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Embracing your look as you age means adjusting your skin care and makeup regimens to best suit your ever-evolving skin. With that comes a new focus on finding the best foundation for mature skin. To veil anything from dark spots to fine lines, the right complexion products make all the difference.
As you would with your skin care salves of choice, experts recommend picking a foundation with multifunctional, skin-loving properties. “I look for a foundation that targets the concerns of mature skin, such as loss of radiance, uneven skin tone, and moisture balance,” explains celebrity makeup artist Carolina Dalí-Trites. The right level of hydration ensures that the formula melts into skin without caking or creasing. With this in mind, read on to discover the best foundations for mature skin that pair immaculate coverage with a natural finish.
The All-Around Pick
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
- Why We Love It: When we tapped makeup pros Dalí-Trites, Tobi Henney, and Janice Kinjo, each of them recommended Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation. While Kinjo notes it’s her go-to “that won’t settle into fine lines,” Dalí-Trites believes it “looks and feels like a second skin.” Henney shares that she reaches for this formula while working with Diane von Furstenberg for an event or photo shoot: “I use this a lot in my work, as it creates the most flawless base for all skin types.”
- More to Know: Inspired by charmeuse silk, this oil-free foundation is infused with finely milled color pigments to impart medium coverage and a radiant, airbrushed finish that resembles a lit-from-within glow.
The Weightless Wear
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation Hydration and Longwear
- Why We Love It: Celebrity makeup artist Meredith Baraf, who counts Brooke Shields, Erin Andrews, and Frankie Foye as clients, shares a laundry list of foundations that “melt into the skin and don’t tend to creep into fine lines and wrinkles or accentuate pores.” One of them is this weightless Chanel pick.
- More to Know: Formulated with 40% water and light-reflecting pigments, the foundation has a silky, barely there feel and instantly hydrates skin for up to 12 hours.
For Dry Skin
Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance Foundation SPF 50
- Why We Love It: “This foundation has great coverage and is perfect for those with drier skin types,” says Henney. “The shade range is beautiful, and the packaging is super chic!”
- More to Know: Tom Ford’s Soft Radiance foundation features a blend of hyaluronic acid, natural oils, and noni fruit extract to condition and calm skin. On the complexion front, light diffusing powders ensure the perfect luminous, medium-to-full-coverage wear.
The Stick Formula
Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick
- Why We Love It: If a stick foundation is more your speed, Baraf is a fan of Merit’s lauded complexion stick. It’s especially useful for mess-free application, storing in your makeup bag, or combining the benefits of a foundation and concealer in one.
- More to Know: Formulated in partnership with esthetician Biba de Sousa, this features a blend of fatty acids and sea daffodil to lock in moisture and minimize the look of dark spots. Give this formula a swipe to test its light-to-medium-coverage wear.
For a Big Event
Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 30
- Why We Love It: “I love this foundation for when I’m getting my clients ready for a red carpet or important event,” says Henney. “I use this on my client Vera Wang, and we love how it looks on the skin and in photographs.”
- More to Know: Get your skin camera-ready with Shiseido’s foundation designed to adjust to your skin’s needs. Featuring a blend of mandarin-peel extract, light-adjusting technology, luminous pearls, and microcrystals, this foundation refines skin texture, reduces the look of hyperpigmentation, and smooths fine lines. The finish is medium-to-full coverage, along with water-, transfer-, and crease-resistant wear.
Clé de Peau Radiant Fluid Foundation
- Why We Love It: In Maye Musk’s installment of Vogue’s Beauty Secrets, she began her makeup routine with Clé de Peau’s Radiant Fluid Foundation. At 73, the model is now partial to more natural-looking makeup, thanks in part to this foundation’s bare-skin-like finish.
- More to Know: Infused with hyaluronic acid and skin-luminizing properties, this foundation is crafted to enhance your skin’s glow, suppleness, and moisture. Apply it with a sponge, as Musk does, or your preferred brush, for light-to-medium coverage.
The Serum Foundation
Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation
- Why We Love It: Dalí-Trites calls Ilia’s her go-to for mature skin because it “adds moisture, gives the skin a healthy natural glow, [and] good amount of coverage while still letting the skin look like skin.
- More to Know: Think of this as the high-coverage counterpart to its acclaimed Super Serum Skin Tint. Kinjo says it’s “for those who want clean, vegan makeup [that] will keep skin glowing all day.” While niacinamide and allantoin help brighten and soothe skin, this is formulated to counteract the look of pores, redness, and uneven skin tone through its weightless medium-coverage formula.
The Skin Care Hybrid
Sisley Sisleya Le Teint Anti-Aging Foundation
- Why We Love It: “The best foundations use great skin care ingredients,” says Kinjo. “You want ingredients that help collagen production, like my favorite Sisley Paris Sisleÿa Le Teint Anti-Aging Foundation.”
- More to Know: Persian acacia, chlorella, soy peptide, and white willow extracts are only a few of the ingredients that power Sisley’s light-coverage foundation. While these work to reveal a radiant, supple complexion, mica and powder pigments promote a smooth, even base.
The Matte Finish
Dior Forever Matte Foundation SPF 15
- Why We Love It: One may assume that a matte-finish foundation is out of the question, so as to avoid exaggerating the look of skin texture or fine lines. Baraf, however, recommends Dior’s foundation (in the matte or glow variant) as a suitable option.
- More to Know: Powered by mineral pigments and floral extracts of wild pansy, nasturtium, and iris, Dior’s matte foundation is anything but drying and provides smooth, soft-focus coverage and a nourished complexion.
The Intensive Hydrator
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
- Why We Love It: Those partial to a cream foundation, especially throughout colder temperatures, should consider Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Moisture Foundation. Kinjo dubs it a “hydrating formula with great coverage.”
- More to Know: Despite its creamy texture, it delivers sheer-to-medium wear that moisturizes and blurs skin texture thanks to a blend of mineral pigments, aloe extract, jojoba oil, squalane, and shea butter.
The Tinted Moisturizer
Saie Slip Tint
- Why We Love It: Not ready to give up the feel of a warm-weather-favorite tinted moisturizer? Baraf says Saie’s formula is her pick. Sheer, dewy coverage truly never goes out of season.
- More to Know: The Saie Slip Tint utilizes a blend of hyaluronic acid, pansy flower, and licorice root extract to brighten, hydrate, and protect skin with ease.
Tips for Applying Foundation in an Ageless Makeup Routine
So you’ve discovered your favorite foundation above, but you’re still a bit unsure how to apply it. If we’ve learned anything in recent years, it’s that your technique makes all the difference.
“A key to looking youthful as we age is avoiding heavy or cakey makeup; less is definitely more here,” says Baraf. “You can use thin layers of product to build in places if need be. Most important is layering your gorgeous skin care underneath your foundation to ensure your foundation melts into your skin and looks fresh.”
To make your foundation look like a second skin, the right moisturizer, primer, and perhaps a glow-boosting serum can be helpful even before applying the foundation. Next, Dalí-Trites says to “mist your foundation brush or sponge with a hydrating face mist; this will help add an extra layer of hydration, allowing the foundation to best glide onto the skin and blend seamlessly.” From there, you can go in with concealer to the undereyes (or wherever else) before applying a light veil of powder—especially to the T-zone and around the mouth. Caution against using too much, though. “If you need to take away some shine, use translucent powder sparingly,” says Kinjo. “Overpowering makes your skin look dry.” And there you have it—a flawless makeup base.