Are you looking for easy-to-apply, flawless coverage? Who isn’t? However, it’s not always that easy. There are lots of liquid foundations out there that are watery, streaky, or just end up not covering or lasting as long as you’d like them to.
That’s why we’re here.
We have lined up the best liquid foundations currently on the market! Are you ready?
Top 6 Liquid Foundations For 2021
Here’s a quick comparison table of the best liquid foundations available:
|Product||Amount||At a Glance|
|Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition||1 oz./30 mL||Medium coverage, great for combination skin, matte finish, oil-free, lightweight feel, leaves skin looking natural and luminous, light-diffusing spheres reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, buildable coverage, hydrates skin|
|MAC Face and Body Foundation||50mL, 1.7oz||Great for both face and body, lightweight/barely-there feel, satin finish, sheer coverage, very durable, glides on easily, moisturizing|
|Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover||1.01oz/30mL||Medium-buildable coverage, great for all skin types, natural finish, available in whopping 40 shades, lightweight feel, keeps skin hydrated/nourished, seamless application|
|Revlon ColorStay Liquid||n/a||Glides on easily, great budget product, long-lasting shine control, comes in 22 shades, oil-free, fragrance-free, SPF protection|
|bareMinerals BareSkin Pure Brightening||30mL||SPF 20 protection, skin-perfecting fluid, ultra-thin consistency, glides over skin easily, great for all skin types, created with coconut-derived base, softens and hydrates skin|
|Dolce and Gabbana Perfect Matte||n/a||Flawless and soft matte finish, SPF 20, self-corrects signs of imperfection, corrects excess oil, rub-resistant 12-hour wear, buildable medium-to-full coverage, fragrance-free, wide range of shades available|
Now that you’ve had the opportunity to take a quick overview of each of the best liquid foundations on the market today, scroll down a bit further to read in-depth about each of the products you have your eye on!
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless – Easiest Product to Apply
The answer is a resounding “yes!”.
The Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Foundation is one of the best flawless makeup foundations on the market today, and we can’t get enough of it. While we’re here today just to talk about the best liquid foundations, not every liquid is the same. Some are thicker, and some are thinner. In the case of this one, it’s very liquid-y, so before you apply it, make sure to shake it well. Also, be cautious when you put it on the back of your hand because it does slide off easily.
If you’re going for the most coverage, we recommend the traditional foundation brush and blend either with your fingers or a Beauty Blender. For less coverage, go for a buffing brush.
No matter which brush you choose, however, know you’ll be getting a very natural-looking finish.
So, how’s the coverage?
This makeup foundation has light-to-medium coverage, so while it’s not the highest amount of coverage out there, you can still layer it on and it won’t look fake, or really like you’re wearing foundation at all. In fact, it works to almost blur any imperfections on the skin, so you have a perfect, smooth finish.
Let’s talk more about the finish.
Many liquid foundations have a very luminescent finish, which isn’t for everyone because it tends to look fake. With this one, it’s keeping consistent with the natural look, which is where the “naked” part of the foundation’s name comes in. It is described as “demi-matte” on the packaging, and since there’s no SPF, it works great with the flash on a camera or smartphone.
We feel that the best foundations should also last quite a while.
The Naked Weightless lasts for a good amount of time, however, it’s not the most durable. While overall it holds up well throughout the day, we found that we did have to touch up some “trouble” areas after a few hours, but that’s to be expected.
So, are there any downsides?
As previously mentioned, it doesn’t include any SPF protection, so you may want to put on some kind of SPF in addition to the foundation. Also, the product only comes in 18 shades. While it no-doubt works for most consumers, we would like to see a wider range in the future.
What We Loved
- Very natural feel and finish
- Relatively long-lasting throughout the day
- Buildable light-to-medium coverage
What We Didn’t Like
- No SPF included
- Only comes in 18 shades
MAC Face and Body Foundation – Best Product for All Over
The comfortable, light fluid foundation features a unique combination of emollients which gives you a sheer, yet buildable coverage with a silky smooth, satin finish that looks just like skin!
