Skip to main content
Advice

Which are the best water based foundations?

Which are the best water based foundations?
Team LF
Writer and expert10 months ago
View Team LF's profile

Water based foundations are great if you like lightweight coverage and a natural looking finish. However, they are also super to use in your makeup routine if you have especially dehydrated skin, or skin that is prone to excess shine and gets a little oily throughout the day.

If you suffer from severely oily skin, these may not be mattifying enough for you (read about our best foundations for oily skin here), but if you need a little extra coverage, these are our favourite options.

Why are water based foundations great for all skin types (including oily)?

A lot of water based foundations tend to be oil-free, making them great if you suffer from excess shine. However, even if they're not, the high water content in them makes them super nourishing without being heavy, meaning your skin stays hydrated without becoming shiny or oily throughout the day.

Additionally, water based foundations are super lightweight and can be built-up to your desired coverage without going cakey, making them great if you do suffer from excess shine (which can typically break up makeup molecules and leave your skin looking streaky).

Which are the best water based foundations?

  1. Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation
  2. Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Soft Matte Hydra Makeup
  3. Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation
  4. MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation
  5. bareMinerals barePRO Liquid Foundation
  6. NYX Total Control Drop Foundation
  7. Chantecaille Future Skin Oil-Free Foundation
  8. Pixi H20 Skintint

8 of the best water based foundations 2021

Discover our selection of the best water based foundations below for beautifully hydrated and luminous skin.

Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation

Cover FX's Natural Finish Foundation has been specially formulated with a water-base to help deliver unrivalled hydration into the skin without making it look shiny. The formula is also infused with Vitamins C and E to shield against environmental aggressors, making it a great foundation if you live in a city and are concerned with the effects of pollution on your skin.

Buildable and with a natural satin finish, it melts into the skin upon application to give your complexion a flawless glow.

  • Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

    Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

    5 Stars 1 Reviews
    £23.40

Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Soft Matte Hydra Makeup

Estée Lauder's Double Wear Light Soft Matte Hydra Makeup is infused with hyaluronic acid to hydrate, whilst also boasting incredible oil-controlling properties to keep shine at bay. It has a super lightweight texture which blends effortlessly into the skin and leaves the complexion flawless and natural with coverage that lasts all day.

The foundation is also non-acnegenic and fragrance-free, making it great if you suffer from sensitivity or breakouts.

  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Soft Matte Hydra Makeup SPF10 (Various Shades)

    Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Soft Matte Hydra Makeup SPF10 (Various Shades)

    4.8 Stars 65 Reviews
    from
    £31.05

Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation

Formulated with a super high water concentration, the Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation provides 18 hours of hydration without making the skin go shiny. With a lightweight, natural and matte finish, the face base keeps oil at bay and is fragrance-free so won't cause irritation or aggravation.

It also contains pearlescent pigments which add radiance so that even though the skin looks mattified, it doesn't look flat. As a result, this is one of our favourite water based foundations when our skin looks a little fatigued.

  • Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation SPF15 30ml

    Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation SPF15 30ml

    4.59 Stars 22 Reviews
    from
    £30.60

MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation

As it's name suggests, MAC's Studio Waterweight Foundation is a unique water based serum-gel foundation that provides 8-hour wear against sweat, heat and humidity. Using a water-base, it provides continual hydration throughout the day without adding excess shine, while its elastic formulation works into the skin as you apply for a gorgeously flawless finish.

It's both cake-resistant and streak-free, and won't go patchy throughout the day, making it great with anyone who has a slightly oily or combination complexion.

  • MAC Studio Waterweight SPF 30/PA++ Foundation (Various Shades)

    MAC Studio Waterweight SPF 30/PA++ Foundation (Various Shades)

    4.18 Stars 11 Reviews
    from
    £28.00

bareMinerals barePRO Liquid Foundation

bareMinerals is a brand synonymous with being perfect for anyone with slightly oily or blemished skin thanks to its blend of mineral pigments which are breathable and lightweight.

Their barePRO Liquid Foundation has unique Mineral Lock™ Long Wear Technology, which contains mineral pigments and lipids to hydrate and keep the makeup in place for 24 hours. Its blend of nourishing ingredients hydrate the skin without feeling heavy, and it's both non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic, as well as being free from oil, making it great for oily skin types.

  • bareMinerals BAREPRO 24-Hour Full Coverage Liquid Foundation SPF20

    bareMinerals BAREPRO 24-Hour Full Coverage Liquid Foundation SPF20

    4.51 Stars 61 Reviews
    £26.35

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

The second ingredient in NYX's Total Control Drop Foundation is water, making it one of the most hydrating yet lightweight water based foundations we have ever tried. It's perfect for wearing as a sheer and natural face base, or building up for a fuller coverage finish. It has a custom application which makes it easy to distribute the right amount of product for you, and comes in a huge shade range so you can find the right colour for your skin tone.

  • NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation (Various Shades)

    NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation (Various Shades)

    4.29 Stars 7 Reviews
    from
    £11.20

Chantecaille Future Skin Oil-Free Foundation

Made with 60% water, Chantecaille's Future Skin Oil-Free Foundation is perfect for oily and combination skin types as it's incredibly hydrating whilst also being oil-free. Aloe leaf and camellia extract soothe the skin, while a blend of colour pigments blur imperfections and give the appearance of a flawless complexion. The buildable formula can be worn sheer for a natural finish or built-up to your desired finish.

  • Chantecaille Future Skin Oil-Free Foundation 30g

    Chantecaille Future Skin Oil-Free Foundation 30g

    4.33 Stars 9 Reviews
    from
    £68.00

Pixi H20 Skintint

Enriched with rose water, green tea, chamomile and lavender, Pixi's H20 Skintint is made from the very best botanicals to nourish and soothe the skin without clogging pores. Lightweight and breathable, it helps to conceal minor imperfections and provide sheer coverage when you need a little extra concealing without wearing a full face base.

  • PIXI H2O Skintint - 1 Cream 35ml

    PIXI H2O Skintint - 1 Cream 35ml

    4.67 Stars 12 Reviews
    £24.00
  • PIXI H2O Skintint - 2 Nude 35ml

    PIXI H2O Skintint - 2 Nude 35ml

    4.82 Stars 11 Reviews
    £24.00
  • PIXI H2O Skintint - 3 Warm 35ml

    PIXI H2O Skintint - 3 Warm 35ml

    5 Stars 2 Reviews
    £24.00

Enjoy this? Try our best dewy foundation or best cushion foundation guides.

Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.
lfint