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Now that summer tans are starting to wear off, you’re probably looking at a new foundation for the cooler temperatures and holiday parties. Of course, Sephora is filled to the brim with amazing foundation formulas, but at prices usually starting at $30 and climbing from there, what’s a girl to do?
Lucky for you, I’ve compiled 10 of the best drugstore foundations money can buy. This list features affordable alternatives from brands like Urban Decay and Giorgio Armani but won’t surpass $15. Keep reading to discover your perfect budget-friendly foundation!
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Coverage: Medium to Full
Good For: Normal to Dry Skin, Finger Application
Finish: Satin, Natural
Comparable to: Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum ($60), Dior Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Foundation ($50), Glossier Skin Perfecting Tint ($26)
At less than $7 per ounce, The Ordinary’s Coverage Foundation is one of the most pigmented foundations at this price point: a little bit goes a long way – trust me on that. The formula is lightweight, watery, and glides on the skin, which gives you a very natural finish that looks like you’re wearing nothing at all. Since The Ordinary prides themselves on quality skincare, expect a gentle formula with your skin health in mind (think BB cream!). You can mix it with a facial oil (check their Moroccan, Rose Hip Seed, and Marula oil!) for a dewy finish and extra moisture or matte it up with their primers, which are both $4.90 and $7.90. Another bonus: the formula contains SPF 15 thanks to titanium dioxide, which really just means that the sun protection comes without any harmful chemicals.
Coverage: Medium to Full
Good For: Sensitive Skin, Sun Protection, Wrinkle and Fine Line Prevention
Comparable to: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($43), Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation ($50)
Great coverage, SPF 20, and an airbrush finish: Revlon’s PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup wears and looks just like a high-end foundation for less than $10. Its medium coverage can be built up to full coverage but still offer a radiant, glowing and luminous finish. Target no longer sells it online, but you can get it at Amazon and Walmart.
Good For: Long Wear, Sun Protection, Wrinkle and Fine Line Prevention
Comparable to: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation ($42), Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation ($38)
Another long-lasting 24+ hour foundation, the Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation offers a twist that many foundations don’t offer: SPF 20. If you’re dedicated to wearing sunscreen underneath your makeup but don’t enjoy the greasy feel, you might want to consider snagging this budget-friendly foundation that has SPF already in it. The bottle with the red cap isn’t available online, so if you’re at your local drugstore be sure to pick up that one if you want full coverage.
Good For: Sensitive Skin, Oily Skin, Dark Skin
Comparable to: Too Faced Born This Way Foundation ($39), Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation ($34)
The Fit Me Foundation is oil-free and dermatologist recommended, which makes this foundation a great option for those who have sensitive or acne-prone skin that can easily be triggered by makeup. The color range also offers a number of shades in the deeper colors, so you’ll be relieved if you’re a darker-skinned gal who struggles with finding the right shade but also doesn’t want to splurge on popular foundations that have deeper shades like the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r foundation.
Coverage: Light to Medium
Good For: Normal, Dry Skin
Comparable to: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($64), NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($49), Urban Decay NAKED Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup ($40)
L’oreal’s True Match Lumi Makeup is a spot-on comparable foundation for the super popular Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation at a fraction of the price. It’s extremely hydrating and is infused with tons of vitamins to help improve clarity and skin tone. The silky smooth foundation has buildable light to medium coverage to make it look like you have healthy and radiant skin.
If you’re looking for a more matte finish or a bigger shade range, L’oreal’s original True Match Foundation range has over 40 shades to choose from in varying hues, so whether you have red, yellow, or any other color undertones, you’ll find the perfect shade for you.
Good For: Oily Skin
Comparable to: Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation ($40), Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation ($39)
If you have extremely oily skin, this is going to be a perfect match for you. The L’oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation is a full-coverage foundation that’s built to last, with a mattifying formula similar to Urban Decay’s All Nighter Foundation. People with oily skin will be delighted to know that this foundation will not separate or budge despite how oily you get throughout the day – in fact, as the day progress, it blends with your natural oils to create a seamless airbrushed finish.
Coverage: Medium to Full
Good For: Long Wear, Dry Skin, Sun Protection, Wrinkle and Fine Line Prevention
Comparable to: Sephora Collection 10 HR Wear Perfection Foundation ($20), Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation ($42)
If you prefer a matte finish foundation but hate the cakiness that comes with it, give Revlon’s 24 Hour ColorStay Foundation a try: it contains hyaluronic acid to help attract and retain moisture in the skin, giving your skin a bouncy and hydrated look without looking chalky. It’s also oil-free and has SPF 20, which makes this great for dry skin that’s also on the go.
Coverage: Sheer to Medium
Good For: All Skin Types, Sun Protection, Wrinkle and Fine Line Prevention
Comparable to: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation ($47)
Want a foundation that looks and feels like a second skin? Try Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup. The drugstore skincare brand has infused its skincare technology with a foundation formula that has buildable coverage, SPF 20, and still looks just like your skin – only better.
The dropper-style cap that comes with this foundation allows you to build your coverage up to full without overdoing it. Voila, full coverage that still looks natural! The Total Drop Foundation range also offers fair shades for light-skinned gals who have trouble finding the perfect porcelain shade for their skin.
Good For: Long Wear, Sensitive Skin, Oily Skin, Normal Skin
Comparable to: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation ($42), Make Up Forever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation ($38)
It seems like sensitive skin types struggle with finding a full coverage foundation that doesn’t break them out into pimples or hives. Fear not: NYX’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Full Coverage Foundation does the job. The coverage is so good that it lasts 24 hours!
If any of these foundations wind up as great alternatives to your pricey favorites, let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my newsletter below for more beauty tips and tricks and drugstore beauty.
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