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Searching for a New Liquid Foundation? Try One of Our 15 Faves

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Finding the foundation that’ll give you the coverage and finish of your dreams all depends on what you're looking for. For example, for an ultra-hydrating dewy look, you might prefer the natural glow of a tinted moisturizer or BB cream, while a polished powder foundation might be your go-to for a perfecting matte finish

But if you don't normally reach for a liquid foundation, prepare for that to change. The liquid foundations below are especially reliable because they’re buildable, versatile, and add a blanket of smoothness to any complexion. And whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or even acne-prone skin, rest assured there's a liquid foundation for you. 

Read on for the best liquid foundations on the market today, featuring Ipster-approved picks from past Glam Bags and our beauty editors' faves.

SMASHBOX COSMETICS Studio Skin 24 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation

1. SMASHBOX COSMETICS Studio Skin 24 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation

 

“Perfect in every way." 

 

You can’t go wrong with this waterproof liquid foundation, which resists everything from sweat to humidity. It's hydrating, long-wearing, and anything but cakey, even while giving you a flawless full-coverage matte finish. This oil-free pick was also included on our list of the best foundations for oily skin, and is non-acnegenic, meaning it won't cause breakouts or blemishes. Kaolin clay and bamboo powder suppress shine, while moisturizing hyaluronic acid ensures your skin remains moisturized. Ipsters loved the waterproof oil-free formula, with one Ipster writing it "lasted all day without making my skin too oily" and Ipster @sexyjazzy2012 simply writing: "Love this, perfect in every way."

TARTE Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15

2. TARTE Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15

 

“This stuff is the serious bomb.”

 

Let clay save the day with this full-coverage matte foundation. This oil-free pick was also included on our list of the best foundations for acne-prone skin, because Amazonian clay is amazing at balancing breakouts and oil production without being cakey or drying. Built-in SPF 15 shields your skin from sun damage, and it's totally buildable: pat it on with your fingers for medium coverage, or go in with a brush or makeup sponge for a fuller matte finish. Ipster @butter323 loved how long-wearing it is, writing “great foundation. Goes on smooth, looks natural, lasts all day!” Ipster @Chellc115 summed up our feelings perfectly, writing: “This stuff is the serious bomb. I wore it every day until it was gone and now I'm on the hunt for some more.”

YENSA Skin on Skin BC Foundation

3. YENSA Skin on Skin BC Foundation

 

“This is my favorite product I’ve ever received”

 

This multi-tasking full-coverage foundation pulls out all the stops. Functioning as a BB cream and CC cream in one, the perfecting creamy formula primes, fights environmental stressors, and gives a poreless, your-skin-but-better finish. And of course it's made with sunscreen (SPF 40, baby!), an anti-aging moisturizer, and a built-in concealer. Ipster @swdance77 wrote, “This is my favorite product I’ve ever received,” while another Ipster wrote this liquid foundation was a “great shade for me. Also nice and light for a full coverage.”

LAURA MERCIER Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation

4. LAURA MERCIER Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation

So you want long-lasting wear and full coverage without extra weight or cakiness? This is the liquid foundation you’ll need in your stash. Oil-free and non-comedogenic, this formula is super lightweight, but lasts for up to 15 hours. The coated pigments slide onto your skin for a medium to full coverage color that evens out your skin tone and smooths over any imperfections–without clogging your pores.

MAC COSMETICS Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15

5. MAC COSMETICS Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15

24 hour coverage sounds almost too good to be true, but rest assured, this perfecting formula stays put no matter what–even through the most grueling all-nighters. The medium-to-full buildable coverage includes SPF 15 protection and an impeccable matte finish, all without settling into pores or making you shiny. Because of this, it's great for oily skin, but hydrating enough for those with dry skin, too.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

6. MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

 

"Best foundation I've ever used!"

 

True to its name, this liquid foundation glides on for an invisible, dewy finish that will make your skin look like it's just naturally glowy and poreless. Tap only where you need it for the most effortless light coverage, or dab on with a makeup sponge for a buildable medium-to-full coverage. Ipsters loved the buildable formula and smooth feel, with one Ipster writing: “the foundation provides a premium cover, [and] it’s light, too. I’m always afraid to try new foundations but it was worth the risk on this one.” Ipster @persephonesfury summed it up by writing it was the “best foundation I've ever used!”

