Best & Worst ~ Testing Liquid Foundations for Dry, Mature Skin

Last year I tested almost 50 foundations and found a handful that made my mature, normal/oily skin look good. But this year, my skin is dry so those foundations aren’t working for me now, so the search begins all over again and I find myself testing liquid foundations for dry, mature skin. Luckily, my viewers have been telling me about their favorites all year so I have it narrowed down to the 7 they like the best.

I like to level the playing field to compare how the foundations wear, so I don’t use primer, concealer or setting powder for the tests, and I apply them all the same way. In this case I used a slightly damp blending sponge. I got samples of the 4 high-end foundations, and bought the 3 drug store brands. Results are below in order from worst to best!

2014 Liquids Thumb

The 7 Foundations I Tested:
Revlon ColorStay, Bourjois Healthy Mix, CoverGirl Outlast, Nars Sheer Glow,
Urban Decay Naked Skin, YSL Le Teint Touch Eclat, Lancome Teint Visionnaire

Lancome Visionalre Duo~ $60 ~ 1 oz. ~ 40 Shades ~ airtight pump

Lancome Visionaire 1

Lancome Visionnaire ~ Very nice sample pack includes corrector

Claims: What if a foundation could transform your skin in 4 weeks? Naturally evens out complexion flawlessly and visibly improves pores and fine lines day after day. Concentrated in LR-2412 the active ingredient in Visionnaire serum.

Contains: Denatured Alcohol (7th),  silicones, may contain bismuth, no parabens

1st Impressions: I went in for Tient Idole, the sales girl could not match me (even though it comes in 40 shades), and after 20 minutes I came out with Visionnaire. She said it’s better for “women my age”! It’s a runny liquid. Goes on shiny, has lots of color, but little coverage, can see unevenness through it. Clings to dry skin & settles into lines & wrinkles.

Lancome BA

Left: No Makeup, Right: Lancome Visionnaire

Wear: Unknown, had to remove it was so awful. It gives me wrinkles I don’t even have. Daughter said: “What’s wrong with your face? You look waxy!” Wore it for only 20 minutes, already started to get itchy and dry feeling. Will never know what it does for skin in 4 weeks… couldn’t keep it on for 4  minutes!

Lancome Visionnaire immediately settles into wrinkles

Lancome Visionnaire immediately settles into and magnifies wrinkles

Nars Sheer Glow ~ $45 ~ 1 oz. ~  17 shades ~ Open top glass bottle, can buy pump $6 extra 

Nars Sheer Glow

Claims: A glowing, natural radiant finish with sheer & buildable coverage that immaculately evens skin tone. For normal to dry skin. Hydrates for softer smoother skin. Contains anti-oxidants.

Contains: mainly silicones, a speck of vitamin e, no parabens

1st Impressions: Went on really smoothly, easy to blend. Has a nice dewey finish, not overly shiny, not matte. Did a good job evening out skintone. Would need just a touch of concealer. Medium coverage, not sheer, buildable. Pores and wrinkles look good. Nice finish, seems like a good one!

Nars BDA

Left: No Makeup, Center: Nars Sheer Glow, Right: After 8 hours

Wear: Not good. It’s a dust collector. It stays slightly tacky and things stick to it. It smears on the phone. At 4 hours it settled into pores and wrinkles. Partly worn off at 8 hours, yet became very shiny. At 10 hours, it was migrating around and clumping in weird places. Daughter said: “You look greasy, you have polka dot face.” On the plus side it was comfortable and non-drying.

Nars Wear Closeup

Nars Sheer Glow
Very shiny and worn off after 8 hours

CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-In-1 ~ $12.99 ~ 1 oz. ~ 14 shades ~ airtight pump

CoverGirl 3in1

Claims: Longwear foundation designed to stay fabulous all day because it has concealer and primer built in. Smooth even coverage, spf 20

Contains: Silicones, talc, wax, Ensulizole 3% sunscreen only protects against UVB rays, it does contain less than 1% of titanium dioxide so it doesn’t provide adequate UVA coverage.

1st Impressions: Liquidy but not runny, good coverage, sets up quickly. One pump not enough to cover face,  need more. Blends nicely on skin, not shiny, good on pores and wrinkles… Nice!

Cover Girl BDA

Left: No Makeup, Center: CoverGirl 3-In-1, Right: After 8 hours

Wear: A mixed bag. Longwearing and looks good from a distance. Up close, not so much. It wore off in patches, settled into pores, had dry and flaky looking areas. Too bad it was drying and flaky, it looked really nice at the start.

