We think foundation should enhance your natural beauty — not mask it. It should work as a base for your entire look, so the wrong foundation can be one of the most major visible beauty mistakes. That's why choosing the best liquid foundation for you, which should blend right into your natural skin tone and texture, is key to mastering your makeup.

Our team put countless liquid foundations to the test and selected the 10 best for multiple skin types and tones. Read on to discover your perfect match!

Learn More About Our Top Picks:

1. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation — Check Price

Best Overall

Fenty Beauty

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Pro: Works for any skin tone and skin type

Con: Shades sell out quickly

Bottom Line: Rihanna's foundation has 40 shade options, and it blends beautifully on any skin tone and type.

Rihanna graced us with her beauty line, Fenty Beauty, and she shook us all by dropping her 40-shade Pro-Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. It's already gained cult-classic status, thanks in large part to its generous variety of colors to complement any makeup lover's skin, from light to dark and everywhere in between.

This oil-free foundation, formulated with climate-adaptive technology that’s resistant to sweat and humidity, is effortlessly buildable, and it wears beautifully for hours.

This cruelty-free, medium-coverage matte foundation will look gorgeous on any skin type, but she has a special shoutout to darker-skinned customers, who have 14 shades to choose from.

We had multiple testers of all skin types and tones test this one out. They agreed that the coverage level was perfect and it appropriately covered any imperfections. Many applauded the soft-matte finish and the impressive range of shades. One tester even said that the Fenty foundation "provided better coverage than any other foundation" they had previously tried. Ever. That's a pretty solid testimonial if you ask us!

The consensus from our team of testers is that this one truly does live up to all the hype. Thanks, Rihanna!

2. Revlon ColorStay Makeup — Check Price

Best Budget Buy

Revlon

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Pro: Inexpensive, easy pump applicator

Con: It's on the heavier side, so could be a con for those who prefer lightweight foundations

Bottom Line: For a cheaper alternative to pricier formulas, Revlon's ColorStay gets the job done and stays put for 24 hours.

You don't have to spend a lot of money on quality foundation. Drugstore makeup brands like Revlon have seriously stepped up their game in the past decade. Revlon ColorStay foundation has been a drugstore hit for years with its buildable formula that works on all skin types, as well as its blendability on the skin and convenient applicator pump. It's also available in an impressive range of 35 shades!

While the texture does not feel heavy at all, it's a full-coverage foundation, so if you prefer lighter coverage, we recommend mixing a few pumps with your favorite moisturizer and blending out with a damp Beauty Blender sponge.

Our testers were surprised that a liquid foundation with such a low price tag could offer such beautiful coverage. One tester commented that the texture was "light-as-air" and that they were impressed that something that "felt so light" could also cover all of their imperfections.

If you're looking for a bargain that'll keep you looking expensive, this is it.

3. Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation — Check Price

Best Splurge

Giorgio Armani

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Pro: The formula feels light, but it still offers plenty of coverage

Con: Expensive

Bottom Line: This high-end foundation is one of the top weightless formulas on the market.

This is both an editor- and celeb-favorite — and for good reason. Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation earned a massive cult-following for its lightweight feel paired with the perks of a traditional, full-coverage foundation. It enables micro-fil technology, which allows the product to feel light on the skin, but produce an impressive amount of coverage. It's available in 24 shades and is a luxury buy for sure, but it's one of the best liquid foundations we've ever tested.

Our testers confirmed that the light feel, coverage level, and luminous finish live up to the product claims, making it worth the splurge. One tester admitted this is a "Holy Grail product" that's "perfect for a special occasion." Our testers were also impressed with the shade selection, as they carry "shades with yellow tones that can be hard to find."

In case you don't want to take our word for it, it boasts 170,000 hearts on Sephora's website, proving its popularity among the makeup enthusiast community as well.

4. Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer — Check Price

Best for Oily Skin

Clinique

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Pro: Time-saving

Con: Applicator could be better

Bottom Line: This is a foundation that's perfect for oily skin, and it covers enough to forgo concealer altogether.

This full-coverage, long-wearing foundation is available in 27 shades, and it does the job of both a concealer and a foundation, as the name suggests. This foundation is the perfect pairing for someone who wants a beautiful base without adding a concealer afterward for twice the amount of work.

This foundation works well on all kinds of skin types — from dry, to combination, to oily — but it works especially well to cover imperfections on oily faces.

From the quality formula to the innovative application wand, our testers loved the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer. Removing the need for a separate concealer was one of the main selling points for our testers. One reviewer said that the applicator wand made them love this product even more, as it "facilitated faster application and even coverage."

5. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation — Check Price

Best for Dry Skin

NARS

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Pro: Radiant finish, alcohol- and fragrance-free

Con: Not great for oily skin

Bottom Line: For a glowy sheen with medium coverage on dry skin, NARS Sheer Glow is your must-have foundation.

If you have dry or normal skin, you may want to bring back some luminosity to your face, and a dewy foundation can help you get there. NARS Sheer Glow is our top pick for a moisturizing base that makes your natural skin look its best. It's incredibly hydrating and available in an assortment of 20 shades. What's not to love?

It applies effortlessly with your fingertips for a truly sheer wash of color, or you can pack on more product with a foundation brush.

Our testers with dry skin were especially obsessed with this effective formula from NARS. Not only did this foundation stay on our testers' skin all day long (yes, really!), but it also extended the wear of the other face products used — like blush, highlight, and contour — that typically fade away by mid-afternoon.

