In our recent attempts at finding the best foundation for dry skin, we discovered that it’s not as easy as it sounds. Full-coverage formulas tend to show flakes, while lightweight foundations can go on patchy and uneven. So we decided to call in some help from the pros—the ones who know which bottles hold the secrets to second-skin textures on any skin type since they do it daily.
“Because dry skin tends to be uneven with smooth areas as well as dry, flaky patches, the wrong foundation will exacerbate all of the issues by looking quite uneven, ” says celebrity makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen, basically echoing everything we’d discovered. Reiss-Andersen has a couple of tricks, like adding small droplets of Chantecaille Rose de Mai Face Oil to foundation for a dewier finish, or opting for a damp Beautyblender over a brush for application. While those methods help boost the smoothness of any formula, it also makes sense to start with the right one.
“Choose the texture well, ” she advises. “Look for products that hydrate. ” We asked her—and six other celebrity makeup artists—to weigh in on the ones that have earned a spot in their makeup bags. Below, the 25 best foundations for dry skin—with a flake-free finish guaranteed.
Make Up for Ever Reboot Active Care Revitalizing Foundation
My favorite is Make Up for Ever Reboot. Not only are the shades very flattering, but the texture is also very easy to apply and blends in beautifully. —Brigitte Reiss-Andersen
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
Luminous Silk has never let me down. It doesn’t add any extra dryness to the skin, and it goes on smoothly. It adds the exact right amount of luminosity. —B. R. A.
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation
Chanel Les Beiges has a lightweight, moisturizing formula that works great with uneven skin. —B. R. A.
MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation
I’ve always used this foundation on editorials, and it gives the second-skin look. It works super well on dry skin as it’s a very light texture and doesn’t make skin look like it’s wearing makeup. —Tobi Henney, celebrity makeup artist
Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation
This is one of my favorite new foundations, as I love the hydrating formula and the texture is absolutely divine. It’s perfect for anyone with a drier complexion and blends super easily. —T. H.
IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream With SPF 50+
This has the creamiest texture—beyond perfect for anyone with drier skin. The formula also has SPF, which is great for the summer months! —T. H.
Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Soft Radiance Foundation
This is a brand-new foundation that has just come out recently, and I’m in love with it! It’s very luminous—amazing for anyone who has more dehydrated skin. It creates the most flawless base and is very glowy. —T. H.
Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Foundation SPF 24
I love this foundation because of the formula; it’s super lightweight but doesn’t give up coverage. It is creamy, gives you a lasting finish all day, and is great for drier skin types. —Jillian Dempsey, celebrity makeup artist
Chanel Vitalumiére Aqua Ultra Light Skin-Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup
I love that this gives you light coverage with built-in hydration—so the skin looks refreshed and glowy, never cakey. —J. D.
Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick
This easy-to-apply stick foundation helps fight redness, while the active ingredients plump the skin and give some extra hydration. You’ll never feel dry or dull wearing it. —J. D.
Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Liquid Foundation
If you want a foundation to last without drying your skin out, this is a great option. I’m a sucker for Japanese beauty technology, and I like how this formula adapts to your skin’s texture and tone. —J. D.
Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation
This is a lightweight, nonsticky foundation that gives you a smoothed-out finish —and it can easily be built upon, depending on your coverage needs. The serum gives your skin that radiant and hydrated look. —J. D.
Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals A Foundation
This formula is packed full of hydrating ingredients to kick that dry skin to the curb. There’s hyaluronic acid (which can hold 1, 000 times its weight in water), coenzyme Q10 (to help improve texture), and vitamin C (to kick-start antioxidant protection). The light-to-medium coverage leaves behind a super- dewy, hydrated finish. —Hannah Hatcher, Jane Iredale global educator and makeup artist
Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer
This is the perfect foundation if you just want something to throw on before running errands, or if you want lighter coverage. It has SPF to protect you from UV rays, while keeping your dry skin moisturized. I usually use a BeautyBlender to apply it. —Taylor Dempsey, SIIA Cosmetics makeup artist
SIIA Cosmetics Luminous Longwear Liquid Foundation
I love this foundation for combination and dry skin because it has ingredients like honey and hyaluronic acid to balance, plump, and moisturize the skin throughout the day. It has a beautiful, buildable coverage. It’s also super long-wearing; I’ve gone 12 hours in this foundation with no problems! I love applying this with a kabuki foundation brush for an airbrushed effect. —T. D.
Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation
This is by far my favorite drugstore foundation for dry skin. It gives you a beautiful, smooth finish, and you definitely can’t beat the price. Pair this with a primer to give you a really flawless look. —T. D.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation
This is perfect for anyone with dry skin that still wants full coverage! I love Charlotte Tilbury, and everything that I’ve tried from her makeup line is just fabulous. I love how long-wearing this is, and I also apply it with a kabuki foundation brush for a poreless look. —T. D.
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
This foundation from Koh Gen Do is infused with moisturizing ingredients including aloe, shea butter, squalene, and jojoba oil. It’s my go-to for anything where the skin needs to look flawless but also like it has nothing on. This foundation is formulated for the demands of HD cameras is and super soothing for sensitive skin. —Mary Irwin, celebrity makeup artist
Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation
This feels as though you’re wearing nothing—but you look like you woke up with flawless skin. The silicone-free formula needs to be shaken up, but when you do, it’s got a beautifully sheer coverage (that matches 48 different skin tones). — M. I.
RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up Cream Foundation
This gorgeous cream foundation has a super formulation that is free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. It’s also got amazing full coverage and an ultra- hydrating ingredient list. —M. I.
Chantecaille Future Skin Gel Foundation
Chantecaille has this gel-cream formula that’s specifically formulated for sensitive skin—with ingredients like arnica, aloe, and chamomile. It’s a truly beautiful, classic option for sensitive skin, and the best oil-free formula I’ve found for dry skin. —M. I.
Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation
Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Liquid Foundation is a lovely, hydrated finish for dehydrated skin that leaves the skin looking luminous and even. The coverage can be built layer by layer but does not clog the pores. —Tanya Deemer, Temptu global makeup artist and educator
Temptu S/B Airbrush Foundation
This versatile formula can be applied by hand or by airbrushing and leaves the skin looking absolutely flawless, smooth, and hydrated. When applied with an airbrush, it sits on top of the skin to create an even veil of high-definition coverage that lasts all day long. For an extra punch of dewiness, I add a drop or two of the Temptu Mixing Medium. —T. D.
Face Atelier Ultra Foundation Pro
You’ll get hydrated and dewy skin with this. It’s very lightweight—but buildable —and can be applied by hand, sponge, or brush. I’ve found that a primer isn’t really always necessary with this foundation, due to its highly pigmented, silicone-based formula. —T. D.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector SPF 30
It’s fantastic for those that want lightweight coverage, but still need a bunch of hydration. I love the ingredients in this formula (seed oils, vitamins, and more) that lend to the even texture on the skin. Let’s not forget that it also has a SPF, so your skin is protected! —T. D.