Considering that foundation is, quite literally, the beginning of a gorgeous look, it’s of the utmost importance to use the best foundation possible. If you start out with a chalky, cakey or oily foundation, the rest of your look will likely crumble. But, just because you’re searching for the best foundation doesn’t mean you have to pay a hefty price. In fact, when it comes down to it, the best drugstore foundations are some of the best foundations period.
Besides the fact that they’re inexpensive and completely accessible, drugstore foundations come in an incredibly wide range of color options for every skin tone, so you’re likely to find your perfect match while you’re in the aisle. Plus, because you’re not forking over half your rent paying for the makeup, you can afford to try a few different shades — or even combine shades to make a customized look.
Trying to decide whether you want to go for a liquid or powder foundation? Keep in mind that ladies will oily skin will find powder foundation to work well, mattifying the skin and absorbing any excess oil. Just remember to clean your foundation brush about once a week so that you’re not putting the oil from your skin into the foundation, then back onto your face, which can cause breakouts. For girls with dry skin, using a liquid foundation may be the best way to go, hydrating as it covers. Use your fingers or a makeup sponge to apply liquid foundation for a smooth, blended look.
Drugstore foundations do come with the downside of not being able to try them before you buy them, but luckily, there are a few tricks around this. First, head to a department or beauty store where there’s a makeup counter with samples. Test the foundation colors there to get a baseline of what you’re looking for. This way, you can see if you need a warm or cool tone, how light is too light, and how dark is too dark. Next, remember to keep your receipt. Most drugstores will allow you to return a just-opened foundation with the original packaging and receipt, even if you’ve used it. If you have to buy the foundation to try it at home, you can always return it if it’s the wrong color.
Another trick for finding the best drugstore foundation for you? Head to an area of the store with windows so you can use natural lighting to see which colors will work best. It’s important to hold them up to the inside of your forearm and your neck to get a good idea of skin tone, and doing so in the natural light will make a world of difference.
To help you get the best possible look that won’t leave your wallet staring at you with sad, puppy dog eyes, we’ve put together a list of the best drugstore foundations out there. Whether you’ve got oily skin, you’re looking for your perfect color match or you need some SPF in your makeup (because everyone should be), we found a drugstore foundation that’ll be perfect for you, above.