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Hair & Makeup

7 of the best lightweight foundations

Backstage at Jason Wu FW20

The best foundation has to tick a lot of boxes – evening out skin tone, concealing without masking and giving a glow while still looking natural. SUZANNE SCOTT puts the best lightweight formulas to the test

Beauty

If you think ‘lightweight’ equals light or sheer coverage, think again. In fact, when it comes to foundation, lightweight really means a product that has been formulated in such a sophisticated way that you can’t feel it on your skin, no matter how much you apply. A brilliant lightweight foundation should be able to even out your skin tone, minimize the appearance of blemishes and broken veins, and add a veil of vitality, all while still allowing you to touch your face, or take a call, without it transferring or smearing. Read on for the best…

Best for dry skin… La Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF20

This seriously silky foundation feels like an extension of La Mer’s incredible line-up of skincare. It is a fairly watery consistency, which may lead you to believe it lacks coverage, but in fact it perfectly evens out mild discoloration and will also cover a breakout or two. Its real magic, however, lies in its skincare-like formula: it contains the fabled La Mer Miracle Broth that really delivers in the hydration stakes and allows skin to glow without appearing greasy. A must-try.

Best for oily skin… Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick

Makeup artist Gucci Westman, founder of Westman Atelier, recommends applying this foundation straight from the stick and then blending it with your fingers. Unlike some stick foundations, this formula is subtle and buildable and leaves skin with a velvety, touchable finish, making it ideal for oily skin types. If you suffer from redness, you’ll be glad to know it’s enriched with phytosphingosine, a lipid that helps to reduce inflammation and redness.

Best for soothing stressed skin… Burberry Beauty Fresh Glow Gel Stick

This Burberry Beauty foundation does everything you would expect from a great base – brightens dark circles, conceals blemishes, evens out skin tone and makes you look rested, even when you’re not – but it is also remarkably cooling and calming. Aloe vera helps to take the heat off sensitivity and inflammation, plus its water-based formula is refreshing. It’s a brilliant option for whenever your skin feels overwrought.

Best for when you need more coverage… Serge Lutens Spectral Cream Foundation

This Serge Lutens foundation a very creamy texture, and the coverage actually builds the more you work it into skin with your fingertips. However, despite its high coverage, you can barely feel it once it’s on. It’s a good go-to for public-speaking events or if you are expecting to have your photograph taken and want to feel secure that your skin is looking its best.

Best for summer in the city… Sisley Paris Tinted Sun Care Stick SPF50+

Perfectly marrying sun protection with a touch of color, this tinted stick by Sisley is a smart makeup hybrid. Swipe it straight onto skin and blend with your fingers. It contains very high sun protection – making it ideal for hot summer days closer to home – and just enough pigment to even out your skin tone. As is recommended with SPF, you should be topping this up every two hours or so, but you will also need a tiny amount of concealer if you have blemishes you would like to disguise.

Best for speedy application… By Terry Light-Expert Click Brush

Makeup application doesn’t get much easier than By Terry’s foundation-plus-brush duo. With hyaluronic acid and a host of skincare actives, this foundation is kind to skin while it cleverly corrects discoloration and redness, brightens dullness and conceals blemishes. Simply click until the foundation appears among the bristles and blend, blend, blend.

Best for softening fine lines… Natura Bissé Diamond Cocoon Sheer Cream

What makes this sheer base by Natura Bissé such a standout product is how it both nourishes and protects your skin at the same time. Packed with antioxidants and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, it also intelligently helps to retain any moisture in the skin, leaving a finish that’s beautifully hydrated and sheer. What’s more, while the sheer cream goes on beige, it quickly blends to match any skin tone.

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