Perfectly balanced: 6 foundations just for combination skin

Picks for the most particular of complexions

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / May 13 2024

Finding the right foundation can be a serious undertaking, but the process becomes even more complicated when you have combination skin. The kind of dry, kind of oily skin type has a lot of needs to contend with.

Some foundation formulas can be too dry and end up accentuating dry patches on the skin, but there are also plenty of oil-based foundations that are too heavy and moisturising for combo skin, and just end up separating and sliding off before the day's even started. 

To say it's a fine balance would be an understatement, but it's also not impossible to find a flattering foundation when you have combination skin — you just need to know what to look for. 

Pro tip: Try to find a lightweight, oil-free formula that's been enriched with lightweight hydrators like humectant hyaluronic acid. 

Ready to find the foundation for you? Ahead, BEAUTYcrew unpacks the best foundation options for combination skin...

2024's Top 3 Best Foundations For Combination Skin

1. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $105, The Iconic
2. Maybelline Super Stay Skin Tint, $18.99, Priceline
3. Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation, $65, Selfridges

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
from $105 at The Iconic

Armani's Luminous Silk has a cohort of celebrity fans (Maude Apatow, Sydney Sweeney and Sabrina Carpenter have all worn the foundation on the red carpet). The oil-free foundation boasts a flawless finish that has been formulated to look softly radiant like silk, whilst still being lightweight on skin.

Key features:

Available in 40 shades
Lightweight and oil-free
Translucent, radiant and flawless finish
Buildable medium coverage

Available at:

Maybelline Super Stay Skin Tint
from $18.99 at Priceline

This innovative weightless formula from Maybelline has been infused with a vitamin C derivative that improves the appearance of your complexion while you wear it. 

Key features:

Available in 12 shades
Infused with a brightening vitamin C derivative
Weightless, naturally radiant finish
Buildable coverage
Sweat, humidity and fade resistant
24 wear time

Available at:

Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation
from $65 at Selfridges

Created with the intention of emulating the flawless faces of runway models, this undetectable formula offers a weightless and naturally radiant finish that can be built up for extra coverage as needed. Plus, it promises sweat, humidity and water-resistant wear all day long. 

Key features:

Available in 43 shades
Contains a squalane and hyaluronic acid complex
Weightless, naturally glowy finish
Long wearing
Sweat, humidity and water-resistant
Buildable coverage

Available at:

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation
from $114 at Selfridges

If you love the idea of looking like you are simultaneously sporting perfect skin and not wearing foundation, then you need to try this pick from Pat McGrath. It's weightless and leaves a soft-focus satin finish on the skin that's hard to spot if you don't know what to look for. Plus, it's infused with a couple of skin care ingredients (hyaluronic acid and ceramides) as well as light reflecting and blurring diamond core powder. 

Key features:

Available in 36 shades
Weightless, soft-focus, satin finish
Self-setting and buildable coverage
12 hour wear
Infused with hyaluronic acid and ceramides
Contains light-reflecting and blurring diamond core powder

Available at:

Revlon Illuminance Serum Tint
from $23.39 at Chemist Warehouse

If you prefer a less is more approach when it comes to everyday makeup then this lightweight and sheer skin tint from Revlon should be in your kit. It leaves skin with a healthy, natural glow and even helps to improve the appearance of your complexion over time so you can keep wearing as little makeup as possible. 

Key features:

Available in 10 shades
Infused with ginger root extract, triple hyaluronic acid, and vitamins C and E
Lightweight buildable coverage
Natural satin finish
Improves the appearance of skin over time

Available at:

Australis Fresh & Flawless Full Coverage Foundation
from $10.95 at Big W

Love full coverage foundation but don't like how cakey it can look? This lightweight pick from Australis has a fresh and natural finish that just looks like skin. Plus, it's been infused with vitamin C and E to help control excess oil production, and hyaluronic acid and ceramides to hydrate and nourish. 

Key features:

Available in 15 shades
Lightweight formula
Fresh and natural finish
Buildable full coverage
Infused with vitamin C and E, hyaluronic acid and ceramides

Available at:

What kind of foundation is best for combination skin?

As the name suggests, combination skin deals with both dryness and oiliness, so it's important to find a foundation that doesn't further accentuate dry patches and controls excess oil production. Your best bet is to find a lightweight, oil-free formula that has been enriched with hydrating ingredients such as humectants (think: hyaluronic acid and panthenol). We'd recommend steering clear of matte formulas as they're more likely to look cakey and emphasise dry skin, but in the same vein, any moisturising formulas that contain oils in the ingredients list will likely lead to an overproduction of oil and the makeup will separate on the skin.  

Main image credit: Getty

Want a foundation that lasts all day? These long wear foundations should do the trick. 

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).

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