The best full coverage foundations for dry skin, in every finish imaginable

Posted by for Beauty

Infamous for its ability to suck skin of every last drop of moisture, most people think full coverage foundation is a no-go for dry skin. We beg to differ. Here’s our curated edit of formulas that promise to hydrate.

Searching for the best foundation is a little like figuring out your signature scent. You mix a bunch, have a drawer full of half-used bottles but until you’ve found ‘the one’, you’ll keep on searching for the next. 

Because there are so many kinds of foundations (and skin types) to consider, finding your favourite formula can be a bit of a slog. Do you want a glowy finish? Are you looking for something matte? Do you want to cover blemishes? Finding the perfect foundation is essentially finding the perfect skin base – so it’s important to get it right.

If you’re looking for the best full coverage foundation for dry skin – you’ve come to the right place. We’ve swatched, tested and approved so many formulas, we’re confident we’ll have found ‘the one’ for you.

But, before we get on to the best full coverage foundation for dry skin – let’s talk application.

What is the best way to apply foundation for dry skin?

If you have very dry skin, you’ll be well aware of what a nightmare it can be applying foundation. You want coverage, not cakeyness, and applying a full coverage foundation over parched skin can be a recipe for disaster. Luckily, we’ve got a foolproof three-step guide for the best way to apply foundation for dry skin.

1. Exfoliate

The key to a smooth, flawless foundation finish ultimately starts with skin prep. Exfoliating away any dry, rough patches (especially around the nose and chin) can help your foundation apply smoother and last longer.

2. Hydrate

If your skin is thirsty, it’s important to hydrate it first – before applying your foundation. Opt for a nourishing moisturiser or primer, that will give your skin a much-needed drink and provide an even, soft canvas for foundation application.

3. Use tools

To give your foundation a great starting point, buff and blend it in with a fluffy brush or make-up sponge. Brushes and sponges are gentler on the skin, and won’t disrupt any dry patches or flakiness like your fingers might. 

The best full coverage foundation for dry skin

Ready to find the best foundation for you? These are Stylist’s top pick of the best foundation for dry skin: 

  • Revolution Conceal & Define Foundation

    There’s major hype around this budget foundation and for good reason. The oil-free, creamy formula blends into skin seamlessly without caking or creasing. Plus, there’s 50 true-to-skin shades. Winner.  

    Revolution Conceal & Define Foundation, £9

  • Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

    Silky and lightweight, with a buildable full coverage, this foundation is a favourite for faking that lit-from-within glow. 

    Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, £33.60 

  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation

    It’s the OG full-coverage foundation, now in more shades than ever. Double Wear won’t dry out your skin, but it will last all day long. 

    Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation, £34 

  • BECCA Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation

    Designed to withstand sweat and humidity, this full-coverage foundation has an impressive 24-hours worth of staying power – while still feeling breathable and light on the skin. 

    BECCA Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation, £32 

  • Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation

    This full-coverage foundation has a semi-matte finish, but is enriched with hydrating ingredients so that your skin won’t feel dry or cakey underneath. 

    Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation, £34

  • IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream

    If you prefer a glowy finish then this is the foundation for you. Loved by beauty editors, the serum-like formula boosts your skin’s hydration and glow, while still offering medium to buildable coverage.  

    IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream, £31 

  • Jouer Cosmetics Essential High Coverage Crème Foundation

    Thanks to hydrating hyaluronic acid, plumping peptides and calming cucumber extract, this incredibly long-lasting formula nourishes the skin as it covers. 

    Jouer Cosmetics Essential High Coverage Crème Foundation, £34 

  • Morphe Fluidity Full Coverage Foundation

    Perfect for all skin types and available in no less than 60 shades – you’re sure to find the one for you. 

    Morphe Fluidity Full Coverage Foundation, £16 

  • Too Faced Born This Way Liquid Foundation

    It can be difficult to find a full-coverage foundation that still looks natural on the skin, but this trusty little number does just that. 

    Too Faced Born This Way Liquid Foundation, £29 

  • Uoma Say What?! Foundation

    Lightweight, long-lasting and hydrating, this foundation blurs away blemishes leaving skin with a soft matte finish. 

    Uoma Say What?! Foundation, £29.50  

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Image credits: Caroline Tompkins / Getty Images

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