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2022 Best Matte Foundations Guide: What You Need To Know

by Sandy Taylor

Let’s face it, matte looks sexy and most women prefer this look. However, it’s surprising that many people know very little about this type of foundation. In this post, I will go over all the details you need to know about matte foundations. I will also show you the best matte foundations that I have used and tested. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Our Picks For the Best Matte Foundations

Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation

The Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation is one of the best drugstore matte foundations for oily skin. This foundation is lightweight and provides a great poreless matte finish.

This foundation is formulated with micro-powders that help to absorb oil and control shine. It will last most of the day (around 6 – 8 hours). The product blends decently and doesn’t look cakey after application.

This is a medium coverage foundation that is buildable to full. It provides a natural matte finish. It is both allergy and dermatologists tested. It won’t block your pores (non-comedogenic).

Its main function is to blur pores and control shine. There are 40 shades to choose from.

NYX Cosmetics Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation

The NYX Cosmetics Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation is one of the best matte powder foundations for oily skin. This powder foundation does a great job of absorbing oils.

This foundation provides a great matte effect and is lightweight. It is a light to full buildable coverage foundation with a natural matte finish.

It comes with a pad and you can simply use it to pad down any oil patches throughout the day. There are 15 shades to choose from.

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup

The Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup is one of the best matte foundations for oily acne-prone skin. This is an oil-free foundation formulated with acne medication to help your skin fight off existing acne while reducing the chances of new breakouts.

It’s a medium coverage foundation with a natural matte finish.

Notable ingredients include:

  • Salicylic Acid – Strong acne bacteria-fighting ingredient for killing acne bacteria deep in your pores.
  • Laminaria Saccharina Extract – Sea algae extract that helps to hydrate and condition your skin.

This foundation can last around 8 hours and is designed specifically to cover and blend away acne blemishes and redness.

It is non-acnegenic, dermatologist-tested, allergy-tested, and sweat- and humidity-resistant. It’s also fragrance-free and paraben-free. There are 5 shades to choose from.

BTW, If you want to know more oil-free foundations, I have written a detailed guide on the best oil-free foundations. Check it out if you want to find out more.

Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation (Shade: Dark Brown)

The Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation (Shade: Dark Brown) is one of the best matte foundations for dark skin.

This foundation is formulated with Make Up For Ever’s FLEXI-FIT mesh complex which allows the foundation to adapt to your facial movements. This helps the makeup resist cracking or fading while providing you with a lightweight, non-cakey result.

This foundation is full coverage and non-comedogenic. It is waterproof and can last up to 24 hours. Due to its many benefits, it’s also one of the best long-lasting matte foundations around.

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Healthy Foundation

The 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Healthy Foundation is one of the best natural matte foundations. This foundation is colored with natural fruit pigments using apricot, cocoa beans, and peach.  It does not contain synthetic preservatives artificial fragrances synthetic chemicals or any other toxins. This foundation is formulated with rice starch, a natural ingredient that absorbs oils reduces shine and provides a natural matte finish. 

Other notable natural skincare ingredients formulated in this foundation include:

  • Acai – Fatty Acids that make your skin appear smooth, supple and youthful
  • Pomegranate oils – offers anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, healing and nourishing qualities for your skin
  • Vitamins E & C – Antioxidants that fight against your body’s free radicals and slows down the process of aging. 

This is a full-coverage matte foundation. It is cruelty-free and vegan. 

Tarte Shape Tape Matte Foundation

The Tarte Shape Tape Matte Foundation is one of the best matte foundations for oily skin. This is a full coverage matte foundation with an oil-free formula that does an excellent job of absorbing oil and shine. 

It is formulated with vitamin e, an antioxidant that helps to fight against the body’s free radicals and prevents damage to cells. It uses mineral pigments to soothe and soften skin.

This foundation is hypoallergenic and vega. It does not contain parabens, mineral oils, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate or gluten.

Matte Foundations: What You Need To Know

What is Matte Foundation?

