Sometimes, we want to go full glam with our makeup looks. There's something almost therapeutic about sitting down in front of the mirror and going all out. After all, what's wrong with a little high-key makeup? We're so over the notion that in order for your makeup to look good, it has to be undetectable. Don't misunderstand us; we love a good no-makeup makeup look from time to time, but we also enjoy making the extra time and taking the extra effort sometimes to achieve a truly flawless (and iron-strong!) finish.
(Here's a perfect example!)
That brings us to full-coverage foundation. It's the perfect canvas for a full glam look, and we turn to it when we want to conceal pesky breakouts or an uneven skin tone. That said, there are so many formulas out there that it can feel impossible to choose one. But don't worry. We've done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the 20 best full-coverage foundations well worth your hard-earned dollars. Keep reading to find the perfect one for you.
We love a good stick foundation. It's fast and easy to apply, and this one from Hourglass is no exception. It also happens to be formulated without mineral oil or parabens, so you can feel good about putting it on your skin. A pro tip? You can also invest in multiple shades to use for highlighting and contouring.
Our managing editor, Lindsey, is such a fan of Revlon's ColorStay foundation that she wore it for her wedding day. This full-coverage version of the original formula promises total matte coverage that won't crease or look cakey throughout the day. Plus, it's made with water instead of oil so you'll stay shine-free throughout the day.
This high-coverage formula comes recommended by our senior editor, Hallie. It has a light, serum-like feel that doesn't weigh the skin down and lasts up to 24 hours. Ulta buyers rave about it's "beautiful matte finish" and "skin-like look."
With over 900 five-star reviews on Sephora's website, this foundation comes highly recommended. It's enriched with pigments and is 22% water, so it hydrates the skin creating a natural, your-skin-but-better finish. With 24 shades based on different undertones, you're likely to find your perfect match.
In addition to providing full coverage that doesn't budge, this foundation is actually good for your skin. The formula contains papaya enzymes that work to improve the skin's texture and natural bamboo stem extract to create a smooth finish. As a bonus, it has SPF 20 broad-spectrum protection built in, so you'll have one less step to worry about in your skincare routine.
First of all, this foundation comes in 45 shades, which we're totally here for. The brand boasts that it "hustles as hard you do" by providing a matte finish that lasts up to 24 hours and doesn't transfer onto clothing. It's also noncomedogenic, so you don't have to compromise coverage for clogged pores.
Our assistant editor Maya calls this one of the best foundations she's ever tried, and as a beauty editor, she's tried a lot. "I can't get over how this Fenty foundation seriously looks like my second skin," she gushes. It provides light, buildable coverage that flatters a wide variety of skin tones.
Initially, this formula's shade range caught our attention. After all, 58 shades are a rare occurrence. But it's the foundation's quality that kept us interested. It's oil-controlling, so it stays flawless for up to 24 hours, which our assistant editor Erin can attest to. "I've literally worn it for 24 hours and it still maintains its meticulous coverage," she raves.
This color-correcting cream offers full-coverage while providing the skin with collagen, peptides, and antioxidants that work together to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines. It's also enriched with niacin, which promotes a more even skin tone and fights hyperpigmentation. As if that weren't enough, its SPF 50 protects against UVA and UVA damage.
We don't normally think of powder foundation as high-coverage, but this one definitely is. It controls oil and shine and reduces the appearance of pores for up to 12 hours. Plus, the powder formula ensures a light, breathable feel on the skin.
This full-coverage formula from Maybelline was voted the number one drugstore foundation, and we're honestly not surprised. The oil-free formula evens out the complexion while camouflaging imperfections seamlessly. "This is the best foundation you can find at the drugstore. It's thick, but doesn't feel heavy at all. It covers everything with one layer, and I have a lot of redness," one Ulta buyer emphasizes.
Celebrity makeup artist Kelly Hunt swears by this drugstore foundation when she wants buildable high coverage. "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," she explains. The formula is also oil-free, so it's perfect for acne-prone skin.
Glamsquad makeup artist Alyna Ajere recommended this one to us, and we're so glad she did. "I just really love the somehow lightweight full coverage and the way it effortlessly blends and melts into my skin," Erin praises. It offers up to 15 hours of wear, which Erin boasts has even lasted through Barry's Bootcamp classes without needing a touch-up.
Enriched with emollients and vitamin C and E, this foundation-and-concealer-in-one provides benefits to the skin in addition to its great coverage. Its antioxidants protect against free-radical damage and soften the skin, while the creamy formula gives off a radiant glow. The brand adds that it's a great base for contouring because it's super blendable.
Amazonian clay, vitamin E, and mineral pigments come together to soothe and soften the skin in this formula from Tarte. It offers non-caking, matte coverage that lasts up to 12 hours. We've found it to be one of the best foundations for covering acne scars thanks to its buildable, blendable coverage.
As a concealer-foundation hybrid, this product offers extremely high coverage. Its formulated with jojoba oil, honey, and minerals that hydrate the skin for a dewy, glowy complexion. "The coverage is beautiful! Dot it on, let it warm up to your skin, and then blend," one Sephora buyer recommends.
According to the brand, this foundation is waterproof, sweatproof, and transfer-resistant for up to 24 hours. But that's not all. Apparently, it's full-coverage enough to even cover tattoos. And we love the fact that it's vegan and cruelty-free.
This creamy foundation is packed with ultra-refined pigments to create a more even, radiant look to the skin, hence the name #FauxFilter. It's infused with argan oil to hydrate the skin, as well as centella asiatica, an antioxidant-rich plant extract. It's also cruelty-free and made with recyclable packaging, which we can definitely get behind.
The name says it all. This waterproof formula from Urban Decay is made to last all night without needing any touch-ups. The brand emphasizes that it's loaded with an "insane amount" of pigment to create the appearance of flawless-looking skin and blurs out imperfections.
We couldn't create a full-coverage foundation roundup without mentioning without mentioning this Team Byrdie favorite. Our features editor, Amanda, is perhaps the biggest fan. "Basically, every makeup artist I know is obsessed with this, and so am I because better than any other product, it conceals blemishes, darkness, and unevenness while genuinely looking like real skin," she gushes. Plus, it's ultra-moisturizing, so it leaves even the driest winter skin looking fresh and dewy.
Want to make your foundation last even longer? Check out these tips from redditors that'll make it stay all day.