This is a foundation that is truly incredible for everyday use. The natural finish looks invisible to the human eye. Think of it like if your skin didn’t have any flaws; it looks like that. It sets easily, so despite it being so liquidy, it actually lasts all day. You don’t even have to set it with powder, and it will still last quite a while.
Not only that but as it’s water-resistant and transfer-resistant if you have oily or combination skin, you’re going to love this one! However, if you have dry or normal skin, you’ll still get an extra bit of hydration, so it works for everyone!
This one is very runny and watery. With that being said, if you’re messy, you may want to choose another, or just take extra precaution when handling this foundation. It seems to work best when applied with fingers and does take a few seconds to set.
Let’s get on with the rest of the benefits.
One of the unique features of this liquid foundation is that it’s not just intended for the face, but all over the body!
If you have some acne, blemishes, or perhaps just want to match the tone of your face to the rest of your body, this works perfectly. It isn’t streaky whatsoever, and even in the light or the flashing of cameras, it still has a very natural, skin-like finish.
If you enjoy tinted moisturizers or very light foundations, we definitely recommend this one. However, keep in mind that it sometimes tends to give an oily look in the light (depending on your skin), so you may want to touch up with a bit of translucent powder around the t-zone.
What We Loved
- Very light, natural, weightless finish
- Works on both face and body
- Very long-lasting; just a bit of product is needed
- Works for any skin type
What We Didn’t Like
- Some may need heavier, fuller coverage
- If you have oily skin, may need to finish with powder
Make Up Forever Ultra HD – Editor’s Favorite
Not everyone is a foundation fan because they feel like it feels greasy, thick, or just generally looks fake.
If those are any of your concerns, then keep on reading, because the Ultra HD is none of that!
First off, you’ll probably notice the sleek packaging the foundation comes in. The lid snaps right on/off, and it comes with a pump which is super convenient and great for not wasting any excess product. It’s also very lightweight, which is perfect for traveling with.
One potential downside here is the cost for some. However, we would like to note that you really only need a small amount of product to achieve impressive results, so it does end up lasting longer than most less expensive items.
Sick of not being able to find your shade?
Not to worry! The Ultra HD comes in a whopping 40 shades, from ultra-light to super dark. They have a wide variety of cool and warm skin tones and shades, so you’re sure to find the one for you.
How does it feel on?
Barely-there. As previously mentioned, many foundations feel kind of thick and heavy, and it can make you feel like you’re just wearing a ton of makeup. However, this one really feels like you’re not even wearing anything. It’s very light and liquidy and blends seamlessly into the skin. It absorbs very quickly but still leaves you with excellent coverage.
The coverage isn’t the heaviest, but it does blur imperfections, cover redness, dark circles, and more. However, if you have acne, you may want to use concealer, or just add more layers of foundation. The great thing about Make Up Forever is that their foundations layer very well to allow you to build to your liking for a smooth, healthy look.
What kind of skin type do you have?
As one of the best foundations ever, it doesn’t matter; it works great with any skin type or tone! However, we will say that it works a bit better with dry-to-normal skin, due to the fact that it does have a specially-hydrating formula. However, if you do have oily skin, just start out with a primer to control oil and prevent any running or creasing from happening.
What We Loved
- Very lightweight, “naked” feel
- Only a bit of product is needed; lasts for a long time
- Works well with any skin type
- 40 shades and tones available
- Buildable coverage covers redness and imperfections
What We Didn’t Like
- Is a bit more expensive
Revlon Colorstay – Best Budget Product
We have to say, that out of all of the drugstore foundations we tried, this is one of the few that performed well enough that we felt we could add it to our guide.
So, what’s so great about it?
