Finding the right foundation is 50/50 between matching your skin tone and matching your skin type. I've tried what feels like hundreds of foundations and I've had a lot of disappointment but I had a look through my stash and picked out 6 bases for just about any occasion that are great for combination skin.
The Light Base Pick: Cover FX Mattifying BB Gel* | £35
I'm not sure why this doesn't have more hype but it was my #1 base over summer, especially when I was on holiday. It's super-lightweight and feels very natural on the skin but the coverage is actually really good! It has a matte finish but isn't overly drying and comes in a really wide shade-selection. It also has some serious staying-power. As well as all of this, there are anti-blemish ingredients in there that are perfect for spot-prone skin and definitely helped keep my sun-induced breakouts in check.
The Satin Glow Pick: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation | £31
This is one of two 'everyday' foundations I use and is definitely my Holy Grail. It's probably the most misnamed beauty product out there, which is why it took me forever to try it. It doesn't have a dewy finish, as I'd assumed. The glow it gives is a velvet/satin look, which is the perfect way to get radiance without shine (as I talked about in my Matte Glow post). It's a medium coverage that is extremely easy to build on, and whilst it's not 'no makeup' makeup I find it has a natural finish. It also lasts throughout the day without going patchy or uneven over oilier areas. My major downside for this is that it doesn't come with a pump, and although it's only an extra £3 and you can reuse it, I still think it's pretty tight when you're already paying over £30 for the product itself. Also, they never seem to have them in stock anywhere!
The Flawless-But-Natural Pick: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation | £29.50
This is a pretty new addition to my stash. Although it seems everyone's been running out to buy it, I really don't think it would right for drier skin types. Although it does have hydrating elements, it is a semi-matte formula so those are to stop it being drying on the skin. What I love about this is how natural it can look with one pump but how easily the coverage can be built wherever you need it. Even just with one pump, it seriously evens out my skin tone and reduces any redness from blemishes. The finished result is a really natural but flawless look. I would say this is also a satin finish as it's a tiny bit more hydrating than a full-on matte (these kinds of finishes are the best friend of combination skin). I personally find this lasts the day on my skin and there's a really wide selection of shades.
The Evening Pick: MAC Studio Fix Fluid | £22
This is a bit of a nostalgic product for me because it reminds me of nights out at uni! It's pretty much the perfect night out foundation for me. Although it comes without a pump, it's reasonably-priced at £22 and they are very cheap and easy to get hold of. Again the finish is quite satiny, though I'd say it's the most hydrating of the lot. It gives a really good medium-to-full coverage (though it's not really build-able, it just sort of goes on like that and stays the same sort of coverage). Like pretty much all MAC products, the shade range is huge so almost anyone could find a match in this. Although it does contain some SPF (like all of these except Sheer Glow and Colourstay), I find it photographs really nicely and is so long-wearing (even on my oil-slick t-zone...)
The Drugstore Pick: Revlon Colourstay for Combination/Oily Skin | £12.99
I had to get one drugstore foundation in there! This isn't one I talk about a lot as the colour match isn't great for me (they're pretty much all very neutral-beige in tone even though there's a good selection in terms of light to dark). That's essentially why I don't reach for this over my others, however the formula is just too good not to talk about here. It really annoys me that this doesn't come with a pump, Revlon don't make one separately and no other pumps I've come across fit it. However I just give it a good shake and try my best to control how much comes out (inevitably though, there's a lot of waste) and once I begin applying, it's very easy to blend. This gives a very full, matte coverage and although it does last throughout the day it does start to settle slightly into any creases after the 6 hour mark.
The Flawless Matte Pick: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup | £30
Finally is the fullest coverage base I own and probably the most matte of the bunch. I tend to reserve this for nights out to hold back the shine or for when my skin is on the oiler side, as it can be a little drying. Again, it comes without a pump! I don't believe Estée Lauder make a pump for this but MAC's fit it (perhaps as they are owned by Estée Lauder). This gives a completely shine-free finish so I often add a bit of highlighter on top so that I still look glowing even though my skin is free from shine. It's super long-lasting so perfect if you kind of know it's going to be 'one of those nights'. It does completely mask any blemishes too, but if I'm wearing it during the daytime I tend to mix it with Sheer Glow so it gives a less intense coverage.
What are your favourite bases for shine-prone skin?