Base Makeup Becca

Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation + Backlight Priming Filter Review

March 15, 2016

Becca launched a new foundation earlier this year called the Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation ($38 for 1 oz) which offers smooth, buildable natural coverage that has a soft glow. I’ve been testing this for two months now combined with the Backlight Priming Filter ($38 for 1 oz) which I actually bought and have used with other formulas since last fall but never reviewed. Today I have a review on both with swatches of all the colors of the Aqua Luminous formula.

For foundation I prefer something that is semi-matte and semi-dewy, basically something that’s in between both ends of the finish range and something that looks natural but also offers at least medium coverage. I don’t have perfect skin so visible coverage is essential for me. I used to use the Becca Sheer Luminous Foundation (original version) and the Foundation Stick many years ago (back in the early 2000s when I was in college and the line was still at Nordstrom). My match back then was Macadamia and I was a die-hard fan of the line until it disappeared from stores for a while. It’s since made a comeback at Sephora and Ulta but I never looked into the foundation reformulations until this year.

Glowy luminous foundations can be hit or miss for me. Many look incredible on my skin for 30 minutes to 1 hour and then turn into an unmanageable oil slick after that which is a shame for me because often times the coverage and color options are perfect. I have normal skin with some areas that are slightly oily and the Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation is amazing. It offers everything as described: smooth lightweight coverage, buildable pigment, blurs imperfections and gives the skin an ultra soft glow. It has enough coverage suitable to even out the skin nicely and I didn’t have to pack it on to get the coverage I wanted. Beige turned out to be my perfect match (as in truly perfect, no tweaking required). I still do need concealer or correctors for dark spots or red areas, but that’s the case with most foundations I use anyways.

The only thing I do not like about this foundation is the packaging. It comes with a dropper – you twist the cap to pop up the push-down dispenser at the tip and press to push out product. I find it awkward and difficult to use although it’s not impossible and I can overlook it because the formula is that good. In terms of lasting power it holds up well with or without primer. When I went to Sephora to get matched the artist used the Make Up For Ever Smoothing Primer and a beautyblender sponge to apply and it lasted from the time she applied it all over well into the late evening without getting greasy or oily looking. For wear on my own – I’ve tested it by itself, with a number of Make Up For Ever Primers (hydrating and nourishing are what I have) and the Becca Backlight Priming Filter. I think the Aqua Luminous foundation performs well with a number of formulas, a primer definitely isn’t needed for it to look its best. Powder is absolutely needed to set though – otherwise it gets too glowy looking by late afternoon. Some pressed and loose powders that I highly recommend in this post here.

Swatches of all the shades – they are swatched heavily so you can see the color. It blends out to a smooth flawless finish when I use either the Sephora Collection Pro Full Coverage Airbrush #53 brush or a beautyblender (the pink one is the best one, full review here, however I am testing the new nude). The color range is wide but there are definitely some big jumps in between shades. I’m thrilled that Beige is my perfect match.

A few comparison swatches:

Next is the Backlight Priming Filter which is a pearly liquid primer designed to create a base for makeup. It has a very soft luminous finish with a lightweight almost whipped almost liquid texture. I love the packaging pump as it’s easy to use and no fuss. I found it lightweight, non-clogging, non-irritating and luminous. It did create a nice glow and I like using this primer with other foundations but as a person who doesn’t really like primers in general, I didn’t find this essential to creating a flawless base. When the weather was warmer and we had a few heat waves I found this to be too moisturizing for my skin and it left my face looking a bit too dewy. With normal or cooler weather here in Southern California it performs better. In terms of primers though – this is one of the better ones I’ve tried in terms of smoothing the skin and creating a nice canvas for foundation, concealer and powder.

A quick look at Beige and the Primer swatched side by side:

Bottom line both are extremely good in terms of performance. I will be repurchasing the foundation once I’ve used it up. For the primer I’m not sure I find I love it enough to repurchase – I’m still searching for the one that changes everything for me. Still I have no regrets buying it and will use it to the end.

Have you tried the Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation or Backlight Priming Filter yet? What did you think? You can find both for $38 each at Sephora.

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  • I recently tried Jessica Alba's 'Everything Primer' from the Honest Beauty line and I absolutely love it. I think it won an Allure award. I have combo-oily skin with some light acne scarring and large pores and it does a lot for me. Normally I have to use two different primers with one being a mattifying or pore-minimizing formula, but this primer has replaced all other primers and in a rush I've also skipped moisturizer. I wasn't expecting much from it, but it has done a lot for me. If you're checking out her brand, I recommend skipping her concealer duo, but def giving the primer, blush, and tinted moisturizer (which has a surprising amount of coverage) a try. I re-ordered both the primer and a darker shade of the tinted moisturizer for summer.

    • I haven't checked out her line yet but thank you so much for the recs!!

  • I know you loved the Nars All-day Luminous as well. Does this one have better coverage than the Nars all-day luminous?

    • Hi! I find the Becca more luminous and sheer in finish. It's not as opaque which makes it easier to work with. The NARS by comparison has more of a velvety semi matte finish with more pigment. Hth!

  • I've been waiting for this review! It's just what I needed to justify buying the foundation. I already have and really like the primer. Have you tried the Too Faced Hangover Primer? It's lightly hydrating and very smoothing. In terms of luminous primers, the NARS Pro Prime Light Optimizing Primer is nice and it's a little lighter than this Becca one.

    • Hi Adia – I adore the NARS primer you mentioned! I haven't tried the Too Faced one but will definitely check it out once I make a dent in the ones I have now lol.

  • I've been wanting to try the foundation but have so many other ones in my rotation that I'm going to wait. I have the primer though and it's my favorite illuminating one by far.

  • I agree, I absolutely love the foundation. I'm NW45ish and the Dark Golden works really well for me. I think this foundation is somewhat shade adjusting according to the picture at the bottom of the box front. I have dry sky and I definitely have to lightly set it with Laura Mercier's translucent powder, or else my face will feel as if the foundation never really dries down. But I don't feel the setting powder dims the glow and that's a good thing!

    • Hi Kica – love love love what you said about setting powder. You're so right! Glad you love this formula too πŸ™‚

  • I'm not sure fair will be light enough for me πŸ™

    • I hope they expand the color range!

  • That foundation is soooo pretty. Love the shade and coverage. I will be checking on that than the primer one.

  • Both these products look totally BEAUTIFUL. The finish sounds lovely and perfect for a day to day foundation, I love a base that glows, is moisturised and lasts all day – I need to try this! I'm using the Rodial Skin Tint right now which is great for day to day.

    Jasmine | xx

    • I've heard great things about the Rodial Skin Tint!

  • Great review! I would love to see it actually applied so you can get a better idea of the coverage.

    Kiran |

  • Anonymous

    Could you compare this foundation with TF traceless perfecting foundation?

    • The Becca is more lightweight and glowy while the TF has a thicker and heavier texture but not quite as luminous of a finish. HTH!

  • Both the products look amazing. I would love to try. I have been using cream by lifecell for the soft glow and the results are amazing.

  • Kat

    You're totally selling me on that foundation! Lately I've been mixing the backlight primer with Nivea shave balm. It kind of sheers out the primer nicely and helps create a well moisturized base that lasts all day. It creates a nice radiance that doesn't look too contrived.