Foundation Review: Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue

Let’s get down to business, in the words of Captain Li Shang from Mulan. (Can you tell I’ve overdone it on the Disney+ channel binging? There’s no Disney stone left unturned in this house. As well as devouring the classics, we’ve watched every prequel and sequel, some of which, quite frankly, should never have been made. Of particular direness is The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, a weak coming-of-age story involving Ariel’s annoying teenage daughter and an underwater villain wearing what appears to be a latex Roland Mouret dress.) (Sidenote: how buff is King Triton? I actually blushed when he tailed his way into shot, not least because he’s now a grandad and it feels inappropriate to stare. He has a tiny merman waist and then this HUGE, ripped chest! I don’t know, it got me going anyway. Niche but true.)

But back to the business of brilliant beauty and a much-belated foundation review. You know how I love my dewy, low-key bases and Estée Lauder’s Futurist Hydra Rescue was an instant hit with its bouncy texture and healthy, radiant finish. If your skin is dry then you’ll love it – it feels thirst-quenching, it looks thirst-quenching and it doesn’t sit horribly in fine lines or wrinkles. (In fact any but the oiliest of skins will find it gives a gorgeous, understated dewiness.) And if you hate full or matte coverage and want a natural finish that’ll still manage to even out skintone and cover up minor blemishes and bits of redness then this will be entirely your bag. It has the comforting plumpness of a tinted moisturiser but the coverage of a foundation – ideal summertime makeup.

(Or anytime makeup, really; you can build this up really well if you prefer a fuller coverage and it sheers out nicely if you mix it with a little bit of moisturiser.)

Let’s go straight in for the close-ups – here’s the before and after:

You can see that it’s not a blank-it-all-out foundation, but it gives a general evenness in tone, knocks back dark circles and leaves the skin with a juicy sheen. (Unfortunately it does nothing for my side-tache problem, but obviously that requires more drastic action. Something sharp and/or pointy.)

I’ve only applied one quick layer of the Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Makeup here – one thing to note is that it is very moisturising and so if you wanted to build it up to a fuller coverage then you’d have to deal with the extra moisture. If you have very dry skin then that’s all fine and dandy but for anyone else then it’s a bit of a convoluted way of getting high coverage – if it’s blemish obliteration you’re after, but still want glow, then I’d opt for something like Dior’s Forever Skin Glow*.

But with a sensible, medium-coverage application of the Futurist foundation there’s no residue left behind on the skin – it just feels comfortable. Surely that’s foundation finish perfection? In terms of lasting effects I get good coverage for the majority of the day with only a tiny bit of slippage on oilier areas – for me that’s the nose and chin. Again, something like Dior’s Forever would have better longevity, but I wouldn’t get that same plumptious feel and ultra-fresh, informal kind of look.

Browse my foundation reviews

Estée Lauder’s Futurist gets a huge tick from me – it’s such a welcome addition to their foundation line-up. There are twenty shades (of which six are light, six are medium and eight are dark) the tube packaging with the pump dispenser is lightweight, travel-friendly and non-messy and there’s a built-in broad spectrum sunscreen (UVA and UVB protection) with SPF45.

You can find Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Makeup online here* for £36 as well as at Feel Unique here* and Selfridges here*. I use shade 2N1.

If you’re looking for the same dewy glow but slightly less coverage, I’d highly recommend Clinique’s Even Better Glow – you can find my full review here.

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  1. Nanaka
    May 19, 2021 / 7:54 am

    Okay, I finally gave in to the neverending lockdown, and just ordered a tube of this in 1N2 in the sale just to try out – for I might be a tad lighter than you. (No chance to test this beforehand!) Wondering whether it is a good match really, for I feel like I’m pretty “visibly” wearing makeup when putting this on =D Again this might (will!) be due to the fact I rarely wear foundation at all! The tales of a 38-year-old venturing into makeup… sheesh.

    Still, I wanted to come back here and thank you for your awesome reviews: they are really helpful! The feel, coverage etc. for this foundation is exactly like you described and I like it very much so far!

  2. beatrice
    September 20, 2020 / 9:59 pm

    I am shade amber honey on double wear. What shade would i be on the futurist.

