Our Testing Process

To start, we spent about a week researching the top-rated body makeup products on the market. After honing in on online ratings, we spent 24 hours putting the 18 most popular ones to the test. We had each of our testers try the formulas so that they could analyze the performance of each, and write down their insights throughout the process. In doing so, our testers rated each body makeup product on a scale of 1 to 5 in four key categories: Feel, coverage, water resistance, and transfer resistance. Once the data was collected, we were able to narrow down the original pool of products to the 8 best body makeup products.

What to Keep in Mind


The type of coverage you should look for depends entirely on what you’re intending on using the body makeup for. If you’re in the market for something to cover up veins, scars, and birthmarks, a full-coverage option (like Black Opal Total Coverage Face + Body Concealer) is your best bet. But, if you’re after a subtle glow, a shimmery product, like +Lux Unfiltered N°10 Blurring Body Glow, is a good go-to. Just be sure to keep in mind that you should avoid using body makeup on broken skin or eczema. According to board-certified dermatologist Michelle Henry, M.D., the ingredients in most body makeup products can hinder the normal skin healing process. “Using body makeup during an eczema flare up can irritate the skin even more, causing redness, itchiness, and patchiness,” she explains.


If you’re planning on wearing body makeup to the beach or pool, make sure the formula you choose is water-resistant, like our best overall winner Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation. Our testers found each of these high-coverage body makeup products to be water-, transfer-, and sweat-resistant, which is key because the last thing you want is for your body makeup to come dripping off after one quick dip.

Cosmetic chemist Julie Pefferman tells InStyle that ‘waterproof’ and ‘water-resistant’ don’t mean the same thing. “The word waterproof indicates that less reapplication is needed, whereas water-resistant products (like sunscreen and body makeup) typically require touch ups,” she says. “While formulations vary, silicones (which are used in most body makeup products to help increase spreadability and blur imperfections) actually aid in water-resistance. These silicones make a permeable film that helps formulas be more long-lasting.”


Another thing to consider when shopping for body makeup is the size of the bottle or tube. Generally, you’ll want the makeup to cover a large area (like an arm, a leg or a shoulder, for example), so look for a product that is big enough to last you multiple uses. The Dermablend Leg and Body Makeup, which is 3.4 oz., is one of the largest on this list, and, because a little goes a long way, you’ll get plenty of use out of it.

Your Questions, Answered

What is body makeup?

According to professional makeup artist Molly R. Stern, body makeup is a type of foundation that can be used directly on the body. Most often, it’s used to blur imperfections (like scars, veins, and bruises), and cover tattoos that take up a large surface area, but it can also be useful in evening out the overall look of your skin tone.

How do you apply body makeup?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to applying body makeup. “You can apply it with your hands, a body mit, a sponge, or brushes,” Stern says. “It all depends on what you’re going for. If it’s glowing legs, use your hands; but if you’re looking to cover up tinier imperfections or add details, opt for a brush.”

Can you use body makeup on your face?

According to Pefferman, the main ingredients in body makeup are quite similar to foundation for the face. “Foundation for the face usually has a higher percentage of powders, though, which may not feel great all over the body,” she explains. “Body makeup, on the other hand, contains more silicones and emollients, which make it easier to spread.”

Despite having a similar chemistry, Pefferman says that makeup created specifically for the body might be too much for the skin on the face. “Generally, if it’s for the body only, it will feel heavy and sticky on the face,” she adds. Unless, of course, the formula you choose is crafted for use both on the face and body, like MAC Studio Radiance Face And Body Radiant Sheer Foundation.

Can you wear body makeup and sunscreen at the same time?

Chances are if you’re using body makeup to cover up a scar while you’re wearing a bikini, a bottle of sunscreen isn’t too far away. “Body makeup formulas that also contain SPF can be a great way to give the skin extra protection against the sun’s harmful rays,” says Dr. Henry. As the name suggests, Estée Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Foundation For Face and Body SPF 15 is a full-coverage formula that contains sunscreen. Even if your body makeup contains SPF, be sure to apply an SPF of at least 30 beforehand for adequate protection from the sun.

How do you make body makeup last a long time?

According to Stern, exfoliation is key. “Exfoliating the skin once a week will help the makeup wear longer,” she says. Pefferman, who has formulated long-lasting cosplay makeup, agrees. “Avoid using lotion before the body makeup — it works best if your skin is clean and dry,” she adds. “After applying the body makeup, add setting powder. Then, add more product on top of the setting powder to build coverage.”

What Is InStyle Picks?

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it’s really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle picks are products we love, and we’ve put them to the test to be sure you will too.

Why Shop With Us

Caitlyn Martyn is a commerce writer for InStyle, where she covers skincare, makeup, hair, and fashion. With expert insight from a dermatologist, a makeup artist and a cosmetic chemist (plus tester first-hand experience), she poured over product specifications and rounded up our top picks for this story. Caitlyn has experience researching, testing and writing about beauty products.

Want more product recommendations? From best-in-class concealer to the black pants you need for work, check out all of our InStyle Picks content.

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