First of all, it’s super affordable; we have to stress that! Second of all, it’s easily buildable to either full or medium coverage without looking caked on, like so many other foundations tend to do. Not only that, but it works well with just about any type of skin! The foundation gives a matte, natural-looking finish complete with oil control perfect for those with slicker skin.
Not only does that make it one of the best foundations for coverage, but also one of the best in durability.
How long does it last?
In our experience, about 18 hours, but the packaging claims it lasts up to 20 hours, which definitely seems possible.
Some things to take into consideration is that you should always shake it very well before applying, as it can get kind of watery/separated. In addition, we recommend applying the foundation in sections to further avoid caking and also use a damp sponge/Beauty Blender to make sure it’s well-blended.
What are the “cons”?
One, is that it does tend to oxidize more than the others on our list, so it’s important to apply it before any sunlight exposure. Another factor to note, that could be seen as a downside to some users, is that while it is lightweight in comparison to many, most of the formulas on our list are actually more lightweight, so take that into consideration.
What We Loved
- Very inexpensive/affordable
- Relatively lightweight
- Very durable/long-lasting throughout the day
What We Didn’t Like
- Tends to dry/oxygenate quicker
bareMinerals Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum – Most Lightweight Product
The super-lightweight foundation is jam-packed full of pigments, and despite it being so light, it actually covers surprisingly well. The tone-correcting foundation works to eliminate any redness, blotches, and just about any other pigmentation imperfections you may feel like smoothing out.
What does it include?
The liquid itself is excellent for sensitive skin, given that it’s made without silicone, fragrance, water, and oil! Instead, you’ll find lilac stem cells, which are there for their exceptional healing abilities, as well as providing powerful antioxidant protection.
This is all to help improve the skin’s health, look, and feel. Not only that, but it also has SPF 20 protection, meaning you can skip that step if you’d like. Oh, and it also includes vitamin C to help give a brightening effect.
Perhaps the best part in regards to the ingredients?
The fact that it’s free of parabens!
The liquidy, silky base only requires a few drops for you to see a difference. Really, just start with two drops, and add more for medium, and another two for full coverage. We tried three drops, which gave us a perfect balance of medium coverage that smoothed and evened while letting a bit of our real skin show through.
One important factor to remember is that you must shake it thoroughly before applying. If you do not, you’re really just asking for blotchiness and streakiness. Due to the fact that there are so few ingredients, the brand didn’t include a binder to hold everything together, so you must do that part yourself.
It’s pretty good, but not the best. Without any powder, it stayed on around 8 hours, and with powder, around 11. However, we would like to mention that if you live in a humid environment or have oily skin, this isn’t going to stay on very well, so steer clear.
For others, you’ll find that the medium coverage foundation has a dewy finish which you can also make satiny. It’s overall great at brightening skin and giving a radiant look.
What We Loved
- Extremely lightweight, satiny feel
- Only a few drops of product are needed; lasts very long
- Seamlessly and easily blends
What We Didn’t Like
- Not ideal for those with oily skin or who live in humid weather
- Can become a bit tacky if too much is used
Dolce and Gabbana Perfect Matte – Best Product for Oily Skin
That’s why we’ve gone ahead and added the Dolce and Gabbana Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation to our list.
As one of the best full coverage foundations for oily skin, you don’t have to worry about it running off your face or not covering the imperfections you’d like to even out. If you want a flawless, soft matte finish, then this is your next go-to.
How does it work?
Well, the creamy liquid formula dries to an absorbent, matte finish which works to keep that oily shine under control (at least for a few hours). Not only that, but it offers buildable, medium-to-full coverage to hide any imperfections or hue inconsistencies. If you have trouble finding a shade that suits you, this one comes in a wide variety of shades to match your skin the way it should.
We would like to note that they do tend to oxidize to a deeper shade after it’s been on your skin for a bit, so keep this in mind when choosing the correct shade for you.
