7 Dewy Finish Foundations For Gorgeous, Glowy Skin

Best Dewy Foundations

We independently select and review the products we recommend. If you make a purchase using our affiliate links below, we may earn a commission.

Dewy makeup foundations offer a more flattering way of enhancing your complexion by giving you a skin-like, fresh finish with medium coverage.

Surprisingly, most of us chased ‘flawless skin’ by using matte, full-coverage foundations to cover up every single imperfection on the face. And we all had our fair share of disappointment when the foundation ended up looking flat, heavy, and cakey.

It’s because a fully matte, high-coverage foundation doesn’t always translate to better skin. It can magnify what you’re trying to cover up. As someone in her late 30s, I experienced that frustration a little too many times. I can assure you that it’s not you, it’s the foundation!

In case you’ve never tried one before, here’s the gist. A dewy foundation has a visibly dewy, glowy finish that stays there throughout the day. It can differ in the level of coverage it provides and also the level of glow it gives to your skin. That’s why these foundations are not just for people with dry, or dull skin but for all skin types.

Now, whether you have oily skin or mature skin, or going for light coverage or medium coverage, below are the best dewy foundations I can swear by. I also added tool recommendations to help you get the best results from that particular foundation.

The Best Dewy Foundations

1. Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation

Best Dewy Foundation

Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation - Best Dewy Foundation
Image Courtesy of Sephora
Versatile coverage
Suitable for all skin types
Not too glowy
Gym/workout friendly
Pretty noticeable scent

This dewy foundation has such a light consistency that it’s almost like a fluid. As a 30-something, it’s among my all-time favorites because it has a medium coverage but it’s also buildable, allowing me to modify the look depending on the occasion. That’s why I think this is the best dewy foundation for all skin types.

It applies wet and glowy at first but dries down quickly and evenly. It evens out your skin tone, neutralizes redness, covers up hyperpigmentation, and smoothes out mild texture irregularities. The hydrating formula packs hyaluronic acid too. This will work for anyone looking for a long-lasting, waterproof, manageable coverage foundation with a dewy finish.

Coverage: Medium
Shades: 43
Size: 1.7 oz
Good To Know: Waterproof
Tool Recommendation: Applies better with fingers, or brush

2. Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation

Best Drugstore Dewy Foundation

Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation - Best Drugstore Dewy Foundation
Image Courtesy of Ulta
Beautiful radiant finish
Hydrating for the skin
Can be built up to full coverage
Affordable option that delivers
May be too radiant for oily skin

This is by far the best dewy foundation you can find at the drugstore. First off, the radiant finish is really impressive! It makes the skin visibly glowy no matter what type of primer you’re wearing underneath. The consistency is satisfyingly creamy and goes on beautifully.

It has medium but buildable coverage. This foundation is made for people with normal to dry skin. So if you’re on a budget and you’re going to be using this on oily or combination skin, avoid wearing glowy finish skin care such as a vitamin C serum underneath, and make sure to apply a mattifying primer.

Coverage: Medium
Shades: 24
Size: 1 oz
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, non-comedogenic
Tool Recommendation: Applies better with a brush, or sponge

3. Huda Beauty GloWish Multidew Skin Tint Foundation

Best Dewy Foundation For Dry Skin

Huda Beauty GloWish Multidew Skin Tint Foundation - Best Dewy Foundation For Dry Skin
Image Courtesy of Huda
Suitable for sensitive skin
Summer friendly formula
Very moisturizing
Takes a tiny amount to cover up the face
Difficult to find the exact shade match

This is a skin tint with surprisingly good coverage. You usually expect skin tints to be water-like and practically weightless and invisible. But this is very creamy and you can feel how moisturizing it is with that consistency.

It’s made with moisturizing squalane and rose oil to keep dry skin looking healthy and replenished. It has a beautiful glowy finish that freshens up dry skin just like that. To be honest, this is one of the glowiest foundations I’ve ever used and the perfect formula for a radiant, glowy base makeup!

