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No Joke: These Are the Best Foundations for Combination Skin

As someone with combination skin, I tend to stay away from foundations. I've found a lot of formulas to be too heavy and clog up my pores (hello, next day breakouts), or they make me look like I've just washed my face in oil. No one was happier than I was when brands started making foundations that gave combination skin gals the coverage they needed without adding on to our skin problems. 

I've created a handy checklist to test whether a foundation is really worth my time and investment. It must do the following:

  • Be lightweight
  • Mattify 
  • Give natural-looking coverage
  • Treat existing blemishes (optional, but ideal)

I've tested a lot of foundations and found seven that checked off things on my checklist and more. 

Immaculate(R) Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying Oil Free Chestnut 1 oz/ 30 mL
Hourglass Immaculate(R) Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying Oil Free Chestnut $56

This oil-free foundation will almost make it seem like you never break out. It’s formulated with cashmere kaolinite clay and transforms instantly from liquid to powder, creating an all-day finish that covers imperfections in a natural-looking way. 

giorgio armani beauty Power Fabric Longwear High Cover Foundation SPF 25
Giorgio Armani Beauty Power Fabric Longwear High Cover Foundation SPF 25 $64

I wanted to be a fan of Armani's popular Luminous Silk Foundation, but it just didn't suit my oily skin. This matte version gives the same coverage as the luminous one without the extra shine. It's so lightweight that it feels like a second skin, but it gives enough full coverage to hide any blemish or scars. 

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup Fresh Honey 1 oz
Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup in Fresh Honey $30

Whoever first invented makeup that also treats the acne it's covering get my firstborn named after them. This foundation not only gives great coverage, but it also contains acne-fighting ingredients to reduce redness and prevent future breakouts. 

make up for ever Mat Velvet Matifying Foundation
Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet Matifying Foundation $41

For days when you're extra shiny, this foundation combats it well by mattifying skin and controlling excess oil with its powdery finish. Coverage is buildable, and you only have to use a little bit for it to go a long way. 

charlotte tilbury Light Wonder Youth-Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation
Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Youth-Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation $46

Just because you have oily skin doesn't mean you can't want or have that dewy complexion. This foundation is super lightweight, so it won't clog your pores. In fact, it helps minimize them while also providing hydration, evening skin tone, and smoothing out fine lines. 

Bareminerals Blemish Remedy Foundation
Bareminerals Blemish Remedy Foundation $28

This isn't your grandmother's powder foundation. It's made with aspen bark and tea tree oil to help promote clearer, healthier-looking skin. You get medium to full coverage, and it helps reduce shine. 

sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Foundation Compact
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Foundation Compact $65

You really do get the absolute best coverage with a compact foundation. This foundation from Sulwhasoo is super lightweight, and its natural-looking finish lasts for hours.

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