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I’m not sure who spiked my toner, but after going makeup-free for most of 2020, I’m all of a sudden very into foundation again. Perhaps I subconsciously got tired of the half-used bottles gathering dust in my bedroom. But what I think really motivated my transition from no routine to a semi-lazy one are the options. As of late, the best drugstore foundations for 2021 (so far) are new formulas that haven’t even been around long (!).
Up until now, I’d gotten used to grabbing my tried-and-true favorites for those rare, last-minute coverage moments, but I actually want to use some of these every day. Liquid foundation with a dewy-ish finish is my coverage of choice so Maybelline’s Dream Radiant Liquid Foundation and Physicians Formula’s Natural Defense Foundation are my current obsessions. Beyond that are some equally impressive formulas with a variety of finishes—powder and stick versions included. Ahead, a list of this year’s best budget-friendly foundations.
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Covergirl Outlast Extreme Wear 3-in-1 Full Coverage Liquid Foundation
This lightweight, breathable foundation contains SPF 18 sunscreen in 21 shades.
Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation
This new-to-Target hydrating foundation comes in 12 medium to deep shades.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder
This powder foundation is going viral on TikTok for its skin-smoothing abilities in 12 shades with a natural, matte finish.
Revlon ColorStay Light Cover Liquid Foundation
This lightweight, 12-hour long-lasting liquid foundation is the perfect no-makeup makeup in 12 flexible shades.
Wet n Wild Bare Focus Tinted Hydrator Tinted Skin Veil
This sheer-to-medium formula contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and vegan squalane in 12 flexible shades.
L’Oréal Skin Paradise Water Infused Tinted Moisturizer
If you’re looking for light coverage that doesn’t make you break out, try this tinted moisturizer with a 70 percent water-infused blend with aloe vera and witch hazel. It comes in 12 flexible hues.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Camo CC Cream
This affordable new favorite is a straight-up dupe for It Cosmetics CC Cream.