Saturday, April 20, 2024

15 Best Foundations for Mature Skin 2024, According to Makeup Artists

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Regardless of age, your perfect foundation camouflages concerns while giving you a flawless finish. As you age gracefully, enlist one of the best foundations for mature skin the market has to offer. We’re here to guide you on the best base makeup that addresses issues that aging skin faces, like fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven texture — you know, all naturally occurring things that happen when you live long enough to acquire infinite experience and wisdom. Now, we present to you the best foundations for mature skin, hand-picked by celebrity makeup artists and Allure editors.

Our Top Picks:

Frequently Asked Questions

Best Overall: Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation

Giorgio Armani

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: Constantly name-dropped by makeup artists and enthusiasts, the Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation has earned its icon status with ample accolades, including an Allure Best of Beauty Award. Makeup artists Beau Nelson and Amrita Mehta count Meghan Markle’s favorite foundation as a go-to for mature clients due to its soft-focus finish and weightless texture.

“This one has been a staple in my kit for more than 15 years,” makeup artist Lisa Aharon attests. “It blurs pores and fine lines while leaving the skin with a fresh finish,” she says, adding that the medium coverage is ideal for concealing sun spots and other imperfections such as blemishes.

Editor Tip: Makeup artist Delina Medhin says that the hydrating formula is ideal for someone looking for minimal coverage, but her advice is to always moisturize regardless. “It’s the first step to beautiful makeup,” she shares.

Key Ingredients: Glycerin | Finish: Radiant | Available Shades: 40

Best for Dry Skin: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation

Chanel

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation is one of Mehta’s top picks for mature skin because “the formula is made of 40% water, leaving the skin hydrated and plump, while the radiant finish helps to create a smooth, glowy, seamless, and skin-like blend,” she says. This foundation feels like a lightweight serum but has light-to-medium, buildable coverage, “which allows you to focus the coverage on where you need it, helping to maintain that fresh-faced look,” she explains.

Aharon is another fan of this hydrating base. “A healthy glow is my favorite finish, especially for mature skin as it can tend to lean dry,” she says. With the addition of light-reflecting pigments, wearers are left with a luminous, even complexion.

Editor Tip: If you’re looking for a higher-coverage, subtly matte finish that’s still hydrating (thanks to glycerin and vitamin E), pick up Chanel’s Ultra Le Teint Flawless Finish Foundation.

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, meadowfoam seed oil, jasmine stem extract | Finish: Radiant | Available Shades: 35

Best Full-Coverage Foundation: Makeup by Mario SurrealSkin Foundation

Makeup by Mario

Makeup by Mario SurrealSkin Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: Our 2023 Best of Beauty Award for Best Full-Coverage Liquid Foundation went to Makeup by Mario’s SurrealSkin Foundation. Standout ingredients include polyglyceryl-6 polyricinoleate, a non-oily ester that leaves a glossy look and allows the foundation to easily glide across the skin. To attract moisture, there’s glycerin, grapeseed oil, and sunflower oil. Despite its slightly dewy finish, our testers with oily skin attested that this foundation doesn’t become greasy after hours of wear.

Makeup by Mario founder Mario Dedivanovic says that one pump goes a long way and applies product in areas where coverage is needed most before building any further. For sheerer coverage, you can add a pump of foundation to your favorite moisturizer and use your fingers to pat the mixture on your skin.

Editor Tip: We recommend heading over to your local Sephora to swatch and shade-match, as the flexible nature of the shades can be a little misleading when photographed on the promotional models seen online.

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil | Finish: Satin | Available Shades: 30

Best Foundation With SPF: Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 30

Shiseido

Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 30

Why It’s Worth It: Sunscreen is an everyday essential, but if you want an added layer of SPF protection (on top of your usual sunscreen of choice, of course), you can apply Shiseido’s Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 30. This medium-coverage foundation stays put without creasing or fading for up to 24 hours while boosting luminosity with a mix of microcrystals and micro-fine pearl protein. Makeup artist Andrea Claire previously told Allure that she reaches for this foundation when she wants “seamless coverage without the cracking and caking” for her clients.

Editor Tip: This foundation’s formula is oil-free, making it a great pick for those with oily, acne-prone, or combination skin.

