7 Best Foundations for Mature Skin, From Makeup Artists


Because skin changes as we age, each decade brings about an entirely new set of needs, and dermatologists are constantly recommending routine swaps for your 30s, 40s50s, and beyond. In addition to adding skin-supporting ingredients into your daily regimen—like retinoids and peptides—you may also want to consider switching up your cosmetic lineup to include foundation for mature skin.

“The biggest issue that arises when using foundation on mature skin is that foundation does not go on smoothly,” says Trish McEvoy, a makeup artist and founder of her eponymous makeup line. “This often happens because our skin becomes drier as it ages, and our cell turnover slows down.” Because of this, you’ll want to look for foundations that are specifically formulated to account for those issues. To help you suss out what that means, we tapped a panel of makeup artists to share their favorite foundations for mature skin. Keep reading for what they had to say.

Why your foundation needs change as you age

“As you grow older, your skin loses some of its moisture and elasticity, so one issue that arises for women selecting a foundation for mature skin is that their skin may appear textured and dry,” says makeup artist Sharandy Osei-tutu. Because of this, the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a foundation for mature skin is the product’s texture. “You don’t want it to make your pores look bigger, and the wrong product can bring out the wrinkles instead of diffusing the wrinkles,” Sandy Linter, a celebrity makeup artist, previously told Well+Good.

To have more natural finish, Osei-tutu suggests, “staying away from products that advertise themselves as matte and powdery,” and instead looking for options that are moisturizing and lightweight, which tend to include words like “hydrating,” “luminous,” “buildable coverage,” and “weightless” on their labels. “On mature skin, the finish is so important,” says McEvoy.

As far as formatting goes, it’s really a “dealer’s choice” situation. “Liquid, creams, and sticks all work—it just depends on the texture that you like,” says McEvoy. “With powder, you have to be aware that the formula can settle into fine lines and give the skin a dry appearance.” To avoid this, she recommends looking for a translucent options that adds a slight glow to your skin.

How to use foundation on mature skin

No matter which type of foundation you’re using, it’s important to start your makeup routine with proper preparation. And the name of the game, says makeup artist Cara Lovello, is moisturizing. She suggests using  NARS Radiance Primer SPF 30 ($35), which combines hydrating ingredients with SPF to create the perfect canvas to layer foundation on top of. 

When it comes time to apply the foundation itself, you may want to consider mixing some primer or moisturizer with your product—especially if you’re using a full-coverage formula. “This makes it lay a little thinner, and look more skin-like on skin,” says Lovello. Finally, you’ll want to finish things off with a setting powder. “Although powder can make foundation feel heavy or cakey, it’s necessary so the foundation doesn’t crease up in fine lines,” says Lovello, who’s a fan of Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Under Eye Powder ($28) for setting product in place.

The best foundation for mature skin

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation — $44.00

As Osei-tutu puts it, “this foundation looks like skin, and doesn’t settle into fine lines.” While it does have a matte finish, it won’t cake or crease, and is made with proprietary skin-care ingredients that help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, it’s concocted with technology that provides an immediate cooling feeling, making it perfect for the summer months.

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Trish McEvoy Correct and Even Full Face Perfector — $45.00

McEvoy is a fan of foundations that offer an elastic-like texture, and this one, from her own line, fits the bill. “It moves with your expressions, but doesn’t sink into lines, wrinkles, or pores,” she says. “I can use a very small amount to correct any uneven pigmentation, and then use a moisturizer on top to get a luminous finish.” It’s made with photo-luminescent technology that allows for full-coverage with a lightweight finish, and comes with a sponge-tip applicator that enables targeted application that can then be blended out.

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Huda Beauty GloWish Multidew Vegan Skin Tint Foundation — $37.00

This skin-tint-meets-foundation gives you the best of both worlds. It’s ultra-hydrating, the way a tinted moisturizer would be, but also offers the same sort of coverage that you’d expect from a foundation. It’s got skin-nourishing ingredients like squalane and rose oil, and has antioxidant protection to protect skin from the elements.

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Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Foundation SPF 45 — $45.00

Part skin care, part makeup, there’s a reason why this SPF-infused foundation has stood the test of time. It’s made with nourishing chia seed extract, soothing probiotic technology, and hydrating ion-charged water, and clinical testing has shown that it helps to reduce redness and irritation while also hydrating skin and protecting against pollution. It offers full—yet breathable—coverage, and is proven to stay on for 12 hours without ever smudging, caking, or flaking.

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For more tips on how to apply foundation so that it looks flawless for your next Zoom meeting, check out the video below. 

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