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The 9 Best Foundations for Dry + Mature Skin | Swatches

Foundations are one of my most favorite makeup items to purchase and test out! For me, great makeup starts with a great base.  

I have dry skin and as I’ve gotten older, I have noticed that I really only like the look of certain foundations on my skin.  These are the top foundations that I find myself reaching for regularly and also repurchasing.

FOUNDATION “MUSTS” CHECKLIST

  • covers well (I have some surface redness and light acne scars)
  • hydrates all day, stays dewy looking, never patchy
  • looks like a second skin
  • doesn’t accentuate fine lines
  • keeps skin clear, doesn’t cause breakouts or clogged pores

With those guidelines in place, here are the foundations that I reach for the most, in order from lowest price to highest.

Related Post | My Foundation Routine For Flawless, All-day Wear

fair and light foundation swatch swatches for dry mature skin

BEST FOUNDATIONS FOR DRY + MATURE SKIN

1 |  The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

This foundation has a surprisingly skin like finish.  The name “coverage” made me think this might be too full-coverage, but I was pleasantly surprised how natural it looks. 

The key I’ve found, is to apply it immediately after moisturizer, so I get light-to-medium coverage.  If I wait too long after skincare to apply this foundation, it gets heavy looking and very oily.

This is my go-to foundation for running a quick errand. I love that this foundation doesn’t make my skin itch or cause break-outs.  The only downside for me is that this foundation doesn’t photograph well. 

shop The Ordinary | skinstore . ulta beauty

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation swatches 1.2p cool fair foundation

2 | Milani Conceal + Perfect 2 + 1 Foundation

This foundation has such a gorgeous satin, matte finish! It provides a ton of coverage, but still looks natural and doesn’t accentuate fine lines the way some more matte finish foundations can.

I also love that it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. It’s very gentle on and does last all day. I usually pair it with the Milani Prime Light primer for a glowing skin combo. I do recommend making sure your skin is very well moisturized with this foundation, as the formula is on the thicker side.

shop Milani 2 +1 | milani cosmetics . ulta beauty . amazon

3 | L’oreal Infallible Freshwear Foundation

This new foundation from L’oreal has, hands down, the best satin finish of any drugstore foundation I’ve ever tried.  It looks beautiful in person and in photos.   

I do prefer to wear it with a primer and well-moisturized skin, sometimes my skin will get itchy with this foundation if I skip primer.

This is truly a gorgeous foundation, with a finish that looks high-end! 

shop L’oreal Freshwear | Ulta BeautyAmazon

4 | Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation

Light Wonder is a great foundation for mature skin because it reflects light.  You don’t need to layer on product.  It really makes your skin look radiant and fresh in one light layer.

The only downside is it that because it’s such a lightweight texture, this doesn’t cover breakouts well.  You will need to spot conceal. This foundation photographs beautifully and looks very natural in real life. 

This is a great bridal foundation for a bride who wants to look natural in real life, but also photograph well. Just make sure to use a setting spray.

shop Light Wonder |  charlotte tilbury . nordstrom . beautylish . sephora

charlotte tilbury light wonder shade 4 swatch for dry mature skin

5 | Shisheido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation

This is a great full-coverage foundation for dry + mature skin! It has a unique self-refreshing formula that keeps itself dewy all day, it never settles into dry patches.

This Shisheido foundation has the most beautiful, radiant finish.  For a full coverage foundation, this is rare!  I really love that it’s not super matte or flat. Also, this looks absolutely stunning in photos.

I find that it can sometimes get a little shiny on it’s own, so I wear this Shiseido foundation with the Tatcha Liquid Silk Primer, which is excellent for oil-control.  It’s a perfect match for this foundation!

shop Shiseido | sephora . nordstrom . macys

6 | Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation

This is my favorite full coverage foundation for mature skin. It looks so flawless and really provides great coverage.

I love Nars range of shades and undertones. There is truly something to match everyone.

This Radiant Longwear foudation really does last all day and it also looks excellent in photos. This is a very concentrated formula, start out with one pump and blend!

shop Nars Radiant Longwear| nars cosmetics . sephora . ulta beauty

7 | Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

What I love:  This foundation is iconic for a reason.  It gives your skin full coverage without looking cakey, creates radiance, and lasts.  Once you try Luminous silk, it’s game over. This is one of my favorite foundations of all time.

There is truly no other foundation like Luminous Silk.  It is also the best shade match I have out of all my foundations.

