Experts choose the bargain foundations they wouldn't hesitate to use — even on the faces of their famous clients.

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Top makeup artists have access to the world’s most luxe, high-end foundations. So if a drugstore foundation impresses them, you know it’s good.

We asked 10 artists to share their all-time favorite drugstore foundations, and there were some clear standouts.


Makeup artist: Amber Dreadon

Clients: Lorde, Haim, Sofia Ritchie, Florence Welch

Favorite: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation ($8). “I discovered how great this foundation is when I worked on a couple of shows with Maybelline this season at New York Fashion Week. The shade selection is so great. It just looks like great skin.”

Makeup artist: Matthew VanLeeuwen

Clients: Lea Michele, Camila Alves, Minka Kelly

Favorite: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation. “The formula goes on so smooth, and the texture is matte and silky without being dull or chalky looking.”

Makeup artist: Sage Maitri

Clients: Judy Greer, Jessica Capshaw, Melissa Fumero

Favorite: Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation ($6). “I always look for formulations that are labeled ‘dewy’ and ‘hydrating.’ This is actually oil-free and has buildable coverage.”

Makeup artist: Joy Fennell

Clients: Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera

Favorite: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm ($8). “Once I started using this product [at fashion shows], I fell in love with it. Now I use it on a lot of my shoots and clients, and everyone is surprised how much they end up loving it. It’s such a ‘no fuss’ product. Once it goes on, you don’t have to worry about it for the entire day.”


Makeup artist: Kelly Hunt

Clients: Lizzy Caplan, Amber Valetta, Sofia Richie

Favorite: L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Makeup ($9). “I discovered it way back when I was in college and had a bad breakout from stressing over all those midterm papers. Now I use it on clients whenever I need a product with great coverage that doesn’t get cake-y. True Match is not only a buildable foundation, but it’s also oil-free, which is great for anyone with trouble-prone skin.”

Makeup artist: Nicole Walmsley

Clients: Katheryn Winnick, Katrina Bowden, Phoebe Tonkin

Favorite: L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Makeup. “It’s an oil-free formula that provides light to medium coverage. I love that it’s SPF 17 and comes in 33 shades. It’s divided into warm, neutral, and cool colors, setting it apart from other drugstore brands.”


Makeup artist: Denika Bedrossian

Clients: Kelly Osbourne, Kelly Cutrone, Kelis

Favorite: Revlon ColorStay Foundation ($13). “Its oil-control components help with shine, and it sets matte on the skin.”

Makeup artist: Julie Harris

Clients: Allison Williams, Ashley Greene, Kate Hudson

Favorite: Revlon Nearly Naked Makeup ($10). “I love the consistency and color choices. It has light to medium coverage with a satin finish to give the skin a luminous and flawless look without feeling heavy.”

Makeup artist: Robert Sesnek

Clients: Chrissy Teigen, Kate Upton, Kiernan Shipka

Favorite: Revlon ColorStay Whipped Creme Makeup ($11). “I needed a buildable cream foundation for a client that required a little more coverage, but my cream foundation of choice was not available in her shade. I gave this a try and everyone was blown away by the results!”


Makeup artist: Kirin Bhatty

Clients: Jessica Pare, Alessandra Ambrosio, Abigail Spencer

Favorite: CoverGirl TruBlend Liquid Makeup ($10). “I love (it) because the coverage is sheer, but buildable if you need a little extra coverage. The finish is luminous, which is what I strive for every time I work.”

Editor’s note:
We also put drugstore mascaras and eyeliners to the test, and found 10 beauty gems for under $5.