www.reviewthis.com

The 10 Best Liquid Foundations of 2019

Liquid Foundation: The Best of 2019

Whether you have a mature, fine-lined complexion or young, blemish-prone skin, there's one thing these opposite-ends-of-the-spectrum skin types have in common: both require a full-coverage foundation.

But if you've tried a heavy stick or cream foundation you probably weren't thrilled with the results. These dense, pancake-like formulas can settle into creases and make you appear older, and their thick, gooey consistency also tends to clog pores, which contributes to blemishes on acne-prone skin. And powder foundation might not give you the amount of coverage you seek.

That's why its important to find a foundation that will provide the coverage you desire, weightlessly, without accentuating wrinkles or worsening breakouts.

The best liquid foundation provides the best of both worlds — it goes on seamlessly and delivers full coverage. And unlike other full-coverage options, liquid foundation still allows your skin to breathe, and when properly applied, will not appear fake or mask-like.

But finding the best liquid foundation is hard, especially if you're a first-timer to the world of makeup, and chances are you've scoured high and low, and received a ton of different suggestions. In order to make your search easier, we've put together a list of the 10 best liquid foundations, and ranked them based on factors such as coverage, staying power, and overall effectiveness.

So sit back and enjoy the list, as we guide you in your quest to find the best liquid foundation.

If you seek a light, illuminating foundation, and are concerned by the abundance of chemical additives in beauty products, you’ll definitely want to check out the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue is a tinted moisturizer containing a non-chemical, SPF 30 sunscreen, and provides your skin with a radiant, glowing finish. And, unlike competing brands, Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue doesn’t utilize any potentially harmful ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, talc, SLS, mineral oil, or animal byproducts, to ensure for a truly healthy, cruelty-free product for your skin.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue provides for light, hydrating coverage with the addition of marine botanicals and coconut-derived ingredients. Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue also utilize mineral electrolytes, calcium and magnesium to replenish your skin, and potassium for its balancing effect. And applying the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue is always a refreshing experience, as the formula contains tiny water encapsulations for an instant, hydrating burst.

A drawback to the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue is that it doesn’t have as wide a range of shades as competing brands — currently there are 10 colors available. Therefore, if you find your skin tone is difficult to match, you’ll be better off going with a different brand. And, as this formula is intended to simply provide radiance and lightly smooth normal to dry skin, those with fine lines or acne will also want to skip this foundation for its lack of coverage.

However, if you seek a natural, light-coverage formula and are looking to add a luminous, radiance to your skin without the addition of harsh, chemicals or animal by-products, definitely give the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue a go!

Key Features
  • A truly natural beauty product, free of parabens, phthalates, fragrance, talc, harmful chemicals, or animal by-products
  • Sheer to medium coverage
  • Gel-cream formula
  • Radiant, smoothing hydration
Specifications
  • Coverage: Sheer
  • Formulation: Hydrating
  • Consistency: Cream-gel
  • Sun Protection: SPF 30
  • Brand: bareMinerals
Pros
  • Sheer, dewy effect
  • Radiant hydration
  • Natural ingredients, vegan-friendly
Cons
  • Sheer coverage won't work to cover wrinkles or acne
  • Lack of color choices

Some of us need coverage that extends beyond our faces. From spidery, varicose veins to bumps and bruises, or that tattoo you'd love to forget, our body is calling out for coverage of its own, and implores us to go beyond solely caring for our face. 

But the good news is, Dermablend has you covered—literally!— from head to toe, with the Dermablend Professional Leg and Body Makeup with SPF 25. This all-over formula is suitable for a head-to-toe application and provides full, long-wearing coverage and a smooth, even skin tone.

Designed to hide stretch marks, veins, scars, and tattoos, its sheer range of coverage makes the Dermablend Leg and Body Foundation a truly versatile product in your beauty bag arsenal. 

This formula is considered buildable, meaning it requires you to apply more product to certain areas in order to reach the desired coverage level. Buildable coverage can be seen as both a positive and a negative, since it allows for true customization but can also burn through the product more quickly. 

Dermablend Professional Leg and Body Makeup comes in a choice of 12 shades, which isn't a huge range but should be sufficient for most to find their color match. This product is also dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic and suitable for sensitive skin. It's also formulated to be free from parabens, phthalates, and SLS.

The downside to this product is it's not completely transfer proof or long wearing and poses the risk of rubbing off on your clothing. Despite this con, however, the Dermablend Professional provides a great option for those requiring versatile, all-over coverage.

Key Features
  • Buildable formula provides customizable level of coverage
  • SLS, Phthalate, and Paraben free
  • Suitable for whole-body application
Specifications
  • Coverage: Buildable
  • Formulation: Hydrating
  • Consistency: Liquid
  • Sun Protection: SPF 25
Pros
  • All over body coverage
  • Buildable
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Good for sensitive skin
Cons
  • Not transfer proof or long wearing

Whether you're a Hollywood starlet walking the red carpet or just posing for a few vacation selfies, you'll want to be photo-ready at all times, because, well, you just never know when you're going to be on camera.

