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Liquid - Merle Norman - Luxiva Aqua Balance



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rated 4.3(27 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.3
  • 70% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.2
  • Price: $$$

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rated 5 of 5 on 11/12/2013 2:52:00 PM More reviews by kamiller1972

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Brown

I keep coming back to this particular foundation time and time again...it has great coverage and staying power for my very acne prone, oily skin. I've been going through a very drying regimen of benzoyl peroxide every day and night and this foundation seems to look half way decent despite all the dryness and flakes. And you really only need the smallest amount to get excellent coverage. Merle Norman's Mineral powder looks excellent on top of this foundation as well! Give it a try :-)

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/5/2013 6:12:00 PM More reviews by juliacrod

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I think this was probably one of my favorite foundations. I LOVED the finish of this. I have oily skin & this really evened everything out. For an even more flawless finish, I dusted the Ultra Powder on. I used to get soo many compliments. I don't use this product anymore due to MN not being open anymore.
The only thing I did not like about it was the tube it came in. And very little amount in my opinion for how much you pay for it :/

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rated 3 of 5 on 8/2/2012 12:48:00 AM More reviews by BlueEyedChik

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Blue

I only used it once and it left my skin greasy and dry, I didn't like it at all....

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rated 5 of 5 on 3/9/2012 4:31:00 PM More reviews by sabrinalovesmakeup

Age: 19-24 Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Neutral Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Blue

If your dry or if you have yellow undertones then I would love product! its dewy when applied but dries semi matte! I work at merle norman and have worked here for a very long times and ive never heard of it breaking out anyone or causing any rashes! This is a buildable foudation! Be sure to shake well before using because if you dont then it will be super watery!!

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rated 4 of 5 on 11/26/2011 12:46:00 PM More reviews by isshevital

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium Eyes: Brown

I was interested in trying this because I had mostly been using light-coverage foundations and tinted moisturizers, both of which tend to have dewy finishes that don't go very nicely with my already oily t-zone. I also wanted a little more coverage than a tinted moisturizer. I walked into my local MN boutique and the sales assistant was very helpful, I went in looking for foundation but she gave me a lot of advice about my skincare routine. I had been exfoliating about 2x a week with an Alba scrub, which she explained was too harsh for my sensitive skin. She told me that I needed exfoliation, but that I should be using a gentle serum with exfoliating ingredients rather than manually scrubbing my poor skin to death.

Anyway, then she proceeded to SLATHER this foundation on my face with a foundation brush after matching me to L5 (I think I'm approximately NC15-20ish). She applied at least 3x as much product as I would have used on myself and it looked pretty horrifying, but I figured that any foundation would look bad applied that way, and for whatever silly reason I had my mind set on buying this and so I went ahead and purchased it anyway. I'm very surprised that previous reviewers found this to be overly sheer, but I guess that goes to show how the same coverage can feel very different to different people. I have large pores on my nose and a fair amount of redness through my forehead, nose, and cheeks, but overall I don't need a ton of coverage from my foundation. I find this to be so pigmented that it easily veers into mask-like, which the semi-matte finish certainly doesn't help. I mixed it with a little moisturizer to make the coverage more sheer but still found it too opaque and fake-looking, I might have to try this again with more moisturizer and less foundation. Applying with a damp sponge and a very light touch has turned out to be the most natural-looking result, although I kind of hate to do it because I lose so much product (the sponge ends up with more foundation than my face!) I still didn't give it a bad rating because I don't think it's necessarily a bad foundation, just not quite what I was looking for.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 11/12/2011 7:26:00 PM More reviews by amanda23

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

This has become my go-to foundation. The coverage is flawless and makes my skin look absolutely perfect. It definitely balances out my combination skin and I set this with a light dusting of their Ultra Powder Foundation.

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/4/2011 2:56:00 PM More reviews by trharvey

Age: 36-43 Skin: Very Oily, Medium, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Curly, Medium Eyes: Green

I have been using this foundation for about 3 weeks now and I love it. I have fair-medium skin with neutral undertones and L22 is a perfect match.
I have super oily skin and while this foundation doesn't completely take away my oilies....it does keep them away longer than any other foundation that I have tried. At the end of the day, I still have coverage and that's a huge plus for me, because most foundations just slide right off my face.
The coverage is medium but buildable to full if you want. It's in a tube and sometimes alot of product does come out. If it had a pump that would be awesome. I have tried all methods of application and found that I like using a sponge the best. I've used this with the primer Merle Norman has, I don't know if that makes a huge difference or not. I haven't tried it on it's own.
I will definately be buying this one again.