Key Ingredients: Mica, hydrolyzed conchiolin (pearl) protein | Finish: Radiant | Available Shades: 19

Best Dewy Finish: Nars Light Reflecting Foundation

Nars

Nars Light Reflecting Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: If you’re one to frequently find yourself being photographed (selfies count), the Best of Beauty-winning Nars Light Reflecting Foundation is a must. It’s formulated to make you look beautifully blurred and radiant in real life and on camera, thanks to a photo-friendly powder Nars has dubbed as Photochromic Technology that adjusts your skin tone based on the intensity of light, so your complexion doesn’t look washed out in pictures. Skin-loving ingredients like elasticity-boosting peptides and brightening turmeric improve your complexion with regular wear, so it looks glowing and gorgeous even when you’re not wearing it.

Editor Tip: All of our editors said that this tint-like formula succeeded in covering redness, splotchiness, and general discoloration. Former associate news editor Gabi Thorne, who is a full-coverage-foundation type of gal, was particularly impressed at how buildable Light Reflecting Foundation proved to be. “I didn’t need too much to get the coverage that I want and love, and it practically melted into my skin as I buffed it in with a brush,” she said. “It has a luminous finish that just makes you glow even if you skipped on some of your skin-care routine.”

Key Ingredients: Biomimetic oat, Japanese Lilyturf, cacao peptides, milk thistle, turmeric | Finish: Radiant | Available Shades: 36

Easiest Application: Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick

Foundation

Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick

Why It’s Worth It: A 2022 and 2023 Best of Beauty Award winner, Westman Atelier’s Vital Skin Foundation Stick is suited for mature skin as it’s loaded with skin-nourishing ingredients like squalane for moisture and phytosphingosine for soothing the skin. This cream formula, which is available in 21 shades, melts into the skin, whether you apply it straight to your skin or use a brush to pick up product.

Editor Tip: “For a second-skin finish that doesn’t settle into fine lines and radiance, I love this formula for mature skin,” Aharon says. “I also recommend this foundation for sensitive skin types, as it has calming properties [such as phytosphingosine, a lipid that strengthens the barrier] and no fragrance.”

Key Ingredients: Vegetable-derived squalane, berryflux vita extract, camellia seed oil, coconut oil | Finish: Natural | Available Shades: 21

Best Shade Range: Il Makiage I Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation

Il Makiage

Il Makiage I Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: Technically the Il Makiage I Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation is a matte foundation, but we like to describe its finish more as a blurred, airbrush-like effect. That’s all thanks to the addition of optically-corrective powders that act like an IRL beauty filter for your skin. It’s also spiked with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to ensure your skin feels smooth and conditioned all day long. Il Makiage’s formula has a denser, medium-to-full coverage finish, so a little goes a long way.

Editor Tip: In order to create the best crease-free finish, we recommend prepping your skin with a conditioning moisturizer and hydrating primer before applying this foundation.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, talc, silica | Finish: Demi-matte | Available Shades: 50

Most Buildable: Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder

Danessa Myricks Beauty

Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder

Why It’s Worth It: The Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder is such a game-changing formula for every skin type that it won an Allure Best of Beauty Breakthrough Award in 2022 and was used by bi-coastal makeup artist ShaDara Holmes to boost Tracy Chapman’s already-stunning complexion for her 2024 Grammys performance. This balm-to-powder foundation instantly blurs the look of blemished and hyperpigmentation while smoothing the look of skin texture for an even, more youthful appearance. It utilizes a mix of magnesium oxide and carbon dioxide to balance oil and blur pores like a powder yet its finish sits on the fine line between dewy and matte, thanks to the addition of squalane in its formula.

Editor Tip: This product can be worn alone or under foundation as a blurring primer, but shopping editor Angela Trakoshis previously reported that this balm replaced almost all of her complexion base products. “Not only does it give me what I define as my ‘perfect’ base, but it also cuts my glam time down because I can skip foundation and even sometimes concealer,” she said.

