11 Lightweight Alternatives To Foundation

11 Lightweight Alternatives To Foundation

If you’re after an alternative to heavy foundation, there are plenty of new formulations on the shelves. From tinted oils to BB and CC creams, these new offerings allow for brighter, hydrating coverage that feels like second skin. Here, we share 11 of the best lightweight buys that are easy to wear, and even out skin tone too…

Catrice Hydro BB Cream, £5.99

When it comes to budget brands, Catrice is one of the best and its BB cream is a star. Its creamy texture cloaks the skin with hydrating pigment that doesn’t feel matte, yet somehow it controls oil and blurs the appearance of pores. Easy to layer, you can sweep on a little for breathable coverage, or load it up for more of an airbrushed finish. It works well for all, including sensitive and combination skin types. 

Available here 


Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser SPF15, £68

An investment, but so worth it. With additional SPF and an innovative Japanese formula, the featherweight texture lends a smooth, velvety ‘second skin’ finish that conceals without covering your natural texture. It also uses a blend of thyme and butterfly bush to keep free radicals (including pollution) from getting into the skin, while also minimising irritation. They call this the Holy Grail of bases for good reason.

Available here


Clarins Milky Boost, £30

One of our favourite launches from Clarins, this milky tint uses micro pearls that break onto the skin for creamy coverage. A little goes a long way, and it’s best applied with a brush for an even finish – expect a pinky hue that leaves skin luminous, radiant and subtly tinted. It’s completely recyclable too. 

Available here


Glossier Skin Tint, £20

With a consistency akin to a serum foundation, a little of Glossier’s Skin Tint goes a long way. It blends easily, cancelling out redness and evening out enlarged pores, while adapting to your natural tone for a believable finish. Don’t expect full-on coverage, but skin will look fresher, smoother and healthier – think of it like an imperceptible veil of colour that lends a blurring effect.

Available here


Kosas Tinted Face Oil, £40

Merging the benefits of mineral pigments and active botanical oils, this silky formula works to even skin tone, minimise pores, and give a dewy sheen. There are ten shades available, with self-adjusting colour that suits all. It’s incredibly moisturising, so skin feels hydrated while wearing it, and never tight or cakey. No wonder Cult Beauty has reported that 1,500 people search the brand on its site every day. The glowing reviews speak for themselves. 

Available here 


Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, £35

The OG of tinted moisturisers, this will always be highly regarded. You’d be hard-pushed to find a make-up artist that doesn’t swear by it, and it’s now available in more iterations than before, catering to all skincare needs. Giving more coverage than the rest, it could easily replace your foundation long term.  

Available here


Lumene Instant Glow Beauty Serum, £27

With its light, serum-like consistency and dewy yet semi-matte coverage, this covers up redness and spots beautifully, without any obvious caking. It also contains Arctic spring water and Nordic algae to keep skin hydrated and feeling fresh. A beauty editor favourite.

Available here


Rodial Skin Tint+, £49

An SL favourite, this medium coverage tint works as either a base for heavier make-up or a sheer tint that evens out tone. Amino-peptides smooth out fine lines, while added SPF20 keeps skin protected at all times. Expect a hydrating fluid that feels lightweight and comfortable on the skin – and won’t budge or cake, no matter how humid or wet the weather is. 

Available here


Erborian BB Crème Nude, £37

Erborian is one of our favourite Korean brands. There’s not one product from its range we don’t rate. The BB Crème comes up trumps with a creamy, tinted formula that awakens the skin with a fresh radiance we love. Liquorice root works to brighten and moisturise over time, while fruit extracts keep spots at bay. On good skin days, you may even find this is enough without your foundation.

Available here


Trinny London BFF Cream SPF30, £35

Sheer and hydrating, this creamy base had us hooked the first time we applied it. It’s a brilliant, foolproof formula that gives skin a luminous glow, bringing lacklustre complexions to life with hyaluronic acid and porcelain flowers. A few layers will give good, even coverage. 

Available here


iT Cosmetics CC Cream, £32

Loved by industry insiders and make-up pros, this cult CC cream hides everything – blotchiness, breakouts and dark patches. It also lends skin an airbrushed finish, yet feels like you’re wearing nothing. The addition of SPF50 is a big bonus, protecting against daily environmental aggressors including pollution and UV damage. This one comes with impressive statistics too: 100% of testers agreed their skin felt more hydrated post-use, while 96% said it was softer and smoother.

Available here

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