Glam Up This Summer With The 13 Best Water-Based Foundations

Written by Samiya Dinware
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It’s no secret that summers and heavy foundations are no match made in heaven. If you’re dealing with dry and dehydrated skin, the best water-based foundation can come as a blessing in disguise with its weightless and hydrating formula. So, girls, as the days get warmer, give your skin a breather with a water-based makeup product that is ultra-light, buildable, and super-easy to blend. Water-based foundations keep the skin intensely hydrated and glowing with its primary content (water) and contain no or minimum oils and nasty silicones.

Now, are you ready to indulge in this beauty water (yes, we are calling it that) for a fresh, moisturized, and flawless glow? Ideal for all skin types (even oily and sensitive) and leaving a natural-looking coverage, your spring and summer days are about to get gorgeous with some of the well-loved options on the market. Check out our list of the 13 best water-based foundations of 2021!

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
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MAYBELLINE Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation - Natural Beige
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COVERGIRL Clean Matte BB Cream - Fair
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Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup - 30/Buff
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Art Of Air Airbrush Makeup - Golden Olive
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Belloccio Flawless Airbrush Makeup Set
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EVXO Peek A Boo Organic Liquid Mineral Foundation - Alablaster
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Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation - Nudie Pie
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Ecco Bella FlowerColor Natural Foundation - Natural
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Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation - Natural Tan
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Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation - P30
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13 Best Water-Based Foundations Of 2021 With A Helpful Buying Guide

1. MAYBELLINE Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation – Natural Beige

This almost-natural blemish-hiding foundation is all you need for your au naturale makeup look. Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte Liquid Foundation is oil-free and delivers a matte but not flat finish to reveal a flawless and natural glow. Available in 40 shades and with 97% women claiming to have found their true-to-color shade, the formula also refines pores with micro powders and conceals shine with its medium and buildable coverage. An ideal choice for those with acne-prone skin, this oil-free water-based foundation is also easy to blend and comfortable on the skin.

Pros:

  • All-day wear
  • Allergy-tested
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Pore-minimizer
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Normal to oily skin

Cons:

  • Contains paraben

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2. COVERGIRL Clean Matte BB Cream – Fair

What do we like about this drugstore water-based foundation? The BB cream that doubles as a foundation leaves the skin shine-free all day long. So, if you are tired of all those midday T-zone touch-ups, now you know which foundation to use. Covergirl’s oil-free foundation delivers a flawless matte look that evens out the skin tone and conceals blemishes with its second-skin-like finish. And the way it goes smoothly on the skin covering all the imperfections, you’d never want to go back to your regular foundation again.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Breathable formula
  • Natural matte coverage
  • Suitable for oily skin

Cons:

  • Some may find the consistency slightly thick

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3. Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup – 30/Buff

For acne-prone and sensitive skin, this Neutrogena water-based foundation would be a relief this summer. Formulated with microClear technology, it fights blemishes, prevents breakouts, and leaves a natural-looking coverage on the skin. The non-comedogenic formula contains salicylic acid to provide quick relief from acne and will not clog pores too. Besides this, it is also enriched with matricaria flower extract and aloe leaf extract, as they both have healing and anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the blemishes and redness-prone areas. Just what you need to keep the acne at bay and look flawless all day, this lightweight liquid foundation is clinically tested and available in 14 shades.

Pros:

  • Oil-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Controls shine
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Breathable formula
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons:

  • Contains parabens

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4. Art Of Air Airbrush Makeup – Golden Olive

The Art of Air Airbrush Makeup Foundation is a must-try if you are looking to correct skin concerns such as redness, blemishes, spots, dark circles, etc. Mineral-based and oil-free, it delivers flawless full coverage that, unlike heavy foundation, is weightless and suitable to wear daily. Sounds perfect for the summers, doesn’t it? The ideal glow-getter, this foundation hides imperfections, lasts all day, and evens out the skin tone effortlessly. Also, you can use this water-based airbrush makeup with a foundation brush or with a spray gun.

Pros:

  • Sheer finish
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Contains skin-caring ingredients
  • Dermatologist-recommended

Cons:

  • Slight runny

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5. Belloccio Flawless Airbrush Makeup Set

Concealing never looked this flawless and natural! With anti-aging antioxidants and moisturizing primer included, this fragrance-free water-based foundation set has multiple undertones (pink, golden, yellow) for you to explore. Easy to use, and more importantly, hygienic since you don’t have to use a brush, sponge, or fingertips for blending, this spray-gun foundation is a must-try to get a red-carpet-ready look within minutes! Leaving a soft, natural look that’ll last all day, it also claims to conceal imperfections, wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration, dark circles, etc. Need we say more?