Key Ingredients: Squalane, magnesium oxide, carbon dioxide | Finish: Semi-matte | Available Shades 14

Best “Second Skin” Finish: Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Skin Foundation

Pat McGrath Labs

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Skin Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: Are we really surprised that Dame Pat McGrath gets the votes of two professional makeup artists, Lavonne and Tulve, with her Best of Beauty-winning Sublime Skin Foundation? “The foundation is seamless and looks like a second skin — and it can be worn by the youngest teen to Dame royalty,” Lavonne tells Allure. Tulve also points out that the fluid-like, natural-finish formula self-sets (meaning, no need for powder) and “boosts natural hydration,” thanks to the addition of glycerin.

Editor Tip: The carefully curated shade range features 36 shades that cover light, light-medium, medium, medium-deep, and deep skin tones, as well as neutral, warm, and cool undertones — because you simply can’t expect less than perfection from Mother.

Key Ingredients: Diamond core powder, amino acids, raspberry leaf extract | Finish: Satin | Available Shades: 36

Best Drugstore Foundation: L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation

L’Oréal Paris

L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: There’s no need to spend a lot to get a foundation that adeptly addresses the needs and concerns of mature skin. L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation is a perfect example of affordable awesomeness. It has been formulated specifically not to settle into lines — in fact, its lightweight blend of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and aloe hydrates helps skin look more even. And we’re never mad at a little extra sun protection atop our usual sunscreen: SPF 50, to be exact.

Editor Tip: This formula contains chemical UV filters, so if you have sensitive skin or are pregnant or nursing, we’d recommend sticking to products with mineral UV filters, a.k.a. zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, niacinamide, vitamin E, aloe, hylauronic acid | Finish: Radiant | Available Shades: 30

Best Serum Foundation: Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation SPF 40

Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: More and more brands are hearing the cry for makeup that treats skin like skin care, and Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation is one of the most sophisticated answers to that demand. Despite its lightweight serum-esque feel, it offers medium-to-full coverage; and despite that ample coverage, it doesn’t cake or settle into lines. You can thank its major dose of hydrating and moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and watermelon, apple, and lychee seed extracts. Enjoy its benefits for an amazing 12 hours, even in heavy humidity.

Editor Tip: The SPF 40 consists of both physical and chemical UV filters: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and octinoxate, just so you’re aware if you have specific preferences.

Key Ingredients: Cordyceps (fungi), glycerin, vitamin E, watermelon extract, ginseng | Finish: Radiant | Available Shades: 29

Best Skin Tint: Hourglass Veil Hydrating Skin Tint

Hourglass

Hourglass Veil Hydrating Skin Tint

Why It’s Worth It: For days you’re craving light, breathable coverage, you’ll want to reach for this 2023 Best of Beauty Award winner: the Hourglass Veil Hydrating Skin Tint. When “hydrating” is in the name, standards will be high, but this light-diffusing formula lives up to them. Chock-full of moisture-replenishing ingredients such as meadowfoam seed oil, hyaluronic acid, squalane, and shea butter extract, this light-coverage skin tint nourishes skin, evens out tone and texture, while allowing your natural complexion to peek through.

Editor Tip: If you prefer applying foundation with a brush, the Hourglass Ambient Soft Glow Foundation Brush (another Best of Beauty Award winner) has a slanted slate of soft, vegan fiber bristles that mimic fingertip application.

Key Ingredients: Meadowfoam seed oil, hyaluronic acid, squalane, shea butter extract | Finish: Dewy | Available Shades: 18

Luxurious Skin-Care-Makeup Hybrid: La Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation

La Mer

La Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: Another go-to for Nelson, La Mer’s The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation pushes the boundaries of what we have come to expect from our makeup. Infused with the brand’s hero ingredient, Miracle Broth (which includes soothing fermented sea kelp), the foundation hydrates skin while also offering antioxidant and SPF 20 protection.

Editor Tip: As a reminder, dermatologists recommend wearing an SPF of at least 30, so keep your go-to sunscreen on hand regardless. This particular SPF contains both chemical and physical UV filters.

Key Ingredients: Octinoxate, titanium dioxide, seaweed extract, sesame seed oil, alfalfa seed powder, peptides | Finish: Radiant | Available Shades: 26

Editor-Approved: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: Charlotte Tilbury’s aptly named Beautiful Skin Foundation (available across 30 shades) was an instant hit among Allure editors. Our testers loved the radiant finish that didn’t lean into greasy or oily territory throughout the day, and most said that the medium-coverage base concealed their redness and discoloration seamlessly — without creasing.

