We've Found the Perfect Liquid Foundations for You | Smarter Reviews

We've Found the Perfect Liquid Foundations for You

Smarter Reviews ranks the best-looking and best-feeling liquid foundations you can buy, and explains what makes them so great.

We've Found the Perfect Liquid Foundations for You

For many women, liquid foundation can be a lifesaver. In addition to highlighting your natural beauty by evening out your skin tone and concealing blemishes, it can cover wrinkles and fine lines, providing age-defying qualities.

Unfortunately, if you’ve ever browsed the makeup aisle at your favorite store, you know that there is a seemingly endless array of liquid foundations to choose from. Even worse, quite a few of them contain ingredients that have been shown to be toxic, such as propylene glycol, propylparaben, methylparaben, PEG/ PPG 10 dimethicone, and retinyl acetate. (1)

By the way, this is just a short list. There are several others that have been shown to do everything from act as a carcinogenic to trigger migraines, asthma attacks, and allergies. (2)

Of course, it can be almost impossible to figure out where to even start when you are looking for a high-quality, yet safe liquid foundation. Fortunately, there are liquid foundations available that only contain safe ingredients, though they aren’t always available in stores.

However, that’s no reason to worry. The following takes a look at liquid foundations, including what type of ingredients are often used in them, as well as what ingredients are safe and which ones you should avoid, before reviewing five of the top liquid foundations currently on the market.

What Ingredients are often found in Liquid Foundations?

Although every manufacturer is a little different, there are certain ingredients commonly found in liquid foundations. They include:

  1. Emulsifiers: Used in foundation to ensure water and oils stay mixed together. Remember, oil and water will stay separate otherwise. Safe emulsifiers include cetearyl alcohol, sodium cetearyl sulfate, sorbitan sequioleate, and stearic acid.
  2. Surfactants: Surfactants are known for their conditioning, emulsifying, defatting, and thickening effects. Examples of safe surfactants include sodium lauryl sulfate and cetearyl or stearyl alcohol.
  3. Preservatives: Preservatives are a crucial component of liquid foundations because they protect it from the growth of microorganisms that can contaminate the foundation, which leads to spoilage or causing infections or interactions. Safe options include rosemary leaf extract, vitamin E, and vegetable glycerin.
  4. Glyceryl polymethacrylate: Used to enhance the texture and application of various skin care products. This ingredient is safe. (3)
  5. Lecithin: Lecithin is a skin-conditioning agent that acts as a surfactant/emulsifying agent in cosmetics. According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel, lecithin is generally safe when used in cosmetics. (4)
  6. Boron nitride: Used to disperse pigment evenly and absorb excess oil in the skin, boron nitride has been shown to be extremely safe when used in cosmetics, according to multiple independent lab studies. (5)

Ingredients to Avoid in Liquid Foundations

As with any product, you should always read the ingredients to ensure you aren't getting more than you bargained for. (6) Liquid foundations are no different. Be sure to steer clear of:

Phthalates

These can disrupt the endocrine system, resulting in reproductive, development, and neurological damage.

Parabens

Evidence suggests they interfere with hormone function and can mimic estrogen, interfering with the nervous, immune, and reproductive system.

Lead

This is a proven neurotoxin linked to delayed puberty in females, decreased fertility, and miscarriage.

PEG compounds

These are often contaminated with ethylene oxide, a known human carcinogen that may also harm human development and the nervous system.

Butylated compounds

These can disrupt the endocrine system and are linked to developmental, organ, and reproductive toxicity.

Siloxanes

Siloxanes are toxic to the reproductive system and disrupt the endocrine system.

Octinoxate

This is linked to thyroid disorders and endocrine disruption.

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives

This group includes quaternium-15, which is a known human carcinogen.

What to Look for in a Liquid Foundation

When it's time to try out a new brand of liquid foundation, here are a few tips.

Pick One that suits your skin type

We are all individuals, and that is as true in cosmetics as it is anywhere else. Be sure you know what type of skin type and tone you are before purchasing.

Check for organic, natural ingredients

Some chemicals may be necessary to create the foundation itself, but you should always strive for as few as possible. Using foundations certified organic is one easy way to do this.

