Water Based Foundation Brands



Hey Ya’ll!

Spring and Summer are upon us (thank. GOODNESS!), so I thought it would be an appropriate time to recommend some lightweight, water-based foundations to you that will keep your skin looking and feeling good all season.  It’s important to remember that since they are sheer, water-based and not cream or oil-based foundations, they will not provide much coverage.  Instead, they will slightly even the out the skin, yet still showcase it’s unique qualities; and finish with a healthy, natural glow.  Just remember, whether your skin is oily, dry, or combination; exfoliation is essential not only for the health of the skin, but especially for this look as well!

Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Vivian, can’t I just take put a bunch of sheer/water-based foundation on to turn it into a full coverage foundation?” NOPE!  That’s the beauty of foundation, it’s always created with a set amount of coverage built-in.  What’s sheer coverage will be sheer to medium coverage (at best) when applied in layers; and what’s full coverage will become even more full (at best), when applied in layers.

Since water-based foundations have a thin, watery consistency, it’s best to apply them with a fluffy foundation brush, A sponge will absorb too much of the product, and a flat foundation brush would not be able to hold it as well.  But, again, their sheer qualities are what make them most beautiful.

Remember, if medium to full coverage is what you’re looking for, then a water-based foundation is NOT for you.  Alternatively, you could build a foundation wardrobe which is a collection of multiple foundations that have a diverse range of coverages that you can wear depending on the occasion and how you feel, etc.

The word, “foundation” often scares people but truly it isn’t defined by the coverage it offers, but rather it’s defined as particles of pigment suspended in a liquid, cream, gel or powder.The options below are perfect for those days when you want a little coverage but don’t want to wear a traditional “foundation”. 

As it stands today, there are a few solid cosmetic companies that make a sheer, water-based foundation for women of color (WOC), so I’ve broken the list down by, “Fair to Medium Tones”, and “Medium to Deep Tones”.   Even though some of the Fair to Medium recommendations also make deeper colors, the undertones or even shade themselves still tend to look a liiiiitttttttle off.

TAKE MY WORD FOR IT… I’ve tried every foundation and still continue to, and these are the best of the best within the two categories.  ENJOY!!



1.) PERRICONE MD, “No Makeup Foundation” SPF 30 $40.00

The premise of Perricone’s “No Makeup, Makeup” line is exactly what the title states.  The suite of products are designed to make you look finished, but never overdone.  SERIOUSLY… this is the most beautiful foundation and foundation serum for fair – medium skin tones, and even contain anti-aging serums in them as well!








2.) Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation –$46.00

Charlotte Tilbury is a British Makeup Artist who is famous for developing Tom Ford’s cosmetic line, and has now branched out on her own having experienced continued success.  This line and it’s esthetic is absolutely beautiful, definitely worth a try!








3.) Hourglass Veil Mineral Foundation- $60.00

This foundation is absolutely beautiful.  Since It’s always skin care first with me, I LOVE that this brand puts clinical levels of anti-aging properties in their makeup.  Plus, they’re a vegan, luxury brand.  What could be better than that?












4.) MAC Face and Body Foundation- $29.00

Le original sheer, water-based foundation.  It’s so beautiful and literally comes in every shade.  THIS HAS TRULY been a kit staple for me since my 2003-2013 MAC Artist days.








5.) Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 $50.00

Long-wearing formula that leaves the skin looking fresh with a natural glow.  You’ll need to naturally have a cool/golden undertone to wear this foundation, as her foundations do not come in warm/red undertones.









6.) Makeup Forever Water Blend Face and Body Foundation- $43.00

This water-gel formula is 80% water,  it provides the sheerest of coverages, and finishes with a naturally dewy glow.








Though some affiliate links are used in this post, my professional recommendations and advice will never be sold, and are solely a result of my Beauty and Lifestyle styling expertise.  

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