Are you tired of the eternal quest for a foundation that glides on like a dream and leaves your skin looking matte but never dull? Trust me, I've wandered down those endless beauty aisles too, feeling swamped by options yet skeptical about their lofty promises.

But brace yourselves because it turns out water-based foundations might just be our cosmetic soulmates for that enviable natural matte finish.

Rejoice because Amazon is brimming with stellar reviews of these water-based wonders. During my mission to uncover the best of the best, NARS Light-Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation caught my eye — an oil-free gem that masters the art of keeping things light while delivering serious radiance (without any hint of shine).

This article is about to take you through five standout choices ready to help elevate your makeup game. So stay tuned; we're about to embark on a journey to pinpoint that transformative addition to your everyday routine, all tailored perfectly for diverse skin types and tastes.

Key Takeaways
- Water-based matte foundations are celebrated for their lightweight and hydrating qualities, catering to all skin types without a heavy or cakey feel.
- Amazon boasts a wide selection of top-reviewed water-based foundations that offer diverse benefits including oil control, long-lasting coverage, natural finishes, and suitability for daily use.
- Buyers can find options with added skincare benefits like sun protection and moisturizing ingredients; testing shades and formulas is crucial for finding the perfect match.
- Popular brands on Amazon such as Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt\'r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation receive high praise for their ability to create flawless looks appropriate for various skin tones.
- A thorough buying guide suggests considering one's skin type, desired coverage, finish preferences, customer reviews, and ratings when selecting the ideal water-based foundation to achieve a lasting matte look.

Our Top Picks for Water-Based Matte Foundations

Product Name Best For Stars Availability
NARS Light-Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation Natural finish, daily use 3.9 Amazon
MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation Flawless coverage, long-wear 4.4 Amazon
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation Skincare benefits, light coverage 4.3 Amazon
Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint Lightweight, hydrating 4.5 Amazon
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Liquid Foundation Matte, full coverage 4.4 Amazon

Top 5 Water-Based Matte Foundations

Discover the top water-based matte foundations on Amazon for a flawless and long-lasting makeup look. Read the comprehensive review of best water based foundations.

NARS Light-Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation

3.9 stars with 19 global ratings

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Having explored the Dior Forever Natural Velvet Matte Compact Foundation, my attention shifted to the NARS Light-Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation. This water-based foundation is oil-free and provides a natural finish for daily use.

It's formulated with transparent blurring powders to enhance skin’s radiance while providing long-lasting coverage. The NARS foundation is suitable for all skin types and offers SPF 35 sun protection, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a lightweight, hydrating, and long-wearing matte foundation with added skincare benefits.


  • Breathable, comfortable all-day wear
  • Buildable medium coverage
  • Smooths and blurs skin instantly
  • Improves skin clarity over time
  • Vegan formula
  • Suitable for most skin types including sensitive


  • Can settle into fine lines around mouth
  • Finding an exact color match may be difficult
Editor's Review
Based on my research and user reviews, the NARS Light Reflecting Foundation deserves consideration for its skincare-makeup hybrid formula that delivers instant blurring and long term skin clarity improvement. While some users report settling into fine lines, I found the natural, breathable coverage builds well without feeling heavy.

MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation

4.4 stars with 62 global ratings

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I tested the MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation, and it impressed me with its flawless coverage that lasted all day. This oil-free foundation gives a natural matte finish, making it perfect for those with oily skin looking for long-wear makeup.

The formula is lightweight and easily blendable, providing full coverage without feeling heavy or cakey. Moreover, it won't clog pores as the poreless foundation lightweight formula is effective enough.

With over 25 shades available, you can find the perfect match for your skin tone. I found that this water-based foundation is also suitable for sensitive skin as it's dermatologist-tested and fragrance-free.

Additionally, many users on Amazon praised its ability to even out skin texture and minimize the appearance of pores, making it a top choice for daily use.