Cover Girl Nose Flakes

CoverGirl Outlast 3-In-1
Drying and flaky

YSL Le Tient Touche Eclat ~ $57~ 1 oz. ~ 16 shades ~ airtight pump bottle

Claims: A weightless illuminating foundation. The magic of touché éclat in a foundation with the added benefit of spf 19. Targets shadowy areas and highlights the contours of the face. Evens out the complexion enhancing your skins natural beauty.

Contains: No parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals GMOs, Phthalates, triclosan. Mainly silicones, may contain bismuth

1st Impressions: Highly pigmented, sheer and light. 1 coat evens out skintone, luminous finish. Doesn’t look or feel heavy. Did not settle into lines & wrinkles, pores ok.


Left: No Makeup, Center: YSL Teint Touche Eclat, Right: After 8 hours

Wear: Not long wearing. Very shiny by end of day. Some dry and flaky spots so not really moisturizing. Comfortable to wear.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup ~ $39 ~ 1 oz. ~ 18 shades ~ airtight pump

Contains: No parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, gmos, triclosan. Does contain: matrixyl 3000, green tea, sodium hyaluronate, vitamin e, vitamin c, silicones.

Claims: The best of both worlds! Light as air, buildable coverage looks and feels like you’re wearing nothing. A weightless virtually invisible liquid foundation that creates a luminous demi-matte finish. Formulated with light diffusing spheres transforming you to look professionally retouched. Buildable.

1st Impressions: A runny liquid, very very sheer coverage, took a lot of product to get some coverage. Lives up to it’s claim of being invisible. Took work to get it to blend right for something so sheer. Pores and wrinkles look good. Finish is just right, not too shiny, not to matte.

UD Naked BDA

Left: No Makeup, Center: Urban Decay Naked Skin, Right: After 8 hours

Wear: Comfortable to wear, felt moisturizing. Finish stayed the same, so not overly shiny or dry looking. Not long wearing. Pores and wrinkles weren’t magnified and it didn’t settle into them! Mostly worn off at 8 hours.


Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Normal/Dry Skin ~ $11.99 ~ 1 oz. ~ 12 shades ~ open top glass bottle

Claims: Longwearing coverage with lightweight formula that won’t cake, fade, or rub off. Time release technology to continuously provide hydration. Spf 15

Contains: Silicones, flower extracts, vitamin e, retinol, parabens, may contain bismuth

1st Impressions: Pretty sheer coverage, can still see uneven skin tone etc. Spread evenly, but hard to blend in some areas. Took double the amount to cover face, but coverage still sheer so not really buildable. Pores look good, glides over pores. Settled into wrinkles at first. Good finish for me, more matte than luminous.

Revlon BDA

Left: No Makeup, Center: Revlon ColorStay, Right: After 8 hours

Wear: Looked good from a distance all day. Not particularly moisturizing. Not great up close. Lived up to claims of being lightweight, not caking, fading or rubbing off. But, it did create flakes in some areas.

Bourjois Healthy Mix ~ $15 ~ 1 oz. ~ 6 shades ~ airtight pump

Claims: 70% more radiance, flawless complexion for up to 16 hours. Hydrated and luminous skin. Contains apricot for radiance, melon for hydration, and apple to protect skin’s youth. Enriched with crystalline pigments to give you an even complexion & healthy glow.

Contains: water, silicones, vitamin e, denatured alcohol (11th), no parabens

1st Impressions: Easy to apply, blends smoothly. Sheer but highly pigmented. Evens out skintone, dries to a soft non-tacky finish. Semi-matte, no shine. Pores & wrinkles minimized, no settling .

Bourjois BDA

Left: No Makeup, Center: Bourjois Healthy Mix, Right: After 8 hours

Wear: Very good, really like! Comfortable, not drying, very little flaking. No creasing or settling. No oxidizing. No phone transfer. Daughter said (unsolicited):” I like your makeup, it looks creamy.” Hubs said: “Nice makeup, it looks healthy.”

I can’t say I found my “holy grail” in this batch, but I can definitely see why these are favorites for lots of people. None of the 7 I tested in this round are as good as my favorites from last year (Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid and Estee Lauder Double Wear Light). So the search continues. . .

Click Here to Read My 2013 Year-End Wrap of the Best Foundations for Mature Skin

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