The 11 Best Matte Foundations For A Smooth, Shine-Free Finish

Although some people are using these stay-at-home days to give their skin a break from foundation, others are using this time at home as an excuse to test new base makeup. If you’re wondering what people are loving in the matte foundation category, lucky for you, there’s quite a range of picks to share. These oil-free base products are often assumed to be drying or face-flattening, but that’s not always the case — especially if you pick the right matte foundation formula. 

According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, it’s the silica powder in the oil-free formulas in matte foundations that makes them dry down with zero shine or dew. “Silica powder helps to absorb oil and is often used in foundation ingredient lists to give a matte appearance,” she says. “Some brands also use clay as a way to keep skin looking matte.”

Knowing that, matte foundations may be the way to go because many of them are also transfer-proof, meaning the product won’t smudge onto your mask. Plenty of non-dewy base products deliver a flawless finish, stave off shine all day, and disguise blemishes. 

New York City-based makeup artist Tommy loves to use a matte base on anyone with oily or acne-prone skin. “I always pull for a matte foundation when working on a client that wants to cover any blemishes,” he says. “I’ll apply small amounts at a time to the face to ensure nothing dries down before I blend it out with a large kabuki brush. If I need more — I add as I go.”

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation

This liquid foundation is an anti-shine person’s dream. The Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation comes in 56 shades and creates an even skin tone if you’re trying to cover up blemishes. Keep in mind, it’s full coverage, so if that’s not your jam, you can use it as a spot cover-up because it’s also great for that.

$42 (Shop Now)

NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation

The NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation is a great pick if you want a matte finish but sheerer coverage. “This hydrating formula has a way of just appearing like real skin, just better,” says Tommy. I believe that the hydrating hyaluronic acid in its formula explains why. Just one drop is enough to cover your entire face with whatever application tool your heart desires.  

$40 (Shop Now)  

UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation

Yes, UOMA Beauty’s Say What?! Foundation is matte, but it’s spiked with hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated throughout the day. Its creamy texture is a medium-coverage finish in 51 shades — no wonder it has received a Best of Beauty Award.

$39 (Shop Now)

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation

The NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation is oil-free, so have no fear of it clogging your pores. Its hydrating, water-based formula is packed inside a squeezy tube, making it a mess-free dream and allowing you to get every last drop of it.  

$8 (Shop Now)

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation is a great pick because it’s affordable, and the coverage is incredible. Apply a pea-sized amount to your forehead, cheeks, and chin, and buff it out with your favorite sponge, brush, or even your fingers. You’ll have a smooth, even base in no time.   

$13 (Shop Now)

Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Foundation Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen

“The Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Foundation is a great splurge because it gives you an even base with its luxurious texture,” says makeup artist Nam Vo. The luxe liquid is infused with SPF 20 and illuminates skin while keeping it shine-free in all the right places.   

$130 (Shop Now

Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation

If you have oily skin, this one’s for you. The Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation provides a soft, velvety finish for an ultra-smooth base. It also has oil-absorbing powders in it to keep you completely matte for a full day of Zoom meetings.  

$38 (Shop Now)

CoverGirl Full Spectrum Matte Ambition All Day Foundation

The CoverGirl Full Spectrum Matte Ambition All Day Foundation is the perfect base to wear under your mask. It’s comfortable, soft on the skin, and it’s so full coverage you may want to even skip concealer. Plus, it won’t leave foundation marks on your mask.  

$12 (Shop Now)  

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

When Rihanna dropped the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation it paved a way for beauty brands to become more shade inclusive. It also has an insanely good formula that’s never cakey and doesn’t let any shine come through. Tommy suggests applying this formula in dots around the face a blending it out with your favorite foundation brush.

$35 (Shop Now)

HUDA Beauty #FauxFilter Full Coverage Matte Foundation

The HUDA Beauty #FauxFilter Full Coverage Matte Foundation is commerce writer Angela Trakoshis’s favorite foundation ever. “With just one pump, this thick foundation does exactly what its name reads: creates a filter for your face,” she says. It’s matte, it’s lightweight, and those dark spots you want to conceal? They disappear with just one layer of this stuff.  

$40 (Shop Now)  

Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Foundation 

The Clinique Stay Matte Foundation is an oil-free formula that keeps your skin looking crease-free all day long. It’s also buildable, so layer it up with your favorite beauty sponge for a more full-coverage effect.  

