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Barely there, “no makeup makeup” is always in style, but so is minimalist makeup’s precise opposite: full coverage glam. And while we’re equally as keen on letting skin peek through along with freckles and blemishes, when you’re going to event, planning on being photographed or just feel like going glam, a flawless facial backdrop is key. And in moments like these, the best full coverage drugstore foundations, well, have you covered.
Prestige and luxury brands are no stranger to offering high-coverage bases, including Estee Lauder’s legendary Double Wear and Marc Jacob’s insanely pigmented Re(marc)able Full Coverage Foundation, but lately, this accelerated interest in a doll-like complexion seems to have inspired affordable drugstore brands to jump on the wagon. These highly-pigmented foundations are not only wallet-friendly, but the advanced formulas are absolutely on-par with high-end and prestige counterparts that cost triple the price.
With that being said, we’ve rounded up some of the best-selling formulas on the market today. Not only are they all under $15 and backed by plenty of glowing customer reviews. They’re also frequently name-dropped by both beauty gurus and co-signed by editors. Take your pick.
Rimmel Stay Matte Full Coverage Foundation
I’ve used this underrated foundation for years, and while they’ve recently updated the packaging to highlight its full coverage finish, the formula has thankfully not been tampered with. This gorgeous matte foundation has always delivered a silky, velvet-matte finish with solid flaw-erasing coverage, and is formulated with oil-controlling to keep shine and oil at bay. With that being said, if you have dry skin, you’ll want to make sure you have a rich moisturizer, hydrating primer, or facial oil underneath to keep it looking natural.
L’Oreal Infallible Total Cover Foundation
As a part of L’oreal’s long-wearing Infallible line, this mouse foundation is on the thicker side but actually feels surprisingly lightweight on the skin despite its blemish-blasting coverage. From circles to hyperpigmentation and acne flare-ups, this natural-finish foundation will make your skin look flawless, but it does look like you’re wearing makeup. If skin-like trickery isn’t a deal breaker for you, give this drugstore superstar a try.
Revlon Colorstay Foundation
This cult classic has been around forever, and if you’re a full coverage gal and haven’t tried this O.G. favorite, you’re missing out. I started using this one in high school, applying it liberally for mask-like effect (in addition to my heavy black eyeliner and over-plucked brows), and somehow it managed to never look cakey. I still use it to this day, on account of its impeccable staying power and opaque coverage that somehow manages to never feel heavy or breakup in my oily t-zone areas. Judging by its backing of 1,000+ solid reviews touting the same things I’ve mentioned, it’s clear that I’m not the only longtime fan of this $10 drugstore gem.
Covergirl Matte Made Foundation
For a relatively more recent drop, Covergirl’s Matte Made Foundation has already amassed an impressive following among beauty gurus, YouTuber’s and everyday consumers as evidenced by the product’s archive of glowing reviews. This soft matte formula offers solid staying power (even in ultra, hot humid weather) and is transfer-proof, making it a great event foundation.
Catrice HD Liquid Cover Foundation
This HD foundation is one of the most beautiful foundations I’ve ever worn —drugstore and prestige. It gives your skin a filter-like finish that’s matte but still skin-like. You can achieve full coverage with just one base layer, and it lasts me a solid 12 hours. Honestly, this is foundation makes your skin looking the subtle filter on Instagram, but IRL.
Milani Conceal & Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer
As a solid dupe for $29 Clinique’s Beyond Perfecting Foundation, this full coverage base seamlessly conceals, evens, and perfects with just one generous layer. It has a moisturizing feel, giving the skin a satiny finish that, unlike many full coverage products isn’t too matte or too dewy and actually lets your skin breathe as you wear it. Plus, who doesn’t love a multi-use product?
Revlon Colorstay Full Cover Foundation
While Revlon’s old-school Colorstay Foundation offers solid full coverage, this newer formula packs on even more pigment for a truly flawless finish that stays put all day. The formula is less liquid-y than the original version, and thanks to its slightly creamier formula, gives a little more time to blend before drying down.
Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation
This lightweight mousse formula glides on the skin like a dream, delivering seriously full coverage without having to build it up. This product dries down matte but doesn’t leave the skin looking dry or cakey. Plus, it won’t emphasize dry patches on the skin. This self-setting product is also transfer-proof and if you don’t have super oily skin, you don’t really need to set it with finishing powder — it’s also pretty crease-proof.
L.A. Girl Pro Coverage High Definition Foundation
For those who prefer a luminous, dewy complexion but need more coverage than glowy gold-standards like BB creams and tinted moisturizers have to offer, this is a great budget-friendly product that competes with high-end products touting the same benefits.
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