Best Matte Foundation for a Smooth Finish

Three shades of liquid foundation makeup smeared on a white background

Finding the perfect matte foundation can be a hard thing to do, even for people who have worn makeup for years. There are many different shades, brands, and types of matte foundation to choose from, and to make everything more difficult, there are many different skin types. Matte foundation is something everyone wants to nail – get a color too light, and it will distort the look of your other makeup and get a color too dark and it'll do just the same. If you're disheartened by looking at all the different matte foundations out there, don't fret. This article will help you to understand the different types of matte foundations you can get, as well as things to consider before making a purchase for your personal skin type. Finally, we'll give you an overview of some of the best matte foundations for a smooth finish that you can find by reviewing 9 different foundations.

Different Formulas of Matte Foundations

There are many different formulas that matte foundations are made into. Here are some of the choices you have, and some of the different qualities of each:

The first formula of matte foundation is liquid foundation. As the name suggests, liquid matte foundation is primarily in a liquid formula. You apply the foundation as a wet liquid, and it dries with a matte finish. Different brands of liquid matte foundations offer different coverage options (low, medium, or high coverage). Many are also buildable, meaning you can add more than one layer of foundation and have the matte finish remain the same.

Another common formula is powder foundation. Powder matte foundations are applied as a dried powder and are typically the most beneficial for people that have oily skin. They can be buffed in with a beauty blender or other makeup sponge, and have a consistent matte finish throughout. Powder matte foundations are also not as easily buildable like a liquid matte foundation, though.

Cream matte foundation is the last most-common formula in which matte foundation is available. Cream matte foundation is similar to liquid matte foundation, but with a thicker consistency. It can come in a variety of coverages (light, medium, full coverage) and is easily buildable. It is also made for a variety of skin types. Typically, you won't need to use as much cream foundation because of how thick it is.

Things To Consider Before Purchasing a Matte Foundation

There are many factors you may want to take into account when you're looking to purchase a matte foundation. Let's take a look at some of these factors, so you're better informed when going to purchase your makeup.

Your Skin Textures

There are a few skin types that many foundation choices are made specifically for, including oily skin, dry skin, and combination skin. If you know how your skin reacts to foundation or know how the condition of your skin evolves as the day goes on, this will help you narrow down your foundation choices a lot. For example, if you have dry skin that tends to stay dry the whole day, you'll want to look for a foundation made specifically for dry skin. If you look for foundation tailored to oily skin, you may risk drying out your skin even more.

Your Skin Tone

Although this may seem like the same thing as your skin's texture, it is slightly different and can make a world of difference when choosing your makeup selection. Your skin tone, more specifically your skin undertones, can change the entirety of a makeup look unless you're trying to color correct your skin. Generally, if you have cooler undertones, you'll want to look for a foundation that supports those cooler undertones. If you have warmer undertones, look for a foundation that has warmer undertones to it.

The Coverage You Want

Different people have different preferences when it comes to makeup. There are usually four different types of coverage that matte foundation has to offer: sheer, light, medium, and full coverage. Sheer coverage means that your makeup is mostly transparent, but still has some makeup qualities to it that may balance your skin tone. Full coverage is more of an opaque coverage, with no room to see any blemishes, birthmarks, acne, or other markings on your face. If you want a more full coverage matte foundation, look for one that advertises as such, or look for one that can be buildable coverage up to what you desire.

Other Makeup You'll Wear With the Foundation

Certain foundations are meant to be worn alone and are designed to look better without other makeup on them like blush or contour. If you have a brand of matte foundation you're interested in, we recommend looking up video reviews of the foundation or other testimonials that speak to how the foundation holds up with the addition of other makeup. Or, you could always request a sample and play around with what you like to wear on a daily basis as well (it just might take more time).

