I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with this scene: you spent a good fraction of your morning (and you even woke up earlier for this!) thoroughly applying makeup on your face - starting from the foundation - only to notice it completely evaporated a few hours later when you’re at work. Where did your base even go? And now you’re in a hurry for a meeting and don’t have enough time to re-do it all over again, so you’ll have to show up there looking like a zombie. But fear no more! Those days are over - and we’re here to deliver good news.
Luckily, the makeup industry really stepped its game up during the last few years, so now we can proudly introduce you to some of the best long-lasting, full and medium-coverage (whatever you prefer!) foundations on the market that can actually resist all your busy and sweaty days.
However, remember that all that glitters is not gold - which is why we want to make sure you don’t buy the wrong foundation that will most likely let you down on the first try (don’t worry, we won’t let you go around showing a cakey face!)
Whether you prefer a full, airbrushed coverage or a more natural ‘no-makeup’ look, we got you covered with this roundup of 15 great long-lasting foundations available to buy now - plus 5 you shouldn’t trust. Enjoy!
21 Lasts All Day: No7 Stay Perfect Foundation
This foundation is packaged in a nice glass bottle that has a black top with a pump - great to keep the opening always nice and clean. No7 Stay Perfect is a long-lasting foundation, it’s hypo-allergenic and also has SPF 15, which is useful for protecting your skin from the aging and damaging effects of sunlight. You can ideally wear it in the colder months, but also when the sun starts coming out during spring.
This product costs around $16 and promises to help you achieve a natural finish and though feeling on the skin that will last the entire day. It’s medium coverage, which means you can shade it out with your fingers or use a damp beauty blender for a better coverage. The youtuber and makeup guru Samantha Schuerman said (when reviewing this product):
“This is definitely a skin light, very natural finish. It is not going to be full coverage, it is not gonna look like cakey on the skin. It’s very dewy, but it doesn’t feel dewy. When you touch it, it doesn’t feel that wet kind of greasy foundation but it gives you a very gorgeous kind of dewy glow to your face”.
In the end, that model-like dewy look is what we’re all aiming for, right? Even better if it can last up to 24 hours!
20 Lasts All Day: MAC Pro Longwear Foundation
Full coverage, matte finish, and budge-proof - with added SPF - this foundation promises to make your skin look ‘photo-friendly’ for 15 hours, making it stellar for selfies. It's definitely not made for a ‘no makeup’ look, but if you don't want to worry about touching up your makeup throughout the day, this is great.
It costs around $30, but for the youtuber and makeup-lover Crystal Conte those are pennies well-spent: “Some people have said that it has caused "breakouts" I did not find this... and I wore it for a VERY long time. I recently wore it to a wedding and it was just flawless! couldn't be happier! Definitely worth the money on this one guys”
19 Lasts All Day: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation
This foundation promises a full coverage whilst feeling completely weightless. It also has anti-aging benefits and is recommended for skin problems such as acne and rosacea. Its cost? A little more than $30.
Many (including makeup artists and gurus) have found this product to be great and extremely long-lasting but, according to others, it really depends on your skin type. For instance, this is what Sinéad from ‘The Beautiful Truth’ had to say about this product:
“Do I think this is a bad foundation? Absolutely not. In fact, I feel that this has the potential to be a really beautiful foundation, but only on the right skin type."
"What skin type it suits is hard to say because it seems to act differently for everyone. What I will say though, is it is worth going into Brown Thomas and asking for a sample because there is a good chance that this could be a holy grail for you as it has been for others I have spoken to.”
Definitely worth (at least) a try!
18 Doesn't Last: Mark Face Xpert Flawless Touch Makeup
Probably the biggest flaw this foundation has - and the thing that usually gets most complaints from consumers - is the packaging. While it might look cool at first sight, it shows to be incredibly bulky and tricky later on when you start using it.
The applicator, in particular, seems to be doing the whole product wrong - as using it directly on your skin contaminates the liquid foundation, and could make it go bad faster than a pump applicator or a squeeze tube would.
“SO frustrating!!!! I've had this sitting in my foundation drawer for weeks and I keep wanting to try it but can’t! The applicator is SO stupid, you can't get anything out. I tried using needle-nose pliers to get the stupid white liner out but it wouldn’t budge. It was only 10 bucks, but it was 10 bucks WASTED!” - crazykewl
The color selection is also subpar, making it hard to match skin color to the swatches in the catalog.
