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10 of the Best Foundations for Combination Skin

Finding the perfect foundation for combination skin needn’t be complicated. Combination skin is typically characterised by skin that’s part oily – usually around the T-zone – and part dry, and thankfully a host of beauty brands have created formulas that hit the sweet spot for combination complexions.

The key to finding a harmonious make-up middle ground lies in the prep. Choose a moisturiser that offers targeted hydration where you need it and top with a protective SPF that will leave skin silky rather than greasy. From there, a primer that’s matte but not flat will give foundation grip without robbing skin of its glow.

Ready to go? Read on for your ultimate guide to the editor’s picks of foundations for combination skin, whether you’re looking for a dewy finish, added SPF or simply need to nail your exact foundation shade.

MAC: Studio Radiance Face and Body Sheer Foundation

Best for: Sheer, lightweight coverage that lasts

 

Beauty journalist Ateh Jewel commends this old-school MAC icon for its ultra-light satin finish. The longwearing, waterproof liquid foundation is a red carpet classic thanks to its barely there yet buildable formula. It’s one of the best foundations for dry and oily skin as you can apply a little more to your t-zone,where you’re likely to see more sebum and spots, then sheer it out on dryer areas such as the cheeks and forehead. It’s also a backstage staple when it comes to unifying skin tone on the body and it’s transfer-free so won’t migrate onto crisp white collars or that new party dress.

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Studio Radiance Face and Body Foundation

Huda Beauty: #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Liquid Foundation

Best for: Full coverage

 

Huda Beauty’s Faux Filter is one of the best full coverage foundations for combination skin, ideal if you’re looking to even out skin tone and mattify oily areas without compromising on radiance. It’ll also stick by you through thick and thin (for 24 hours, in fact) and the light liquid foundation formula delivers high coverage without even a hint of a chalky finish. Whisk it away at the end of the day with a luxurious oil or balm cleanser – just emulsify with a little water, massage your chosen cleanser into skin and gently ease off make-up with a washcloth.

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#FauxFilter Luminous Matte Liquid Foundation

Uoma Beauty: Say What?! Foundation

Best for: Shade range and versatility

 

Vegan, velvety and long lasting, this soft matte liquid foundation is the perfect match for pale and dark combination skin alike thanks to its comprehensive range of 51 shades. Take Ateh’s advice for identifying your unique shade: “When it comes to finding a good colour match for your skin tone, it’s all about the undertones – and understanding that all shades come in neutral, cool or warm hues.” Need a hand? Our H beauty experts are at your service to help you to find your exact shade. 

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Say What?! Foundation

Nars: Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

Best for: Medium coverage with skincare benefits

 

For combination skin that still looks lit from within, this make-up artist favourite deserves hero status – and not just for its 31-strong shade range. Additionally, the natural watermelon, raspberry and apple extracts in the formula nourish and brighten skin with every wear, helping to improve skin texture and condition over time. Ateh praises Nars for being “a solid player in the variety game” thanks to the founder’s comprehensive understanding of the skin’s undertones – it scores points for one of the best foundations for both pale and dark combination skin tones alike.

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Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

Gucci: Fluide de Beauté Fini Naturel Foundation

Best for: Quick application and daily wear

 

A high end foundation for combination skin that doesn’t simply look chic on your dressing table but also delivers the goods in terms of coverage, ease of application and longevity. A thin veil of this light liquid foundation is all you need for a healthy, not too shiny finish – apply it with a brush for a polished effect and get down to your daily business, because it won’t budge. You can skip powder with this all-in-one base too.

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Fluide de Beauté Fini Naturel Foundation

Lancôme: Teint Idole Ultra Foundation Stick

Best for: A handy stick foundation for combination skin

 

If you assumed that stick foundations were too waxy or heavy for your combination skin, think again. This anti-shine, anti-sweat and water-resistant Lancôme foundation is creamy yet matte and melts into skin beautifully – it won’t move around as you go about your day. Speaking of making moves, this portable stick allows for easy and convenient reapplication and touch-ups. Ateh affirms that “a few swipes will make you camera-ready for that video chat.” For a speedy make-up look, look no further.

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Teint Idole Ultra Foundation Stick

Bobbi Brown: Skin Weightless Powder Foundation

Best for: Medium to full coverage for oily/combination skin

 

If you prefer a powder foundation formula but still crave a creamy, non-drying texture for combination skin, Bobbi Brown’s weightless wonder will soon be your compact foundation go-to. The finely milled powder is cashmere-soft and easy to blend with the enclosed sponge – this is as low faff as foundation gets. It’s also adjustable depending on how much coverage you fancy on any given day. Apply it in fine layers for a full-coverage finish or swap out the sponge for a fluffy powder brush and buff over skin for a more sheer effect.  

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Skin Weightless Powder Foundation

Shiseido: Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation

Best for: Built-in SPF and antioxidants

 

Make-up artist Caroline Barnes swears by this dewy Shiseido foundation for its stellar performance under pressure – it remains flawless under hot lights on long shoots. This tenacity carries over to daily life too as it resists heat, humidity, oil and motion to make you look fresh-faced from the moment of application onwards. The oil-free, fragrance-free foundation will suit sensitive combination skin down to the ground and SPF 30 combined with antioxidants protects your skin from both UV and free-radical damage. In short, this is very smart stuff. If you do notice some midday shine creeping in, dab over the top of your foundation with Shiseido Oil-Control Blotting Paper to nip it in the bud without the risk of your make-up going cakey.

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Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation

Chantecaille: Future Skin Gel Foundation

Best for: Combination skin with acne

 

Looking for the best foundation for combination skin with acne? This soothing, oil-free gel foundation can help calm inflammation and the cooling texture brings immediate relief to acne-prone and itchy, dry areas alike, thanks to ingredients including aloe, chamomile and arnica. Rosemary, green tea and rice bran extracts enhance the skin’s natural immune defences to help to keep oxidation and future acne flare-ups at bay, plus it’s vegan, cruelty-free and contains light-reflective pigments to enhance the texture of your skin.

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Future Skin Gel Foundation

Armani: Luminous Silk Foundation

Best for: Giving dry combination skin a glow

 

One of the best lightweight foundations for combination skin, this cult Armani Beauty favourite is about to become your go-to. Micro-fil technology plumps out fine lines and ensures that make-up never gathers in creases and the fact that it’s moisturising yet oil-free means that it strikes a harmonious balance in terms of texture and wear for combination skin. Add a highlighter to cheekbones on top of foundation to dial up the dewiness.

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Armani: Luminous Silk Foundation

Beauty Secret: Try Multimasking To Treat and Prep Combination Skin

In addition to finding a moisturiser to suit combination skin, an at-home face mask session will help prep your skin for make-up and address its seemingly conflicting oily and dry demands for a finish you’re proud of.

Prioritise masks and treatments infused with hydrating skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acid across the forehead and cheeks and spot-apply clarifying masks containing exfoliating agents like salicylic acid to sweep pores clear of acne-causing bacteria. Consult our guide to the skincare ingredients you need to know before picking up the crème de la crème of face masks in the Beauty Halls, at H beauty or at Harrods.com.

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