Best Satin Foundations For Every Budget

Before and After Image of DIOR Prestige Le Micro-Fluide Teint de Rose Foundation 3N Neutral

There are so many different choices when it comes to foundation finish. One of the most popular, however, is satin, which sits between a dewy and a matte (more on finishes here). The best of both worlds, a satin base gives a flawless result that looks very much like real skin.

One great thing about a satin finish base is that it suits everyone. No matter your skin type or age, a demi-matte (another term for satin) effect will enhance all complexions, particularly those with more mature skin because it won’t accentuate fine lines or wrinkles; instead, it’ll smooth over them. But, if you have skin that leans toward the oilier end of the spectrum, you might find pairing a satin foundation with a powder will help to increase wear time.

So, you’re ready to try a satin foundation but not sure which one is best for you? No problem. Over the last few weeks, I’ve made it my mission to find the best foundations with that sought-after satiny finish, for every budget. So, whether you’re looking to save or splurge, these are my top recommendations…

Best Budget Satin Foundation

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation SPF15

Image of The Ordinary Coverage Foundation SPF15 in 2.0YG being held in hands Before and after Image of model wearing The Ordinary Coverage Foundation SPF15 in 2.0YG

Coverage:  Medium to Full
Finish:  Semi-Matte
Texture: Lightweight liquid
Longevity: 8 hours – I needed to touch up my makeup up after about 5 hours.
Shades:  21
Values: Vegan, paraben-free, sulphate-free, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, oil-free, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, cruelty-free, ph 6.00-8.25, SPF15.
Best For: Vegans, dry skin, sensitive skin.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation caused a stir when it was first released. It sold out quickly because every beauty buff on the planet raced to get their hands on it, and I can understand why.

Sometimes satin foundations can be on the heavier side because of their slightly thicker texture, but that’s not the case with the Coverage Foundation. It feels light and comfortable when you apply it and blends beautifully on the face, offering medium to full coverage, with a fresh effect, which I received many compliments on when I was trialling it!

I really enjoy the fact that the formula can be layered for extra coverage, but doesn’t ever look cakey. This is thanks to The Ordinary’s ‘proprietary spreadability system’ which in layman’s terms means that the pigments suspended in the ultra-light fluid don’t cling to blemishes, dry patches or fine lines. It’s a great everyday foundation for someone who wants an airbrushed satin finish, without the price tag!

Tip: It does oxidise a little on the skin after a few minutes, so I’d recommend going a shade lighter than you normally would to get a good colour match.

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Image of Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF30 in 230 Alder being held in handsBefore and After Image of model wearing Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF30 in 230 Alder

Coverage:  Medium, buildable
Finish:  Fresh, natural
Texture: Liquid-balm
Longevity: Up to 24 hours – I didn’t need to touch up at all!
Shades:  30
Values: Waterproof, smudge-proof, humidity-resistant, transfer-resistant, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, oil-free, SPF30.
Best For: All skin types, busy schedules and those who feel the need to regularly top-up their foundation.

I’ll let you into a little secret, it was love at first application with this innovative Shiseido foundation. It’s my favourite in this edit, and since completing the trial, it’s become my regular everyday foundation – it’s that good!

Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation is made for those who want a reliable foundation and don’t have time to keep touching up throughout the day. Its skin adapting formula looks fresh and skin-like and promises a waterproof, long-lasting finish that won’t transfer or slide off your face. I’m pleased to say after putting it to the test it delivers on all its promises! I apply my foundation at 7.30 am every morning and my skin still looks fresh and healthy when I’m leaving work at 5.30 pm. I put this down to Shiseido’s unique ActiveForce technology, which refreshes the finish of the foundation as you wear it.

Synchro Skin sits in the mid-price range for a foundation, but a little goes a long way, so I think it’s worth every penny. The Escentual team have different skin types and concerns, and this is a foundation that works for us all.

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Image of DIOR Prestige Le Micro-Fluide Teint de Rose Foundation in 3N Neutral being held in hands

Coverage:  Full
Finish:  Luminous Satin
Texture: Thick cream
Longevity: Not specified by DIOR but this held up pretty well for me all day without powdering.
Shades:  8
Values: SPF 25 PA+++
Best For: Ageing skin, Fine lines/wrinkles, Dry Skin, Asian skin

The burning question on everyone’s lips when they see the £88.10 price tag of this foundation is: “is it worth the money?”. And, in short, yes, absolutely.

It’s a bold statement to make, but I’d go as far as saying that it’s nothing short of magical. Why? I had my 40th birthday last September, so fine lines and dryness are an issue for me, and this glowy satin finish base (that comes with its own kabuki brush) makes achieving an airbrush finish quick and easy. It smoothes and revitalises skin in an instant, giving a healthy, youthful appearance that I haven’t experienced from any other foundation. We’ve tested it on all of our team members, and it looks just as gorgeous on 24-year-old, Keavy. Dior Prestige Le Micro-Fluide Teint De Rose isn’t just for older skin, it suits everyone.

As for the texture, it’s thick and creamy, but melts into the skin to give a flawless, smooth and youthful finish – so much so that it looks almost like Botox! A combination of intensely hydrating ingredients, rose extract and gold-infused micro-pearls are responsible for this, and give skin that radiant satiny glow, that dare I say, is addictive! If you’re looking for a luxury foundation, this should be top of your list.

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Discover More

If you enjoyed this edit, you’ll want to read our previous post in the series! See what radiance-enhancing bases made the cut below:

Best Glow Foundations for Every Budget


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