Best Full Coverage Foundation

What's the Best Full Coverage Foundation that you've tried?

I have normal-to-dry skin, light-medium skin tone, warm undertones. Technically, Tarte Rainforest of the Sea is full coverage, which it can be, but it isn’t crazy, intense pigmentation in one tiny drop. That would be my favorite, but after that, I would argue Estee Lauder Double Wear Light (always a classic). I also liked Tarte’s Double Duty Hybrid Gel Foundation, but it doesn’t have a great shade match for me.

— Christine

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Here are a few of my favorites. I am always looking out for others to try and I look for foundation with these qualities:

Matte coverage but not mask like.
Don’t need undereye concealer.
Sets and lasts all day.

Marc Jacobs Re(Marc)able Full Cover Concentrate. So pigmented and goes on smoothly with just a few drops.

Kat Von D Lock-It. A little more cakey if you’re not careful to blend.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover. The tube is great for travel bag.

Too Faced Born This Way. Finish is a little bit more sheer and dewy (before powder). Doesn’t last ALL day, but sometimes, that is perfectly fine.

That Doublewear maximum coverage is something else! I tried it for the first time this month. It only took a drop and I had to work to sheer it out with damp beauty blender. It is a great foundation, although I can’t see myself using it very often because I don’t need that kind of coverage. But if you need a foundation to carry you through a night of merry-making, this would be the one!

Marc Jacobs Re(Marc)able Full Cover Concentrate and KA SSE. I actually hate using full coverage cause it means I have to fully commit to a full on contour, highlight, and blush routine to not look so blank!

I have combo dry skin, light-medium skin tone with cool undertones (NW20).

My favourites are Estee Lauder Double Wear and MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation – which also earns the prize for the longest name lol.
I recently started using Too Faced Born This Way and I’m impressed, but I need to use it more to know if it’s a true winner for me or not.

Drugstore full coverage fave: Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

I rarely wear full coverage, but sometimes I need it for acne breakouts. I detest any that feel like heavy masks. My current favorite is Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation. It has excellent coverage, a beautiful finish, has a color match for my very fair skin, and doesn’t oxidize on me.

I guess I should have said my skin tone/type. I’m very fair wit neutral undertones. Oily most of the time, occasionally combo with an oily T-zone. Issues: Aging skin, hormonal acne & cystic acne breakouts, sensitive skin.

So far, MAC Pro Longwear or Tarte Amazonian Clay. I do love the finish of the Amazonian Clay a bit more, plus the shade I use, Medium Honey, looks more natural on me, but Pro Longwear does actually wear all day without any separating or breaking down noticeably on me.

Get a glass of wine or a cuppa tea cuz this is gonna take some time!

I have been on the hunt for a foundation. Full coverage is my goal. I was happy with Armani’s Luminous Silk until the second bottle. What the heck happened?! It just broke apart on my face, faded away. Terrible foundation on me. So now I was on a quest.

As I try to be a responsible return-er, I did my testing through samples. Parameters were:
* Four days of each foundation
* Each applied the same way, same primer, concealer, etc.
* If shades were close, multiple samples of each were requested, some were mixed if needed

I tried the following:
Kat Von D Lock-It
Koh Gen Do Aqua
Estee Lauder Double Wear
Nars Luminous Weightless
Chanel Le Teint Ultra Tenue — Ultrawear Flawless
Chanel Vita Lumierie Velvet
Geurlain Lingerie de Peau
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea
Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able Foundation
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra

The fun project took me weeks. It involved making the sales people in Sephora thinking I’m probably nuts, making my husband weigh in (he was no help lol), and 10,000 selfies. Most of the time I could tell by noon-ish if the foundation would work.

The big reveal with drumroll…..Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place.

Whoa, I did not see coming. I have not used an Estee product in 25 years….or maybe ever?

My first thought was, “I have become my mother.” 🙂 Seriously though, this is a wonderful foundation on me. I absolutely love it going on two weeks in now. It lasts, it’s refining — everything I was looking for. A very close runner up was the Geurlain Lingerie de Peau. That’s a nice one, but the Estee had it all going on.

It was a little crazy, but I didn’t want to end up frustrated with product I didn’t like and wouldn’t use.


EL makes a lot of great products. I discovered very recently what is now my HG concealer, and I couldn’t believe it. (Nordstrom online recommended it and I thought I’d give it a go.) The funny part for me is that I thought EL was for older ladies back in the days when I wasn’t an older lady! I think it’s a marketing issue — not a product issue. The Estee Edit line may exacerbate the misperception.

Agreed. The Edit may do just that. However, a couple of young sales assoc in Sephora did say “you’d be surprised” how many people of all ages who Use use EL. I found that interesting.

In any case, I have discovered a line that seems quite high quality down the line. I too bought their concealer — love it. Color me shocked at how I ignored this line for so long and just wrote it off as matronly. Wrong. 🙂

In the summer, I got for full coverage/matte finish because of my oily/sweaty face, and in the winter I go for more sheer foundations.

I have oily, acne prone, dehydrated (from my cystic acne medication) skin!! Currently my skin is SUPER clear!! Iv faded my acne scars/dark marks, and I have no cystic bumps :D.

But, in the summer, for long days, or for when I’m working, I reach for Estee Lauder Double Wear!!! I wear the shade 3n1, which is way too dark for me in say, January. But in July it’s perfect for my tan skin!!