Even for those of us who are a bit more reserved and don't like our photo taken, we'd still like to look amazing and have flawless, no-filter skin.

Enter Wet n Wild Beauty's Photo Focus Foundation. A favorite among beauty bloggers and influencers, and for good reason — the Photo Focus is considered a viable dupe of foundations from high-end brands including MAC and Estee Lauder. 

Wet n Wild Photo Focus offers many of the standard benefits you'd expect from a matte foundation: it's an oil-free, fragrance-free, medium to full coverage formula that's also doesn't contain any harmful sulfates or parabens.

But what sets the Wet n Wild Photo Focus apart from other foundations is its light-cast technology, as it is specifically designed to prevent "flashback" in pictures.

Flashback occurs when the white particles in makeup reflect the lights released from flash photography, leaving a white cast over the subject's face in photos. 

Since this foundation is designed to eliminate the flashback, it's an ideal formula to wear to parties, weddings, showers, or any event that will include photography. And, due to its oil-free coverage, Photo Focus is also just a great everyday foundation as it provides decent coverage and relatively long wear.

However, although this formula claims to be fragrance-free, that doesn't mean it's scent-free, as the natural smells from the ingredients will still come through. And a common complaint for the Photo Focus was that it smells a bit like wet, acrylic paint. So those who find certain scents off-putting will want to skip this formula in favor of something that isn't fragrance-free, as many foundations include a light perfume to make the product's scent more appealing.

However, if you'd like a good, everyday foundation that makes you look amazing in pictures without the need for a filter, you've got to give Wet n Wild Photo Focus foundation a try!

Key Features
  • Revamped formula tested under 7 different lighting conditions
  • Delivers flawlessly, photo-ready skin
  • Formulated with a matte light-diffusing complex
Specifications
  • Coverage: Medium to Full
  • Formulation: Matte
  • Consistency: Liquid
  • Sun Protection: None
Pros
  • 20 different shades to choose from
  • Eliminates white-cast in photos
  • Oil-free, medium to full coverage
Cons
  • Smells like wet paint

If you’ve got combination or oily skin, you’re going to want to go with an oil-free foundation. But full coverage foundation can often feel heavy, and if it’s too light, it usually doesn’t have the best staying power.

Revlon’s ColorStay Liquid Foundation seeks to change this by combining a medium to full coverage formula with a lightweight feel, that will last a whopping 24 hours! And great news for acne prone gals — since it’s oil-free it won’t clog your pores. While this foundation is a great choice for combination to oily skin, those who have normal or dry skin may want to skip it, as the oil-free matte formula will feel a bit too drying.

Revlon ColorStay Liquid Foundation also comes in a range of 43 shades, so you should be able to find your perfect color match, regardless of your skin tone.

Once applied, the consistency of the foundation will appear soft and powder-like and contains an SPF of 15. One caveat for this foundation — it’s not going be as breathable as a foundation without sun protection, so if you aren’t a fan of its feeling on your face, you may want to skip this product in favor of one that doesn’t contain sunscreen.

This foundation is considered a “cult favorite” among beauty gurus and makeup artists, because even though it’s a low-end product price-wise, the results it delivers are on par with higher-end formulas, including Lancome and MAC. Overall, a great choice for those combination to oily skinned gals looking for long lasting coverage.

Key Features
  • Life-proof formula lasts up to 24 hours
  • Oil-free, SPF 15, matte finish
  • Available in 43 shades
  • Buildable, medium to full coverage
Specifications
  • Coverage: Medium to Full
  • Formulation: Matte
  • Consistency: Liquid
  • Sun Protection: SPF 15
Pros
  • Long-wearing
  • Large range of color options
  • Oil-free, great for blemish-prone skin
Cons
  • Drying, not suitable for normal to dry skin

If you'd like your foundation to pull double duty and control oil and shine, while hiding existing blemishes, you may want to give the Phoera Matte Oil Control Foundation a go.

While this is one of the thickest formula foundations on our list, and does provide full coverage, it doesn't feel overly heavy or clog pores. On the contrary, this provides a smooth, oil-controlling finish, that aims to prevent further breakouts all in a matte, waterproof formula.

While the Phoera Matte Oil Control does contain a small amount of sunscreen, it's listed at the bottom of the ingredient list, so you'll want to go ahead and apply a separate sunblock as its protection would be minimal at best.

Another caveat to the Phoera — if you have mature or dry skin, this formula is not for you, and will make your face appear cakey and dry, and laugh-lines and wrinkles will appear like "cracks" in your face. In other words, if you have dry or mature skin, we would not recommend the use of this product.