Pros:

  • Oil-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons:

  • May not be waterproof

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6. EVXO Peek A Boo Organic Liquid Mineral Foundation – Alablaster

Here’s a water-based liquid foundation that’ll make you feel good about your makeup. The formula is certified organic and contains skin-loving ingredients such as chamomile, thyme, vitamin E, rosemary, and aloe vera juice. And as for the coverage, it goes on smoothly to deliver a non-greasy, natural, and dewy finish. Enjoy the touch of nature with this skin-friendly formula that is also free from harsh chemicals such as alcohol, sulfates, plastic, fillers, silicone, synthetic toxins, and more.

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Buildable coverage

Cons:

  • Not suitable if you are sensitive to smell

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7. Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation – Nudie Pie

How about a luxe experience every time you doll up? Give your skin a break with this lightweight water-based foundation on days when your regular foundation feels a tad bit heavy. Pick the right color and put your best face forward with its flawless and natural-looking finish. Available in 15 shades and packed in an elegant bottle, this matte liquid foundation contains charcoal powder, volcanic water from Jeju Island, and sodium hyaluronate to hydrate and nourish your skin effortlessly. It also contains moringa oil, sunflower seed oil, sea water, and dragon’s blood extract that offer detoxifying, skin-repairing, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Pros:

  • Buildable coverage
  • Long-wear
  • Cooling formula
  • Controls oil glands
  • Requires no touch-ups

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive

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8. Ecco Bella FlowerColor Natural Foundation – Natural

How about a beauty shield rather than a regular foundation for your skin? This cruelty-free water-based foundation will control your skin’s tantrums and leave a stunning glow. With the power of 3, it beautifies, treats, and protects the skin with every use. The plant-based formula contains apricot kernel oil, sunflower seed oil, honeysuckle flower extract, and aloe vera to nourish and protect skin from harmful environmental stressors. And are you dealing with blemishes or uneven skin tone? If yes, Ecco Bella’s natural and sheer coverage will conceal imperfections without leaving a cakey finish.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Mineral-based
  • Paraben-free
  • Long-lasting coverage
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons:

  • May not conceal spots or dark circles

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9. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation – Natural Tan

Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation will steal your heart with its undetectable and flawless second-skin-like natural coverage. Powered with SPF 15 to protect your skin from harmful rays and sun damage, this breathable, ultra-hydrating, and lightweight formula is what your skin deserves when the temperature rises. It leaves the skin moisturized, fresh and plump with every use, and it also contains light reflectors to enhance your natural glow. And the best part; it is free from harmful chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, mineral oil, triclosan, and more.

Pros:

  • Oil-free formula
  • Long-wear
  • Non-greasy
  • Natural finish
  • True-to-color payoff
  • Normal to dry skin

Cons:

  • Expensive

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10. Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation – P30

This antioxidant-rich foundation has the benefits of a moisturizer for normal to dry skin. When the temperature rises, this vegan foundation with vitamin E, C, F, and squalene will hydrate intensely, seal in moisture, and protect your skin from free radicals for up to 12 hours! And while it moisturizes the skin with its lightweight-creamy texture, it’ll leave a stunning, luminous, and soft-focus effect on the outside. With 12-hour hydration and natural coverage, the Cover FX Foundation is also free from harsh chemicals such as parabens, alkyl sulfates, gluten, mineral oil, talc, and more.

Pros:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Improves skin tone
  • Second-skin finish
  • Clinically-tested
  • Available in 40 shades

Cons:

  • Expensive

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11. Glam Air Matte Finish Airbrush Makeup – M3 Natural Nude

Do you have an open pore problem? This airbrush makeup foundation will not clog your pores and stay intact on your skin for up to 24 hours! Let your skin glow this season with a poreless and youthful appearance. This mattifying foundation also conceals beautifully and claims to hide all the spots, discolorations, rosacea, aging signs, and even dark circles to give you that naturally flawless coverage. Plus, it doesn’t smear, cake, or fade! So, the next time someone asks for a close-up selfie, pose confidently with this ultra-glam option.

Pros:

  • Matte finish
  • Non-flaking
  • Non-runny
  • Anti-acne formula
  • Normal to oily skin

Cons:

  • May take some time to dry

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12. Graftobian GlamAire Airbrush Beauty Makeup – Lady Fair (N)

Who doesn’t want a celebrity-like glow on their skin? And Graftobian GlamAire Airbrush Makeup will make it possible from the comfort of your home. The water-based foundation is buildable, easy to blend, and it goes on like a dream on the skin to leave a natural and non-glossy coverage. Water-based and powered by the glam goddesses (we think), this water-based foundation is the glow-getter to try and flaunt this summer.

Pros:

  • Silicone-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Comfortable wear
  • High-definition finish

Cons:

  • Contains paraben

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13. Ere Perez Quinoa Water Foundation

And this one melts! Call it a pampering foundation if you like; the Erez Perez Quinoa Water Foundation nourishes skin with its antioxidant and vitamin-rich anti-aging formula. Infused with quinoa to improve elasticity and soothe inflammation, the blend also has blackcurrants to fight aging signs such as fine lines, pigmentation, and redness. And as for the finish, it leaves a fresh and moisturized matte look.

