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save face with the best foundation for dry skin

Finding makeup for dry skin can be a challenge, especially when it comes to foundation. You want the right coverage, pigment & finish, without exaggerating dry patches or dehydrating your skin with ingredients that ultimately knock your confidence by making your face feel even dryer.

The solution? A moisture-rich dewy foundation. Combined with the right skincare regime, the best moisturizing foundations help hydrate & restore your skin for a natural, radiant glow.

Looking for the best foundation for dry skin? Get the lowdown on what to look for & avoid, & check out our recommendations for the best hydrating foundations.

What should you look for in a foundation for dry skin?

To get the right look & feel without dehydrating your skin further, you must know what to look for. That means paying careful attention to ingredients & product descriptions, & deciding between tints & full-coverage foundation makeup.

naturally hydrating ingredients

We believe the best makeup for dry skin — or any skin for that matter — should be naturally derived. After all, it makes sense that for a natural look, you want as many natural ingredients as possible.

The best foundations for dry skin are packed with active botanicals from Mother Nature that soothe, nourish, repair, & brighten, rather than just covering over problem areas. At tarte™, some of our favorite fruit & plant extracts include:

  • coconut

  • avocado

  • snow mushroom

  • prickly pear

  • acai

  • babassu

  • baobab

Natural ingredients like these actively work to protect & improve your skin's health & make your foundation more comfortable & longer-lasting.

When shopping for makeup for dry skin, you should also know which products to avoid. Always check the labels & try to steer clear of chemicals & preservatives like:

  • parabens

  • phthalates

  • triclosan

  • sodium lauryl sulfate

  • gluten

product descriptions: dewy vs. matte

A dewy foundation for dry skin provides a natural glow, whereas matte foundations typically reduce shine, leaving your skin looking drier.

The word ‘dewy’ may not necessarily appear on every non-matte foundation bottle. However, the best foundation for dry skin types usually contain descriptive words like ‘luminous,’ ‘radiance,’ & ‘glow’ on the packaging. That’s because the ingredient list typically includes nourishing oils, whereas matte foundation is usually oil-free.

You may also want to look for products that promise a silky or satin finish, as these are more likely to be dewy foundations than matte.

tint vs. full coverage foundation

For dry skin, less is sometimes more. As those with a dry complexion already know, the wrong foundation settles into fine lines, latches on to skin flakes & can accentuate peach fuzz. Sometimes, hydrating formulas like a tinted moisturizer or a creamy concealer could be better.

That’s not to say the best full coverage foundation for dry skin isn’t out there waiting for you (& we have some great recommendations coming up in the next section!). A lighter option could be all you need at certain times of the year — for example, in spring or autumn when you don’t need full-face protection against the dehydrating winds of winter or the moisture-sucking summer heat.

the 7 best foundations for dry skin

Check out our recommendations for the best foundations for dry skin. Full coverage, tinted moisturizers & serums are all accounted for. We’ve included feedback from tartelettes just like you to help you make informed choices. The only problem is, you’ll probably want them all!

  1. face tape™ foundation

    The best full coverage foundation for dry skin without the full feel, our tape technology™ helps smooth, texture & blur the appearance of your skin & provides a nourishing finish that never looks dry.

    face tape™ foundation is 100% vegan! The key ingredients include snow mushroom & apple fruit extract rich in antioxidants that help hydrate, brighten & reduce inflammation.

    Best combined with our class="para-link">shape tape™ concealer, face tape™ foundation is transfer-proof, waterproof & sweatproof.

    what the wearers say

    “This foundation is flawless. It makes my skin look so smooth & matches my skin tone so well.”

    “It's a silky application, great coverage, & stays all day. No sweating off during my workouts or melting during the day.”

  2. Amazonian clay 16-hour full coverage foundation

    We know, we know. We just told you that a matte foundation isn’t as effective as a dewy foundation for dry skin, but this little number is an exception! It may be oil-free, but thanks to an array of natural ingredients, this full coverage foundation for dry skin gives you the best of both worlds — a natural matte finish without any dryness.

    Infused with a plethora of vegan ingredients, including Amazonian clay, vitamin E & various mineral pigments, your skin gets plenty of antioxidants & active anti-inflammatory elements ensure a soft finish.

    what the wearers say

    “This is the only foundation that I can use that doesn’t make my face break out or make it itch.”

