My Favorite Foundations for Over-40 (With Sensitive Skin)

My favorite foundations for over 40 with sensitive skin

If you’re looking for the best foundation for women over 40, and you just happen to have sensitive skin, here are my top 5 favorites as a professional makeup artist. 

As a sensitive skin gal myself, (read my story "How I got my rosacea under control") I have personally used every one of these foundations and they do not make my rosacea flare up. 

With that said, everyone is different, but at least this list, with my best makeup for over 40 reviews, will get you started.

Where To Spend Your Money

Do not skimp when it comes to your foundation. Buy the best foundation you can afford. Your complexion & skincare products should definitely be where you splurge, rather than save.

While there some decent drug store foundations out there, I haven't found any that work with my 53-year-old skin. I just prefer the nice shit! 

Before Foundation, You Must Skin Prep

Your foundation is only as good as the canvas you put it on. This is a secret I have carried with me in my 30 year career as a pro makeup artist. Makeup primers have a place, but skin care always works—and it works much better than primer alone.

The truth is, any foundation will be 2000% better with skin prep underneath. 

Our skin prep products are great for all skin types and ages, and are made with sensitive, barrier-challenged skin in mind.

1. Make Up Forever Reboot

I  just took my 42-year-old client shopping for makeup this past weekend, and we chose this foundation for her.  She didn’t want to spend a lot of money, but she was willing to spend a little more than her usual “Elf” foundation that she would include in her grocery order!

My client is a no fuss kinda gal. Her skin is pretty even overall, and she wanted something for work and special occasions. She also didn’t want to fuss with concealer and eye lid primer as a busy mom of two.  

The beauty of this Make Up Forever Reboot Foundation is I could do it all for her with just this one product. (Which is rare with foundations as many have sunscreen in them.)

The Make Up Forever Reboot is like if a medium-covered tinted moisturizer and a liquid serum foundation made a baby. It has a nice “stick” to the skin and nice “lay down” and was easy to apply. 

This formula I would not apply with a wet sponge, but you could certainly use a damp sponge to “press it” into the skin once you got it where you needed it.

I dunno why it got 4 stars on Sephora, it’s really lovely.


Packaging: Glass pump.

Who can use it: Normal to dry. Sensitive skin might do ok, but there are a few questionable ingredients inside that can be triggering, so read the label.

Who may not like it: Combo skin and oily skin tones. 

Finish: Radiant, satin finish that has blurring qualities to smooth the skin.

Apply With: Brush, Fingers, press in with a damp sponge with Water Elixir after you’ve applied.

Fragrance: Minimal, not overpowering like some European brands.

Skin Prep With: 5 Minute Face Kit.

Shades: 22 Shades/Colors

Price: $40

2. Westman Atelier Vital Skin Stick Foundation

I really love a lot of things in Gucci’s line. Her foundation is no exception. It might be one of my favorite cream stick foundations in a very long time. BUT…

The colors are way too warm and I have a very difficult time ordering one for me. Even shades labeled "cool" were too yellow for me. While I got one close to my skin, it’s not a perfect match. (I got Atelier IV but its a tad too light, still!)

But the texture? 10 out of 10 for over-40 skin (and even over-50,-60 and up!)

I used the foundation finder from other brands, and while close, it wasn’t a perfect match. 

They also have added a selfie option and a video call, which is pretty groovy. I may do that next, because the foundation is ridiculously good, especially those of you who don’t want to feel like you’re wearing foundation or show all the fine lines and texture in your skin.


Packaging:  Gorgeous stick roll up with magnetic closure.

Who can use it: All skin types, but wonderful on dry, textured skin.

Who may not like it: Very oily skin.

Finish: Radiant/Eggshell Finish.

Apply With: Brush, Fingers, Damp Sponge with Water Elixir.

Fragrance: Low to Minimal.

Skin Prep: Ageless Beauty Kit.

Shade Range: 22 Shades/Colors

Price: $68

3. Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation

I love Tom Ford Foundations. As a matter of fact, I like all of them. Although I do have a beef with his ass! He always discontinues the ones I fall head over heels in love with. Fucker!

(I just found out he is discontinuing my favorite tinted moisturizer, the Glow Tinted Moisturizer. That’s worthy of street crimes right there. If you’re reading this and there is some available, snatch it up! It’s good!)

