What’s Your Favorite Full-Coverage Foundation for a Natural Look?

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To

Full-coverage natural-looking foundations

Do you think foundations exist that are able to cover everything you need them to cover while still looking natural?


I once thought natural-looking full-coverage foundations were like dragons — aka unreal, mythical creatures from fairy tales — but after much blood, sweat and tears I have found a few that I like.

Reader Korina is a busy student looking for a new foundation:

I’m applying to medical school very soon, working and trying to finish my classes to graduate in a year, so I’m insanely busy!

However, I love doing my makeup every morning and looking presentable for school. It’s my stress reliever.

I currently use MAC Studio Fix Fluid, but it’s getting a little too heavy for me to use every day. I want a foundation that gives me more of that natural beauty, but would still covers my blemishes and acne scars.


Hi Korina,

I give you props for handling your business *and* taking the time to look great. Sometimes when I’m swamped my beauty shizz falls by the wayside (don’t get me started on the week I forgot to shower, oops). 🙂

Here are some foundations I like for natural, everyday looks. My current faves:

Ladies, do you have any natural-looking full-coverage foundations in your makeup stash? It sounds like Korina could use a helping hand.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 55 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Chris says:

    CoverGirl Aquasmooth. Take the time to find a good color match and you are set!
    I also like Max Factor Panstick on the same principle as the Becca stick but it is discontinued so most people wouldn’t want to bother. I have three backups lol.

  2. Kristine says:

    I love to use my Everyday Minerals Intensive foundation whenever I need to look polished. When the powder sinks in it looks natural while you’re still looking airbrushed.

  3. cover fx cream foundation. it’s TOTALLY FULL COVERAGE, which means it will cover freckles and small scars also. buy the right shade though, and it’s dewy and invisible. i use this on stage to get an airbrushed look.

    apply this and set with MAC blot or bareminerals, and it lasts all freaking day without running. it’s amazing. i apply it with a foundation brush then blend with a latex sponge. you can also stipple it on for a lighter touch with a MAC 287 (skunk) brush.
    .-= ines, felix and kitten (the office kitties)’s last blog post… Building a Makeup Collection =-.

    • Pragya says:

      Cover X is really good..It’s a full coverage and doesn’t look cakey at all.. I have freckels and acne scars and Ohh My this foundation does wonders.. Absolutely loved it..good for Acne prone skin because its water based so doesnt clog pores.. Doesnt feel heavy at all stays the longest if used with primer ( I like Make Forever’s HD Primer, Smashbox was ok too) For a flawless skin I used Tarte’s 4 in 1 eraser conceler.. Great for evening parties , Pictures turn out beautiful with not even a small scar 🙂 I loved this product..But for now I swtiched to Chanel’s Vitalumiere.. it’s not full coverage but is very pretty foundation…

  4. Holly says:

    Korres Wild Rose Foundation

    .-= Holly’s last blog post… In and Out =-.

  5. LayLa says:

    well i’ve been using Mary Kay Foundation, since i was 17 and it has work wonder on me especially for those days i want to look flawless, pair that if with a MAC 187 brush it helps a lot!!!

  6. Kate says:

    Make Up For Ever’s HD foundation has never done me wrong.

  7. Glosslizard says:

    I’ve only tried it in sample form, but Diorskin Nude (the liquid foundation) is very full coverage but natural-looking and feels weightless! It’s also very thin in texture and applies easily with fingers, a sponge or a brush.

  8. Debbie says:

    I’ve been using Almay Smart Shade foundation. I have really acne-prone skin, and it’s the only one I’ve tried so far that hasn’t broken me out, buuuut it’s a bit too sheer for me. I usually use the matching concealer, but I’m still searching for a better foundation!

  9. Joey says:

    I love the Carmindy liquid foundation – it’s pretty inexpensive and is full-coverage but glowy on my skin!

  10. Shells says:

    Just have to agree with the CoverFx cream, that is one tenacious foundation! I also like TheBalm cream foundation, it’s high coverage, I can use it as concealer, and it’s a less expensive option. It may be a problem if you have acne prone skin though. I like them both very much =D

  11. Katherine says:

    You can’t beat Bare Minerals for ease of application. I think the coverage is pretty good too if you spend a few minutes buffing it on. It also doesn’t feel weighty like liquids can.

