The 26 best lightweight foundations for a fresh, healthy finish |

The 26 best lightweight foundations for a fresh, healthy finish

Pared-back makeup looks have become a reigning trend in recent years, which is why we’ve seen an explosion of lightweight foundations that even-out tone, give glow and allow our skin to show through.

In our 2024 GLAMOUR Makeup Report, top celebrity makeup artist, Harold James, told us “we’ll see a more natural approach to makeup. This means using minimal foundation and concealer, and instead emphasising skincare to achieve a gorgeous complexion. It’s all about enhancing the skin’s natural beauty and radiance, rather than covering it up with heavy makeup.”

His forecast? “Lightweight foundations that give healthy-looking skin will continue be popular.” Pro celebrity makeup artist, Ash K Holm, agrees. “Skin should truly look like skin,” she says. Luckily, she adds, “we are seeing more brands creating foundations that feel light on the skin with a beautiful satin finish.”

There are countless tinted moisturisers, dewy foundations and skin tints to pick from, depending on your skin type, desired finish and coverage. But, to help you pick the one and only, we’ve put together a guide of the very best lightweight foundations worth your attention.

Best lightweight foundations at a glance – our top picks:

  1. Best Lightweight Foundation OverallFenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint, £27, Boots
  2. For Lightweight Foundation For Dry SkinRare Beauty Positive Light Tinted Moisturiser, £29, SpaceNK
  3. Best Lightweight Foundation With Hyaluronic Acid: HydraTint Moisturising Tinted Serum, £23, Sculpted by Aimee
  4. Best Affordable Lightweight FoundationThe Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation, £3.85, Boots

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint



Rare Beauty Positive Light Tinted Moisturiser



HydraTint — Moisturising Tinted Serum


The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation


Best lightweight foundation overall

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint



Why we love it: Are you after that blurred finish? Say. No. More. The Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop is the answer to your foundation prayers. Available in 25 shades, this flexible skin tint instantly evens out skin tone and feels incredibly lightweight throughout the day. Best part? It’s also humidity, sweat, and transfer-resistant, which is a big plus in our book.

GLAMOUR-approved: Ever since this lovely product joined my makeup collection, I’ve never looked back. In fact, I’ve consistently been using it on a daily basis (and I’m definitely wearing it while writing this too). This is the one lightweight foundation I swear by. I’m a big fan of its lightweight formula, but most importantly, it’s also surprising long-lasting. And on the days when I wanted more coverage, I could easily layer the product, which is an absolute win. Denise, GLAMOUR Commerce Writer.

Save when shopping for the best lightweight foundations with these Boots discount codes.

Best lightweight foundation for everyday wear

Rare Beauty Positive Light Tinted Moisturiser



Why we love it: Incredibly hydrating, this tinted moisturiser delivers weightless yet buildable coverage, resulting in a smooth, even finish. It also has SPF 20 built into its creamy formula and features features vitamin E, making it a great potential addition to your makeup bag, whatever the weather. Despite its moisturising feel, it doesn’t leave skin greasy or sticky. It gives a gorgeous skin-like look.

WATCHGirls Aloud serve us a whole lotta history, fashion fails and beauty wins

Most Popular


GLAMOUR-approved: I don’t know what I loved more, how hydrating it feels on my skin or how, despite its lightweight formula, it still manages to give me an impressive level of buildable coverage. I also found that the best way to apply it is with your very own hands (almost like you’d do with any other moisturiser). Denise, GLAMOUR Commerce Writer.

Enjoy up to 40% off when you shop for the best lightweight foundations with these SpaceNK discount codes.

Best lightweight foundation with hyaluronic acid

HydraTint — Moisturising Tinted Serum


Why we love it: The ultimate makeup-skincare hybrid, this natural-looking tint leaves behind a sheer veil or colour that’s buildable yet barely detectable. Its serum-like formula is rich in skin-perfecting ingredients like hyaluronic acid, Centella Asiatica Water and ceramides — and it comes in twenty flexible shades that cater to a plethora of different undertones. Lightweight, ultra-sheer and vegan, it’s an editor-favourite for summer.

