In need of an inexpensive easy-to-find foundation that still makes your face look great?
We’ve got a list of foundation brands you can find in a supermarket’s makeup aisle or at your local drugstore for your realistic day-to-day makeup needs. They’re convenient and affordable foundations for the everyday woman that can’t always get top-quality branded makeup at specialty stores like Ulta or Sephora.
Sure, we’d all like our entire skincare regimens to be Mary Kay, but when that’s not possible without sacrificing your work break chewy granola bars, good foundations from Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy are here to save the day.
How We Chose Our Ratings
We looked at the foundations’ prices, product quality, coverage, number of available skin tone options, and extra beneficial features included in the foundation like SPF, anti-aging, or acne-fighting components.
All of these drugstore brands are pretty affordable – all are under $20 and some are even under $10. We also tried to stay away from products that would leave your face feeling cakey or greasy with the foundation. The list has selections for a variety of skin types, skin colors, and coverage needs, some with extra healthy skin benefits too.
Top 11 Best Drugstore Foundation Brands
For folks with dry skin, oily skin, combination skin, and everywhere in between, here are some great foundation options that are easy to find and won’t leave your wallet empty:
- This liquid-foundation favorite wears for up to 24 hours, no matter what your day brings-that's why we call it...
- Gives you a natural finish, with medium coverage that can build to full coverage
- The oil-free foundation formula also helps protect your skin from UV rays with SPF 20
Available in 22 shades for people with combination/oily skin types and 13 shades for normal/dry skinned folks, Revlon ColorStay is the number one, and arguably the best drugstore foundation value buy.
You can get this foundation with a normal or matte finish – either way, it’ll feel lightweight and smooth and can last you 24 hours no problem. It’s buildable up from a medium level of coverage to full skin coverage for flawless-looking skin.
Revlon ColorStay is oil-free, doesn’t smell, and contains hyaluronic acid for skin hydration. The normal/dry pump bottles will give you SPF 20, and the combination/oily pump bottles will give you SPF 15.
It’ll cost you $7 to $14 depending on where you buy it.
- TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION provides medium coverage with a natural finish so blendable it’s like you can’t tell where...
- OIL-FREE FOUNDATION WITH SPF: Apply with fingers, makeup sponge, or foundation brush, starting at the center of the face...
- THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR LOOK: From natural to full coverage, L'Oréal Paris face makeup has what you need for a smooth,...
L’Oréal True Match has a great color selection with 33 different shades available to blend down and match your skin tone and undertone to nourish and even out skin imperfections.
You’ll pay from $6 to $11 depending on where you buy it.
It has a very liquid texture that will typically give you light to medium coverage, but it’ll build up to full coverage with extra layers if you need it to. It’ll leave you with a natural not-too-dewy but not-too-matte finish, and it works with just about all skin types (although it can be a bit too oily sometimes for oily-skinned folks). It occasionally tends to oxidize, but it’s not so bad to prevent reviewers from continuing to buy the product.
This foundation is oil-free, non-comedogenic (aka it doesn’t block pores), SPF 17, has vitamins A and C, wheat germ, and grapefruit extract for healthy and nutritious skin coverage.
- MAYBELLINE NEW YORK FIT ME MATTE FOUNDATION: For a natural looking medium coverage liquid foundation makeup, look no...
- A SHADE THAT FITS ME: Maybelline New York Fit Me liquid foundation provides coverage for a wide array of skin tones,...
- MAYBELLINE NEW YORK FIT ME FOR A FLAWLESS FACE: With Matte + Poreless foundation or Dewy+ Smooth foundation with SPF 18,...
Maybelline’s Fit Me Brand for a matte and poreless finish provides a light to medium level of skin coverage for only $6 to $8.
Fit Me has an amazing 40 shades to choose from. It’s lightweight, controls shine, and minimizes pores.
It’ll leave you looking even, natural, and not moist – it’s best for people with normal to oily skin or anyone who prefers a matte finish on their skin. It tends to have a more neutral undertone, maybe a little on the yellow side if anything.
The Dream Cushion is a compact of liquid foundation in one of 8 luminous shades for a dewy, natural, fresh-faced look with a bit of a healthy glow.
You’ll get medium to full buildable coverage with the cushion, it feels lightweight, blends out imperfections beautifully, and it goes on and wears exceptionally smooth. It works best for people with normal to dry skin types.
It doesn’t oxidize or sink into pores, but reviewers do complain they go through the product quite quickly and that it’d be far more of a dream if there were more foundation included in each compact. It’d also be nice if there were a wider shade range for people who fall in-between or outside of the 8 choices.
Depending on where you find it, it’ll run you from $10 to $16.
- Discover NYX Professional Makeup: try all our Pro makeup & Beauty products, from eyeshadow palette, liquid eyeliner &...
- Cruelty Free cosmetics: we believe animals belong in our arms-not in a lab. All of our makeup is PETA certified...
- Item Condition: 100% authentic, new and unused.
With the Nyx Total Drop Control Foundation, you can customize the amount of coverage you want by choosing the number of drops to apply from the included liquid dropper to your skin. It’s a very watery liquid, so when you’re building it up to full coverage, you’ll have to wait for it to dry between layers.
You can apply it by putting drops directly onto your makeup brush, or by putting a few drops onto the back of your hand, dipping the brush in, and applying from there. You can even add drops to your favorite moisturizer if you want – put a tint on a healthier cream that will help out your skin.
It’s lightweight, not cakey or greasy, lasts a good amount of time, has an amazing 30 color selection for many skin tones, and has a soft, velvety matte finish.