  12. Marce says:

    I’m not too sure if it’s available in the States, but if it is I strongly recommend getting La Roche Posay Toleraine Fluid Foundation. It takes care of your skin and covers up acne scars pretty well (tried and tested by yours truly!). I mix a bit with MAC Oil Control Lotion and apply it with my fingers, then buff with MAC 188 brush. And lastly I put on a bit of MSFN.
    The only downside, I think, is the availability of colours. I’m really pale and use Beige Clair, and it’s still too orangey – that’s why I buff it like there’s no tomorrow! Oh and it has no SPF. Double thumbs down.

    Perhaps if you like the foundation you’re using atm, but find it too heavy, add a bit of your moisturizer to lighten it up.
    Hope that helps! 😀
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… Rimmel London Volume Booster Lipgloss =-.

  13. Trude says:

    I love MUFE’s HD foundation too (and the HD powder is a serious must-have!), but during SoCal’s hot summers it doesn’t last all day on me – although granted I have terrible skin and it might be just me. So right now I’m using a combo of Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer to cover undereye circles/blemishes/scars (its not cheap but it’s lasting me for-ev-er because a tiny bit goes a long way) and then Bare Minerals foundation, with a dash of MUFE HD powder to finish.
    .-= Trude’s last blog post… Inspirationals =-.

  14. lyn says:

    I swear by Shu Uemura’s Face Architect Foundation. It evens out skintone and texture, can be applied heavy or sheer and feels weightless either way. It blends out really well so you can spot it on areas that need more coverage, then blend out seamlessly – make sure to get a good match for your skintone though!

  15. YadiQ says:

    my suggestions are pricy but are totally worth it and low maintenance

    while i dont use it every day cause i run to the gym right after work with (barely a minute to spare on washing off makeup)

    i use a light layer of tiente innocence liquid foundation by chanel its light but provides excellent coverage and then a light dusting of chanel double perfection compact – technically this compact is both a powder and a foundation depending on application but i think the combination of both products is fantastic

    the foundation really covers and is super light – i have oily/combo skin and i never feel oily the dble perfection compact is also oil free

    yes expensive but if its for every day you cant go wrong its super natural looking and feels clean and never cakey

  16. Luv J says:

    Mine would definitely be the Hourglass Veil Mineral Fluid. It gives me enough coverage but the finish is not flat. I set it with Chanel Poudre Douce, but I do skip the powder during the winter months since my skin tends to be dry.

  17. Mikele says:

    I have a Prescriptive foundation. I believe its Oil-Free Matte. I just dot on a little and add bronzer and go. (When I DO put on makeup. I’m a big bum. lol!)

  18. nikki says:

    for every day use i use mac studio fix powder plus foundation. i love love love it.

  19. TerriB says:

    NARS Oil-Free Foundation covers my redness and lasts all day while staying “dewy” looking–not oily. I just love it.
    Second favorite is J. Lynne mineral powder foundation, which covers well and doesn’t look powdery at all (I even use it mixed with lotion as my everyday concealer).

  20. Tavia says:

    The best foundation for me is Vichy Flexilift Teint, it give me a natural look and in the same time battles against wrinkles.
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… Review – La Prairie – anti-aging eye cream a cellular intervention complex-SPF15 (skincare program) =-.

  21. emma says:

    i love the smashbox cream foundation, it sort of sinks into my skin so its looks very natural but can do full coverage. the only thing is that the brush that it comes with sucks.
    hmnn people seem to be liking the mac studio fix but i find that one wayyyy to heavy and my skin doesn’t like it.
    .-= emma’s last blog post… For the Love of Cardigans =-.

  22. Anne Marie B says:

    I think it’s really difficult to find a good foundation when you deal with acne and/or skin imperfections. My normal foundation is Clinique Super Balanced. Provides good coverage, seems to do a good job controlling oil, looks fairly natural I think – and the price is reasonable.

  23. sdpfeiffy says:

    Honestly, I love SFF for its coverage. At first, I thought it was heavy/mask-like, but once I started using my 187 (instead of my 190) I really began to rely on it. I stipple a small amount and then blend with my 187. In the areas where I need more coverage, I stipple and blend again. And my back up has been Mary Kay full coverage forever. Same technique but I use MK in the winter since it’s more moisturizing.

