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Foundation is one of my most favorite makeup products to use. For me, all 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, which is the biggest compliment you can give to a product, in my opinion! With so many options, repurchasing a foundation says a lot to me.


  • 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

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


Here are the foundations that I reach for the most, in order from lowest price to highest.

I also share my personal shades, in case you are close to my skin tone and undertone. I am fair-to-light skin tone, with a peach undertone.

You can figure out your undertone here in this post and video.

1 | Milani Conceal + Perfect 2 + 1 Foundation | $10

shop online | milani cosmetics . ulta beauty . amazon

This foundation has such a gorgeous satin, matte finish! It retails for $10 and comes in 40 shades, with an impressive range of undertones. I wear shade 02A2 – Warm Natural when I’m “tan” and shade 00 Light Natural when I don’t have a faux tan.

milani foundation

The 2 +1 formula 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 and this will help it spread and blend more easily.

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

2 | Dior Backstage Face + Body Foundation | $40

shop online | dior official . sephora

I had been searching for a foundation in the $40 range for what like ages before the Dior Backstage foundation came along.

This foundation retails exactly at $40, contains 1.6 oz of product and comes in 40 shades. I am currently wearing shade 1N, which does oxidize to a peach tone, but am curious to try mixing shades 0N and 2WP next.

Overall, I love the skin-like finish that feels light and wears well thought out the day. This foundation is scented, which doesn’t bother me, but is something to note if you are sensitive to that.

The Backstage foundation really works on such a broad range of skin tones and skin types. The price point is great, especially for a luxury brand! I can definitely see why it became an instant hit.

shop Dior Backstage | dior official . sephora

3 | Shisheido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation | $47

shop online | sephora . nordstrom . macys

This Shisheido foundation 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. It retails for $47 for 1 oz and comes in 30 shades.

I wear shade 240 with a faux tan and shade 220 when my skin is lighter.

shiseido foundation

Synchro Skin 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 after a few hours, so I wear it with the Tatcha Liquid Silk Primer underneath and then set with Oil Control setting spray, to keep the finish looking fresh.  It’s a perfect combo for this foundation!

shop Shiseido | sephora . nordstrom . macys

4 | Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation | $49

shop online | nars cosmetics . sephora . ulta beauty

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

The Radiant Longwear Foundation retails for $49 for 1 oz and comes in 40 shades and an excellent range of undertones. I wear shade Vienna with a faux tan and shade Yukon without a tan.

nars foundation

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

5 | Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation | $69

shop online | sephora . saks . nordstrom

Luminous Silk Review post | Luminous Silk swatch post

Armani’s Luminous Silk 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.

It retails for $69 for 1 oz and comes in 40 shades. I wear shade 4.25 most of the time, but sometimes mix it with shade 2 if I am getting very fair.

armani luminous silk

There is truly no other foundation like Luminous Silk.  Shade 4.25 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 . saks . nordstrom

6 | Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation | $99

shop online |  amazon . beautylish .  skinstore . dermstore . violet grey

Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation Swatch Video

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.

This foundation retails for $99 and contains .71 oz of a cream/liquid hybrid foundation.

There are 12 shades available. I wear shade 002 in winter and 113 with a faux tan.

Koh Gen do moisture 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 medication accutane for acne, this medication really dries the skin out.  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 |  amazon . beautylish .  skinstore . dermstore . violet grey


foundation swatches



Thank you for reading and being a part of the blog! – Molly



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  1. You mention two shades for each foundation but only swatch the darker one. Why? Not all of us tan or faux tan and need to see the lighter, cooler tones.

  2. I would never put a matte finish on dry aging skin. It makes it look dull and flat accentuating any and all texture in the skin.

    • With the right prep, between skincare and a hydrating and/or illuminating primer, I think you’d be pleasantly surprised! One light, well blended layer of full coverage foundation can look really natural and cover up any aging-related skin surface tones completely.

  3. Finally, someone my age with the same skin tone and hair colour doing such fantastic reviews, thankyou! You’ve been a lifesaver during lockdown when we can’t try anything on, I ordered the luminous silk in 4.25 and it’s perfect for me! Even my husband commented how gkowing I looked yesterday. I didn’t even know a peach undertone existed until I watched your undertone video, so I know to look out for it in descriptions now as my makeup always seems to oxidise…I’m trying the koh gen do next! Love your videos, keep doing what you’re doing 🙂

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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?

    • 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: It has swatches of all the Koh Gen Do shades that I have.

      xo – Molly

  6. 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!!

    • 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!