Chanel, Les Beiges Eau de Teint

Summary: A total game-changer, Chanel's Les Beiges Eau de Teint is a lightweight, hydrating hero that's 75% water. Your winter BFF.

Details: The encapsulated pigments melt into skin and can be blended in with the cute brush. Available in six shades.

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Hourglass Ambient Soft Glow Foundation

Summary: A new addition to the Hourglass foundation portfolio. This light-reflecting foundation with a buildable coverage will make your skin look lit from within. Infused with vitamin E, this foundation provides a dreamy glow and blurs any imperfections.

Details: Available in 32 shades with 16-hour wear.

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Fenty Beauty PRO FILT'R Hydrating Foundation

Summary: Craving some hydration this winter? If you love wearing a medium to full coverage foundation but suffer from dry skin, this is the foundation to try. Create a flawless, long-lasting base that continues to keep the skin flooded with moisture.

Details: Available in 50 shades, formulated with grape seed oil to hydrate the plump skin whilst leaving a dewy finish.

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Kevyn Aucoin, The Foundation Balm

Summary: You had us at the word 'balm'. Blended with hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and avocado oil, this velvety foundation has a second-skin feel and lends skin a juicy glow.

Details: Apply with a brush to the centre of the face before blending outwards. Available in 20 shades.

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It Cosmetics, Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination SPF 50

Summary: We could go on and on about how brilliant this foundation is. But all you really need to know is that it conceals redness, minimises the appearance of pores, diffuses the look of wrinkles and adds a lotta radiance. Just wow.

Details: Available in 12 skin-adapting shades.

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NARS, Sheer Glow Foundation

Summary: A cult favourite, this NARS dewy foundation has a natural glow-y finish that's easy to build. Plus, it's full of antioxidants that actually improve skin's texture when you're wearing it. A win-win.

Details: A sheer, buildable foundation that's available in 40 shades.

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Sculpted By Aimee Connolly, Second Skin Foundation Dewy Finish

Summary: Packed with hyaluronic acid, collagen and aloe vera, this nourishing foundation formula is perfect for those with dry or dehydrated skin types. It's juicy and dewy on the skin, so won't settle in fine lines or wrinkles and leaves your skin looking radiant as if lit-from-within.

Details: 100% mineral formula, available in 17 shades - plus, there's a matte variant if your skin errs on the oilier side.

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Natasha Denona, Face Glow Foundation

Summary: A skin tint with brilliant staying power, this base is perfect for those lazy days where you want just a little coverage.

Details: A lightweight texture that can be mixed with your favourite moisturiser for a natural finish. Available in three shades.

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Westman Atelier, Vital Skin Foundation Stick

Summary: Makeup Artist, Gucci Westman who's famous for creating Jennifer Anniston and Anne Hathaway's enviable glow has now curated her own collection - Westman Atelier. The creamy foundation stick glides on like butter and blends in seamlessly for a barely perceptible, dewy finish.

Details: Squalene restores glow while antioxidants protect skin. Available in 18 shades.

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Clarins, Skin Illusion Foundation

Summary: Clarins' clever offering plumps the skin with moisture, while leaving a dewy finish with pearls and soft focus powders.

Details: Available in 24 shades. Complete with SPF 15.

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Revlon, PhotoReady Candid™ Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation

Summary: Formulated with antioxidants and zero oils, this foundation works really well on dry skin. It's also anti-pollution and anti-blue light, so perfect for city-dwellers.

Details: A long-wearing formula with buildable coverage. Available in 31 shades.

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Rimmel, Lasting Finish Foundation

Summary: Rimmel London Lasting Finish Foundation with Comfort Serum is made for those wanting full coverage while still quenching thirsty skin.

Details: Available in 18 shades.

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Oxygenetix, Oxygenating Breathable Foundation

Summary: Ideal for dry and sensitive skin, this legendary foundation is both soothing and antibacterial with an aloe vera base.

Details: Non-comedogenic, oil-free and fragrance-free. Available in 14 shades.

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YSL, Youth Liberator Serum Foundation

Summary: Fusing skincare with make-up, this luxury offering from YSL leaves skin looking plump and youthful (thanks to the hydrating serum formula).

