5 of the best Oil-free foundations : From light to full coverage!

the best oil free foundations

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As a professional makeup artist, I do get asked this questions quite a lot : What is the BEST oil-free foundation?! As always it’s a very personal thing but here are 5 of my favourites for use on both myself and on my clients. Tried and tested over MANY years and the good ol’ faithfuls that I reach for.

I’ve also chosen 5 with different levels of coverage from light to full, so hopefully you can pick one that may work for you. I change my base pretty much daily : depending on how my skin is that morning, how much coverage I want or need and where I am going.

Why Oil-Free foundation? 

A good option simply if you have any oily-combination skin, have problems with foundations/ bases staying on and want something a bit longer wearing. Particularly a great option with wearing mask and if you are having a bit of ‘maskne’ and finding that skin-toned hue all over the inside of your mask when you take it off after your Aldi trip.

They won’t clog the pores, *hopefully* won’t cause breakouts AND if you think of oil-free foundation as matte and full coverage well HELLO my friend we have moved on way ahead of that. Nowadays, oil-free bases can be dewy, glowing, light coverage, full coverage, matte, demi-matte…..there’s a whole world of great foundations to choose from!

the best oil free foundations the best oil free foundations

I’m going to chat about my top 5 oil-free foundations in order from lightest coverage >  fullest.

Bareminerals Complexion Rescue. SPF30. 20 shades. Light Coverage.

One of my favourite bases of all time! This is the most sheer, beautiful and glowy finish. Second skin finish and feel and it’s a fantastic gel formula infused with minerals and marine botanicals. The pigment is encapsulated with hydration so it’s a real skincare & makeup hybrid that gives you an almost ‘waterburst’ sensation when applied onto the skin.

PSSsst you can purchase this from Look Fantastic with 20% off using my code LAURA_LF

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser .SPF30. 16 shades. Light > medium coverage.

I have used this on myself and in my kit for ….well since it launched. Maybe 7/8 years ago? A real *your-skin-but-better* tinted moisturiser. Gives a little but more coverage than the Bareminerals. Contains Vitamin C and a wealth of skincare ingredients to help treat and brighten your skin as you wear.

PSSsst you can purchase this from Look Fantastic with 20% off using my code LAURA_LF

It Cosmetics CC+ Oil-free Matte Foundation. SPF40. 14 shades. Medium > Full coverage.

This is definitely the one I would say to go for if you have acne/oily/ breakout skin with open pores and want a matte finish. It smooths pores, treats the skin with charcoal, clay and tea tree extract and reduces redness.

PSSsst you can purchase this from Look Fantastic with 20% off using my code LAURA_LF

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation. 30 shades. Medium > full coverage.

This is one of my favourite oil-free foundation ever! It’s perfect if you want a little bit more coverage (it’s buildable) and want to look glowy and natural. It’s fab. It stay on really well, and contains hyaluronic acid, coconut water and alpine rose to give you a nice bit of hydration and to keep looking and staying fresh AF.

PSSsst you can purchase this from Look Fantastic with 20% off using my code LAURA_LF

Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. 50 shades. Medium > full coverage.

This again, is a buildable formulas like the Too Faced but I find I can get a little more from this in terms of coverage. It has a demi-matte finish. Again, you can play around with the finish you want by the way you prep (prime) and finish (powder) your skin. Stays on beautifully and gives a really blurred, skin-perfecting finish.

the best oil free foundations the best oil free foundations

TIPS for getting a longer wear on your base : PREP AND SET.

If you are struggling to keep foundation on your face. Make sure you are prepping your skin really well. This, to be honest is the most important part, even more important that the foundation itself!

1.) Ensure your skin is exfoliated and as smooth as possible. This will help stop foundation settling in lines and sticking onto patches on your face. Often when I speak to clients, they will have problems with foundation never sitting on their skin well. Exfoliate and get those acid pads out. This can really help to create a smoother canvas to apply the makeup too.

2.) Hydrate and/or prime. Depending on your skin type, hydration and nourishing your skin in the right way, is so important to help your base stay on and marry well with your skin. I don’t often use a primer as I know my skin well enough and the bases I’m using to know how to prep and hydrate it. Oilier skins may like a nice gel moisturiser and then a smoothing primer over the top, just make sure you aren’t going too matte on matte on matte….as this then will make the foundation look cakey and patchy. Give your skin some love, it’ll make SUCH a difference.

3.) Set your base, if you need. I like a glow but I do have any oily skin so I tend to skip the powder initially but will give myself a light dusting later on in the day when I look a bit too glowy! If you want to look more matte and perfect, set that foundation straight away with a nice light translucent powder : make sure you hit the oily zones ; nose, chin, forehead, either side down the areas next to the nose AND to the top and outer sides of your brows – kind of where they arch, you’ll thank me later. A makeup artist trick I was taught many years ago!

So that’s a few good suggestions if you are on the hunt for your perfect and the best oil-free foundation! There are many more great ones and I can do a more in-depth post with more options in the future, just let me know if this is helpful!