An oldie but a goodie, this foundation has long been considered a “holy grail” pick by many beauty gurus as far as matte and full coverage foundations for oily skin go. I do wish there was a more extensive shade range available, and that the bottles came with pumps to make application much easier and more hygienic, but there are several options out there if you really want to fit a pump on your foundation bottle.
I remember trying it out as a teenager and decided to re-purchase it recently. It holds up really well in Singapore weather, and while the coverage starts off closer to a medium, it’s definitely buildable.
#2 NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation, $75
Combination-oily skin types will love the NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation. The lightweight foundation spreads easily, but quickly clings to the skin, giving it a radiant matte finish. This matte foundation gets its luminous finish from the manipulation of light using gold and green pigments in the formula. The gold combats dullness while green evens out redness on the skin.
It is also said to reduce the appearance of skin discolouration over time with the inclusion of scarlet spiderling root extract.
The brand has repeatedly emphasised that only a single pump of foundation is needed – yes, NARS has finally fixed a pump to its foundation bottle – to cover the entire face, and it truly is that effective (and economical). We think oily skin types will be able to skip the powder on this one. Those with drier skins should take special care in properly hydrating their skin before application.
#3 Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Foundation SPF 18, $89
Every beauty junkie should already be familiar with the wonders of YSL’s Fusion Ink Foundation. The foundation had a mile-long waiting list in America and Europe before it was launched sometime in 2014 and is still highly raved about by the beauty community today.
We tested this ultra light-weight foundation for a week and loved it just as much as everyone else. The teeny dropper looks deceivingly useless but you’ll find that it deposits just the right amount onto the back of your hand for application. You only need a tiny bit to effectively cover the redness and imperfections on your skin and it truly lives up to its claim of long-lasting wear. (We aren’t going to test it’s 24-hour claim, but it lasts for more than 10 hours on normal skin.) There is no need to set the foundation with powder even if you have combination skin – love it.
#4 Hourglass Immaculate® Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying Oil Free, $87
If you have oily skin but don’t want to use a powder foundation, this is the perfect compromise. As the name suggests this is a liquid-to-powder foundation that not only absorbs oil throughout the day and night, but also lasts ages on your skin. I have found that this works best when you exfoliate or prep with a primer beforehand. I love layering this over the Hourglass primer, so that rather pricey combo might be worth the splurge if you want budge-proof facepaint.
#5 Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation, $56
We’ve mentioned this one a number of times recently, but it’s truly high-coverage, long-wearing, and even waterproof! Should you get caught in a downpour at the night race, you won’t have to worry about your makeup streaking off. There’s a pretty decent shade range with options for various undertones, and the product itself comes in a gorgeous bottle complete with a pump applicator.
Fair warning: This foundation can feel a tad heavy on the face because of the high levels of pigment, so if you want to make it a little more lightweight, you can try mixing it with a bit of moisturiser or the brand’s Featherweight Primer before application.
Elizabeth Arden’s Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin 24H foundation is a “smart” one. The foundation keeps your skin matte by “measuring” your skin’s oil levels throughout the day, and slowly releases oil-controlling ingredients to stop the shine without clogging pores.
The formula is also said to be climate-resistant, so it can withstand humidity, heat and moisture – perfect when you’re out and about in sunny Singapore. The texture is that of a typical liquid foundation, but you only need a thin layer for medium coverage so it feels light and comfortable on the skin.
#7 Revlon Colorstay Makeup, $33.90
Revlon launched an updated version of this fan favourite earlier this March, with tweaks including a much-needed pump applicator. Its reputation as an affordable go-to choice among beauty buffs is well-deserved, given the good coverage and how long it lasts in hot and humid weather. The only gripe I have with this is the somewhat limited shade range, but that’s par for the course with most drugstore foundations in Singapore.
#8 L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24H Foundation, approximately $24
The first out of the lot may not be available in Singapore stores, but you can acquire it fairly easily off sites like Carousell from sellers who have it in stock. I ordered this for myself after seeing countless rave reviews on YouTube, and absolutely love its lightweight, long-wearing, and mattifying finish. It’s definitely geared towards more oily skin types, and has medium-to-high coverage.
The only thing to note is that the lighter shades in the range may be a little too cool-toned for most Asian skin, though anyone with a medium complexion shouldn’t have an issue finding a shade that works.
#9 M.A.C Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation, $62
Note to everyone who wants a foundation that lasts: This one took me through a very sweaty wedding gatecrash, where the only bridesmaid left with a complete face of makeup was yours truly. I even got a nod of approval from the bride’s makeup artist.
#10 Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation, $75
Long-lasting makeup often means putting up with a matte finish, which is fine if you have oily skin, but if you need some hydration, turn to the Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation. This oil-free foundation promises 15-hour long-wearing perfection that doesn’t transfer, even if you sweat buckets.
#11 Lancome Mat Miracle Liquid Foundation, $66
We don’t recommend testing the limits of this foundation, but know that if you’re ever on a 24-hour flight, your foundation would still look impeccable. Oil-resistant and formulated to withstand heat and humidity, this medium-coverage foundation leaves a natural radiance without making skin look dry.
#12 Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation, $64
I love Tarte for its use of more natural ingredients, and find that the formulas are a lot kinder to my skin. I’d seen this foundation used in a lot of full-coverage acne foundation routines on Youtube, which had me beyond impressed and determined to pick it up for myself.
It takes a little more effort to blend due to the thicker consistency, but it works great when applied with a damp makeup sponge. It still feels pretty lightweight on the skin, and I love how sturdy the packaging is – I can take it with me on holiday or throw it in my handbag without worry.