The Best Makeup for Every Skin Type

Rachel Krause
Houghton - Backstage - MADE Fashion Week Fall 2014

Photo: Getty Images

Your skin type determines how you care for your skin, so why should you choose your makeup any differently? Using the right base products can mean the difference between a face that holds up all day and concealer sliding off your face by noon. Keep these tips in mind next time you hit Sephora to take the guesswork out of finding the right products for you.

Dry Skin
As anyone who’s ever applied powder foundation to dehydrated skin can attest, creamy, moisturizing formulas feel so much better on drier skin types. A tinted moisturizer like Eve Lom Radiance Perfected Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($55, is ideal, as it adds an extra layer of moisture, while offering sheer coverage that won’t emphasize flakes or uneven texture. Multi-use cream concealers, like Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer ($32, won’t cling to dry patches and can be used to cover blemishes and dark spots, as well as other imperfections.

Sensitive Skin
Ingredients are the most important variable to consider when choosing makeup for sensitive skin, as many widely available products contain irritants like synthetic fragrance. The fewer ingredients (and the more you can pronounce), the better. Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation ($42, is formulated without parabens, sulfates, fragrances, phthalates, GMOs, or triclosan and is infused with nourishing argan oil to balance the skin. Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer ($24, is excellent for all skin types, but its skin-soothing properties make it especially suited to reactive complexions.

Combination Skin
Makeup suitable for combination skin is all about balance—you want to look for something that will both absorb excess oil and fend off dryness. A BB cream like Estée Lauder DayWear Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit BB Creme ($39, can benefit combination types because its nourishing properties regulate oil production while also hydrating the skin. The weightless NARS Concealer ($24, is perfect for combination skin because it goes on creamy but has a light, almost powdery feeling once applied.

Oily Skin
Like combination skin, oily skin types also need balance. Look for fine powders like kaolin clay in the ingredients list—they work to absorb oil without drying, which can send oil production into overdrive. BECCA Ever-Matte Shine Proof Foundation ($42, performs exactly as it claims, coating skin in medium coverage with a semi-matte finish that minimizes the look of pores and appears “soft focus” rather than dry or chalky. Try a long-wearing matte concealer like Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil ($19, for coverage that will stay put.

Read more: The Best Primers for Every Skin Type