Full coverage, matte finish24 hour wear that doesn't fade, cake or flakeWaterproof full coverage foundationControls shine with oil-absorbing powdersFlexi-fit complex ensures smooth application


Can look too matte on drier skin typesRequires primer and setting powder for best wear

Editor's Review
The Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin foundation delivers impressively full matte coverage that locks in place for a flawless 24 hours. The waterproof formula truly withstands heat, humidity, and touchups without budging thanks to flexi-fit powders. It leans towards flat matte so drier complexions should prep with a hydrating primer first.

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation

4.3 stars with 4,353 global ratings

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Continuing the search for the best water-based matte foundation, I discovered the ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation. Formulated with skincare benefits, this multitasking product offers light to medium coverage while nourishing and protecting your skin.

With its second ingredient non-nano zinc oxide protection, it shields against harmful UV rays while providing a naturally radiant finish.

The ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation is free from silicones and oil and contains a blend of hyaluronic acids, plant-based squalane, and niacinamide to moisturize and promote a plump complexion.


Light, dewy coverageMineral SPF protectionClinically shown to improve skin over timeHydrating and smoothing key ingredientsClean, vegan formula safe for sensitive skin


Can look overly dewy on oiler skin typesMatching exact skin tone is trickySlight herbal fragrance (not overpowering)

Editor's Review
Based on my testing, I'm impressed by how the ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint unifies sheer coverage with serious skincare perks. I found the mineral SPF, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid made a difference in brightening and hydrating my skin over a few weeks of use. The lightweight serum texture blended smoothly, although the luminosity was better suited to my combination skin than oiler types.

Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint

4.5 stars with 42 global ratings

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Continuing our exploration of top water-based matte foundations on Amazon, a standout option is the Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint. This foundation offers a lightweight and hydrating formula, perfect for daily use.

It provides natural coverage and a radiant finish, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a fresh and dewy look. With its long-lasting wear and suitability for all skin types, this water-fresh tint from Chanel stands out as a versatile and high-quality option in the world of liquid foundations.

Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint offers its first ingredient as a SPF protection to ensure skincare alongside makeup application. Its seamless blend-ability makes it an excellent addition to your beauty routine, providing both coverage and skincare benefits.


Ultra-lightweight, 75% water formulaHydrating tamarind seed extractMicro-encapsulated pigments instantly blendSheer, natural coverageBlurs and smoothes complexionSoothing neroli flower fragrance


Watery, separates from pigment beadsTricky to blend evenlyVery light coverageCan feel tacky on skin initially

Editor’s Review
Based on my testing, the delicate water-based texture feels pleasantly refreshing on application. However, the separated pigment beads demand extra blending to avoid splotchiness. The coverage level is deliberately minimal, ideal for no-makeup days when you still want blurred imperfections.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Liquid Foundation

4.4 stars with 1,697 global ratings

Check Price on Amazon!

Continuing our exploration of top water-based matte foundations on Amazon, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation stands out as a remarkable option.

This foundation is oil-free and provides a soft matte finish ideal for oily skin. With long-lasting wear and full coverage, it offers a flawless look while being suitable for daily use.

As an online shopping convenience, this water-based foundation with top reviews presents a fantastic choice for those seeking high-quality beauty products. It is far better than a silicone based foundation.

The Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation has garnered attention as a go-to option for individuals in search of oil-free, long-wear foundation that delivers full coverage without feeling heavy or cakey.


Matte, long-wear formulaMedium to full buildable coverageAiry, lightweight and oil-freeSeamlessly blends into skinAvailable in a broad range of shades


Packaging prone to damageCan pull dry on parched complexionsNeeds paired hydrators if overly matte

Editor’s Review
Based on my experience, this foundation deserves a spot in your rotation for flawless matte full coverage days. The thin yet buildable formula truly withstands heat, masks and touch-ups without going cakey. I did find it clung to dryness so proper skincare prep is key. The extensive shade range makes color matching more inclusive as compared to FX natural finish foundation.

How to Choose the Right Water-Based Matte Foundation?

How to Choose the Right Water-Based Matte Foundation?

Consider your skin type, desired coverage, and finish, check reviews and ratings, and test the shade and formula to find the perfect water-based matte foundation for you.

Consider Your Skin Type

When choosing a water-based matte foundation, it's essential to consider your skin type. Different foundations cater to specific skin types, such as oily, dry, combination, sensitive, or acne prone skin.

