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research & curation process
To draw the verdict on the best transfer-proof foundations, we need solid proof right? The long list goes on to illustrate the non-negotiables, for long days, summer days, and even rainy days. As per our expertise, along with staying put from sun up to sun down and beyond, the foundation should be transfer-proof, sweat-proof, waterproof, smudge-proof, kiss-proof, and pillow-proof.
Under the makeup essentials for everyday use, the foundation is unskippable as it creates a base for further makeup, or simply can be used to refresh the skin for a no-makeup look. The mattifying texture has better efficiency when it comes to full to medium coverage that lasts for long hours. We scoured, tested, and loved numerous foundations that do the job. Ahead, check out our list of top-rated transfer-resistant foundations, followed by a buying guide and step-by-step application process, so you can achieve a flawless base that does not drip, melt, crease, or run out by the night!
13 Best Transfer Proof Foundations That Last From Day to Night
A favorite drugstore pick by makeup fans, Maybelline’s Super Stay foundation has multiple features to vouch for. It is long-lasting with full coverage that is light as air. The high-performance liquid foundation stays put for up to 30 hours. For days when you need non-budging makeup, this foundation will lend a transfer-proof, sweat-resistant, and water-resistant base that glides like glazes on skin with a naturally matte finish. With its quick drying feature, the foundation is suitable for all skin types and available in a wide range of shades and tones.
- Lasts whole day
- Seamless on skin
RIMMEL LONDON Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation
A mousse for the skin! With the creamy-velvety texture that delivers a long-lasting matte finish, this foundation offers you bang for the buck. The airy lightweight formula blends seamlessly into the skin, giving full coverage and smooth skin. The pore-minimizing mousse evens out the skin without feeling heavy or greasy. There’s a shade for almost every complexion so one can enjoy the photo-ready finish promised by the mousse foundation. The concealing properties make this little tube the best pick for a transfer-proof and non-cakey foundation. You can use a very little amount and effortlessly glide on your skin to create your perfect base.
- Doesn’t settle into fine lines
- Conceals well
Best buildable coverage
CATRICE COSMETICS HD Liquid Coverage Foundation
Formulated with skin-perfecting niacinamide, the CATRICE COSMETICS HD foundation can be your ideal summer-essential pick. The ultra-lightweight formula glides smoothly on the skin to give a matte finish. Addedly, this vegan foundation has a high-coverage, sweatproof, water-resistant, and gorgeous second-skin effect, that makes it a perfect wear for long days. Suitable for normal to oily skin types, the mattifying liquid allows a smooth application and even skin tone. The dropper applicator is the unique feature that lets you optimally use the product.
- Long-lasting 24h wear
- Available in 23 shades
- Buildable coverage
REVLON ColorStay Full Cover™ Foundation
Your makeup staple, but better! The REVLON ColorStay Full Cover™ Foundation is a long-lasting fluid with a mousse-like texture and buildable coverage. The flawless finish keeps the skin refreshed for up to 24 hours and effectively smoothens the complexion. Featuring an SPF 30 protection, the formula is hydrating while being heat and sweat-resistant. Most essentially it is lightweight with a matte finish, which doesn’t cake or crease. Perfect for on-the-go use, this foundation has 16 adaptable shades.
- Comfortable feel
- Easy to blend
- Can feel dry after some time
Best stick application
wet n wild Photo Focus Stick Foundation
On-the-go, stick-based beauty products are receiving constant love from beauty enthusiasts. And the stick foundation by wet n wild is no exception. The foundation lasts all day and all night, giving a flattering coverage and semi-matte finish. The formula is infused with argan and sunflower seed oils to lend moisturizing attributes and allow effortless blending. The perfected skin shades suit every tone and enhance the complexion along with giving a photo-focus effect. You can glide the stick directly on the face or dab on using your fingers; the buildable formula gives a mild luminous sheen to the skin to achieve the base you desire.
- Available in 21 shades
- Worth the price
- The stick can melt if not stored properly
COVERGIRL TruBlend Matte Made Liquid Foundation
A seamless matte with a cloudy finish that is soft and plush is achievable with Covergirl’s TruBlend foundation. Designed with innovative flexi-hold technology, the foundation builds a film on the skin that is strong yet flexible. The mattifying powders absorb any excess oil and work hard to minimize the pores, and lend you a non-cakey, smooth finish. The transfer-resistant formula is made to last for up to 12 hours, which sits comfortably on the skin and stays put for a polished base, so you can follow the makeup routine with ease.