  24. Nancy says:

    I’m a HUGE fan of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics skincare line, and only use her foundation. I’m apprehensive about trying any other because I haven’t had ANY problems since I began using her line 2 years ago…My favorite as of late is her new Skin Foundation with SPF 15. It does the job that I need it to do. If you can find a counter, they are great with questions and giving you samples to try different products.

  25. Alexis says:

    A couple of my favorites are MUFE Mat Velvet and for a cheaper alternative, Revlon Colorstay :). Both are full-coverage, but neither look cakey. Also, for a mineral powder, I highly recommend Everyday Minerals base in Matte or Intensive :).

  26. Sakura says:

    For sheer to medium- Neutrogena Healthy Skin enhancer(w/spf 20), for medium + Shiseido Dual Balancing foundation(you can get your color matched). I have oily skin w/dry surface and these work well for me.

  27. Melissa says:

    I swear by stick foundation! They double as a concealer and foundation! My top three: Max Factor Pan Stik, Kevyn Auccion The Solid Foundation, and Bobbi Brown’s stick foundation.

  28. Kailey says:

    MUFE HD foundation <3
    with the powder too.
    it makes me look like a supermodel (according to other people) xD

  29. Kailey says:

    oh and drugstore wise, Physicians Formula products always leave me with dewy, perfect skin 🙂 but there coverage isn’t as…full, I guess,as MUFE.

  30. Shivotra says:

    Dior naked skin something…liquid mineral makeup. I ended up returning it because the shade was too dark, but BOY was the finish natural or what. It looked real and flawless at the same time. I have my Laura Mercier foundation right now – it gives full coverage, looks great in pictures, perfect color – but looks so cakey and gross in real life. Esp since I have good skin, I don’t need cakey stuff. I don’t like MAC foundations for the same reason – they have my perfect color NC42, but I hate the cakey finish. I like natural stuff and lets my skin breathe and DIOR makeup is perfect.

    I also like Bare Escentuals – gives flawless finish 🙂 But it needs touch-ups through the day.

  31. Shivotra says:

    Also will recommend clinique’s superfit makeup. Good coverage! I think I may go back to it, once I have tried Dior’s lighter shade and MUFE high def(I have heard good things about it).

  32. Dao says:

    I swear by my Adorned with Grace mineral foundation. I use shade Grace 3.5 and even when I have really bad skin, I still look good. The foundation blends like a dream, I only need 2 layers. It is also thick enough to use as a concealer. If you don’t believe me, just look at my painted face 🙂
    .-= Dao’s last blog post… Face Painting and Playing MP3 Shuffle =-.

  33. Bomi says:

    The Loreal trumatch? Or something like that…
    You take the Sonia Kushak Beauty Blender, get it damp by wetting it then squeezing all the water out…. then you just put a little bit of the liquid foundation on it and rub it on your face gently.
    AND SHA!!!!
    Full coverage for a drugstore price.

  34. Amanda says:

    really loving my Fresh umbrian clay foundation for summer, and it’s quick and easy. Also like Becca (I’ll do the TM+stick combo, but they’ve been out of my summer TM for ages…). And I think Laura Mercier is awesome, but takes more “steps” than the Fresh. LM is my “fancy night out” foundation, whereas Fresh has been the “hurry up early morning” one. 🙂

  35. Lo says:

    I actually really love Neutrogena Healthy Skin liquid makeup… I’ve been needing a foundation with better coverage that doesn’t feel gross, and this actually works really well, and looks dewy and fresh when I use it over my normal tinted moisturizer. It even has SPF 20!

  36. Haley says:

    I love per-fekt skin perfecting gel. It gives an airbrushed appearance and feels incredibly light. AND it only has about five ingredients, the principle being isododecane. Wait! is that one of those pesky molecules form orgo? I think it might be! I wish korina all the luck applying to med school! I’m applying next summer as well…

  37. Lorena says:

    I’ve recently started using MAC’s face and body foundation which is sort of similar to TM but gives a bit more coverage but its not heavy which is good for the summer and times when you don’t want heavy makeup.

