The post you’ve all been waiting for! It took me months to test all these foundations, but I’m finally ready to share The Best and Worst Transfer Proof Foundations for Face Masks! I’ve tried 25 foundations, so you don’t have to!
I’m going to take you through the great, the good, the average and the ugly. Some of the results shocked me as I thought they would be better. Likewise, I thought that some of them would be worse than they turned out to be.
I used a fabric mask to test all of these foundations and made sure to talk lots and also lean on my hand with the mask to mimic what I would do normally. Plus I wanted to make sure the mask really touched the foundation, so I could see how it performed.
Out of all of the foundations in this Best Transfer Proof Foundations post, I would only say two are “mask proof”. However, there are plenty that are excellent and there were only a couple of small transfer marks. It was really hard to score some of them as they sort of overlapped and deserved the same score. A couple I also couldn’t decide if they were in “The Best” or just “The Good” – but I looked at whether or not the foundation moved on my face as well as transferring to help me decide.
I made sure to use the same primer for each test and I didn’t set the face as I never do. There would be no point me testing these foundations, but changing how I normally wear foundation. Of course setting your foundation can help keep it from transferring, but I wanted to see how the actual foundation did. I gave each foundation a mark out of 10 and have detailed where the foundation rubbed off.
So, let’s get into the Best Transfer Proof Foundations and the ones you should definitely avoid!
DISCLAIMER: Product links are affiliate. This means I earn a small commission if you buy through my link, but it costs you nothing extra. Thank you for supporting my blog, so I can continue creating content!
1st – ESTEE LAUDER FUTURIST HYDRA RESCUE MOISTURISING MAKEUP – £36 from John Lewis
We’re starting with the absolute best transfer proof foundation here. This foundation came into my life last year and we instantly became best friends. It won my Best in Beauty 2020 and has become Holy Grail status to me. I have a full review of it here if you want to read the nitty gritty and see a wear test.
Let’s get into the transfer proof abilities of this wonderous foundation. This foundation really is transfer proof. I wore it numerous times with a mask and not once did it transfer. Not even a tiny dot! Once it sets down into your skin, you are set for the day!
This foundation manages to be hydrating, luminous and still doesn’t transfer! It’s quite incredible. As I wear this foundation so much, I tried it with both cloth and surgical masks. Still nothing. I just adore this foundation and I know without a doubt, it will get me through a long day!
The mask also doesn’t move the foundation around on the face. Some of the foundations in this test had transfer, but they didn’t seem to move on the face, some you could see had noticeably moved. We’ll get into that further down.
2nd – L’OREAL PARIS INFALLIBLE FRESH WEAR FOUNDATION – £11.99 from Look Fantastic
Coming an incredibly close second is the L’Oreal Infallible foundation. This foundation performs like a high end one in many ways. It really is beautiful on the skin and is almost completely transfer proof as well!
It’s longwearing, a bit more matte than the Estee Lauder, so it will depend on what you prefer foundation wise. With this foundation, I had one tiny dot of transfer from my nose, which was only noticeable if you looked really close, there was no moving of the foundation from the face. Once applied it won’t move, which is great for a long day in a mask!
3rd – L’OREAL PARIS INFALLIBLE PRO GLOW LONGWEAR FOUNDATION – £11.99 from Amazon
This performs much like the Infallible Fresh Wear above, however as the name suggests, it’s a more glowy version and there is slightly more transfer. It’s negligible though, so I would say go for whatever finish you prefer if you’re picking from these two.
This only had a tiny bit of transfer where my chin meets my cheeks. There was a line each side of the mask about 1cm long. Nothing else. I noticed it moved the foundation ever so slightly on my nose, but a quick blend with a finger and it’s perfect again.
4th – CHANEL LE TEINT ULTRA TENUE ULTRAWEAR FLAWLESS FOUNDATION – £40 from Selfridge’s
In fourth place, we have the Chanel Le Teint Ultra Tenue. Side note; I don’t love how this foundation looks or wears on my face. The Estee Lauder Watery Glow Primer does mean this looks and lasts better on my skin. However, I wasn’t interested in how this wore, only how it did or didn’t transfer.
With this foundation, I had 2 tiny marks from each cheek and one dot from my nose. Nothing else. It performed much better than I expected, given I don’t love how this looks on me. It didn’t move around on the face either.
5th – UOMA SAY WHAT? FOUNDATION – £29.50 from Cult Beauty
This is the most lightweight foundation I tested. It’s almost like water and very hydrating. I didn’t have high hopes when I applied it as I just thought it was too wet and glowy. However, I’m pleased to report that this performs excellently with masks.
There was slight transfer from the middle of my chin, a small line from each cheek and a dot from my nose. It sounds bad when written like that as I had a little transfer from everywhere. However, the amount of transfer was miniscule. The mask did not move the foundation on my face.
6th – LANCOME TEINT IDOLE ULTRAWEAR FOUNDATION – £34 from Look Fantastic
I was in two minds about where to place this foundation because there was a larger line of transfer than any of the above. However, it only transferred in one place. I had two inch long transfer fine lines on each cheek where it meets my chin. Other than that, it performed excellently.