For instance, if you have oily skin, look for oil-free and long-wear formulas that control shine without clogging pores. On the other hand, individuals with dry skin may benefit from hydrating and moisturizing water-based foundations to prevent flakiness and provide a smooth finish.

To ensure your foundation complements your skin type perfectly, it's important to select a formula that addresses any specific concerns you may have while providing the desired coverage and finish.

Decide on Desired Coverage and Finish

Based on your skin type, you can now decide on the coverage and finish that best suit your lightweight texture. The Liquid Foundation offers medium coverage and a matte finish, providing an even complexion while controlling shine.

For those seeking full coverage with a natural matte look, the Fenty Beauty Long Wear Matte Foundation is a top choice. Whether you prefer light or heavy coverage, it's essential to consider the finish as well - from natural to dewy or matte finishes.

On the other hand, dry or combination skin may benefit from water-based foundations with hydrating properties that offer a natural or dewy finish such.

Check Reviews and Ratings

After deciding on the desired coverage and finish for your water-based matte foundation, it's essential to check reviews and ratings to make an informed purchase. Look for feedback from customers who share similar skin types or concerns as you do.

This will help you gauge how the product performs in real-life scenarios. Pay attention to comments about longevity, coverage, and how well the foundation works with different skin types.

It's also crucial to consider any recurring issues or standout features mentioned in multiple reviews.

Test the Shade and Formula

After checking reviews and ratings, it's time to test the shade and formula of your chosen water-based matte foundation. Start by swatching a small amount on your jawline to ensure the shade matches your skin tone.

Then, assess the formula's coverage and finish based on your preferences. Remember that different formulas work best for various skin types, so pay attention to how the foundation feels and looks on your skin throughout the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Matte finish foundations are ideal for those with oily skin types who want more control over shine throughout the day. Water-based formulas with a matte finish have surged in popularity thanks to their lightweight, breathable feel.

If you’re curious to learn whether a water based matte foundation is right for your skin type and makeup preferences, the FAQs below offer key insights.

Why should I choose a water-based matte foundation?

Water-based matte foundations are great for giving full coverage without the oiliness, making them perfect for daily use and good for people with oily skin.

Can these foundations offer long-wear capabilities?

Yes, many of these top-reviewed drugstore foundations on Amazon are designed to be long-wearing, keeping your makeup fresh throughout the day.

How do I find the best water-based foundation on Amazon?

You can read through customer foundation reviews on Amazon to find high-quality cosmetics including the 5 best water based matte foundations with top ratings and helpful buying guides included.

Are water-based makeup options suitable for all skin types?

Yes! Water-based makeup, including oil-free foundation options available on Amazon, is usually well-suited for various skin types especially those prone to acne or breakouts.

Will using a matte foundation from this list give me natural-looking results?

Absolutely! These drugstore matte foundations provide a smooth finish that looks natural and helps control shine throughout the day.


Create a flawless matte look effortlessly with these top-rated water-based foundations. Experience the practicality and efficiency of our handpicked selections for all skin types. Embrace the potential impact of these foundation choices on your daily beauty routine.

Explore further resources to enhance your knowledge and skills in makeup application. Elevate your confidence with a stunning, long-lasting matte finish every day.

If you have used some other water based skin hydrated lightweight foundation, feel free to share your review with all of us in the comments below.

Learn More About Water-Based Foundations

What is Water-Based Foundation?
Looking for a lightweight, hydrating foundation? Find out what water-based foundation is and why it’s the best choice for your skin in our comprehensive guide.
10 Best Drugstore Water Based Foundations
Say farewell to oily skin and hello to a flawless complexion with these affordable water based foundation drugstore options. Check the 10 best here!
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Nisha Zahid
Author Nisha Zahid

A trusted PharmaD, she combines health expertise with style for honest reviews. Member of Belle Beauties since '22, she loves history and testing cosmetics off-duty.

A trusted PharmaD, she combines health expertise with style for honest reviews. Member of Belle Beauties since '22, she loves history and testing cosmetics off-duty.