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

Halsey Has Entered The Beauty Chat

Halsey is joining Rihanna, Selena Gomez, and Millie Bobbie Brown with the curation and launch of her very own beauty brand, About-Face. The award-winning artist has been hinting about her latest project for months through mysterious posts on social media. Now, all has finally been revealed.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #38 series on my blog.

About-Face launched with three distinct franchises: Light Lock, Matte, and Shadowstick. The Light Lock assortment includes face highlighters with ultimate shine in stick, powder, fluid, and lip gloss form. The Matte range includes velvety finishes with products like the Paint-It Matte Lip Colors, Matte Fix Lip Pencils, and Fluid Eye Paint. Lastly, Shadowsticks are precise cream shadow crayons in soft pastel colors. The launch includes ten different products in an array of colors across each category. All About-Face products are vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without gluten, phthalates, parabens, or synthetic fragrances. 

Keeping to her vision of self-love, identity, and reflection, about-face is a creation of Ashley Frangipane (Halsey’s birth name), with the brand’s initials being a reflection of her own. The beauty brand focuses on a collection that is “For everyone, for everywhere, for every way with a dedication to products that are as edgy and non-conforming as the voice behind it,” according to the press release.

Serving as founder and Chief Creative Officer, Halsey has had her hands in every step of the curation and launch, even stating on Twitter that she did the makeup and photos for all the models during the campaign. So far, the campaign has featured people of various backgrounds and identities, emphasizing the theme of multi-dimensional makeup for everyone.

About-Face officially launched on January 25, 2021, on aboutface.com. The line includes affordable items that range from $14 to $32. 

FACE

About-Face wants you to embrace your inner light with their face products that feature shimmery colors and pigments that will leave you “Straight Beaming!” Featuring products like the Matte Fix Spray ($28), the Light Lock Highlighting Fluid ($32), the Light Lock Powder ($30), and the Light Lock Stock ($25). Each Light Lock product includes at least three varying shades from light sheer to a deeper bronze.

Light Lock Powder

A crazy smooth highlighter powder that transforms for a glass-like finish. 

Buy for $30

Highlight Fluid

A molten, crystalline highlighting fluid.

Buy for $32

Light Lock Stick

A multi-dimensional highlighter with powerful metallic effects.  

Buy for $25

Matte Fix Spray

An invisible spray that primes skin and keeps your face in place.

Buy for $28

Blend Tool

A velvety, soft-touch sponge engineered to gently blend primer or makeup evenly on the skin.

Buy for $14

LIPS

Often one to rock a bold look, Halsey curated lip products with bold shade ranges that highlight a deep wine red, a matte burnt beige, a light pale pink, and more. Featuring products like the Light Lock Lip Gloss ($20), the Paint-it Matte Lip Color ($22), and the Matte Fix Lip Pencil ($17). 

Paint-It Matte Lip Color

A flexible, matte liquid formula infused with natural peppermint with a powerful pigment load. 

Buy for $22

Light Lock Lip Gloss

A buttery, glossy lip-oil infused with natural peppermint & lavender that serves all the sheen and none of the stick.

Buy for $20

Matte Fix Lip Pencil

A glide-on matte liner that defines lip border for 7+ hours.  

Buy for $17

EYES

Currently, About-Face offers two eye products that provide a bold matte finish, a saturated matte look, or a pearlescent shimmer—featuring products like the Matte Fluid Eye Paint ($24) and the Shadowstick ($21). The smooth, buildable Matte Fluid Eye Paint pigment comes in six shades described as a “one-swipe color” that is smudge and budge-proof. The Shadowstick contains both matte and shimmery shades that can be used as eyeliner, eyeshadow, or truly whatever you choose.

Shadowstick

An insanely pigmented, one-stroke eye crème with a built in sharpener.

Buy for $21

Matte Fluid Eye Paint

A powerful, one-swipe punch of color that delivers bold and buildable pigment.  