I will say, it doesn’t cover EVERYTHING. I still will need under eye concealer, and a swipe of concealer on both cheeks. BUT. That’s perfectly okay for me!! I don’t mind, because it LASTS.

Marc Jacobs Full Cover concentrate, too.
And I have finally found a way to use it without looking unnatural. I needed some Time to find out but it is definitely worth to try out.
I also mix one or two Drops into other foundations to make them Full coverage.

Oh Kylie5, so glad to hear the MJ Foundation is finally working for you, since you said it was a great shade match. It’s definitely a tricky foundation to work with, but I like it too. How did you get it to work?

I have a lot of Different foundations and mix 2 Drops of the Marc Jacobs with it.
It works really good with the matte Foundation from becca which I really like but is a Little bit too Dark and yellow.
I also add some white Foundation from manic Panic to every Foundation.
I use my Fingers to apply and a beautyblender (dry) to Even out. You have to work fast with the Marc Jacobs Foundation because it dries really fast Even When it is Mixed with other foundations. So I use my Fingers because I am not so fast with a brush.

Definitely Dior Airflash (sprayed onto flat top buffing foundation brush and buffed onto skin) and also Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation. Christine you’ve tried the Amazonian clay right? Did you not love it?

Hi Bonnie: Airflash is a product I’ve been meaning to try for years. Is is truly a full cover foundation or is it a medium buildable and you create full cover using your specific brush method?

it is medium buildable. if u have oily skin it will not hold up more than 5 hours, after which you need to blot but the finish is GORGEOUS.
They must put skin crack in it :)) or angel tears…

My experience with full coverage foundations is limited by lack of matches for my pale, yellow undertoned skin and also by the fact that I don’t like a face full of foundation. That being said, Laura Mercier’s now discontinued Silk Crème foundation was spectacular. Extremely pigmented and blended like a dream. I used less than a pea sized amount for entire face. It didn’t cover my really bad allergy induced dark circles or bits of melisma but I never expected it to.
My next fave is Estee Lauder Double Wear. I don’t think it is as full coverage as LM’s but wow does it wear! I got a sample in 1W1 from Macy’s and was so impressed how it wore and wore. Doesn’t cover my circles or melisma but I do love it.

A perfect full coverage foundation is very hard to find – I know – I have tried lots of HE and DS brands.
First – you have to find a shade match (not easy if you have pink undertones) and then one that doesn’t end up making your face turn into a a thick mask.
Matte foundations are really difficult to use when you have ‘mature’ skin as they can settle into your fine lines.
Recently I have used the Covergirl range (a range that I had never tried before and it was recommended to me by a MUA at a budge beauty shop). I am using the Covergirl Tru Blend in its lightest shade and I have the Covergirl Outlast 24 Hour Foundation – both of which are pretty good at giving full coverage that lasts all day.
The Estee Lauder Double wear just did not suit me at all.

I actually prefer sheer coverage foundation, but having VERY oily skin, I always on the market for long wearing foundation with great oil control. As you know, these types of foundation usually comes with full coverage.
I love Estée Lauder Double Wear, but I’ve red it somewhere that their “Maximum Cover” version has better staying power and better oil control. Sold!
Yes, it has crazy coverage, even more than their regular Double Wear as the name implies! It holds up pretty well although I wouldn’t say it has better wear time than their regular one.

Another recent discovery is Rodial Airbrush Make-up. It’s pretty much on a par with Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer sans the mineral oil! Kevyn Aucoin SSE was too oily and it broke me out, I don’t have any problem with Rodial (be advised, it still has Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride if you’re sensitive to that).
My only complain is their color selection. Come on, 4 shades is not enough! Shade 03 is too light for my tan (NC42) skin and the next shade (04) is way too dark. It’s like from NC35 to NW45/50, that’s a huge gap! Why some makeup companies don’t understand that not all WOC has the same skin tone, shade 04 can’t be so universal for us!
It costs $45 each and I’m not too happy for buying two shades, spending $90 for foundation is crazy! Although… it may lasts forever (or until the expiration date :D).

The Western market should really have more access to Asian brands especially Japanese make-up. You wouldn’t believe the coverage of two brands that are such a hit in the Asian market – Naturactor and Octard. Such full coverage foundations that I use them as concealer instead. Not pricey at all! These are the secret beauty products of actresses here in Manila. With the all-year-round humidity + lights from cameras, Estee Lauder Double Wear just can’t compete!

I’m not very fond of full-coverage foundations. I found them too heavy and mask-like. The only one that I love is Catrice Photo Finish Foundation (it’s sooo good) but it’s sadly discontinued. Fortunately, I stocked backups and I have two bottles waiting for me to use them. I’ll read the coments for future recomendations.

I do not have a favourite in a full cover formula. Hasty generalities: I do not like the feel. I do not like the way they wear off. I do not like the mask like effect which is inevitable with a heavily pigmented product. Skin is far more nuanced than the undertones of a single foundation so I liken full coverage foundation to opaque stain on wood; you lose all the character and nuances of what is beautiful underneath.

I can wear Tarte Amazonian clay and Frankie Rose Matte Perfection, but neither of these will ever be a regular use or favourite..just cuz.

Low End Brands.

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation
L’oreal Infallible Stay Fresh.
Yves Rocher Youthful Glow Foundation.

High End.
LM Silk Creme
LM Flawless Finish Fluide
Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin.

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