15 Of the Best Foundations For All Skin Types, That Stay Put

Long wearing, full coverage and lightweight - these bases tick all of the right boxes.

best foundation

by Emma Stoddart |

What we need from our foundation changes seasonally - a little like our skincare. In the winter months, something hydrating and long wearing that will kick dry skin to the curb without irritation is a must. Whereas for summer, a foundation that can withstand warm temperatures, humidity and sweat is essential. And if it's got added SPF, well then that's a bonus!

Typically, in the past, we would have associated long wearing with high coverage, matte formulas. But that needn't be the case any more as so many skin-savvy foundations hitting the mainstream that boast a dewy finish that will last all day long. Not to mention, foundations that will suit your skin type and skin tone, as most are available in a 40-shade range. As well as this, some brands offer try-before-you-buy tools to ensure you get the right product for your skin tone.

From the likes of Fenty Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury and MAC - these are the very best foundations that get top marks for staying power, available to buy now. You'll also find a foundation to suit every need - from full coverage and matte to natural and radiant in a mix of liquid, stick and powder formulations.

Which foundations actually last all day? Which won't have worn off by lunch? Read on to discover our top picks...

How to apply foundation

Start by prepping your skin to give yourself a clean canvas to apply the foundation to. Use a cleanser and moisturiser to prep, and then apply your chosen primer on top. Once the skin is prepped and primed, you can begin the foundation application. Dab the foundation on the key areas of your face - forehead, cheeks, chin - with your fingers. If you're using a foundation brush, use a buffing motion to cover the skin with the foundation. If you chose to use a sponge, quickly dab the foundation dots to blend it out. Start from the centre of your face and work your way out to your hairline and jaw. Continue to tap the foundation under the chin and jaw to blend the edges out.

5 Foolproof Tips To Make Your Foundation Last All Day

Now you have settled for one of Grazia's recommended non-budging foundations, it's time to become acquainted with some tips and tricks to give your make-up the staying power. Tip 1) Use the right foundation for your skin type...

View Gallery
5 photos
1 of 5

1) Use the right foundation for your skin type

No brainer, right? But you can really maximize your product's lasting-power by being smart about your skin's needs. As a rule of thumb, if your skin is oily opt for a powder/oil-free foundation and if your skin is dry then anything with 'moisturising' in the description is a firm choice.

What's The Best Foundation For My Skin Type?

When choosing a foundation, consider your skin type and the finish you're after.

Best foundation for oily skin:

Oily skin? ‘The most common complaint for oily skin is that makeup disappears,' says Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr Sam Bunting, ‘so avoid overly dewy foundations, as invariably these formulas end up moving around as oil reaches the surface of the skin.' Something like Milk Makeup's Blur Liquid Matte Foundation, £36, is a great choice as it's blended with powder microspheres that create a soft focus finish. Or, try a foundation stick like MAC's Studio Fix Soft Matte Foundation Stick, £27, which can be swiped on and blended in until you get the coverage you so desire. And if you'd prefer something lightweight yet full coverage, Urban Decay Stay Naked Foundation, £31, will be right up your street with its second-skin feel and matte finish that will last all day. Plus, it comes in an impressive shade range of 50 shades.

Best foundation for combination skin:

Combination is the most common skin-type, and is characterised by ‘visible pores in the centre of the face where there is sheen due to oil production, but by contrast, pores on the cheeks are barely noticeable where skin is normal to dry’, explains Dr Sam Bunting. The secret to perfecting this skin-type is to treat each area differently. ‘Apply face powder down the centre of the face only – where the skin creates oil and leave it free from the cheeks and outer edges, applying just a cream foundation and luminizer here to create shine and moisture’ says Lynsey Alexander. Dr Bunting recommends Armani Luminous Silk foundation, £42, ‘it’s dewy and sheer giving just the right amount of coverage.'

Best foundation for dry skin:

If you're dry skinned and after a foundation that hydrates, look out for key ingredients like hyaluronic acid. L'Oreal Paris Skin Paradise Tinted Water-Cream, £10.99, is water-based and feels like a tinted moisturiser - lending skin a veil of dewy coverage that will stay put for hours. Or there's Fenty Beauty PRO FILT'R Hydrating Foundation, £27, (available in 50 shades to suit every skin tone) that combines sodium hyaluronate (a derivative of hyaluronic acid) with grape seed oil to really nourish skin while providing great coverage. Steer away from powder and matte formulas, as Dr Bunting explains, ‘matte finish products will make skin look cake-y or cracked as the day wears on.'

And finally, if you're in the market for a new foundation brush that will make application totally seamless, choose from our curated edit here. From stippling brushes to kabuki brushes, we've narrowed down the 10 best foundation brushes to achieve a blended, second-skin finish that will help your base stick around all day/night long. You can thank us later!

How to adapt your foundation

There are a few ways to adapt your foundation shade, the most simple way being to mix it with a lighter or darker foundation. If you don't have a choice of foundations shades at home, a good way to dilute the shade (if needed) is to combine with your moisturiser or a primer.

However, there are also specific products out there to adapt your shade which are super useful for the changing seasons (and hopefully upcoming holidays). For example The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops, £6 or Revolution PRO Foundation Mixer, £7. Simply add the drops to your foundation, mix in and apply as normal.

READ MORE: 10 Of The Best High Street Foundations On Par With Luxe Brands

READ MORE: 15 Of The Best Full Coverage Foundations That Can Conceal Anything

READ MORE: The Best Foundations For Mature Skin And How To Apply Them

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