Details: SPF 20. Infused with moisturising serum.

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Laura Mercier, Flawless Lumiere Radiance-Perfecting Foundation

Summary: For a glowing complexion, give this liquid foundation a whirl. Packed with Vitamin C the formula will improve skin's radiance over time, too.

Details: Mushroom extract hydrates while vitamin C brightens. Available in 33 shades.

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Bobbi Brown, Intensive Skin Serum Foundation

Summary: Want a complexion that looks both flawless and natural? Bobbi Brown's offering, complete with skin-feeding lychee and bamboo grass extract, does both expertly.

Details: Shake the bottle before buffing it in with a brush. Added UVA/UVB protection. Available in 22 shades.

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MAC, Studio Face and Body Foundation

Summary: The MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation has been around for what seems like forever and has most definitely earned its name as a dry skin saviour. The moisturising, water-based formula is full of nourishing agents, antioxidants and emollients, helping to prevent drying or caking.

Details: A lightweight, comfortable foundation that delivers low to medium coverage. Available in 10 shades.

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NYX, Born to Glow Foundation

Summary: This foundation does exactly what it says on the tin (or tube), lending skin a healthy-looking glow. The pro-blended pigment has zero flashback, zero cakiness and zero excess shine all while granting a dewy veil.

Details: Easy to blend, vegan formula that provides medium coverage. Available in 39 shades.

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L'Oreal Paris, Skin Paradise Tinted Water Cream

Summary: 70% water, this silky formula is blended with aloe vera, ginger and witch hazel for a refreshing feel and dewy finish. This one's perfect if you want a bit of coverage, a glow boost but are adamant that you're after something lightweight.

Details: Lightweight, everyday base with a luminous finish. Available in 10 shades.

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No7, HydraLuminous Moisturising Foundation

Summary: For visibly fresh and radiant skin make a grab for this No7 buy. It offers medium coverage and is packed with vitamins A, C, E and grape-seed oil to deliver intense hydration and pack an antioxidant punch too.

Details: Available in 12 shades.

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Erborian, CC Cream

Summary: CC Cream HD is the first high-definition radiance skincare. This ultra-fine, deeply moisturising texture is enriched with CC pigments, the new generation Colour Controlling pigments self-adjust to your natural luminous beauty, new vitality, freshness and radiance.

Details: Available in two skin adapting shades.

How To Best Apply Foundation To Dry Skin

Make sure your skin is well-prepped before you start applying foundation. Begin with a lightweight day cream to pack a hydrating punch. Next up, apply your primer to ensure your make-up stays in place all day long.

Now you can apply your foundation. 'Apply with fingers or a sponge then use a blending brush to let the product disappear into the skin,' says make-up maestro Lynsey Alexander, and work from the centre of your face outwards for a seamless application.

Top trick? 'Add moisture back on top of the foundation,' suggests Alexander, who swears by patting Lancome Genifique serum,£60 for 30ml, atop your finished make-up look for a seriously dewy glow. We also love Charlotte Tilbury's Hollywood Flawless Filter, £36 which can be mixed with foundation to add radiance all over or dotted along cheekbones and brow bones to highlight.

Is Liquid Foundation Better For Dry Skin?

'Anything liquid will add hydration,' says Lynsey. 'Luminising foundations tend to be packed with emollients which really help with moisture.' So if your skin is dry, opt for a dewy liquid foundation that promises glowy results.

Do I Need Setting Powder If I Have Dry Skin?

The trick to setting powder, according to Lynsey, is placement. 'You don't need to apply setting powder everywhere,' she says, 'especially if your skin is dry.' Rather, focus on key areas like the T-zone and under the eyes - where you want to set your make-up. If you do find your skin feels dry throughout the day, keep a facial mist nearby for a quick pick-me-up and dose of hydration.

Is BB Cream Better Than Foundation?

Both have a time and a place. BB cream is a great lightweight option when you want just a little coverage. They tend to have moisturising, blemish-banishing and healing properties. For our pick of the best BB creams, click here.

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