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For most of us, the foundation options of the past left us with a base that oxidized into a shade we can only describe as non-human, or alternatively, extremely appreciative for lenient return policies like Sephora's. But thankfully, times have changed, and some of the finest foundations for dark skin also happen to be some of the most affordable. To prove it, we did a deep dive into the abundance of drugstore foundation offerings out there, narrowing it down to the 10 most incredible formulas and shade ranges you can get your hands on. From the matte and full-coverage to the lightweight and dewy, the list ahead has a budget-friendly foundation for every dark-skinned beauty.
How We Found The Best Drugstore Foundations For Dark Skin
To round up this list, we tapped our data-driven algorithm that ranks and scores products by factoring in best-selling buzz, editor recommendations, rave reviews, and more. The result? An unbiased selection of the best drugstore foundations out there for dark skin, none of which you’ll need to mix together to create the perfect shade. Scroll on to see which formulas made the cut.
Next up, check out the 10 Best Drugstore Primers. Opening image: @lorealparis
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Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation
BEST FOR LARGE PORES
WHAT IT DOES: If you struggle with large pores and slick skin, this stuff was made for you. Lightweight and oil-free, the formula contains lentil extract to blur the appearance of prominent pores and tamp down on excess sheen. Bonus: it has multi-colored pigments that adjust to match your skin tone, so it's practically guaranteed to look flawless.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Foundations targeted toward oily skin can are often quite drying, but don't fret—this one contains shea butter to serve up extra hydration while it controls shine.
Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation
BEST FOR COMBINATION SKIN
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Finding a foundation for combo skin can be tough—while you want something that'll hydrate those dry patches, you also want to make sure you're not ending up with an oily T-zone in the process. This hardworking formula tackles both issues, all while providing a flawless, camera-ready finish.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This foundation underwent major road testing under seven different photo lighting conditions to ensure it always looks good in front of the camera.
Covergirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation
BEST DEWY FINISH
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Ever wonder how people achieve that flawless, glazed-donut look? This is it. This lightweight, milky foundation leaves the skin with a fresh, healthy look and provides just enough coverage to conceal imperfections.
USER REVIEW: "This is my favorite foundation I have ever tried. I'm a light-coverage girl with freckles, and I'm not trying to cover them up. I have combination skin. I don't find myself having to powder throughout the day, and it still looks beautiful after eight hours. The color match is perfect for me."
Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-In-1 Foundation + Concealer
BEST FULL COVERAGE
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: The biggest selling point for this drugstore foundation? No concealer needed. The two-in-one formula can cover everything from dark circles to hyperpigmentation, all without looking heavy or cakey.
USER REVIEW: "This is so good! It covers a lot without being heavy, and a little goes a surprisingly long way. Without adding powder, it lasted all day, and thank god it has a pump! Overall very worth it."
L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation
BEST MEDIUM COVERAGE
WHO IT'S FOR: Want something that's thick enough to provide coverage but lightweight enough to feel breathable? Meet your match. Bonus points for the antioxidants that hydrate the skin and improve its appearance over time.
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Reviewers also love this formula for the luminous finish—not too matte, not too glowy.
L'Oreal Paris Makeup True Match Super-Blendable Liquid Foundation
BEST FOR HYPERPIGMENTATION
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Not only is this cult-classic foundation packed with skin-loving ingredients like pro-vitamin B5 and vitamin E, but it's also available in an impressive amount of shades—45, to be exact. You can even choose from a range of undertones (cool, neutral, and warm), so it's pretty much impossible not to achieve a perfect match.
AS SEEN ON: Even Beyoncé is a fan. For reference, she wears the shade "Soft Sable."
Maybelline New York Super Stay Full Coverage Foundation
WHO IT'S FOR: In search of a foundation that delivers full-coverage wear without the cakey finish? Look no further. This drugstore formula is oil-free and delivers a breathable feel that won't clog pores or exaggerate texture. Bonus: it lasts a whopping 30 hours.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Thanks to a blurring effect, this foundation minimizes the appearance of imperfections under any type of lighting. Not bad for $10, huh?
L'Oreal Paris Infallible Fresh Wear 24HR Foundation
WHAT IT DOES: Water and sweat are no threat to this full-coverage formula. It's made with three oil absorbers that resist the smudging effects of sweat, water, and even transfer to ensure that your makeup look is unstoppable.
USER REVIEW: "I've been using this foundation for a year now, and I love it. At first, it started as just my everyday work foundation, but then I started using it for special occasions also and just built up the coverage. I love it, and the price is great also."
L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Longwear Foundation
BEST LIGHT COVERAGE
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: This L'Oreal foundation is perfect for those days where you don't feel up to wearing a full face of makeup but still need to look presentable.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: If you don't have time for touch-ups, this foundation for dark skin is essential. It resists sweat, heat, and humidity for up to 24 hours.
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
WHO IT'S FOR: If you have large pores, you know that makeup tends to magnify them in a big way—but not all foundations are created equal. This formula minimizes the appearance of pores and leaves you with a satiny matte finish.
USER REVIEW: "I have been using this foundation for years, and I will not use anything else. This foundation is just as great as the high-end ones. The coverage is fantastic, and it is awesome for my oily skin. Try it—you won't regret it!"