“This sucks! It doesn’t cover anything even after 4 layers. I love the pressed powder which is comparable to mac's studio fix powder foundation…”
...but the foundation color was a little too light. And what is up with the stupid packaging? I hate this.” - Rkhan715
17 Lasts All Day: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
The Nars all day luminous weightless foundation is oil free and designed to deliver full coverage with only a small amount of product per application. It is claimed to be lightweight with a 16-hour wear and to blend very easily.
Laura from ‘Lauralivinglife’ said:
“Nars I stand up and applaud you because you have really outdone yourself with this gem!"
"Like it is advised I only applied one pump of the product on to my hand and used my beauty blender to apply it all over my face. This ish right here is full coverage! I swear to you my face was glowing and legit looked luminous. Even my boyfriend commented asking what I had on my face because it is so different to other foundations I have used.”
16 Lasts All Day: Revlon ColorStay Foundation
This non-greasy formula is supposed to last for ages without looking cakey. Perfect for those of you wanting a high-coverage at a low price, the cult-favorite comes in two formulas to specifically address different skin types. Depending on where you shop, you can buy this product for $9 to $12.
On ‘Bellatory’, a popular beauty blog, this is what you can read about this product:“I have been using this product religiously without any breakouts, nor do I see any change in the makeup's effectiveness. People have commented that my skin looks "clearer and healthier." Finally, I have found a product that fits my budget, suits my active lifestyle, and feels good on my skin.”
15 Lasts All Day: Avon True Colour Flawless Liquid Foundation
In early 2017, Avon revamped their True Color makeup collection with a new look & new products. One of the changes was converting ‘Avon Ideal Flawless Liquid Foundation’ to ‘Avon True Color Flawless Liquid Foundation’, while maintaining the same great Invisiblend Technology and the True Color guarantee.
Ideal for anyone looking for a long-lasting foundation to cover imperfections, blemishes or acne, this lightweight liquid foundation won't budge nor leave you blotchy-faced by your 2 pm meeting.
Ranking with 4,5/5 stars on the official site, this product keeps receiving pretty positive reviews: “Love this product with SPF. Wears well and covers nicely. Never greasy feeling. Doesn't clog pores.” - LeeJ
14 Doesn't Last: Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Liquid Foundation
Most people that tested this product, agree that its consistency is way too thick and that the attached sponge that comes with the foundation isn’t even worth a try.
“As far as the packaging, I definitely do not recommend using the attached sponge. It is very hard and does not blend the foundation well on my skin. Instead, I screw the top off and use the squeeze-out applicator. [...] I have also found that it doesn't blend well into my hairline, so I have to be careful not to use too much or it will appear cakey.” - sarahrose53
Customers also find the product has a tendency to settle into fine lines and rub off on clothing. On top of that, the foundation shades seem to hardly match natural skin tones, giving an ‘orangey’ or ‘yellowish’ color to the face when blended.
“I wore this for about a week before throwing it in the trash. For one, the store where I bought it (CVS) only had one shade. I can't remember what it was called, but it seemed close enough to my skin tone. However, once I put it on it looked like I had jaundice or something . . . it was yellowish. [...] Then I found that it was rubbing off onto my clothes, even after wiping a lot off of my face. I barely put any on, and it was just terrible. I wish I had saved the box so that I could return it to the store!” - Ladybug68
13 Lasts All Day: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
This wildly popular beauty brand dropped another unquestioned favorite: this wonderful product is indeed considered a must-have among many beauty gurus and makeup lovers. Not only does it blur imperfections, but it lights up your skin to give you that ‘Just-been-to-the-beach’ glow all year long.
“Using Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk for the first time was like falling in love at first sight. The formula is creamy, light, and most importantly, buildable. It's the most versatile foundation I own, meaning I can use it during the daytime and mix it with moisturizer on a good-skin day"
"It blends perfectly into my skin whichever way I apply it, and like a good best friend, I know I can always count on it when I'm having a bad (skin) day.” said Faith Xue, beauty expert and editorial director at ‘Byrdie’.
It doesn’t come cheap, though: to bring this foundation home you’ll have to pay (around) $40.
12 Lasts All Day: Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Since queen Riri blessed the beauty community with her highly anticipated makeup line, Fenty Beauty, the beauty game has radically been changed: the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation features 40 shades - something you often don’t see from top beauty companies!
With Fenty Beauty, everyone can feel included and find a shade that actually matches their skin tone (all while having an instantly smooth, pore-diffused, shine-free finish)!