This foundation photographs beautifully and is a perfect bridal foundation. You can wear one layer for a light, skin like finish or build it up for full coverage that never settles into or accentuates fine lines.

shop Luminous Silk | sephora . nordstrom

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation Best for Dry Mature Skin shade 4.25 swatch swatches review

8 | Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

Koh Gen Do makes some of the best foundations in the world.  They blend in like a second skin, look flawless in photos and in high definition video, and look great on every skin type from oily to dry.

They have perfected their undertones and their foundations just stand out from the rest.  They have made the perfect foundations for people who hate the look or feel of traditional foundations.  They feel weightless.

Koh Gen Do foundations all contain skincare level ingredients.  Your skin will actually improve over time wearing them.

The Aqua foundation is great for people who want lighter coverage.  It works best for me applied and blended with my fingers, then buffed with a brush.

shop Aqua Foundation | sephora . beautylish. skinstore . dermstore

koh gen do aqua foundation shade 002 fair cool toned skin swatch

9 | Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation

There truly is no other foundation like the Moisture Foundation.  It continuously plumps up my skin and looks the same 12 hours later as when I first applied the foundation.

It’s just a truly unique foundation, to me there is nothing else like it, it never gets patchy at any point, no matter how dry my skin feels. It’s a dry and mature skin miracle foundation.

I also wore this in Miami for a friend’s wedding during an August heat wave (or is that just Florida weather!?) and was nervous that my skin would be too oily for this to work, but somehow it worked just as well as when I wear it in freezing cold temps with dry skin.

I used this foundation on a model who was on the acne medication accutane, which really dries out skin.  I had tried a few different foundations and nothing would stick on her face. Finally, the Moisture foundation sank in and became one with her skin, for a flawless finish.

This is a liquid-cream hybrid, so I do shake and lightly massage the tube before I take the cap off, to mix up the product inside.  This is a concentrated formula, so start with a very small amount and build as needed.

shop Moisture Foundation |  beautylish .  skinstore . dermstore

Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation shade 112 swatch and demo review

FOUNDATION SWATCHES

fair and light foundation swatch swatches for dry mature skin
fair and light foundation swatch swatches for dry mature skin
fair and light foundation swatch swatches for dry mature skin

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Kortney

Monday 29th of October 2018

Thank you SO much for the super thorough reviews!! I was looking into the KGD Aqua foundation to order for the Sephora VIB sale and couldn’t find color swatches anywhere until I came across this- I may need to pick up the KGD Moisture as well- thanks again!!!

Victoria Lo

Friday 25th of May 2018

I am seriously living for how detailed this post is and the shade comparisons all on your face! I really want to try the KGD Moisture Foundation, but I'm having such a hard time choosing my shade since the brand isn't available in Canada. If you would be able to help me I'd appreciate it so much! I'm 3.5 in GA Luminous Silk and Buff in Hourglass Vanish Stick, but I think that both of these foundations are actually a bit dark for me. I think I'm a 113, but I'm also considering 112?

Molly Gardner

Friday 25th of May 2018

Hi Victoria,

I'm so glad to hear that the post is helpful!! Thank you! It took forever to photograph them all and edit, but I felt like it was worth it because I can not shop without swatches. I really need pictures to help me figure out shades.

Are you more cool toned or neutral or warm? Armani 3.5 looks a bit more warm to me. I like Koh Gen Do in 002 and 112 for myself (I'm cool, sometimes neutral with a faux tan). Shade 113 is a great neutral to warm shade that I use on a ton of makeup clients. If you lean towards neutral or warmer undertones, I think 113 would be a good bet for you.

This video I made might be helpful also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de21bVi7p_w It has swatches of all the Koh Gen Do shades that I have.

xo - Molly

Natalie

Monday 2nd of April 2018

Very well done! I think you're fabulous and enjoy your YouTube channel and your blog posts. It is so hard to find a foundation that covers nicely, blends like second skin and gives a girl some glow! This was super helpful, thanks girl!!

Girl Get Glamorous

Monday 2nd of April 2018

Thank you, Natalie! I appreciate that! And I agree about foundations, it's so hard to find ones that looks natural but also have coverage. These formulas are makeup unicorns!

Lisa Burkhart

Monday 2nd of April 2018

I love your blog! Thank you for your research.

Girl Get Glamorous

Monday 2nd of April 2018

Thank you. Lisa!

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