  38. Tiffany says:

    MUFE Face & Body Liquid Makeup! It is really great and comes in a billion shades!

  39. Sonja says:

    I have Chanel Matte Lumiere, and it is amazing. It is expensive as hell, but since we don’t have MAC or any other good and not so pricy brands it is well worth the money.
    During the summer I just mix it with my moisturizer and a bit of spf creme and that’s it!

  40. laurie says:

    I love love love Hourglass! The Veil Fluid liquid foundation is amazing. I am a MAC addict, but I actually splurge on this foundation. A little goes a long way, just buff it out for perfection! Karen, I would love to hear your opinions of Hourglass.. I love it,

  41. Solé says:

    After 40 comments, I think I’m going to be the first person to recommend this one, but I really love SMASHBOX HIGH DEFINITION HEALTHY FX FOUNDATION. I have some acne scars on my cheeks and it covers them up really nicely and evenly while feeling very light on my skin. It’s even great for day or evening. For day use, I set it with MAC MINERALIZE SKINFINISH NATURAL for a natural, light-reflecting finish, and for evening I set it with MAC BLOT POWDER for a matte finish that photographs well.

  42. iliana says:

    I might not be as helpful as the others but, on good skin days, I just use concealer and try to avoid the foundation if possible. Perhaps you could do the same so you won’t have to worry about heaviness? 🙂 Sorry if it’s not helping, I use SFF as well so I can’t really make any other suggestions for full coverage foundations. 🙂

  43. Karen4 says:

    Avon’s MagiX Tinted Face Protector (SPF 15)is a miracle in a compact! It blurs fine lines, and gives skin a really nice, even finish. I use this and then apply a dusting of Bare Minerals OR Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder. The good thing is if you need a touch-up during the day, you can just apply more Bare Minerals or Halo. Never looks cakey! And so light on your face.

  44. Julia says:

    When I was in medical school, I used one of Clinique’s foundations, but when I was in residency I switched to Laura Mercier’s oil-free tinted moisturizer. I’ve been using it for about 3 or 4 years now. I use 2 layers on the weekdays when I’m at work and one layer when I want more sheer coverage on the weekends.

  45. Ditte says:

    Helena Rubinstein’s spectacular foundation works really well for me 🙂 It makes my T-zone matte and covers up any blemishes and feels light throughout the day.

  46. Wendy says:

    Shu Uemura’s Face architect smoothing fluid foundation I swear is amazing and for summer I use Cover FX because it’s mineral and I’t doesn’t make me break out at all.

  47. reagen says:

    Since it’s summertime,Definately BareEscentuals bare Minerals foundation powder!!!I have really oily skin and covers all the red on my face.(i wear fair-their lightest color):)

  48. Kat says:

    I’m really loving Mac’s Studio FX cream to powder, and I love love Chanel’s matte lumiere

  49. Tavia says:

    During the summer I don’t use foundation, but except that I’m using Vichy flexitent. I like it cause is also a treatment against wrinkles and it sinks into the skin very fast giving a natural look.
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… Chic’s favorite articles of the week: new fall 2009 collections & new perfumes =-.

  50. Allison says:

    diorskin nude…hands down the best

  51. Sindy says:

    I use senegence foundation and its amazing. its stays on all day and is hard to even get off at night, its waterproof and the staying power is awesome

  52. Angela says:

    I like Clinique’s Even Better Makeup ; it is great for my sensitive acne prone skin. I also use Chantecaille Future Skin Oil Free gel foundation (in suntan and banana). This foundation is mostly seaweed and water. The down side is that it doesn’t come in many shades so I have to mix. Also, I wanted to suggest a shade for my mom but I can’t because they do not have shades for deeper skin tones. I think this company should try to be more diverse with their makeup shades.

  53. Louann says:

    I’m 47 years old and I have fine lines around my eyes. I use Revlon colorstay. It works great. First I moisturize with Eucerin moisturizer, then two coats of Revlon colorstay and then to set it I use Revlon photo ready compact powder.

  54. Gi says:

    I need a foundation that leaves skin Dewey and fresh but does not settle into lines and wrinkles. I have dry sensitive skin. Fair skin with yellow. Undertones with auburn hair. Any suggestions ? Thanks in advance

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