The best drugstore foundations that cost less than $40
A beautiful base with an even better price tag
By Team BEAUTYcrew
May 31 2022
Foundation is a super important player in our makeup kits, so we are all for investing in the best of the best.
But if seeing your spenno face of base wash down the sink every evening is too much for you to bear, you might want to consider something a little more affordable.
The good news is that there are some REALLY good drugstore foundations hanging around the aisles at your local chemist and supermarket that we swear could legitimately compete with the most expensive of them.
Here are the standouts that we consider real contenders for the best drugstore foundation in Australia. All coming in at under $40, we’d file them all under 'absolute steals'...
L'Oreal Paris True Match Foundation
Got a dry skin type? We'll bet you're chasing a gorgeously glossy finish, even when you're wearing a full face. This hyaluronic acid-infused foundation is coveted by the likes of Rozalia Russian and can certainly help in the dewy department.
"It feels amazing on my skin, and I know it will be hydrated all day long while covering like a foundation," Russian wrote in an Instagram post. This dreamy foundation is buildable, blendable and feels like silk, offering some seriously moisturising medium coverage.
Was $29.95, now $17.97 at Big W
Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25H Foundation
As the name ever so subtly suggests, this is a long-wear foundation that will see you through from morning to night, refusing to fade, smudge or budge until your P.M. cleanse. It stacks up in high heat and humidity, and even oily skin types will find it long-lasting.
$9.47 at Chemist Warehouse
Revlon Age Defying 3X Foundation
Any foundation that tackles the signs of ageing, hydrates like a moisturiser, smoothes like a primer, and delivers a beautiful natural long-lasting coverage, all for less than $40, is a winner in our books. The formula is beautifully breathable to ensure your skin still looks like skin, plus it has SPF 20.
$19.97 at Chemist Warehouse
Max Factor All Day Flawless Foundation
'Airbrushed' and 'pharmacy find' aren't necesarrily two things that always go together, but we swear this silky base's true-to-its-name flawless finish looks far more expensive than the bargain price would suggest. Full coverage but not cakey in the slightest, it's the secret to silky smooth skin that lasts for the long haul thanks to its unique matte-but-radiant formula.
$34.95 at Priceline
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation
This vitamin-rich formula looks after your skin, both immediately (hello even tone and radiant glow) and long-term (shoutout to its vitamin-rich litchi, goji berry and pomegranate blend). The gel texture blends beautifully and it banishes dullness and signs of fatigue to leave skin looking naturally bright.
$9 at StrawberryNET
Nude by Nature Natural Mineral Cover Foundation
The best drugstore powder foundation for those looking for a mineral formula (or simply those who prefer powder over a liquid), this one has had a cult following since pretty much the day it launched. Why? It gets a lot of praise for feeling weightless on skin, its natural-looking light coverage that can be built up super easily, and the healthy glow it delivers.
$39.95 at Adore Beauty
Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Mattifying Liquid Foundation
Think you can't find an effective mattifying pore-smoothing foundation on the pharmacy/supermarket shelves? Allow this tone and texture-perfecting micro-powder mix to prove you wrong. Its oil-free formula will leave skin balanced and shine-free, but still looking a long way from mask-like or cakey.
$12.99 at Chemist Warehouse
Covergirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk Vegan Foundation
In addition to being Riverdale star Lili Reinhart's go-to foundation formula when she wants a base that looks (you guessed it) clean and fresh, this lightweight base blend is ideal for those days where you want something super glowy and natural. They're not kidding when they call it 'milk' either; the stuff feels luxuriously creamy going on.
$11.99 at Chemist Warehouse
Flower Light Illusion Liquid Foundation
If you like your foundation to give your skin a gorgeous natural glow, you will adore this one (as you probably would anything created by Flower founder Drew Barrymore). The coverage feels luxuriously light, but does a stellar job of concealing imperfections while still allowing your freckles to shine through. It’s win, win, win!
$13.99 at Chemist Warehouse
NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation
Searching for a good drugstore foundation that is a dream to blend, even if you're on the go? This is it. It has a velvety matte finish (so no, all dropper-style foundations aren't dewy-style formulas) and can be built from sheer to full with every drop you add, coating the skin in a comfortable cloak of imperfection-blurring base.
$24.95 at NYX