Do I need liquid foundations in my kit?
No, but it's nice to have. Liquid foundations are a little more user-friendly. They don't usually require adjusting to get the right texture and consistency and it's harder to jack up the application by applying too thickly or thinly. In this regard, they make your job faster.
On the other hand, liquid foundations are bulky, heavy, and take up precious kit space. Since we are trying to keep a tight, multifunctional kit that won't give us a hump when we're 55 years old, adding liquid foundations is a move that requires some creativity. They will need to be depotted and sometimes (pretty much always), that can be a pain.
But, if you really want to add a liquid foundation to your kit, here are my recommendations.
Note: All of these are silicone-based foundations. I have really bad relationship with water-based foundations, so we broke up and I don't use or recommend them. If you're looking for a silicone-free option, check out my cream foundation recommendations, which are mostly wax or oil-based. :-)
Base: silicone Color Range: runs yellow but has amazing adjusters Longevity: works well on normal to dry skin tones, not great for oily skin
Cost: $37 per bottle
Packaging: make sure to purchase the Pro version that comes in a smaller plastic pump bottle vs the consumer version that comes in a heavy frosted glass pump bottle. Pros: beautiful finish, holds up well to heat, silicone makes it more water-resistant, easy to get a good color match with the adjusters
Cons: pricey, must be ordered online, comes from Canada, so shipping is costly.
This is my favorite liquid foundation as it creates dewy texture that looks like real skin. It's buildable and easily sheered out. A small amount goes a long way, so it's economical if you can get passed the initial investment. You MUST get the adjusters -- at least Zero Minus, Zero ++, Heat, Blaze, and Pink. You can also use the adjuster Zero Plus as a bronzer. This range runs yellow, so these adjusters are necessary to get a perfected skin tone.
I recommend keeping them in their original bottles if you have the kit space or depotting them into squeeze tubes: https://www.qosmedix.com/squeeze-bottle-with-flip-top-cap-29280
My favorite way to depot them is in Yaby squeeze tubes, but they are often sold out. https://www.blurmakeuproom.com/collections/yaby/products/yaby-liquid-travel-pack
This foundation is very similar to Georgio Armani Luminous Silk Perflect Glow Flawless Foundation, which is $64 per bottle and is commonly used as an affordable duplicate.
Base: silicone Color Range: super wide range of warm and neutral colors with some cool tones Longevity: works well on all skin types with the right skin prep and setting
Cost: $43 per bottle
Packaging: not kit friendly -- the bottles are bulky and they tend to leak.
Pros: beautiful finish, holds up well to heat, silicone makes it more water-resistant, there is a shade for everyone, but it would be costly for you to invest in every color, sold at Sephora and Ultra, so you can get this locally or order online.
Cons: pricey if you're ordering a lot of colors, needs to be depotted
This is a versatile liquid foundation that will work for any skin type with the right skin prep, application, and setting technique. I suggest buying 9 colors: three warm, three neutral, and three cool and using Temptu Airbrush S/B Adjusters to achieve your color match.
Base: silicone Color Range: 12 colors that mostly pull pink -- need adjusters Longevity: works well on all skin types with the right skin prep and setting
Cost: $12.99 per bottle
Packaging: these are packaged in squeeze bottles, so they are pretty kit friendly, although they are a bit large
Pros: cost-effective, similar texture to Face Aterlier, maybe just a touch thinner
Cons: color range is limited and a bit pink
This is a great beginner option if you're just starting to build your kit. It's affordable and easily-accessible. Does it perform as well as some more professional options? No, but it's a great start. The color range is my biggest issue with it and I do find that on some skins, it just doesn't lay as well as it does on others. The heavy silicone content may make it tricky on super oily skin, but should be ok with proper skin prep and the correct setting technique.
Base: silicone Color Range: 8 colors, pretty limited Longevity: works well on normal to dry skin
Cost: $58 to $82 per bottle
Packaging: this foundation comes in two types of packaging: a pen or a glass bottle. The pen is meant for consumers, but it is airtight and you click the pen to dispense the product onto a palette. The glass bottles are heavy, so the foundation would need to be depotted.
Pros: this is foundation is thick, but sheers out beautifully, looks like skin, a little goes a long way
Cons: expensive, color range is limited and needs adjusting, packaging can be annoying or require depotting
This foundation is an investment but it's definitely worth it in the end, especially if you're looking for a natural finish and you work on a lot of dry skin.
Base: silicone Color Range: 12 colors + adjusters Longevity: works well on all skin types but oily skins need extra skin prep
Cost: $10 to $105 depending on size
Packaging: squeeze bottles that range from kit friendly to too big, depending on the size you buy.
Pros: buildable coverage suitable for most skin types
Cons: expensive to use airbrush foundation as a hand-applied option, colors lean yellow and need adjusting
It is not economical to use an airbrush foundation as a liquid foundation, but Temptu S/B is viscous enough that you can apply it with a brush or sponge. This is best used in conjunction with spot-concealing so you don't have to depend on the foundation for coverage. This is a good solution for artists who airbrush regularly and do not want to carry a bunch of different products. This is also good for artists who are typically doing very natural, sheer foundation applications.
This foundation is available in three sizes: .25oz (the trial size that come in starter kits), 1oz, and 4oz bottles.