If You're Going to Wear Foundation, You Might as Well Get Some Extra Sun Protection with These 7 SPF Formulas

You need UV protection year-round, so the extra help in these favorite foundations of mine can't hurt.
Publish date:
October 11, 2016
mac, Armani, YSL, covergirl, spf, Lancome, charlotte tilbury, foundation, spf makeup, matte foundation, L'oreal

I'm obsessed with wearing sunscreen year-round, but I've never really given much thought to wearing makeup with SPF on top of my normal daily sunscreen until just recently. Unless I'm going to be exposed to a lot of sunlight like I would during the summer, I don't typically reapply my facial sunscreen during my workday. So now that it's fall and I'm rarely reapplying, I figured it would be good to add some extra sun protection via foundation.

I've tried a lot of different brands and formulas at different price points. Here's a rundown of my favorites.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15

As far as higher-end foundations go (this one is $44), Magic Foundation is pretty reasonable, especially compared to my HG foundation (which we'll get to in a bit). As far as coverage goes, this is a solid medium with potential to build to full-coverage. The texture is really creamy — slightly on the thicker side, but not in a way that makes it feel heavy. It blends really well into the skin (I tried both with a beautyblender and a brush, and I found it blended slightly better with a beautyblender) and it leaves a fresh finish: not overly dewy, but not matte either.

Being an oily gal, my biggest concern is whether or not a foundation is going to stay on my face. This one wore well throughout the day, but I did see some fading through the T-zone, even with setting powder. Overall, though, I really like it. and as far as non-matte foundations go, this is definitely high up on my list.

CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation + Broad Spectrum SPF 20

I've actually written about this one before, and at under $9, it remains one of my favorite drugstore foundations.

The coverage is medium to full, and the finish is more on the matte side (although not completely so). The texture is a bit thick, and blending requires a little more effort (the brush was the winner on this one), but it does stay on really well with only minimal fading at the end of the day.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Skin Balancing Complex

I own a stupid amount of MAC lipsticks, and I am obsessed with the Pro Longwear Concealer, but I've never actually owned a MAC foundation until recently.

I'm 100% here for the shade range on the Studio Fix Fluid ($28) but I am a bit disappointed that it does not have a pump, especially considering it can be hard to get the right amount of product out of the jar. Beyond that, I like this foundation a lot. The coverage is on the medium to full end, and it blends equally well with a beautyblender and a brush.

It's one of the better foundations I've tried with regards to overall staying power. I do find that by the end of the day it can settle in the pores near my nose a bit, but it's nothing a little blotting can't help.

L'Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 17

I wanted to include a couple of drugstore options since my two favorites are expensive, but to be honest, this one is not the best option if you have oily skin. I really like the initial finish — it's medium coverage and very natural looking — but the staying power on my skin was not great. Not terrible by any means; just not the best. I do think this would be an excellent affordable option for normal to dry skin, though.

Another issue I ran into is the difference moving from one shade into the next when you get close to my range. I will say, however, that I'm super-impressed with how L'Oreal has made an effort to expand their shade range to include more options for people of color. I wish more brands (especially at the drugstore level) would follow suit!

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15

This $47 foundation is the fullest coverage of the bunch and also the most matte. I like that a little goes a long way with how full coverage it is, but it does take some adjusting to not apply to heavily. This liquid is on the thicker side, but I had no problems blending it out, and it was definitely one of the longest-lasting with only a little bit of fading around where my glasses sit.

My favorite part of Teint Idole is that the shade range has some excellent options for POC.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Do you ever do that thing where you try something you know you shouldn't because it's expensive and you know you'll probably love it and it will ruin your life a little bit by being so awesome? Yeah, I did the thing. First with the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (which I still really love and have repurchased) and now again with the $64 Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!

Anyways, I really love this foundation. It's not my HG, but it's definitely in the top three of all time. The coverage is a solid medium, and it blends beautifully. It just makes my skin look next-level amazing. The only thing that keeps this from being a big-time contender for HG status is that it does fade a bit in the T-zone by the end of the day.

YSL Fusion Ink Foundation SPF 18

You can't see me right now, but I typed the heading for this one out and then put a hand on my heart because this Fusion Ink is my boo forever. Yeah, that's right, *sings* my oh, my OH, my oh, my o-oh, my booooo!

Back to the point: this $60 foundation is my favorite all time foundation because it actually looks better on me as the day wears on. The consistency of Fusion Ink is really watery, but the coverage is actually amazing (medium-full). The finish is a velvety matte that, over the day, transitions into looking like your skin is just really on point.

I don't get fading with this one except where my glasses rub against my nose, and the shade range is excellent. I've written about this before; it is still the one, and if YSL ever tries to get rid of it, I will SET IT OFF.

  • What are your favorite foundations with SPF?
  • Do any of you feel as strongly about a foundation as I do about Fusion Ink (probably not, but just humor me)?