Though dewy complexions seem to be on-trend these days, we’re still on the best matte foundations bandwagon and don’t see ourselves leaving anytime soon. If you’re wondering what we love in the matte foundation category, lucky for you, we have a range of picks to share. These medium-to-full coverage base products are often assumed to be drying or face-flattening, but that’s not always the case — especially if you pick the right formula.
According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, it’s the silica powder in these oil-free formulations that makes them dry down with zero shine. “Silica powder absorbs oil and is often used as a foundation ingredient to create a matte appearance,” she says. “Some brands also use clay as a mattifying ingredient.”
New York City-based makeup artist Tommy Napoli loves to use a matte base on anyone with oily or acne-prone skin. “I always pull for a matte foundation when working on a client that wants to cover any blemishes,” he says. “I’ll apply small amounts to the face to ensure nothing dries down before I blend it out with a large kabuki brush. If I need more — I add as I go.”
There are so many formulations to choose from, but below, we’re sharing our definitive list of the best matte foundations. Between luxuriously velvety, weightless picks from Armani Beauty and Chanel and beloved drugstore foundations from Maybelline New York and L’Oréal Paris, we’ve got you, and your complexion, covered.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet Foundation, $55
- Best for Mature Skin: Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Matte Foundation, $130
- Expert’s Choice: Armani Beauty Power Fabric + High Cover Foundation, $69
- Best Full Coverage Foundation: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation, $49
- Certified Classic: MAC Studio Fix Fluid, $39
- Light and Airy: Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Foundation, $34
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