4 Genius Foundation Tips For Dry Skin

Glow all out.

by Jessica Willingham and Audrey Noble
Originally Published: 
These are the best foundation tips for very dry skin, according to makeup artists.
CoffeeAndMilk/E+/Getty Images

It’s officially December — and the impending chill marks the beginning of many makeup lovers’ quests for the best foundation for dry skin. Flaky patches can be a serious pain, and wearing foundation can emphasize any areas of your complexion that aren’t the smoothest. Picking the right foundation depends on a lot of factors, but arguably the two most important ones are your skin tone and type. Before figuring out the correct shade for seamless application, you’ll want to find the right formula that works with your skin type — not against it.

“Skin type can influence the foundation formula one chooses,” says M.A.C Cosmetics senior national artist Fatima Thomas. This is especially true for those with very dry or dehydrated skin. Flakes and dry patches can sabotage your makeup look, but that doesn’t need to be the case. There are easy steps you can take to prevent or counteract that dryness. Below, Thomas breaks down helpful foundation tips for dry skin. Take notes and stay dewy all winter long.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Prep With Hydrating Skin Care

It’s better to treat your skin concerns, rather than hide them. It all starts with adjusting your routine, as Thomas says it’s important to address your skin’s hydration needs before considering what type of foundation to use. Fight back against flakes by moisturizing often and keeping an eye out for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides to lock in hydration.

Layer A Facial Oil On Top

If you’re prone to dryness, consider working a face oil into your skin care routine. They often contain antioxidants and fatty acids that help nourish the skin, keeping your complexion healthy and preventing moisture loss. Something like marula or almond oil is richer than most oils and high in fatty acids.

Thomas suggests using face oil at night to let it “marinate” while you’re getting your beauty sleep. She also says that a facial oil may cause foundation to slip and slide, so using it the night before allows you to soak up the benefits without interfering with your foundation’s staying power.

Avoid Matte Foundations And Powders

Thomas suggests avoiding any foundation that comes in a powder formula or promises a matte finish, as those types of foundations will only accentuate the flakiness that you have.

If you strongly prefer a matte finish or powder formula, all hope isn’t lost. There is still a way to wear these types of foundations — if you’re willing to put in an extra step into your routine. The trick is to layer your skin care products. She says you can offset looking extra dry by using a hydrating toner followed by a humectant serum and face cream.

Opt For Moisturizing Foundation Formulas

Thomas says those with dry skin will enjoy the feel (and most importantly the results) of liquid and cream foundations. She says that formulas that contain water help quench thirsty skin and the best foundations for dry skin are ones that not only provide the coverage you want but also have moisturizing benefits, like M.A.C Cosmetics Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation. “Not only does this foundation–serum hybrid cover beautifully, it also drenches dry skin with much-needed moisture,” she says.

For seamless application, she likes to start with a brush to place foundation and then blend in with a beautyblender. And if you’re on the hunt for a new foundation, you’re in luck. Scroll through below for some of the best formulas for dry skin.

This article was originally published on