BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation Review (Dark Skin)

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Read ALL about my review process including how I take swatches, photos, and more here.

becca aqua luminous perfecting foundation all shades

So before you judge BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation for having only eight shades, it’s important to understand that this foundation is basically magic and one shade works for a wide range of skin tones. It’ll warm up to your complexion and magically match. Ok, so maybe it’s not magic but has more to do with the contents of this amazing formula that makes it work for virtually all skin tones.

I actually got to try BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation a few months before it launched at a focus group with the brand before receiving these for review consideration. In the room with me were other women of color in varying skin tones. We all kinda gave the foundation the side eye once we saw the limited amount of shades but we all knew the reps and the makeup artists at BECCA so we we’re trusting…lol. After a few minutes of side-eyeing we all tried it on and instantly became amazed at how it worked on everyone’s skin tones. I was so shocked to see how Deep Bronze (the deepest shade) actually worked amazingly on me because it looked super light in the bottle and also once I dispensed the product out. But after applying it it started to work beautifully on. In fact it’s funny, my homey Christene and I both wear Deep Bronze and we’re SOOOO different in skin tone—I’m so many shades darker than she is.

See how the Deep Golden shade worked on three different skin tones here

becca aqua luminous perfecting foundation bottle dropper

Another thing I was kind of side-eyeing about this foundation at first was the “Aqua Luminous” part. Not that I don’t like being luminous, it’s just that once you put a “luminous” foundation on oily skin like mine, it’s like a recipe for disaster. But I’m happy to report that this was more of a controlled luminous and wore beautifully on me. I haven’t had a chance to try this in warmer, summer-like temperatures and I do suspect this wouldn’t be my first choice for oily skin in warmer weather, but this is beautiful for me now while it’s colder. I actually think you should go easy on using powder with this. I just used a light dusting wear I get the oiliest (typically my T-zone) and then when there was oil breakthrough all over, I let it rock. It’s a foundation texture and finish I don’t normally reach for, but I would definitely incorporate this into my looks more often (but also keep in mind I work from home so I have basically two makeup looks: no makeup at all and ALL the makeup…lol). I do love that controlled luminous skin seems to be a trend with foundations now (I also have the Stila Aqua Glow Foundation and Concealer to test and review as well) as it’s really pretty to let your skin have some shine and not be so matte. I love that type of foundation finish paired with a matte lip for contrast :)

This will give you more coverage than a tinted moisturizer or light foundation but it’s definitely not FULL coverage. It evened out my skin and covered a majority of my dark spots (which btw I’m having the WORST hyperpigmenatation I’ve had in over 10 years stemming from some awful repeat hormonal acne that kept popping up in the same spots—I’m treating it and will update you on what I use in a few months once it’s gone) but it didn’t completely cover everything which was cool for me. If I felt a way about it, I could just add concealer to those spots.

Wear is amazing—I typically can’t wear many luminous finish foundations but this one wasn’t an oily mess on me. Granted it IS winter and this probably wouldn’t be my first choice for oily skin in the summer or in warmer climates, but for a switch from my routine (I typically wear Cover FX Total Cover Cream which I love for being super versatile and buildable) it’s really nice.

You also don’t need to use a lot of this foundation. I found that a drop or a drop and a half were enough for me to cover my entire face. And be mindful that you click to ensure that the foundation is properly closed.

If you’re looking for more coverage and the same lightweight feel, try the BECCA Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme which is a FULL COVERAGE foundation that totally doesn’t act or look like a full coverage foundation.

These pics are obviously with just the foundation and a little powder to set and I’d normally finish up with a full face (blame the blizzard for making me lazy…lol). But I do love this foundation a lot so I plan to use it in a makeup look video which I’ll post on my Youtube channel when I can.

becca aqua luminous perfecting foundation deep bronze on dark skin nw47 nw45

becca aqua luminous perfecting foundation deep bronze nw 45 nw 47 dark skin

becca aqua luminous perfecting foundation swatches fair light beige medium

becca aqua luminous perfecting foundation tan warm honey deep golden deep bronze swatches on dark skin

See more BECCA reviews here

See more foundation reviews here

Bottom line: BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation is more than likely a try-before-you-buy foundation for many so get to Sephora (or Ulta which now carries BECCA and may have or will eventually have this foundation as well) to get a sample and try it out to see how it works best for you. Also understand how this foundation works and take your skin type and lifestyle into consideration before committing to it—well, do that with ANY foundation…lol. I find folks dismiss foundations often because they’re not using the right one or using it the right way.

