Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in Fair and Beige - review and swatches

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Today I have a foundation review for you, and like so many of my recent reviews, this one has been a long time coming.

I've owned this foundation in Beige for something like 18 months now, and I bought Fair shortly afterwards so they've both been open for a while and I need to get through them. With foundations, you should be able to get two years from them before they start to turn - so thankfully I still have time.


When this formula was first released, I was the most excited person on the planet. I love Becca and this foundation sounded perfect for me. I have dry skin, I like lighter formulas and I definitely need some help in the radiance department.

Unfortunately, though, it's not the right product for me. I've certainly found things to love about it - especially that it makes such a great mixer - but it's not one I would buy again. More on that below.


Becca claims/product details:
  • A flexible, liquid foundation made from pigments that blur and perfect to reflect your skintone
  • Smooth on foundation coverage that feels ultra-light and buildable, while it evens and perfects your complexion
  • Every weightless drop of fluid imparts subtle luminosity that blurs imperfections and leaves a soft-focused glow
  • Features a curated array of flexible shades that flatter all skintones
  • Provides buildable, lightweight coverage and radiant results
  • Recommended for normal, normal-to-dry, dry and very dry skin types
  • Formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates
  • To use: for flawless results, shake well before each use to ensure that the pigments and luminisers blend perfectly
  • RRP $72 AUD for 30ml, but do shop around (I bought mine for about $50 each)


You'll see a lot of people complain about the packaging of this foundation and I completely agree with them.

The dropper-style arrangement (see below) is just messy and it's impossible not to wind up with product on the rim and around the neck - no matter how careful you are.

A pump would have made more sense, or at least that's my opinion.


Now for swatches. 

Below I've given you heavy and partially blended swatches of Fair (left) and Beige (middle), and on the very right I've shown you how the two shades look when mixed - which is what I need to do to get my colour match (I'm two parts Beige, one part Fair).

Indirect sunlight (indoors):


Direct sunlight (outdoors):


Natural light (outdoors):


Verdict

I don't hate this foundation but I don't love it either and I don't recommend it. I've seen some people rave about it but I've seen plenty of others who don't rate the formula, and many of them have raised the kinds of issues that I'm about to raise.

It's a thin formula that smells like paint and to me it looks a bit like paint until you really sheer it out. It's a formula that I'm not used to working with because it has more coverage than you might expect, given how it's marketed and also how thin the formula is.

It takes more work to blend out than most foundations or tinted moisturisers I've tried. This is probably why Becca suggests that you work in thin layers - so you apply a tiny bit, blend it and let it dry down, then apply another - and I definitely agree that this is the best way to do it.

You also do need to shake the bottle before use, so this is one of those products where it's important to follow the directions.

The first thing I noticed about it was that it felt really drying on my skin. This surprised me because it's targeted towards dry skin - but it doesn't feel hydrating in the slightest. Even when it's summer and my skin isn't as dry as usual, this feels drying on me. Yes you can get around this by using a hydrating primer, but the problems don't end there.

It emphasises dry patches and clings to any area where there's dryness or flaking. So if you have very dry skin with patches anywhere, forget it. This isn't the right foundation for you. I'm not the first person to have said this.

Also, perhaps because it's drying, it doesn't plump up wrinkles or fine lines like a hydrating formula or tinted moisturiser would. This is one of the main reasons why I never wear it alone.

It's also too luminous - even for me, a dry-skinned lass who's all about the dew - so I wouldn't touch this with a barge pole if you have oily skin. 

Because it's so luminous, it also highlights texture like open pores. Sure, you can tone things down with a setting powder, but because I only apply the tiniest layer of setting powder (so I don't further dry out my skin), it doesn't help much with the problem. Another reason why I don't wear this foundation alone.

I've also had issues in the past with this product pooling in pores around my hairline. For some reason it hasn't done this too badly either today or yesterday, but I can see it sitting in pores around my temples especially. So do test this first if pores are a concern for you.

You can build this up to a solid medium coverage, but by then it looks like paint on me so I prefer going for a light to light-medium coverage. I haven't tried any more than two layers, so I can't tell you whether it builds to full coverage because that's not how I wear foundation.

It does dry down a bit but it still leaves a tacky finish so I reckon it's better to set it - especially due to how luminous it is - and I wouldn't say that it ever sets completely.

It wears reasonably well on me and I can get a good eight hours from it before it starts to fade evenly.

I bought the shade Beige because I heard the formula ran dark (I would normally go for medium), but when it arrived, it was too dark for me so I bought Fair shortly after - by then I'd discovered that this foundation happens to be the best mixer product I've ever used. So for eighteen months now I've been using these two shades as my mixers for all my other bases, and never once have I been unhappy with the result.

As a mixer, this formula is perfect: it thins out any formulas that are too thick for my personal tastes; it adds a tiny bit more coverage to my tinted moisturisers so I can use less of those and make them last longer; and it adds a healthy sheen that isn't too much when mixed. Indeed, if it wasn't a pricey product, I'd be using this formula for mixing forever.

Also note that, as I understand it, the shades in this range are all neutral and they should adapt to your skintone (which is why the shade range is so small). I have to say, both Fair and Beige aren't yellow enough for me, so when I mix them and wear them alone, I look grey. Another reason why I can't wear these alone - but another reason why they make good mixers because they shouldn't play with the undertone too much of the product you're mixing them with.

Overall, I don't love this product and I can't recommend it. It's not terrible and I've found things to love about it, but it's not one I would buy again.

Not for me.


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