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Mineral makeup is the beauty world’s answer to needing more natural-based formulas. Unlike traditional foundations, mineral foundation is formulated without all those extra bad-for-you ingredients and fillers. Free of talc, mineral oil, alcohol, preservatives, and fragrances, mineral foundations are just as great an option for mature skin as they are for acne-prone and sensitive skin types. And now, thanks to new technology, mineral foundations come in a variety of formulas (powder, liquid, and cream), all of which provide natural-looking (never-cakey) coverage.
Read on to discover the top mineral foundations—all made to beautifully mask your imperfections, provide the right amount of coverage, and keep your skin healthy.
Best Overall: Bare Minerals Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation
Bare Minerals is iconic in the mineral makeup game. They started with their famed original loose powder and have since created additional makeup products. But when it comes to being a mineral-based staple, this foundation rules all.
With buildable coverage, you can take your look from sheer to full in a matter of seconds. When swirled, the product transforms from a powder to cream, hugging your skin and absorbing those good-for-you minerals. Plus, the added SPF 15 makes sun protection a total breeze.
Want to see more foundations that boast built-in SPF? Check out our roundup of the best foundations with SPF.
Best Budget: L'Oreal Paris True Match Mineral Foundation
This mineral-enriched foundation powder comes with a handy brush—perfect for those on-the-go makeup applications—that buffs on the lightweight, shine-controlling formula into your skin. Consider your pores diminished and your skin tone evened out.
Instead of settling into the fine lines, the formula expertly reduces their appearance, so a youthful look is literally a few sweeps away. To apply, swirl the brush into the sifter, and then start in the center of the face and work your way out to your hairline, chin, and jaw. Keep adding more powder if you prefer a fuller coverage.
For more affordable picks, see our guide to the best drugstore foundations.
Best Loose Powder: Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation
An airbrushed finish without an airbrushing machine seems unlikely but it's absolutely possible. All it takes is a few quick sweeps of this full coverage foundation and you’re instantly date-night-ready.
Infused with Amazonian clay and gemstone tourmaline, this unique formula reduces oiliness and shine while energizing skin for a healthy complexion. Mineral-rich pearl powder provides anti-aging benefits, like softening and refreshing the skin’s surface. The formula is also long-lasting—it wears to up to 12 hours and is waterproof.
Best Pressed Powder: Pur 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup
Unlike loose powders, pressed powders are formulas that are tightly packed into a compact. While a loose powder gives you a lighter feel, a pressed powder provides a more targeted, controllable coverage, so it’s perfect for those who want an utterly flawless finish.
The formula includes ingredients like lactic acid, which stimulates collagen renewal, and major-moisturizers aloe vera and hyaluronic acid. The combo of soothing and anti-aging ingredients makes this great for all skin types.
Next: Check out our picks of the best foundations for women over 40.
Best Liquid: Mineral Fusion Liquid Mineral Foundation
Packed with skin-loving minerals, this formula features anti-agers like vitamin C and green tea—both antioxidants that fight skin damage. Licorice root and aloe vera come together to soothe and comfort fussy skin. The texture is satiny, melting into the skin as it covers all imperfections, without feeling slick—especially at the end of a long day.
Best Compact: AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact
New to cushion compacts? Here’s a quick breakdown: It’s a compact that houses a foundation-saturated cushion, making your makeup application mess-free. If you despise the feeling (and mess) of foundation on your fingertips, then this compact is for you. All you have to do is tap your brush into the sponge-like cushion and blend onto your face.
This formula, from AmorePacific, is a CC cream (not to be confused with BB cream), so in addition to its weightless coverage and hydration benefits, it’s also a pro at color correcting. This product also features powerful sun protection in the form of SPF 50.
Interested in reading more reviews? See our guide to the best cushion compacts to add to your makeup bag.
Best Solid: NYX Professional Makeup Mineral Stick Foundation
The best thing about a stick foundation is its convenience and ease-of-use. All it takes is a few swipes of product and a couple of dabs with your fingertips and your complexion is smooth and evenly covered. A huge plus: They’re super portable (no spillage in your purse!) and can easily be taken on a flight with you. This particular one, from budget-friendly brand NYX Professional Makeup, is versatile as well.
Mix and match your shades to create an entirely flawless look. And at less than a latte, it’s totally affordable. Use as a foundation, a contour, and a highlight. Although it’s solid, the texture glides on like a cream and feels silky on the skin.
Sticking to the mineral theme, peep our roundup of the best mineral sunscreens next.