Instead, the Phoera Matte Oil Control Foundation is best used by teens and those in their 20s and 30s who want to hide blemishes and control oil, while providing waterproof, matte, and long wearing coverage.

Key Features
  • Oil-controlling, long-wearing formula
  • Foundation provides a matte, waterproof finish
  • Effectively conceals blemishes and skin imperfections
Specifications
  • Coverage: Full
  • Formulation: Matte
  • Consistency: Liquid
  • Sun Protection: Minimal
Pros
  • Full coverage
  • Lightweight formula
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • Sunscreen listed at bottom of ingredient list, so sun-protection is minimal at best
  • Matte finish is aging to mature skin

If your skin is a bit dull and dry but you don’t have an excess of wrinkles, or you live in an arid climate, you may want to consider a luminescing foundation. Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation provides a hydrating, blendable formula that seamlessly glides across dry patches, and leaves your face moist and glowing. And, unlike many other moisturizing foundations, Maybelline Dewy + Smooth provides non-comedogenic hydration, meaning it won’t clog your pores, but simply provides a smooth, breathable finish.

A potential drawback to the Maybelline Dewy + Smooth, however, is that it’s designed to leave a luminous finish, so it only provides for medium rather than full coverage. Therefore, those with heavy lines and wrinkles may want to skip this foundation, as will those with oily skin, since the excess moisture can leave you looking greasy instead of dewy.

However, if you have normal to dry skin, and are seeking a moisturizing foundation with the added benefit of sunscreen built right in – in this case SPF 18 – Maybelline Dewy + Smooth is a great option.

Key Features
  • SPF18 hydration that is non-comedogenic
  • Lightweight coverage provides a dewy, luminous finish
  • Formula smooths skin without clinging to dry patches
Specifications
  • Coverage: Luminous
  • Formulation: Hydrating
  • Consistency: Liquid
  • Sun Protection: SPF 18
Pros
  • Non-comedogenic hydration
  • Dewy finish
  • Smoothing
Cons
  • Not full coverage

While many of the foundations on our list are designed for normal to dry skin, they may not be sufficient to cover fine lines and wrinkles. Enter the Cover Girl + Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation.

This formula is designed to take a 3-step approach to skin care (hence the name). First, when correctly applied, the medium coverage formula will work to disguise all existing wrinkles and laugh-lines, by weightlessly gliding across them, as opposed to other foundations which may settle into the lines, and further accentuate them.

The foundation then goes to work evening out your skin tone by reducing the appearance of age spots and skin discolorations, and leaving you with a face that is both flawless and radiant.

And finally, the Simply Ageless 3-in-1 helps to prevent your skin from incurring future damage or wrinkles, through its addition of the Olay anti-aging cream, which provides firming hydration and effectively plumps up your skin.

While this pick is a great option for more mature women, younger women will find the addition of a heavy moisturizer to be more of a nuisance than a benefit as it may clog your pores and lead to future breakouts. It’s also meant to provide a dewy, moist finish to the skin, so those who already tend towards oily will end up looking greasy instead of radiant.

Overall, the best pick on the list for those with fine lines and wrinkles, who also hope to obtain prevention from future skin damage.

Key Features
  • Anti-aging foundation formula that hides and combats wrinkles
  • Evens skin tone and hydrates
  • Medium coverage
Specifications
  • Coverage: Medium
  • Formulation: Anti-aging
  • Consistency: Liquid
  • Sun Protection: None
Pros
  • Hydrating
  • Smooths face and reduces the appearance of fine lines
  • Protects skin and combats against further aging
Cons
  • Coverage lacking, won't work for highly lined skin
  • Offers no sun protection

If you are torn between a luminous foundation or one with a non-greasy finish, your ideal formula may be a demi-matte. A demi-matte formula provides a slightly dewy finish, while still combating oil, so that your skin looks balanced and silky, without the flatness often associated with a matte foundation.

While not always available in drugstore foundations, a demi-matte finish can be within your reach with L'oreal Infalliable Pro Matte Foundation, which, besides the coveted finish also offers long-wearing, 24-hour coverage.

The L'oreal Infalliable Pro Matte applies with an air-light consistency, without feeling heavy or greasy, yet is still strong enough to resist heat, sweat, and humidity, while leaving your skin silky and oil-free.

According to the manufacturer, the best method of application for hiding imperfections is to smooth the product onto skin in a rolling motion in order to achieve flawless coverage.

However, you'll want to be aware that the level of coverage provided by L'oreal Infalliable Pro-Matte is not a full coverage, but more of a medium. And, unlike many competing formulas, this foundation offers no built-in SPF so you'll also want to take that into consideration before purchasing.

Overall, the L'oreal Infalliable Pro-Matte is a best of both worlds formula and provides oil-free, luminescent blemish-controlling coverage, all in a long-lasting formula.