Long-lasting formula

The best liquid foundation in the world won't do you any good if it can't last for the duration you need it. Keep in mind the length of time you'll want to be wearing your foundation when checking out different brands.

3 Secrets to Applying liquid foundation

always use a brush or sponge

We can't all be cosmetics professionals, so stick to the right tools to help you apply your foundation. Using a brush helps you to blend and buff the foundation into your skin. It'll look far more natural this way. Oddly enough, the best brushes are often the synthetic ones (not animal hair).

It's not for your whole face

Foundation is meant to smooth out and create a blended tone to your skin, thereby eliminating any unevenness to your face. it's not a mask.

concealer comes second

Foundation, just like with a house, is the base of everything to come (well, except for primer). If you want to use concealer, that's fine, but just be sure that it's actually able to conceal something.

OUR SPECIALIZED RANKING SYSTEM

Now, that you have a better understand of liquid foundations and how you can benefit from their use and proper application, it’s time to look at some of the most popular brands on the market. At Smarter Reviews, we employ a comprehensive evaluation system to analyze and measure the full value of products. This is based on ingredients, safety, potential effectiveness, return policies, and overall customer satisfaction. We call our method the Smarter Reviews Ranking System.

TOP 5 Liquid Foundations

Now, it's time to look at five of the top liquid foundations.

1. Juice Beauty Phyto-pigments Flawless Serum Foundation

Total Ranking

647 votes

9.5/10

A

Overall Grade

  • Ingredient Safety
    8.4 Avg.

    9.5/10

  • Projected Effectiveness
    8.1 Avg.

    9.2/10

  • Value
    8.2 Avg.

    9.5/10

  • Return Policy
    8.8 Avg.

    9.5/10

  • Customer Satisfaction
    8.0 Avg.

    9.7/10

    Vote and Review

Vote and Review

5/10

PROS

  • Contains multiple organic ingredients
  • Made in the U.S.A., often with ingredients from organic farmers
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee if purchased through website
  • Great for sensitive skin

CONS

  • Some reviewers complained it was quick to dry, becoming powdery
The Bottom Line

Juice Beauty Phyto-pigments Flawless Serum Foundation is formulated with multiple organic ingredients, including aloe juice, safflower oil, organic glycerin, grape seed oil, vitamins C and E, sunflower oil, and rose flower powder. Plus, since it is made in the U.S.A., many of these ingredients are sourced by organic farmers. This makes it great for anyone with sensitive and dry skin, as it is designed not to irritate.

Juice Beauty has created a foundation that is significantly safer for your skin than many other foundations and gives you just the right amount of coverage you are looking for. Reviews are often glowing, mentioning that they have been stopped and asked what they are wearing, even by cosmetics salespeople.

There is a lot to enjoy about Juice Beauty’s Flawless Serum Foundation, so much so, in fact, that it’s Smarter Reviews’ top pick for Liquid Foundations.*

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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2. INIKA organic liquid foundation

Total Ranking

310 votes

9.3/10

A

Overall Grade

  • Ingredient Safety
    8.4 Avg.

    9.3/10

  • Projected Effectiveness
    8.1 Avg.

    9.1/10

  • Value
    8.2 Avg.

    9.3/10

  • Return Policy
    8.8 Avg.

    9.1/10

  • Customer Satisfaction
    8.0 Avg.

    9.5/10

    Vote and Review

Vote and Review

5/10

PROS

  • Certified organic foundation
  • Made using ethically-sourced, natural ingredients
  • Vegan, cruelty-free product
  • No oily residue

CONS

  • Returns only available up to 14 days after purchase
  • Felt heavy
The Bottom Line

INIKA Organic Liquid Foundation is a certified organic foundation that is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It also contains jojoba seed oil and aloe vera leaf juice to soothe and moisturize your skin, as well as argan and rosehip oils that repair and nurture your skin. If you have a skin tone that is a bit uneven, this can help bring a more consistent glow.

Responses from reviewers were mixed. Many really like it, but others comment on the sticky consistency that “doesn’t apply as well as other natural liquid foundations” and “seals the face with its heaviness.” Several suggested that it might go on smoother if it included an additional moisturizer in it. That said, the foundation does not tend to cause breakouts or other skin irritation when applied.*

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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3. ILIA vivid foundation

Total Ranking

328 votes

8.8/10

B+

Overall Grade

  • Ingredient Safety
    8.4 Avg.