Buy for $24

SHOP ABOUTFACE.COM

ELLE article

The Best Setting Powders that are actually worth your money

Unlike a good blush or incredible lipstick, the best setting powder isn’t made to be a look—which is why it’s an easy step to skip when you’re pressed for time or money. It’s got a bad reputation of making your face look dry and cakey, which certainly doesn’t help either.

So let’s reframe it for you: Think of setting powder as a tool (and a highly underrated one at that) that can vastly extend the life of your makeup, like the way a topcoat does for your manicure. A few dabs can lock your makeup in place, keep shine to a minimum, and soak up sweat and oil—qualities that are undeniably useful when the weather’s hellishly humid or wet. It can be just as reliable during the winter too. The latest formulations include hydrating and brightening ingredients like vitamins C and E to give your skin a smooth Instagram-filtered finish, instead of one that’s rough and wind-chapped.

From Cover FX’s talc-free formula—perfect for those with sensitive skin—to Ilia’s natural loose powder, here Glamour editors tested the top tinted and translucent options in order to share which stood above the rest.

Best Setting Powder Overall: Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder

Talk to any makeup artist, and you’ll likely find this setting powder in their kit. That’s because one fine layer of this silky, hydrating formula rivals Instagram’s Subtle filter (you know, the one every influencer uses). The secret? The formula is infused with light-refracting diamond powder, which gives your skin a glisteny (but not sparkly) blurred finish. I’ve seen artists use it on a range of skin tones and never has it left a white cast. Skeptical? Read all its five-star reviews. This powder is a winner. —Lindsay Schallon, senior beauty editor 

Buy at Sephora $60

Best Drugstore Setting Powder: Maybelline Fit Me! Loose Finishing Powder

I’ve got super oily—but dehydrated—skin, so I’m constantly dealing with a complexion that somehow looks greasy and dry at the same time. This is the only drugstore powder that manages to put both issues to rest. I’ve found the trick is to press it in with a makeup puff (instead of swirling it on with a brush), which leaves behind a blurred, your-skin-but-better finish that looks flawless both in real life and photos. —L.S.

Buy on Amazon $11

Best Luxury Setting Powder: La Mer The Powder

I love a flawless no-makeup makeup look, and stan by any and all products that help me get a little closer to that. The translucent color works well on my fair skin, and since I don’t use foundation, I’ve been applying it over my concealer for a little extra sparkle. It sure is pricey, but if luxe beauty is your vice, then it’s totally worth it. —Talia Abbas, commerce writer

Buy at Sephora $125

Best Translucent Setting Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

I’ve tried a lot of loose powders before, and they all either make my skin look blotchy, or go on white and make me look like a ghost. This does neither! It applies flawlessly and keeps my oily pores at bay, but not to the point that my skin produces more oil. Also, Jackie Aina loves it. In my opinion, there is no better endorsement than that. —Khaliha Hawkins, producer

Buy at Sephora $51

Best Loose Setting Powder: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Setting Powder

I’ve used setting powder only a handful of times before, since it always seemed like an extra step I could easily do without. However, the Fenty Pro Filt’r Setting Powder went above and beyond. True to form, the brand came through with a wide range of skin tones to choose from (eight is a lot for this kind of product—some brands offer just two), so it blended well with my medium-tan skin and yellow undertone. Rihanna knows a thing or two about being camera ready, and it’s obvious with this product, because the pore-blurring, mattifying effect would be worthy of digital camera days of the early aughts, or even the brightest of Lumee Lights—Erin Parker, commerce writer

Buy at Sephora $42

Best Pressed Setting Powder: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder

For someone who just started dabbling with setting powders, I really enjoyed this one from Neutrogena. The shade range isn’t as robust as some other brands’, but it’s still a great starter product since the pressed powder makes it easy to control the amount you apply—especially for smaller coverage areas like under your eyes. Plus, for someone who has dry skin, it’s formulated with hydrating and brightening antioxidants like vitamin B5 and vitamins C and E. —T.A.

