These Are the Very Best Liquid Foundations—Trust Us

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Anyone who wears makeup knows that a good liquid foundation is a worthy investment because it sets the stage for the rest of your makeup look. Above all, it’s important to find a liquid foundation that will even out your complexion, hide what others don't need to see and address additional concerns whether that's dryness or excess shine.

Read on to learn more about the best liquid foundations you can buy now.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Courtesy of Sephora

When this foundation hit the market, it was met with immediate fanfare—and not just because of its jaw-dropping range of 50 shades. The lightweight formula does everything it should, and then some.

Once it sets it isn’t going anywhere, giving you medium-to-full coverage benefits for hours and hours. Instantly you'll notice smoother skin and a matte finish that helps camouflage pores. That, plus an inclusive selection of shades, makes this foundation one worth buying again and again.

Best Budget: Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Filter Foundation

Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Filter™ Foundation - Deep/Tan - 0.91 fl oz
Courtesy of Target

The name gives it away, but with this foundation, your skin will be ready for its close-up at any moment. The formula is smooth and silky and glides on like a dream to cover problem spots and an uneven tone. The coverage is medium but buildable, so if you want more of a thick, full coverage base, let the first layer set and then dab on some more.

We particularly love the built-in sponge applicator which helps seamlessly blend the foundation into every nook and cranny of the face. It’s perfect for on-the-go application. And for the price, it's a no-brainer.

Check out our guide to the best drugstore foundations.

Best Water-Based: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation

MAKE UP FOR EVER Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
Courtesy of Sephora

Formulated with 80 percent water, this foundation melts upon contact and looks and feels like a second skin. It blurs imperfections without completely erasing the appearance of your own skin.

Because the foundation is primarily water-based, it’s super hydrating, too. And once it's set, you won’t have to worry about it smudging or transferring. As a bonus: This liquid foundation doubles as body makeup as well.

Best for Oily Skin: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

HOURGLASS Immaculate® Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying Oil Free
Courtesy of Sephora

Some foundations give off a dewier finish, which can make oily skin that's prone to excess grease even shinier. That's why mattifying foundations, like this oil-free formula by Hourglass, are our top picks for oily skin types.

This liquid-to-powder formula is mattifying, but won’t make skin look dull or cakey. Plus, it boasts cashmere kaolinite clay to sop up excess oil to prevent a shiny T-zone by midday.

Check out our other reviews of the best oil-free foundations available on the market today.

Best for Dry Skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint

Dry skin can accentuate the look of problem areas and make it easier for makeup to settle into dehydration lines. To moisturize the skin and cover imperfections, look to this hydrating foundation.

It packs skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid to plump thirsty skin while delivering a natural, fresh makeup look. Best of all, the formula doesn’t feel heavy or sticky even though it offers a hefty dose of moisture.

Best for Combination Skin: Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation

DIOR Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation
Courtesy of Sephora

If you have combo skin, you know how difficult it is to strike just the right balance with your makeup and skincare products. You don’t want to wind up with an oil slick by midday, but you also don’t want to deprive your skin of moisture, because that’s what gives it a healthy glow.

The inspiration behind this foundation comes from airbrush makeup, leaving you with the same effect but without the equipment. The aerosol spray releases a fine mist that settles onto skin, blurring imperfections, but without feeling cakey or too wet. The micro-fine mother of pearl pigments that are released leave behind just the right amount of lit-from-within radiance. After you spray it on, you can work it into the skin with a brush or your hands, or you can just let it dry and set on its own.

Best for a Dewy Finish: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Hollywood Flawless Filter for a Superstar Youth Glow CHARLOTTE TILBURY
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Though it’s technically not a foundation, you can use it as one for some seriously glowy skin. Its creamy consistency is exactly what you want in a foundation formula, especially if you're after a dewy finish.

Some people choose to use this formula as a highlighter on the high points of the face, such as the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, and the cupid’s bow. But if that’s not enough for you, you can go to town, using the doe foot applicator to paint anywhere from the face to the decolletage, shoulders, and back.

Interested in learning more about this product? Check out our Hollywood Flawless Filter review.

Best Natural Coverage: Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Youth-Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation

charlotte-tilbury-light-wonder-foundation

Courtesy of Sephora

This lightweight foundation is a favorite of Byrdie Editorial Director Faith. It blends perfectly and leaves a natural, flawless finish.

Best Medium Coverage: Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

aqua-foundation

Courtesy of Sephora

You'll be a huge fan of this water foundation its ultra-lightweight feel and buildable coverage. It's also sweat- and oil-resistant, so you can wear it all day—both indoors and outdoors—without fear of a makeup meltdown.

Best Gel: Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation

chantecaille-foundation

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Several Byrdie readers swear by this luxe foundation. The formula is creamy, almost whipped, and you can build it up for anywhere from light to full coverage. This foundation also offers arguably the best selection for super-fair skin tones.

Best with SPF: BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30

This multitasking product works like a CC cream meets tinted moisturizer meets sunscreen. It leaves your skin luminous but totally natural. Our favorite part has to be the inclusion of SPF 30 to protect against harmful UV rays.

See more reviews of our favorite foundations with SPF available for purchase.

Best Vegan: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15

tarte-water-foundation

Courtesy of Sephora

This cruelty-free pick is mostly a chemical-free formula, and it has the ability to give the skin a healthy, natural glow. It also has SPF 15, which is always a plus.

Best Non-Comedogenic: Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation

laura-mercier-soft-luminous-foundation

Courtesy of Sephora

Byrdie readers aren't the only ones obsessed with this pick for dry complexions. The formula works to leave your skin hydrated but never greasy, and it won't clog your pores.

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