The Best Foundations for Dry Skin

Find hydration and coverage in these glow-inducing new launches.




When you’ve got dry skin, finding a foundation to deliver that coveted glow can be tricky. Many traditional formulas tend to cake or crack on drier skin types, settling into lines or exaggerating pores.


“For dry skin, a good moisturising foundation is a must,” says Jamie CoombesDior UK pro make-up artist. “I think most foundation wearers now prefer a ‘skin on skin’ effect with natural radiance or a glow,” he says, adding that “an overly matt complexion can make the structure of the face flat and lifeless.”


Your application method can make or break your base, too. “Preparing with a good skincare routine targeted to your skin’s needs is really key. This leads to a more balanced, comfortable and long-wearing foundation finish,” says Coombes. It’s also crucial to consider the texture of the products you apply pre-foundation.


While that rich facial oil might feel heavenly on eternally dry skin, it might not be the best thing to call on before a full make-up application. “Remember that oil is not hydrating, and it will break down foundation, causing it to oxidise as the day goes on,” says Coombes. Instead, he recommends prepping with a good hydrating primer, such as Dior Forever Skin Veil SPF20. “Use a foundation blender and lightly pat and press over the complexion – don’t rub – then lightly buff over the entire complexion using Dior No 18 Backstage Face Brush.”

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Thankfully, there are plenty of brilliant new formulas hitting the shelves this season that promise to hydrate as well as they cover, truly delivering the best of both worlds. The best new foundations for dry skin boast ingredients borrowed from the skincare industry, calling on the likes of hyaluronic acid and squalane to boost moisture levels while imparting dewy coverage. There’s also the buzzy new school of water-weight tints and pigmented moisturisers to consider. If you’re prioritising hydration and glow over heavy-duty coverage, consider Ciate’s glossy skin luminiser, or It Cosmetics’ raved-about CC cream.


Here, see the very best foundations for dry skin, in varying levels of coverage – and a true spectrum of shades.


Forever Skin Glow Foundation

Dior Makeup 


This is the lightest option in Dior’s stellar skincare-inspired Forever foundation line, and the one most suitable for dry skin. The coverage is low yet buildable, and never looks flat or cakey. According to Coombes, it contains “caring wild pansy extract to hydrate and lock in moisture for 24 hours. It also has the added benefit of rose extracts to calm and soothe, which is perfect for drier skin as it tends to be more sensitive to the elements.”

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Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Glow

Givenchy Beauty


Givenchy’s outstanding new foundation combines a host of emollients alongside gently unifying pigment. With skin adequately hydrated, the result is a lightweight, translucent veil of colour that truly reflects the light. It’s low in coverage, and high in radiance.




Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

IT Cosmetics


This one is billed as a CC cream, but the high coverage it delivers puts it firmly into the foundation category. In fact, it’s quite the overachiever, delivering hydration, skin-blurring colour, and broad-spectrum SPF 50. Consider it your one-and-done multitasker for busy mornings.





Vital Skin Foundation Stick

Westman Atelier

Approximately RM 365

Gucci Westman’s luxurious offering contains plant-derived antioxidants to protect the skin while you’re wearing it. It’s also packed with vegetable-derived squalane: a skin-identical compound with excellent moisturising properties. Simply swipe the stick over areas of redness or uneven skin tone, then blend with a fluffy brush or simply your fingers.

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Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation

Laura Mercier


A classic foundation for dry skin, this one provides hefty coverage without settling into pores or fine lines. It also contains antioxidant vitamin C to ward off damaging pollution particles.




Everlasting Youth Fluid Foundation



This one delivers hydration you can feel, alongside long-lasting satin-like coverage. It’s radiant without veering into dewy territory, so perfect if you like to apply powder bronzers or blush on top.




True Match Liquid Foundation with SPF and Hyaluronic Acid

L’Oréal Paris


With hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and glycerin inside, this one boasts better moisturising properties than most. The coverage is moderate, and it excels in the longevity stakes, looking as flawless at 5pm as it did at dawn.




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