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to blend
  • Rejuvenates skin
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Mess-free dropper

Cons:

  • Some may find it runny

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Let’s get your skin ready for the summer, girls! There you go, those were the 13 best water-based foundations of 2021 to try this season. Do you still need some buying tips? Or wondering how to remove a water-based foundation? Check out our buying guide below.

How To Choose The Best Water-Based Foundation

Look out for the following features before buying the product:

  • Skin tone

Choosing a foundation online is tricky, especially if you are trying a new product. Firstly, you must know your skin’s undertone and whether it is cool, warm, or neutral, as this will help in selecting the closest shade for your skin tone. To find out your undertone, check the veins on your forearms. Those with rosy-pink skin with blue-purple veins are said to have cool undertones. If you have olive-yellow skin with green-purple veins, you have warm undertones, and those in between have neutral undertones.

  • Skin type

Water-based foundations are ideal for oily and sensitive skin users, but they also work beautifully on normal, acne-prone, dry, and combination skin types. Water-based foundations with antioxidants and vitamins have moisturizing benefits and deliver a dewy effect on dry skin. However, if you have oily skin, look for a mattifying finish with a hydrating formula for shine control and to nourish skin at the same time.

  • Easy to blend

Choose a foundation that is easy to blend and build to get that natural and flawless coverage. Look out for the consistency of the foundation and the kind of coverage it delivers to get an idea of its blending needs. Foundations with liquidy consistency and light coverage blend better than those with a slightly thick texture and full coverage finish.

  • Foundation type

The best thing about liquid or water-based foundations is you can apply them in 2 ways — with a foundation brush or a spray gun. A foundation brush is best for textures that require blending and building for flawless coverage. Airbrush spray guns ensure the foundation sits optimally on the skin to give a stunning natural finish. Also, it’s hygienic as your skin does not come in contact with a brush or fingertips.

  • Ingredients

Firstly, to make sure it’s a water-based foundation, the ingredient list should have water or aqua as the primary content. Besides this, foundations with antioxidants and vitamins are great if you need a moisturizing and hydrating formula. However, avoid foundations that contain harsh chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, alcohol, SLS, silicones, mineral oils, talc, and more for the best experience.

How To Remove Water-Based Foundation?

Ideally, you must use a water-based makeup remover to remove a water-based foundation. A water-based makeup remover will continue to keep your skin hydrated like a foundation post makeup removal. Use a cotton swab or tissue and wipe the foundation gently from your face and neck areas. Follow it up with a water-based cleanser for deep cleaning.

Let’s beat the heat with a flawless summer glow this season! A foundation can make or break the look, so why risk using a regular one that can cake, flake, or crumble when the temperature rises. With a water-based foundation promising a “barely there” experience and natural coverage to conceal all the imperfections, they are a must-have in your summer beauty arsenal for those stunning and airbrushed selfies. Girls, let your skin glow under the sun and let the glow be natural with the best water-based foundation from our list. Wait no more! Go, pick your summer go-to foundation right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do water-based foundations cause acne?

No, water-based foundations that are non-comedogenic or mineral-based will not clog pores or trigger acne. Art of Air Airbrush Makeup, Ecco Bella Natural Foundation, and EVXO Organic Liquid Mineral Foundation are some of the best water-based foundations that are mineral-based and non-comedogenic.

Should you use a water-based foundation on acne-prone skin?

Absolutely! Water-based foundations are great for acne-prone and oily skin because they are oil-free, non-greasy, and high on water content for intense hydration. Besides this, some are non-comedogenic and mineral-based, making them ideal for acne-prone skin. Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup is a great example as it contains salicylic acid to fight and prevent acne.

What is the difference between silicone, oil, and water-based foundations?

Water-based foundations have water or aqua as the primary ingredient and are non-comedogenic, making them great for acne-prone, oily, and sensitive skin. However, they may not last long. Silicone-based makeup goes smoothly on the skin, is long-lasting, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, but their filling tendency may also lead to breakouts on sensitive or acne-prone skin. Oil-free foundations are great for oily skin users, and they last longer if used with an oil-free primer.

Which is better: water-based or silicone-based foundation?

Both foundations have their pros and cons. Water-based is ideal for sensitive, acne-prone, and all other skin types because they are non-comedogenic, lightweight, easy to blend, but may not last long. Silicone-based foundations blend easily, leave a smooth and flawless coverage, and have anti-aging benefits but can trigger acne for those with open pores and sensitive skin.

Can you use a beauty blender with a water-based foundation?

Yes! A beauty blender sponge is highly versatile, and you can use it with all types of makeup products, from BB creams, foundations, concealers, to even compact powder. The trick is to know how to use one (wet, squeeze, and dab!) to get the perfect makeup look.

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