Hair & Makeup

8 Of The Best Lightweight Foundations To Take You Through To Summer

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


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 really good 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 famous La Mer Miracle Broth, which 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 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 summer in the city… Sisley 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 boosting moisture… Kevyn Aucoin Foundation Balm in Light FB 02

Balms have a reputation for feeling weighty on the skin, but that couldn’t be further from the truth here. This silky, foolproof foundation from Kevyn Aucoin contains a bunch of hydrators, including hyaluronic acid, avocado oil and vitamin E, making it moisturizing and resistant to drying out over the course of the day. Thanks to its buttery texture, it melts into your skin, too, so even if your blending skills aren’t up to scratch, you’re still guaranteed a perfect finish.

Best for bare-face days… Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Technically, this formula from Charlotte Tilbury is not a foundation, but it is an excellent option on those days where your skin looks even and well-rested. It subtly evens out imperfections, reduces redness and adds a beautiful glow. Use the doe-foot applicator to apply it to your skin and blend it in with fingers.

Best for a dewy finish… Surratt Beauty Dew Drop Foundation

As the name implies, just a few drops of this water-like foundation from Surratt Beauty blends out into a beautifully glowy and hydrated base. You need very little to even out redness and create uniformity, but the formula is easy to layer so you can build up to a fuller coverage should you need it. We find it’s best applied with a flat foundation brush, such as Westman Atelier Foundation Brush, followed by a light dusting of powder through the T-zone to take down some of the shine.

Best for sensitive skin… Kjaer Weis Invisible Touch Liquid Foundation

Landing somewhere between skincare and makeup, this serum-like foundation by Kjaer Weis helps to calm sensitivities and reduce redness, while evening out skin tone and imparting a luminous, skin-like finish. It contains organic chamomile water, hyaluronic acid and mimosa flower wax, which all act like a soothing tonic for misbehaving complexions – an ideal formula for irritated, acne-prone or retinol-weary skin.


The models featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown