Best Cheap Foundations 2021 (Under $20)

Reviews

When you want the best cheap foundation under $20, there are many products to choose from. While many are similar in the shade, they can be different in ingredients and in how they make you feel. The best solutions are lightweight and comfortable for your skin. They also look natural and are easy to apply.

Features to Consider in Cheap Foundations

Large and small brands now offer reliable foundations which are also affordable. When making the choice, there are a few considerations to make.

Shades

The shades are arguably the most important characteristic. They allow you to focus on elements such as your final look and depending on your skin type, you can find solutions in the affordable range. From beige to darker shades, there are plenty of great options to consider.

Some products are made with a limited number of shades. Others can have as many as 40 shades to choose from. Depending on the look you are going for, it is important to find the options which suit you the best and which are close to your natural look.

Applicability

Most foundations can be applied with a sponge or a brush. Modern products can also be applied with the fingertips. However, since each formulation is different, it is important to read the recommendations of the manufacturer before applying the foundation for the first time. Even more, it is also advisable to look for the solutions which are made for the ultimate skin-friendly design, as not all formulations which are easy to apply are also safe for your skin.

 

Ingredients

The ingredients used in modern foundations are different from brand to brand. If you want to make the best choice in terms of skin health, you can also consider the foundations which come with added vitamins and antioxidants. They can play a positive role in your skin’s health, especially in the long term. With multiple ingredients which have been eliminated due to possible side effects such as lead or parabens, many products tend to be safe for your skin. Here are the leading options to consider.

Best Good Cheap Foundations Under $20

1. Maybelline Makeup Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

Why we like it: Made for a natural look with an oil-free formula, the foundation is recommended for a seamless matte finish.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
Designed in a container of 30ml, the foundation is easy to apply, similarly to other leading solutions on the market. The formula and the manufacturer have been awarded the first prize for sales in the USA over the past year and the new formula now comes to enhance the trust of women of all ages.

Convenient features
There are 40 skin shades to choose from and this makes the foundation one of the most versatile solutions in its class. While the number is impressive, so are the colors. You can choose appealing colors such as Buff Beige, Cappuccino, Warm Honey or Classic Ivory. They are vastly different although some similar shades can be seen in some cases such as with the Fair Ivory and Fair Porcelain. It’s also worth noting that they come with a formulation which doesn’t dry the skin and this is why women of many ages are actually fond of the product.

After you apply the foundation, your skin will feel lightweight and natural. It also doesn’t feel flat even if it covers the pores. Of course, many women love it becomes it controls shine and it adds a layer of depth to the skin.

Verdict
With an impressive range of shades to choose from, the foundation is recommended for its mature formula which is free from oil and which also controls shine.

Pros
  • 40 skin shades
  • Leaves the skin lightweight
  • Offers a medium coverage
  • Matting effect
Cons
  • Dry for some women
 

2. Covergirl Advanced Radiance Age-Defying Foundation Makeup

Why we like it: Reducing the appearance of fine lines, the foundation is among the recommended products for a youthful look.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
Available in a 30ml container, the foundation also comes with a practical dispenser. It represents a solution which can easily be placed in a purse or which can be a lightweight solution for travel purposes when you want to limit the weight of your belongings. It can be used an all skin types and it is one of the foundations of great makeup.

Convenient features
The liquid foundation stands out with its action against fine lines and wrinkles. Of course, it also evens skin tones which represent a top priority for some women. So for example, you can cover redness and certain spots for a more even look.

It is available in multiple colors and it is up to you to define the colors which suit your skin the best. The colors include attractive options such as the classic beige or the soft honey. The colors cover the entire spectrum from light to deep and this makes the product versatile for many types of skin. It works well for both the classic look and for advanced techniques and its recommended use for all skin types means that it can work for a large number of makeup options.

Verdict
With 8 shades to choose for your skin, the wrinkle-reducing foundation is recommended for most skin types.

Pros
  • Available in 8 shades
  • Practical design
  • Works with classic and advanced makeup
  • Long-wearing formulation
Cons
  • Hard to spread in some cases

3. Touch In SOL Advanced Real Moisture Liquid Foundation

Why we like it: With a lightweight profile, the hydrating foundation is recommended for a natural finish with a minimum amount of time.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
Available in practical dispensers of 30ml, the foundation is recommended if you are going for a natural look. While it doesn’t come with a large number of shades, it is one of the everyday solutions to consider for a proper balance between quality and all-day durability.