PACIFICA BEAUTY Alight Clean Foundation

7. PACIFICA BEAUTY Alight Clean Foundation

This dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic liquid foundation glides seamlessly onto your skin, and it’s little wonder why. It’s free of harsh ingredients, like silicones or parabens, so it feels silky-smooth and totally natural. Because of this, it's a great pick for those with sensitive skin who want a fresh, naturally-glowy finish. It's also long-wearing and oil-free, so you can look dewy without feeling shiny.

CATRICE COSMETICS HD Liquid Coverage Foundation

8. CATRICE COSMETICS HD Liquid Coverage Foundation

Want a lot of coverage and a natural-looking finish? This liquid foundation has a gorgeous mattifying effect that won’t leave you looking dry and cakey. The unique dropper applicator means you won’t waste a single drop, and it'll keep you looking matte, poreless, and imperfection-free for up to 24 hours.

GALLANY COSMETICS Second Skin Light Diffusing Foundation

9. GALLANY COSMETICS Second Skin Light Diffusing Foundation

A great beauty product will complement your skincare routine, not sabotage it–and this light-diffusing liquid foundation is so good for your skin, you can almost consider it a skincare product. A great option for those with dry to very dry skin, it gives you hydrating full coverage while also minimizing any fine lines and protecting your skin against environmental damage. The formula’s UV filters also prevent oxidation and help give your color richness and long-lasting wear.

PÜR COSMETICS 4-in-1 Love Your Selfie Longwear Foundation & Concealer

10. PÜR COSMETICS 4-in-1 Love Your Selfie™ Longwear Foundation & Concealer

Conceal, correct, and refine your skin with this buildable liquid foundation. It’s packed with age-defying Ceretin® Complex and antioxidant-rich Energy Complex, a concoction that includes green tea, ginseng, and vitamin B. All of these good-for-you ingredients do battle with environmental stressors and damaging high-energy visible blue light. And anyone can find their match, thanks to the hundred (seriously, a hundred!) different vegan-friendly shades.

ESTÉE LAUDER Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup

11. ESTÉE LAUDER Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup

For the ultimate matte makeup look with truly long-wearing staying power, try out this buildable medium-to-full coverage foundation. The dermatologist-tested formula is oil-free and non-acnegenic, so it'll stay put (without causing breakouts) even when it’s hot or humid. It’s also available in a wide range of undertones and won’t add a gray cast to deeper skin tones.

BOBBI BROWN Skin Foundation SPF 15

12. BOBBI BROWN Skin Foundation SPF 15

This water-based, oil-free foundation makes your skin look naturally hydrated and beautifully even. Along with broad-spectrum UV protection, you’ll get a formula that effortlessly sinks into skin and keeps you hydrated and fresh all day. The formula’s light-reflective optic ingredients also add an angelic glow to your complexion, so you'll look glowy and natural all day long.

CLINIQUE Superbalanced™ Silk Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15

13. CLINIQUE Superbalanced™ Silk Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Balance your skin and control oil production with this liquid foundation. Because it’s enriched with real silk, it glides onto your skin oh-so-smoothly. You’ll get weightless sheer-to-medium coverage, and your skin will stay moisturized and shielded from the sun’s damaging rays. The natural-matte finish also happens to be resistant to water, sweat, and humidity.

WANDER BEAUTY Nude Illusion Liquid Foundation

14. WANDER BEAUTY Nude Illusion Liquid Foundation

Stay naturally radiant with this dermatologist-tested cruelty-free foundation, which offers buildable weightless coverage and comes with a doe-foot applicator. It gives your skin a filtered finish that blurs the appearance of blemishes and dark spots, leaving your skin looking natural but poreless. The formula is also enhanced with niacinamide, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and gives an even, glowy finish to your skin.

ILLAMASQUA Skin Base Foundation

15. ILLAMASQUA Skin Base Foundation

This award-winning foundation is essential for creating a flawless-but-effortless daily makeup look. The lightweight, highly blendable formula is great for most skin types, and it's buildable to boot (from medium to full coverage). Ingredients like vitamins C and E work to boost your skin's health and to smooth and condition your complexion as you wear it. Choose from 26 different shades to match any skin tone.

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About the author
Nirmala Nataraj
Ipster, theater buff, red lipstick wearer 4 life
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Article Last Updated March 19, 2020 12:00 AM