Hate liquid foundation? We've got 9 picks to change your mind

by Sam Gonzales, contributor

Liquid foundation: arguably the most tricky product to work with due to the wide variety of colors, finishes, and formulas. We get why it can feel frustrating. Maybe you don’t like the icky feeling of flesh-toned goo on your skin. Maybe you don’t like that mask-like look. But maybe, you also want your skin to be even and look healthy without the unpleasantness you thought was a given.

We ask you to reconsider. Formulations have come a long way and beauty companies do cater to those of us who don’t like traditional foundation. From foundation that doesn’t feel like foundation, to formulas that will make your skin look like your skin, here are our picks for foundation for people who hate foundation!

Skin is in: If you just want to even out your skin tone and enhance the beauty of your skin, celebrate! Foundation that does just that exists. These liquids have natural coverage that hides minor blemishes and creates a smooth canvas with minimal effort.

Maybelline Super BB Cushion (P749, department stores)

If you loved the Super BB Cream then you’re going to love the convenience of the new Maybelline Super BB Cushion. With a couple of taps you can achieve a healthy dewy complexion that looks lit from within. The cushion compact packaging also makes it convenient for touch-ups. Suitable for dry to combination skin, it actually sets (or adjusts) to your skin after application. Shades are limited though, and the darkest shade 03 Natural Beige will suit those with NC35 skin tones.

Happy Skin Second Skin Créme (P1,199, Happy Skin counters)

This foundation will cover blemishes and discoloration with just one layer but still leaves the skin looking like skin. And since it’s silicone-free, those with allergies or sensitive skin can will love having this option. There are only two shades available but Happy Skin formulates its products for Filipina complexions.

MAC Face and Body Foundation (P1,900, MAC counters)

This water-based foundation has a unique texture that initially feels watery then thickens upon massaging into the skin. You won't feel it once it's on, and it sets waterproof while keeping a natural, dewy finish that lasts all day without feeling uncomfortable. The best part is that it’s buildable, which means you can opt for light coverage for everyday use or fuller coverage for special occasions. There’s a reason why this is a staple in many a makeup artist kit. It comes in 11 shades and multiple undertones, too, so it won’t be hard to find a match.

Pro tip:: Shake the bottle well and massage in with fingers or a flat foundation brush to get the best texture!

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water (~P2,200 at Beauty Bar)

Packed with antioxidants and SPF 30, this watery BB cream offers coverage and comfort even to the end of your day. The sheer coverage diminishes fine lines and pores, and leaves the skin with a satin finish. It functions like a skin tint, with eight flexible shade options, and it seems invisible to the eye but improves the overall look of your skin. It is also sweat-proof, transfers only slightly, and lasts 6-8 hours on combination skin: great properties for such a thin consistency

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation (P2,700 at MUFE stores)

This new release replaces Make Up For Ever’s Face and Body Foundation with an 80% water formula that really gives the sheerest coverage while leaving the skin with a fresh, brightening glow. It truly feels like nothing on the skin, and may be better suited for those who are comfortable with almost nothing on. The great thing about this foundation though is that as time passes, the texture improves (as opposed to breaking down) when the natural oils of the face merges with the formula. It comes in 20 shades, and is best massaged in with clean fingers or flat brushes. Sponges may soak up the product.

Maximum but lightweight cover: Need coverage but hate that thick, heavy feeling? You can have an even and flawless complexion without sacrificing comfort.

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Foundation (P490, department stores)

This affordable foundation looks quite thick but actually feels like nothing on the skin. Its soft-matte finish truly looks like velvet when applied, with medium-buildable coverage, and reduces lines and the appearance of pores. This texture lends to its versatility as it can be worn by those with dry to combination skinl. However, it may need to be set with a little powder if you want to take its (very) subtle sheen away — it’s claimed to be a hydrating soft-matte after all. It comes in 12 shades and can be applied with fingers, brushes, or sponges.

L’Oreal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation (P600, department stores)

This drugstore foundation performs just as well or even better than a lot of high-end products! It provides medium to full coverage but retains a satin finish. Set with powder, it is suitable for longer wear and special occasions. The best part is that it lasts while not feeling like a total face mask. It’s the perfect balance of reliable and beautiful, and comes in 18 shades and multiple undertones so finding a color match shouldn't be a problem.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Makeup To Go Liquid Compact (P1,950, Estée Lauder store and counters)

This dewy, hydrating formula offers sheer to medium coverage, which is perfect for everyday. It’s also great for traveling as its compact packaging makes allows it to be easily transported, even through TSA checks. It dispenses the exact amount one needs to use with its soft, dense sponge. The dewy (but not shiny finish) makes it suitable for those who have dry to combination skin, and it has enough staying power to still look good after ten hours with touch-ups. Shade-matching should not be difficult either with 18 options. It really is just a great option for someone who’s looking for convenience with quality.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD (P2,700, MUFE stores)

We’ve raved about the natural finish of this foundation before but it warrants a mention for emphasis! Ultra HD was formulated for — what else — ultra HD resolution, but the special thing about the formula is that it’s suitable for every day wear as well. Considering that this formula is TV-quality, it's not at all thick or cakey. It’s available in 40 shades and multiple undertones,  and when blended, it looks exactly like your skin albeit color-perfected.


  • What are you looking for in a liquid foundation?
  • Have you found one that works for you?
  • What's the best lightweight, non-sticky but great coverage formula that you've tried?