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10 Best Liquid Foundations To Ace Your Makeup Base

by Sandy Taylor

We live in a big world and the amount of liquid foundation makeup out there is simply overwhelming. With all these brands to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? We’ve put together a list of the best liquid foundations. Both drugstore and department store brands were considered! Check them out below:

Our Picks For The Best Drugstore Liquid Foundation Makeup

1 – Revlon ColorStay Liquid Makeup

ColorStay liquid foundation has remained a cult favorite, ever since Revlon debuted the collection in the 1990s. Supermodels like Cindy Crawford appeared in commercials for its long-wearing quality, full coverage and never rub off consistency.

For those with shiny complexions, ColorStay’s combination/oily foundation is excellent for your skin type. Refinements have been made recently, and the liquid makeup now offers a convenient pump for economical and mess-free application and SPF protection in a lightweight, oil-free base.

Number #400 Caramel is a brown shade with yellow undertones.

2 – L’Oreal Paris Magic Nude Liquid Powder Bare Skin Perfecting Makeup

Imagine a foundation that delivers a soft powder-like finish, allowing for an airbrushed look. That’s exactly what Magic Nude is all about; it’s a liquid form that when applied to the face, immediately transforms to a silky smooth matte appearance. Women are obsessed with this makeup because all you do is shake and apply. It’s simple, fast and results in a natural, balanced complexion.

Not only do you receive exceptional coverage across the pores of your skin, but there’s a built-in SPF of 18. That’s sun protection at its finest.

3 – bareMinerals Pure Serum Foundation

We all expect our foundation to maintain complexion coverage, but most of us have never seen one that also contains a skin care serum. bareMinerals has developed a special mineral formula that not only balances your unique skin tone but also features complexion-saving assets with sunscreen in an SPF 20 and vitamin C.

This gentle foundation provides excellent, even application and brightens the skin for a luminous glow. The Pure Serum foundation is never heavy and creates a complexion that looks natural and balanced in tone. It’s also ideal for all skin types and easy to match with 17 shades available.

4 – Gabriel Cosmetics Moisturizing Liquid Foundation

For those of us with dry complexions, the ingredients truly matter in keeping the skin hydrated, dewy and healthy-looking. The liquid foundation by Gabriel Cosmetics is a win-win for several reasons. First, its formula contains natural ingredients like aloe, sesame seed oil, evening primrose oil and other fine moisturizing elements.

For its rich texture, the foundation creates a smooth canvas that dries to a lovely finish. It’s never gloppy, heavy or greasy when applying, and fans like putting it on with a foundation brush for superb coverage. The makeup never looks overdone and is great on sensitive complexions.

5 – Vichy Dermafinish Corrective Fluid High Coverage Liquid Foundation

If you have ever felt less than confident with the coverage your foundation provided, worry no more. Vichy Dermafinish is a leader in full coverage liquid makeup blended with the brand’s special mineral-rich volcanic water. The texture is lightweight and was developed for concealing skin imperfections like acne scars and pigmentation disorders.

Dermafinish is kind to sensitive complexions and to those who wear contact lenses. The liquid foundation is simple to apply with your fingers or a makeup sponge. It’s an effective and build-able foundation.

Top Department Store Liquid Foundation Makeup (Our Favorites)

1 – IT-O2 Ultra Repair Liquid Oxygen Foundation

Foundation users that are looking for light to medium coverage would be interested in IT-O2 foundation as the coverage is buildable and leaves skin with a dewy finish. They would also like its infusion of peptides and other anti-aging ingredients that nourish and protect skin.

Ingredients in light reflecting pigments that diminish and blur imperfections are part of the technology that makes this foundation something that users would want in their makeup arsenal. An airbrushed look without accumulation in lines and wrinkles is a real plus as well.

Hydration, luminosity and proven skin repair are three factors that women would appreciate in IT-O2.

2 – Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

Women with sensitive, oily or combination skins that are looking for medium coverage with a matte finish would like Hourglass foundation because of its liquid to powder consistency, which offsets the need to use powder, blotting papers, or touchups.

Hourglass users would also enjoy the product for its ability to camouflage the appearance of scarring, oil and breakouts along with its smooth and even consistency that is free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates.

Cashmere Kaolinite Clay is the pivotal ingredient that absorbs excess skin oil and helps provide the finished look that potential Hourglass users would appreciate.

3 – Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation

Smashbox Liquid Halo offers users a sheer to medium coverage that is buildable, and women seeking a lightweight, no-makeup look that allows for increased coverage would be pleased with this sweat and humidity-resistant formula that protects their skin.

Light technology adds to the attraction to this foundation as it resists accumulation in fine lines and dry areas, and it presents a natural and flawless look that is blendable while it covers unevenness and redness.

Though not as long lasting as other foundations, which might deter users, the flawless look it provides is worth a touch of powder during the day to maintain the natural look this foundation gives the skin.

4 – Shiseido UV Protective Liquid Foundation

Anyone who has used Shiseido is familiar with its skin protective properties, and makeup users appreciate it when a foundation has the necessary ingredients to protect skin while it enhances it. Along with safeguards, it deeply moisturizes and provides anti-aging benefits for youthful-looking skin.

Makeup connoisseurs will appreciate the long-lasting yet natural looking matte finish of this foundation along with its textural elements that cover sensitive and acne prone skin evenly and effectively, minus any excess oil production, heaviness or weight that can diminish the outward appearance of the skin.