How Exposed to the Elements You'll Be

Especially if you live in a warmer climate, you'll want to look for a matte foundation that can hold up to warm temperatures. You may also want to look for matte foundation that is long-lasting or can be worn for an extended period of time, even if you're only going to wear it for a little while. This way, your foundation will last the entire time you'll be outside or doing whatever you're doing. However, if you live in a moderate or cooler climate, you should be okay with many foundation choices. Another thing to consider is your skin tone throughout the season. As it gets warmer out your skin tone may darken, and you may even need to get darker matte foundation to accommodate for this.

Ingredients in the Foundation

This may be a tedious task, but if you know of ingredients in the foundation that your skin is sensitive to or that you may have an adverse reaction to, it would be wise to try and find another foundation. If your skin is sensitive to chemicals in general, you could opt for an organic or natural matte foundation, which would be less harsh on your skin. If all else fails, don't hesitate to read the reviews online or ask a worker at a makeup store if they know of any adverse reactions to a particular kind of makeup.

How To Choose Your Perfect Matte Foundation Shade

Now that you know what factors you should consider when looking at different foundations, we'll help give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to pick the best foundation that works best for you.

First, you'll want to write down or have a mental note of all the things you're looking for in a foundation. This can be based on your skin type, skin tone, coverage, and other things. This will help give you a better idea of what to look for when shopping online or in-store. Next, you'll start your search! If you're shopping online for your matte foundation, you can usually find some selections by typing keywords of what you want your foundation to be in a search engine. For example, if you're looking for a medium coverage foundation and you have oily skin, type "medium coverage matte foundation for oily skin". If you're going to a makeup store in order to buy your foundation, a makeup artist would be happy to point you in the right direction.

After you find a number of different foundations to try (or a number of different ones you're looking at online), you can begin to try them out on your skin. It's best to shop in-person to be able to color match the tones of the foundation for your skin, if you can. If you're able to test different shades in person, try putting multiple shades on at once to see which looks best. We also suggest walking around to different lighting to see how the foundation looks in different settings. If you only have an online resource to find your matte foundation, read reviews and look at pictures that people put online. Many will describe their skin tone and skin type so you have a better idea of if a product will be a good match for you or not.

Once you've found a foundation that you think best matches your skin, you're ready to purchase it! You'll also have a better idea of how to color match next time you need to purchase different shades, if you so choose.

The Top 9 Best Matte Foundation Choices For a Smooth Finish

Now that you know how to find the perfect matte foundation, we'll help give you options for some top matte foundations we found to be exceptional.

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03/06/2024 07:33 am GMT

1. Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte & Poreless Liquid Foundation

Maybelline's Fit Me Matte & Poreless Liquid Foundation comes in many shades – 41 to be exact. This matte foundation is meant to accommodate normal to oily skin types and offer medium coverage while refining and removing the appearance of your pores. It also offers buildable coverage, so you can add more later if you wish to. Apply it by simply adding an amount to your favorite beauty sponge or foundation brush and spreading it around evenly on your face. If you notice streaking after you apply it, you can tap it in gently with your fingers to remove those marks. If this foundation sounds like it would work well with your skin type, you can purchase it here on Amazon for $10.49.

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03/07/2024 07:30 pm GMT

2. L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Longwear Foundation

L'Oréal Paris's Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Longwear Foundation is perfect for people who want to have a natural yet soft matte look to their makeup and have it last all day. In fact, this liquid matte foundation lasts for up to 24 hours with one application, so you won't need to worry about reapplying it every few hours. There are 28 different shades to choose from, which means there is surely a match for many out there. If you are in between shades, you can even mix two together to create your perfect look! This full-coverage foundation won't make your skin feel full and clogged up, which is another reason why we loved it. If you're interested in purchasing this foundation, you can buy your perfect shade for $9.96 on Amazon.

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03/06/2024 07:40 am GMT

3. Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

Rimmel's Stay Matte Foundation is one of the most affordable, yet effective options we've found for matte foundation. It is a liquid foundation that is full coverage and offers 23 different shades ranging in their shade range, ranging from fair porcelain all the way to deep chocolate. The texture of this foundation won't leave your skin feeling greasy or heavy all the while still eliminating the look of pores and fine lines. It's also oil-free, making it a good option for those with oily skin. If you're interested in purchasing this flawless finish foundation, you can find it for the low price of $2.40 on Amazon.

