The very best matte foundations for an airbrush finish (2023)

Matte foundation doesn't have to be a cakey affair.

If you've got oily skin you might completely FREAK OUT at the thought of a dewy foundation, so dw, we got you with these ultra-mattifying foundations.

These days, matte foundations are far from the drying, clumpy pastes we used to use in the 90s. You know, the kind that could only be used by those with the oiliest of skins? Yep, nowadays, a matte foundation can create a silky smooth look with no shiny T-zone in sight - perfect for oily AND combination skin types.

Matte foundation still might not be the best choice if you have dry skin buuut, if you maximise on your moisturisers, facial oils and primers before hand, you could still make it work. Just look for matte foundations with hydrating properties, like the Huda Beauty #FauxFilter one with added raspberry leaf extract to hydrate and moisturise (and if you're still unsure, why not check out our guide to picking foundations...).

There are matte foundation options for all budgets, skin types and even lifestyles (hey, vegan readers 👋) from a £9.99 drugstore classic to luxury brands like Hourglass and Giorgio Armani.

So go on hun, blot that T-zone.

Check out the best matte foundations for every skin type

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.

Where to shop the best matte foundations

1. L'Oréal Infallible 24H Matte Foundation

The very best matte foundations for an airbrush finish (1)

The very best matte foundations for an airbrush finish (2)

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This drugstore classic is an old fave and always welcome in our makeup drawer. It has a demi-matte finish which is perfect if you like a more natural finish, and it's obviously an absolute BARG.Pros: Waterproof but still light enough that you won't lose the depth to your complexion. Cons: Not the best choice for concealing acne/redness and doesn't sit well on dry patches.Customer review: "I've been searching for a product that stays on my face all day; this is close! I have to apply a powder after about 3pm to freshen up the look but overall good product."

2. Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup 30ml

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This is a matte foundation that truly delivers. It comes in 15 shades (14 on Look Fantastic) and has medium coverage with a silky soft finish. Plus the tip gives out just the right amount of foundation you need, so no more excess. Yippee.Pros: It can withstand heat and sweat while maintaining a more light-medium feel.Cons: Reviews claim lighter shades aren't as light as they seem in the online swatches, so maybe pick a lighter shade than usual if you're fair skinned. Customer review: "I have really oily skin and have been using this foundation for years because it really is the most mattifying and long-wearing formula I've come across. I've tried other brands now and again but always return to this because I know I can count on it. I have to apply powder maybe 2/3 times per day to keep it matte but it doesn't slip or fill in lines. It's also got a very lightweight, natural finish and the colour actually matches my pale skin!"

3. Fenty Beauty PRO FILT'R Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Quite frankly, we're raving about this matte foundation. It can pretty much withstand anything you throw at it and it's under 30 quid. Plus, over 100 people bought this on the Boots website in the last 25 hours - pretty impressive, right?Pros: Best. Shade. Range. Ever.Cons: If you have even a touch of dryness, you'll need to make sure your skin is adequately moisturised before you start. Customer review: "I have combination skin which can be quite difficult to manage as I can be oily in some areas and very dry in others. I opt for matte foundations as hydrating foundations will turn my skin into a hot mess and this foundation works so well for me! I use it with the primer and setting powder and that helps keep the oil at bay without drying out my dry areas. I still get the dewy glow I enjoy. Lasts a fairly long time too and is easy to take off at the end of the day."

4. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation

The very best matte foundations for an airbrush finish (5)

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Would this be a makeup article without a mention of THE CT? No. As it says on the tin, this foundation gives an airbrushed finish and is sweat, oil and humidity proof. Pros: Cruelty-free and excellent for summertime with Aircool technology (97% of men and women - out of 311 - agreed that it made their skin feel cooler after use).Cons: Can become a tiny bit caky if you're trying to build up coverage in certain areas.Customer review: "My staple foundation for healthy looking skin. I adore this foundation as its long lasting and actually stays on my face all day."

5. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

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This foundation gives medium to heavy coverage without you even FEELING it on your skin. Perfect for heatwaves or just day to day. Pros: Don't be fooled by its ultra-light finish, it's moisturising too and contains coconut water for super thirsty skin. Plus, it's cruelty-free and vegan.Cons: Reviews say you'll need to pair it with a powder/touch up for oily skin types.Customer review: "This foundation works great, I have dry sensitive skin and struggle to find foundation that doesn't irritate my skin. One thing I have noticed is when I don't wear a primer under the foundation it does crease a little after an hour or so, however would buy again and again."

