We put 7 longwear foundations to the test to see if they actually stand the test of time

The Body+Soul team trial and test 7 of the best longwear foundations on the market to see if they live up to their sweat, life, transfer, weather and work-proof claims.

Longwear formulations can leave you dehydrated and disappointed – often fading, pilling, flaking and vanishing by lunchtime. But beauty has come a long way, fusing skincare technology and ingredients with make-up setting capabilities that promise to be resistant to transfer, sweat, water and time.

Unlike the formulas of the past, stay-all-day foundations of today are fluid, with buildable coverage and a natural finish. The Body+Soul team put their best faces forward (literally) to see if the latest in longwear drops really do stand the test of time.

Morphe Filter Effect Soft Focus Foundation, $30 at Mecca

Staying power: 12+ hours
Verdict: 5/5

Straddling the line between skincare and makeup, this oil-free foundation is formulated with hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and glycerin for all-day hydration and skin-smoothing. It’s soft-focus finish works to blur and diffuse imperfections and fine lines, without settling into skin.

I veered away from foundation years ago as I found it too heavy, so I’ve been using BB cream, under-eye highlighter and mineral powder over the top. However, this foundation is only a touch heavier than the BB cream and gives much better coverage, to the point where I don’t need the under-eye highlighter, and it mattifies well. It essentially does the job of my three previous products in one, so has streamlined my make-up routine – and has changed my mind about foundation! It does require a bit more cleansing, but my skin does feel softer, and any added moisturising in products is greatly appreciated by my skin,” Katie Hendry Chief Sub Editor.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25HR Foundation, $18.95 at Chemist Warehouse

Staying power: 25 hours
Verdict: 3/4

Infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, this drop focuses on boosting the skin’s natural hydration levels in an effort to help enhance the performance and finish. The smoothing formulation is lightweight but provides full coverage, working to camouflage dark circles, spots and imperfections seamlessly.

“I prefer lighter formulations, but if you’re after a matte finish with full coverage this may be for you. It definitely lasts all day!” Saskia Tillers, Senior Features Writer.

Max Factor Facefinity All Day Flawless 3-in-1 Foundation, $34.95 at Priceline

Staying power: 12+ hours
Verdict: 4/5

This high-tech formula uses specialised Flexi-hold technology for a long-lasting, featherlight finish. More than just a foundation, it combines the powers of a primer and concealer for optimum coverage and staying power. It promises to be water, touch, sweat and tear-proof, too.

“I don’t wear too much foundation, but when I do it is powder, so using liquid was different. The formula glides on smoothly, wasn’t cakey and didn’t make my oily skin more oily. It lived up to the 12 hours, too and was still easy to remove,” Adrienne Tam, Features Writer.

Maybelline Superstay Active Wear 30HR Foundation, $26.95 at Adore Beauty

Staying power: 30 hours
Verdict: 3/5

Dubbed an ‘active foundation’, it’s matte but doesn’t feel heavy or sticky and is designed to move and adapt with your skin. The oil-free formula is high-pigment gliding on for all-day comfortable wear that’s transfer-resistant without clogging pores or irritating skin.

“The formula dries quickly so you need to work with it fast. I found the best kind of application was with my hands, which kept it warm for longer and more workable. It provided medium coverage on the first application but was easily buildable to full (couldn’t see freckles through it).It felt thin for the amount of coverage it provides, which is good for those who don’t like the feeling of a lot of product on their face.

“The biggest downside to this foundation, is removing it – I had to cleanse four times, when I usually just do two. I do think it lives up to the long-lasting name. I even worked out and had an afternoon nap in it and woke up with it still in perfect condition,” Cassandra Green, Content Producer.

Revlon Colourstay Light Cover Foundation, $29.95 at Chemist Warehouse

Staying power: 12 hours
Verdict: 4/5

A lightweight liquid foundation that lasts all day but looks like you’re not wearing anything is hard to come by, but this bottle does the trick. Hero ingredient pomegranate concentrate helps to smooth and brighten skin, while increasing the skin’s moisture levels by 56% ensuring a fluid finish.

“If you’re after a foundation that gives you that no-makeup-makeup finish, but doesn’t require a top-up throughout the day then this is for you. It’s foundation that actually looks like skin and lasts well into the evening,” Kelsey Ferencak, Beauty Editor.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Foundation, $71 at Sephora

Staying power: 12+ hours
Verdict: 4/5.

Key ingredients seaweed extract and vitamin E keep skin hydrated, calm and soft, while line-filling actives help to reduce the foundation settling into fine lines or creases. Available in 50 shades, it’s water-resistant but applies and looks like second skin.

“This is a medium to full-coverage foundation, it’s velvety and easy to apply, I used a brush and then patted it in with my fingers. I was able to keep it looking natural but could also build it up in areas where I needed more coverage. It lasted all day, but in the evening I ended up setting it with powder and a spray to last a little longer,” Anna Hegedus Senior Designer.

Flower Light Illusion Liquid Foundation, $13.99 at Chemist Warehouse

Staying power: 12+ hours
Verdict: 4/5

Focusing on luminosity and radiance, this foundation created by Drew Barrymore gives skin a medium buildable coverage that evens skin tone and still feels breathable, but promises not to fade or go patchy before noon.

“I was so impressed with the coverage and staying power of this that I’ll continue to use it. It applied smoothly and lasts well into the evening, without being overly heavy or tacky,” Katherine Timms, Art Director.

All products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale.