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15 Best Water-based Foundations Offering a Smooth Finish

CEO Tinh Phung
Choosing the perfect foundation can be a daunting task, especially if you have dry, acne-prone, or sensitive skin. But worry no more because we've done the research for you. After countless trials, we've compiled a...

Choosing the perfect foundation can be a daunting task, especially if you have dry, acne-prone, or sensitive skin. But worry no more because we've done the research for you. After countless trials, we've compiled a list of the best water-based foundations on the market. These foundations are not only lightweight, buildable, and blendable but also have the remarkable ability to conceal wrinkles, blemishes, and redness. They are also great at minimizing the appearance of pores. Water-based foundations are leading the way in the beauty and makeup world. So, if you're curious about what exactly a water-based foundation is, keep reading.

What is a Water-based Foundation?

A water-based foundation is formulated without any oil base. Its natural formulation and light coverage make it virtually undetectable on the skin. What sets water-based foundations apart is their ability to take care of your skin without clogging pores. They are ideal for achieving a non-cakey or non-patchy makeup look.

The Best Water-based Foundations

Let's dive into our fantastic list of the best water-based foundations that you should consider investing in.

e.l.f. Flawless Satin Foundation Caption: e.l.f. Flawless Satin Foundation

Our first recommendation is the e.l.f. Flawless Satin foundation. This lightweight foundation not only improves uneven skin tone and conceals discoloration but also has a highly blendable and buildable formula. With over 32 thousand ratings on Amazon, it's safe to say that this foundation is a crowd favorite. It is also enriched with glycerin, leaving your skin feeling soft and hydrated. If you're looking for a semi-matte finish, this is the foundation for you.

Neutrogena SkinClearing Acne Fighting Liquid Foundation - Buff Caption: Neutrogena SkinClearing Acne Fighting Liquid Foundation - Buff

Next on our list is Neutrogena's SkinClearing Acne Fighting Liquid Foundation. This water-based foundation is enriched with salicylic acid, which helps fight acne-causing bacteria. It not only controls shine and treats blemishes but also provides natural-looking and buildable coverage. Dermatologists have skillfully developed this foundation, making it perfect for oily and acne-prone skin.

COVERGIRL Clean Liquid Foundation - Creamy Natural Caption: COVERGIRL Clean Liquid Foundation - Creamy Natural

While searching for the best clean foundation, we stumbled upon COVERGIRL's Clean Liquid Foundation. This impeccable matte finish foundation blends perfectly and allows your skin to breathe. Its smooth, butter-like texture melts onto your skin, giving it a youthful and glowy appearance. What impressed us the most is that this water-based foundation is suitable for even sensitive skin and doesn't clog pores.

Art of Air Airbrush Makeup Foundation - Movie Star Caption: Art of Air Airbrush Makeup Foundation - Movie Star

Art of Air has introduced a fail-proof airbrush makeup foundation that will elevate your makeup game effortlessly. This oil-free and smudge-proof water-based foundation is perfect for everyday use. It's free from harsh toxins and minerals, making it ideal for all skin types. With long-lasting coverage and the ability to minimize skin imperfections without the need for touch-ups, this foundation is a must-have. Whether you have an airbrush gun or prefer using a foundation brush, this product has got you covered.

Belloccio Fair Color Shade Foundation Set Caption: Belloccio Fair Color Shade Foundation Set

Belloccio's fair shade foundation set includes four foundations with pink and yellow undertones, as well as an anti-aging moisturizing primer. These foundations provide sheer coverage and long-lasting results. They effortlessly cover imperfections and make your makeup application process a breeze. Dermatologists recommend this set for mess-free and hassle-free makeup sessions.

NARS Light Reflecting Foundation - CARACAS Caption: NARS Light Reflecting Foundation - CARACAS

NARS Light Reflecting Foundation stands out for three primary reasons. Firstly, its advanced makeup-skincare hybrid formula blurs skin imperfections and improves your skin's quality and texture over time. It also offers buildable coverage for a naturally beautiful look. Lastly, it is suitable for most skin types, including acne-prone, sensitive, and dry skin.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 Caption: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15

If you're on the hunt for a long-lasting foundation, look no further than Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation with SPF 15. This foundation is enriched with SPF 15 and has an oil-free and hydrating formula that adheres to the skin better. It offers undetectable coverage and a natural skin-like finish.

bareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation Caption: bareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation

Next up is bareMinerals' Original Liquid Mineral Foundation with SPF 20. This foundation is essential for keeping your skin nourished and protected from harmful UV rays. It provides sheer to maximum coverage and blends easily without clogging pores. With its wide shade range and lightweight formula, it glides onto your skin effortlessly.

COVER FX Natural Finish Foundation Caption: COVER FX Natural Finish Foundation

COVER FX Natural Finish Foundation has caught the attention of makeup enthusiasts around the world. With its natural finish and talc-free formula, it hydrates your skin while concealing imperfections. It creates a clean canvas for other makeup products to cling on to. This water-based foundation is perfect for those with dry skin, as it provides ample hydration.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation Caption: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation

Estee Lauder's Double Wear Light Foundation is a game-changer for all skin types. It is extremely lightweight and leaves your skin smooth and clear. This foundation effortlessly blurs skin imperfections and visibly reduces the appearance of pores. The best part? It is smudge-proof and resistant to humidity, water, and sweat.

Ecco Bella Natural Foundation - Ivory Porcelain Caption: Ecco Bella Natural Foundation - Ivory Porcelain

Ecco Bella's natural water-based foundation is truly unique. Enriched with scientifically formulated natural minerals, it acts as both skincare and makeup. This foundation blankets your imperfections while nourishing your skin. It offers full and even coverage and contains lutein, astaxanthin, lycopene, and beta-carotene, which protect your skin against harmful blue light.

Ere Perez - Quinoa Water Foundation - Dawn Caption: Ere Perez - Quinoa Water Foundation - Dawn

Our next favorite water-based foundation is from Ere Perez, infused with quinoa. This lightweight foundation heals irritated and inflamed skin while increasing skin elasticity with its potent blend of antioxidants and vitamins. The foundation's consistency is remarkable, making it easy to glide on. Whether you want a minimal or maximum makeup look, the fresh natural-looking matte finish of this foundation will not disappoint.

Kiss NY Professional PRO TOUCH Drop Foundation - Sun Beige Caption: Kiss NY Professional PRO TOUCH Drop Foundation - Sun Beige

During our search for the best water-based foundation, we stumbled upon Kiss NY Professional's Pro Touch Drop Foundation. This foundation offers impeccable buildable coverage and has a lightweight texture that blends like magic. It looks undetectable on the skin and is enriched with green tea for maximum anti-oxidation. This foundation will leave your skin mattified and ready for other products to adhere to.

Glam Air Airbrush Makeup Water-based Foundation Caption: Glam Air Airbrush Makeup Water-based Foundation

If you have an airbrush makeup gun, Glam Air's airbrush makeup water-based foundation is perfect for you. It conceals redness, blemishes, wrinkles, dark spots, and other imperfections flawlessly. This foundation doesn't smear, flake, or look cakey. Achieve top-notch makeup looks effortlessly with its natural-looking matte finish and skin-friendly formula.

Carter Beauty By Marissa Carter Half Measure Dewy Foundation - Crème Brulee Caption: Carter Beauty By Marissa Carter Half Measure Dewy Foundation - Crème Brulee

Last but not least, we recommend the astounding dewy and water-based foundation from Carter Beauty By Marissa Carter. It is extremely hydrating, lightweight, and formulated without sulfates or parabens. This foundation provides a poreless finish with its buildable and blendable superstay formula. It covers redness and blemishes while moisturizing your skin, giving you a glowing and clear complexion.

That concludes our comprehensive list of the best high-end water-based foundations. Now, let us guide you through our detailed buying guide.

What to Consider Before Buying a Water-based Foundation

Before splurging on the best water-based makeup foundation, there are a few aspects you should consider:

Skin Type: Analyze your skin type before investing in any foundation. For dry skin, look for foundations infused with hydrating and moisturizing ingredients like vitamins C, E, and F. Those with acne-prone and oily skin should opt for oil-free foundations with a matte or satin finish.

Ingredients: Always check the ingredient list. Look for foundations that contain skin-friendly ingredients like green tea, salicylic acid, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. Avoid foundations with harmful ingredients like parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, and talc.

Texture: Choose a foundation with a smooth and easy-to-glide texture. It should be blendable and offer buildable coverage without looking cakey, flaky, or creased.

Formula: Look for foundations that are vegan, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and non-acnegenic. A foundation with these qualities will be gentle on your skin.

After considering these aspects, you might be wondering how to verify if a foundation is water-based or not.

How to Tell if a Foundation is Water-based

The easiest way to determine if a foundation is water-based is by looking at the list of ingredients. Water-based foundations will have "water" or "aqua" listed as the main ingredient. The ingredients are usually listed in order of concentration, making it easier to identify water-based foundations. You can find the list of ingredients on the outer and inner packaging of the foundation.

We hope this guide helps you make informed purchasing decisions. Now, let's move on to the steps of removing water-based foundation.

How to Remove Water-based Foundation

Follow these steps to remove water-based foundation easily:

Step 1: Take a sufficient quantity of your daily cleanser on a microfiber cloth or cotton pad.

Step 2: Gently remove the foundation in a circular motion. Avoid rubbing your face vigorously.

Step 3: Clean the inner corners of your eyes and neck using the same method.

Step 4: Use a wet facial wipe to cleanse your face.

Step 5: Wash your face with a gentle face wash, rinse it, pat your skin dry, and apply a moisturizing cream.

And there you have it! You're done.

We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights into the best water-based foundations and how to choose the right one for your skin type. Remember to consider your skin's needs and preferences when making your purchase. Invest in a foundation that not only enhances your beauty but also takes care of your skin.

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