Best lightweight foundation for glow

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser



Why we love it: This is an icon for a reason, the tinted moisturiser comes in 16 shades across a range of skin tones and gives the most beautiful fresh-faced glow. It works on a range of skin types thanks to the moisture-infused but oil-free formula, which creates a balanced radiance and a blendable, natural finish. This feels breezy on skin, but still provides sheer-to-medium coverage.

Best sheer lightweight foundation

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint



Why we love it: This product is truly unlike any other. It delivers exactly what it claims to do: a finish that you’d expect if you were aiming for a “your skin but better” look. Instead of masking pores and freckles, the breathable, ultra-light formula evens out skin tone, resulting in a blurred yet dewy finish. It also features glycerin to keep skin beautifully hydrated throughout the whole day.

Best pro-approved lightweight foundation

Dolce & Gabbana Blueberry Nutri-Tint


Why we love it: Pro celebrity makeup artist, Naoko Scintu, told GLAMOUR: “I love the Dolce & Gabbana Beauty Blueberry Nutri-Tint. It has a light to medium coverage which makes skin radiant for a no makeup makeup effect. It comes in 30 shades and is so easy to navigate to find your perfect match due to its colour system. It gives the exact finish I always strive to achieve – a healthy, radiant skin finish that looks like real skin but elevated.”

Best celeb-approved lightweight foundation

Hourglass Veil Hydrating Skin Tint



Why we love it: A hit with the likes of Hailey Bieber, this tinted moisturiser has become a go-to for creating “clean girl” fresh, natural-looking skin. It blends effortlessly into complexions for a gorgeous healthy finish.

Best lightweight foundation for a natural finish

Glossier Stretch Fluid Foundation



Why we love it: Recommended by celebrity makeup artist, Harold James, this lightweight foundation gives a light-to-medium coverage that boosts skin with 89% skincare ingredients while blending seamlessly for a fresh, natural finish. The buildable formula means you can create just the right amount of coverage for you.

Best lightweight foundation with a matte finish

Estée Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Foundation

£39.50 £19.75 AT SEPHORA

£39.50 AT AMAZON

Why we love it: Sheer? Check. Matte? Also check. Long-lasting and weightless? Check and check. This product will give your skin a very healthy, natural and authentic appearance with just enough coverage to let your natural beauty show. It also has SPF 20 and is sweat-and humidity-resistant, so it’s great to use in the summer.

Most Popular


Save big when shopping for the best lightweight foundations with these Sephora discount codes.

Best crowd-pleasing lightweight foundation

Makeup By Mario SurrealSkin Foundation


Why we love it: The GLAMOUR team tried the Makeup by Mario SurrealSkin foundation when it launched and we gave it nines and tens across the board. It’s buildable, lightweight, dewy-but-not-oily, and brought in endless compliments. It takes all the best bits of matte, dewy, lightweight and long-wearing foundations and blends them all into one superhero formula. It feels weightless, but it stays put like a champion. It offers coverage, without compromising on glow. It buffs beautifully into skin. It plays nice with other products and formulas. It’s shade range is considered and inclusive. It’s no wonder it’s won a spot as our all-time favourite lightweight foundation.

Best lightweight foundation for combination skin

Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF15



Why we love it: This creamy, lightweight foundation actively improves the look of your skin, thanks to a blend of polymers that treat it with every use. Developed by dermatologists, it has a staying power of up to 24 hours and is ideal for oily or combination oily skin.

Best lightweight foundation with SPF

Saie Slip Tint Dewy Tinted Moisturizer


Why we love it: This gives light coverage, a pretty dewy finish, an impressive SPF of 35, hyaluronic acid to hydrate and liquorice root extract to brighten, so you’ve got skincare, sun protection and coverage in one fresh hit.

Best lightweight foundation with a dewy finish

NARS Light Reflecting Foundation

£39 £29.25 AT SEPHORA

Why we love it: If you’re someone who follows TikTok beauty trends, chances are you’ve probably already seen this product all over your feed (at least we have). Not only does it deliver the most luminous finish and an impressive amount of coverage, but it also features powerful skincare ingredients including cacao peptide, Japanese lilyturf, milk thistle and biomimetic oat – all designed to look after your skin while you’re all glammed up.

Save when shopping for the best lightweight foundations with these Sephora discount codes.

