I've tested and tried four dozen liquid foundations in the past several months and rounded up a definitive list of the best liquid foundations and tints on the market.
Face Atelier Ultra Foundation
Ideal for mature skin or skin in need of more coverage
"Because looking good is the best revenge!" These words, scribbled in ivory print on the side of the charcoal box that houses this miraculous liquid foundation, had me reminiscing of that one mean girl in high school with the perfect skin and hair. And while I've no desire to get even, I'm happily faking that creamy complexion I once envied. My secret? Face Atelier's silicone-based Ultra Foundation, which forms a lightweight, breathable second skin that appears flawless. Get it for $45 at faceatelier.com.
Olay Definity Color Recapture
Ideal for dry skin or those looking for all-in-one SPF, moisturizer and tint
This product may not be a second skin in a bottle, but it's not meant to be. What Olay's Definity Color Recapture sets out to do, it accomplishes with aplomb, serving up a skin-saving multitasker, ideal for daily use. Boasting SPF 15, this sheer tinted moisturizer offers a hint of color, slight glow and splash of hydration to boot. (The folks at Olay also say the product treats "both color and texture imperfections.") Plus, you can pluck it off the shelves of your local drugstore for less than 30 bucks.
Youngblood's Deep Sea Hydrating Complex Liquid Mineral Foundation
Ideal for problem skin and those looking to cover imperfections
Available in hues to complement skin from very fair, think "Pebble," to dark, as in "Barbados," this hydrating liquid foundation is packed with minerals and botanicals including Calendula extract, Allantoin, Cucumber, Green Tea and more. Primarily sold at upscale medical spas and beauty boutiques such as In the Pink in Brandon, the Youngblood collection is also available online; $43 at ybskin.com.
Maybelline's Super Stay Makeup 24HR
Ideal for all-nighters
I've become so disgruntled with the extraordinary claims on certain drugstore brands of late that I was expecting to be disappointed with the performance of Maybelline's Super Stay Makeup. Well pardon me, Maybelline, I misjudged you. While I can't swear that the makeup will last for 24 hours — I'm no longer 21 so I don't party all night anymore — I can attest that the makeup is natural looking, long lasting and transfer resistant. Meaning it stays on your face instead of transferring to clothes or, worse yet, other people. Best of all, it sells for about $10 at local drugstores.
Sue Devitt's Hydrating Minerals Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
Ideal for dry and mature skin
Sue Devitt's Hydrating Minerals Tinted Moisturizer not only protects skin from the sun, it also protects the skin from environmental exposure and premature photo-aging. I found the rich, hydrating formula to be better suited to dry skin than oily. True to its name, the lightly colored formula provides a hint of coverage and color paired with a heaping helping of hydration thanks to a formula that is rich in shea butter and ceramides. Get it for $40 at suedevittbeauty.com
Alison Raffaele's Face Forward Primer
Pair any of these best in class foundations with my favorite primer: Alison Raffaele's Face Forward; $44 at alisonraffaele.com. Available in an "Acne Response" formula to fight blemishes or an "Age Response" formula that promotes new collagen production, either formula will work to minimize pores and create a smooth canvas for foundation application, no matter your brand of choice.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.