Excellent! No more needing to add SPF as an extra step in your routine, as the Perfect Matte already comes with SPF 20 protection.
The other downside?
That it tends to settle into fine lines and pores, which can draw attention to parts you’d rather blur out.
What We Loved
- Excellent medium-to-full coverage which is great for oily skin
- SPF 20 protection included
- Comes in wide variety of shades
- Flawless, soft matte finish
What We Didn’t Like
- Not ideal for those with fine lines
How To Choose The Right Liquid Foundation
Now that you’ve taken an in-depth look at each of the best liquid foundations, have you found the one you want? If you still have some more questions about which one to purchase and why, you’re in luck. We’ve gone ahead and created the buying guide below to make sure that you are getting the exact product you want and need!
First, it’s important that you know the different types available and which one will work best for you when choosing a liquid makeup foundation. The types are: oil and emollient-based, alcohol-based, oil-based shakers, powder foundations, water-based, and silicone-based foundations.
Oil and Emollient: These are what most of the older foundations consisted of. They were formulated by mixing mineral oil, an emollient, as well as some kind of pigmentation. The result was a very thick, dense “liquid” that definitely gave opaque coverage, would stay moist, was somewhat-waterproof, and did not cake.
That it would change color and wasn’t very durable on the skin.
Alcohol: These were made by combining water, alcohol, and pigments. These were created because the previous type was clogging pores. In this mixture, the emollients were taken out so that clogging was no longer an issue. They’re kind of difficult to apply but very light.
Oil: These are somewhat similar to the first type of foundation. They were created, however, when emollients weren’t available. Other binding agents were also nowhere to be seen at that time. The application was a bit odd and was kind of like applying colored oil to the skin.
Powder: This type mainly consists of talc, emollients, pigments, adhesion molecules, and some binding agents. They provide more coverage, were lightweight, and held on the skin well enough, but aren’t necessarily ideal for dryer skin or those with fine lines.
Water: These are probably the most common types of foundation. They contain water and oil blended together. They give medium coverage and provide a very natural feel that most women prefer. They’re typically the best, however, also affordable.
Silicone: These foundations are comprised of silicone, water, and some kind of pigmentation, along with some other ingredients. They’re generally very lightweight and do a good job of not clogging pores.
Do you know what kind of coverage you’d like? Coverage essentially just means the opacity of the foundation at hand. It represents how much of your actual skin will show through the makeup or be covered up. Foundations with less coverage blend easier into your natural skin tone, whereas the higher amounts of coverage mean you should take extra caution when blending, as there can be harsh lines if not.
There are four different coverage types: Sheer, Light, Medium, and Full.
Sheer is very transparent and has less than 10% pigmentation. This one will blend seamlessly into your natural skin tone. Light helps to cover slight unevenness but won’t cover freckles. The medium can cover freckles well, along with any discoloration and even acne marks. Finally, full coverage can cover scarring, birthmarks, and acne. Pigmentation is around 30-35% and covers very well.
How long do you need your liquid foundation to stay on your face? Did you know that some have the ability to stay on for 24 hours or even more? In contrast, some stay on for a mere 2 or 3 hours. However, it all comes down to your needs.
If you’re going to be away from your house all day, you’re probably going to want one that’s more long-lasting.
However, if you just need your foundation for a couple hours, then you don’t have to worry much about wear time.
Now that you know quite a bit about the best liquid foundations out there, which one did you select? If you’re still having trouble settling on one, we can’t recommend enough the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Liquid Foundation.
Time after time it makes the top of the ranks for being such a consistently high-quality, reliable product. It goes on super smooth and blends seamlessly while providing a great amount of natural-looking coverage.
It also comes with a huge array of 40 shades and tones, so you can rest assured that you’ll find one that suits your skin tone perfectly. In addition to that, the wear time is quite lengthy, and it doesn’t oxidize like so many others do.
With that being said, which one of the best liquid foundations will be making its way into your makeup bag?