A lightweight foundation tends to be a top seller during the summer months, but as we move into summer we don't want to spend hours applying a heavy foundation. Don't get me wrong, there's certainly a time and place for a full-coverage foundation, but for the day-to-day, a lot of us prefer a formula that evens out the skin tone, provides enough coverage to hide the odd blemish or dark undereye circles.
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I've been on the hunt for the perfect lightweight foundation over the past year, and I've tried some new products on the beauty shelves - and a few classics, too.
From the new 'skin tints' to pigmented tinted moisturisers and CC creams, these are the foundations that get top results if you're after the no makeup-makeup look.
Whether you're after a dewy tinted foundation or one with a touch more coverage, these are our favourites...
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Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation
Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation, £36, Charlotte Tilbury
At the beginning of 2022, Charlotte Tilbury launched the Beautiful Skin Foundation. If you like the mix of a lighweight foundation with real-skin finish, and perfect coverage this is it! Available in 30 shades, you're in for a treat.
HELLO! Reviews: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation
I always have high hopes when I try anything Charlotte Tilbury-related as she rarely disappoints. The promise of 'Beautiful Skin' is a big one, and I have to say, she aced it. This foundation gives you skin that looks hydrated (even though I'm truly terrible with my water intake) and plumper, and smoother. I had a few blemishes the first time I tried this product and I was surprised it covered them easily, but didn't feel heavy in the process.
Thanks to the product being formulated with skincare ingredients, it goes on like an absolute dream and it's super buildable. My only concern is I'm going to run out quite fast - I wish it was double the size.
YSL Nu Bare Look Tint
YSL Nu Bare Look Tint, £27, Yyves Saint Laurent Beauty
Nu Bare Look Skin Tint can be used as a tinted moisturiser or as a buildable lightweight foundation, all with a 90% skincare base formula. A light-to-medium coverage, Nu Bare Look Skin Tint achieves a fresh and dewy complexion for up to 12 hours. This flexible, multi-tasking skin tint has a creamy water-gel texture for up to 24-hour hydration and leaves skin naturally enhanced with a radiant finish, a perfect blend of makeup and skincare.
HELLO! Reviews: YSL Nu Bare Look Tint
I love the idea of a skincare and makeup hybrid, especially when it's this easy to apply. The tint is infused with plant-based glycerin and hyaluronic acid to help with lasting moisturisation and hydration, and Marsh Mallow from the YSL Ourika Community Gardens which is a key ingredient for a soothing effect. The product went on like a dream and my skin felt super glowy all day long.
Erborian Super BB
Erborian Super BB, £18.50, LookFantastic
Erborian's mission is to help people realise that their skin is enough and that any base product should enhance their skin immediately whilst also improving it over time, and Super BB does just that. It is specifically designed for those who suffer from breakouts, blemishes, dark spots, or simply those who want slightly more coverage from a tinted moisturiser. It has a host of powerful ingredients and is also non-comedogenic. What's more, it contains mineral UV filters (within the Chocolat shade these are organic) for SPF 20 UV.
HELLO! Reviews: Erborian Super BB
While I do suffer with breakouts, I still prefer a light foundation for daily use, and this one is just so unbelievably good. I also packed it for a recent holiday and wore it every single day.
I love that it contains skin benfits! The White Ginseng Complex is the star Korean active ingredient, with smoothing and moisturising properties. My face never feels dry when I'm wearing this.
It also contains 4% Niacinamide, the powerful active ingredientthat has been proven to be effective in reducing imperfections.
Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum
Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum, £36, Rose Inc
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's brand is going from strength to strength. For her newest launch, it's a gorgeous tinted serum. If you're after a hydrating skin tint that delivers sheer, radiant coverage, this is it. What's more, this is infused with sodium hyaluronate to visibly plump and smooth the appearance of fine lines, squalane to weightlessly hydrate the skin, and peptides to help protect against environmental damage.
HELLO! Reviews: Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum
You know the days when you're having a great skin day but you just need a little something-something to give you radiance and a hint of colour? This does just that. It's a joy to apply, and the pigment just bursts on the skin upon contact. Probably strange to confess, but I think there's something weirdly pleasing about that. The skin feels refreshed, and the serum gives a blurring effect on the skin. This could be described as the Paris filter for your barefaced skin. Will be great for holiday nights.
Trinny London DeStress
Trinny London DeStress, £39, Trinny London
A first-of-its-kind tinted serum in 12 stretchable shades, this incredible product is designed to combat the effects of daily stress on the skin, packed with skincare actives to instantly awaken tired-looking skin. BFF De-Stress offers both immediate and long-term results, with 84% of women saying their natural skin looked significantly better after using the product for 21 days.
Trinny London's NP-TriOX™ Technology (including stress-busting Neurophroline) works to tackle the short and long-term effects of cortisol while hyaluronic acid provides long-lasting hydration that plumps and smooths. If you suffer with blemished skin, you might want to try BFF Rebalance, which helps to keep skin balanced and healthy, thanks to the powerful noni bioactives which help to preserve the skin’s microbiome (a whole community of organisms that live on the skin). The niacinamide helps to control blemishes and prevent future congestion by reducing excess oil and the appearance of pores. It also includes avocado extract which is famed for its calming properties.