Expect to pay about $11 to $16 for the bottle – although that’s really not so bad considering you only need to use several drops per day to cover your face, or a little more if you’re building to full coverage. A little goes a long way with this foundation.
Nyx recommends a brush to go with it (Nyx Total Control Drop Foundation Brush), and reviewers typically say it’s worth it. It’ll cost you about an extra $14 on top of the foundation itself.
- YOUR SKIN, ONLY BETTER: Our high-performing, skin-perfecting foundation is formulated with a matte, light-diffusing...
- SELFIE-APPROVED FOUNDATION: Color matched for all undertones with a matte, second-skin finish, this foundation delivers...
- BEST FACE FORWARD: From bronzer & blush to primer, highlighter, natural finish powder, & concealer, we've got you...
For $5.99, you can get a great camera-ready medium to full coverage foundation in one of 20 different shades to match your skin. The PhotoFocus Foundation has been tested under 7 different light conditions with and without flash to make sure that your selfies always turn out rockin’ when you’re wearing this foundation. The matte, light-diffusing complex helps you to be more photogenic by preventing white cast or flashback in photos.
The foundation has a nice matte finish, lasts a solid amount of time, provides medium to full coverage, works well for oily skin, and sets fairly well even if you don’t set it with a powder.
The major downside? It’s apparently quite smelly – it has a strong chemical or paint-like odor that might be an issue for some customers. If that doesn’t bother you, then the Wet n Wild PhotoFocus is a great choice to keep your social media selfie game on point.
With a great selection for darker-skinned folks, Iman’s Second to None Cream to Powder compact slays in the comfort and coverage departments. It comes in 12 different shades of sand, clay, or earth and gives your skin a lovely natural and smooth look.
It has a velvety application and finished feeling thanks to its creamy consistency when putting it on and flawless powder appearance when it sets. It blends easily, reduces the appearance of large pores, helps hide discoloration, and works with any type of skin.
E.l.f.’s Acne Fighting Foundation has great ingredients and is great for your skin. Another bonus? It’s only about six dollars. The bummer is that there’s only 5 shades available, which really limits the options for those whose skin tones fall in-between or outside of the available e.l.f. choices.
A cruelty-free and vegan product, e.l.f.’s foundation has witch-hazel, camphor, tee tree, and soothing aloe to keep your skin healthy. It also includes salicylic acid, a well-known acne fighter.
The foundation provides medium to full coverage and disguises redness, blemishes, and uneven skin. Not only will this stuff cover up your imperfections, it’ll also help fix them and keep your skin healthy too.
- 1.0 fluid ounce (30 mL) of liquid foundation for dry skin
- Liquid face makeup plumps skin and boosts hydration
- Refreshes thirsty skin for 24 hours
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost is great for dry skin or for folks who don’t typically wear makeup but are on the hunt for a healthy moisturizer – with the bonus of a little bit of tint to even out their natural skin tone. It comes in 10 different shades.
It’s weightless, non-greasy, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and applies like a light moisturizer – it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all. It gives your skin a very light coverage – it won’t do much more than even you out. However, it hydrates and plumps up your skin for 24 hours to improve your skin over time with its hyaluronic acid.
It’ll cost $10 to $15 depending on where you buy it.
Covergirl’s Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation costs about $7 to $10, comes in 14 different shades, and offers buildable full coverage while still keeping your face healthy, smooth, and luminous. It works best for those with dry to normal skin.
It hydrates your skin, has SPF 20, and is infused with various vitamins and antioxidants including Vitamins E, B3, and B5. Many reviewers complain that it doesn’t offer a light enough shade or enough in-between shades to suit their skin colors.
11. Almay Clear Complexion Makeup
- A 4 in 1 blemish eraser
- It helps clear and prevent acne blemishes while it conceals
- Contains salicylic acid to help your skin look its best every day
The Almay Clear Complexion foundation has a 4-in-1 blemish eraser that covers, clears, calms, and controls acne while you use it to conceal blemishes during the day. It hides the problem while it’s still there and helps fix the problem at the same time.
It has salicylic acid to help with acne, has a lightweight feel, offers medium coverage, and works best for oily skin. The main complaint with this product (as with many Almay products) is that there’s a poor selection of colors, especially for darker skin tones. Almay Clear Complexion offers 13 different shades, but they don’t seem to blend well enough fit most customers to their satisfaction.
Depending on where you look, you can find this product for $9 to $16.
When choosing the best drugstore foundation that’s right for you, you’ll want to first consider your own skin color.
Not all foundations have shades that will work for everybody. They don’t all offer options light enough or dark enough to cover everyone’s skin. And sometimes, people’s skin tones will fall in-between a foundation brand’s options, forcing them to choose a bottle just a bit too light or dark for them instead of the perfect middle.
So, matching the foundation’s available colors to your own skin tone is the top factor you should think about when picking a brand.
Found a few brands that have choices that match up with your skin tone?
Great, now you can narrow down your picks by thinking about your foundation preferences. Do you want liquid, cream, or powder foundation? They’ll all apply differently to your skin and have different feelings when they set. How much coverage do you need for your skin?
If you need full coverage, you’ll have to watch out for that cakey foundation feel. And if you don’t need that much coverage at all, you’ll probably prefer it if your foundation feels like it’s barely there.
Under what conditions will you be wearing this makeup? Is it a hot and humid summer day? How long do you need it to stay on and looking good? A few hours for a party or a full day at work? Do you have dry, oily, or combination skin?
Some foundations are optimized for certain types of skin. Do you have sensitive skin? Will you need to make sure the foundation’s ingredients won’t irritate your face?
You should ask yourself these questions when making your decision.