Update about shade equivalents:

So I’d LOVE to help you guys looking for MAC or whatever brand shade equivalents in this new foundation, but as I’ve mentioned in this review, this is a “try before you buy” kind of foundation. Plus I’ve long ago stopped using MAC as a reference for shades because 1. within the last few years MAC has added new shades that I’m not familiar with 2. I swear SO many people are matched to NW45 for me to believe that everyone is NW45 which makes me personally think there are closer shade options for you—meaning some of you might not be a true NW45 3. SO many brands are coming out with foundations and there may not even be a MAC equivalent for it or one that I know of—FAR easier for me to speak in terms of undertone. So again, because of the nature of the BECCA Aqua Glow Luminous Perfecting Foundation and how one shade can work on such a range (for instance both my homey Christene and I wear Deep Bronze and we’re two totally different shades), please go get samples at Sephora to try before you buy. Or ask the brand on their social media accounts what they’d suggest for you.

Here’s a post you might find helpful when shopping for foundation online:
How to Buy Makeup Online

Price and where to buy: $44 at Sephora (plus 4% cash back when you use eBates)

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas,, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style expert on CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.

14 Responses to BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation Review (Dark Skin)

  1. Danielle says:

    This looks very pretty on you, Danielle. I like that it’s a light coverage. I don’t go for full coverage. Would you say the color you used has more of a red undertone vs. yellow?

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks! So I was thinking that while there are undertone descriptions for these on the Sephora site, I think because of the water content and formula of the BECCA Aqua Luminous foundation that the undertones won’t have a big impact on how it comes out since the formula is made to warm to your skin and match you. But I waited to get a better response from someone I know at BECCA and got this:

      “Dark Golden is a bit on the warm side with golden undertones whereas Deep Bronze is a bit more cool with golden undertones However, both are fairly neutral (not extreme warm/cool).”

      Hope this helps you!

  2. Lily S. says:

    I like the lightweight of the foundation and in my opinion it doesn’t look oily, it looks like a healthy glow. Lately i’ve been using my CoverFX drops in N90 mixed in with my primer for a hint of color before I head to the gym…. I know I shouldn’t be wearing any kind of foundation to the gym… but I’m all about the pretty! If I didn’t already have too much foundations, i’d run out and pick this up… not sure of my color i’m NW43 in MAC and I think you’re NW45 if i’m not mistaken, so i’d probably go a shade lighter than you I suppose…. overall nice review.

    • Danielle says:

      Haha! Yup—I’m NW45 in some formulas NW47 in others (even though I haven’t worn MAC foundations in ages). I think Dark Golden should work for you if you’re N90 but if you’re going to a Sephora, get both that and Deep Bronze and see which one works best on you.

      • E.C.fromD.C. says:

        I’m N80 & N90 in Cover FX and generally NW43 (w/ a hint of NC45 sometimes in MAC) and was looking at Dark Golden myself (Warm Honey might be too light but I dunno).
        I’m pretty much Tobacco in Becca’s other formulas even tho I could stand to mix in a tiny bit of Amber.

      • E.C.fromD.C. says:

        Looking again I like the undertone of Dark Golden better….even though Warm Honey is supposed to be neutral it actually looks more yellow/golden than Dark Golden.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This foundation looks beautiful really want to try it what shade do you think would match NC50?

    • Danielle says:


      *maybe* Dark Golden but then Deep Bronze might work, too—but as I mentioned in the post, it’s best for you to get samples at Sephora and try before you buy. Because of the water content in the formula and the way it’s designed, it’ll warm up to your skin tone so one shade will work for a wide range of people. But again, best bet is to get samples of the two deepest shades and see which one works best on you.

  4. Sandra says:

    Thank you, I enjoyed reading your review. I was sceptical of this foundation because of the shade ranges and the “luminous” title. Definetly will be going to Sephora to test it out.

  5. Marsha Pettway says:

    Good day, Danielle! I got samples of both the Becca (luminous) and Stila and love them. I like the glowy finish of Becca; they’re becoming my #1 brand.

    Thank you for all of your pointers, videos, time and thoroughness.

    Have a great day!

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Marsha!!!

      Hope you’re doing well!!!

      Yasss—get that BECCA glow ON :)

      You’re SO welcome!!! Thanks for tuning in and reading, watching, and commenting—I really appreciate the love :)

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