The Traceless Soft Matte is known as a makeup artist's favorite foundation for sensitive skin, offering a very soft matte formula that is hydrating and long-wearing for most skin tones. It has a very nice texture to the skin and it's buildable..

It also has a soft focus, helping to soften textured skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Suitable for all skin types, it is particularly acclaimed as the best foundation brand for combination skin.

If you have long work days, this may be right up your alley. Great for evenings out, too!


Packaging: Plastic, with lift-up pump. 

Who can use it: All skin types, great for visible pores.

Who may not like it: Very Oily Skin.

Finish: Matte with soft focus that softens skin’s appearance.

Apply With: Brush, Fingers, Damp Sponge with Water Elixir.

Fragrance: Low to Minimal.

Skin Prep: 5 Minute Face Kit.

Shade Range: 40 Shades/Colors

Price: $89

4. Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick
Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick

I rotate my Gucci Westman and my Tom Ford foundations, depending on what I’m doing. Gucci for running in the streets, Tom Ford when I am doing camera work or a lot of Zoom meetings when I need to look flawless.

I am a 3.5 Ivory Rose. Here I am with it on. 

I love to use a flat damp brush with Water Elixir Skin Prep to apply. 

If you have dry, dehydrated skin, this is a winner. It’s expensive but worth it. 

I love it the most because I can sheer it out with Water Elixir, or if my skin needs more coverage, I can apply more. 

Skin Prep is a MUST with any foundation but it is REQUIRED to use with stick foundation. 


Packaging: Roll Up Stick.

Who can use it: Normal to Extra Dry Skin Types.

Who may not like it: Very Oily skin.

Finish: Smooth, photo filter-like.

Apply With: Brush, Fingers, Damp Sponge with Water Elixir.

Fragrance: Low to Minimal.

Skin Prep: Flawless Face Kit.

Shade Range: 39 Shades/Colors

Price: $88

5. Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup

Believe it or not, my very own mother turned me on to this little foundation. I have not been a Clinique fan since the 80s, as I clearly am a bougie bitch who likes nice things.

If you have rosacea, I must say I have used this in a pinch and I get zero irritation from this formula. I like the texture and the coverage, but if I wear too heavy of a full coverage foundation, it does show my fine lines and wrinkles a little more than I want.  But mixed with good skin prep, it’s a decent little foundation for the price point.

What I don’t like? The packaging. If you have hand mobility issues, the squeezer is hard to get product out. And honestly, I hate the green packaging. But if that doesn’t bother you and money is tight, this may be a winner for you.

The color range is only 6 shades but it makes sense for what it is. To cover redness in fair skin, there is really not much of a reason to go much deeper than what they have as it's more of a common problem in very fair skin tones, or rosacea-prone skin.


Packaging: Hard Squeeze Tube that can’t seem to get the last drop out.

Who can use it: Fair skin tones with dry, rosacea-prone skin.

Who may not like it: Not designed for darker skin tones.

Finish: Satin/Matte with soft focus filters.

Apply With: Brush, Fingers, Damp Sponge with Water Elixir.

Fragrance: Low to None.

Skin Prep: Ageless Beauty Kit.

Shade Range: 6 Colors

Price: $34

In closing, I hope all these foundations work for you. Remember, everyone's skin is different. Take the time to check the ingredients list and do a patch test before buying, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you have very oily skin, opt for oil-free options. For dry skin, consider those with hydrating properties. What foundation do you love for over 40?

Leave a comment below! 


  • Mary

    I am a 55 yo with hooded lids and I have visible pores , combination skin and fine lines/wrinkles. Can you point me to the best foundation & product for my lids?
    Do you offer a how to video on how to apply eye makeup for hooded lids? My son is getting married soon and I have no clue how to apply any make up! Thank you.

  • Theo Shillito

    Hello webmaster, Your posts are always insightful and valuable.

  • Carolyn Thornton

    I’m 77 and have pretty good skin, I think I’m between normal to dry! I prefer a tinted moisturizer, what would you recommend? I just ordered the exfoliating cream! Excited to try!

  • Regina Sneor

    I’m super surprised you didn’t include Cle de Peau silky foundation. My all time favorite with great tones.

  • Lina

    Well, none of the above will work for my skin. I am 54 but still have oily skin and acne AF!!!!

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