THE GOOD – AVERAGE
7th – PAT MCGRATH SUBLIME PERFECTION FOUNDATION – £60 from Selfridge’s
This nearly made it into the best transfer proof foundations category. However, there was definitely more transfer than the Lancome that just about made it in, so I had to be strict. This is very good, but it does still transfer.
I got transfer from my chin and cheeks, nothing from my nose. The transferring was more general than just a couple of lines, but it was quite faint. It didn’t move the foundation around on my face.
8th – CHARLOTTE TILBURY AIRBRUSH FLAWLESS FOUNDATION – £34 from Feel Unique
This foundation performed pretty well. I think I was expecting more from it as Charlotte advertised it as some amazing full coverage, but you won’t notice it, incredibly longwearing, sets like glue foundation.
However, I definitely had some movement and transfer. The transfer was on the lower cheek area where it joins my chin and it needed reblending after I took my mask off. Overall, it was pretty darn good.
9th – CHRISTIAN DIOR FOREVER SKIN GLOW FOUNDATION – £37 from John Lewis
This is one of my favourite foundations ever. I’m a little sad it’s not higher up in my Best Transfer Proof Foundations!
But, it is a glowy foundation, so these types of foundations do tend to move around a bit more and not set up like a matte one. Not always, but a lot of the time.
Transfer wise, I had a little bit all along the bottom of my chin and in my cheek/pore area. Not distinct lines, a general staining of the mask. Still, pretty darn good!
10th – L’OREAL SKIN PARADISE TINTED MOISTURISER – £10.99 from Look Fantastic
L’Oreal have done well in this test of The Best Transfer Proof Foundations, they have 3 in the top 10! I’ve said before that this is the best tinted moisturiser I’ve ever used and I stand by it. This has beaten another 15 foundations and tinted moisturisers!
This has the look and feel of a tinted moisturiser, with the longevity of a foundation. It performs very well with masks. I had a little transfer from my chin and some from my cheeks. Nothing from my nose. This did, however, move my makeup around more than some of the ones above, so that’s why it’s in 10th place. It’s still such a great product and I lived in it all Summer while we were moving house!
The next few foundations and tinted moisturisers all perform very similarly. They are good, but there’s general wear from all over. So, a lot of same scores! I’d say these next few foundations are pretty average.
11th – CHARLOTTE TILBURY LIGHT WONDER FOUNDATION – £34 from John Lewis
This foundation performed better than I thought! It’s one that doesn’t ever feel like it sets down. If you touch your face, there will be residue on your fingers. It also moves around quite easily.
However, when it came to transfer, I only had general, light staining of my cheeks and chin. I needed to reblend my chin, but not my cheeks.
It didn’t matter if I had been wearing the mask for ages or just put one on, this always transferred the same amount.
12th – COLLETION LASTING PERFECTION FOUNDATION – £6.49 from Superdrug
This is the most affordable foundation in this round up of The Best Transfer Proof Foundations and it performed pretty well. We’re into the average range of scoring and transfer now. Not the worst, but not the best!
This had general wear from my cheeks and nose, but didn’t move the product around too much. I didn’t have to reblend this foundation at all. It does set down, but there is still a decent amount of transfer onto masks.
13th – COLOURPOP PRETTY FRESH HYDRATING FOUNDATION – £11.79/$16 from Colourpop
Another affordable foundation, the Colourpop Pretty Fresh Hydrating Foundation had wear from the centre of my chin around the side and to my cheeks.
This almost has a powdery finish and look on the skin, but it is hydrating and skin like at the same time. This foundation transfers when you touch it, so I expected it to transfer onto a mask. It was about what I expected, general wear from chin, cheeks, pore area. It didn’t move the foundation around on my skin though, so that’s a plus.
14th – NARS SHEER GLOW FOUNDATION – £33.50 from John Lewis
This is one of the most “moveable” foundations I own. I don’t really know how to explain it apart from the fact this usually moves around a lot on my face and doesn’t ever set down itself. You could set it of course, but since I tested every other foundation without powder I didn’t want to powder this one.
So, I was quite surprised that it only had a little wear from my cheeks. It did transfer quite a bit from all over my chin, but I still expected more with how it’s worn in the past on me. It did need patting/blending once I took the mask off.
15th – DIOR BACKSTAGE FACE AND BODY FOUNDATION – £29.50 from John Lewis
This is kind of joint 15th with the next two as they wear the same. But in the interest of my OCD I’m having to go 1-25.
I really like this foundation, but I kind of expected it to transfer as it’s another one of those glowy, lightweight foundations that doesn’t really set down. It makes your skin look stunning, but it’s not transfer proof by any means!
This transferred a little all over. The sides of my cheeks, my pore area, my nose and my chin. We are now at the stage in the countdown where they pretty much all transfer all over, it’s just varying degrees of how much they transfer. You can definitely see this all over your mask, but it doesn’t need to be touched up once you take the mask off.
16th – GIORGIO ARMARNI NEO NUDE GLOW FOUNDATION – £32 from John Lewis
This foundation does set slightly more than the Dior mentioned above, but it still manages to transfer from the cheeks, chin and nose. This is a pretty longwearing, lightweight foundation, but it does transfer. Not the worst, but not the best. It’s sitting around the middle of my Best-Worst.
This doesn’t need patting or blending when you take your mask off and the transfer is general staining over definitive lines.
17th – COLOURPOP PRETTY FRESH HYALURONIC ACID TINTED MOISTURISER – £10.25/$14 from Colourpop
This errs on being in the worst category, but since I tried others which were worse, it just scraped into the good/average. It is a tinted moisturiser over a foundation, so I kind of expected it to not perform well. However, after the L’Oreal Skin Paradise Tinted Moisturiser managed to rank way higher on this list, I had hope!
This transfers all over. The inside of your mask will be foundation coloured, but it’s not noticeable on the face when you take your mask off. We’re getting into the ones that transfer badly next. This is a lovely product for day to day use if you want something that doesn’t look like makeup. It’s long wearing for a tinted moisturiser and looks gorgeous on the skin, it just is definitely not a transfer proof foundation/tinted moisturiser!
18th – ESTEE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR NUDE WATER FRESH MAKE UP – £34 from Look Fantastic
I love this foundation, it is super long wearing and looks gorgeous on the skin. BUT, it does not hold up well under a mask. It transfers from the nose, cheeks, pore area and chin and slides your foundation around. You will definitely need to blend this back in when you take the mask off.
I dare say the Estee Lauder Double Wear would hold up a lot better, but I don’t particularly like full coverage, so I don’t own it.
19th – GUERLAIN L’ESSENTIEL NATURAL GLOW FOUNDATION – £44 from John Lewis
Another beautiful, skin like, glowy foundation that doesn’t perform great with masks. It’s a shame all these natural/radiant foundations aren’t able to set down and not transfer. I don’t mind a natural matte foundation, but I’ve never been one for super matte foundations. The kind that usually do set down and not transfer.
This transfers from the end of the nose, the bridge, side of the cheeks and bottom of chin. You will need to pat the chin area a little, but everywhere else it doesn’t move the product.
20th – NUDESTIX TINTED COVER FOUNDATION – £32 from Beauty Bay
I’m not surprised that this foundation isn’t budge proof. It’s perfect for those no makeup, makeup days and is really skin like. It doesn’t slide around or need reblending after you take your mask off, but there’s quite a bit of transfer all over the mask. Sides of cheek near the ears, all over the chin, both bottom and in the centre. Nose isn’t too bad, a slight staining.
21st – GIORGIO ARMANI LUMINOUS SILK FOUNDATION – £43 from John Lewis
It actually pains my soul to write this foundation in the worst category and not one of the best transfer proof foundations… but it’s all honesty here and my beloved Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is really not good when it comes to transfer. It might look beautiful on the skin and go with any primer, but it transfers all over. You will have a lot of foundation on your mask and need to reblend on your face.
It transfers from the cheeks the worst, the nose isn’t too bad and the round the bottom of the chin is also not great. The centre, round the lips isn’t the worst, but not great either.
22nd – LANCOME TEINT IDOLE ULTRA WEAR NUDE FOUNDATION – £34.50 from John Lewis
This is lightweight version of the Teint Idole Ultra Wear which ranked as one of the Best Transfer Proof Foundations – it’s sitting at 6th in this round up. This one however, does not perform well. There was a lot of transfer from my cheeks and chin. Not so much from my nose. I needed to reblend parts of my cheeks as it moved a bit of blush as well. The chin area was not too horrific, but there was noticeable transfer.
23rd – MAC FACE AND BODY FOUNDATION- £27 from John Lewis
This is probably the most dewy foundation I own, so I’m not surprised that it has ranked this low. This transfers from the nose, pore area, side of cheeks, under the chin, on the chin. It actually removed a little foundation from my cheeks, so I had to use my fingers to try and move some product around to cover up the patch. It also moved some of my blush.
24th – L’OREAL PARIS TRUE MATCH LIQUID FOUNDATION – £9.99 from Look Fantastic
We’re getting to the end now, this is the penultimate on my Best Transfer Proof Foundations and unlike all the other L’Oreal foundations which performed so well, this one did not hold up.
This moves around a lot on the skin and you will have pretty much the whole half of your face transferred to the mask. Blush, foundation, it all transfers. It doesn’t slide around on the cheeks too much, but I had to pat the chin area and cover up a couple of patches
25th – SHISEIDO SYNCHRO SKIN SELF REFRESHING FOUNDATION – £39 from John Lewis
I’m actually really surprised that this is the worst foundation I tried! It’s not particularly glowy, it’s more on the natural matte side. It even says this is transfer proof on the Shiseido website. I don’t know if it’s my face, but absolutely not. This was THE worst for transfer. I barely had any product left on my face, it was all on the mask!
Even trying to reblend this, I couldn’t as there were so many patches and just not enough product to cover my face back up. Really NOT good!!
There we have it!! The Best Transfer Proof Foundation and the ones that aren’t so hot! This has been so much work, but I’m happy to share it with you!