Buy at Target $10

Best Setting Powder for Dry Skin: Tarte Shape Tape Setting Powder

My skin is Mojave Desert–dry, so setting powders aren’t something I typically gravitate toward (I’m more of a desperate-for-dewy kind of person), but Tarte’s Shape Tape Setting Powder has officially changed my makeup routine. It blurs any blemishes and sets my makeup without gathering in the cracks in my (and I can’t stress this enough) dry skin. Plus the little powder puff that it comes with is so soft and plush it’s worth the price of admission alone. —Shanna Shipin, commerce editor

Best Setting Powder for Acne-Prone Skin: Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

I have combination skin, so it’s tricky to find a powder that can mattify any shine I may be dealing with without it clinging to dry patches. Most mattifying powders are way too cakey, and more luminous ones make me look too slick. Then I came across this Nars powder. It’s hefty enough to soak up any lurking oil, yet so finely milled that it takes a lot to overdo it and look powdery. Although it’s described as light-reflecting, there’s no visible shimmer—it just has a natural finish that makes my skin look airbrushed, which is always the goal. —Isabella Cacciatore, beauty associate

Buy at Sephora $49

Best Setting Powder for Oily Skin: Marc Jacobs Beauty Finish-Line Perfecting Coconut Setting Powder

This is the powder to grab in summer, when the heat is at its most unbearable, or before/after a workout. It’s so lightweight—and, real talk, so good at soaking up your sweat—that you’ll forget you’re even wearing makeup. —Anna Moeslein, senior editor

Buy at Sephora $59

Best Setting Powder for Sensitive Skin: Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder

I swear by the Cover Fx Power Play foundation and concealer, so trying the powder was a no-brainer. Unlike the foundation and concealer, the powder doesn’t have a large range of shades, so choosing between the light and dark was very time consuming. The Translucent light shade was perfect and didn’t leave a white cast on my face. It blended in well and didn’t let the oils in my skin shine through. —K.H.

Best Vegan Setting Powder: Ilia Soft Focus Finishing Powder

We all want a loose powder that will survive the humidity of the New York City subway system, right? Well, how about a powder that can combat sweat at the NYC Pride Parade? Yes, I’m serious. After testing this, I’ve concluded that either my skin is magic or this product is (and I’m pretty sure it’s the latter). Lightweight and cute, it’s dependable for any occasion. —E.P.

Buy at Sephora $45

Best Setting Powder for Combination Skin: Milk Makeup Blur + Set Matte Loose Setting Powder

This setting powder is seriously a dream. Not only does it eliminate oil and shine, but the lightweight formula keeps my makeup looking fresh all day. It lies perfectly over my concealer and doesn’t make my skin look dry or chalky. —E.P.

Buy at Sephora $38

Best Lightweight Setting Powder: Lawless Seal The Deal Loose Setting Powder

I’ve gone through a lot of loose powders over the years, some good, some bad. When I learned that Lawless Beauty was launching one with no talc, I knew I had to try it out. I’ve been using this for a couple weeks, and my skin is noticeably different. The best thing is that as soon as I started to use it, all my breakouts disappeared. I use the Brightening Translucent shade to set and bake my foundation, then dust on the Golden Translucent to contour. I really don’t think I’ll ever use another powder. Lawless uses mica, which is not only healthier than talc, but is the secret to making this powder so lightweight that it doesn’t cake onto your skin. —Azadeh Valanejad, contributor

Buy at Sephora $48

Best Antiaging Setting Powder: Onomie AHA Perfecting Setting Powder

I’ve fallen in love, and the object of my affection is this powder. The featherlight formula goes onto my skin seamlessly, leaves me looking fresh and rejuvenated, and doesn’t look even remotely mask-like. What’s more: It left my face feeling baby smooth. That’s probably thanks to all of its good-for-you ingredients, like skin-softening lactic acid and collagen-boosting peptides. Oh, and let’s not forget its inclusion of vitamin C, which helps block free radicals. Into it. —Jennifer Lance, weekend writer

