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.