Packed with hyaluronic acid (derived from coconut extract and cassia angustifolia seeds), this formula hydrates immediately and also works behind the scenes to improve skin’s smoothness and brightness over time. Other ingredients like bixa orellana seeds and damask rosewater, are also worth calling out for their antioxidant-rich and soothing properties — making this very suitable for sensitive skin.

Editor Tip: Former associate news editor Gabi Thorne alternates between patting and rubbing motions with her foundation brush to build up coverage naturally. As someone who prefers fuller coverage, she didn’t find the formula cakey at all.

Key Ingredients: Apple fruit water, glycerin, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, damask rosewater | Finish: Dewy | Available Shades: 30

Most Soothing Formula: Chantecaille Future Skin Gel Foundation

Chantecaille

Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: Chantecaille’s Future Skin Gel Foundation features an innovative gel-cream texture and radiant finish, making it a favorite of both Nelson and fellow makeup artist Molly Stern. Made up of 60% water, this formula also features a slew of soothing ingredients such as aloe, chamomile, and antioxidant-rich green tea, which work in harmony to calm distressed skin and minimize redness and irritation. “It feels amazing on and has enough dewiness even for mature skin,” Stern says. “The coverage is sheer but very buildable for the days when you need more.”

Editor Tip: The shade range isn’t the most robust so you may have trouble finding your perfect match but Chantecaille does offer a virtual quiz as well as one-on-one virtual sessions for foundation matching.

Key Ingredients: Water, glycerin, green tea, rosemary leaf extract, rice bran extract, aloe | Finish: Radiant | Available Shades: 15

Best Value: Sephora Collection Best Skin Ever Foundation

Sephora Collection

Sephora Collection Best Skin Ever Foundation

Why It’s Worth It: If dropping over $50 on a bottle of foundation is out of the question, we suggest checking out Sephora Collection’s Best Skin Ever Foundation. Not only is it reasonably priced and comes in an extensive 50-shade range, but the light-to-medium-coverage formula actually lives up to its lofty “Best Skin Ever” name by infusing skin-care benefits.

Editor Tip: Similar to your favorite moisturizers, it’s spiked with three all-star hydrating ingredients: hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and squalane, which attract water to the skin and maintain a healthy barrier. What you’re left with is a naturally dewy complexion free of visible lines and texture. Allure senior news editor Nicola Dall’Asen says the gel-like formula becomes “virtually undetectable” once it’s blended into the skin, which means it’s a winner in our books.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, red algae, brown algae, glycerin | Finish: Natural | Available Shades: 50

Best No-Brush Application: Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

Ilia

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

Why It’s Worth It: Once you try Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 for yourself, you’ll instantly understand why it earned itself an Allure 2020 Best of Beauty Award. Infused with moisturizing ingredients such as squalane, shea butter, niacinamide, and sodium hyaluronate, this oil-free skin tint imparts a finish that can be best described as impossibly glowy and fresh-faced.

Editor Tip: If that wasn’t enough to convince you, the light-to-medium-coverage base doubles as a mineral sunscreen that provides more than the dermatologist-recommended broad-spectrum SPF 30, so you stay protected against UVA and UVB rays. (That being said, for maximum protection against sun damage, we always recommend applying a separate sunscreen as part of your makeup prep.)

Key Ingredients: Zinc oxide, squalane, shea butter, niacinamide, aloe, allantoin | Finish: Dewy | Available Shades: 30

Best for Dark Spots: Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Perfector 4-in-1 Glow Makeup

Maybelline New York

Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Perfector 4-In-1 Glow Makeup

Why It’s Worth It: Maybelline New York’s Instant Age Rewind Perfector is like a supersized version of the ever-popular, iconic Instant Age Rewind Concealer — but it does so much more. This lightweight multitasker can be used as primer, concealer, foundation, or even highlighter, and features goji berry to diminish hyperpigmentation like sun spots.

Editor Tip: The oversized sponge is one of the most convenient built-in applicators we’ve seen. (It’s antimicrobial, too, so all you need to do is wipe off excess product with a dry cloth.)