6. ESTEE LAUDER Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10

The very best matte foundations for an airbrush finish (7)

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(Video) NARs Soft Matte Foundation vs Airbrush Flawless Foundation |12 HOUR WEAR TEST + DEMO FAIR DRY SKIN

We can't not mention the OG matte foundation trusted by millions - Estee Lauder Double Wear. There's a reason why it's a firm favourite, it reliably soaks up any oil and gives a lovely non-drying finish for 24 hours.Pros: Great shade range a truly full coverage. Cons: Apply with a primer if you want to blend other products on top - it really won't want to budge once it's on.Customer review: "Love this foundation, definitely worth buying a pump for it though or it dries out and you end up using way more than needed. Goes on best with a brush rather than sponge."

7. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

It might be on the spenny side, but this foundation has a lot going for it that might just make it worth the splurge. It's vegan, waterproof and the perfect size for travelling. Pros: Excellent shade range and the shape of the stick is great for getting in all those facial nooks and crannies.Cons: Not much product and not ideal for dry skin types as it clings to dry patches.Customer review: "This foundation works amazing with my combo skin and my changing needs of coverage - it can be light to full without looking cakey at all. Love it!"

8. Huda Beauty #Faux Filter Foundation

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Huda Beauty is a brand you can trust to come through with a matte foundations that's got alllll the bells and whistles. This one gives pretty heavy coverage without drying out your skin or looking like you've emptied a pot of dream matte mousse on your face.Pros: Waterproof, sweat-proof, fade-proof, transfer-proof AND fragrance-free for sensitive skin types.Cons: Some reviews claim it sinks into pores.Customer review: "This gave me nice coverage but it doesn't look cakey and it stayed for quiet a long time. It doesn't have a scent. The foundation has a creamy texture and small amount of the foundation is enough to cover the whole face. Highly recommend it."

9. No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation 30ml

The very best matte foundations for an airbrush finish (10)

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If you have sensitive skin then this matte foundation could be the velvety answer to your makeup prayers. Almost 100 were bought on the Boots website in the last 24 hours and it covers pores, spots and red patches with ease - go on, hun.Pros: It's hypoallergenic for sensitive skin and it's a bit of a bargain, if you ask us. Cons: Poor choice of darker shades.Customer review: "When first applied I was surprised at how well this covered my dark circles and fine lines, I'm 26 so only just getting into the ageing business. The finish was 100% medium matt coverage and looked pretty flawless. Felt soft and silky to the touch and dried quickly, only needed a little translucent setting powder."

10. NARS Cosmetics Velvet Matte Skin Tint 50ml

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We've always been HUGE fans of the NARS creamy concealer, and this foundation is making it's way up there too. It leaves a velvety, blurred finish and the squeezy tube is so much easier to manage than those darned pumps. Pros: Contains loads of antioxidants to protect against environmental damage.Cons: Not a good choice for people with dry or flaky skin. Customer review: "This is perfect it's ticked all my boxes and more. It blends quickly and evenly, it covered amazingly well with surprising little product and you can build the coverage. I haven't used any other they foundation since. Because it's so natural looking you can dress it up or down. It doesn't flatten your features and it lasts all day without going greasy, comes off easily and is generally a pleasure to use."

11. MAC Studio Fix Soft Matte Foundation Stick (Various Shades)

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MAC have long been at the top of the foundation game, so it's no surprise they have a top-notch matte option. The shade range is pretty good and you can even use it as a contour/highlight stick if you get it in a few shades lighter/darker.Pros: Easy to blend (though some reviews advise using with a primer) and won't take up space in your make-up bag.Cons: Hard to build coverage so ideal for someone looking for a light-medium build. Customer review: "Blends so easily and the colour is amazing. I feel like a cooler toned shade would be fab for contouring too!"

12. bareMinerals Matte SPF15 Foundation - Various Shades

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(Video) Estee Lauder Double Wear vs. NEW Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless | Risa Does Makeup

If you've got oily skin, you'll love this powder foundation. It soaks up any excess oil and gives a non-dry, natural finish. Pros: It's super buildable AND contains SPF, the holy combo of foundation traits if you ask us.Cons: Reviews claim it can look a little cakey at first but, for oily skin types, it becomes more natural and dewy throughout the day.Customer review: "Love this on my combination skin, I already love the original, but the matte version means the end of day shine is kept at bay!"

13. Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation

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The very best matte foundations for an airbrush finish (15)

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Another slightly expensive option, but this designer foundation is the ULTIMATE natural matte. It has a gorgeous creamy formula and has SPF 25 to protect your skin from the winter sunshine.Pros: It comes with its own pump and promises full coverage without the heavy feel.Cons: Some reviews claim it sinks into fine lines and pores.Customer review: "I bought this along with the primer as my skin has started to get oily during the day. It feels as though I'm wearing no foundation at all, blends in so well and looks so natural!! Completely love it!!"

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What to look for in a matte foundation...

Matte foundations are traditionally powder based, but technology has brought us gorgeous matte finishes in a liquid formula, praise be!

They have a soft and creamy texture and instead of feeling dry and tight after application, this new breed of foundations are hydrating and oil-absorbing.

Clay and silica are classic oil-absorbing ingredients you'll find in lots of matte foundations, and they've totally changed the game.

You can achieve a smooth matte look without dryness AND in a liquid formula, honestly we're obsessed.

Do you need to set matte foundation?

This depends on your skin type AND the foundation finish you've chosen.

According to Max Factor, if you've opted for a powder matte foundation, then you won't need to set your base with another powder.

If you have combination skin, and only experience excess oil in your T-zone, then you'll probably only need to set your foundation in that area.

If you have oily skin and, by the end of the day, you're usually experiencing shine from your forehead down through your chin, we'd probably recommend dusting a little powder across your whole face.

(Video) Airbrush Flawless Foundation + Finish + Matte Revolution Lipstick #BestOfCharlotteTilbury

If you think you've powdered a little too much, don't fret, just spritz your face with some setting spray or a hydrating mist and you should be able to correct the damage.

In essence - only set your foundation in areas you're likely to get oily, sweaty or wet (so, along that vein, perhaps powder before a hot day or a gym sesh, too).


What is the best foundation with a matte finish? ›

The best matte foundation you can buy in 2022
  1. KVD Good Apple Skin perfecting foundation balm: Best full coverage matte foundation. ...
  2. Second Skin: Best budget matte foundation. ...
  3. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r: Best all-round matte foundation. ...
  4. OPV Stick Foundation: Best buildable matte foundation.
7 Sept 2022

What foundation gives you an airbrush look? ›

For an airbrushed finish, choosing the right foundation finish is key. A matte foundation is usually your best bet because it reflects less light, which makes pores less obvious and gives your skin a smoother look. It also cuts down on shine, so your makeup will look smooth and flawless as long as possible.

Can you use any foundation in airbrush? ›

Traditional foundation is way too thick for an airbrush on its own. But you can mix some of your favorite foundation with an airbrush makeup thinner to use it with your airbrush machine. Pro tip: This is pretty obvious, but make sure you read the instructions for your airbrush makeup thinner before using it!

What is airbrush finish foundation? ›

Airbrush Flawless Foundation is where makeup magic meets skincare science; the full coverage, natural matte formula contains Charlotte's magic matrix of ingredients including REPLEXIUM® to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by up to 22%* , and MossCellTec™ No. 1 for boosted skin hydration levels by 216%*!

How do you keep your matte foundation from looking cakey? ›

If you've finished your makeup and your bronzer looks muddy or your foundation looks chalky or cakey, help give it a skin-like texture by adding in an oil at the end of your routine. Just drop a few dots of face oil onto the back of your hand, stamp your beauty sponge in it a few times, then lightly (lightly!)

Which skin type is not ideal for airbrush makeup? ›

On dry skin, this type of makeup begins to flake much easily. Makeup artists explain that since airbrush makeup is waterproof, it is not as creamy as a traditional foundation. Hence, making it not so ideal for dry skin.

What are the disadvantages of airbrush makeup? ›

Airbrush Disadvantage: the product doesn't work well with sunburn, excess hair, or dry skin. The fine mist will pick up any fine hairs or dry skin patches. touch ups will break down the coverage if it is a silicone-based airbrush formula.

Does airbrush makeup look good on older skin? ›

The answer is a definite yes. When compared to its traditional counterpart, airbrush makeup has the qualities to perform better on aging skin. More than infusing older skin with youthfulness, it makes it appear more natural, which is the look that most makeup users in any age range want to achieve.

