11 Waterproof Foundations That Prevent Makeup Meltdown

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When it comes to perfecting your complexion, there are days when just a swipe of tinted sunscreen is perfect. There are days when full-coverage foundation is in the cards. And then there are days when you need not only a full-coverage foundation, but one that you know is going to last come hell or high water. Enter the beauty of a waterproof formula. Made with higher levels of polymers—film-forming molecules that ensure makeup is long-wearing—along with waxes to block out moisture, these bases can withstand sweat, water, tears, you name it.

The caveat: They do tend to be a bit heavier on skin and some may contain comedogenic ingredients, so just make sure that you remove them completely once you are ready to go bare-faced again. (And FYI, you’ll likely need to a dedicated makeup remover in order to do so.) Still, for all those occasions when long-lasting, flawless foundation is a must, consider these waterproof picks the ace of base.

Keep scrolling for the best waterproof foundations on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation

charlotte tilbury airbrush flawless foundation

 Courtesy of Nordstrom

This formula feels so good on skin that you wouldn’t know it’s waterproof unless someone told you. Along with the stay-put benefits, it’s also insanely hydrating; we’re talking it can boost skin moisture levels by over 200% in just one hour. Plus, it’s packed with wrinkle-fighting ingredients (yes, please), and touts special pigments that help the shades adjust to your skin tone specifically.

Best Budget: CoverGirl Outlast Active Foundation

Sweat-proof, transfer-proof, and humidity-proof, this stays put on muggy summer days or in steamy hot yoga classes. It lasts for 24 hours and won’t clog pores, and, like all the other CoverGirl products, was recently certified cruelty-free.

Best Mattifying: Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup

Best Mattifying: Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup

Courtesy of Sephora

 

Those prone to oiliness may benefit even more from waterproof formulas, as they can ensure the foundation stays put without sliding on slick skin. Oil-free and with a matte finish, this also controls shine, absorbs oil, and is sweat-resistant. Plus, it’s non-acnegenic and dermatologist-tested.

Read more reviews of the best matte foundations available to purchase online.

Best Long-Wear: MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

Best for Long-Wear: MAC PRO Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

 Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

 

While we’re not quite sure in what setting you might need a foundation that lasts for 36 hours but if the occasion should arise, reach for this pick. Despite its staying prowess, it still has a surprisingly weightless feel and texture. The finish is a satin-matte, and it also has the added benefit of working equally well as a concealer, too.

Best Stick: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick

Best Stick: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick

 Courtesy of Sephora

We heart foundation sticks not only for their ease of application (no tools or mirror required) but also for their creamy coverage that can pull double-duty as a concealer. This stick just does that, offering full, yet weightless color that’s long-wearing and waterproof. Bonus points for the triangular tip, which is perfect for swiping onto hard-to-reach spots like the inner corners of your eyes and around your nose.

Check out our other reviews of the best foundation sticks available on the market today.

Best Drops: Catrice Prime and Fine Makeup Transformer Drops

Best to Add to Any Foundation: Catrice Prime and Fine Makeup Transformer Drops Waterproof

 Courtesy of Ulta

Ever wish your favorite foundation formula could become waterproof whenever you needed some extra staying power? This convenient product makes that wish come true. Simply mix one to three drops with any foundation to instantly make it waterproof. Yes, it’s that easy. Satisfied Ulta reviewers rave about how long it lasts, and point out that the drops also work well when used as a primer.

Best Shade Range: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation 24

 Courtesy of Sephora

This oil-free option touts a velvety matte finish that lasts for 24 hours. But perhaps even more impressive? It comes in 45 shades; in a study of 400 women, a whopping 98% were able to find their perfect match. Credit the fact that not only the base shades are varied, but the undertones in each are as well.

Check out our guide to the best liquid foundations you can buy today.

Best Lightweight: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation

 Courtesy of Sephora

Yes, as a general rule of thumb, longer-lasting foundations will be heavier. But that’s not the case with this water-gel, which is made of 80% water. In other words, it feels completely weightless and leaves skin naturally dewy, though it is still buildable if you need more pigment. Also nice: You can use it on your body, too.

Best with SPF: IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte SPF 40

Best With Benefits: It Cosmetics CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40

 Courtesy of Sephora

Those who like multi-taskers will appreciate that this formula does it all. We’re talking hydrate, deliver a load of anti-aging and good-for-your-skin ingredients, absorb oil, and tout always-important sun protection. A new iteration of the original best-seller, it’s now also matte and waterproof. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s called a CC, either; it packs full coverage and is enough to hide everything you need hidden.

Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best cream foundations available online.

Best Luxury: Tom Ford Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer and Foundation

Best Luxe Option: Tom Ford Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer and Foundation

 Courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Tom Ford can do no wrong in our book and this stay-put base is no exception. Pricey, yes, but you can use it in place of both your foundation and concealer and it can withstand heat, humidity, and water. The radiant finish leaves your complexion glowing, without ever looking mask-like, and the texture is also breathable and comfortable on the skin. We just wish it came in more shades.

Read more reviews of the best foundations for women over 40.

Best for Body: Dermablend Leg and Body Makeup Foundation

Let’s face it, sometimes the skin below your chin needs a little perfecting, too. Whether you want to cover up bruises, veins, or tats, this ultra-thick, ultra-full coverage body base gets the job done. A little bit goes a long way, completely covering what you want to be covered, without the risk of smudging or transferring and staying put for up to 16 hours.

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