Embracing your look as you age means adjusting your skin care and makeup regimens to best suit your ever-evolving skin. With that comes a new focus on finding the best foundation for mature skin. To veil anything from dark spots to fine lines, the right complexion products make all the difference.
The Best Foundations for Mature Skin
What to Look For
As with other skin-care products, experts recommend picking a foundation with multifunctional, skin-loving properties. “I look for a foundation that targets the concerns of mature skin, such as loss of radiance, uneven skin tone, and moisture balance,” explains celebrity makeup artist Carolina Dalí-Trites. The right level of hydration ensures that the formula melts into skin without caking or creasing. With this in mind, read on to discover the best foundations for mature skin that pair immaculate coverage with a natural finish, as chosen by pro makeup artists, Vogue editors, and a few celebrities.
The All-Around Pick
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
- Why We Love It: When we tapped makeup pros Dalí-Trites, Tobi Henney, and Janice Kinjo, each of them recommended Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation. While Kinjo notes it’s her go-to “that won’t settle into fine lines,” Dalí-Trites believes it “looks and feels like a second skin.” Henney shares that she reaches for this formula while working with Diane von Furstenberg for an event or photoshoot: “I use this a lot in my work, as it creates the most flawless base for all skin types.”
- More to Know: Inspired by charmeuse silk, this oil-free foundation is infused with finely milled color pigments to impart medium coverage and a radiant, airbrushed finish that resembles a lit-from-within glow.
- Shades: 40
The Weightless Wear
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation Hydration and Longwear
- Why We Love It: Celebrity makeup artist Meredith Baraf, who counts Brooke Shields, Erin Andrews, and Frankie Foye as clients, shares a laundry list of foundations that “melt into the skin and don’t tend to creep into fine lines and wrinkles or accentuate pores.” One of them is this weightless Chanel pick.
- More to Know: Formulated with 40% water and light-reflecting pigments, the foundation has a silky, barely there feel and instantly hydrates skin for up to 12 hours.
- Shades: 35
The Serum Foundation
Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation
- Why We Love It: Dalí-Trites calls Ilia’s her go-to for mature skin because it “adds moisture, gives the skin a healthy natural glow, [and] good amount of coverage while still letting the skin look like skin.
- More to Know: Think of this as the high-coverage counterpart to its acclaimed Super Serum Skin Tint. Kinjo says it’s “for those who want clean, vegan makeup [that] will keep skin glowing all day.” While niacinamide and allantoin help brighten and soothe skin, this is formulated to counteract the look of pores, redness, and uneven skin tone through its weightless medium-coverage formula.
- Shades: 30
The Tinted Balm
Jones Road What The Foundation
- Why We Love It: The draw to Jones Road’s foundation is that it’s more like a tinted balm than the complexion products you’re likely used to. That being said, this can be applied like a moisturizer—scooped out of its jar and blended with fingers. (A brush or sponge certainly works, too.) Remember: a little goes a long way!
- More to Know: Mixed into a cream-like consistency, this blends jojoba oil and sodium hyaluronate (basically a small form of hyaluronic acid) to achieve a fresh, glowing complexion. An excellent pick for summer, expect buildable, light to medium coverage.
- Shades: 12
The Tinted Moisturizer
Saie Slip Tint
- Why We Love It: Not ready to give up the feel of a warm-weather-favorite tinted moisturizer? Baraf says Saie’s formula is her pick. Sheer, dewy coverage truly never goes out of season.
- More to Know: The Saie Slip Tint utilizes a blend of hyaluronic acid, pansy flower, and licorice root extract to brighten, hydrate, and protect skin with ease.
- Shades: 14
The Lightweight Oil
Westman Atelier Vital Skincare Complexion Drops
- Why We Love It: Gucci Westman previously described the latest complexion solution from her eponymous beauty line as “a lightweight oil that—when you apply it to your face—becomes more like a cushiony serum.” The formula is powered by supercharged skin-care actives: ginseng extract, sunflower and almond oil, pomegranate extract, tsubaki oil, ginger root complex, and a skin-shielding complex. These come together to not only condition the skin, even tone, and smooth texture.
- More to Know: What’s more, the weightless light-to-medium tint blends with ease to reveal a dewy, radiant finish perfect for year-round wear.
- Shades: 20
Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance Foundation SPF 50
- Why We Love It: “This foundation has great coverage and is perfect for those with drier skin types,” says Henney. “The shade range is beautiful, and the packaging is super chic!”
- More to Know: Tom Ford’s Soft Radiance foundation features a blend of SPF 50, hyaluronic acid, natural oils, and noni fruit extract to condition and calm skin. On the complexion front, light diffusing powders ensure the perfect luminous, medium-to-full-coverage wear.
- Shades: 40
Glossier Stretch Fluid Foundation
- Why We Love It: In British Vogue’s acting beauty and wellness director Lauren Murdoch-Smith test of Glossier’s new foundation, she said it was “ticking all of the boxes.” Why? It’s a hydrating elixir that doesn’t sink into fine lines, nor get overly dewy after a few hours of wear.
- More to Know: With light-to-medium coverage, this feels like a lightweight moisturizer on and delivers a natural finish. Formulated with 89% skincare ingredients—including squalane, glycerin, wild rose berry and plankton extract, and amino acid-coated pigments—Stretch Fluid Foundation is sure to be a hit.
- Shades: 32
The Stick Formula
Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick
- Why We Love It: If a stick foundation is more your speed, Baraf is a fan of Merit’s lauded complexion stick. It’s especially useful for mess-free application, storing in your makeup bag, or combining the benefits of a foundation and concealer in one.