Should I moisturize before airbrush makeup? ›

Use Moisturizer & Primer Before Applying Airbrush Makeup

Prepping your skin is critical to setting the tone for airbrush makeup. Moisturizing your skin beforehand, either after you get out of the shower or at the start of your day, opens and hydrates your pores so the makeup is fully absorbed into your skin.

Do celebrities use airbrush makeup? ›

A: You're likely referring to "airbrush" makeup, a new kind of foundation that's now being used by many TV personalities, celebrities and brides. An air-jet wand emits a fine mist of foundation that sits evenly on your skin, minimizing imperfections and leaving you with a poreless, natural look.

How do I prepare my makeup for airbrushing? ›

Make sure your skin is clean and moisturizer is fully absorbed before applying airbrush makeup. Also, skip primer because the makeup will attach to that instead of your skin, and won't last as long. Keep your distance. Always hold the airbrush four to six inches from your skin.

What type of foundation does Kim Kardashian use? ›

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation is a cult favorite. This foundation is loved by many people, including Mrs. KKW herself. The formula is buildable, creamy, and perfect for Kim's signature soft glam look.

Is airbrush flawless foundation matte? ›

This claims to be a hybrid skincare foundation that delivers full coverage with a flawless, poreless, natural matte finish. The formula is designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time, boost hydration and reduce the appearance of pores.

Is airbrush foundation matte? ›

Perfect Canvas Airbrush Foundation: This is a semi-matte foundation with a skin-like finish that delivers 4x more hydration than Hyaluronic Acid and offers the largest shade range of any TEMPTU professional airbrush foundation.

How do I make my matte foundation look good? ›

The key to adjusting your matte foundation to more of a dewy, luminous finish is all in the glow-enhancing products you mix it with. Try a few drops of Glow Recipe's Watermelon Dew Drops in your go-to matte foundation—it'll bring a subtle, dewy effect to the finished look.

Do you put powder over matte foundation? ›

Classic makeup application requires powdering after you've applied your foundation, but powdering doesn't work for all types of foundation. Powdering works best after applying a water-based, oil-based, or matte foundation that isn't all that matte.

What do you add to matte foundation? ›

To add more glow and dimension to my matte foundations, I use an illuminating primer and highlighting drops. Together, these create a beautiful effect without compromising the finish, wear time or coverage of my foundation. Keep reading to learn how to make matte foundation look more glowy with just these two products!

How do you keep a matte foundation from drying out? ›

Try exfoliating your skin to get rid of dead skin cells. Use a gentle exfoliator like this AHA exfoliator or this glow tonic. Avoid applying makeup on dry skin because it might cause the foundation to look cracked. Moisturize your skin with a lightweight moisturizer like this Hydrating Water Gel Daily Face Moisturizer.

How do I make my matte foundation creamy? ›

To make your foundation more dewy

Mixing one part of moisturizer into two parts of foundation makes all the difference when it comes to your final makeup look! It gives the skin a beautiful and dewy finish that looks so natural. Try this trick if you have a matte foundation that looks too dry and powdery.

Why does my foundation look patchy even with primer? ›

If your makeup looks patchy, even with primer, it might be because the foundation and primer aren't matched properly. If you are using a silicone based primer, use a silicone based foundation. For water based primers, use water based foundations.

Can you wear airbrush makeup everyday? ›

Plus, it's buildable, so you can apply a light layer for everyday wear or a little more for evenings or when you need a little more coverage. Because it's sprayed on, rather than applied with sponge, airbrush makeup doesn't look heavy or cakey and doesn't settle into fine lines or creases.

Which makeup is best for bridal HD or airbrush? ›

Airbrush makeup is better for clients with oily skin, and is also a quicker process overall. HD makeup gives a natural and flawless finish that all clients look for nowadays.

Does airbrush makeup settle in wrinkles? ›

Is Airbrush makeup good for wrinkles? Generally, if you have small wrinkles, airbrush makeup can cover them beautifully. However, it is also a bad option for anyone who has large pores or wrinkles. This is because the airbrush makeup will sink into pores or wrinkles, rather than sitting on top of them.

Does airbrush foundation last longer? ›

Airbrush makeup requires an airbrush gun and a makeup air compressor. This technique is applied in even thin layers giving off a flawless complexion and finish. Unlike traditional makeup, airbrush makeup is known to last for longer periods of time. This is why it is most commonly used in photoshoots and weddings!