Key Features
  • Light formula provides long-wearing 24-hour coverage
  • Demi-matte finish
  • Foundation goes on smooth, and provides for clear, blemish-free skin
Specifications
  • Coverage: Medium
  • Formulation: Matte
  • Consistency: Liquid
  • Sun Protection: None
Pros
  • Long-wearing 24 hour formula
  • Mattifying, non-greasy coverage
Cons
  • No sun protection
  • Not full coverage

If you find your coloring is difficult to match, LDREAMAM Liquid Foundation offers an innovative product designed to flawlessly disappear into any skin tone. This technologically advanced formula owes its skin-matching abilities to shade-sensing beads that are touch activated and contain encapsulated pigments.

Just apply a small dab of the foundation, blend in thoroughly, and the once-white formula releases the pigments, which allow it to seamlessly disappear into any skin tone.

This cream formula foundation applies weightlessly and offers generous coverage, while still allowing your skin to breathe and your natural beauty to shine through. Suitable for all skin types and tones, the self-adjusting formula is silky, hydrating, yet dries to a matte finish to counteract any potential for a greasy T-zone.

Since this is a tinted moisturizer, you'll want to be aware that it won't have the same level of coverage as a foundation, and offers a sheerer finish. However, this offers the perfect solution for those looking to add moisture and radiance to their skin, sans oil and greasiness. And the self-adjusting shade matching technology is unmatched by any other type of foundation.

Key Features
  • Natural looking, hydrating formula
  • Provides all-day radiance
  • Encapsulated pigments release upon touch to perfectly match all skin tones
Specifications
  • Coverage: Sheer
  • Formulation: Matte
  • Consistency: Liquid
  • Sun Protection: None
Pros
  • Shade adjusting
  • Blendable
  • Suitable for all skin types
Cons
  • No sun protection

If you’ve got normal to oily skin and are seeking a foundation with a matte-finish, you’ve got to give Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless a try. According to the Nielsen Company’ Scantrack Service ratings, this is the #1 selling foundation in America, and for good reason!

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation is available in 40 shades, to cover a wide array of skin tones, from Ivory to Mocha.

This foundation is designed to disguise large pores and other skin imperfections for a truly flawless finish. However, the coverage is considered “buildable”, meaning it starts off as a light to medium, so if you need to target specific problem areas, you’ll have to use a bit more product. Depending on your preferences, you may see the buildability factor as a negative, due to the need to use excess makeup, or as a positive, due to its customizability.

A plus in this foundation’s favor — though it’s designed for normal to oily skin due to its mattifying effect, it can still be used by those with dry skin, as its formula is not a drying one. Basically, the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation provides a smooth, lightly powdered surface, without the cakey, dried-out skin effect that comes from certain mattifying foundations.

So, if you’re seeking a buildable formula that won’t leave you dried out or greasy, and you’d like an exact match to your skin tone, Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless might be your perfect choice.

Key Features
  • Natural looking, medium coverage
  • Available in 40 shades, from Ivory to Mocha
  • Best for normal to oily skin
  • Refines pores without greasiness
Specifications
  • Coverage: Medium
  • Formulation: Matte
  • Consistency: Liquid
  • Sun Protection: SPF 18
Pros
  • Refines pores
  • Mattifying, won't cause greasiness or breakouts
  • Lightweight, natural feel
Cons
  • Coverage is lacking

If you were stranded on a desert island, you probably wouldn't need makeup. But what if you were stuck in a far-off land and only allowed to have one beauty item? Which would you choose?

Without hesitation, most of us would respond "foundation" and then begin plotting on how we could talk our way into having a few more beauty essentials.

Indeed, by its name alone, the importance of foundation should be glaringly obvious. Just as a building or home is built atop a foundation, your face is no different, and every properly applied makeup application begins with a smooth, even work surface.

Also referred to as base, foundation is the starting point in your makeup application, in much the same way that Bob Ross always began on a prepped, neutral canvas before he would even think of adding all those gorgeous colors. Just as Bob wouldn't work his paint magic on a dingy, uneven backdrop, you'll also want to ensure that your face is clean, fully-prepped and ready to go.

Not only does foundation hide fine lines and blemishes, it also neutralizes redness, smooths out uneven skin tone, covers peach fuzz, and disguises large pores. Basically, any skin concern you could possibly have, foundation will cover it, as it's essentially giving you a new lining on your face, while still allowing you to look like yourself.

Foundations come in a multitude of different consistencies, textures, and colors, to suit all of our unique skin types and tones. Which type you should choose depends on the level of coverage you expect, your price point, and individual skin concerns.

The foundations in our guide received top marks for the coverage they provide, and their overall staying power. We've also offered foundations in a range of price points, so you can score a great makeup base on any budget.

Resources — Stylecaster, Wet N Wild

Share this Buyers Guide