The first rule: Swap out powder for a liquid or cream (they’re more forgiving on aging skin). Here’s what you need to know about your options.
Foundation Traditional liquid or cream foundations vary greatly, but they’ll give you your fullest coverage, even the sheer formulas. The makeup artists we talked to generally suggested you choose one with a little luminosity (look for words like luminous, illuminating or brightening) to boost dull, dry skin and soften lines. But if visible pores are your issue, go for one marked oil-free.
BB creams Most “beauty balms” combine moisturizer, foundation, sunscreen and skincare (ingredients and benefits differ by brand) all in one. They’re great for daytime wear—when you might want something lighter than foundation but heavier than a tinted moisturizer—with one caveat: Their shade range is often limited.
CC Creams Like BB creams, most CC (“color-correcting”) creams deliver moisturizers, foundation and SPF in a limited number of shades, but there are two subtle differences: Their skincare ingredients are usually sunspot-fading vitamins, and their coverage is typically lighter and more natural than BB creams. (Textures and weight of each, however, differ by brand—so be sure to test first!)
Tinted moisturizer The name explains it all: It’ll hydrate skin and give you some color that evens out your complexion. This is the sheerest of the bunch, for light coverage. If it doesn’t have SPF 30, make sure you apply sunscreen beforehand.