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rated 2 of 5 on 6/3/2011 10:55:00 AM More reviews by sharizzle

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I don't have nearly as many raving things to say about this foundation as several of the other reviwers here did!! I must say, I was super excited to try this out, but it did NOT float my boat!! I felt like it was so sheer, I could hardly even tell I had anything on! It didn't cover much at all, in my opinion. I felt like it didn't last long at all, but then again, how could I tell....I couldn't even see it on my face to begin with! I felt like my face was pretty shiny soon after putting it on. And it's true, my face is oily, but I thought that was what the purpose of this make-up was.... was to add moisture to the dry part of my face, and mattify the oily parts. Anyway, I only used it about 5 times before giving up. I plan on returning it. The one thing I really did like about it, though, was the color match! I really have a hard time matching foundation to my face, but I really felt like this was a great color for me. I have light neutral-toned skin, and color L16 was a great match.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 3/18/2011 12:50:00 PM More reviews by victoriasinger

Age: 19-24 Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

wow... i am truly amazed. i have been trying to find a foundation that covers my scars, does not make me oily, and is the right color. i FINALLY FOUND MY HOLY GRAIL FOUNDATION. i already bought a backup. this is really great stuff. LOVE.


p.s. merle norman is so incredibly underhyped. there products are amazing.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 3/12/2011 1:51:00 AM More reviews by uraznbabygurl

Age: 19-24 Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

This is another AMAZING foundation from Merle Norman. I'll say the same thing I said about the Lasting Foundation. This brand is SO underhyped, especially with their foundations!


I already own and love their Lasting Foundation. However, there are days (frequently, I should add) that I just want a nice lightweight foundation. Maybelline FIT Me! fit the bill for a while, but it takes a bit of work for me to keep the foundation looking fresh throughout the day (it's also veryyy cheap so I could deal with that). I stopped by Merle Norman today and the SA recommended this foundation to me. Now, I think the name is a bit misleading. Anything that has the word 'aqua' makes me think it's mainly a hydrating foundation. Thus, it would be suited for dry skins. Gladly, that isn't the case. This foundation is great for all skin types, ESPECIALLY normal/oily. It also claims to work with your skin by adding moisture or controlling oil where it's needed. How great does that sound?!


As I have mentioned in TONS of other reviews, I am quite oily. Sometimes I veer into combo/oily, but my skin is consistently somewhat oily to a degree. When I put on the foundation for the first time, I noticed how it barely feels like anything on the skin. Consider me blown away! I have only tried a handful of foundations that have that weightless effect on me. I'm smitten with the finish and coverage. It's definitely a natural, semi-matte finish with a medium coverage which is absolutely perfect for my needs (mild hyperpigmentation and acne, random sunspots). What impressed me the most about this foundation is that I wore it without a primer or setting powder and I still looked pretty damn fresh after wearing it for 6 hours. If I did that with any other foundation, my nose would not have any makeup left on it at all. With Aqua Balance, I could still see some foundation even though it faded a bit. If that's not amazing, then I'm not sure what is :]


For color reference, I'm NC30ish and was matched to L26 (neutral) in Aqua Base. With the Lasting foundation, I was matched to Natural (warm), which matches me to a tee. I swatched L26 and Natural side by side. Both shades have the exact same depth as the other. However, L26 has slightly less yellow tones than Natural, but I would classify it as a warm-neutral as opposed to Natural's straight-up warm undertone. L26 still matches me pretty nicely, but I'm wondering if I should go a shade up (ML30) since it's categorized as warm.


I bought this for $29.50 + tax for this foundation. It's definitely not the cheapest foundation, but the price is comparable to MAC, Clinique, etc. So it's not TOO bad considering that you do get the standard 1 fl. oz. for less than a high-end department store foundation. I should also add that I give props for the squeeze tube packaging. I wish that a lot of cosmetic companies would ditch the screw-top bottles and either use pumps or squeeze tubes!


If you're looking for an amped-up version of Maybelline FIT Me! or a lighter version of Merle Norman Lasting Foundation, then this may be for you! I personally love this and the Lasting foundation, so they'll remain as permanent staples in my collection!

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