One tester said that using a breathable, hydrating product (like this one!) can make all the difference in your regular skincare routine, especially for those with severely dry skin. "It won’t irritate or dry out your skin, so you’ll find yourself needing to use less of the expensive masks, moisturizers, and exfoliants in your arsenal of skin recovery products — so they’ll last way longer," she said. A foundation that doubles as a skincare secret weapon — what's not to love?

We found all claims relating to its subtle radiant finish, lightweight feel, and easy buildability to be totally true. Click through below to see what we're talking about!


More of Our Top Picks:

While our five favorites above are all impressive picks, many people find they need more than one foundation for different makeup looks. Some days you want a matte finish, some days a dewy, some days lighter coverage, and some days fuller. Find more of our top foundation picks for you below.

6. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation — Check Price

Lancome

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Pros: 24-hour wear, large shade selection

Con: Not ideal for those with sensitive skin

Bottom Line: If you need a foundation that'll last for 24 hours, Teint Idole is our pick.

Some days just never seem to end. Unfortunately, if that's a regular occurrence for you, you'll need a foundation that requires zero reapplication, with a finish that'll last you until you wipe it off.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation provides medium- and/or full-coverage foundation that blends in your skin, delivering SPF 15 for up to 24 hours. Lancôme offers 40 shades of this foundation, and it'll be your new longwearing go-to. However, if your skin is sensitive to breakouts, you may want to skip this pick because of its heavier formula.

7. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup — Check Price

Urban Decay

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Pro: Semi-matte, buildable finish

Con: Expensive

Bottom Line: This lightweight semi-matte foundation is as buildable as it is beautiful.

Urban Decay's Naked foundation is a lifesaver for all skin types. You can wear this foundation with one layer for a more natural makeup day, or layer it on for a fuller coverage appearance.

This foundation dries semi-matte on the skin, so it'll help control excess oil on your face. Urban Decay offers 26 shades for this foundation, so you're bound to find your perfect match! You'll feel Naked without it.

8. Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation — Check Price

Smashbox

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Pro: Hydrating

Con: Must blend quickly

Bottom Line: A hydrating foundation that appears matte and works on all skin types.

This hydrating matte foundation may sound like an oxymoron, but it's true! This medium- to full-coverage foundation hydrates while providing 15 hours of coverage, and it dries to a matte finish on your skin.

The best part? It'll work on dry, combination, and oily skin types, and it won't aggravate acne, either. Just make sure to set this foundation with a powder after applying if you prefer a true matte look.

9. Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 — Check Price

Chanel

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Pro: Natural-looking coverage

Con: No shades for deeper skin

Bottom Line: A luxurious, natural-looking full coverage foundation for lighter skin tones.

We first heard about Chanel Vitalumière Aqua foundation from beauty vlogger Fleur DeForce several years ago. It's a lightweight foundation that has just the amount of coverage you want for a natural-looking finish.

It has SPF 15 included, and it'll stay on rain or shine. However, it has a major downside: There's only a small shade range of 10 tones, which doesn't cater to darker-skinned customers.

10. STELLAR Limitless Foundation — Check Price

STELLAR

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Pros: Glowy finish, vegan, cruelty-free

Con: Only available at Sephora

Bottom Line: This STELLAR foundation rings true to its name for medium-skinned folks.

Monika Deol founded makeup line STELLAR after working in the entertainment industry and being disappointed with foundation shades for minorities. Deol launched the Sephora-exclusive brand to cater specifically to medium skin tones.

This vegan and cruelty-free foundation is a medium-to-full coverage formula that sets to a beautiful glow, and it's available in 22 shades.


FAQ

Still have questions in the world of liquid foundations? We hear you! Whether you're a newbie beauty enthusiast or a pro-level makeup lover, there are a lot of considerations that go into selecting the best liquid foundation for you. To help further decode the mysteries of liquid foundations, read on as our beauty editor answers some FAQs!

Q. Who is liquid foundation best for?

A. Liquid foundation is great for anyone with skin imperfections like blemishes or hyperpigmentation that they'd like to conceal quickly and easily. It’s great for beginners to the world of foundation, and it can be used in conjunction with other products, like concealer and powder, to create a flawless base for the rest of your makeup.

Q. What makes it different from other types of foundation?

A. Arguably the most popular type of foundation, liquid foundation is available in a wide variety of shades and finishes. It has a thinner texture than a cream foundation, and it has more of a thick, wet consistency when compared to a dry powder foundation. All can provide sheer to full coverage, but liquid foundation is typically the most versatile.

Q. What's the best way to apply a liquid foundation?

A. Honestly, there's no "right" way to apply a liquid foundation. It truly depends on your preference and comfort level. We've found that applying with your fingertips is the way to go if you want sheer coverage. It's a little easier to build on multiple layers coverage with a sponge. (We love to use a damp Beauty Blender for sponge applications.) In a hurry? Blend on your foundation using a circular buffing motion with a large foundation brush to save some time.

Q. Selecting a foundation at Sephora is easy because of the testers, but do you have any tips for drugstore buys when you can't try them on?

A. Selecting the right shade can certainly be tricky. Many people will tell you to hold the shade near your wrist in the store to evaluate the shade, but we disagree. Your wrist is often a different color than your facial skin. We recommend finding a mirror within the store and holding the bottle up to your face. It's the closest you'll get to using a tester!

Q. I love liquid foundation when freshly applied, but it never lasts. How do I make my liquid foundation stay on longer?

A. Always start with a primer underneath your liquid foundation and finish with setting powder to make sure it's locked in all day long. To take it to the next level for some serious staying power, complete your look with a makeup setting spray as the final step.

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Read More:

These Foundations Will Give Dry Skin a Dewy Glow

11 Powder Foundations for a Matte Finish

13 Concealers to Hide Any All-Nighter

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