Beauty starts with healthy skin, and a good base that evens skin tone and texture is the foundation of all makeup. Even if you’re blessed with glowing, blemish-free skin, a lightweight foundation will prep your skin and help cosmetics look stronger and stay put longer. the majority of us will turn to foundation to fade discolorations, blemishes, and dark circles.
Lightweight foundations are formulated with airy, hydrating ingredients for a silky, comfortable feel on skin. Although the formula is lightweight, color coverage can range from sheer to full coverage, so a heavy-duty primer doesn’t have to be heavy on your skin.
Read on to find out which lightweight foundations we recommend for a flawless finish without feeling heavy.
How to Buy the Best Lightweight Foundation for You
What does it mean for a foundation to be lightweight?
Traditional foundations tend to come in cream or thick liquid formulations that provide excellent coverage and can give good long-lasting results – especially for a more dramatic evening look or for photographs – but cover the skin quite opaque and may seem heavy and less. natural by day. Some skin types may find that heavy, full-coverage foundations clog pores and lead to blemishes and blemishes.
READ NEXT: The best foundations
Modern pigment technology means similar medium to full coverage can be delivered in a lighter liquid or gel formula. Lightweight formulas feel cooler on the skin and tend to look more natural – as such they are suitable for lighter daytime makeup. Many lightweight foundations contain moisturizing and radiance-boosting ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or vitamin C, as well as light-diffusing particles to brighten the appearance of skin.
Lightweight foundations are available in a range of finishes, from dewy to matte; we’ve included a range of cover and finishes below.
What is the difference between a lightweight foundation and a BB cream?
Similar to a tinted moisturizer, a BB cream combines the benefits of a moisturizer and serum with light-colored coverage, giving skin a more even look but with a sheer finish that lets natural skin show through. A BB cream or tinted moisturizer can usually be worn alone or with very light makeup, such as simple mascara and lip gloss. Lightweight foundations provide more color coverage and can be worn alone or as part of an all-over makeup look.
READ NEXT: The Best BB Creams
How do I apply my lightweight foundation?
The lightweight foundation can be applied with a brush, sponge or even fingertips depending on your preference. For a stronger, more defined look, and with products that provide fuller coverage, a brush may be a good choice; a sponge or beauty blender will create a dewy, natural finish.
Always start with cleansed and hydrated skin; allow moisturizer to sink into skin to prevent creasing or slipping, then apply primer if using. To apply liquid foundation with a brush, apply a small amount to the back of your hand, then dip the brush into the foundation. First apply to the center of the face (nose, chin and forehead), then blend outwards with small strokes. Start small and build up as needed – it’s easier to keep a smooth finish even if you build up in small amounts.
To apply with a sponge, apply your foundation with your fingers to the center of your face as above; then blend with a damp sponge or beauty blender, pressing gently on the face. Note that the sponge is used to press the foundation into the skin after it has been applied – squirting your foundation onto the sponge and spreading it out will give you lumpy, cakey results.
Finish by dusting your concealer over blemishes and set with a light dusting of translucent powder.
The Best Lightweight Foundations to Buy in 2022
1. Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation: ideal for light coverage
Price: £9 | Buy now on Amazon
Healthy Mix is a beautifully lightweight, hydrating foundation from Bourjois with a velvety finish that makes skin look smoother and more even. The foundation contains brightening vitamin C and melon and apricot extracts, as well as hydrating hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. Soft, creamy foundation goes from sheer to medium coverage with a flattering semi-matte finish that lasts all day. A silky, light and very natural foundation at a low price.
Key Specs – Pack Size: 30ml; Blanket: Transparent-medium; To finish: Semi-matte; Shades: 12
2. Too Face Born This Way Foundation: Best for Full Coverage
Price: £32 | Buy now on Too Face
Too Face’s best-selling Born This Way is a super lightweight oil-free foundation that easily builds to full coverage for a flawless base that still looks like natural skin. The foundation contains coconut water and hyaluronic acid for a hydrating effect that keeps skin looking and feeling refreshed, and the lightweight liquid blends easily to blur imperfections and smooth the skin with a natural, slightly luminous finish. Born This Way is available in a good range of 35 shades, and there’s a Matter version of the product (also in 35 shades) for oily skin or those who prefer an all-matte finish.
Key Specs – Pack Size: 30ml; VSsurplus: Full; To finish: Semi-matte; shades: 35
Buy now on Too Face
3. L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation: Best high-street
Price: £13 | Buy now on Amazon
A great mainstream product that works just as well as some of its more expensive counterparts, L’Oréal’s Infallible is a soft, blendable foundation that provides medium coverage with a dewy, glowing finish. The water-based moisturizing formula is particularly suitable for dry skin as it keeps the skin feeling fresh and hydrated all day long. The creamy color is long-lasting, and the 12 shades available match a reasonable range of skin tones.
Key Specs – Pack Size: 30ml; Blanket: Average; To finish: dew; shades: 12
4. Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder: the best for a radiant finish
Price: £34 | Shop now at Feel Unique
Light Wonder is a feather-light foundation with light-diffusing particles to blur imperfections and add a soft glow to skin. The intense pigmentation means a little of this liquid foundation goes a long way – just dot the areas of the face that need the most coverage and blend with a sponge or your fingertips. The hydrating, weightless foundation is particularly suitable for dry or mature skin as it blends seamlessly and lies comfortably on the skin without clumping on dry patches or fine lines. Coverage goes from sheer to medium and Light Wonder is available in 12 shades.
Moisturizing, illuminating, feather-light and breathable, illuminating shine finish.
Key Specs – Pack Size: 40ml; Blanket: Transparent-medium; To finish: dew; Sunderworld: 12
Shop now at Feel Unique
5. Boots No. 7 Beautifully Matte Foundation: Best Matte Finish
Price: £15 | Shop now at Boots
If you have oily skin or prefer a velvety matte finish to your foundation, this oil-free foundation from Boots will give you a long-lasting matte finish. The lightweight liquid foundation contains oil-absorbing powders to keep skin shine-free from dawn to dusk, and gives a lightly blending effect to minimize the appearance of blemishes. The foundation offers medium coverage, ideal for reducing discoloration or redness of the skin. Beautifully Matte is very light and breathable on the skin, and would be especially good for summer wear. The mattifying formula is good for oilier skin; dry skin would benefit from one of the hydrating formulas elsewhere on our list.
Key Specs – Pack Size: 28ml; Blanket: Transparent-medium; To finish: Matte; shades: 18
Shop now at Boots
6. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear: Best Long-Lasting Formula
Price: £30 | Shop now at Boots
A modern classic, Lancôme’s best-selling Teint Idole longwear foundation promises up to 24 hours of smudge-free coverage. The lightweight, oil-free liquid foundation provides a flattering, natural-looking demi-matte finish that leaves skin looking velvety smooth, and can be built from medium to full coverage to cover discoloration and blemishes.
Teint Idole comes in a very good range of 40 shades, with options that are particularly good for fair and porcelain skin tones; the foundation also contains SPF 15 sunscreen for extra sun protection. In our testing, we found that the color and mattifying effect lasted well throughout a typical day. With lightweight coverage and long-lasting hydration, Lancôme foundation is comfortable from dawn to dusk.
Key Specs – Pack Size: 30ml; Blanket: Medium-full; Fto finish: Semi-matte; shades: 40
Shop now at Boots