Fluid Foundations: Your Summer Swap

We can all feel summer beginning to flood into our respective cities. New York is bright, warm, and sunny. I’m starting to see sandals and sundresses. With this change in weather, we need to also prepare for the hot, sticky, sweaty mess we all turn into when we’re frolicking beneath the summer sun.

I just bought my first one, and I am thrilled. Dior’s Nude Air is flawless. It’s light, offers full-coverage, keeps shine at bay, and feels amazing. What makes fluid foundations so different, and why might you want to consider investing in one? Allow me to explain.

These babies are way different than the traditional types of liquid foundation with which you might be more familiar. These fluid foundations are super watery and, well, fluid.

oh-yea-duhgif courtesy of reactiongifs.com

These water-textured foundations are packed with gravity-defying, airy pigment suspended in a liquid. They are not sheer, however. No no. You should know that this is still a foundation. It offers medium-full, to full coverage, which is great if you want this effect without wearing heavy foundation during the hot summer months. If you want just a touch of color or a more radiant finish, these lovelies aren’t going to be for you. If you want to makeup sure your makeup doesn’t slide off halfway through the day and your imperfections are camouflaged, fluid foundations are the way to go.

According to Fashionista, you aren’t going to want to use a BeautyBlender here. From personal experience, I can say the the fluid foundation gets sucked right up into the BeautyBlender. Alas. What they recommend is using your fingers to dot it around your face and pat it in, similar to a serum. This is actually way easier, because it’s kind of difficult to try and drip drops of the foundation on your face and then BeautyBlender-ize yourself. Just use your fingers!

You’ll notice how the liquid within the suspension evaporates after you apply it, and it leaves a soft, powder finish. The powder finish isn’t too strong, however, as some liquid-to-powder formulas are. It doesn’t leave a cakey mess behind. This powder finish is soft and blurry, providing extra protection for when your T-zone starts to get oily.

It looks natural, feels light, and is great for any skin type from oily to normal to slightly dry (if you’re super dry, I’d steer clear. Any powder is going to cling to your dry patches and make them more noticeable. Sorry, ladies).

These types of formulas are relatively new and becoming more popular, so they aren’t going to be cheap. There are some drugstore options you can try if you’re not ready, able, or willing to drop close to $60 on a designer-brand foundation.

Here are some of the latest fluid foundations available for you to try this summer, along with my personal review of the ones I’ve tried:

Dior Nude Air ($53)

Photo courtesy of Dior.com

Review: As I said, this is hands, down, my fave. I haven’t tried YSL or Giorgio Armani’s versions yet. Both are more expensive than the Dior, however, and I feel that, if it ain’t broke…

YSL Fusion Ink Foundation ($60)


Photo courtesy of sephora.com

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops ($44)


Photo courtesy of sephora.com

Review: Works great, just like the Dior Nude Air. You might be thinking, “Hey! It’s cheaper than Dior. Yussss.” Hold up, baby girl. This formula may be $44, but you get only HALF the amount you get from the $53 Dior Nude Air. That means you’re actually paying MORE per ounce of makeup. #JustSaying #SmartShopper

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide ($48)

Photo courtesy of sephora.com

Giorgio Armani Maestro ($64)

Photo courtesy of nordstrom.com

L’Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder ($10.99)


Photo courtesy lorealparis.com

Review: I found this to be way too watery with barely any coverage, even when I made sure to shake it up rather vigorously. Honestly, not even worth the cheap price.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($48)

s1677962-main-hero-300Photo courtesy of sephora.com

Note: This guy may say luminous, but he definitely isn’t. It leaves a more matte, powdery finish. So make sure you know that this is NOT going to look dewy and radiant. Nice try, NARS. This is still a fan favorite among beauty editors, however. I think the marketing tactic just sets you up for having contrary expectations.

Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Touch of Foundation ($7.11)

Nude-Dream Wonder Foundation-Pack

Photo courtesy of maybelline.com

Review: I was pleasantly surprised with this baby. It really melted into skin, and I had a difficult time distinguishing between it and the Dior Nude Air. I will say that the Maybelline Dream Wonder had less pigment, however. So it didn’t offer as much coverage as the Dior. It did hold up great on a warm, sunny day, though. Honestly, if you can’t or don’t feel like spending close to $50 on a foundation, just try layering this guy to up the level of coverage to your liking.

Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation ($65)

Photo courtesy of kevynaucoin.com

UPDATE: Since this article was published, other brands have released their own serum foundations, such as: Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(Marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate and tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation. The trend is HOT, people!

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