As a beauty editor, I always favour a more natural makeup look. Don’t get me wrong, back in the day I used to apply layers of matte foundation in order to cover up any blemishes or dark circles, but these days I’m all about letting my real skin shine through (and as someone with an oily complexion, it really does shine).
Over the last few months, I’ve started to realise that I’m not the only one ditching foundation for lighter alternatives. From watching makeup tutorials on TikTok to speaking with friends in the beauty industry, everyone is favouring skin tints, tinted moisturisers and so on in order to embrace more dewy looks. It’s not just consumers either. I’ve recently noticed a huge amount of brands bringing out more lightweight base products, from Hourglass to YSL and Rose Inc.
Not only are people wanting more natural foundation alternatives, but they are also on the hunt for makeup products that benefit the skin too. We are seeing more and more skincare-makeup hybrids taking the beauty world by storm, combining nourishing ingredients with sheer coverage. I’m personally a huge fan. As someone who doesn’t have much time in the morning, I find hybrid makeup products make getting ready so much easier, and I feel much better parting with my money when I know my makeup is doing two jobs in one.
After raving about foundation alternatives to my friends and family, I thought it was only right that I shared my favourite lightweight base products with you, so that you can try them out for yourself and see what all the fuss is about. So, keep on scrolling for my top picks, and trust me when I say that the below products will soon become staples in your makeup bag…
First up is this skin tint from ILIA. The clever serum contains a whole heap of nourishing ingredients, while also providing light coverage and a dewy finish. Not only that, but it comes in 30 different shades and is also free from silicones, oil, fragrance, and chemical sunscreen. Formula: Serum. Number of shades available: 30. Skincare ingredients: Niacinamide, squalane and hyaluronic acid
If you’re looking for a drugstore foundation alternative, you can’t go wrong with L’Oréal. This plumping serum will leave your skin feeling silky soft thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid, and I find that it provides a little more coverage than other tinted serums on the market, so it’s great for slightly heavier makeup days. Formula: Serum. Number of shades available: 10. Skincare ingredients: 1% pure hyaluronic acid
This tinted face oil from Kosas is really something special. It’s super lightweight on the skin yet still offers medium coverage, and the formula has been designed to offer deep hydration thanks to the addition of multiple nourishing oils. Formula: Oil. Number of shades available: 16. Skincare ingredients: Avocado oil, jojoba oil, rosehip oil and camellia seed oil
Price shown is members’ price. Beauty Pie’s sheer tinted SPF is great for applying over your moisturiser to provide a little bit of coverage while working to the protect the skin (it’s worth noting that I would advise also using a higher SPF alongside this for adequate sun protection). It adds a gorgeous glow to your skin and makes everything look a whole lot smoother, while soothing and hydrating your complexion. Formula: Cream. Number of shades available: 8 Skincare ingredients: Ecocert squalane, jojoba esters and liquorice extract
I’ve heard every beauty editor talk about this skin tint from Hourglass, and I am desperate to give it a go myself. Not only is the packaging beautiful, but the lightweight formula is super hydrating and promises to leave your skin with a sheer, glowing finish. Formula: Serum. Number of shades available: 18. Skincare ingredients: Meadowfoam seed oil, hyaluronic acid, plant-based squalane and naturally derived rambutan blend
You’ve heard me rave about this product so many times, and for good reason. It’s one of the most unique base products I have ever come across, with microencapsulated pigment spheres that burst on contact with your skin. The result? A truly luminous complexion that is hydrated and ready to take on the day. Formula: Serum. Number of shades available: 14. Skincare ingredients: Squalane, hyaluronic acid and peptides
This skincare-makeup hybrid from YSL is a buildable skin tint, which means that you can have full control over how much coverage you want. The formula is enriched with hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin, and according to the reviews, it adds a natural-looking glow. Formula: Cream. Number of shades available: 20. Skincare ingredients: Hyaluronic acid
Glossier’s skin tint is great if you want your natural skin to shine through. It offers super sheer coverage and a dewy finish, and the formula contains glycerin to help lock in hydration. Formula: Serum. Number of shades available: 12. Skincare ingredients: Glycerin
I feel like Laura Mercier is famous for its tinted moisturisers, and this product really does make a great alternative to foundation. Expect sheer coverage and a dewy finish for that perfect natural makeup look. Formula: Cream. Number of shades available: 20. Skincare ingredients: Macadamia and kukui seed oils
Summer Fridays is one of my favourite skincare brands, so when I saw that they did a skin tint I practically screamed with excitement. With light coverage and a hydrating formula, I have no doubt that this will quickly become an everyday staple. Formula: Serum. Number of shades available: 12. Skincare ingredients: Hyaluronic acid and squalane