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Best Foundation for Bad Skin

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Finding the right foundation for your skin is a lot like speed dating–you’re constantly switching from one to the other in order to find the one…and most of them don’t end up working out. With so many different formulations on the market, it’s hard to know which will actually live up to its claims and turn out to be the foundation of your dreams. Luckily for you, we’ve taken out the guesswork and compiled a list of the best foundations for every skin concern. Whether you’re in search of a oil control or full coverage—or both—we’ve got you covered (literally).

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For Acne

Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation

Becca’s foundation has enough pigment to mask redness and smooth out bumpy skin, and its long-wear, water-resistant formula means there’s no need to reapply throughout the day.

For Oily Skin

Stay Naked Weightless Foundation

Urban Decay


Prevent shine with a breathable blend that evens out skin tone. The finished texture won’t look like you have foundation on; it’ll just look like you were blessed with poreless skin.

For Sweaty Skin

Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF 30



Want post-vacation luminosity? This formula’s elasticpolymer technology fights makeup’s enemies: oil, humidity, and creasing caused by facial movements.

For a Dewy Finish

Water Blend Face & Body Foundation



With a formula that’s 80 percent water, this feels like you’re wearing nothing and gives skin a dewy glow. Don’t let the runny consistency throw you; once it’s buffed in, it won’t budge.

For Pigmentation

Dream Urban Cover Makeup

Maybelline New York

This liquid is packed with antioxidants that protect against pollution, plus it reduces the look of dark spots and boasts SPF 50 to stop more pigmentation from developing.

For Large Pores

Blur Liquid Matte Foundation

Milk Makeup


You can’t shrink pores, unfortunately, but this blurring base is the next best solution: Infused with powder-filled microspheres that diffuse light, it renders them nearly invisible.

For Dry, Flaky Skin

Studio Face and Body Foundation



The greatest foundation faux pax? Flaky dry patches peeking through. You won’t have to worry about that with this formulation; its waterproof and light consistency blurs over dry patches, fine lines, and pretty much anything else you’d want to cover. 

For Sensitive Skin

Tinted Face Oil Foundation

Clean beauty brand Kosas’ first foray into base makeup, this oil-rich concoction feels like skincare while providing light-to-medium buildable coverage. It blends into the skin without a trace and has 10 self-adjusting shades to boot.

For Staying Power

Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation

Estée Lauder


This famous foundation lives up its name—once it sets, this full-coverage and oil-controlling formula won’t budge until you decide to wash it off. And with over 50 shades to choose from, it’s easy to find your perfect match.

For On-the-Go

Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick



Eliminate foundation spills and travel worry-free with this moisturizing and full-coverage stick foundation. The twistable format makes it easy to apply whenever you need a quick touch-up.  


A version of this story appears in the October 2019 issue of Marie Claire.

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