Rant & Rave: Dewy Foundation

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Dewy Foundation

I prefer to set my foundation, so I tend to prefer a more natural finish as opposed to full-on matte (or else it gets too matte!). I like a little dewiness so that skin can look like skin but not to the point where I’m shiny everywhere!

— Christine


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Kelly Avatar

Dewy foundation is my FAVORITE! I have drier skin and I just turned 32 so any radiance is necessary for me.

The thing I don’t like is that it tends to fade pretty fast… even with setting spray and primer I don’t feel I get a full workday out of it,

Nancy T Avatar

For me personally, it’s a balancing act akin to a tightrope walk! I’m 60 y.o., however, I still have combination skin with a propensity for getting quite oily in the T-zone, also breakout prone. All of these factors are things I must keep firmly in mind when choosing a foundation formula. I prefer instead to add a luminizer to a long-wearing foundation like either Lancome Teint Idole 24H Foundation or MAC Studio Fix (or in dry conditions, Studio Sculpt). This allows me to adjust how much “glow” there will be on a given day accordingly, depending on weather/humidity levels and the condition of my skin.

Ana Maria Avatar

I don’t mind dewy finishes as I always powder as well, but I do like more matte and semi-matte finishes. It’s closer to what my combination skin naturally looks (it doesn’t have any dewiness, maybe oiliness sometimes 😆 ). And also, I’m not into glowing / dewy make-up (I rarely even use highlighter); even if I want some dewiness, I find that for me it works better if I use a dewy primer (but not shimmery) under a matte foundation.

Lauren Avatar

I much prefer dewy to matte. Matte, even demi-matte, makes my skin look really dry and depending on how matte it can get real cakey real quick. However, there are different levels of dewy and I prefer natural/neutral like finishes overt glassy highly dewy finishes as too dewy = greasy mess on my skin. I’m normal skin for most of the year with my chin and forehead sometimes getting oily in the summer (way more so with too dewy of a foundation) and in the winter only my upper forehead/hairline and cheeks get dryer so I tend to change either my foundation or setting powder routine depending on the season. A natural slightly dewy leaning finish just works well for me in most cases. I also like to set my makeup with at least a light dusting of powder… I just like how that looks and keeps my makeup where it is supposed to stay (my face).

xamyx Avatar

I have drier skin, but some noticeable pores, so a dewy foundation is typically my best option. I personally find matte foundation to “pool” in my pores, any moisture just gets sucked into my skin, and the combination of the two just makes my skin look more splotchy & textured. I don’t always want or need full-coverage, but on days I do, I just add a bit of oil, or use an oil primer.

Odielle Avatar

I really love dewy skin on certain areas on my skin. Recently I am obsessed with the L’Oreal infallible fresh wear foundation mixed with Charlotte Tilbury flawless filter.
Yesterday I have ordered a Hourglass powder in Luminous, just to see how dewy I can get even more (:

Deborah S. Avatar

I much prefer a dewy foundation but must admit that I haven’t found one that lives up to it claims. I have pretty dry skin and anything matte is cakey the minute I apply it so I try never to go there. I have yet to find a dewy foundation that really looks dewy and remains dewy for any length of time. It is a difficult line to follow as at 65 I have wrinkles, large pores, hyperpigmentation and a host of other issues so getting the base right is crucial. Some days I capture it better than others but would really like to find a dewy foundation that would work for me. I use a drop or two of face oil in my foundation before applying and that helps in terms of application but it doesn’t give me the glow I want. Highlighter that doesn’t mess with my base it great for certain areas but it really doesn’t look good to use highlighter all over your face! I think that this is why I continue to try foundations even though I have a couple that I really like. I am looking for that perfect one that handles all my skin issues and remains dewy for longer than an hour.

Phoebe Avatar

I love how dewy foundation looks on my skin. I have very dry skin, so I need a dewy foundation to balance it out. With a foundation even just a little less than dewy, I end up looking matte. Also, a high glow look is my aesthetic. I also love how they are often moisturising, and if not, at least they won’t dry me out.

However, I wish I could find the perfect one which where it’s higher coverage and longer lasting as well as super dewy. I have used ones with more coverage but they tend to slip into my creases and smile lines. They don’t last long in summer when it’s hot and can end up making me look oily around my t-zone.

Nicole D Avatar

I have dry skin, with the exception of the T-zone which gets slightly oily during summer (this is the only part I set with powder). I prefer by far the dewy foundations. My HG foundation is Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup – the liquid version, not the compact one – in the shade 01 N. Like any other excellent product, it has been discontinued unfortunately.

Eileen Avatar

I’m in my seventies and have dry skin. Consequently, I prefer foundations that help me recapture that soft glow so indicative of healthy, youthful skin. My favorite foundation is Clé de Peau Radiant Fluid. It diffuses light and creates a real skin glow that is flattering on mature skin. I can’t think of anything bad to say about it. I would never recommend it, though, to anyone with oily skin or who lives in a particularly humid environment. That’s not a “con”. It’s just being realistic. We need to lick foundations that suit our skin condition and the climate in which we live.

Mary Avatar

I think I prefer a soft velvety finish , then get that creat a smoother canvas for my blush/ highlighter.
I just rediscovered my Honest Beauty Everything foundation a I love it.
A dewy finish on me can emphasize pores on me .

Maureen Avatar

I’ve always worn a sheer foundation, even before they were popular. When I was in my teens/twenties, only old ladies and actors wore a full coverage matte foundation. I still like my skin to look like I’m not wearing any base at all so I use an old trick I learned from Way Bandy (Google him, he was amazing) to achieve a “dewy naked face” look.

Eileen Avatar

Way Bandi! That darling of the 70’s! He was such an incredibly talented makeup artist—emphasis on the word artist. The portraits by Bandi and Scavullo are peerless. Both men were dedicated to bringing out the beauty in their subjects be they male or female, young or old. Anyone who is not familiar with their work should Google them.

As for makeup, I began wearing makeup in the 50’s so I know all about those heavy, opaque, matte looks of that decade. It seems like everyone wore a version of Max Factor’s Pancake or Pan Stick and, because there were no long wearing foundations back in the day, every woman carried a powder compact to keep that flawless velvety look in place. But, makeup evolves, times change, and the style pendulum swings back and forth. That’s the fun of makeup and fashion. Nowadays, I’m all about excellent skin care and a light application of my CdP Radiant Fluid Foundation. I work at maintaining beautiful skin and don’t want to cover it up.

Belle Avatar

Way Bandy, there’s a name you don’t hear often! I’m 45, but I know who he is; he introduced “draping”. :). My generation had Kevyn Aucoin. When I was in my 20’s, I remember ripping out Kevyn’s column and all the tricks he gave in Allure every month! 😉

Jane Avatar

Really like the look of dewy foundation, like YSL Touche Eclat, on my more mature skin but even though YSL’s wears very well, I don’t care for the movement and less wear time of dewy formulas overall.

Libra*tine Avatar

This is probably a dumb question, but… Regarding your foundation, what do you mean by “set”, and how do you achieve that look?

Linda Avatar

I used to like True Match Lumi several years ago, but every other dewy foundation I’ve tried slips around and/or breaks me out (maybe the silicones?). The only formulas I seem to jive with are demi-matte water-based light coverage (e.g. UD Naked Skin, Matte and Poreless).

Maribeth Avatar

I can’t do dewy, or Glow-y at all. I have oily skin which was a curse when I was younger due to acne at times but I have now embraced my oily skin as at 61 I have minimal wrinkles & have found my skin care regimen.
For instance I can’t even use Armani Luminous Silk foundation as I look like a disco ball afte 2 hrs.

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