5 Full Coverage Matte Foundations for Fair Skin

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5 Full Coverage Matte Foundations for Fair Skin: Urban Decay All-Nighter Foundation in 1.0, Maybelline Fit Me Matte+Poreless Liquid Foundation in 110 Porcelain, MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC10, IDUN Minerals Norrsken Liquid Foundation in Jorunn, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup Foundation in 1N1 Ivory Nude (swatches and comparison)

5 Full Coverage Matte Foundations for Fair Skin

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for full coverage foundations when my skin decided to surprise me with worse than usual hormonal breakouts. It’s kind of my fault that happened, though. September was my Birthday month, so I way overindulged on sweets. Every time I went out with friends or family, I would have a sweet treat, because it’s my Birthday. In addition to that, I would eat a lot of sugary treats at home, too, so a massive breakout was pretty much inevitable. Luckily, I still had my secret stash of trusted full coverage foundations to lean on, so I dusted them off and gave each one a nice test ride. I figured I’m not the only one who likes to wear these, either daily or occasionally, so I decided to write a short post with brief mini-reviews of each foundation [including non-toxic and cruelty-free options], and of course, some comparison swatches.

1 // Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup Foundation in 1N1 Ivory Nude ($42 for 1 oz) – This is my summer shade when my face finally gets a little bit of color. It’s a very classic foundation that’s been a fan favorite for many years, and rightfully so. It’s very long-lasting even when I don’t set it with setting powder. If you have oily or combo skin, the initial matte finish will get slightly dewier by the end of the day, but it will still look good. The formula is fragrance-free and oil-free. I had equally good results applying this foundation with a sponge and with brushes.

Cons: Can accentuate dry patches, so it’s best used by people with oily and combination skin for that reason. The product needs to be shaken out of the bottle.

2 // IDUN Minerals Norrsken Liquid Foundation in Jorunn ($33 for 1 oz) – This super pale neutral nude is my winter shade, when the summer ‘tan’ fades away. Mineral formula is considered green and non-toxic, but the consistency is a little heavier than I like. I usually mix it with a little bit of moisturizer or primer to thin it out, which doesn’t affect the coverage much. The finish is ultra matte and can look a bit flat, so I usually contour subtly to avoid looking like a porcelain doll. Not that there’s anything wrong with that if that’s the look you’re going for. 😉 The formula is fragrance-free, talc-free, bismuth-free, contains lingonberry oil. IDUN Minerals recommends applying it with a brush, but in my experience that always resulted in streaks and uneven finish. I think a dampened sponge is the best for this one.

Cons: Easy to over-apply, may settle into deeper lines if not set, looks a bit flat on the skin.

3 // MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC10 ($29 for 1 oz) – Just like Estee Lauder Double Wear above, this is another cult classic foundation that a lot of people seem to love. The range of shades it comes in is truly impressive, and the comfortable matte finish looks good even on people with dry skin. NC10 happens to be my perfect match, so it looks very natural. The formula can be easily sheered out for medium coverage or built up to full. Love that it never looks too flat and dry despite being a matte finish, and it can be worn as medium coverage or built up to full. Fragrance-free and photo-friendly, contains silicones for skin-blurring effect. Whether I use a brush or a sponge, the result is always great.

Cons: Never fully sets on its own, so it can easily transfer to clothes and smudge off when you touch your skin. Needs to be set with a setting powder or a spray. Also, the bottle doesn’t come with a pump, so you have to shake out the product.

4 // Maybelline Fit Me Matte+Poreless Liquid Foundation in 110 Porcelain ($7.99 for 1 oz) – Another close match for my skin tone, and probably my favorite drugstore foundation for combination/oily skin. It’s one of the few foundations that don’t budge in the summer heat, and I’ve tested it times and times again. The formula sets with a powdery, ultra matte finish and will. not. budge. It’s a thicker foundation that you can sheer out slightly with a little bit of primer to adjust the coverage for your needs. I prefer using a dampened sponge to apply this one, but a large foundation brush seems to work well too. The formula is oil-free but contains parabens.

Cons: Can accentuate dry patches, and needs to be shaken out of the bottle.

5 // Urban Decay All-Nighter Foundation in 1.0 ($40 for 1 oz) This is the newest foundation in my stash, and the shade is something between my winter and summer skin tone. Let’s call it a transitional shade! The formula is by far the thinnest of the bunch, and it’s packed with pigment. UD says that a little goes a long way, and it’s definitely true for this one. I think I use maybe a grain of rice worth of product for my entire face, and it provides perfect full coverage throughout without looking cakey or flat. Best applied with a standard dampened makeup sponge. Because the formula sets extremely fast I wouldn’t recommend dotting it all over your face to start with. Just work with small areas and only apply when you’re ready to blend.

Cons: Despite being advertised as a 24h foundation, it actually starts separating after 6 and revealing deep cracks on the skin. Requires touchups for that reason.