$31 (Shop Now

ALLURE article

The Best Liquid Eye Shadows, According To Makeup Artists

Liquid eye shadows are among the trendiest makeup formulas right now, with new versions dropping from a variety of brands seemingly every week. Devotees favor them for their ease of use, blendability and intense color payoff. But there are a few key tricks to finding the right formula and applying it like a pro. 

“When it comes to these formulas, a little goes a long way,” says makeup artist Beau Nelson. “The best way is to use a synthetic brush, apply thin layers and use the brush to buff edges for a clean transition.” Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes agrees, nothing that fingers are fine in a pinch, but “the oils in your fingers can often break up the oils in the product.” One major benefit of using a liquid shadow is that it doesn’t require the use of a primer: They “basically act as primers with color. They work well amazingly on their own, or even as a base for powder shadows,” explains Hughes. 

Liquid eye shadows are also the unsung heroes of the makeup bag because of their versatility. Both makeup artists we consulted agree that the multi-tasking capabilities of these formulas are particularly impressive. “Metallic, pale and medium shades can look best as highlights. They can also act as blush — just mix a tiny bit of foundation to extend the product’s dry-down time,” says Nelson.

Now that you know how to apply them like a pro, here are the best expert-recommended liquid eye shadows to add to your collection. Read on to see (and shop) them all.

Danessa Myricks Beauty 24-Hour Cream ColorFix

Channel your inner artist with Danessa Myricks Beauty ColorFix 24-Hour Cream Color Matte. This ultra-long-wearing cream color can be safely used on lips, eyes, face, and body. ColorFix’s unique silicone-polymer base can be mixed to create custom colors and finishes.

Buy on Beautylish $25

Glossier Skywash

Powder-finish formula (that doesn’t feel powdery) smooths on with a doe foot applicator. Silky, blendable color melts into skin, creating a pretty, diffused effect that lasts. A little bit adds some depth to the eye area; add more for a refined, modern wash of color. Comes in seven shades inspired by dreamy Southwest landscapes.

Buy on their website $22

Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows

Illuminate your eyes with Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow by Stila Cosmetics. This lightweight and water-infused formula provides long-lasting coverage, without ever flaking. Boosted with mica, this highly-pigmented formula reflects the light around you, revealing a glowing appearance. 

Buy at Dermstore $24

MILK Makeup Eye Pigment

Swipe ‘em all over your lids for a bold shadow look, or use an angled brush to create a long-wear liner.

Buy on their website $24

Covergirl Exhibitionist Liquid Glitter Shadow

These super sparkly liquid eyeshadows are the best way to amplify your eyes. With its smooth, lightweight feel and quick dry-down, you’ll achieve shimmery color in a flash.

Buy on their website

Chanel Ombre Premiere Laque

One swipe delivers lustrous, buildable colour that can be smudged out easily with fingertips for a soft-focus effect.

Buy on their website $36

Glossier Lidstar

Creates a sheer veil of color that locks onto lids without creasing (so no need for primer). Ultrafine pigments are enveloped in a buttery base for a silky, blendable formula that swipes on easily. Comes in six shimmery, long-wearing shades.

Buy on their website $22

ELF Liquid Glitter Shadow

This gel-based formula is long-lasting, quick-drying and 100% eye-catching! Formulated for comfortable wear and minimal fall out, this opaque liquid eyeshadow delivers high-impact, multi-dimensional glitters and pearls in a quick-drying gel base.

Buy at ULTA $5

KOSAS 10-Second Liquid Eyeshadow

A clean liquid eyeshadow that goes on like watercolor — soothes skin, won’t crease, dries in seconds.

Buy on their website $37

Armani Beauty Eye Tint Liquid Eyeshadow

A long-lasting, crease-proof liquid eyeshadow in multiple finishes with up to 16 hours of buildable color with a lightweight feel.

Buy at Saks Fifth Avenue $40

Wander Beauty Exquisite Eye Liquid Shadow

A highly pigmented liquid eyeshadow that transforms from liquid to powder to deliver vibrant color payoff that lasts all day.

Buy at Look Fantastic $22

Smith & Cult Glitterbaby Metallic-Shift Eye Shadow

Next level liquid glitter eyeshadow. Smith & Cult’s Glitterbaby Metallic-Shift Eyeshadow features black micronized pigments that transform to a deeper metallic as you blend. Build color intensity and depth. Wear as a sparkling metallic or smudge for a smoky look.