Convenient features
With nude beige and natural beige, the foundation can be an option for women of all ages. Its natural appeal makes it a recognized solution when it comes to a low profile foundation. At the same time, the formulation is made with a hydration profile. It is why the foundation will not dry your skin and it will allow it to remain well hydrated, especially with extended use over time.

The creamy formulation of the product is also recommended for an even spread. It is why it can be a solution to reduce the appearance of fine lines. The feather-light foundation is also easy to remove. But at the end of the day, it might also help your skin with glycerin, urea and sodium PCA.

Verdict
With a very lightweight profile, the foundation doesn’t stand out in its number of shades. However, the enhanced natural look and the hydrating profile recommend it among the leading options in the price range.

Pros
  • Contains glycerin
  • Hydrating formula
  • Practical dispenser
  • Creamy texture
Cons
  • Two shades only
 

4. Revlon ColorStay Liquid Makeup

Why we like it: With a natural shine which lasts all day, the foundation is recommended for its oil-free formulation.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
Available in standard 30ml dispensers, the foundation is great for your purse and your makeup tools set. It represents one of the recommended options when it comes to the ultimate freedom and with a large selection of shades, it becomes a strong contender for the considered foundations in terms of versatility for all skin tones. With standard shades such as natural beige or rare shades such as rich ginger or rich tan, it offers a solution for all women, regardless of their age or skin type.

Convenient features
With 19 natural shades, the foundation is recommended for all types of skin. Toffee, sand beige, and toast are among the unique choices to consider. It must be said that all of these colors leave your skin soft, with a slight matte finish. This is partly due to the oil control formulation which uses salicylic acid.

With a 24-hour wear, the foundation is recommended to prevent shine and oily skin. Since it is also formulation without any oil, it won’t clog your pores and it will allow your skin to breathe. Another convenient aspect is that the product comes with a practical pump. It means that it can be applied with a regular brush, a sponge or directly with the fingers. Women also like how it performs in difficult areas, such as hiding dark spots. For its versatility and oil-free formulation which lasts all day, it can be considered for various types of skin.

Verdict
With a practical design and a formulation free from oil, the breathable foundation is recommended for all-day wear.

Pros
  • Designed with a practical pump
  • Plenty of shades to choose from
  • Oil-free formulation
  • Controls shine
Cons
  • Dark shades in some cases

5. L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Foundation Makeup

Why we like it: With a wide range of shades, the foundation is recommended for warm, neutral and cool undertones.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
Available in compact 30ml bottles, the foundation represents one of the recommended products for various skin undertones. With various shades of beige, soft sable, deep golden and other shades, it manages to offer a solution for all skin undertones. The undertones are the colors from underneath your skin which make its color unique.

Convenient features
The foundation is recommended for warm undertones, with yellow or gold hue. It works with neutral undertones with an olive hue. But it also works with cool undertones which work with rosy, pink or blue hue. Its formulation allows it to be super blendable and easy to apply. It diffuses imperfections such as wrinkles, dark spots or uneven tones.

The convenient formulation of the foundation also allows it to be freely applied to various methods. You can do this with your regular brush, with a sponge or directly with the fingertips. If you are considering its use for the long term, you need to know that it also comes with Vitamin A and Vitamin C which nourish the skin. With a light to medium coverage, it can be used for all-day wear for various skin types.

Verdict
With a formula which is easy to blend and which includes nourishing vitamins, the foundation is recommended for its vast range of shades.

Pros
  • Made with added vitamins
  • Easy to blend
  • Large selection of shades
  • Diffuses imperfections
Cons
  • Too light for some women
 

6. Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation

Why we like it: With a 3-in-1 formulation, the liquid foundation can be considered by women who also want to combat the effects of aging.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
The 30ml formulation is easy to use and easy to carry in your makeup kit. It is made to be a versatile product which can be used every day. At the same time, it comes with an anti-aging formula which is recommended for all women. At its core, it remains a foundation. It is why it has been formulated with 13 shades which include beige variations, primer, and honey options.

Convenient features
The foundation combines the effects of 3 products into a single practical product. It has a cool effect of reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It hydrates the skin stopping it from dehydration even after a long day. But the product also improves the tone of the skin, as a quality foundation.

Its convenient design also allows it to be easy to use. You can simply dispense 1-2 pumps of liquid on your fingers or a sponge. A dot of the formulation can be applied on your forehead and on your cheeks. It is then spread evenly over your face. Areas which require extra focus include the hairline and the jawline. The anti-aging formulation is now liquid and this makes it easier to apply and better when it comes to combating dry skin.

Verdict
With a complex formulation and 12 shades to choose from, the anti-aging foundation is a hybrid product recommended to combat wrinkles and fine lines.

