With vague hopes that summer might arrive soon, I thought it’d be worth giving a run down of some of the foundations I’ll be wearing if the sun ever comes out. I’m a bit of a foundation fiend and a lot of the ones I’ve picked up lately veer on the light side of light to medium coverage. It’s worth pointing out that no matter what I did, or what lighting I took photos in, all of the foundations looked way darker than they do in the bottle, so the images actually tell you very little about anything, except that they all have quite nice little bottles, except NAKED Skin, which is actually the largest foundation you’ve ever seen in your life. Feel free to suggest others in comments, particularly foundation lines that have a good options for pale-faces like myself! Now, in order of price, here we go:
Lightest stade: 005 Beige Ivoire
While this is one of the darker offerings of the bunch, its formulation is so blendable that it really does warm up pale skin while maintaining a natural look, as the people at the counter promised me it would. Offering medium coverage with SPF 20, it has a finish that is somewhat satin, neither promising to be matte nor dewy but finding a lovely naturally luminous middle-ground, and it is very buildable if you’re looking for full coverage. Containing LR 2412, the miracle ingredient also in its now famous Visionnaire serum, this does small wonders for drier skin. While it is the most expensive of the bunch, the concealer that comes in the lid does soften the blow.
Lightest shade: BD10
With the same promises of illumination and radiance that came with the now infamous Touche Eclat concealer, YSL’s TE foundation launched to high expectations last year, and has since met all of them. With 22 shades, in a range of pink, yellow and neutral undertones, this is a line of foundation that pretty much matches any skin tone, never mind just catering to palefaces. Offering a dewy finish, the gel-based formula gives light to medium coverage, and while even building it won’t bring it to full coverage, the luminosity kind of makes up for it. If you’ve got oily skin, you’ll need to apply powder over it to stop yourself from shining like a beacon, and while it will suit those with drier skin slightly better, you’ll still end up with a very natural, fresh, glow-y face.
Lightest shade: 0.5
Capitalising on the Naked fandom surrounding the two Naked eyeshadow palettes, it would be easy to pass this off as just opportunism, but you’d be missing out. This has a super lightweight formula but gives a medium coverage and builds well, while still managing to maintain that naked/natural finish. It feels like you’ve nothing at all on your skin, and being loaded with silicon means it leaves your skin looking super smooth, though may not be great if you’re prone to huge breakouts. Offering a better deal to those with combination/oily skin, this has more of a matte finish than the others and it will last the whole day without a primer, something that the YSL option struggles with.
Lightest shade: 51 Light Vanilla
After a reformulation, the entire Healthy Mix range has come back better than ever, and the serum foundation outdoes itself. It doesn’t feel much like a gel foundation to touch, but it applies like a dream, gliding on extremely easily and it feels gorgeous on the skin. It offers a very light coverage, and blends really well as a result. It also smells really lovely, as it’s got an anti-fatigue vitamin-rich fruit therapy formula, giving it a whiff of peach or something. It has a semi-matte finish, a perfect balance between matte and dewy, and while it doesn’t keep it’s 16-hour wear promises, it’s pretty long-lasting and you’ll easily get through a normal day without it slipping off your face. I reviewed this in full, with swatches and the like, here.
Lightest shade: Rose Ivory
L’Oreal have a number of options for fair skin tones but True Match comes up trumps, with Lumi Magique coming a close second. Probably a better option for summertime or oilier skin, as it has a habit of caking into dry patches, if you can move past that, you might just pick up a shade that matches your skin tone. There’s a good number of shade options, but it’s got quite a thin consistency and is super blend able, so it does sort of easily match many tones, without leaving tide marks on your face. Where Lumi Magique promises light infusion from all angles, this has a very tiny shimmer in it that doesn’t show up on the skin, offering a bright, but more natural looking finish. Some people have had problems with this foundation oxidising on them, but whacking on a primer underneath seems to solve the problem for most.
Lightest shade: 110 Ivory
With Nearly Naked, Revlon have put the focus on colour-matching, with 16 shades and online and in-store colour-matching materials, and even as the cheapest option on this list, it out-performs a good few of the bases here. As you can imagine with a name like Nearly Naked, this is a super lightweight foundation, and while it won’t do much for you if you’ve got a lot of redness or blemishes, it is amazing at making your skin look gorgeous, without a hint that you’re wearing foundation at all. It sort of just melts into your skin. It gives quite similar results to YSL’s offering here (if a little lighter) but at much reduced price point, and possibly even beating it in the long-lasting races. The main bug-bear with this is that the bottle comes without a pump, making it a bit messy if you’re not careful, and it’s very easy to waste a lot of product, but the product itself is pretty damn good for the price-point.