    “I really love this foundation!! It is lightweight but still has full coverage that lasts all day. Not oily or heavy feeling.”

  3. babassu foundcealer™ skincare foundation

    Ok, so this isn’t strictly a foundation. It’s actually a foundation, moisturizer & concealer all in one! Oh, & did we mention it's 100% vegan & clinically proven to hydrate your skin?

    Originating from the Amazon, babassu is ultra-nourishing & offers a naturally radiant finish that’s never dry. Other powerhouse ingredients like sunflower seeds & vitamin E regenerate & anti-oxidize for an effortless youthful glow.

    what the wearers say

    “I love this product as it leaves a beautiful glow on my skin. Not too heavy or matte, but still excellent coverage.”

    “Best moisturizer & foundation in one! It feels so light on my skin, & it’s hydrating!”

  4. shape tape™ cloud CC cream

    The best hydrating foundation to reveal your dreamiest skin ever! The crease-proof formula minimizes dry patches & areas of uneven texture, & our patented tape technology™ smooths & blurs imperfections.

    Packed full of nourishing vegan ingredients, including prickly pear, snow mushroom, avocado, aloe, vitamin E, castor oil & licorice, you get all the benefits of optimal healing & hydration.

    what the wearers say

    “Super breathable, not heavy at all, with just the right amount of coverage.”

    “Finally! A foundation for my dry skin that feels moisturizing doesn't sit in my lines & has the medium to full coverage I wanted in a shade that matches my skin tone perfectly!”

  5. maracuja tinted moisturizer

    This skin-loving tinted moisturizer is infused with superfruits & offers light, buildable coverage to help minimize the appearance of dry skin. With a naturally radiant finish that looks & feels like skin, your face will feel firmer & more hydrated.

    In addition to maracuja oil, key ingredients include turmeric to reduce redness, aloe for soothing & healing & a vegan collagen complex offering 12-hr hydration.

    what the wearers say

    “It looks like foundation, but then it doesn’t. Feels beautiful on my skin, gives me a nice glow without being oily.”

    “Being middle-aged & dry-skinned, this is amazing on my face. My skin feels hydrated, & I feel fabulous.”

  6. hydroflex™ serum foundation

    This water-based featherlight formula applies evenly & effortlessly, & the hydroflex technology™ moves with your skin so it won't crease or cake. Ideal for dry & combination skin, it keeps your face looking fresh, bright, & smooth

    With a plethora of skinvigorating™ ingredients, including marine plants, sea daffodil & our proprietary vegan collagen complex, hydroflex™ serum foundation nourishes, plumps & delivers 12-hydration to keep you looking & feeling your best throughout the day.

    what the wearers say

    “This is the foundation I have been looking for my whole life!! The coverage feels weightless, lasts all days, & doesn’t settle into my fine lines.”

    “Perfect lightweight foundation - good coverage, not too heavy, glowy look without being too shiny & doesn’t crease.”

  7. BB tinted treatment 12-hour primer

    This creamy vegan primer is a 5-in-1 treatment that can be worn instead of foundation for smoother, brighter skin & a more youthful complexion. It can also be worn underneath it, if you prefer.

    Designed to feel weightless, the Triple-B complex includes natural diamond powder, plant extracts & lipoamino acids. These ingredients diffuse light & minimize the appearance of dry skin while improving your skin’s natural luminosity.

    what the wearers say

    “I adore this BB cream. I use it as my main foundation. It's so light & smooth. I find that it really even outs my skin tone & love it for the lightweight feel.”

    “I love that I can wear this as a foundation if I am not feeling in the mood for a full makeup day. It still has full coverage but feels light on the skin & super creamy.”

find the perfect makeup for dry skin

We hope you’ll find the best foundation for your dry skin somewhere in this list. Once you find the perfect match, you’ll be able to transition effortlessly from a dull finish to a dewy glow!

Need a little help deciding? Our foundation finder quiz will help narrow down the best products for your complexion & skin type, & our virtual try-on feature means you’ll never be stuck with the wrong shade again!

Check out our cosmetics range & shop the best makeup for dry skin today.