The Best Matte Foundations That Won't Dry Out Your Skin

I've written volumes about my oxymoronic skin. That is, the kind that manages to be incredibly oily, flaky, and dry, all at the same time. When you have different textures operating together on your face, it creates unique challenges. Foundation shopping, for one, becomes a trying experience — shine-reducing formulas tend to leave the skin looking desert-like, while moisturizing ones make you look like an oil slick.

In an attempt to avoid sacrificing a comfortable, moisturizing texture for a matte finish, I've scoured the foundation market, looking for products that will bring balance to my combination skin type. Ahead, the winners of my foundation trials.
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Radiance isn't usually a quality associated with matte foundation, but Nars' Velvet Matte Skin Tint makes it a reality. The creamy formula controls oil while providing a soft, lit-from-within effect. Because of this unique result, it has become a mainstay in my daily rotation of base products.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, $44, available at NARS Cosmetics.
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Although this BB gel is formulated for oily, acne-prone complexions, it manages to keep my skin feeling comfortable and hydrated for hours. Plus it contains vitamins C and E to brighten and protect against free radical damage. (Just remember to layer a dedicated SPF underneath!)

CoverFX BB Gel Mattifying Anti-Blemish Treatment, $45, available at CoverFX.
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Not only does this long-lasting foundation contain silicones and glycerin to absorb oil and moisturize, but it looks extremely natural on the skin, despite its full-coverage finish.

Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation, $35, available at Sephora.
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This medium-coverage, whipped foundation leaves a matte (but never flat) finish on the skin that can only be described as "velvety." Oh, and did we mention it doesn't accentuate dry patches?

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation, $9.99, available at Target.
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This demi-matte foundation contains green tea extract and vitamins A and E to moisturize and fight free radicals, which makes it a great option for those with combination skin that veers on the dryer side. If you're very oily, that doesn't mean you can't wear this — just dust a bit of powder over your T-zone and you're good to go.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Suprême Foundation, $45, available at Sephora.
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If you think tinted moisturizers provide sheer, barely there coverage, you've probably never met Jouer's Matte Moisture Tint. The buttery, medium-to-full-coverage cream glides onto the skin effortlessly and leaves a porcelain-like veil that feels comfortable all day.

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, $40, available at Jouer Cosmetics.
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This liquid foundation was created with photography in mind (hence its lack of SPF, which can create a white cast in photos), so be sure to slap on some sunscreen if you're planning on wearing this outside. The product itself blends seamlessly onto the skin and leaves a natural yet shine-free effect with zero flakes.

Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation, $42, available at Ulta.
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