Whether you’re lounging by the pool, stuck in the rain, or sweating through your commute as you rush to work, there’s one thing you definitely don’t want to worry about: your makeup melting off.
But finding a foundation that actually lasts throughout the day, looks natural, and feels lightweight can feel like a battle; many formulas simply fade right off the skin as soon the air starts to feel a bit stuffy.
That’s where waterproof foundations come in. While older, traditional formulas used to cake onto your face, new-generation bottles are packed with softening, hydrating ingredients to keep your makeup on for hours without clogging your pores.
How to choose the best waterproof foundation
Pay attention to keywords: Keep an eye out for buzzwords like waterproof, long-wearing, sweat-proof, and humidity-resistant on your foundation bottle. This means the brand has formulated the foundation with long-lasting coverage in mind.
Say yes to silicone: This ingredient is commonly used in makeup to keep it from melting off of the skin and gives waterproof foundation a long-lasting effect. Silicones are noncomedogenic, nonacnegenic, nonirritating, and hypoallergenic, and help the skin retain moisturizer without clogging the pores.
Don’t skimp on hydrators: Most waterproof foundations are oil-free with a satin or matte finish—but that doesn’t mean you need to skimp on moisture. Instead, look for waterproof formulas that still contain hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, to ensure a more natural-looking finish.
Look for SPF: When you’re in the water or sweating, your SPF doesn’t last as long and needs to be reapplied regularly for max protection. While makeup with SPF won’t act as a sunscreen on its own, choosing one with SPF in the formula can help boost UV protection when applied on top of your face sunscreen.
Not sure where to start? Whether your skin is oily, dry, or somewhere in between, the following waterproof foundations will perfect your skin without budging all day long.
MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
✔️ BEST OVERALL
This oil-free, humidity-resistant formula will give you long-lasting coverage while blending effortlessly into the skin, even on hot, muggy, or rainy days. It offers medium-to-full coverage, but the formula is fairly lightweight, so you won’t feel thick, goopy, or cakey when it comes time to take it off.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation
✔️ RAVE REVIEWS
With more than 50 shades, you’re guaranteed to find your perfect match. Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation is a fan favorite for a reason. It boasts 24-hour coverage that blends uneven tones and blemishes into a unified, glowing complexion. Plus, it’s oil-free and oil-controlling to lock out moisture in humidity.
Covergirl Outlast Active Foundation SPF 20
✔️ BEST VALUE
This sweat-, transfer-, and humidity-proof foundation will be your new favorite for just $9! The formula blends in quickly, withstands humidity, looks natural on the skin, and quite simply doesn’t move around. Bonus: It’s cruelty-free and contains SPF 20 for added protection.
Revlon Colorstay Liquid-Foundation
Not only is this drugstore find easy on the wallet at under $10, it also offers 24 hours of oil-free, lightweight, buildable coverage. You can also choose from one of more than 20 shades on Amazon to perfectly match your complexion. The best part? It never feels overly drying, since it contains hyaluronic acid for a dose of moisture.
Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
Made with 80 percent water, this sweat-proof foundation feels lightweight and smooth on the skin, all while providing you with long-lasting coverage. Its key ingredient is glycerin, which locks out moisture and keeps the skin cool in the warmest of temps.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte 24-Hour Foundation
This smooth foundation has a natural, creamy consistency and a demi-matte finish that lasts (and lasts), says New Jersey-based licensed esthetician Jennifer McElroy. It contains shine-defying spheres that act like blotting paper to absorb sweat and oil without disturbing color pigments, so the heat and humidity won’t melt away your makeup.
Revision Intellishade SPF 45 Foundation
The ultimate multitasker, Revision Intellishade SPF 45 is a tinted moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation all in one, says Kevin Smith, MD, plastic surgeon at Charlotte Plastic Surgery in North Carolina. The hydrating formula comes in one universal shade that blends with every skin tone, so you can skip the hassle that often comes with color-matching.
Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15
This cult-favorite foundation is ideal for controlling oil and covering pesky hyperpigmentation or acne scars. The full-coverage, matte finish is totally budget-proof for long-lasting wear, but still offers natural-feeling moisture with the addition of hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, and vitamin E.
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick
For no-mess application, go for this waterproof stick foundation from Hourglass. It’s packed with intense pigment, which blends and sinks into the skin for easy and flawless application that covers redness and imperfections without slip-sliding around. Plus, the slim packaging is perfect for travel.
Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation
Celebrity makeup artist Tim Quinn calls this foundation, which comes in 20 shades, his “all-time summer must-have.” Depending on how you apply it, the SPF 25 formula can provide light to full coverage. If you’re especially active (read: sweaty!) in the heat, “use this product for a makeup look that won’t move,” Quinn advises.
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
“This waterproof concealer is great for summer—it allows your skin to breathe while effectively blurring out imperfections,” says Los Angeles-based hair and makeup artist Bethany Brill. It contains a high concentration of pigments that stay put with a matte finish, making it perfect for both face and body. “Less is more,” says Brill. “Just cover what needs to be and let your skin breathe and shine through.”
A note on primer!
Sure, you can take any of these waterproof foundations for a spin—or, you can waterproof your favorite foundation instead by using Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer as a base, says McElroy. It’s oil-free, benefits all skin types, and helps your foundation stay all day. It also contains antioxidants (vitamin A, E, and peptides) that protect your skin from environmental pollutants, damage, and stress.
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