We've Found the Foundations That'll Stay Put All Day (And Night)

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.

When you need your coverage to stay put no matter what, a long-wear foundation is the way to go. With options ranging from sweat-proof, to water-resistant, to smudge-proofs, your complexion is bound to finally have it's moment. Worried about drying out your skin? No need to fret! There are options that won’t sap your complexion of moisture. Prone to shine? Fear not—this list is full of oil-free formulas that’ll keep things under control. If you’re looking for a foundation that can do it all without flaking or caking, you'll want to keep scrolling.

Ahead, all best long-wear foundations out there right now.

Our Top Picks
This budge-proof formula provides medium coverage, to all skin types.
Wallet-friendly, this formula features oxygen technology to keep the feel lightweight.
This lightweight foundation boasts 16-hours worth of high coverage.
This foundation stops shine in its tracks without leaving you looking flat.
Oil-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic, sensitive skin sufferers won't need to worry.
Oil-controlling active ingredients make this foundation ideal for acne-prone skin.
This creamy, 24-hour full-coverage foundation comes in 45 tones.
This full-coverage foundation is sweat-proof and oil-free, so it won't clog pores.
This luminous formula provides a dewy finish without sacrificing coverage.
This long-wear matte formula that boasts blemish-blurring pigments for a beautiful finish.

Best Overall: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10

Estée Lauder’s famous Double Wear is a true icon thanks to its budge-proof formula that works with all skin types. This product has medium coverage that’s easy to build and blend and a shade range that’s pushing 60 different shades.

Best Budget: L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation

L'Oreal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation

A new launch from L’Oreal Paris, this Fresh Wear fluid uses oxygen technology that claims to keep the full-coverage foundation feeling super lightweight despite its 24-hour full-coverage staying power.

Best for Dry Skin: NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

Dry skin? Try this star product from Nars. Clever technology teams 16-hours worth of high coverage pigment with a lightweight formula that won’t sap your skin of moisture. Dreamy.

Best for Oily Skin: Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation

Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation

If you’re an all-matte fan, this oil-free foundation is potentially for you. Ideal for oily skin, this Urban Decay foundation claims to stop shine in its tracks without leaving you looking flat.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation

Oil-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic, this may be a great option for sensitive skin. The medium coverage pigment is easy to build when you need a bit extra, while 30 shades make it a breeze to find your match.

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15

Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15

Ideal for acne-prone skin that needs rebalancing, this Bobbi Brown formula packs oil-controlling active ingredients. Glycerin keeps the skin fully hydrated, and the full-coverage pigment claims it stays put for 16 hours.

Best Value: NYX Professional Makeup Can't Stop Won't Stop Foundation

NYX

When it comes to getting all the bang for your buck, NYX are specialists. This creamy, 24-hour full-coverage foundation comes in 45 tones, and it shouldn’t feel heavy on your skin either.

Best Waterproof: MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

There’s a reason this is a makeup artist favorite and a go-to for weddings and fashion weeks: The soft, satin finish is super flattering, the full coverage pigment is sweat-proof and the oil-free formula claims that it won’t clog your pores. It’s a yes from us.

Best Dewy Finish: Armani Beauty Power Fabric Foundation SPF 25

Armani Power Fabric Longwear High Cover Foundation SPF 25

A dewy finish is tough to come by in a long-wear foundation, but Giorgio Armani's Power Fabric nails it with this luminous formula that still packs plenty of coverage. Glow on.

Best Matte Finish: Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Foundation

Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation

This full-coverage foundation is everything you’d expect from Instagram star Huda Kattan’s beauty line. Coming in 30 shades, it’s a long-wear matte formula that boasts blemish-blurring pigments for a fully filtered finish. If you’re not addicted to it yet, you will be soon.

Best Shade Range: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation

With 40 shades to chose from and a full-coverage formula that claims to never cake, Lancôme's foundation is a smudge-proof kit essential.

What To Look For in a Long-Wear Foundation

Staying Power

Look for product descriptions with keywords such as 'long-wearing', 'water-proof' or 'smudge-proof' when searching for a foundation that'll last all day. You'll want to select a foundation that is specifically formulated to be worn for a multitude of hours.

The Finish

Since your foundation is meant to last you through the entire day, make sure you like the way the finish looks. For instance, if you're not typically into the way a matte finish appears on your skin, opt for a dewy one instead—and vice versa.

Coverage

Long-wearing foundations are available in many options, so you have your choice in coverage level. If you typically go for light coverage, choose a foundation is buildable. For a full-coverage finish, opt for a heavier formula.

FAQ
  • What is longwear foundation?

    Unlike traditional foundations, long-wear foundations are typically made that prolong wear-time.

  • How long should you let your foundation set?

    Before applying other facial makeup, let your complexion products set for three to five minutes. When the time has passed, blot or use powder to set anywhere where your foundation tends to crease (underneath the eyes, forehead, etc.).

  • What is the best way to apply foundation?

    Use a foundation brush, your fingertips, or a sponge to gently tap the foundation into your skin. Avoid any wiping or rubbing motions as this will cause streaks with application.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Fluhr JW, Darlenski R, Surber C. Glycerol and the skin: holistic approach to its origin and functions. Br J Dermatol. 2008;159(1):23-34.

Related Stories