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Young woman applying a budget-friendly foundation.
The 13 Best Budget-Friendly Foundations, According To TikTok & Experts

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Shopping for a foundation can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re searching for your perfect shade or trying to find the right formula for your skin type, the sheer number of options can be enough to make you want to give up. Trying to find budget-friendly foundations that still do what they promise can add another layer of stress to the experience, especially when all those ads you’re served on TikTok and Instagram seem to suggest that the exorbitant prices equal quality. FYI, that’s not always the case.

Miranda Mendelson (aka @slashedbeauty on TikTok), a content creator specializing in budget-friendly makeup, explains that because larger beauty companies like L’Oréal own both drugstore brands (i.e Maybelline and NYX) and luxury brands (i.e. Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani Beauty), their drugstore formulas can be comparable to the formulas of the high-end brands that they own as well, so you can get practically the same amount of bang for much smaller bucks. That means some of your favorite TikTok “dupes” might just be made in close quarters to the higher-end versions. In this instance, budget-friendly and drugstore foundations are having a main character moment, thanks to the slew of viral videos from beauty lovers who uncover dupes and provide options that won’t dry up your bank account.

Ahead, you’ll find a curated list of 13 quality foundations that are ideal for those who are balling on a (small) budget. Keep scrolling to see beauty experts’ and TikTok’s favorite inexpensive foundation picks for every makeup and skin care concern.


Best For Minimizing Pores

At only $6, you might be skeptical at how low the price is, but this product went viral on TikTok because of the way it minimizes the look of pores. TikToker Alessandro said the foundation is “one of the most blurring powders you will ever use!”


Best For Glow

Wet n Wild might remind you of the era of frosted eyeshadow and thin brows, but the brand is making a comeback with its PhotoFocus Liquid Foundation. TikTok user Ayden, who frequently posts GRWM videos and tutorials, said the foundation was “super dewy” and “lasts all day.”


Best Shade Range

The e.l.f. Camo CC cream is a color-correcting foundation that provides medium to full coverage, while also providing SPF 30. “My biggest issue with drugstore foundations is that they lack in their shade range, but the e.l.f CC Cream has a really good shade range, skin-loving ingredients, and great coverage,” says beauty enthusiast Monica Ravichandran. It comes in 30 different shades!


Best For Oily Skin

The e.l.f. Flawless Satin Foundation gives great medium coverage with a satin finish — and for only $6. Content creator Natalie Atick-Nunez said, “I love how it looked on my oily skin. [It] also smoothed out the pores on my nose, which I loved.”


Best Hydrating Foundation

With over 250k hashtags on TikTok and has 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, the Catrice True Skin Hydrating Foundation is a well-known game-changer that went viral for its hydrating, smoothing abilities, thanks to the hyaluronic acid in the formula. “The pretty glass bottle with rose gold accents definitely makes it feel more expensive than $10 as well,” says Mendelson.


Best CC Cream

The IT Cosmetics Cosmetics CC+ Cream has been a fan-favorite of editors and makeup artists for a while now. The product is known for its full coverage, despite the fact that its lightweight formula makes it a CC cream. If you’re looking for an everyday skin tint that still covers, this is the product for you. Makeup artist and TikToker Sophie Creed said, “It’s just perfection in a tube.”


Best Shade Match

The Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation and Concealer not only has an incredible shade range, but according to TikTok creator Golloria, a trusted source for knowing which brands have the best shade ranges, the shade match is amazing. The foundation provides a medium to full coverage look and a matte (yet natural) finish. The formula is oil-free, which makes it a great foundation for oily skin and the fact that it’s sweat-proof and waterproof makes it the, as the name suggests, *perfect* foundation for the summer.

Best Foundation Stick

Looking for a quick way to apply and blend your base? Try a foundation stick. The Juvia’s Place Shade Stick Foundation is the easiest way to apply your foundation quickly and efficiently. TikTok creator Scurtoworld Beauty said the product provides “great coverage.” The product was also rated 4 stars on Amazon.


Best For Acne-Prone Skin

If you struggle with acne and are worried your makeup could make it worse, try the Neutrogena SkinClearing Liquid Makeup. Providing natural coverage, this foundation helps combat oil build-up and contains salicylic acid to get rid of and prevent breakouts. “It will not clog pores or cause any irritation,” said skin care consultant Skye SF Skincare.

Best for Longwear

Just as the name suggests, the L’Oreal Infallible Fresh Wear 24hr foundation is meant to provide incredibly long wear, so your foundation stays on your face throughout the day. Mendelson cites this as her holy-grail product because it’s buildable, blends naturally, and has the ability to last. Ravichandran is also a L’Oreal Fresh Wear Foundation gworl, because of its lightweight formula and luminous finish.


Best Coverage

The Bare With Me Blur Tint Foundation from NYX blurs away anything you’re looking to cover, giving your skin that Paris filter look. Nash, who provides tons of event makeup inspo and tutorials, said, “Not only does my skin look amazing, but it’s gonna last all day.” It provides a matte finish with medium coverage, so it's ideal for those who tend to be oily or aren’t into the dewy look. This is the ideal foundation if you’re looking for coverage, but are not trying to splurge.


Best Tinted Moisturizer

Wet n Wild strikes again! Warmer weather often calls for a tinted moisturizer, and Wet n Wild takes the first pick in the budget-friendly category. The buildable and easy-to-blend formula makes it amazing for creating a good base, while its status as a hydrator makes it great for folks with dry skin. “It’s such a pretty and flawless finish that I can only find in my really expensive foundations that are at least $40,” said creator Summer Gibby.

Best Blend

Like the Juvia’s Place Shade Stick foundation, the Thread Beauty Face It Complexion Stick is another great option for a stick foundation, except it is known for its amazing blend. Beauty influencer Jennifer Sun said the product was “effortlessly blendable and medium to full coverage.”

Experts cited:

Miranda Mendelson, budget beauty content creator

Monica Ravichandra, digital beauty content creator and 2023 Sephora Squad member