Buy at ULTA $24

FASHIONISTA article

CoverGirl Launched Clean Fresh, an Affordable, Vegan Beauty Line

The clean beauty market is on track to make $22 billion by 2024. Those environmentally conscious beauty enthusiasts may have already swapped out some of their old products for ones that are better for the planet, but CoverGirl is looking to make the jump to clean beauty easier and cheaper than ever with its newest range Clean Fresh.

Clean Fresh is formulated without talc, parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, mineral oil, or sulfates, according to a press release. It’s also completely vegan, and since it’s CoverGirl, we also know it’s cruelty-free and doesn’t test on animals.

The range is made up of four new products: Skin Milk Foundation, Cream Blush, Cooling Glow Stick, and Lip Oil. Together, they’re designed to let you create a full face of makeup — perhaps your first full face of entirely cruelty-free/vegan/clean makeup.

First up is Skin Milk, a liquid foundation that uses coconut and aloe for a dewy, moisturizing finish. It’s launching in 14 shades with an even split along the shade spectrum. Once your foundation is on, you can go in with the Cooling Glow Stick. Choose between four shades of shimmery pink designed to highlight cheekbones or anywhere else in need of some sparkle. Add color with the cream blush, then finish up the look with the high-shine, tinted lip oil.

CoverGirl Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Stick ($11)

CoverGirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation ($12)

CoverGirl Clean Fresh Cream Blush ($11)

CoverGirl Clean Fresh Lip Oil ($11, available exclusively at CVS)

Covergirl Clean Fresh Hydrating Concealer ($10)

Covergirl Clean Fresh Pressed Powder ($11)

Covergirl Clean Fresh Mascara ($11)

Covergirl Clean Fresh Prep & Set Water Mist ($10)

ALLURE article

Long-Lasting Lipsticks That Won’t Budge Under Your Mask

Lipstick is hands down my favorite makeup product. But with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing us all to wear masks to protect ourselves and others from the virus, my lippies have been spending more time in my makeup bag than on my actual lips.

However, while during the beginning of the world, you know, falling apart, I was spending most of my time safely locked inside my home, in recent weeks, I finally found the courage to bravely venture to a Starbucks and other outdoor spaces to see my friends.

And if you think I’m going to add a little color to my lips for these special occasions, then you’re damn right!

In celebration of National Lipstick Day, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite lipsticks that will look just as good once you’ve taken off your mask as when you first swiped them on.

So if you think lipstick is canceled just because of the coronavirus, think again. Because these lip colors aren’t going anywhere — literally.

Black Radiance Metalicious Lip Sculptor

If a metallic lip is your thing, make sure to reach for this product before you head out. For a matte finish, blot with a tissue after application. If you’re more of a glossy girl, layer on a coat of clear gloss or Vaseline after it’s safe to take off your mask.

Buy $6

L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain

This matte stain is a fan favorite simply because it gives you highly pigmented color that doesn’t transfer. But hey, don’t just take my word for it.  “[This shade] stands the test of time and won’t be around your cheeks or chin when you take off your mask,” says L’Oreal ambassador Sir John. “This ‘peek-a-boo’ color is your much needed emotional pick-me-up. Even if you have no makeup on anywhere else, doing a lip will make you feel alive and well.”

Buy $9

M.A.C. Cosmetics Powder Kiss Liquid Lip Color

Aside from the brilliant color and little transfer, what I love most about this product is that the applicator makes it easy to put on with zero fuss. It’s also ultra-lightweight and never drying, meaning it’s a color you can comfortably wear all day long.

Buy $24

Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick

One swipe and you’ve got brilliant color that won’t budge — not even for the second coming of Christ.

Buy $38

The Lip Bar Matte Liquid Lipstick

Much like the don dada Pat McGrath, The Lip Bar founder Melissa Butler knew exactly what she was doing when she created her line. These matte liquid lipsticks come in a variety of colors that suit every skin tone, give you a show-stopping finish, and know how to stay put.

Buy $13

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

Thought you couldn’t find a lipstick for under $10 that would last all day and offer (literally) zero transfer? NYX said, girl, you better think again. I first tried this product years ago when I picked it up at a drugstore, and to this day I can confidently say that it was one of the best discoveries of my makeup life.

Buy $5

CoverGirl Outlast UltiMatte Liquid Lipstick

Cruelty-free, vegan, 24 hours of wear, and transfer resistant. Need I say more? Pick up CoverGirl’s Outlast UltiMatte Liquid Lipstick on your next essentials run to the drugstore.

