Wake-Up Liquid Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Wake Up Liquid Makeup is supposed to make your skin look well rested due to the "touch of energizing caffeine and the hydrating benefits of water" in the formula. There's no research showing topically applied caffeine can do that and, by itself, water won't hydrate your skin—regardless, this is a great, light-coverage foundation.

Reliable, broad spectrum sun protection to prevent premature aging and sun damage, as well a soft luminous finish that adds a healthy glow, is part of this foundation's top rating. The liquid texture blends on beautifully smooth and the color range includes flattering, skin-like shades for light to medium skin tones. This fragrance-free formula contains some skin-beneficial ingredients and is ideal for normal to dry skin.

Note:Although this foundation provides broad-spectrum sun protection on its own, you must apply it liberally and evenly to get the stated level of protection. A sheer or spot application will not provide the amount of sun protection the label indicates. If you’re not likely to apply this foundation liberally, we recommend applying it over a moisturizer with sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater and setting your foundation with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater.

  • Broad-spectrum sun protection to prevent premature aging and sun damage.
  • Soft, luminous liquid foundation ideal for normal to dry skin.
  • Fragrance-free formula with skin-beneficial ingredients.
  • Skin-like shades.
  • The caffeine claim is unsupported by research.

The "touch of caffeine" that Almay says "helps to energize skin" has no such effect. Caffeine has been used in eye products for over a decade and no one has looked any more awake after using them. It's merely a marketing gimmick with no published research to back it up. This sunscreen also includes titanium dioxide plus octinoxate, a "chemical" sunscreen that some may find sensitizing when used around the eyes. Not everyone will react to this common sunscreen active, but if you notice stinging or burning around the eyes after applying this foundation, the octinoxate may be the culprit.


Active: Octinoxate (3.5%), Titanium Dioxide (9.0%). Other: Water, Dimethicone, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Isostearic Acid, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isocetyl Stearate, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, Tromethamine, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Viola Tricolor Extract, Lecithin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Caffeine, Nylon-12, Steareth-2, Glyceryl Stearate, Alumina, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Simethicone, Sorbitan Laurate, Polysorbate 20, Laureth-7, Xanthan Gum, Methicone, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Steareth-21, Stearic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Potassium Sorbate, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

Brand Overview

Almay At-A-Glance

Strengths: An excellent assortment of mascaras; several exceptional foundation options to choose from; a phenomenal liquid eyeliner; a selection of good makeup removers.

Weaknesses: Some of the Intense i-color products do the exact opposite of enhancing eye color; mediocre blushes; “Smart Shade” products don’t automatically adapt to skin’s color as claimed.

Long a standby for those with sensitive skin seeking hypoallergenic products (though that term is unregulated and can be applied to any product, regardless of ingredients), Almay continues to refine its comprehensive makeup line. In early 2006 the company repackaged its old favorites, and also relaunched several new makeup items. Everything now has a sleek new look and color-coded packaging. We admit, the makeover is effective, not just product-wise but visually too.

Shopping this drugstore line is now much easier because of the clearly defined product and color family groupings. Lamentably, testers and trial sizes of the makeup are still scarce regardless of where you shop. Almay has always been a reliable line for foundations, powder, and mascara. Within its current lineup you'll find that remains true. Their foundations are better than ever, and still offer full, broad-spectrum sun protection and a mostly neutral palette. We also found their concealers and mascaras have improved, as have the pencil options. When it comes to shopping for makeup staples with state-of-the-art formulas, Almay has many winners, and some innovative surprises that its competitors would be wise to learn from.

For more information about Almay, owned by Revlon, call (800) 992-5629 or visit www.almay.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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I had high hopes for this foundation based on the Paula's Choice review and member comments. I have fair, very dry skin with redness from rosacea, especially in the summer. It's moisturizing, and it does give a glowy look, but coverage is light at best. If you need a foundation for fair, dry skin, and don't want much coverage, this should work. But it's nowhere near as good as All Bases Covered, which I used until Light Cream was discontinued.

Reviewed by
Susan A.
Felt dry

I like this foundation except that it made me dry. It's just not worth it.i hydrated really well added SPF and then added foundation.I'll probably stick with l'oreal lumi and new revlon age defying. I seem to do fine with those 2.

Reviewed by
Annette D.
Good foundation

I really appreciate Paula's and member reviews. Being forced to retire and living on social security I can't afford Estée Lauder foundation any longer (always use Paula's creams, serums, etc.) and have been wary of drugstore foundations. I'm very fair and this has SPF 20, doesn't make me look either pasty white or yellowish. This is very moist at first but eventually dries looking quite natural. The Walgreen's beauty area salesperson found a coupon toward it which was even more helpful.

Reviewed by

I rarely write reviews but this required one. After using Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Enhancer all summer, (another Best), returning to Revlon's Nearly Naked foundation and powder for the winter made my skin feel heavy and tacky. Almay's Wake-up makeup is so light and skin-like; it doesn't feel like I'm wearing any at all! While Revlon's looked too greasy and had a whitish cast, this truly looks skin-like. My skin is very dry and sensitive and Almay's made it look smooth and slightly moist.

Reviewed by

This is one of the best makeup products of any price that I have tried in years. The texture is liquidy and light and blends seamlessly, The 03 color works well for my fair to light skin. It is natural looking, more than sheer coverage with a non-shiny glow finish (I don't know how!). Minor pigmentation and texture issues (I'm mid forties) seem to disappear with this product--and it lasts all day for me without looking dry or breakthrough oil in T zone.

Reviewed by
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