Best lightweight foundation for no-makeup makeup

Kosas BB Burst Tinted Gel Cream



Why we love it: One of the most inclusive BB creams we’ve come across, there’s a shade to suit everyone. Not only does it offer featherlight coverage to even out skin tone and give skin a juicy, healthy hit of moisture, it’s also packed with skin-boosting ingredients, including copper peptides to support collagen production and zinc to calm redness and irritation. It’s a gorgeous option for no makeup makeup.

Best affordable lightweight foundation

The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation


Why we love it: Affordable and lightweight? Where do we sign up? This great product glides onto your skin for a smooth and subtle semi-matte finish that’s capable of lasting throughout the entire day without settling into fine lines. It’s nice and versatile as well, coming in 21 different shades to suit all skin tones, all boosted with SPF 15 for added sun protection.

Save when shopping for the best lightweight foundations with these Sephora discount codes.

Best hydrating lightweight foundation

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation



Why we love it: If you’re looking to get your hands on that “Armani Glow”, look no further – this silky foundation will help sculpt and brighten your complexion without breaking a sweat. The best part? It’s suitable for all skin types, it’s buildable and it has an oil-free and glycerin-infused formula that keeps your skin hydrated throughout the day.

Most Popular


Enjoy more savings when shop for best lightweight foundations with these LookFantastic discount codes.

Best buildable lightweight foundation

MAC Studio Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation

£34 £27.20 AT BEAUTYBAY

£29.99 AT AMAZON

Why we love it: This lightweight foundation is incredibly versatile and can easily be applied in a sheer layer for a more radiant everyday finish or else built up to create medium coverage. In addition to being waterproof, it can be worn comfortably for up to 8 hours for a long-lasting, glowing finish.

Save when you shop for the best lightweight foundations with these Beauty Bay discount codes.

Best lightweight foundation for radiance

Dior Forever Skin Glow Foundation


£50.90 AT AMAZON

Why we love it: The colour. The glow. The radiance. What more do you need? This lightweight foundation is great for hydrating your skin and visibly improving your complexion. It’s designed with skincare in mind, containing extracts of wild pansy, hibiscus, nasturtium and iris as part of its nourishing formula.

Save big when shopping for the best lightweight foundations with these Sephora discount codes.

Best moisturising lightweight foundation

Yves Saint Laurent NU Bare Look Tint


Why we love it: This lightweight foundation is the perfect blend of makeup and skincare. Thanks to its creamy water-gel texture infused with plant-based glycerin and hyaluronic acid, this product leaves your skin with lasting moisturisation and hydration for up to 24 hours. No tools needed either, just use your fingers to blend it for an even, buildable coverage.

Best lightweight foundation for oily skin

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte and Poreless Foundation

£8.99 £6.99 AT AMAZON


Why we love it: Oily skin shouldn’t prevent you from rocking a natural ‘no-makeup’ look, and this neat little product guarantees exactly that. With an ultra-lightweight formula, this foundation contains micro-powders that absorb oil, providing a matte and poreless-looking finish.

Enjoy more savings when shop for best lightweight foundations with these LookFantastic discount codes.

Best lightweight foundation for mature skin

Jones Road What The Foundation


Why we love it: What do you get when you mix a tinted moisture balm with a traditional foundation? You get Jones Road’s What The Foundation, of course. Made with jojoba oil and sodium hyaluronate, it blends into your skin seamlessly without appearing cakey.

Best multi-purpose lightweight foundation

Maybelline Instant Anti Age Perfector 4-In-1 Glow Primer, Concealer, Highlighter

£13.99 £11 AT AMAZON

£12.99 AT BOOTS

Why we love it: Is it a foundation? A glow primer? Concealer? Highlighter? Yes to all of that. Available in 8 different shades, this cruelty-free product even comes with its own anti-microbial system.

Save when shopping for the best lightweight foundations with these Boots discount codes.

Best lightweight serum foundation

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 30


£65.37 AT AMAZON

Why we love it: Along with other premium lightweight foundations, this one from ILIA is ideal for building a flawless finish that’s weightless and free from silicones, oils and fragrances. Available in 30 flexible shades.

