Whether you're new to makeup or an experienced user looking to upgrade your products, walking down the beauty aisle can be intimidating for both you and your wallet. There's a plethora of products on the market that vary in price and quality, but don't be fooled; a higher price tag doesn't always mean better quality. There are plenty of budget-friendly products that deliver the same, if not better, quality than their pricier counterparts.
Before you shell out more than you need to, Shop TODAY spoke to makeup experts about the best drugstore foundations that will give you the most bang for your buck. The best part? They're all under $20 and offered in a variety of different shades.
Whether you're looking for a full-coverage drugstore foundation or something weightless to show off your freckles, there are recommendations from the experts that will work for anyone and everyone.
Best drugstore foundations, according to makeup experts
Beauty YouTuber Carli Bybel rediscovered the CoverGirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation once the brand decided to no longer test its products on animals in November 2018.
"Once (CoverGirl) announced (it was going cruelty-free), I was so eager to go out and try out some of (its) products again," Bybel said. "This foundation is super hydrating, gives that nice dewy glow and it doesn't cling to dry patches."
The CoverGirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation is infused with milky coconut and soothing aloe to give your skin a moisturizing, glowy finish that will blur your imperfections, create an even skin tone and last all day long.
"Early in my career I was introduced to L’Oréal True Match Foundation," said makeup artist Lisa Aharon. "It provides an incredible range of easy-to-blend colors covering the lightest to the darkest, warmest to coolest skin tones. It’s my number one drugstore foundation recommendation for medium coverage with a naturally radiant finish."
L'Oréal's True Match Foundation is available in over 40 different shades, making it easy for anyone to find the perfect match for their skin tone. The formula is hydrating and formulated with pro-vitamin B5 and vitamin E to make your skin look radiant and healthy. Plus, it includes SPF 17 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
The cult favorite Maybelline Fit Me Foundation comes in over 40 different shades, offering a variety for every skin tone.
"I found it was such an easy-to-use formula and great for everyday use," Australian makeup artist Tobi Henney said. "It doesn’t need too much powder to set and it has an incredible shade range."
The formula is pore-minimizing and contains blurring micro-powders that erase pores and absorb oil for a naturally matte and flawless-looking finish.
If you're on the hunt for a full-coverage foundation that doesn't feel too heavy, give this L.A. Girl foundation a try.
"This one looks good on camera and it's buildable — even when you only apply a thin layer, it's still full coverage," Bybel said. "You don't have to build on it too much and it's matte, which I always love."
L.A. Girl's Pro Matte Foundation is created with a paraben-free formula with added antioxidants to help hydrate and improve your skin's appearance. It's high-definition and long-wearing to create a full-coverage finish that's comfortable enough to wear all day long.
"This foundation has 24-hour staying power and is perfect for girls on-the-go. You have to blend it in quickly but it will help you go from day to night," Henney said.
This Revlon foundation comes in an expansive range of shades and promises to keep your makeup "impeccable all day." It offers a matte finish for up to 24 hours, contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin over time, contains SPF 15 and is oil-free.
"For a dry skin type that’s also looking for SPF, I love Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation SPF 20," Aharon shared. "It’s loaded with my favorite hydrating ingredient — hyaluronic acid — and provides a lightweight yet buildable amount of coverage."
This formula is designed to be long-wearing, breathable and provide medium-to-full coverage with a healthy, satin finish. The formula's brightening complex and hyaluronic acid help hydrate, brighten and improve the appearance of your skin tone. It also includes vitamins A, C and E for an extra antioxidant boost.
This Burt's Bees foundation is another great powder option that's expert approved.
"Oily summer skin can really benefit from an easy-to-use powder foundation like Burt's Bees Mattifying Powder Foundation, " Aharon said. "I appreciate the brand's clean and vegan formula, along with its versatile application. The sponge allows for fuller coverage, while using it over your moisturizer with a brush can give you a light evening of the skin."
This foundation controls shine with buildable and blendable coverage to give you a smooth and even skin tone while blurring imperfections. The formula is lightweight, non-comedogenic and great for oily skin.
"I love using a matte foundation, personally, but matte foundations, in general, are always better for people with oily skin," Bybel said. "If you have something that's super dewy on top of your oily skin you'll end up just looking like a disco ball, which no one wants. This is oil-free, sits above your skin and doesn't clog your pores."
CoverGirl's Clean Matte Liquid Foundation makes your skin look poreless and is designed to give a fresh, shine-free base to upgrade your natural makeup look.
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