Thursday, May 30, 2024

18 Best Foundations for Mature Skin 2023, According to Makeup Artists

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Regardless of age, your perfect foundation is likely one that does a pretty great job camouflaging your unique skin concerns while giving you a flawless finish. However, there comes a time when you might want to enlist in 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.

As you grow older, your complexion gains texture and leans on the drier end, but that’s nothing to fret about. You just need to know what you’re dealing with when choosing what makeup products to buy. “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. “Finding a [hydrating] foundation that melts into the skin is paramount for looking fresh. Anything too heavy will settle into lines and creases and do the opposite of what you’re looking for.”

Makeup artist Tony Tulve recommends choosing liquid foundations, as they “act more like a second skin” and leaning into the “less is more” philosophy regarding application. (You’ll see what we mean when you read through this list.)

Once you’ve landed on your dream formula, the key is to only dot foundation in the areas you need coverage the most, instead of slathering it on all over, which makeup artist Nick Barose says can read as “severe.” Tulve suggests tapping the product in with your fingers, blending outwards as needed, and using minimal powder — as it can emphasize lines and texture, the very things you’re probably trying to downplay.

Now that you’ve gotten the low-down, we present to you the best foundations for mature skin, hand-picked by celebrity makeup artists and Allure editors. Most of these options are spiked with moisture-boosting ingredients that never result in cakey finishes and are ideal for enhancing the innate beauty of older skin.

Our Top Picks:

  1. Best Overall: Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation, $69
  2. Most Hydrating: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation, $65
  3. Best With SPF: Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation SPF 40, $77
  4. Best Dewy Finish: Nars Light Reflecting Foundation, $50
  5. For People Who Don’t Love Foundation: Iris&Romeo Best Skin Days SPF 30, $48
  6. Best Drugstore Pick: L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation, $17
  7. Easy Application: Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick, $48
  8. Makeup Royalty: Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Skin Foundation, $69

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.

  • Best Overall: Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation

    Constantly name-dropped by makeup artists and makeup wearers alike, the Giorgio 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.

    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.

  • Most Hydrating: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation

    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.

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

  • Editor-Approved: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation

    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 rose water, are also worth calling out for their antioxidant-rich and soothing properties — making this very suitable for sensitive skin.

  • Best Dewy Finish: Nars Light Reflecting Foundation

    If you’re one to frequently find yourself being photographed (selfies count), the Best of Beauty-winning Nars Light Reflecting Foundation is a must. Aside from making you look subtly, beautifully blurred in real life, it’s formulated to make you look your most radiant and smooth on camera — truly a must in this social-media and video-meeting world. And the best part: Its skin-loving ingredients — like peptides and turmeric — actually improve your complexion with regular wear, so it looks glowing and gorgeous even when you’re not wearing it.

  • Easy Application: Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick

    A 2022 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.

    “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.”

  • Makeup Royalty: Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Skin Foundation

    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. 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.

  • Best With SPF: Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation SPF 40

    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.

  • For People Who Don’t Love Foundation: Iris&Romeo Best Skin Days SPF 30

    Like, we said, foundations aren’t all heavy. To prove this point, just look at the meteoric rise of skin tints, serum foundations, and BB creams — formulas that lead with skin care for a comfortable, barely-there finish. Iris&Romeo’s Best Skin Days SPF 30 is one of those formulas. “It’s skin-care-focused and would be my pick for someone who doesn’t love wearing foundation but still wants some coverage, SPF, and a balmy finish,” Aharon says of the nourishing cream.

    While we wish the shade range was a little more fleshed out, we can’t argue with its ingredient lineup. Sodium hyaluronate, rosa damascena extract, Bulgarian rose damascena oil, and vitamin C work in harmony to retain moisture, boost collagen production, and protect the skin against free radical damage. And, of course, zinc oxide provides broad-spectrum SPF 30. Hello, instantly radiant finish.

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

    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, its lightweight blend of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and aloe hydrates as it 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.

  • Most Soothing Formula: Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation

    Chantecaille’s Future Skin Foundation features an innovative gel-cream texture and radiant finish, making it a favorite of both Nelson and fellow makeup artist Molly Stern. “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.”

    What’s more: You’ll discover 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.

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

    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.

    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.)

  • Best for Oily Skin: Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation

    Nelson reaches for Tom Ford’s Traceless Soft Matte Foundation for a smooth, renewed-looking finish that looks like skin but fancier — the soft-matte finish is basically a filter. This medium-to-full-coverage foundation is spiked with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E to avoid any sort of drama with fine lines and wrinkles. As a result, it’s even suitable for oily skin types that are prone to blemishes.

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

    Maybelline New York’s Instant Age Rewind Perfector is ideal for covering up dark spots and reducing the appearance of fine lines. This lightweight multitasker, which can be used as primer, concealer, foundation, or even highlighter, features goji berry to diminish hyperpigmentation like sun spots. Plus, 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.)

  • Best Tinted Moisturizer: Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum

    If you want lightweight coverage that subtly balances tone and texture, look no further than Rose Inc’s Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum. This Allure Readers’ Choice Award winner is available in 14 shades and contains a skin-nourishing blend of hydrating sodium hyaluronate and moisturizing squalane. It’s basically equal parts foundation and serum, so it’ll leave your complexion looking and feeling great.

  • BareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20

    This classic foundation has been a favorite of ours for as long as we can remember for its full-coverage finish. Each of the 30 shades of BareMinerals’ Original Liquid Mineral Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 comes infused with hydrating squalane, firming peptides, and texture-refining minerals. These ingredients — along with the foundation’s naturally radiant, skin-like finish — work hand-in-hand so your complexion can look its best, with or without makeup.

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

    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. (As a reminder, dermatologists recommend wearing an SPF of at least 30, so keep your go-to sunscreen on hand regardless.)

  • Best for All Skill Levels: Wander Beauty Nude Illusion Liquid Foundation

    Medhin says the skin-like finish of Wander Beauty’s Nude Illusion Liquid Foundation is perfect for any skin tone and “can be applied with hands very easily.” Not only will people of every skill level find the doe-foot applicator easy to work with, but it’s also packed with calming centella asiatica, tone-evening niacinamide, and alpha-hydroxy-acid-infused lotus extract to “reduce redness in the skin and cover hyperpigmentation,” she explains.

  • Best Value: Sephora Collection Best Skin Ever Foundation

    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.

    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 staff writer 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.

Check Out Some of Our 2022 Allure Best of Beauty Winners

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