Best lightweight foundation with a water-based formula

Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint


£64.50 AT AMAZON

Why we love it: Looking for something lightweight enough to feel like second skin? This premium Chanel foundation has a formulation that consists of 75% water, which helps create a softened, smooth finish. Ideal if you want to go for that natural ‘no-makeup’ look.

Best lightweight foundation for long-term results

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare

£32.50 £26 AT BOOTS

£36.50 AT AMAZON

Why we love it: Old-school, cakey foundations used to have a bad reputation for, well, ruining your skin underneath. No more. This foundation from IT Cosmetics does precisely the opposite. It works like skincare – thanks to ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid – to improve your skin and complexion over time. *chef’s kiss*

Most Popular


Save when shopping for the best lightweight foundations with these Boots discount codes.

Best lightweight foundation for sensitive skin

No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED All in One Foundation

£19.95 AT BOOTS

£17.99 AT AMAZON

Why we love it: If you have a pale complexion, sensitive skin or are just generally more prone to burning in the sun, then this is the product for you. With SPF 50, this foundation will give you the protection you need while helping you look drop-dead gorgeous.

Save when shopping for the best lightweight foundations with these Boots discount codes.


Natural makeup looks are taking over this winter, so here’s how to nail the barefaced-but-better look

Welcome to the winter of skinimalism.


Why choose a lightweight foundation?

A lightweight foundation offers up versatility. Not only can they feel like you have barely anything on your skin (perfect for everyday wear), they’re also often buildable, so you can easily adjust coverage whenever you need it. It means even if you’re a fan of going full-glam, you should still consider adding at least one lightweight foundation to your beauty collection.

Top celebrity makeup artist, Naoko Scintu explains: “for me, it’s all about healthy glowing and radiant skin – this is the basis to all my makeup looks. I love a lightweight foundation or skin tint as I want the skin to look like real skin, so a lightweight base is always key.” Meanwhile, Harold notes “a lightweight foundation is a great choice for those who prefer a natural and breathable makeup look. It provides coverage without feeling heavy on the skin, making it ideal for everyday wear and for sensitive skin.”

Which lightweight foundation is for you?

As mentioned, there are many products that fall into the category of lightweight foundations, including tinted moisturisers, skin tints, dewy foundations, matte foundations and more. But which one should you pick depends on both your preference and your skin type.

If you have dry skin, we definitely recommend checking out a tinted moisturiser, but if you’re someone who has oily skin, you might be more interested in foundations with a matte finish. It’s also important to keep in mind that although all of the aforementioned foundations are considered “lightweight,” their coverage levels vary from light-medium to full and buildable.

How to apply a lightweight foundation?

There’s no set rules, but slow and steady is a good way to go. “The best way is to start with a small amount and build up coverage as needed,” says Harolds. “You can use a makeup brush or a sponge, but I prefer using my fingers to blend the foundation evenly onto the skin,” he adds. Naoko agrees. “Fingertips or a foundation brush both work really well. On myself I always use my fingers but on a client I like to use a brush for a seamless finish,” she says.

Feeling inspired to upgrade your makeup routine? Check out our guides on the best bronzers, best concealers, best cream blushes and best liquid blushes. We can also help you pick the best lipstick, best highlighter, best eyebrow product and best mascaras.

For more shoppable beauty content from Glamour UK Commerce Writer Denise Primbet, follow her on Twitter @deniseprimbet and Instagram @deniseprimbet.

Related Stories



21 of the best ottoman beds for a chic...

A quality bed frame is already among the priciest investments for your home. However, if you're...

‘My buzzer was routinely ignored. The urge to escape...

It arrives unceremoniously – a white slip of a thing wedged quietly between a...

21 best mattresses 2024, tested & reviewed at home

Just as the perfect duvet or hotel-like pillows can completely transform your sleep, the best mattress can turn...

I was told I had an STI. It was...

Aisha McClellan, 39, was diagnosed with metastatic cervical cancer when she was just 32. Now she...

15 easy ways to add more protein to your...

Wondering how to add more protein to your diet? We've got you. It’s not exactly...

How to navigate the ‘pandemic of overwhelm’ and find...

A former glossy magazine beauty director, Samantha Silver, shared health and wellness advice as part of...

Popular Categories



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here