Ultra Fluid Foundation Comparison List + Drugstore Dupes
Right on time for Summer – the newest crop of foundations have a water-light texture and feel, but deliver medium to full coverage results. Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup launched about a year ago and impressed me with how well it covered imperfections without a heavy look or feel. I’ll admit that the absence of water in these formulas made me uncomfortable, particularly because I have oily skin and try to avoid silicone – but now I see them as a wonderful alternative to traditional foundation.
Is it the future of foundation? Now available at all price points and comfortable on a broader range of skin types, it’s safe to assume that like BB Creams – soon every brand will have their own formulation. So does price make a difference? Here’s five current products ranging from $7 – $64 and key points to help you decide which best fits your individual needs.
Selling Points: Breakthrough liquid foundation texture fuses with skin. A finish so impeccable, yet undetectable.
Shades: 11 SPF 20 Size: .67 fl.oz. Where to Buy: drugstores, drugstore.com
MOST AFFORDABLE. At the risk of sounding like a snob, for a drugstore foundation, Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch is pretty good. Normally drugstore foundations don’t quite measure up – they have less coverage, poor color selection and formulas lack the tactile superiority of higher end products (although I question if that’s more psychological than anything else). Still – Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch was very similar to the Armani Maestro in providing good coverage, a satin matte finish and wore well throughout the day.
Maybelline, L’Oreal and Armani are all owned by L’Oreal. The Dream Wonder and Magic Nude have identical ingredient lists – so there’s no question here that the Dream Wonder is a better buy. In all honesty, while the Armani would be my choice of the three L’Oreal options – it can’t justify being over 8x the price of the Maybelline. However, that said, I still prefer the Neutrogena Nourishing Longwear Makeup ($15.99) in the drugstore foundation category.
Selling Points: Get the ultimate un-makeup look with Magic Nude Liquid Powder Bare Skin Perfecting Makeup with SPF 18. Revolutionary liquid transforms on contact, leaving a soft powder like finish. This foundation is so amazingly lightweight it’s like wearing no makeup at all! Just shake and apply – it’s magic!
Shades: 12 SPF 18 Size: .91 oz. Where to Buy: drugstores, drugstore.com
This was the first drugstore liquid powder foundation that I tried after the Armani Maestro – deducting that it would be similar since both were manufactured by L’Oreal. It provides good coverage, satin matte finish and wore well. The bottle was pretty – but a bit awkward to use and got quite messy. The Maybelline Dream Wonder is still a better choice since its $5 cheaper and there is really no difference in performance or ingredients.
❤ COSMETIC MONSTER CHOICE ❤
Selling Points: Created with exceptional purity in mind, this ultrathin, skin-perfecting fluid provides seamless adjustable coverage, a natural finish, and the look and feel of beautiful skin while delivering a noticeably brighter, more youthful appearance—it’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before.
Shades: 20 SPF 20 Size: 1 fl.oz.
Where to Buy: sephora.com (or in-store), bareescentuals.com
BEST FOR DRY/SENSITIVE SKIN. With a remarkably short ingredient list for a liquid foundation, long lasting coverage and an undeniably natural look and feel, bareMinerals Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation offers some skin care benefits as well. Those who are not typically successful with silicone-based foundations can experience the slip and smoothing benefits without the irritation or clogged pores. While the Bareskin Perfecting Face Brush is a novel applicator, its not necessary and can actually impede the smoothing qualities of this extremely fluid foundation. With 20 skin tone correct shades to choose from and powder-optional finish, its a great choice for the warmer months ahead. [READ THE REVIEW]
Selling Points: Laura Mercier’s lightweight foundation leaves skin with a natural-looking matte finish. It works on all skin types, visibly evening skintone and minimizing the appearance of pores. Infused with Hydro-Brilliant Technology, featuring reflective waters and natural silica that create brilliant color-true shades, it is humidity-proof, sweat-proof, and water-resistant for longer, carefree wear.
Shades: 24 No SPF Size: 1 oz. Where to Buy: sephora.com and lauramercier.com
BEST FOR OILY SKIN. I haven’t used this foundation yet, but it is next on my foundation Buy List. From what I gather from reviews, is its similar in texture to the Bareskin – but with a more matte finish. I’m wondering if this will alleviate the need for setting powder and if the absence of SPF will help the slight “itchy” feeling I get from the others. This still has silicone in it, so I would probably still recommend the Bareskin for its overall performance and ingredients, but I’m still curious and will try it.
Selling Points: A formula that is easy to apply with unified distribution, and covers imperfections. An ultra-fine oil-pigment suspension that perfects the complexion, instantly igniting skin’s natural luminosity. A water and powder-free base.
Shades: 18 SPF 15 Size: 1 oz.
Where to Buy: nordstrom.com and giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com
Since this was the first oil-pigment foundation I tried, I was impressed with how easily it melted into my skin and covered a plethora of skin issues with one application. Since then, other companies (several of them L’Oreal, who owns Giorgio Armani Beauty) have come out with similar products at a much more comfortable price point. Still – this luxury product has a few added floral oils and ingredients that boost the elegance of the application. [READ FULL REVIEW]
Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation SPF 20 Active Ingredients: Octinosate 3%. Other Ingredients: Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat., Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone, Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, PEG 10 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Water, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Propylene Carbonate, Aluminum Hydroxide, May Contain:, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
L’Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder SPF 18 Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 3%. Inactive Ingredients: Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Water, Propylene Carbonate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Aluminum Hydroxide. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.
BareMinerals Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation SPF 20 Titanium Dioxide 11%: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coconut Alkanes, Silica, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Lecithin, Glycerin, Maltodextrin, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Jojoba Esters, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Soil Minerals/Syringa Vulgaris (Lilac) Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Lilac Plant Stem Cells.
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phytostearyl/Isostearyl/Cetyl/Stearyl/Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Poly (Glycol Adipate)/Bishydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone Copolymer, Lemon Fruit Extract, Fumaria Officinalis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Hull Powder, Fumaric Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone/Divinyldimethicone/Silsexquioxane CrossPolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hudrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Isohexadecane, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Sodium Lauroyl Asparate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Zinc Chloride, Polysilicone-1 Crosspolymer, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Ammonium Polyacryloydimethyl Taurate, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 80, Polyurethane-40, Nylon-12 Flourescent Brightener 230 Salt, Polyvinylalcohol Crosspolymer, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Propylene Carbonate, Triethoxycaprylysilane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain/(+/-): CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides).
Giorgio Armani ‘Maestro’ Fusion Foundation SPF 15 Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 3%. Inactive Ingredients: Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Nelumbium Speciosum Extract/Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Extract, Limonene, Synthetic Fluorphelogopite, Benzylsalicylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Propylene Carbonate, Caprilyic/Capric Triglyceride, Parfum / Fragrance, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Oil / Bitter Orange Flower Oil, Aqua / Water, Aluminum Hydroxide, Hexyl Cinnmai. [+/- May contain CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides]. (FIL B48256/5)