Anyone who knows me knows that I do not go anywhere without a longwear, full coverage, mattifying foundation on my face. The workplace is no exception. As someone who has always struggled with acne-prone and oily skin, my foundation is the most important part of my morning routine to help me feel confident and ready to take on my day. I’ve tried a ton of different foundations over the past few years as a result and I decided to re-test my favorite foundations at work over the past two weeks to see which foundations really stand up to the test of time!

1. Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Foundation – $48

This foundation is probably the most lightweight full coverage foundation I have ever tried and I’m obsessed! It looks incredibly natural on the skin and doesn’t cake up throughout the day, is incredibly easy to apply, and dries down quickly so that it doesn’t get all over my puffs or makeup brushes as I continue my application. The best way that I’ve found to apply it is with a dense foundation brush. I work nine hour days but it can be almost fourteen hours before I remove my makeup. If I’m planning on going out after work I’ll apply some powder to my T-zone to blot away the oil my skin inevitably produces, but that will normally be about 11 hours after application, well past the end of the work day. This is definitely my new go to foundation!

2. MAC Pro-Longwear Foundation – $34

For the longest time this was my favorite workplace foundation until I found the Laura Mercier foundation, and it still holds a special place in my heart. The formula is a bit thicker, definitely full coverage, and I’ve found that it applies best with a beauty sponge as opposed to a foundation brush. I’ve never had to touch it up over the course of the work day and I’ll only reapply powder if I’m getting ready to go out somewhere after work! After about 10 hours I’ve noticed that it gets a little cakey and slick in my T-zone, and in all honesty, this is the last foundation that I would wear in a hot or humid climate where you’d be sweating due to its tendency to cake up when your skin gets oily, but for an air conditioned office environment? It’s perfect!

3. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 – $39

No matter what new foundations I try or become obsessed with I always – without fail – come back to this one. The Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation was actually my very first high-end foundation I ever used, primarily because of its full coverage, thicker consistency, and the fact that it touts all-natural ingredients which won’t irritate my acne-prone skin. While it will gradually become cakey throughout the day it holds up well both in air conditioned spaces and outside, making it an ideal go-to foundation for your whatever your day may bring!

4. L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation – $13

This foundation has to be the best drug store foundation I have ever tried and, as you can see, beats out other high-end foundations for me that claim to do the same thing. Not only is the price tag amazing, but the length of time that it lasts for is amazing as well. It lasts me throughout the entire work day with only one touch up of powder to my T-zone after lunch. The formula is on the thicker side of liquid but not quite cream, incredibly high coverage, and easily blendable with a beauty sponge. The only thing that I don’t like about this foundation is that, while it holds in my oil and keeps me from being shiny, after about 8 hours of wear it starts to look cakey and like it’s separating from my skin in splotches.

5. Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation – $35

This foundation used to be my absolute go-to because it is literally made for those of us with uncontrollably oily skin. While the Sephora employees recommend that you use a hydrating primer with this foundation, because it can be “pretty drying,” I’ve found that when I combine it with my most mattifying primer it keeps my oil in check for long periods of time. However, it doesn’t last me the full 8-10 between putting my makeup on in the morning and getting home from work. By about hour 5 or 6 I noticed my T-zone had become really oily but hadn’t separated from my face at all, giving me an interesting shine but still with full coverage. When I touched it up with powder it looked as though I hadn’t touched it all! But I had to do this a couple times throughout the day, which landed it where it is on this list.

6. Clinique Super Balanced Silk Makeup – $25

This foundation was aptly named because it really does feel like you’re applying silk to your skin when you sponge it on! The formula is incredibly lightweight and while it’s between medium to full coverage, it definitely lands on the fuller end for me personally. Unfortunately this foundation doesn’t last as long as the others before I need to touch up. After about 7 hours the foundation begins to separate from my face and will come off on my fingers if I accidentally touch my cheek or nose, and after about 9 hours my entire face is shiny and oily. I’ll often use this foundation if I’m only planning on wearing makeup for a few hours but I don’t end up using it often for work because I have others that hold up better.

7. Sephora 10hr Wear Perfection Foundation – $20

This was the second high(er)-end foundation I had ever tried and for a long time I loved it, but now that I’ve tried out other foundations and formulas I find that I hardly every reach for it. When I wore it to work this week I found that it started to separate from my T-zone after 3 or 4 hours and one accidental swipe of my hand took off half of the foundation from my nose. I had to touch up it up multiple times throughout the day to make sure that my skin didn’t look splotchy or uneven, which is not something that I want to worry about throughout the day when I need to be focusing on my work.

What’s your favorite foundation that you’ve found for your skin type? Let me know in the comments below!

14 thoughts on “My Favorite Longwear Foundations for the Workplace, Ranked

  1. My favorite is the Tarte Amazonian 12 hour clay foundation. I have tried a few of the lower end products that you mentioned but love the Tarte. I may try some of your other suggestions as an alternative.

  2. I love the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation. Just like you, it has been the best drugstore foundation I’ve tried. And I love the price. I don’t use too much foundation. So this one is perfect for me!

  3. Foundation and I aren’t really the best of friends. It’s hard for me to find the right color (often times the light colors are still a bit dark/have too much of a red undertone) and coverage for the right price, so often I just use concealer to even out any redness. I would love to try some of these though if I had more money for makeup!

  4. The Laura Mercier foundation is AAAMAZING! I switch back and forth between that and Estee Lauder double wear but the Tarte one kinda looks up my alley! Maybe I’ll try that next time I start running out.

  5. This is a great list! The Laura Mercier one definitely sounds like a winner. I’m all about foundation that it’s lightweight and not cakey.

  6. I use a lot of Laura Mercier products but somehow haven’t tried the foundation! I have to try it – and I LOVE the Tarte one too!

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