“The first thing I noticed is how super lightweight the foundation is. It honestly feels like you have nothing on your face. It claims to be a medium-to-full coverage foundation, but leans more on the medium side (which I personally prefer).” said Lanie Edwards in a review of the product on ‘Liveglam’. “The other thing I noticed is how pleasant the scent of the foundation is. It doesn’t smell like chemicals at all, and is also cruelty-free.” she continued.
11 Lasts All Day: Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation
Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation ($40.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a full coverage and waterproof liquid foundation with a matte finish. This formula is made to last on your face through dinner, drinks, and whatever else life presents to you during your busy days.
Because it's so packed with pigment, one layer of this oil-free formula is actually all you need to reach that full-coverage status.
“If you are looking for something full for nights out, are looking to create a flawless even base, are oily skinned, or are looking for lasting coverage for acne, rosacea, pigmentation or similar, I’d say you can’t go wrong with UD All Nighter. Foundation technology is so advanced now that full coverage foundations are improving all the time, and I can see this becoming a go-to favorite for lots of women." said on this product Emily Turnbull from ‘So You’re Getting Married’.
10 Lasts All Day: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation
Considered to be a breakthrough formula for Laura Mercier ($48), this foundation boasts a 15-hour wear while being resistant to sweat, water, humidity, and more. It's a buildable formula, so you can choose what level of matte coverage you'd like, and it's infused with powders to control oil production throughout the day.
“The coverage is good, you can definitely achieve full-coverage by applying more product, or keep it as more of a natural look with just a light layer. It’s really long-wearing, it’s lightweight, and it feels great throughout the entire day – it's almost everything I look for in a foundation,” revealed Liana Desu, makeup lover, on her blog.
9 Doesn't Last: Maybelline New York Dream Liquid Mousse
Among the many flaws - it is chalky, hard to blend and tends to give an ‘orangey’ color - Maybelline New York Dream Liquid Mousse ($11) is said to often cause some serious acne problems and skin breakouts.
“I will admit I’m so disappointed I can’t use this foundation ever again."
"It went on BEAUTIFULLY and made my textured skin look flawless, BUT I had the most severe acne breakout after a few uses. My ENTIRE face was covered in bumps, whiteheads, and blackheads. Before using this product I had finally gotten my acne-prone skin under control and this ruined it for me. I’m currently still fighting the breakouts two weeks later.” - Paris93
“Horrible foundation. Broke me out like crazy and I never have issues with acne. It also doesn’t blend well and the shades are almost all beige or pink undertones which isn’t great.”- Natasha142
8 Lasts All Day: YSL All Hours Full Coverage Matte Foundation
YSL All Hours Full Coverage Matte Foundation - which by the way doesn’t come cheap ($58 from Sephora) - seems to be the holy grail of makeup.
This foundation is described as “a new 24-Hour, a full-coverage foundation that instantly blurs pores and fines lines and provides uninterrupted flawless wear that looks and feels just applied, all-day.” It’s listed as being a full-coverage foundation with a matte finish; and it’s said the formula works best with normal, combination and oily skin types. There are 22 shades available, which is pretty impressive, but from the looks of the website, there aren’t still many options for dark/deep skin tones.
Hannah Rogers from ‘The Modern Girl’ said about this product: “This innovative formula is waterproof and transfer-resistant, and I tested this (as I am very prone to getting makeup on my man’s clothes) and yes! Transfer-resistant yes it is! More so than the other foundations I have reviewed.”
7 Lasts All Day: BareMinerals BarePRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20
The most impressive and unusual thing about this 24-hour long-wear foundation is that it’s formulated with papaya enzymes to exfoliate and smooth your skin while you're wearing it.
This means that when you get home from a long day at work and you finally clean off the foundation from your face, your skin actually has the potential to look better.
“I am really enjoying this foundation. I have finicky skin so I struggle to find a foundation that works for me. I would call this medium to full coverage. I can see my imperfections through it with one thin layer. I find this to look quite natural. The finish is quite matte on me but not dry. It dries down really fast but blends quickly. [...] This foundation lasts all day on me and doesn’t get oily. I love that it has a pump.” wrote Meena Thyagaraj while reviewing the product on her blog ‘Makeup and Meena’.
6 Lasts All Day: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation
This oil-free foundation claims to be able to keep a dewy look on your face for 24 hours. And if this is not enough to make you hit ‘click’ and purchase the product online, maybe the following statement will: this $11 drugstore staple is a must-have for Sir John, Beyonce's makeup artist. Yes, you read that correctly: the man that does Queen Bey’s makeup loves and uses this foundation.