  3. Esther Wiegers
    July 29, 2020 / 11:46 pm

    Hello Ruth,

    I am confused about the shade you are wearing. In this post it says 2N1, but in your june favorites video you say you are wearing 2W1.
    You are like my shade finder, the colors you use usually match my skintone.


    • August 14, 2020 / 10:49 am

      Ooh I have both, it seems! Here I’m wearing 2N1 x

      • Liz
        April 13, 2021 / 2:30 pm

        Why is it so matte? I’m normal skin and use a very moisturizing cream and the futurist finish is matte and flat

  4. susan
    July 15, 2020 / 9:53 pm

    Hi Ruth, can you please tell me the name of that double ended foundation brush in the photo? Thank you.

  5. Sarah farooqi
    July 15, 2020 / 4:16 pm

    Do you have any thoughts on how this compares to the ysl all in one glow or the it cosmetics cc cream? Xx

    I have really dry skin and prefer a luminous/dewy finish with medium coverage and I’m not sure which one to get, I hear great things about all three x

    • July 15, 2020 / 5:07 pm

      Lighter in consistency and coverage than IT, not sure about the YSL!

  6. Ann
    July 15, 2020 / 2:56 pm

    Thanks Ruth! Always helpful your reviews. And now that I know the colour, I can go and test it myself. We use the same colours in foundation. Yay! So handy!

  7. Madeleine Blumgart
    July 15, 2020 / 9:14 am

    This sounds and looks similar to the It Cosmetics CC cream (original). How does it compare coverage-wise?

    Thanks, I love these one-product reviews. You are the best!

    • July 15, 2020 / 5:08 pm

      I think sheerer! I need to dig out the IT.

  8. SEVDA
    July 11, 2020 / 12:44 pm

    Your description of Mermaid 2, another Ruth classic.

  9. Charlotte
    July 11, 2020 / 7:48 am

    Interesting comparison to Clinique even better glow – I’ve been using this, but I’m looking for something a bit denser with some staying power. Might try this and the Dior! Side note on the little mermaid, I know exactly what you mean – back to back Thunderbirds Are Go in our house during lock down as my two year old won’t watch anything else. Five buff blokes to the rescue. Entirely watchable and I defy you not to fall in love with Virgil just a little bit!

    • July 12, 2020 / 7:10 pm

      Adding Virgil to my research list – I’ve decided to write a post on cartoon crushes.

  10. July 10, 2020 / 9:54 pm

    At first I was convinced it was made for me, but maybe it will be too hydrating for me? Time to get a sample again I guess. If only that wasnt so hard to do at the moment…

    Anne from Doctor Anne

  11. Natacha
    July 9, 2020 / 4:20 pm

    I used to live little mermaid II ! I loved the song and her beautiful necklace… But I don’t recall the story very well.

  12. July 9, 2020 / 2:23 pm

    The foundation looks very natural and fresh on you, and nothing is heavy. I wonder if it might help to control my oils with its hydrating properties!

    xoxo Amanda |

  13. Jane Corrigan
    July 9, 2020 / 6:11 am

    Great review Ruth – I tried it recently and love it. My skin has become drier in recent times due to the dreaded menopause, and this sits beautifully on my skin. Xx

  14. Jennifer Ponder
    July 9, 2020 / 3:11 am

    Is there a US Link that you are affiliated with that if we purchase through you get a profit? I’m definitely purchasing but I thought I would check first!

    • July 9, 2020 / 11:06 am

      Ah, that’s very kind but honestly don’t worry – just find yourself the best price! xx

  15. Aliana
    July 8, 2020 / 8:38 pm

    Have you seen “Lost & Found”? Narrated by Jim Broadbent. Very beautiful about friendship.

  16. July 8, 2020 / 8:37 pm

    I love the in built SPF 45 (why is the sun protection in makeup so often a puny 15?) as well as the dewy, natural coverage- it looks particularly lovely for summer.


  17. Helen
    July 8, 2020 / 6:49 pm

    Hello Ruth – I wondered what shade you are wearing?



    • July 8, 2020 / 9:38 pm

      2N1! Sorry, I meant to put this in, will update now x

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