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, kaolin, shea butter, goji berry | Finish: Radiant | Available Shades: 8


Frequently Asked Questions

What to consider when looking for a foundation for mature skin

As you grow older, your complexion gains texture and leans on the drier side. New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD previously told Allure that this is because your skin produces less collagen and fewer natural lipids, such as ceramides and fatty acids, which leads to dehydrated skin and a weaker moisture barrier. When it comes to base makeup, “fine — or not so fine — lines and larger pores can make foundation look mask-like at best and incredibly unflattering at the worst,” explains makeup artist Fiona Stiles. That’s why finding a hydrating foundation is paramount for looking fresh. Makeup artist Tony Tulve recommends choosing liquid foundations, as they “act more like a second skin.” Overall, finding a buildable-coverage formula with skin-plumping, fine-line-minimizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane is key to a flawless, crease-free base.

How to prep mature skin for foundation

Before you touch your makeup brushes, prepping your skin is essential for creating the smoothest finish possible. “Moisture is key, so always make sure you start with a moisturizer that’s hydrating but won’t turn greasy and interrupt your foundation texture,” makeup artist Nick Barose previously told Allure. Los Angeles-based makeup artist and founder of Westman Atelier, Gucci Westman, added to be vigilant about moisturizing your whole face, especially the area around your eyes.

Primer is always an important step before applying makeup of any kind, but not all of them provide the same smoothing effects you’d like. According to Barose, you’ll want to ditch mattifying formulas and swap them for formulas with blurring finishes. He also gives balm-like formulations (like Danessa Myrick’s Yummy Skin Moisture Repair Balm Serum) kudos for conditioning your skin while locking makeup in place. “You also don’t need to wear it all over the face. Focus on lines or [other areas] of your face [you want to] blur,” he added.

How to apply foundation on mature skin

Tulve leans into the “less is more” philosophy when applying foundation to mature skin. Denser, full-coverage formulations may end up accentuating fine lines, so use a buildable formula that you can layer to your desired finish for a seamless, second-skin-like result. “I apply foundation on the larger areas of the face first, like the cheeks and forehead, then I go in and tweak around the nose and the chin area,” makeup artist Sandy Linter previously told Allure. “Then lastly, I’ll apply concealer, plus maybe a touch of foundation under the eye area.”

If you apply your makeup with your fingers, you may want to swap your digits for a makeup sponge or foundation brush to ensure even coverage. “[Using your] fingers can look blotchy, uneven, or gloppy, which can make your lines come out more,” Barose said. To ensure a smooth, blotch-free canvas, you can use a sponge as a final step to buff and blend.

How we test and review products

Before reviewing any makeup, we ask questions about a number of factors: What ingredients are in it? Does the brand offer a wide shade range inclusive of consumers with all skin tones and undertones? Is it safe for readers who have sensitive skin or wear contact lenses? Is it on the affordable side or more of a splurge? Is its packaging consciously designed or needlessly wasteful?

For our review of the best foundations for mature skin, while we enlisted the help of multiple editors, writers, and contributors with a particular focus on our 40-plus reviewers, we also relied heavily on trusted makeup artists to speak to the efficacy of these products on mature skin. This ensures our testing base spans different skin tones, genders, and dermatological conditions. We considered each product’s performance across four primary categories: ingredients, wear and longevity, packaging, and inclusivity. For more on what’s involved in our reporting, check out our complete reviews process and methodology page.

Our staff and testers

A beauty product is a personal purchase. You might be searching for a face cream to address persistent dryness or a new nail product to add to your Sunday self-care routine; you may simply be browsing around for the latest launches to hit the hair market. No matter what you seek or your individual needs and concerns, Allure wants to ensure that you love anything we recommend in our stories. We believe that having a diverse team of writers and editors — in addition to the wide range of outside testers and industry experts we regularly call upon — is essential to reaching that goal.

After all, can we really say a skin-care product is the “best” for people over 50 if the only testers we’ve solicited opinions from folks who have yet to hit 30? Can we honestly deem a high-end diffuser worthy of your hard-earned cash if it’s never been tested on curls? We’re proud that our staff spans a wide range of ages, skin tones, hair textures, genders, and backgrounds, which means that we are able to fairly assess any beauty product that comes into the beauty closet.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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