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Anyone who has skin that’s even the slightest bit oily has been there: You spend more time than you’d like to admit perfecting your makeup, but a few hours later too much shine has taken over. That’s where matte foundations come in. They sometimes get a bad reputation for taking it too far and getting cakey and drying out your skin as the day goes on. But trust us—good matte foundations are out there, the ones that prevent people from being able to see their reflections in your forehead but still have a natural, smooth finish and nourish skin.
Matte foundations are especially a lifesaver for oily skin. Yes, the dewy look is in, but when you already have a natural supply of shine on your side, you don’t need to add any more to it. The right matte foundation will do everything from cover up imperfections like dark spots and acne while giving you healthy-looking—not parched—skin. These are the top matte foundations to keep your skin shine-free and happy.
Best Overall: Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup
Tried and true, this foundation truly delivers and keeps skin matte all day long. This formula keeps shine under control, soaks up oil, and resists sweat. Designed for eight-hour wear, it won’t make you break out. The medium coverage has a natural matte finish and comes in 20 shades. And there’s no guesswork involved when it comes to application, since the tip gives out just the right amount of foundation.
Best Budget: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation
This drugstore staple has racked up quite a fan club. The long-wearing formula can really go the distance, delivering up to 24 hours of matte coverage without making skin look flat or getting cakey. It even resists sweat, humidity, and heat, so you’ll want this on hand for those stuffy summer days. The airy texture goes on smooth but delivers enough color to hide imperfections and has buildable coverage. It’s available in 22 shades and glides on with either your fingers or a foundation brush.
Best Splurge: Giorgio Armani Beauty Power Fabric Longwear Foundation
Plenty of people are willing to shell out for this foundation that is worth every penny. Everything about it feels luxe, from the chic packaging all the way to the beautiful, creamy formula. The foundation has a rich consistency and dries down to just the right matte finish. Armani Beauty’s Micro-fil Technology features super fine pigments to allow for the most coverage in a foundation with the lightest and thinnest texture possible. Plus, it includes SPF 25 to protect skin.
Best for Full Coverage: Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Foundation
Beloved for blending like a dream, the fact that it covers so much makes its smooth application even more impressive. It wards off shine but never looks cakey or flakes. Even though it feels light, the creamy consistency is strong enough to mask texture issues. The breathable formula lets skin breathe but still delivers 24-hour wear. With 40 shades on offer, it’s easy for anyone to find their match.
Best Liquid: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Rihanna made headlines for finally delivering the inclusive full color range of foundation the world had been waiting for. But this line is so much more than its shade range. Though the formula is thin and light, it somehow delivers major matte, buildable coverage that doesn’t budge. It works for all skin types too, from normal to dry, combination, and oily.
Best Powder: BareMinerals Matte Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
If your main concern is soaking up oil, a powder foundation is the choice for you. This version from BareMinerals does just that without give skin a dried out look, delivering a natural finish. Since the format is so buildable, you can opt for light coverage or apply more over problem spots. As an added bonus, it contains mineral sunscreen—via titanium dioxide and zinc—to protect you from the sun. Plus, since the vegan foundation only has six ingredients, it won’t trigger breakouts or clog pores.
Best for Oily Skin: CoverGirl Clean Matte Foundation
When you need to keep excess shine under control, this is your answer. Magically, it doesn’t dry skin out either. That’s because the Oil Control formula includes oil-absorbers and skin conditioners. Plus, it won’t clog pores. The foundation also comes in Normal Skin and Sensitive Skin formulas.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular matte foundations on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different foundations overall, screened options from 20 different brands and manufacturers, read over 20 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 5 of the foundations themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.