    8.7/10

  • Projected Effectiveness
    8.1 Avg.

    8.9/10

  • Value
    8.2 Avg.

    9/10

  • Return Policy
    8.8 Avg.

    9.1/10

  • Customer Satisfaction
    8.0 Avg.

    8.6/10

    Vote and Review

Vote and Review

5/10

PROS

  • Worked well at concealing dark circles under eyes
  • Contains natural, hydrating and anti-inflammation ingredients
  • Chic, metallic packaging

CONS

  • Large color gap between two darkest shades
  • Extra moisturizer may not work well on oily skin
The Bottom Line

Skin can be very individual in its response to outside stimuli, and liquid foundation is no exception. While many reviewers enjoyed ILIA Vivid Foundation for its moisturizing ingredients and feel, others found it too much for oilier skin types. (A bit of an odd circumstance when considering the fact that each of the shades is named after a desert.)

That said, ILIA Vivid Foundation is a quality product and allows for redness reduction on top of its soothing ingredients. Unfortunately, this is only going to be a good fit for the right sort of skin.*

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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4. Jane Iredale glowtime

Total Ranking

581 votes

8.5/10

b

Overall Grade

  • Ingredient Safety
    8.4 Avg.

    8.7/10

  • Projected Effectiveness
    8.1 Avg.

    8.5/10

  • Value
    8.2 Avg.

    8.6/10

  • Return Policy
    8.8 Avg.

    8.5/10

  • Customer Satisfaction
    8.0 Avg.

    8.4/10

    Vote and Review

Vote and Review

5/10

PROS

  • All-natural minerals and anti-aging ingredients
  • Works as sunscreen of SPF 15 to 25
  • Color Match Guarantee allows easy replacement in case the wrong color has been ordered

CONS

  • Looks best only when using a blending sponge
The Bottom Line

Most customers are pleased with the Jane Iredale Glow Time, provided they use a blending sponge to apply it. It’s worth noting that several consumers report they have acne and have found this foundation doesn’t aggravate their condition, causing more breakouts. Of those reviewers who weren't completely satisfied with the product, the primary complaints involved "bad streaking" and "not lasting all day."

Thanks to its built-in sunscreen and mild water resistance, Glow Time is perfect for a day at the beach or pool. However, it may not be so useful for a night on the town.*

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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5. hush+dotti liquid foundation

Total Ranking

576 votes

8.4/10

b

Overall Grade

  • Ingredient Safety
    8.4 Avg.

    8.2/10

  • Projected Effectiveness
    8.1 Avg.

    8.3/10

  • Value
    8.2 Avg.

    8.5/10

  • Return Policy
    8.8 Avg.

    8.5/10

  • Customer Satisfaction
    8.0 Avg.

    8.6/10

    Vote and Review

Vote and Review

5/10

PROS

  • Certified organic and vegan
  • Numerous ingredients included to avoid clogging pores
  • Light on the skin, avoids the “mask” feeling
  • Made in the U.S.A.

CONS

  • Choosing proper shade can be difficult
The Bottom Line

Based on its ingredients and customer reviews, Hush + Dottie Organic Liquid Foundation is an effective foundation that works well for anyone trying to even out their skin tone. At the same time, it’s worth noting that there is some discrepancy between the online photo and the actual foundation shade, which could be a problem.

At this point, it’s certainly worth mentioning that liquid foundations are best applied with a brush, not with your fingertips, and definitely not over the entirety of your face, only where the tone is uneven. Hush + Dottie Organic Liquid Foundation is no exception to the rule.*

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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Citations

  1. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-rodale/cosmetics_b_3909151.html

  2. http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/04/10/you-have-the-right-to-know-17-chemicals-to-avoid-in-cosmetic-and-personal-care-products/

  3. https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/glyceryl-polymethacrylate

  4. http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/lecithin

  5. https://www.sterlingminerals.com/is-boron-nitride-safe-in-mineral-makeup-products/

  6. https://www.annmariegianni.com/toxic-chemicals-in-makeup-industry/

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