I’ve Tested Nearly Every Luxury Foundation on the Market, but This $7 Drugstore Buy Is the One I Use Every Day

Photo: Getty Images/Mikael Vaisanen
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Searching for the "perfect" foundation for your complexion is a largely personal journey, and there are a number of different factors to take into consideration. Sure, you want a shade that will match your skin (duh), but you also get to choose your format (liquid, powder, or cream), your finish (matte or dewy), and your coverage (light, medium, or heavy). I've spent years testing luxury foundations hoping to find one that checked all of my desired boxes (currently, there are 17 different options in my makeup drawer), but the stars didn't totally align until the launch of Maybelline Green Edition Superdrop Tinted Oil Makeup ($7).

Though the product isn't technically a foundation—it's a "tinted oil"—it's given me exactly what I've always wanted from a complexion product. I have dry skin that looks its best with a dewy, hydrated finish, and prefer light-to-medium, breathable coverage... which is apparently a pretty tall order. But because Maybelline's Superdrop is made with a combination of skin-friendly oils and buildable pigment, it delivers all of the above for only $9.

The formula's star ingredients are marula and jojoba oils, which both come along with their own skin-nourishing properties. Marula oil is rich in antioxidants (which protect skin from free radical damage) plus amino and fatty acids (for moisturization), while jojoba oil strengthens the skin barrier and balances oil production. And don't let the fact that the product's packed with oil scare you—since both are non-comedogenic, you don't have to worry about it clogging your pores.

As far as the texture goes, it's unlike anything I've ever seen before. You use a dropper to pull it out of the bottle, and though you'd expect it to be wildly messy, it's actually anything but. It starts as an oil but blends seamlessly into the skin, creating what I keep describing to my friends as a "dewy, velvety finish." It's not so dewy that it makes my skin look greasy (another obvious fear that comes along with using tinted oil), but instead gives it a nice, hydrated glow.

Another thing I love is that the formula is super buildable, which means I can personalize my coverage every time I apply—one drop for light, two drops for medium, and three drops for heavy. I've also found that no matter how much product I put on (though I really only need a little bit to even out my discoloration and hide my blemishes), it never gets cake-y or looks overdone. It comes in eight shades (I wear 050, which is smack in the middle of the spectrum), but because the colors are adaptable (meaning they blend to match your skin) they work with a range of skin tones from light to deep. Just note that the formula looks a lot darker in the bottle than it does once it's blended in, so you may want to opt for something slightly deeper than what you'd expect.

While I can only speak to how the product works on my dry, 31-year-old skin, users with different needs seem to love it just as much as I do. "Wow. I have normal-to-oily skin, and this does not make my face oily. It does not seem like an oil to me. The finish after it dries is soft matte, and I am in love with it," writes one reviewer on Ulta's website. Another 41-year-old user who notes that she's developed "more lines and deeper creases in the last couple of years" calls it her "new go to," and notes that she "hasn't liked a foundation like this in forevvvrrrr."

So while finding your favorite foundation is undoubtedly an individualized endeavor, this stuff might just be an all-around winner.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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