Friday, June 14, 2024

14 Best Matte Foundations in 2023 for Velvety, Oil-Free Skin

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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:

  1. Best Overall: Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet Foundation, $55
  2. Best for Mature Skin: Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Matte Foundation, $130
  3. Expert’s Choice: Armani Beauty Power Fabric + High Cover Foundation, $69
  4. Best Full Coverage Foundation: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation, $49
  5. Certified Classic: MAC Studio Fix Fluid, $39
  6. Light and Airy: Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Foundation, $34

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.

  • Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet Foundation

    What makes Chanel’s Ultra Le Teint Velvet Foundation such a fabulous pick is its buildable coverage, so cake face will never be an issue. This sheer-to-medium coverage pick is basically a blur filter in a bottle with a natural finish that can’t be topped, and its velvety, weightless texture makes it a great pick for practically any skin type.

  • Armani Beauty Power Fabric + High Cover Foundation

    Southern Calfornia-based makeup artist Elaina Badro says the Armani Beauty Power Fabric + High Cover Foundation is a must for a big night out. “It lasts long and it’s super easy to blend,” she says. Bardo recommends applying in a circular motion to create an airbrushed-esque finish.

  • Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation

    Want full coverage without the heavy, drying feel of most pigmented formulations? Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation is your answer. This mattifying foundation provides opaque coverage that looks and feels oh-so-smooth and natural on the skin. Due to its lightweight feel, even dry skin types can wear this mattifying formula comfortably. It’s also worth mentioning that this pick has a wide, 44-shade range, so finding your right shade match is a breeze.

  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid

    Badro calls MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid foundation a “classic” for its tried-and-true full-coverage formula that never lets her down. Its matte formula seamlessly conceals breakouts, fine lines, and blemishes for up to 24 hours and is available in 55 shades. Considering that this foundation is also water- and sweat-proof, it’s a great choice for hot summer months.

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