- More to Know: Formulated in partnership with esthetician Biba de Sousa, this features a blend of fatty acids and sea daffodil to lock in moisture and minimize the look of dark spots. Give this formula a swipe to test its light-to-medium-coverage wear.
- Shades: 20
The Fine Line Smoother
Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation
- Why We Love It: Looking to achieve runway-ready glam that won’t settle into fine lines? Look no further than Pat McGrath Labs’s foundation. The formula is basically everything you’d want in a foundation for mature skin: lightweight, hydrating, and natural satin finish while smoothing skin wherever you place it.
- More to Know: This does this by a masterful blend of polymers (for long-wear), pigments treated with amino acids (for its creamy texture and buildable coverage), plus diamond core powder (to boost radiance and blur lines or pores). According to the brand, blend with your hands for a sheer finish or a brush for medium coverage.
- Shades: 36
Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 30
- Why We Love It: “I love this foundation for when I’m getting my clients ready for a red carpet or important event,” says Henney. “I use this on my client Vera Wang, and we love how it looks on the skin and in photographs.”
- More to Know: Get your skin camera-ready with Shiseido’s foundation designed to adjust to your skin’s needs. Featuring a blend of SPF 30, mandarin-peel extract, light-adjusting technology, luminous pearls, and microcrystals, this foundation refines skin texture, reduces the look of hyperpigmentation, and smooths fine lines. The finish is medium-to-full coverage, along with water-, transfer-, and crease-resistant wear.
- Shades: 30
Clé de Peau Radiant Fluid Foundation
- Why We Love It: In Maye Musk’s installment of Vogue’s Beauty Secrets, she began her makeup routine with Clé de Peau’s Radiant Fluid Foundation. At 73, the model is now partial to more natural-looking makeup, thanks in part to this foundation’s bare-skin-like finish.
- More to Know: Infused with hyaluronic acid and skin-luminizing properties, this foundation is crafted to enhance your skin’s glow, suppleness, and moisture. Not to mention, there’s even SPF 25 to protect against UV rays. Apply it with a sponge, as Musk does, or your preferred brush, for light-to-medium coverage.
- Shades: 24
The Skin Care Hybrid
Sisley Sisleya Le Teint Anti-Aging Foundation
- Why We Love It: “The best foundations use great skin-care ingredients,” says Kinjo. “You want ingredients that help collagen production, like my favorite Sisley Paris Sisleÿa Le Teint Anti-Aging Foundation.”
- More to Know: Persian acacia, chlorella, soy peptide, and white willow extracts are only a few of the ingredients that power Sisley’s light-coverage foundation. While these work to reveal a radiant, supple complexion, mica and powder pigments promote a smooth, even base.
- Shades: 20
The Matte Finish
Dior Forever Matte Foundation SPF 15
- Why We Love It: One may assume that a matte-finish foundation is out of the question, so as to avoid exaggerating the look of skin texture or fine lines. Baraf, however, recommends Dior’s foundation (in the matte or glow variant) as a suitable option.
- More to Know: Powered by mineral pigments and floral extracts of wild pansy, nasturtium, and iris, Dior’s matte foundation is anything but drying and provides smooth, soft-focus coverage and a nourished complexion.
- Shades: 42
The Intensive Hydrator
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
- Why We Love It: Those partial to a cream foundation, especially throughout colder temperatures, should consider Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Moisture Foundation. Kinjo dubs it a “hydrating formula with great coverage.”
- More to Know: Despite its creamy texture, it delivers sheer-to-medium wear that moisturizes and blurs skin texture thanks to a blend of mineral pigments, aloe extract, jojoba oil, squalane, and shea butter.
- Shades: 12
How to Apply Foundation for Mature Skin
So you’ve discovered your favorite foundation above, but you’re still a bit unsure how to apply it. If we’ve learned anything in recent years, it’s that your technique makes all the difference.
“A key to looking youthful as we age is avoiding heavy or cakey makeup; less is definitely more here,” says Baraf. “You can use thin layers of product to build in places if need be. Most important is layering your gorgeous skin care underneath your foundation to ensure your foundation melts into your skin and looks fresh.”
To make your foundation look like a second skin, the right moisturizer, primer, and perhaps a glow-boosting serum can be helpful even before applying the foundation. Next, Dalí-Trites says to “mist your foundation brush or sponge with a hydrating face mist; this will help add an extra layer of hydration, allowing the foundation to best glide onto the skin and blend seamlessly.” From there, you can go in with concealer to the undereyes (or wherever else) before applying a light veil of powder—especially to the T-zone and around the mouth. Caution against using too much, though. “If you need to take away some shine, use translucent powder sparingly,” says Kinjo. “Overpowering makes your skin look dry.” And there you have it—a flawless makeup base.
Meet The Experts
- Meredith Baraf is a celebrity makeup artist who has worked with Brooke Shields, Adriana Lima, and Linda Evangelista.
- Carolina Dalí-Trites is a celebrity makeup artist and men’s groomer whose clients include Kate Hudson, Hunter Schafer, and Natalia Dyer.
- Tobi Henney is a celebrity makeup artist who works with Barbara Palvin, Megan Fox, and Poppy Delevingne.
- Janice Kinjo is a celebrity makeup artist and men’s groomer who specializes in melanin-rich skin. Her clients include Viola Davis, Mindy Kaling, and Donald Glover,