Buy on their website $30

GLAMOUR article

The 8 Best Setting Sprays to Keep Your Makeup from Melting Off

We’ve all been there: You put extra time and care into flawlessly blending and buffing your foundation, meticulously lining your lash line with kohl eyeliner, and painting on your favorite lipstick. Then, maybe the heat or nerves has caused beads of sweat to drip down your forehead and above your upper lip. Before you know it, your makeup is smudged and runny, and there’s no opportunity for you to do some quick damage control.

Luckily, there’s an extremely easy way to avoid messing up your makeup. Enter makeup setting sprays. These ultra-fine mists lock your look in place without feeling like you have an extra layer of product on your face.

That being said, there’s a ton of makeup setting sprays out there, and each come with their own set of benefits to suit various skin types and makeup styles.

Best Overall: Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray

The MVP of setting sprays, this Urban Decay product remains a cult-favorite because it’s safe for all skin types. Although, oily skin will love that it’s infused with kaolin clay for excess oil and shine control. The microfine mist is lightweight and holds makeup in place for up to 16 hours.

Buy at Sephora $33

Best SPF: Milani Cosmetics Make It Last Sunscreen Spray SPF 30

Yes, no one wants their makeup to melt off their face, but protecting your skin against sun damage is more important than a flawless face of foundation. Luckily, Milani has combined makeup setting spray and SPF 30 into a single product. This micro mist locks makeup in place for up to 16 hours, hydrates, and shields skin from UVA/UVB rays.

Buy on their website $23

Best for Dewy Skin: Tatcha Luminous Dewy Mist

This mist is a must-have for anyone (OK all of us) who are after that elusive lit-from-within glow. Made with humectants and botanicals oils, use the hydrating formula as a primer before applying makeup or refresh your skin throughout the day to keep your makeup from getting dry and cakey.

Buy at Sephora $48

Best Matte: NYX

If you have oily skin, you’re familiar with melty, runny makeup. This best-selling NYX spray sets makeup while mattifying skin, combating shine, and minimizing the appearance of pores. No wonder it’s the number one setting spray in America, according to Neilson data.

Buy at ULTA $9

Best for Long-Wear: L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Make-Up Extender

There are a ton of setting sprays at the drugstore, but not all are created equal. L’Oréal’s spray is a standout because the lightweight mist keeps makeup looking freshly applied for hours on end. Bonus: The formula is non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested, so rest assured it won’t clog pores and lead to breakouts or cause irritation.

Buy at Target $14

Best Primer: MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Primer & Setting Spray

This two-in-one product primes skin for smooth, even makeup application and keeps it fresh all day long. Packed with green tea, chamomile, and cucumber, the spray also soothes and calms redness, making it a great option for sensitive skin, too.

Buy at Nordstrom $29

Best Waterproof: Hourglass Veil Setting Spray

It might seem counterintuitive, but spritzing this setting spray on your face after you’ve finished applying your makeup will make your look waterproof for up to 24 hours. The water-resistant formula also gives skin a smooth finish and blurs imperfections.

Buy at Sephora $48

Best for Touchups: Fenty Beauty What it Dew Makeup Refreshing Spray

OK, this might technically be a face mist, but it was created with the sole purpose of reviving and refreshing makeup throughout the day. Better yet, you can spritz it on your face before reaching for your makeup to create a hydrated, dewy base for your  foundation and concealer.

Buy at Sephora $30

INSTYLE article

Born In the 90s

MAC Cosmetics products:

– Studio Fix Fluid SPF15 in NC15
– Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NC15
– Double Gleam Extradimension Skinfinish Highlighter
– Melba Powder Blush
– Bronze Bronzing Powder
– Brushblack Brushstroke 24-Hour Liner
– matte single eyeshadows
– Whirl Lip Pencil
– Del Rio Satin Lipstick