Matte foundations are the type of foundations that do not have any shine to it. They are the preferred type of foundation for people with oily skin. Matte foundations are used for absorbing the oil on the skin and reduce shine.

Matte foundations often come in powder form. Powder foundations are an excellent oil absorber which is why they make great matte foundations. You will also be able to find matte foundations in liquid form.

BTW, I have written a detailed guide on some of the best powder foundations. Check out my guide if you want to find out more.

Here is how matte and liquid foundations compare:

Matte Powder Foundations:

– Ideal for Oily Skin
– Less chance to block pores
– Less coverage than matte liquid foundations
– Feels lighter than matte liquid foundations

Matte Liquid Foundations:

– Ideal for Normal to Oily Skin
– Good for blemishes but may cause breakouts
– Easier to blend
– Coverage is buildable

How do you know which one is best for you? To check, simply wash your face and leave it without makeup for about 2 hours. When the time is up, go check up in front of a mirror and observe the following:

– How much oil did you produce?
– Do you have a lot of redness, acne or other trouble areas that need coverage?

If you see that you had produced a lot of oil in the 2 hours but you don’t have obvious trouble areas that need special coverage, then choosing a matte powder foundation would work best for you. The powder will absorb your oil. You will need to monitor your coverage from time to time and pad on more powder during the day if the oil comes back.

If you see that you have produced a lot of oil and have large areas on your skin that require coverage, then selecting a matte liquid foundation would work best. Since the coverages provided by liquid foundations are buildable, you can control your coverage and only apply as much as you need to cover blemishes. Matte liquid foundations may cause breakouts, this does not happen in all cases and it really depends on the product that you are using.

If you do choose a liquid matte foundation, keep in mind that they may settle into cracks and fine lines. As matte foundations are designed to have a dryer finish, they may dry up quickly in cracks, forming wrinkle-like patterns. To combat this, consider using a moisturizer underneath the foundation. This may reduce the matte look, but at least it looks better than wrinkles right?

Do Matte Foundations Dry Your Skin?

Yes, matte foundations will dry your skin. Matte foundations will usually have some form of silica which helps to absorb oil. Unfortunately, for people who have dry skin, this is bad news.

In general, I don’t recommend people with dry skin to use matte foundations. This is because matte foundations will usually leave a caked-on appearance on dry skin. As discussed at the American Academy of Dermatology, skin without moisture ages faster. If you have dry skin, try to stick with a non-matte, dewy liquid foundation instead.

I Have Dry Skin, But Want To Use Matte Foundations, What Should I Do?

In my opinion, the matte look is pretty sexy. But how should you wear matte foundations if you have dry skin? There are a couple of options that you can try:

Use a BB cream – If you don’t require a lot of coverage, you can wear a bb cream and then “matte” it with a matte powder foundation. The BB cream will provide great nourishing benefits for your skin. If you are not comfortable with a powder foundation, you could try to use a matte setting spray.

Use a matte foundation designed for dry skin – Yes! This one seems obvious but I have mixed feelings about this. It’s not my favorite option, but I decided to include it on this list. It’s difficult to find the right matte foundation that works well on dry skin. I know I can say this for pretty much any foundation but this is especially true for matte foundations.

Use a hydrating primer and top it with a matte foundation – This is my favorite trick. Hydrating primers will provide a protective layer, allow your foundation to be applied on easier and make your foundation last longer.

Will Matte Foundation Make your Skin More Oily?

So you have picked your matte foundation and applied it perfectly. At first, you noticed that everything seems fine. But as the day goes on, the oil begins to seep through again. What should you do?

The above scenario is pretty common. Most people don’t realize here that the matte foundation is actually NOT making your skin more oily. Instead, it’s the new oil on your face mixing with the foundation. I see this a lot on my clients who have really oily skin. Their skin is so oily that wearing a matte foundation can only provide temporary control of the oil (usually  2-3 hours).

However, this is actually a pretty easy fix. Try using an oil-free primer together with your matte foundation. A lot of people forget the importance of applying primers as part of their makeup routine. Primers, in my opinion, should not be skipped.

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