It's gonna get sappy up in here.
I just got back from a New Orleans vacation that, in addition to taking a toll on my body in every way, completely kicked the shit out of my skin. I always brag about how I have perfect skin. Well, this is not one of those times, but these foundations still make it look like I do!
The only type of base that I’ll reach for in a time of need is a liquid foundation. I have friends that swear by their powders and I’ll never understand why, but hey, as long as it works for them. Me? I’m a liquid guy.
I’ve been stoked all summer because a bunch of my favorite companies are dropping new liquids on us. There really couldn’t be a better time to show you how they all perform since my skin looks absolutely atrocious.
MAKE UP FOR EVER‘S Ultra HD Foundation has been my favorite foundation ever since it first launched, that’s why I was excited when I heard they were reformulating it, because I couldn’t see how they could possibly make it better. It already made your face look flawless without looking like you were caked in makeup, it was luminous, and it wore well for hours.
This time around, they’ve added light-reflecting pigments that blur flaws and provide sheer, buildable coverage, almost as if they’ve worked a pore perfector into the foundation. They’ve also added an agent that hydrates and plumps skin, which makes skin look brighter and more awake, while also extending the wear of the product. Finally, they’ve included Sericite, or a finely milled mica that reflects light for luminous-looking skin.
When I read that they added mica to the formula, I was worried, because mica often ends up being too much of a good thing. I know a lot of you use foundations, bronzers, and moisturizers that include it, and that’s good on you, but I don’t really like it when you can see flecks of shimmer on my face.
Lucky for me, and by extension, you, that is not the case. When they say “finely milled mica” they mean it. It’s undetectable apart from the unmistakable, luminous glow.
The new formula is available in liquid and stick form. The liquid foundation drops this month, but the stick foundation doesn’t arrive until September. I’m wearing them both in the "after" photos below.
Here’s a before. Be kind, I'm still hungover from New Orleans and feeling very fragile.
I used the stick foundation as a sort of spot concealer, around my eyes and on some of the blemishes on my enormous forehead.
MAKE UP FOR EVER took what was already the best foundation on the market and made it even better. The formula gives you even coverage in one layer, and can be built in places where you need more, all the while still looking like your own natural skin, but better.
It melts into your skin, brightening, staying luminous, and wearing perfectly all day. It doesn’t transfer when you’re yanking off your clothes (or when someone else is) and I found that it stayed put all day, even without a setting powder. Still my favorite. Still the best.
Too Faced just released their new Born This Way Foundation, not to be confused with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.
This oil-free foundation is infused with coconut water for hydration through wear, alpine rose to brighten, and hyaluronic acid for smoother looking skin. It’s more pigmented than what I usually use, but when applied sparingly, it can be blended to perfection very nicely. I found this foundation to be one that you blend out, rather than build up.
As someone who usually uses only a little foundation to even skin tone, I found this one to be easy to overdo. It’s very pigmented, and very opaque.
If you like foundations with a little more coverage on the first pass, this is a great option for you. All of my blemishes were covered and my skin was one uniform tone after one application. It wears well throughout they day, and though the liquid is a little thicker, it dries down and sets without remaining tacky to the touch.
I love (love) the Marc Jacobs Beauty collection. They consistently get it right with innovative formulas that are easy to use and apply beautifully. That said, I was a bit apprehensive to approach this foundation concentrate. The “concentrate” part of it had me geeked, because I thought I was bound to overdo it. I know you’d never expect this out of me, but sometimes, I tend to overdo things.
The Re(Marc)Able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate is, you guessed it, a concentrated foundation that gives you full coverage with just a few dots of product. It’s oil free and waterless, while supposedly being seven times lighter than your other concentrated foundations.
As with all Marc Jacobs beauty products, the Foundation Concentrate is packed full of that good shit, including jojoba, sunflower, acacia, and mimosa extracts, that make the product feel as good as it looks on your skin, and nourish as it wears. There’s also a tiny bit of mica in there, to amp up your glow. But again, not too much. Bless.
So here’s the thing. I was expecting to have to work with this product for a while to figure it out and figure out the best way to make it wear on my skin, since concentrated foundations aren’t exactly my normal choice.
GUESS WHO WENT OUT LAST NIGHT.
Not so. I used the wand applicator to place maybe three dots of foundation around my face, and then pushed it around and blended it out with a foundation brush.
This foundation, while certainly being concentrated, is extremely cooperative, easy to apply and blend out in places where you aren’t trying to cover up any apparent imperfections.
It gives you full coverage while still letting your natural coloring and glow show through, and if that sounds counterintuitive to what you’d be looking for in a concentrated foundation, it’s not. It evens skin tone, brightens, and covers blemishes in a flash, but it’s not going to make your face look uniform and flat.
You know when you throw on a foundation and then have no choice but to do a full face, blush, contour, a lip, and all that, just to give your face some dimension and make your face look like your face? You’re not going to have to do that. It gives you full coverage, but still lets you look natural.
Plot Twist: This one isn't super new, it was released at the top of the year. BUT, Rimmel hit me with this foundation right as I was finishing up this article, and I’m including it because I’m pleasantly surprised with the quality and wear. I’ve never written about a Rimmel foundation because I’ve never found one worth covering, until now.
I’m all about a drugstore hookup, but I’ve found that liquid foundations are just something that you have to put a little bit of money into if you really want quality. This is the exception.
The consistency is perfect, not so thin that you have to work to build coverage only to have it slide off your face, not so thick that you have to beat it into submission in order to make it look natural.
Application is too easy. The liquid takes to the skin like a dream, and stays where you put it all day. I wore this for, I want to say, at least a hot 10 hours and it held up just as well as any of the other foundations in this article, without fading or transferring. It’s formulated with antioxidants and vitamin e to hydrate skin throughout the day and help extend wear.
My only gripes with this foundation is that the bottle won’t make it easy to get every last drop of product when you’re beginning to run low. I even had trouble getting the right amount right when I opened the bottle, often pouring out too much.
I get that it’s an inexpensive product, but you don’t want to waste it! Also, this foundation is only available in very light, very Caucasian shades. Hey Rimmel, what's up?
Anyway, I'm stoked on all these. What foundation is your favorite? Are you a liquid or powder user? What do you use to save your skin when you're on vacation? I'm going to Colorado tomorrow so I need all the help I can get.
Tynan's skin isn't flawless on Twitter @TynanBuck.