HELLO! Reviews: Trinny London DeStress
Trinny never gets it wrong. I'm a big fan of her original BFF cream for a subtle glow (I use it more as a primer) so I was thrilled when the beauty mogul launched De-Stress for a little added coverage. I apply with my fingers and my skin looks (and feels) fresh and energised. I have also tried the BFF Rebalance - the latest in the BFF family - and think it's wonderful for when my skin is having a 'moment' and needs a bit of TLC. You can use all three together or mix and match for the desired effect.
Urban Decay Hydromaniac Tinted Glow Foundation
Urban Decay Hydromaniac Tinted Glow Foundation, £29, Urban Decay
This buildable vegan formula of Hydromaniac Tinted Glow Hydrator is super lightweight and blendable. It has three powerful vegan ingredients, including kombucha, marula and ginger oils known to detox and clarify the complexion for a real-skin glow. Hydromaniac comes in 12 flexible shades, designed to suit your skin tone by allowing your real skin to show through the medium coverage and sheer glow finish.
HELLO! Reviews: Urban Decay Hydromaniac Tinted Glow Foundation
This glides on like an absolute dream and the result is dewy hydrated skin. It's one of the easiest and comfiest foundations I've worn, and overall it blends lovely on the skin. Thanks to the hydrating oils, it lasts all day and doesn't gather in dry spots. If you have blemishes, it won't necessarily cover, but I just used a touch of concealer on mine.
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BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser Hydrating Gel Cream
BareMinerals Complexion Rescue, £30.50, bareMinerals
This is multitasking at its finest! You have hydrating skincare benefits with radiant, natural-looking coverage and mineral-based Broad Spectrum SPF 30 - it's a tick, tick, and tick situation. The water-infused, oil-free formula smooths onto skin with a refreshing water burst sensation.
HELLO! Reviews: Complexion Rescue
This is the tinted moisturiser I've always packed in my suitcase for a holiday - it's just the ultimate go-to for a dewy healthy-looking glow. The lightweight gel cream, which is 98% naturally derived, gives you the benefits of makeup, skincare and SPF in one step.
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, £33, Cult Beauty
NARS’ iconic tinted moisturiser is now available in 16 shades for all skin types and tones. It’s the everything, for everyone – coveted formula smooths on buildable, oil-free coverage infused with SPF 30 and packed with skincare ingredients to hydrate, smooth, brighten with vitamin C, and protect. Vitamin C – rich in antioxidants – helps to protect against environmental aggressors and even out skin tone for a brighter-looking complexion in just four weeks.
HELLO! Reviews: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
If you're looking for lightweight hydration, you've got it. I applied the NARS Tinted Moisturiser with my fingertips and it made my skin glow but it still looked natural. My skin, but just better.
Delilah Time Frame Foundation
Delilah Time Frame Foundation, £28.90, Look Fantastic
This Morning's Holly Willoughby wears this foundation - her makeup artist is a big fan of the brand. Time Frame is a fluid foundation that blends perfectly with the skin, leaving an effortlessly flawless finish. The light, buildable coverage has a subtle luminosity and a velvety texture and vitamin E works as a powerful antioxidant to prevent against environmental damage while a blend of peptides helps to prevent signs of ageing. What's more, Time Frame contains a broad spectrum SPF 20 for everyday protection.
HELLO! Reviews: Delilah Time Frame Foundation
If I want a guaranteed good makeup day, I reach for Time Frame. It's a really lovely foundation to use and it marries so well with other products. I tend to wear Time Frame for work and it lasts until the end of the day. What I love about it is that it's light but the coverage is still there and is super easy to apply. You can't beat the fact there's an SPF in there - and cruelty-free.
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IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare, £33, IT Cosmetics
If you want a lightweight foundation but with medium coverage, check out IT Cosmetics' latest foundation, Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare. It features lightweight, medium buildable coverage that instantly improves the look of skin —minimising the look of pores and imperfections while delivering all-day hydration and wear with a naturally radiant finish. Suitable for all skin types and infused with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, vitamins E & B5 and hepes acid.
HELLO Reviews Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare
I'm already a big fan of the cult classic CC Cream from IT Cosmetics - it's not just me, all the beauty editors swear by it, and if you follow Rose Gallagher on Instagram you'll know why such a great addition to your makeup bag. As much as I love how lightweight it feels, there are days when I just want a little more coverage. Thankfully, IT Cosmetics brought us Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare. It goes on like a dream and gives you a radiant finish - a win-win.
Ciate London Dewy Skin Glass Glow Tint
Ciate London Dewy Skin Glass Glow Tint, £9.10, FeelUnique
Princess Eugenie's makeup artist Hannah Martin is a big fan of skin tint, and says this really is a semi-sheer skin base like no other. The formulation is infused with dragon fruit extract, along with a brightening blend of skincare ingredients such as vitamin c, yuzu and hyaluronic acid for ultra-soft, supple skin and up to 12-hours of long-lasting hydration.
