The world of drugstore foundations is definitely tricky to get around. It seems like every brand has one, but they are certainly not all made equal.
I’ve tried high end foundations, and I don’t think there’s a lot that sets them apart from what’s available from budget brands… besides the fact that you’re able to test them ahead of time, so there’s more of a chance you’ll buy something you actually like.
Luckily, I’ve tried enough hits and misses to be able to deliver you my list of the best drugstore foundations that have great coverage and staying power, so you can stop buying the ones that don’t work.
All Skin Types: Neutrogena HealthySkin Liquid Makeup ($13.99)
You’ve heard about this foundation enough on my blog and YouTube to know it’s my absolute holy grail. It’s the one I never let myself run out of, and have been repurchasing since I was 14. There are twelve shade options in a range of undertones, and the formula offers buildable medium coverage with a lightweight feel. The finish is demi-matte, which is great for most skin types. It doesn’t feel oily throughout the day, but it has a real skin look, unlike fully matte foundations. It has SPF 20 as well as antioxidants to keep the skin looking and feeling healthy!
Dry Skin: CoverGirl Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation ($11.99)
This newer foundation is already a stand out, and is going to be great for maintaining glowing skin during the next few months of chilly weather. It contains extremely fine microshimmer that ends up giving you a subtle sheen when applied, and the creamy texture offers medium to full coverage. Heads up: this foundation is scented which may not be best for sensitive skin.
Combo Skin: Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation ($6.99)
This foundation is a combo skin’s best friend in terms of long lasting coverage! Out of all of these picks, it probably offers the most coverage that stays put throughout the day. This, too, has a demi-matte finish that is made extremely comfortable due to being enriched with comfort serum, so your oily parts will be tamed while your dry parts will be hydrated. It holds up through sweat and humidity with very little transfer.
Oily Skin: Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation ($4.99)
If you’re constantly battling a shiny face, this foundation is for you. You don’t need a lot of the lightweight mousse formula for complete coverage, and it blends easily to give you a true matte finish that controls oil for about 8 hours. I will admit that the seven shade options for this foundation all seem to lean warm, but when I blend enough I can get it to match my skin decently.
I encourage you to give drugstore foundation another shot, because finding one that works for you can be the best feeling when you realize how much money you’re saving! Don’t forget that most drugstores have a very forgiving return policy on cosmetics, so you can always return or exchange products that dont’ feel like the right formula or shade for you.
Have you found your perfect drugstore foundation?
I need to try the Healthy Skin again. I didn’t love it the first time I used it.
Natalie Carlson Brown
I still love Revlon ColorStay foundation but am currently looking for something a bit creamier for Winter time. The Cover Girl Stay Luminous sounds like what I’m wanting. Thank-you for the fun & useful review. 🙂
YES! I love the Covergirl & Neutrogena foundations so much!
Yass! Stay Matte foundation is one of my faves for full coverage.
Rimmel lasting finish one is my favorite and I recently use it for my graduation too. Living in tropical country makes me need a long lasting foundation that can stand the humidity, and this foundation really works! and I want to try the stay matte foundation too 🙂
Sitha | lemmeswatchit.blogspot.com
Neutrogena Healthy Skin is a long time favorite of mine
I love the Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation. It’s my favorite drugstore foundation ever.
I love that Neutrogena foundation!
Lisa Marie Heath
I love the Rimmel Stay Matte – but another I’ve been loving lately is Ready Set Gorgeous by Covergirl
I keep hearing/reading nice things on that Rimmel foundation
I’m more into powder foundations at the moment, but I do have that Rimmel Stay Matte, and it’s a great one for oily skin.
I love the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Makeup. It’s hands down one of my fave drugstore foundations. I want to try a few of the newer CG foundations too.
I need to try the Rimmel Stay Matte Mousse foundation. My favourite d/s foundation is Bourjois Healthy Mix – can’t live without it.
I really have to try the Rimmel Lasting Finish. I’ve heard a lot about it. I have extremely oily skin, and while the Stay Matte is awesome at keeping my skin matte, I have a stupid issue with my skin where mattifying foundations get all cakey and blotchy. Ugh … it’s so ridiculous. 🙁
Rimmel Stay Matte is one that I like quite a bit.
The Rimmel Stay Matte is the only one that worked for me. I couldn’t get the rimmel lasting finish in a light enough shade but it did have amazing coverage! I mix the Covergirl Luminous with the Covergirl 3-1 for my oily skin heheh. It is so great to find drugstore foundations that work!
Great post! I haven’t tried any of these, but CoverGirl Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation sounds like something for me.
I am in love with the Rimmel Stay Matte! LOVE LOVE
Surprisingly, I haven’t tried any of those particular drugstore foundations, but I have found other wonderful foundations at the drugstore
Brooke @ Blushing Noir
The Neutrogena is one of my FAVES! Revlon had one too that I loved… I’m not sure if it’s still out there but it came out like a mousse. Drugstore has definitely stepped up and I’m LOVING it!