Pros
  • 12 shades to choose from
  • Recommended for skin hydration
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
  • Evens skin tone
Cons
  • Thicker than a regular foundation

7. BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation

Why we like it: With a simple beige shade, the foundation is recommended for an even skin look which looks natural.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
Made with a dewy texture, the foundation was formulated as a real alternative for everyday products. Applied correctly, it can last up to 8 hours. The design of the container is somewhat limiting as there is no pump dispenser.

Convenient features
With a dewy texture and being made for light to medium beige skin undertones, the foundation is recommended for most women. It comes as one of the leading options when considering hiding delicate areas. These could include spots and uneven tones. Being formulated with ingredients which are easy to blend, it can be applied with a brush, evenly, across the entire surface of the face. Tapping with a damp beauty blender is also recommended. This is due to the fact that some brushes simply leave streaks. The application method is up to you. The luminous and natural aspect of the skin makes it a recommended solution among big brands in its class.

Verdict
With a unique beige appeal for light and medium undertones, the foundation is recommended for most women seeking an alternative to the dominating brands in the niche.

Pros
  • Made for light and medium undertones
  • Properly hydrates the skin
  • Luxurious fluid texture
  • High concentration
Cons
  • No included pump dispenser
 

8. Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin Foundation

Why we like it: The affordable formulation is recommended for its lightweight texture and added vitamins which make your skin look better within 3 weeks.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
Available in 30ml containers with an included pump, the product is designed to be easy to use. It represents a solution which is easy to use and which allows you to have an even application which makes the skin look more natural.

Convenient features
Formulated with antioxidants and vitamins, the foundation is recommended when it comes to a healthier skin in weeks. Antioxidants fight free radicals and the effects of aging. They are beneficial when it comes to fighting oxidative stress, reducing wrinkles and generally combating the effects aging has on the skin.

The lightweight formulation is also easy to apply. To do this yourself, you can follow the following steps. First, you apply the foundation to the chin, forehead nose and cheeks. Then you blend it with a sponge or with your fingertips.

Verdict
With a lightweight composition and a design which is easy to apply, the foundation is recommended for all skin types. The added vitamins and antioxidants also improve the healthiness of the skin over a longer period of time.

Pros
  • Easy to apply
  • Made with vitamins and antioxidants
  • 16 shades to choose from
  • Made for all skin types
Cons
  • Not best with wrinkles

9. Covergil Outlast All-Day Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation

Why we like it: With a formulation to last the entire duration of a day, the foundation is recommended for busy women who need to look sharp all day long.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
Made with an included pump, the foundation is very easy to use. It represents one of the most interesting solutions when it comes to the foundation which doesn’t dry the skin. Similarly to other products from the manufacturer, it also nourishes the skin but it has the main advantage of lasting longer. If you decide to go out after work, it can be one of the solutions to consider as it will last longer than a regular foundation.

Convenient features
As you may expect from the manufacturer, there are 13 shades to choose from. Including ivory and beige variations, it represents one of the recommended solutions for all skin tones. Since it comes in a liquid formulation, it is also very easy to use. You can apply it using a beauty blender or a brush with pressed powder from the manufacturer. The effect is a matte look with a smooth and natural coverage which is not too heavy. Most importantly, the look will be maintained for the duration of the day.

Verdict
With a unique formulation which makes it last longer than its alternatives, the foundation is also easy to apply.

Pros
  • Recommended for long days
  • Great for all skin types
  • 13 shades
  • Quick to apply
Cons
  • Not the best for pores
 

10. L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation

Why we like it: With a paraben-free formula and multiple shades to choose from, the product is recommended for its versatility and reliability.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
Made with a practical pump design, the foundation is easy to apply. It can serve as a solution to use at home, on the road or at the salon, and it can also be one of the products which are used on multiple types of skin since it is formulated without parabens.

Convenient features
There are 16 shades to choose from, the depending on your skin. Beige, bronze, porcelain, coffee, warm caramel or toast are just a few options to consider. Even more, the formulation is made with added antioxidants to improve the natural appearance of the skin over time. The lightweight formula is made specifically to be used for the entire duration of the day, without making the skin feel too heavy. With a satin dewy profile, it is recommended for an even skin look.

Verdict
The formula is recommended for the entire day and its lightweight profile with antioxidants recommends it for use over longer periods of time.

Pros
  • Free of parabens
  • Lightweight formulation with antioxidants
  • 16 shades to choose from
  • Luminous effect
Cons
  • Oily for some skin types