Coverage: Light
Shades: 15
Size: 1.35 oz
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, vegan, cruelty-free
Tool Recommendation: Applies better with fingers, or brush

4. Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Foundation

Best Dewy Foundation For Oily Skin

Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Foundation - Best Dewy Foundation For Oily Skin
Image Courtesy of Ulta
Very light consistency
‘Breathable’ coverage
Works amazing on fine lines too
Buildable
Pricey for 1 ounce of product

It might get tricky to find a dewy foundation when you have oily skin. The level of glow is what you need to pay attention to. And that brings me to this dewy foundation I love using in the summer weather. It’s the exact opposite of the Stay-in-Place Matte Foundation.

This has a very runny consistency and a subtly radiant finish that gives you the second skin effect. Its light to medium coverage works great for all skin types. But because it’s oil-free, it’s great for people with oily and combination skin. Plus, the dewiness is so natural and soft. So it doesn’t make your skin look greasy or oily.

Quick Tip: Estee Lauder describes this foundation as having a ‘soft matte finish’. It’s not matte. It gives you that ‘glow from within’ effect. So don’t let the description confuse you.

Coverage: Light-medium
Shades: 27
Size: 1 oz
Good To Know: Oil-free, fragrance-free
Tool Recommendation: Applies better with fingers, or brush

5. Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 30

Best Dewy Foundation For Acne-Prone Skin

Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 30 - Best Dewy Foundation For Acne-Prone Skin
Image Courtesy of Shiseido
Works great on textured skin
Packs a considerable amount of SPF
Makes skin look fresh
Very unlikely to cause breakouts
Pricey for 1 ounce

If you have acne-prone skin, or dealing with acne bumps that give you uneven skin texture, this blurring foundation is going to help. It’s a medium-coverage foundation with a very subtly radiant, natural-looking finish. So it doesn’t draw attention to uneven skin texture.

Additionally, it’s oil-free, so it won’t clog pores or worsen acne. The creamy consistency contains silicones that blur out pores, making the skin smooth and velvety. The foundation has such a pleasant texture that it doesn’t even feel like it contains SPF! And because of that smoothing effect, people with wrinkles and fine lines will love this one too!

Coverage: Medium-high
Shades: 30
Size: 1 oz
Good To Know: Oil-free
Tool Recommendation: Applies better with a brush, or sponge

6. Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Foundation

Best Dewy Foundation For Mature Skin

Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Foundation - Best Dewy Foundation For Mature Skin
Image Courtesy of Nordstrom
Suitable for all skin types
Silicones don’t feel heavy on the skin
Has a soft-focus effect
Comes with pump
Pricey

The reason why this foundation is a hit for people with mature aging skin or textured skin is because of its thin consistency. When you have wrinkles or fine lines, you may not always want your foundation to stay locked in. You kind of want it to move with your face to avoid creasing in smile lines. That’s how it looks natural and that’s what’s called ‘your skin but better’.

This lightweight, long-wear foundation glides on the skin and puts a very nice veil on it. It’s not fully smoothing but it looks so elegant and natural on mature skin. It’s like people can see you’re wearing makeup but they see you’re not trying too hard. Its luminous finish looks amazing especially when you’re going for that makeup look with a healthy base, bold lips, and highlighting around the eyes.

Coverage: Medium
Shades: 40
Size: 1 oz
Good To Know: Oil-free
Tool Recommendation: Applies better with fingers, or brush

7. Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

Best Light Coverage Dewy Foundation

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
Image Courtesy of Nordstrom
Creamy, blendable texture
Looks even better after several hours
Easy to layer and build
Summer-friendly
Pump is sold separately

Even though this is a bit creamier and looks like it’s going to be heavy, this is an amazing foundation for sheer coverage with a glowy finish. It’s not heavily pumped with silicones or skin-blurring ingredients.

So if you have normal skin or you’re looking for something to wear every day just to get a healthy-looking, even base, this is great. It’s like a skin tint that evens skin tone and subtly improves skin texture. But the best part is that, unlike most other foundations, this one looks better and better later on during the day.

Quick Tip: This is a versatile foundation and you can get more coverage out of it. Apply a blurring primer underneath it. Then apply a thin layer of the foundation. Because it’s easy to build, you can go in with a second layer comfortably without dealing with cakiness.