The tint comes in 10 shades, with its super-sheer and easily blendable formulation Dewy Skin has been designed to suit all skin shades and tones.
HELLO! Reviews: Ciate London Dewy Skin Glass Glow Tint
This year is officially the year of the skin tint and I've noticed how much I've moved away from heavier, full-coverage bases. This one is lightweight, hardworking and ultra-nourishing, Dewy Skin provides that much-coveted natural, glass-skin glow without feeling ‘shiny’ or tacky. My skin looks brighter and smoother when I wear it. I just wish it had a nice scent.
Huda Beauty GloWish Multi-Dew Skin Tint
Huda Beauty GloWish Multi-Dew Skin Tint, £32, Cult Beauty
GloWish Multidew Skintint is a radiant, moisture-packed skin tint that instantly brightens your complexion and blurs pores for a soft-focus, dewy finish. The sheer coverage illuminates your skin (without hiding it!) and the light-reflective pearl pigments effortlessly enhance your natural beauty.
The skin tint has been infused with good-for-skin ingredients including Damascus Rose Oil and sustainably sourced Red Bell Pepper Extract! The rose oil soothes, clarifies and locks in moisture, while the red pepper extract helps protect our skin against the effects of digital pollution (like the blue light in our mobiles phones, iPad and laptops).
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HELLO! Reviews: GloWish Multi-Dew Skin Tint
If you want a glowy base you'll love this - your skin is left looking fresh and dewy. It's medium coverage and will cover the odd blemish or redness, while allowing your skin to shine through as promised.
Tarte Maracuja Tinted Moisturiser
Tarte Maracuja Tinted Moisturiser with sponge, £26, QVC UK
The Tarte Maracuja Tinted Hydrator is an ultra-lightweight and hydrating tinted moisturiser that will give you a sheer wash of colour while infusing skin with maracuja superfruit for up to 12-hour hydration. Apply with the included 'Foundcealer Sponge' and give your complexion a much-needed drink with this infused formula.
HELLO! Reviews: Tarte Maracuja Tinted Moisturiser
If you're looking for a super lightweight skin tint, this is it. The tinted moisturiser evens out your skin tone while also giving you a nice little dewy finish and also allowing your freckles and your skin to shine through. If you're a minimal kind of girl, you'll love it.
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Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, £37, CultBeauty
The lightweight formula, infused with Tamarind Seed Extract, helps skin retain moisture to prevent water evaporation, for long lasting hydration. This perfect blend of skincare and makeup improves your skin over time with a Hydrating Complex made up of Macadamia and Kukui Seed Oils that helps increase the skin's moisture levels long-term for 24 hours of hydration, while reducing the signs of visibly dry skin.
HELLO! Reviews: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser
There's a reason why this is a cult classic. This multitasking blend of skincare and makeup blurs imperfections, with a sheer hint of coverage. If you're looking for a sheer hint of coverage, with added SPF, for an effortless no-makeup makeup dewy finish, you've found it.
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Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturiser
Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturiser, £40, Feel Unique
The incredibly lightweight formula evens out the complexion with a sheer finish. Perfectly protected and moisturised, the skin looks radiant with a healthy outdoor glow. Key benefits include a hyaluronic acid derivative which acts like a water trap on the skin surface and contributes to optimal hydration and comfort all day long.
HELLO! Reviews: Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturiser
I love this product. It is extremely moisturising without feeling heavy on the skin. The coverage is light which makes the skin look natural with a glow and there's added SPF - it's a winner. What's more, it has a subtle and gentle fragrance that's divine.
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Kevyn Aucoin Stripped Nude Skin Tint
Kevyn Aucoin Stripped Nude Skin Tint, £36, Space NK
Stripped Nude Skin Tint is a skincare-infused foundation that works to disguise blemishes and provides a long-lasting and natural finish. With a sheer to light coverage, it has a non-greasy formula and defends against blue light pollution.
HELLO! Reviews: Kevyn Aucoin Stripped Nude Skin Tint
The soft, velvety texture glides on effortlessly without a cakey or chalky effect. It blurs the skin somewhat, and it protects against blue light and free radicals. Ideal if you're looking to go from a heavy foundation down to a lighter option and nervous of making that switch. I think this is one of those products you'll reach for time and time again.
The Cream Foundation by SUQQU
The Cream Foundation by SUQQU, £68, Selfridges
The Cream Foundation by SUQQU is designed to deliver a natural-looking finish, and it helps to replenish moisture levels. What's more, it delivers radiance and covers imperfections. Infused with 13 Japanese-sourced extracts (from green tea to silk protein), the formula leaves skin smooth and hydrated while blending seamlessly and staying luminous throughout the day.
HELLO! Reviews: The Cream Foundation by SUQQU
Luxury Japanese brand SUQQU is famous for its iconic range of base makeup – its signature glowing skin finish has a cult following of beauty insiders from Tokyo to London. The foundation gives you a natural glow that adapts to the skin over time. My complexion looked smooth and hydrated, but with a natural radiance. I have to say, I enjoy being able to manage my own application thanks to the product being housed in a pot rather than a tube.
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