April 10, 2020

3 Top make-up foundations for women over 40

Updated April 10, 2020

Best make-up foundation choices for a flawless complexion

*AFFILIATES DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. I only link to products that I have personally used or use and endorse. You can review my full policy here.

Do you LOVE your daily make-up foundation, if you use one? Does it blend effortlessly into your skin and instantly make you feel put together?

Having that perfect shade of "go-to" makeup foundation is as essential to most women as a favorite pair of jeans, boots or earrings.  

I have tried so many foundations since giving up my old standby, Estee Lauder Fresh Air Make-up, years ago. I stopped buying it when I realized the company does animal testing. If you want to view a list of companies that still test on animals, Ethical Elephant is a good source.

When you have "the one," it's easier to feel energized and ready for your day. And make-up can be a life saver if for any reason, you didn't get a good night's sleep. Don't you agree?

In the past decade, my skin has changed. It used to be oily, but lately it is closer to normal.  By normal, I actually mean normal to dry, sometimes a bit sensitive, with slight oiliness on my nose and occasionally some dry patches on my cheeks. And while my skin looks good overall, I have some broken capillaries and mild redness on my cheeks and nose.

Foundation options for mature, sensitive skin
Modeling test shoot with unknown foundation. MUA did a good job matching my skin tone!

These days, I often go foundation free thanks to 302 Skincare's Mineral Moisturizer. This product evens my skin nicely, especially with a bit of Hynt Beauty Duet concealer. To hear some tips for achieving my everyday natural but pulled together look, visit my YouTube talk. But when I need to look polished for a big meeting, date or event, these 3 foundations reviewed here are excellent choices!

Since my skin is relatively clear, I use a light hand with make-up. I don't apply foundation to my entire face except for a special occasion or modeling photoshoot.  For this reason, it is essential that the color matches or blends really well, while toning down redness.

In addition to shopping cruelty-free, I avoid ingredients that might irritate sensitive skin or clog my pores. I still get a few whiteheads and some oiliness around my nose and don't want to do anything to make it worse!

So this means no mineral oil, parabens, PEGs, phtalates, sodium laurel sulfates or synthetic fragrances. I avoid chemical based SPF and stick with 100% mineral formulations without nanoparticles.

It comes down to:

  • Clean, quality ingredients
  • The right finish (matte, satin, dewy, natural)
  • The right shade (very close to your facial skin color, which can change)
  • Your skill in applying the product

As with all things beauty, your expectation is also key. Do you want to look like yourself, just a bit smoother or with your skin tone evened out? This is easy with a little experimentation!

If you expect to look dramatically different, you may want to either hire a make-up artist to get you ready for a big event, or explore medical spa treatments to improve your skin's health and appearance.

#3: HourGlass Vanish Seamless Finish

I am a big fan of Hourglass brow mascara, so decided to explore the foundation options while at Neiman Marcus. While I normally prefer liquid foundations, the salesperson had other ideas.

I was surprised to find I absolutely loved the feel, finish and look of this make-up. My skin was dewy but not greasy, flawless and the color was absolutely perfect. Every imperfection was gone, but my skin still somehow looked fresh and real.

This is as close as I will ever get to the "super model" look!

#2: IT Cosmetics - Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+

Clean, cruelty-free foundation option for medium to full coverage

The runner up for my favorite foundation is CC Cream from It! Cosmetics.

The light/medium color is my perfect match. It covers imperfections very well. I used a tiny amount on my cheeks and nose to minimize redness.

This CC cream stays in place all day without becoming heavy or oily. It also contains a mineral SPF 50 plus moisturizing ingredients to improve the skin's appearance. 

If your skin is dry at times, remember that you need to moisturize properly or use a primer. If you don't, this foundation can emphasize dry areas. It is a bit thick, so must be applied with a light hand.

#1: Ilia True Serum Foundation

This is a clean, luxurious formula with a light texture. True Serum comes in a beautiful range of shades, which can be explored at The Detox Market. They are generous with samples, so you can try several and be sure to purchase the right color!

Get 10% off your 1st purchase at The Detox Market!

I love this clean, vegan foundation from Ilia with skin soothing  aloe leaf, rosehip, jojoba and marula oils

Best of all, it is very forgiving on mature skin. I really like the way this foundation looks and feels on my face. The coverage is light to medium, and it doesn't completely cover redness if my skin is irritated. However, it gives you a fresh finish that looks soft and natural.

True Serum Foundation contains silicone, which many foundations do. I like to avoid silicone if possible, but it can be useful in make-up in that it helps with enhance the texture of the make-up.


The right foundation in your ideal shade can make you feel flawless, youthful and beautiful! Take the time to try out as many brands as you need to find it.

Many companies offer free or inexpensive samples to help you in your process. Most brands have liberal return policies if you keep a receipt and return within 2-4 weeks.

If you have questions,  please let me know in the comments below! I'd love to know YOUR favorite too.

If you found this information useful, share this post with friends or on your social media, as it allows me to grow my audience and help more women with their beauty needs.

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Note: I only share products I've used personally and wholeheartedly recommend.  All products are Cruelty-Free.

Wearing Ilia True Serum Foundation in this photo:)

Michelle Ray is a skin care brand consultant with 13 years of experience in medical aesthetics sales, product development and marketing. She is also a former yoga teacher/massage therapist and a lifelong beauty-product junkie. 

Michelle operates the Smart Beauty Rituals website where she shares honest, accurate information about quality products that can make a real difference in your skin's health and appearance. 

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