Coverage: Light-medium
Shades: 40
Size: 1 oz
Good To Know: Fragrance-free
Tool Recommendation: Applies better with a sponge

So these are the best dewy foundations for naturally glowy skin. You can’t go wrong with Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation. It’s dewy but not shimmery, which makes it work for all skin types. In case you need a bit more coverage along with that dewy finish, Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation is a hit.

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, below is your guide to choosing a dewy foundation and how to properly apply it.

How To Choose a Dewy Foundation

Formula

First and foremost, it’s not pleasant to have your foundation break you out, or look patchy, or cakey. So pay attention to the formulation of the foundation and make sure it’s suitable for your skin type.

Go for oil-free and non-comedogenic foundations if you have oily or acne-prone skin. Go for moisturizing foundations made with hydrating ingredients if you have dry, dehydrated skin.

This will also help you find the right level of dewy finish. For example, foundations made for oily skin usually have a natural-looking radiant finish to avoid making the skin look greasy.

Shade

Finding the right foundation shade is paramount. If it’s too light, you won’t get any coverage. If it’s too dark, the color difference between your face and neck will look very unnatural.

So before anything else, sample the shades in-store first so that your foundation looks natural and skin-like. If you’re buying online, know that most brands have a shade finder application on their websites.

You type in your foundation from a brand, the shade you’re absolutely sure suits your skin tone, and then they find the matching shade from their range.

Coverage

Coverage is one of the most important factors to be considered when shopping for a foundation. But when it comes to dewy foundations, it’s best to stay in between and go for medium coverage.

A full-coverage dewy foundation can be really difficult to manage as something like that can look really heavy later on and that dewy can easily turn into oily.

As long as your foundation is buildable, you can layer it to get more coverage out of it. So overall, a medium coverage will be more versatile and customizable.

How To Apply Dewy Foundation

Skin Prep

Properly preparing your skin for makeup can make a huge difference in your final look. And it’s done in two ways: skincare and primer. So make sure you start with a clean face and use your moisturizer. This will keep your skin hydrated and plump underneath that makeup.

Finish your routine with your sunscreen. After that, move on to primer if you’re using one. Now, if you’re going for that glowy look with your dewy foundation, you can amp it up by applying an illuminating primer underneath. I can recommend Erborian Glow Creme. This will give you even more radiance.

On the flip side, if you have very oily skin and don’t want any added shine, you can prime your skin with a mattifying primer to adjust your final look. I can recommend Make Up For Ever Shine Control Primer. It instantly mattifies skin but also blurs out fine lines. With this underneath, all the dewiness you’ll get is going to be from your foundation and that’s it.

As you can see, primer is so versatile. Needless to say, it will make your makeup last longer too. In sum, don’t forget to primer your skin before moving on to the foundation application.

Tool Choice

Most dewy foundations are liquid foundations. And most of them have a runny consistency. The best foundation brush for a liquid dewy foundation is a flat-top brush. These types of brushes don’t soak up your foundation.

The dense, short bristles allow for precise application so actually, they help you get more coverage out of your foundation. MAC 196 Slanted Flat Top Foundation Brush is a good choice for this.

If you prefer a more natural finish, you can try foundation brushes with slightly oval tops (even powder brushes), or with less dense bristles that just swirl around the skin. The coverage you get will be less but you’ll have a more natural look. MAC 130 Synthetic Short Duo Fibre Brush is one of the first brushes I’ve ever bought and is perfect for this.

And lastly, you can always use your fingers to apply dewy foundations with a very runny consistency. If you see any streaks, you can dab a beauty blender onto the skin and fix those mistakes.

Application

  • Squeeze out or get a few pumps of your foundation on the back of your hand.
  • If you’re using your fingers, get a small amount of foundation, and apply dots all over the face, and blend it evenly.
  • If you’re using a brush or a sponge, dab it onto the back of your hand to get the product and start applying it onto the cheeks.
  • Dab it as needed and don’t put the foundation on your face all at once as it can be too much.
  • Make sure the foundation is evenly applied, covering the forehead and the cheeks closer to the hairline and a little bit below the jawline too.
  • Some people apply foundation under the eyes and some just don’t. This is all up to you.
  • Lastly, if you’re going to build coverage, don’t wait too long between layers as it can be difficult when the first layer is completely dried on your face.

FAQ

Read Next: Best Water-Based Primers

Scroll to Top