Matte means "lacking shine or luster," and matte foundations, which are thicker than liquids, and are meant to conceal. This type of foundation easily covers up blemishes and scars while still giving skin even coloring. When it's applied, the cream dries into a power-like substance, giving skin a "matted" appearance. If you have oily skin, you may prefer the shine-free look a matte foundation provides [source: Yahoo].
Matte foundations come in several forms, including creams and mousses. Cream foundations work well if you're trying to conceal wrinkles -- they moisturize the skin, and their thick consistency helps fill in the appearance of lines [source: Kaylor]. Like creams, mousse foundations dry into a shine-free appearance; however, mousses typically provide lighter coverage. If you have acne-prone skin, you may want to pass on mousse foundations, which can clog pores, but if you want to minimize the signs of aging while giving your skin a less shiny appearance, a mousse foundation may work for you. Most matte foundations come with a brush, but you can also apply it with a small dry sponge [source: Kaylor].
Keep reading to learn about pressed-powder foundations.