5 Full Coverage Matte Foundations for Fair Skin: Urban Decay All-Nighter Foundation in 1.0, Maybelline Fit Me Matte+Poreless Liquid Foundation in 110 Porcelain, MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC10, IDUN Minerals Norrsken Liquid Foundation in Jorunn, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup Foundation in 1N1 Ivory Nude (swatches and comparison)

Swatches Top to Bottom: Urban Decay All-Nighter Foundation in 1.0, Maybelline Fit Me Matte+Poreless Liquid Foundation in 110 Porcelain, MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC10, IDUN Minerals Norrsken Liquid Foundation in Jorunn, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup Foundation in 1N1 Ivory Nude.


Matte full-coverage foundations are a great way to mask skin imperfections, and often I don’t even need to double up with a concealer. I don’t like using a lot of makeup in the first place, so the less products I have to apply to my face the better. Out of these five my absolute favorite for everyday wear is MAC Studio Fix, because it offers buildable, flexible formula that looks like second skin. For looking good in photos it’s a tie between Estee Lauder Double Wear and UD All-Nighter, they really give the skin that perfect, airbrushed finish without looking flat and dull.

Do you wear matte full coverage foundation or do you prefer dewy finish? What’s your favorite foundation right now? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • I really love the Maybelline one. I use it all of the time and the Matte one is the best. I like the idea of the dewey finish ones because they have SPF but it just makes me feel super greasy and shiny halfway through the day.

    • I agree, it’s such a great foundation and budget-friendly too. It’s hard to find a good drugstore foundation, so that one is a pure gem.

  • Bummer about the UD needing touchups so soon. I rarely wear foundation, but when I do it’s needed for extended amounts of time.

    • Well, maybe it’s just that my skin type is not right for it? I don’t know. But I definitely expected more from it.

  • Allison @neversaydiebeauty

    So informative! I’ve considered trying a few of these because I like full coverage foundation. But sounds like they may not be for me with my dry skin. Guess I’ll stick with my MUFE Ultra HD liquid and stick foundations and Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation that are not completely matte or at least w my primer they aren’t

    • UD All-Nighter feels very similar to MUFE liquid, you should try it. On my combo skin it started separating after a while, but maybe it won’t if your skin is dry. Maybe get a sample at Sephora and see how you like it?

      I believe MAC Studio Fix Fluid can work for dry skin too.

      • Allison @neversaydiebeauty

        Good idea! I’ll try the UD. The fact that the MAC needs setting spray or powder is a non-starter for me 😀

  • I do wear matte foundation for TV shoot or certain days I need full coverage but at any given day, I just wear light. Great roundup!

    • Matte foundations look really good on camera, that’s why I like to wear them for a lot of my full-face swatches and makeup selfies, haha 🙂

  • Kristi Vasquez

    I don’t really wear full coverage. I had one and I ended up always mixing it with a partial coverage one. I do like all these options though! Great review!

  • marciaf

    I’m a shade up from you in the Idun. I mostly use a damp Beauty Blender since I don’t want it too full although in winter I may want to use it a little heavier. My skin has gotten drier as I’ve aged but I remember foundations all disappearing when I was oily.

    • I think I am heading in the same direction. My skin used to be a lot oilier, but it’s feeling a bit dry on some days now.

  • Mai

    I’m a matte to satin finish foundation kind of gal, I would much prefer to control the shine/glow versus having to tone it down with powder.

    • Same here, I like matte or semi-matte foundations and then add the glow where needed.

  • Matte and Poreless is my fave out of these– double wear makes my face feel really tight.

    • Matte+Poreless is such a great drugstore foundation! Double Wear is definitely best used by someone with oilier skin type.

  • Ehmkay Nails

    So much great information. I don’t even use foundation!

  • Stacie Wacie

    Great post! I’m halfway through a bottle of Nars’s All Day Luminous foundation and I don’t love it. I’d been using MAC NW10 and I may go back when the Nars is gone.

    • MAC foundations are really good. I suppose they should be, since they were made for MUAs in the first place.

  • I don’t use foundation, I’m a face lotion and go kind of gal.

    • I bet it’s healthier for you that way anyway, but I just can’t resist a good canvas, hehe 🙂

  • I’ve used Ester Lauder in the past but I’m ready to try a liquid mineral foundation.

    • It’s always nice to try something new 🙂

  • FairyTales Nails

    SOme of these sound really great, I always have problems matching my skin tone as I’m so pale but some of these look like they would be good x

    • I know right? There really aren’t enough options for very fair skin.

  • I have never looked into a matte finish foundation, didn’t know they existed! I will have to check a few of these out!

  • Suvituulikki Vähänen

    I own almost every foundation of this post. Idun minerals have a very pale shades. Jorunn is almost too pale for me, which is very rare☺. I like these days more a dewy finish becauce acne treatment product make my skin dry. Mac NC 10 is my favorite, the skin looks so a beautiful. A good post,thanks! Sorry my bad english, i’m in finish girl😉

    • Haha, you own all the good stuff! 🙂 I agree on IDUN, their shade range is impressive. I think Jorunn is one of the lightest foundations I’ve ever seen from any brand. NC10 is so good, I’ve been using it a lot lately!