9 Foundation Hacks For Lighter Coverage

9 Foundation Hacks For Lighter Coverage

In the summer we all want our foundation to look as fresh and lightweight as possible, but still with decent coverage – and there are a few simple tricks which can help you achieve it. From tweaking your application to mixing your base with a good SPF, here, make-up master Jessica Kell shares her step-by-step guide and some of her favourite products…

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Assess Your Face

“There’s nothing chicer than a lightweight, fresh-looking foundation and there are, luckily, several ways to achieve it. My first tip is to only apply your base make-up to the areas that need it most, the blend it in with a rounded foundation brush in swift, circular motions. Start by looking at your face and applying a lightweight base all over. Then, take a heavier concealer over the top where you need it most – think under the eyes, around the nose and to cover any uneven tone. This alone will keep your look fresher and more natural. The Glossier Stretch Concealer is brilliant over a lightweight base because it’s flexible, easy to layer and minimises the appearance of just about every imperfection.” 

Mix & Match 

“It’s an age-old recommendation but sheering out your foundation with your moisturiser is one of the easiest tricks in the book. Do this on the back of your hand to get the right consistency before you apply it. As a general rule of thumb, go two parts foundation to one part moisturiser so you still get good coverage. You can also mix your base with an illuminating primer or an SPF – like Beauty Pie’s Lightweight SPF50 Primer. This will thin everything out slightly, and give great glow, too.”

Choose Carefully

“It can be hard to shop for lightweight foundations knowing they can still conceal for a flawless finish. My advice is to look for thinner formulas that can be built up, like Kjaer Weis’ Invisible Touch Liquid Foundation. It’s serum-like texture adapts seamlessly to the skin and lends more coverage with every drop applied. Another base worth trying is Charlotte Tilbury’s Light Wonder Foundation which is ideal for that light, dewy illumination, as well as even coverage that doesn’t budge. Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint is a great option, too, if you want just a hint of something, but a texture that’s barely there. Finally, MAC’s Waterweight Foundation is brilliant for oily skin types – it doesn’t budge and is completely oil-free.” 

Don’t Neglect Skin Prep

“Another way to get sheer, dewy coverage is by focusing on your skin prep. Always apply your foundation to freshly cleansed and properly moisturised skin for the best results. To really amp up the glow, always use an illuminating primer first. Then, apply a small amount of your foundation over the whole face, before blending it down onto your neck. Afterwards, look in the mirror to check where you might need a bit more coverage – this is where you should focus any extra product, but only a few drops. If you have an area that needs more coverage, mix a little of your foundation with a couple of drops of concealer to really blend out your base and keep things light.”  

Nail The Shade 

“Finding the right shade of foundation when it’s a lightweight formula is much easier than a heavier one. Look for undertones that match yours and never be tempted to go lighter or darker than your natural skin tone – this will take away from the ‘sheer’ coverage you want to achieve. Going too light will make you appear sickly, while darker won’t match your neck. If you want to add dimension, use a highlighter or under eye concealer to brighten things up. Likewise, tanning drops added to foundation or concealer will deepen the look and help bring out some warmth.”

For dewy coverage, focus on skin prep and always apply foundation to freshly cleansed skin for best results. To really amp up the glow, use an illuminating primer first.

Use A Brush

“When building up coverage with a light foundation, always use a good brush. By buffing it into your skin, you’re guaranteed a great finish without it ever sitting on top of your skin in little lumps. A flat foundation brush is your best bet because you can lay the foundation down into the skin without disturbing any product underneath. If you just want a hint of tint to the skin, clean fingers are a speedy, easy way to get what you’re after – just be sure to massage the product in, as you would a moisturiser.”

Set Everything 

“Lighter foundations tend to slide quicker, but there are things you can do to prevent this happening. First, good skin prep will lock everything down for as long as possible, as will using a sweep of finely milled powder on top of your foundation. My go-to is Hourglass’ Veil Translucent Setting Powder as it gives a beautiful glow and sets everything in place fast without looking overly matte or cakey.” 

Layer Up Lightly 

“For lightweight coverage, ensure you apply everything in layers. For instance, start with light layers of your go-to serum and moisturiser, then allow that to fully absorb for at least five minutes. When it comes to your foundation, always start applying it in the middle of your face, moving down your T-zone, around the nose and onto the chin. As these are the areas which tend to need most coverage, you’ll often find once these are ticked off, the rest of your skin won’t need so much. You can always go back in and add a little more if needed.”

Finally, Stick To Similar Textures

“The ‘lightweight’ look isn’t just about your foundation. Yes, it’s the starting point, but to maintain that healthy, dewy glow, you need to be using similar textures in your other products. That includes bronzer, blusher and highlighter, so apply these (if you can) in cream or liquid format. This way, everything will work in synergy and you’re less likely to get pilling, too, which is where small balls of product begin to roll off your skin. My final tip is to always shake your foundation first – lightweight textures often separate in the bottle, so you want the liquid to combine for even, flawless coverage.”


Follow @JessicaKMakeUp

Shop our favourite products for a lighter coverage...

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at info@sheerluxe.com.

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily