Full Coverage Makeup Foundation

According to MedicinePlus.com, a government-run online health service, Hyperpigmentation affects the color of the skin due to the overproduction of melatonin causing a darkening of the skin. Generally, there are two types of foundations that effectively cover dark skin pigmentation; full coverage and total coverage. Full coverage foundation covers minor to moderate skin imperfections and total coverage foundation covers minor to severe skin imperfections, as well as tattoos.

The best foundation makeup for hyperpigmentation is long-lasting, natural-looking and non-irritating. Listed below are seven of the best, most reputable foundation makeup brands on the market for covering hyperpigmentation based on their superior coverage and high ratings from user reviews for quality and performance.

Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation SPF 30, $42 Sephora.com

Product Features

  • Total coverage; covers tattoos
  • Doubles as a concealer
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Over 40 available shades
  • Fragrance-free, oil-free
  • Contains soothing vitamin E
  • Long-lasting

Usage: Detailed instructions are on the Cover FX main product page at Sephora.com. Click on 'The Foundation Guide'. There are special brushes and a setting powder recommended in the guide for a flawless, long-lasting application.

Notable Awards (from Cosmeticsmag.com): Cosmetics Magazine 2009 "I Recommend…Beauty Award"

User Reviews: Sephora.com- currently, out of 423 reviews, it has an average rating of 4 out of 5. MakeupAlley.com- currently, out of 155 reviews, it has an average rating of 3.9 out of 5.

Ingredients (from Sephora.com): Octinoxate 7.5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 2%, Diisostearyl Malate, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Synthetic Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Magnesium Silicate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprate, Tricontanyl PVP, Tocopherol, Bisabolol, Cholesteryl Hydroxystearate, Triethoxycaprylyl Silane, Dehydroacetic Acid, BHT May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288)

Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation, $42 Sephora.com

Product Features

  • Full coverage
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Oil and fragrance-free
  • Contains green tea extract and silk powders
  • 10 available shades
  • Long-lasting

Usage: Works well with Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer for complete coverage.

User Reviews: Sephora.com- currently, out of 314 reviews, it has an average rating of 4.3 out 5. Amazon.com- currently, out of 22 customer reviews, it has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. LauraMercier.com- currently, out of 38 reviews, it has an average rating of 5 out of 5.

Ingredients (from Sephora.com): Cyclopentasiloxane, Water (Aqua), Phenyl Trimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, PEG-12 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica Dimethicone Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Trihydroxystearin, Diisopropyl Dimer Dilinoleate Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sorbitan Sesquioleate Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Glyceryl, Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silk Powder (Serica), Ascorbyl Palmitate, Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate. May Contain (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica (CI 77019)

Jane Iredale Amazing Base SPF 20, $42 JaneIredale.com

Product features

  • Loose minerals
  • Medium to full coverage (buildable)
  • Bismuth, paraben, oil and talc-free
  • Long-lasting
  • Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation
  • 17 available shades

Usage: See janeiredale.com, click on 'products' link to find Amazing Base. On product page there are tips and detailed application instructions. Also, there are application instructions for hyperpigmentation on Jane Iredale's personal blog at janeiredale.blogspot.com (see July 7, 2006 post) where she recommends using her Disappear and Enlighten concealers for total coverage.

Notable Awards (from JaneIredale.com): Salon Plus, 2007 & 2005 Editor's Choice Award.

User Reviews: Currently, out of 225 MakupAlley reviews, it has an average rating of 3.9 out of 5.

Ingredients (from JaneIredale.com):
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 14%, Zinc Oxide 6%, Ingredients: Mica, Boron Nitride, Zinc Stearate, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Plankton Extract, Algae Extract, Pomegranate Extract. May contain: Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Chromium Oxide Greens

Bare Escentuals bareMinerals SPF 15, Sephora .com $25

Product Features

  • Loose minerals
  • Full coverage
  • Preservative, oil, talc, paraben and fragrance free
  • Long-lasting
  • 20 available shades
  • Does not cause break-outs

Notable Awards (from BareEscentuals.com): Cosmopolitan, 2009 Cosmo Beauty Award for Best Foundation, Best of Sephora 2008 (sephora.com), Glamour Magazine, 2009 Glammy Beauty Award for Best Department/Specialty Foundation.

User reviews: Sephora.com-currently, out of 13, 396 reviews, it has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.

Ingredients (from BareEscentuals.com):
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 12.6%, Zinc Oxide 21%. Inactive Ingredients: Bismuth Oxychloride, Mica, Iron Oxides, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide

Vichy Laboratoires Dermablend Corrective Foundation SPF 20, $28 CVS Pharmacy

Product features

  • Cream foundation
  • Total coverage
  • Lasts 12 hours
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Allergy tested

Usage: May be used with Vichy's Dermablend Setting Powder and Concealer. See VichyUsa.com for more information.

User Reviews: Totalbeauty.com- currently, out of 7 reviews, it has an average rating of 8.9 out of 10.

Ingredients (from CVS.com): Titanium Dioxide (6.1%). Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Pentylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Methylparaben, Cellulose Gum, Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tristearin, Acetylated Glycol Stearate, Acrylates Copolymer, Butylparaben; May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

Illuminare Extra Coverage Foundation/Concealer SPF 21, $27 IlluminareCosmetics.com

Product Features

  • Liquid foundation
  • Full coverage
  • Oil, talc, gluten, dye and fragrance-free
  • Not tested on animals
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • 5 available shades
  • Try before you buy-trial sizes for $10 at IlluminareCosmetics.com
  • 3 foundation formulas: Extra Coverage, Fantastic Finish (Moisturizing), and Ultimate All Day (Matte)

Usage: May be mixed with other foundation formulas for a customized finish.

User Reviews: MakeupAlley.com- currently, out of 77 reviews, it has an average rating of 4.1 out of 5.

Ingredients (from IlluminareCosmetics.com): Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide-5% & Titanium Dioxide-4.4% Ingredients: C-12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Deionized Water, Iron Oxides, Glycerin, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Magnesium Sulfate, Panthenol, Benzalkonium Chloride

Estée Lauder Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body SPF 15, $29.50 Macys.com

Product Features

  • Liquid foundation
  • Full coverage
  • Fragrance-free
  • Long-wearing
  • 4 available shades
  • Non-transferable
  • Waterproof

Usage: On EsteeLauder.com it is recommended to use the Foundation Brush 1F to apply foundation.

User reviews: Macys.com- currently, out of 16 reviews, it has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5. MakeupAlley.com-currently, out of 110 reviews, has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5.

Ingredients: For a list of ingredients go to EsteeLauder.com, click on 'customer service', click on 'email us', select 'ingredient inquiries' under 'other', fill out the form, and then ask for a list of ingredients for the product to be sent to you.


For tips on how to best apply full and total coverage foundation go to MakeupNotebook.com and click on 'Face Makeup' on the left side, then click on the 'Full Coverage Foundation' link.


MedicinePlus. (2010, June 08). Skin Pigmentation Disorders. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/skinpigmentationdisorders.html

Photo Credit

Author's Flickr.com username is Jacklyn DL, name of photo is 'Beautiful Blue'