Since I've started wearing foundation regularly, after graduating from college (I won't say how many years ago), the only foundation I've worn has been BareMinerals Original Mineral Foundation. It was new at the time and having never worn foundation before, I found the mineral foundation to be easy to apply and provided good coverage for my then-young skin.
Fast forward to the present. My skin is no longer as supple and clear as it used to be. I've always had some dark spots from my younger days of playing in the sun without wearing sunscreen (that wasn't a thing back in the 80s!), but recently, I've noticed the dark spots getting darker and spreading out a bit more. I've also noticed that my skin has become more "combination" skin, with the t-zone more oily and the rest of the face a bit dryer versus my old "normal" skin. The mineral foundation didn't seem to last as long with the combo skin and was breaking up and looking patchy towards the afternoon.
I saw BareMinerals' new BareSkin foundation in the stores last year and decided to give it a go. It seemed easy enough to put two drops on the special foundation brush it came with and brush it across my face. I instantly fell in love with this. It gave me more coverage and applied smoother than the mineral foundation, which actually has a lot of fallout, that I was used to. This was the beginning of my discovery of new liquid bases. Several things led me to try other liquid foundations, one of the reasons being, that I again, felt that the BareSkin foundation started to breakup in the afternoons, leaving my complexion feel splotchy.
Here are the ones I've tried and my favorites thus far. Please keep in mind that my review is for medium to full coverage foundations, since my primary reason for using these is to even out my skin tone. I also used the NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder over all of these foundations.
BareMinerals BareSkin Foundation (Beige 08)
Pros: Two drops per side of the face is all you need for full coverage; easy to apply with brush; smooth dewey finish
Cons: Not long-lasting - starts to break up after about 5 hours
Tip: I also noticed that this foundation applies better with the Beauty Blender for a smoother finish
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation (Ceylon)
Pros: Two layers gives you full coverage; flawless, matte finish; lasts all day... I had it on for more than 12 hours in one day and it remained flawless
Cons: Applying this is a bit difficult because it sets fairly quickly and you need to move fast
Tip: Best way to apply this is with a dampened Beauty Blender and dab!
Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation (Shade 5)
Pros: Lightweight and smooth
Cons: Very, very sheer... I would say this is light coverage at best - not good for someone looking to smooth out their complexion; I also found this to be too dark for me... I think I bought it when I had a tan, and this just doesn't look good on me. I think I should be more of a shade 3 or 4.
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation (Light-Medium Neutral)
Pros: This stuff is not joking when it says full coverage... I think I only really needed one layer; has a matte, powdery finish; this lasted ALL DAY... no patches and no retouching
Cons: This foundation leaves my skin feeling a bit dry a few hours in. Especially on hot days, I feel like I might look like a lizard, but I don't. There's also no pump and it comes in a squeeze tube, so things can get messy.
Tip: The Beauty Blender doesn't work well for this foundation... a good foundation brush is best for applying this.
Clarins Everlasting Foundation (109 Wheat)
Pros: Nice full coverage - all you need is one layer; lasts all day without having to touch up
Cons: I'm not a big fan of scented makeup and this foundation definitely has some sort of perfume scent added to it
I would have to say that my favorite out of this bunch is definitely the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. I like the coverage it gives me and the fact that after 12 hours of wear, it still looks the same as it did when I put it on in the morning. It's definitely a product you can build up and can be medium or full coverage. Here is a before and after shot of the left side of my face with the NARS foundation. A lot of the the hyper pigmentation towards the top near my eye is covered up!
My least favorite is, obviously, the Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation. I just found it to be too light for me. I also prefer more of a matte finish and this one was dewey and I found my skin to be oily after a few hours. Do you have a favorite? Let me know what else I should try!