Buy $8

Gucci Rouge à Lèvres Mat Matte Lipstick

Listen, Gucci did that when crafting this gorgeous lipstick. Offering a variety of shades, this light, smooth, creamy, and non-drying matte stays in place for as long as you want it to. But, it’s also super easy to remove at the end of the day. Another plus? It’s super lightweight, so you’ll probably forget you’re even wearing it.

Buy $42

InStyle article

My Favourite Brow Gels At All Price Points

Set those babies for all-day wear; some recommendations are clear gels, some are tinted.

Essence Lash & Brow Gel Mascara ($2.99) & Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara ($3.99)

E.L.F. Cosmetics Clear Brow & Lash Mascara ($2) & Wow Brow Gel ($4.97)

Rimmel Wonder’Full Brow Mascara $5.97

Almay Brow Styler Brow Mascara $6.99

NYX Cosmetics Tinted Brow Mascara ($7.50) & Control Freak Eyebrow Gel ($8)

Covergirl Easy Breezy Brow Shape & Define Eyebrow Mascara ($8.99) & Easy Breezy Volumizing Brow Gel ($9.49)

Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara ($6.99) & Tattoo Studio Eyebrow Gel ($12.99)

Maybelline Fast Sculpting Brow Gel $7.99

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara $10.99

Glossier Boy Brow $20

Make Up For Ever Brow Gel $20

Urban Decay Brow Finish Gel $21

MILK MAKEUP Kush Fiber Brow Gel $26

MAC Cosmetics Clear Brow Set ($22) & Eyebrows Big Boost Fibre Gel ($28)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel ($24) & Clear Brow Gel ($29.50)

Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel $28

Benefit Cosmetics 24-HR Brow Setter Shaping & Setting Gel ($32) & Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel ($32)

My Favourite Mascaras At All Price Points

Whether you wear false eyelashes at all/sometimes/always, a good mascara should not flake or smudge in any case. I’ve tested SO many mascaras, at all price points, and I’m ready to share my favourites with you!

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara $4.99

The conic shape fiber brush provides lashes with dramatic volume and sculpted length. Opthalmologically tested. Not tested on animals.

Essence What The Fake! Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara $4.99

Enriched with nylon fibers for lashes looking incredibly thicker and longer, giving your lashes that false lash look. The nylon fibers in the formula absorb some of the liquid, making this a thicker formula, great for layering and building up volume.

Essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes! Mascara $4.99

For clean volume and defined lashes – The Bye Bye Panda Eyes! Mascara by Essence is made to last all day without smudging or clumping with their tubular formula. Plus, it’s easy to remove with just warm water.

Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara $4.99

The deep-black, creamy texture covers each individual lash with color and the extra-large plastic brush provides sensational volume. Opthalmologically tested.

Essence The False Lashes Mascara Dramatic Volume Unlimited $4.99

The deep black texture and unique shape of the Essence The False Lashes Mascara Dramatic Volume Unlimited fiber brush ensures dramatic volume and a gorgeous false lash effect. Not tested on animals.

Essence Volume Stylist 18hr Lash Extension Mascara $4.99

The special braided design of the cap has never been seen before. Enriched with lengthening fibers, this styling mascara provides an 18hr longlasting volume effect and ensures fully extended lashes. The fiber releasing brush has the perfect shape to reach even the smallest lashes!

Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara $6.99

Get a blast of lush, volumized lashes! LashBlast’s patented volume-boosting formula and patent-pending brush are designed to max-out each and every lash, leaving you with the ultimate big lash look. Instant volume and fullness. Smudge and wear-proof. Hypoallergenic and suitable for contact lens wearers. “Cruelty Free”.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Volume On Demand Mascara $7.99

Lash-conditioning formula delivers a smooth, clump-free finish every time. Unique brush contains wavy fibre technology, catching, loading and separating every single lash. Sweep through hard-to-reach lashes with the tapered brush shape. Layer it up for bigger, bolder volume anytime with zero clumps. Available in two shades: bold black or natural-looking brown.

Covergirl Exhibitionist Mascara $8.39

With COVERGIRL’s Exhibitionist volumizing mascara, lashes are full and defined after only one coat. Our volumizing mascara formula glides smoothly onto lashes. Get soft lashes with no flaking or smudging. “Cruelty Free”

L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara $8.99

L’Oreal’s Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara has a unique formula of panthenol and ceramide-R that builds and thickens voluptuous lashes while conditioning them, so they remain supple and healthy. An exceptionally plush brush is designed to glide on just the right amount of mascara without clumping or flaking. Non-irritating, fragrance-free formula is safe for sensitive eyes and contact wearers.

Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift Mascara $10.49

Get an instant lash lift effect from a mascara. Falsies Lash Lift from Maybelline NY delivers dramatic volume and long, lifted lashes. The double curved lifting brush and fiber-infused formula grabs lashes at the root to lift, thicken, and lengthen. No clumps, smears, or flakes, just volume that lasts all day.

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara $10.49

Build on bold volume to create irresistibly soft, separated, and fluffy lashes coat after coat. Maybelline’s Total Temptation Mascara features a creamy and whipped formula enriched with coconut extract.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara $10.99

This mascara unfolds layer upon layer of lashes for a new full-fan effect.

NYX On The Rise Volume Liftscara $11

Delivering quick-charge lift and volume in just a few strokes. Featuring an innovative applicator that¿s part rounded, part hourglass to lift you lashes up to new heights! The “curling” effect results in a far-reaching fringe so that eyes look bigger and lashes look thicker.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara $14.77

This is the mascara for voluptuous volume and length, now with even more black pigment. Soft wavy bristle brush holds maximum formula for a dramatic volumizing charge.

MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara $20

The breakthrough lightweight waterproof formula creates beautiful defined lashes with a petite brush. This long-wearing mascara lasts up to 16 hours, yet the washable formula removes easily with warm water thanks to an innovative thermal-sensitive technology. The unique slim-type brush reaches and grips even the tiniest hairs with an advanced lifting formula in a saturated blackest black colour. This extreme defining composition enhances length, resulting in gorgeously distinguished, out-to-there lashes.

Glossier Lash Slick Mascara $20

Curls and sculpts as it lengthens, creating a natural “baby extension” effect without clumping. Teeny-tiny fibers coat lashes from root to tip, while flexible film-forming polymers lift and lock each fiber into place.

Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara $24

A do-it-all mascara that is designed to expose every lash, featuring an exclusive flat-to-fat brush that instantly volumizes, lifts, lengthens, and curls.

MILK Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara $24

A high-volume mascara formulated with heart-shaped fibers, conditioning hemp-derived cannabis seed oil, and pure pigments for an intense black finish.

NARS Climax Mascara $24

With its buildable formula and stellar brush, NARS’s Climax Mascara surrounds every lash with a lightweight coating that stays supple and soft to the touch – avoiding that unwanted “crispy” feel.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara $25

An intensely black voluptuous volume mascara for the sexiest, defined, multidimensional lashes possible. 

Benefit Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara $25

A mascara inspired by hair rollers, this super-curling and lifting mascara gives a sexy, wide-eyed look. Its patent-pending Hook ‘n’ Roll™ brush features tiny custom-designed hooks to catch, lift, and curl even short and straight lashes. 

Benefit They’re Real Mascara $25

A lengthening mascara that curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes for an “out-of-here” look.

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara $25

A long-lasting, voluminous mascara with a black-boosting polymer in its pigment for 12 times more volume and up to 24 hours of wear.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara $27

An ultra-volumizing mascara that delivers instant dimension for epic lashes.  

Marc Jacobs Beauty At Lash’d Lengthening And Curling Mascara $27

A long-wear, lengthening, and curling mascara for a highly defined, full-extension lash look. 

Hourglass Caution™ Extreme Lash Mascara $29

An all-in-one mascara that delivers a look of endless length, intense volume, and sky-high lift for extreme, dramatic lashes.

Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara $29

You can expect the longest lashes going with this new Hourglass formula. The brush easily gets through every lash, creating a defined, fanned-out appearance that stays put; it’s also a tubing mascara which means it comes off easily with water – no scrubbing needed.

Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Volumizing Mascara $30

A gravity-defying mascara that delivers instant volume, multidimensional length, and weightless lift in a single stroke.

What are your favourite mascaras? Let me know in the comments below!

She’s Got It On

Model: Dominique Kachkan 

Products:
Maybelline New York Fit Me foundation
– Too Faced Cosmetics Chocolate Soleil bronzer
– Tarte Cosmetics Paarty blush
– COVERGIRL highlighter palette
– Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure eyeshadow palette
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Taupe
Maybelline New York lipstick in Beige Babe with NYX Professional Makeup butter gloss in Fortune Cookie.

(Disclaimer: I do have Dominique’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)