Users will appreciate the lightness and airiness of this foundation as well as its resistance to transfer to other areas, which any foundation user appreciates.

5 – Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup

Urban Decay’s Naked Skin foundation is an oil-free, lightweight makeup that would appeal to those who want a demi-matte, buildable finish that incorporates illumination and brightness.

Light diffusion is utilized in this foundation as it blurs lines, wrinkles, and other imperfections. Along with light diffusion, this foundation contains powerful peptides and other nourishing and protective ingredients, which users should consider in a foundation choice.

The range of calibrated shades for making a perfect match selection is a feature that users would want to review with Naked Skin Foundation. With any makeup, matching is a key consideration.


Liquid Foundations For Acne Prone Skin

If your skin is prone to acne, there are great liquid foundation options that work well. The main thing that you should lookout for is to choose a foundation that is non-comedogenic , oil free and contains acne fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide. If you want to learn more about foundations that are good for acne prone skin, check out my guide on foundations for acne.

Liquid Foundations For Oily Skin

Best Liquid Foundation for Oily SkinGenerally, most people would try to avoid liquid foundations if they have oily skin. This is because most liquid foundations have a tendency to clog pores. Combine that with oily skin and you have a very high chance of acne breakouts which is very hard to deal with. With that said, I can’t say that liquid foundations are 100% bad for oily skin. Products like the gloMinerals Luxe Liquid Foundation do not clog pores and have received rave reviews on this feature. If you choose to use a liquid foundation for oily skin, make sure to only use a thin layer or enough to cover the areas that you want covered. If you’re looking for more foundation options for your oily skin, I have written an entire guide on this subject. Check out the guide here.

Liquid Foundations for Combination Skin

If you’ve got combination skin, you might be wondering if liquid foundations will work for your skin. The short answer is YES, but it all depends on how “combination” you are. If you have more dry patches than oily patches, then liquid foundations is definately for you. Check out my guide on selecting foundations for combination skin for more information. If you have more oily patches than dry patches, you may want to look into powder foundations instead. Check out the section below on “Choosing Between Liquid and Powder Foundation” to learn more.

**IMPORTANT**  At this point you might be wondering if you should be using both a liquid foundation and a powder foundation if you have combination skin. This is not recommended for a couple of reasons. First, it is very hard to find a liquid foundation and a powder foundation with the same shade. Second, it is difficult to apply liquid foundation on only the dry patches, and powder foundations on oily patches. Therefore, I always recommend my clients to find either a liquid or a powder foundation that works for them and then stick with that one.

Is Liquid Foundation Makeup Right For Your Skin?

So you have been looking around for a liquid foundation and have come across something that you feel is right for you. How do you know if the foundation that you have selected is right for your skin? With the amount of different types of liquid foundations that are available on the market today, it simply is not easy to provide a simple “YES” or “NO” answer to this question. Rather, the effects of a particular foundation on your skin depend on your skin type and whether or not you are allergic to certain types of ingredients. Here are some tips to help you determine the best liquid foundation that is right for you:

Know Your Skin Type –  Do you have dry, oily or combination skin? Do you have sensitive skin or acne prone skin? Knowing your own skin type is the most important step in selecting the right liquid foundation. It is important to note here that all foundations have a potential to cause irritation to your skin. With experience, you will learn which brands work well for your skin. Always be sure to check the ingredients and avoid the ones that may cause harm to your skin. I have talked about the types of ingredients to avoid in a previous post here. Most people find that liquid foundations work best with dry skin types. ( An obvious choice)

Know the Season And Weather – What is the weather outside like? It always amuses me to see that many people do not take the weather into consideration when thinking about the type of makeup they should wear. As general, liquid foundations work perfectly for dry weather. Be sure to look for products with UV protection for those dry and sunny days.

Know Your Skin Tone – This is a true time saver. By knowing your own skin tone, you can focus more efforts in finding the foundation that has the right features that you are looking for. I wrote a short guide on how to select the right tone for your makeup here. It is important to realize that your skin tone may change due to exposure to sunlight or skin conditions. Always monitor the tone of your skin and choose your makeup accordingly.

Choosing Between Liquid And Powder Foundation

I always receive emails from the readers of this blog wondering about the same question so I decided to answer this here once and for all. There really isn’t a “YES” or “NO” answer but rather, it depends on you, your skin type and what your comfort levels are. Here are the pros and cons of liquid and powder foundation:

Liquid Foundation Pros:

  • Last Long ( If worn correctly)
  • Better and more complete coverage
  • Best for dry skin

Powder Foundation Pros:

  • Lighter than liquid foundation
  • Best for oily skin (helps to soak up oil)
  • Generally easier to apply (depends on how you use it)

Liquid Foundation Cons:

  • Heavier than powder foundation
  • Better to set it with powder

Powder Foundation Cons:

  • Heavier than powder foundation
  • Better to set it with powder

These are the general pros and cons when comparing between liquid foundation and powder foundations. I’ve found that liquid foundations work best for dry skin types. You should go for a powder foundation if you have oily skin. Why? because powder helps to soak up the oil on your skin. I’ve written an entire guide for selecting powder foundations. Check out my guide here.

Companies slowly understand the needs of consumers and have made products to address the cons in both powder and liquid foundations. Hydrating powder foundations such as the Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil comes with a hydrating formula and minimizes the appearance of lines and pores. The gloMinerals gloProtective Liquid Foundation is a lightweight liquid foundation that feels just as light as its powder counterpart. You should be aware of your own preferences before selecting the right liquid foundation makeup.

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