- 40 shades
WUNDER2 LAST & FOUND[ATION]
Laying a solid foundation before applying makeup on top, is at the crux of any makeup routine. You can count on this incredible offering from WUNDER2 to deliver you the desired results. The lightweight, buildable, and luminous formulation offers long-lasting coverage for 24+ hours. The waterproof liquid foundation not only has a flexible glide on the skin but also comes with skin-nourishing properties. A little goes a long way when it comes to this foundation. It also appropriates a fresh base that is transfer-proof, crease-proof, and offers a naturally enhanced finish.
- Smudge-proof foundation
- Blurs imperfections
- Does not cover dark spots
MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation
For those who love a no-makeup makeup look or are into an exquisitely natural skin finish – you have found your match. This foundation is infused with micro-skin system technology that makes the application undetectable on the skin. The formula syncs with the skin to blur the pores and give off a second-skin finish with medium to full coverage, without caking or creasing. The foundation stays on for up to 24 hours, giving a natural finish with a hint of a glow.
- Perfect shade match
Best shade match
Cover | FX Power Play Foundation
Another option to consider is Cover’s FX Power Play foundation — a full coverage formulation that has a fine finish to give a natural pay-off while being lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and sweatproof. The unique formula blend is infused with fermented algae extract that has skincare benefits like protection against urban pollutants and environmental stressors. Other ingredients include rice hull powder which absorbs oil and sweat from the skin while keeping the moisture intact and rice bran wax which is responsible for the creamy and blendable texture.
- Buildable coverage
- Perfect color and tone match
FOCALLURE Lasting Poreless Liquid Matte Foundation
Under our radar for masking skin imperfections is FOCALLURE’s Poreless Liquid Matte foundation. The base perfecting formula offers a seamless gliding method with medium to full coverage. The oil-free emollient blurs pores, redness, and under-eye circles to result in a flawless finish. Its lightweight silky texture creates a breathable and naturally matte base.
Pro tip: This easy-to-use foundation only requires a couple of pumps and must be dabbed onto the skin using your fingers or a brush.
- 20 flexible shades
- Shine-free finish
- Comfortable on skin
Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Hydra Foundation
Infused with the much-loved skincare and beauty ingredient, hyaluronic acid, the Smashbox Studio Skin Hydra Foundation delivers high performance. The potent formulation lasts efficiently for up to 24 hours, is oil-free, and offers medium to full, buildable coverage. The mattifying foundation also minimizes unwanted shine and does not oxidize, enabling it to stay through sweat and humidity. Plus, this transfer-proof foundation evens the skin tone, does not seep into the creases, and leaves a velvety smooth complexion.
- Wide range of shades
- Blends effortlessly
- Lasts all day
- Perfect skin finish
Best comfortable wear
M.A.C Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
The cult favorite M.A.C Pro waterproof foundation is a multipurpose formula that can be used as a foundation or concealer. The oil-free watertight foundation lasts for a solid 24 hours and does not budge. With a seamless finish and effortless blending, it has medium to full coverage and a satin-like finish. That’s not all it does, though! It is formulated to keep the skin hydrated throughout the day, while also being non-acnegenic. Find your shade match to build coverage and cover dark spots and other skin imperfections.
- Stay-true color
- Dermatologist tested
- Ophthalmologist tested
- Quick drying
- Comfortable on skin
MISTINE Cover All Foundation
The skincare-infused makeup is a great addition to your everyday makeup routine. MISTINE’s soft-velvety matte foundation is one such product that is enriched with antioxidants and natural plant extracts that deliver a fresh and smooth appearance. This full-coverage formulation is lightweight with a silken texture and gives a natural matte finish. The creaminess lasts for up to 24 hours, with four luminous shades that do not nudge or cake with time. The mattifying powder also controls sebum production for a non-greasy base. The softened texture blurs pores and leave a natural finish.
- Can be cakey for dry skin
Now that you have perused our favorites, check out the buying guide on how to cop the most suitable transfer-proof foundation.
How to Choose the Best Transfer Proof Foundation?