But let’s see what regular people think about this beauty product, too. “For some reason, I cannot explain, I thought this foundation wasn’t going to live up to its name. Oh, how wrong I was!!! Yes, it has been out for a long time and I have only just purchased the product a few weeks ago. I will never listen to my makeup intuition again! This is by far the best 'drug-store' foundation I have ever used.” shared a user (rachel.tindale) on ‘Beauty Heaven’.
5 Doesn't Last: CoverGirl Clean Liquid Makeup Oil Control
Despite its name says ‘Oil Control’, this foundation appears to be doing nothing of that kind. It also tends to dry cakey on your face - and doesn’t even last that long (3 hours on average)!
“If you think this foundation will help you control the oil on your face, think again. This foundation goes on pretty normal coverage but dries very cakey if you don't put only a very small amount on. I'm still in school and this foundation lasts 3 out of the 6 hours I'm there and then shows my oil the rest of the day…”
Other complaints involve the packaging: “...The packaging is dumb like really a glass bottle who is that good for? When I run out of it I'm not buying this foundation again. I don't know about the other options of this foundation like not the oily skin version but this one is terrible for oily skin and combination skin like mine.” - Mamamiamakeup1
4 Lasts All Day: Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
A firm favorite, probably used or tested by 85% of makeup artists and beauty gurus at least one time, this foundation promises to (and does!) last 15 hours - regardless of heat, humidity and constant face touching.
Many consider this formula to be pretty close to YSL’s All Hours’ (mentioned above) but, between the two, Estee ($42 from Sephora) would probably win 9 times out of 10.
“I have oily/combo skin and this is my go-to foundation for events (weddings, functions - long-wearing makeup days) Great shade range- although I do find it leans a little orangey-pinkey; yellow undertones(me) may have a little bit of trouble finding the right shade, I needed to be matched twice before I actually found my shade. Keeps shine from breaking through, and even when the oil does start to show at the end of the day, the foundation doesn't break up or fade. Has a beautiful matte/satin finish that keeps you looking alive after applying and not chalky.” - @Whathappenedtomybody on ‘Beauty Bulletin’.
3 Lasts All Day: Bobbi Brown Weightless Powder Foundation
Bobbi Brown Weightless Powder Foundation ($50 from Sephora) looks like a powder but feels more like a cream. Indeed, unlike traditional powder formulations that press dry powders into a pan, this compact foundation is an emulsion of creamy liquid and powder that is baked for 12 hours. It is this blend of liquid and powder that gives the foundation its moisturizing-but-still matte finish.
As its name suggests, this is a light formula – the brand’s lightest ever, actually - made to keep the skin shine-free through heat and humidity and suits anyone with normal to oily skin.
“Love love this powder foundation. Great coverage, medium buildable, with a flawlessly smooth finish. My oily skin loves this foundation. I wear it on its own and it stays put for at least 8 hours when I’m at work. I don’t have time for touch-ups during the day.” - @princessmude on ‘Makeup Alley’
2 Lasts All Day: Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation
Most long-wear fountains yield a matte finish, but Nars filled the void with a 16-hour formula that provides a glowy, radiant finish. Nars’ ‘Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation’ ($49) is a medium-to-full coverage foundation infused with raspberry, apple, and watermelon extracts - which are all supposed to smooth and nourish your skin so that you don’t experience that silky feeling when you have makeup on.
“First impression: OMG. This looks like my skin, not makeup! It's blended into my skin completely and definitely leaves a nice natural finish. It doesn't feel like I'm wearing anything at all, and it's the perfect amount of pigment to cover my redness, but not cover up my freckles and give my face a "flat matte" look.” commented @ANieto2226 on Nars’ official site.
1 Doesn't Last: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Glow Sheers
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Glow Sheers is probably one of those makeup products you would never want to run into and test. Matter of fact, this foundation left most customers more greasy than glowing, with a coverage that is much too sheer.
The texture is also goopy and thick and it tends to flake off on fingers and hands while you’re rubbing it in. Simply gross.
“This is a tinted moisturizer without any coverage. It gives a very, very sheer light color to the skin. Although the color matched well, it did not blend evenly onto my skin. I tried using fingers and a damp sponge. Nothing worked.” - tswope57
“It migrated on my face over the course of the day, settling into ugly smear marks. When I tried to smooth it, it came off in my hands like your skin comes off after a shower if it's been a few days. This stuff is awful.” - nysq2