Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Choosing the correct foundation for dry skin can be tricky. There are texture, shade, coverage, and application to think about, and you want it all for a price that won't entirely ruin your life. To help make decisions, we're always talking to celebrity makeup artists about what they use on their clients. But what about the formulas they use on themselves?
Therefore, we uncovered the foundations for dry skin that celebrity makeup artists have been reaching for and using on their own faces as long as they've been on shelves. Looking for the best makeup for dry skin? You've come to the right place.
Keep scrolling to find out which foundations made the cut.
Best Overall: Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation
"I love Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation. It's medium coverage, but you can thin it down by using [a] damp Beautyblender, or you can layer it for more coverage. It really looks like skin, because it has a luminosity to it, thanks to what they call 'water glow,' that mimics skin's natural radiance—nothing too shimmery or shiny looking, [it] just looks like skin. I find it even wears well on oily skin, too…even though it has the water glow in it, it doesn't add shine." — Nick Barose, celebrity makeup artist
Best Radiant Finish: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
"It brings life to your face, transforms it, and makes the skin glow in the most natural, flawless way. For me, skin is what defines age, and radiant skin will always make one look youthful—and this is exactly what this foundation does." — Carola Gonzalez, celebrity makeup artist
Best for Body: MAC Studio Face & Body Foundation
"I call it my kitchen sink foundation because it works on every skin tone and type. It has buildable coverage—it starts off super sheer, and it can be layered to an almost full-coverage appearance. I even put it on legs in lieu of pantyhose." — Kelli J. Bartlett, Glamsquad's director of artistry and education
Best Tinted Moisturizer: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer
"I love Tarte's Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer. It's lightweight, has buildable coverage, and is known to be great for sensitive skin or skin that's prone to breakouts. I add it to my tinted moisturizer to even out my skin tone while still looking natural, sometimes going up a half shade to give my pale skin a little help." — Amy Strozzi, celebrity makeup artist
Best Drugstore: L'Oréal True Match Super-Blendable Foundation Makeup
"My all-time favorite drugstore foundation is the L'Oréal True Match. I discovered it way back when I was in college and had a bad breakout from stressing over all those midterm papers. Now I use it on clients whenever I need a product with great coverage that doesn't get cakey. True Match is not only a buildable foundation, but it's also oil-free, which is great for anyone with trouble-prone skin. It leaves a nice, even, and airy finish comparable to more costly foundations, and it's got great wear for clients headed to events. For the best finish and coverage manageability, I use a damp sponge. It's definitely my drugstore secret!" — Kelly Hunt, celebrity makeup artist
Best Splurge: La Mer Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF 20
"La Mer foundation is my current favorite for when I'm going out at night or for a special event. I can wear it for hours without getting cakey or oily, and the shade is a perfect match for my skin." — Kayleen McAdams, celebrity makeup artist
Best Lightweight: BareMinerals BareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation SPF 20
"My favorite foundation is BareMinerals BareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation. This is the lightest foundation I've yet to discover. It feels like water on your skin, but it offers an incredible amount of pigment, so just a few drops will give your complexion a flawless, radiant finish. It's free of oil, parabens, fragrance and silicone, making it healthier for your skin and giving it better staying power in warm and hot weather because of it. I LOVE the chemical-free SPF 20 in it. I wear a few drops of this foundation when I train, and it stays put through my sweat, keeping my skin looking fresh, and it never breaks me out." — Roxanne Saffaie, celebrity makeup artist
Best Buildable Coverage: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
Light, medium, or full coverage—this liquid foundation’s got it all. The silky texture blends easily into the skin, masking any imperfections, but without totally covering up your natural complexion. Infused with glycerin and vitamin C, the powerful, but seemingly weightless formula boosts hydration levels as it effectively reduces discoloration. Antioxidants also prevent free radicals from damaging and aging the skin. If you love a bit more radiance, you’ll love the dewy finish of this foundation. It will give you a natural, glowing look without feeling heavy.
Best with SPF: Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation SPF 20
When you hear the words “anti-aging treatment,” you don’t typically think of foundation. In fact, you might think it’s even counterintuitive. But with new innovations and breakthrough formulas, makeup is starting to become a hybrid skincare category all on its own. This foundation from Physicians Formula is a complete upgrade from your usual product. Packed with skin-softening hyaluronic acid, soothing vitamins, and a whopping SPF 20, this foundation is a total gamechanger. It helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a healthy complexion.
Best Double-Duty: RMS Beauty Un Cover-Up Concealer/Foundation
This convenient, handy pot is a double whammy: a concealer and a foundation. You only need a bit of this potent formula for major coverage. Perfect for the under-eye area and any other problem zones, this texture is made to spot treat rather than masking the entire face. You can cover up anything from pimples, blemishes, scars, and even discoloration. The color is pigmented, so start small and work your way up. The product melts into the skin (thanks to cocoa seed butter), blending in seamlessly to minimize the look of pores while providing a clean, glowing finish. It’s best to use this sparingly with your fingers as the color is concentrated—a little goes a long, long way.
Best Budget: Revlon Nearly Naked Makeup
"I love the consistency and color choices of Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation. I was sent the product when I worked with Olivia Wilde, so I applied it on myself first and realized I liked how natural it looked on the skin. It has light to medium coverage with a satin finish to give the skin a luminous and flawless look without feeling heavy. I like to apply it with a damp Beautyblender sponge for light coverage, without looking cakey." — Julie Harris, celebrity makeup artist