Consider these pointers before you select your next foundation:
- Finish: Whether you prefer a matte or dewy finish is one of the necessary aspects to consider when choosing a transfer-proof foundation. While most of the transfer-proof foundations have a matte finish, you can also opt for the ones that offer a sheer, satin, or silken finish.
- Coverage: Based on your preference and skin needs, find the most suitable coverage from the range of foundations. For a seamless and natural look, go for a light to medium coverage. If you wish to cover dark spots, blemishes, uneven texture, etc, look for medium to full coverage to conceal easily. Another option to consider is the buildable coverage which allows you to customize your base, from sheer to full, by blending more layers.
- Shade: Match the perfect shade for a natural and well-blended look. Based on your undertones and skin complexion, you can look for foundations that offer an array of shades to choose from or mix a couple of shades. Make sure the color does not oxidize or change over the day’s course.
- Skin Type: Transfer-resistant foundations have varying textures and formulations to cater to all skin types. For oily skin, look for an oil-free, non-greasy, non-comedogenic, and lightweight formula that absorbs the oil with mattifying powders and keeps the base fresh for long hours. If you have dry skin, go for a dewy or luminous finish foundation which has hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which does not strip the skin of moisture.
Pro Tip: Look for the applicator if you need something for on-the-go. If you are going to be exposed to the sun for a long time, choose a foundation infused with SPF.
Now that you know how to pick the right transfer-resistant foundation for yourself, read on to know how you can use it most efficiently.
How to Use Transfer Proof Foundations?
Follow the simple steps with some pro hacks to make the most of your foundation:
- Prep the skin: Cleanse, moisturize, and prime the skin well, prior to applying any foundation, This marinade keeps the skin hydrated, enhances the base’s longevity, and ensures there is no caking or creasing.
- Application: You may use a foundation brush or your fingers to glide the formula across your face, from inwards to outwards. Use a makeup sponge to seamlessly dab and blend the product and avoid any blotchiness.
- Set: This is an optional step; for an extended glam look, you can set the foundation, under the eyes or other areas using the baking method with sheer powder. For a finishing touch and sealing the makeup, a few spritzes of a setting spray will give wonderful results.
Having a blotchy base with a foundation that has melted, dripped, or creased is complete makeup and mood spoiler. A transfer-proof foundation is the key to achieving a seamlessly matte finish base, that does not budge and resists smudging, sweat, and water. When the foundation melts away easily, it tends to settle into the creases, leave its marks on clothes, even face tissue! By choosing the right formula, based on your skin type and preference, you can get your hands on the best transfer-proof foundation. For long-standing days or beachy days, trust the right foundation to help you keep your makeup intact and ensure a flawless base throughout.
Which foundation will not rub off?
A high-quality foundation that is transfer-proof, smudge-proof, water and sweat resistant will allow you to do makeup that doesn’t rub off for long hours.
What makeup will not transfer on clothes?
Using a transfer-proof foundation and setting the makeup with a setting spray will save you from spoiling your clothes.
Does putting the foundation in water make it transfer-proof?
This is a viral TikTok trend, which can only be tried and tested at one’s own disposal. While some claim that it works, it is not backed by experts.
How do you remove transfer-resistant foundations?
Double cleansing is the key. Makeup removers suitable to your skin shall do the job of melting the makeup, for instance, oil-based, balm, moisturizer, or micellar water can be the first step before washing it off with a face cleanser.
Why Trust Pinkvilla
Sayantani, as a fellow makeup enthusiast understands the importance of a transfer-proof foundation and the role it plays in making or breaking a makeup look. For her long days, which can be sweaty, humid, or undergo water splashes, even a swim, she swears by her foundation that never budges. After carefully curating a list of her tested and tried products, she brings to us a compilation of the best transfer-proof foundations that you will instantly love.
Our product experts study the specifications of every product we suggest and try them out to bring what’s proven to be worthy of your money, time, and energy. We also have subject matter experts from various fields like Fashion, Skincare, Haircare, Home Decor, and Health & Fitness onboard to make sure our suggestions are credible and trustworthy. You can trust Select to be your faithful shopping guide for all the right reasons!
Sayantani is a certified hair and makeup professional turned writer with 2+ years of experience in the same genre. Ap More