Do you need to clean airbrush after every use? ›

You need to clean your airbrush between every colour change, as well as giving it an extra-thorough clean at the end of the session. For a thorough clean, first flush the airbrush with water to remove the worst of the colour. Follow with a proper airbrush cleaning fluid, then do a final flush with water.

Does airbrush makeup crack? ›

If you have hydrated, well-moisturized skin, airbrush sits beautifully. If not it can be quite dry looking. It can flake and crack or look flat.

What makeup is best for over 60? ›

  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup. ...
  • Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup. ...
  • Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation. ...
  • Exa High Fidelity Foundation. ...
  • NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. ...
  • Make Up for Ever Water Blend Foundation. ...
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint. ...
  • Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer.
6 May 2022

What makeup should an older woman use? ›

Opt for Liquid Foundations

"I recommend a creamy foundation formula for mature skin and to avoid powders," says Follert. This is because powder foundations tend to settle into fine lines and wrinkles, making them more apparent.

Who should wear matte foundation? ›

Based on its characteristics, matte finish is more suitable for those with oily skin. Its formula can leave zero excess oil, is usually long-lasting, and controls shine leaving matte foundation more loved by people with oily or acne-prone skin.

What skin type should use matte foundation? ›

Matte Foundation 101

“These foundations are typically formulated without oils and with ingredients that will help absorb all of your natural producing oils.” Those with oily skin or acne-prone skin often reach for matte foundations because they absorb excess oil and keep skin from looking overly shiny and greasy.

Is matte foundation better for older skin? ›

While coverage level is a matter of personal preference, those with mature skin will want to blur texture and blend discoloration with a formula that doesn't settle into fine lines or dry patches—meaning it's best to avoid matte makeup, as it's more prone to creasing.

Is a matte finish foundation good for older skin? ›

Generally, a matte finish is not ideal for aging skin—it can highlight wrinkles and lines. But this foundation is an exception to the rule. It blurs pores and makes skin look smoother, without getting cakey or heavy.

How do I prep my skin for matte foundation? ›

Exfoliating your skin can help to reduce oil and prepare your face for a matte look. However, keep in mind that exfoliating too much can irritate your skin. To use an exfoliating cleanser, wet your face with some lukewarm water and then work the exfoliating cleanser into your skin using circular movements.

Does matte foundation make you look younger? ›

Picking a foundation with a matte finish can actually end up settling into those lines, causing them to appear more prominent and aging you further. “Matte foundations suck the life out of anybody's skins. It clings to the skin, and with mature skin means fine lines and wrinkles.

What primer is best for matte foundation? ›

When looking for your best primer match, consider the end result you're hoping to achieve. For that velvety matte, ultra-smooth texture, a silicone-based primer is ideal.

What is the best way to apply matte foundation? ›

Pro Tips + Tricks For a Perfect Matte Foundation Application
13 Oct 2020

Should you use powder on matte foundation? ›

If you're into a matte finish, you can achieve it with both powder and liquid formulas—although powders are known for their mattifying effect thanks to their oil-absorbing capabilities.

What foundation will not settle in wrinkles? ›

L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation

It has been formulated specifically not to settle into lines, its lightweight blend of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and aloe hydrates as it helps skin look more even.

What kind of foundation should an older woman wear? ›

Choose a water-based formula that has hydrating ingredients," like moisturizing glycerin or hyaluronic acid, Whelan advises. "Foundations that have sheer coverage and a dewy luminous finish work best with women who are concerned about lines and wrinkles."

What kind of foundation makes you look younger? ›

Powder foundations are great, but not for those with aging skin, since they usually settle into wrinkles. Really thick, full-coverage foundations can do the same. “A liquid foundation that's on the thinner side is usually preferable,” says celebrity makeup artist Beck Wainner.

What's the best foundation to make you look younger? ›

Our best overall pick is Lancôme Renergie Lift Makeup Lightweight Liquid Foundation SPF 27, which helps to lift the appearance of skin and also contains hydrating ingredients for a creamy base. We love that the formula provides, antioxidant protection, and SPF, too.

Which makeup makes you look younger? ›

Makeup artist Helena Olivares advises swapping vampy plum or brown tones for more neutral shades, as they can look a bit harsh on aging skin. Neutral tones and subtle pinks, she explains, can help you achieve a more youthful appearance, as they instantly give the skin a brighter and cleaner look.


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