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03/06/2024 07:51 am GMT

4. 2 Pack Phoera Matte Oil Control Foundation

This 2 pack of Phoera's Matte Oil Control Foundation is perfect for those seeking to cover imperfections such as under-eye circles, skin tones, and pores. It also helps control oily complexions for individuals that have oily skin. All this is achieved while brightening and highlighting all the right areas on your face, with a flawless finish that lasts the whole day. There are 16 different shades in this shade range you can choose from as well. This matte liquid foundation is buildable and starts by giving your skin medium coverage. It also comes in a travel size, which makes it easy for taking it with you wherever you need to go. If you're interested in purchasing this foundation, you can buy the 2 pack for $14.99 on Amazon.

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03/06/2024 07:57 am GMT

5. bareMinerals Matte Foundation

BareMinerals' Matte Foundation is our first option that comes in a powder foundation formula, which makes it perfect for those who have oily skin. The powder is loose in the container, so you'll want to make sure to keep it closed when it's not being used. It is water-resistant and offers medium coverage while reducing the appearance of pores and other skin imperfections. You can get this foundation in a fairly medium or light beige shade. One of the reasons why we liked this matte foundation is because it not only controls oily skin, it provides sun protection with SPF 15 added to it. You won't need to apply sunscreen to your face that already has makeup on it during those hot, summer days. If you're interested in this matte powder foundation, you can buy it on Amazon for $22.99.

6. Liquid Foundation for Combination & Oily Skin by Revlon

This liquid foundation by Revlon is designed specifically for people that have combination and oily skin. Its long wear and medium coverage formula blurs the appearance of pores and smooths your fine lines, while controlling the oils on your face with a smooth matte finish. This foundation is also buildable, if you wish to have more coverage. Its shade range comes in 43 shades, and even has SPF15 added to it to help protect your face from the sun. You can wear this foundation for up to 24 hours without having to worry about reapplying it. If you're interested in this foundation, you can find it for $5.30 on Amazon by clicking this link.

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03/06/2024 08:02 am GMT

7. Liquid Foundation for Normal and Dry Skin by Revlon

This liquid foundation by Revlon offers the same qualities in a matte foundation as the previous Revlon foundation, but is meant for normal to dry skin instead of oily and combination skin. Its long wear and full coverage formula will last up to 24 hours on one application, and is oil free so you won't need to worry about adding unnecessary oils to your skin. This liquid foundation comes in 15 different shades, and you can purchase it for $5.98 on Amazon.

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03/06/2024 05:51 pm GMT

8. Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation

Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse Foundation is the perfect cream-formulated foundation. It offers a range of coverage levels from sheer to full, depending on your preference. Its matte, natural finish will help take away the appearance of imperfections on your skin without drying it out or making it feel heavy and clogged. It's also suitable for sensitive skin, making it a perfect option for those who may be sensitive to makeup. It comes in 10 different shades and can be found for $6.18 on Amazon.

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03/06/2024 08:09 am GMT

9. Covergirl TruBlend Matte Made Liquid Foundation

Last, but definitely not least, we recommend Covergirl's TruBlend Matte Liquid Foundation. It offers a flawless-looking finish that absorbs any oil on your face, and it can even last for up to 12 hours on one application. There are 40 different shades you can choose from, so you'll surely be able to find the perfect matte liquid foundation with this Covergirl foundation. To put the cherry on top, this foundation is cruelty-free and is never tested on animals. If you're interested in purchasing this foundation, you can find it for $7.69 on Amazon.


We understand that it can be so frustrating to find the perfect shade of matte foundation. There are so many different choices, finishes, and formulas out there, you may not even know where to start or how to start! Hopefully, this guide was able to help give you more information about choosing your perfect foundation with our top tips and perfect matte foundation choices.

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