Best makeup for combination skin

Finding the best makeup for combination skin is no easy task. There are millions of products out there and hundreds of brands that create different products.

While we can’t guarantee that wearing makeup will solve your skin problems, it is possible to improve the appearance of your skin tone by using the right products. Here are some tips for makeup for combination skin:

  1. Foundation

Foundation should be a light color that is close to your natural skin tone. This will help to even out any redness on the cheeks or around the eyes. If you have dark spots on your face, consider using a darker foundation so that it will appear more even.

  1. Concealer

You might want to use a concealer if you have dark circles under your eyes or acne scars on your face (you can even use it as a spot treatment). It will help hide any imperfections in your face and make them less visible than they would be without concealer. The best kind of concealer is one that has both matte and shimmery finishes so that it gives you great coverage without looking too heavy on top of other products applied over it (like foundation).

  1. Powder Foundation

If you have oily skin and/or large pores on your nose then powder foundation might not be best for you since it can make things worse for those areas rather than better—but if those

Best makeup for combination skin

Finding the best foundation for combination skin is no easy feat. Besides looking for a shade that matches your skin tone, there’s the other big challenge: making sure it’s actually compatible with — and complements — your finicky half-oily, half-dry skin type. 

“Usually the oily areas are in the T-zone, which is the forehead, nose, and chin,” says Morgan Rabach, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. “The shine represents excess oil production and there may be whiteheads or blackheads in the area.” As for the other areas on the face (like the cheeks), she says they’re usually dry and can be prone to flakiness.

There are, however, some benefits to having combination skin. According to Dr. Rabach, the oil in the skin helps it stay moisturized and softer. “It also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and keeps skin protected in cold or windy weather,” she adds.

Especially with such abundant foundation options in the market and new ones constantly launching (hello, choice overload), it helps to know what to look for when you have combination or oily skin. “Oil-free foundations always help, particularly if you find that wearing makeup clogs your pores and causes breakouts,” says Tobi Henney, a makeup artist in New York City. “Mattifying foundations can also be great as they will give you more longevity throughout the day and avoid looking too shiny.” 

Also, opt for products without fragrance or dyes as these can irritate the dry areas, adds Dr. Rabach. Application-wise, remember: You can always use more or less foundation on certain parts of your face, depending on where you need more coverage. 

To make your shopping process easier, we tapped makeup pros and asked them to share their tried-and-true formulas that leave behind a gorgeous, long-lasting tint without compromising the health of your skin. From drugstore gems like Maybelline New York to department-store favorites like Shiseido, read on for 13 of the best foundations for combination skin, ever.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Kosas revealer skinimproving foundation on white background

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Kosas Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation SPF 25

Shop Now$42

Practically every Allure editor is obsessed with the Kosas Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation SPF 25, and for good reason. Inspired by the brand’s beloved Revealer Concealer, this foundation is formulated with skin-friendly ingredients like hyaluronic acid to leave dry skin (or patches) feeling hydrated and looking glowy, and niacinamide to curb excess sebum. Yes, in the long run, that means this formula even helps tackle blemishes. 

“It’s great for everyday use for combo skin,” says Miami-based makeup artist Lennie Billy, who calls out the lightweight feel and dewy finish of the 36-shade range.

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Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation

Shop Now$8 $3

The Maybelline New York Fit Me! Matte & Poreless Foundation won a Readers’ Choice Award in 2020 and 2021 for its many, many benefits. Combination skin types can rejoice in the fact that the lightweight matte formula evens out the skin and gives a blurring effect without looking the least bit cakey. This drugstore foundation blends easily even if you’re using your fingers and gives a shine-free finish that doesn’t err on the side of too dewy or too matte. Bonus: It’s affordable too, ringing in at just $8.

Charlotte Tilbury beautiful skin foundation on white background

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Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation

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Achieve hydrated, plumper, and brighter skin in a cinch with Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin Foundation which glides on like silk and comes in 30 breathable, non-cakey shades. “I love this product — it makes the skin look ultra glowy and healthy,” says Henney, who emphasizes the hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acid, one of this formula’s key ingredients. Combination skin types, don’t forget: “Add powder to your T-zone to keep the shine at bay,” Henney adds.

Nars Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation on white background

Courtesy of brand4/13Nars Light Reflecting Foundation


Makeup and skin care come together with the Nars Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation. This medium-coverage formula comes in 36 shades and is a 70 percent mix of skin-care ingredients to improve clarity over time. Key ingredients include biomimetic oat (to reduce redness), a plant called Japanese lilyturf (to maintain moisture), cacao peptides (to boost skin resiliency), and milk thistle (to minimize the negative effects of environmental stressors). “I prefer to apply it with my fingers, blending from the center of the face to the edges and down the neck,” says New York City-based makeup artist Robin Black. “It’s buildable, so you can layer in any areas where you want extra coverage.”

Ilia true skin serum foundation on white background

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Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation

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The Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation is a lightweight, natural-finish formula that comes in 30 shades, but what makes it a superstar is its active levels of niacinamide and allantoin to refine uneven texture and soothe skin. “The finish is radiant and although it’s listed as medium coverage, to me it’s more of a sheer [formula] that is buildable to [a] medium [level],” says Black. Her trick of the trade? “If you feel like parts of your face look too dry, pat a little translucent balm over the foundation (such as Chanel’s Baume Essentiel or Tatcha’s The Serum Stick) to add a sheen.”

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Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation

Shop Now$68

Looking for a long-wearing foundation that won’t budge through an endless, tedious day of work, events, or errands? Then Pat McGrath Labs’s Sublime Perfection Foundation is for you. This flexible formula comes in 36 shades and is made with unique polymers for long-lasting wear, while high-purity pigments treated with amino acids create a creamy feel, and diamond-core powder boosts radiance. Henney recommends this luxe liquid base for combination skin types and notes that a Beautyblender helps with application. Start by using the sponge on the center of your face and work outwards for a flawless, perfectly blended finish.

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Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation

Shop Now$38

“For combo skin, I tend to go for products that are more geared toward a soft matte finish and also have some oil-control features,” says Los Angeles- and New York City-based makeup artist Kirin Bhatty. “This way, you get the best of both worlds and meet in the middle.” She says that the Best of Beauty Award-winning Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation fits the bill and is neither too matte nor too dewy and simultaneously tames shine.

This oil-free foundation shook up the industry in 2017 when it debuted with a 50-strong shade range, and it still holds its title as one of the best foundations for combination skin, oily skin, and normal skin types. It also feels light as air, diffuses the look of pores, and can be easily built up from medium to full coverage.

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