Our Editors Share Their Favorite Liquid Foundations Of All Time

This fall our desks have been inundated with new foundation launches. The number of sticks, powders, and liquid formulas flooding the New Arrivals section has been overwhelming — even for us beauty editors. It seems like just when you were ready to spend your coins on the hottest new launch, another buzzy formula was stealing the show on Instagram. With so many new things getting hyped on the internet, it can be hard to know which launches are actually going to work. That's when we thank the stars for our tried-and-true formulas.

These all-time favorites have earned a permanent spot in our collections. Any new formula we try has to match or surpass the standards these holy-grail options set, and they are the ones we turn to when a new foundation disappoints.


Because we're not ones to keep rave-worthy products to ourselves, we've decided to reveal the liquid foundations we're in committed relationships with. Check them out, ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Maybelline Dream Urban Cover Flawless Coverage Foundation SPF 50

"For most of this summer, I was struggling to find a foundation with SPF that really, truly worked. It's easy to find ones with SPF 25 or 30 in your drugstore. But before a vacation in Florida, I needed to track down one that could handle serious, prolonged sunlight. That's how I found this formula from Maybelline, which I've been using since July. It's ultra-smooth, seems to sink instantly into the skin, and matches my complexion exactly. Even if winter means fewer hours in the sun, there's no doubt I'll still be wearing this." — Rachel Lubitz, senior beauty writer
Maybelline Dream Urban Cover Flawless Coverage Foundation SPF 50$12.99 Buy

Kosas Tinted Face Oil

"For me, this is more of a skin-care step than a makeup one. Yes, there’s a tint — I use the shade 3.5, though I could probably go one or two shades in either shade direction because it’s so sheer — but it’s really a hydrating face oil. After shaking the bottle and dripping two droplets onto the back of my hand, I use a brush or my fingertips to press it into my face. Afterward, my skin looks and feels like my skin, just even and dewy, and it stays that way all day." — Megan Decker, beauty writer
Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation$42.00 Buy

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup SPF 15

"I have used this foundation for years. Just a few drops and it blends into my skin like a dream, never feels dry or cakey, and looks killer in photos, on-camera, and in person. So, win-win... win!" — Lexy Lebsack, senior beauty editor
Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen$50.00 Buy

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation

"I’ve been around the block with foundations, and few of the ones I've tried come close to Estée Lauder’s Double Wear. The cult-favorite liquid formula is my — hands-down — favorite. It completely covers my hyperpigmentation without looking and feeling like a mask. The formula stays put for hours, and I can go a full workday without looking greasy when it’s time to go home. If I could use one foundation for the rest of my life, this would be it." — Aimee Simeon, beauty writer
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation$43.00 Buy

Surratt Dew Drop Foundation

"Luminous, even-toned skin without makeup is forever my white whale, but until I stop averaging two glasses of wine every night and one small wheel of Brie per week, I'll be relying on this new liquid foundation to make my 7/10 skin look like a 9.5. The water-light formula sinks in instantly (whether applied with my fingers or a brush) and leaves a dewy, 'naturally' fresh finish. I'll dab some concealer on any outstanding blemishes, but generally the coverage is enough to hide redness and dark circles altogether. There may be some sticker shock involved, but because you only need a drop or two, a little really does go a long way." — Rachel Krause, senior beauty editor
Surratt Dew Drop Foundation$75.00 Buy

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation

"Ok, yes, this product hasn't been out long, but it's so good that it's already on my list of all-time favorites. I always get asked what I have on my face when I wear it. But more importantly, it leaves my face glowing, while feeling smooth on the skin. I apply it like a serum with my hands and dab a little extra wherever I need it. While it's definitely on the pricier side, I know I'd use the last of my coins on this liquid gold." — Thatiana Diaz, beauty writer
PAT McGRATH LABS Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation$68.00 Buy

Becca Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation

"Becca may be most known for their highlighters, but their foundation is seriously underrated. Even on my worst skin days, this formula makes me feel bright, glowy, and perfectly covered. In other words, it offers the kind of results that make shelling out $44 on foundation totally worth it." — Samantha Sasso, beauty writer
Becca Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation$44.00 Buy

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

"I'm lucky enough to be sent tons of foundations to test as part of my job, but Maybelline's lightweight liquid foundation is one that I'll readily shell out the $8 for if I forget to pack one when I travel or need a tried-and-true pick in a pinch. The 40-shade range is one of the best you'll find at the drugstore, and the fluid-thin texture feels amazing — and is totally invisible — on my oily skin." — Karina Hoshikawa, beauty & wellness market writer
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation$7.99 Buy

NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

"In my at-home beauty stash, there is a coveted top shelf of products that I hoard for special occasions. These are the hair and makeup essentials that I reserve for the days I’m going to be on camera or taking a million photos for the ‘gram. One foundation that has been on my top shelf for years is the NARS Radiant Longwear Foundation. The formula feels weightless while still giving my skin a bit of coverage. It’s not super matte or too oily. It’s just right. And like Goldilocks, I may try a lot of different foundations, but this has earned the holy-grail crown." — Jessica Cruel, deputy beauty director
NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation$49.00 Buy
Load more...