For years, I used nothing but heavy foundations every day in an attempt to hide my acne and redness. However, I recently saw the light during a shopping trip to Sephora, where I tried on a lightweight foundation alternative that I fell in love with. I enjoyed how effortless it was and instantly noticed a difference in how much my skin was able to breathe. Ever since, I've added lightweight foundations and foundation alternatives into my makeup arsenal to wear on days when I want to give my skin some R&R, or just want to create a more natural look.
I would highly suggest trying out products like these for yourself, especially because so many of them are multi-taskers, delivering SPF, primer, highlighter, and ingredients that will help to improve your skin along the way. They can also help you save time in the morning when you're in a rush to get to work or don't want to carry a suitcase of 100 products around while traveling. I understand if you're a skeptic, since I was too for a while. But I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you keep an open mind and give one of these fabulous products a chance.
With that in mind, let's get into 15 of the best lightweight foundation alternatives out there, just in time for summer.
I have to admit that I'm pretty skeptical about most primers. I mean, what do they actually do? This product completely changed my mind, though, since the fact that it's also a BB cream gave me a wonderful base to work with. In fact, I often use this alone without foundation, since it delivers a beautiful, even complexion. It's also extremely lightweight, making it easy to apply and delivering a simple, natural look.
Tarte is one of my favorite brands that delivers quality product and is also environmentally conscious, so I can't recommend this BB cream enough. This product also doubles as a primer, so that means more bang for you buck — never a bad thing.
This serum is unique in that it acts and behaves as a foundation would, evening your complexion without actually being a foundation. This serum makes a smooth canvas of your skin, reducing the appearance of discoloration, pores, and fine lines. It also comes in one shade that works for all skin tones, making selecting the right color for your complexion a non-essential.
Laura Mercier is known for making bomb tinted moisturizers, so a product from this line is a natural fit for this list. This tinted moisturizer is unique in that it also acts as a highlighter with its illuminating ingredients. It is an extremely lightweight formula, so just beware that it's not going to provide the coverage of a foundation.
This CC cream pulls out all of the stops, as it is not only a color corrector that will help your redness or dark spots disappear, but also includes a formula that is meant for illumination and hydration.
6. Honest Beauty Everything Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
Honest Beauty Everything Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20, $28, Ulta
Jessica Alba's beauty line includes this fabulous tinted moisturizer that offers the coverage of a lightweight foundation, but also includes ingredients that are full of antioxidants, like grape seed oil, orange flower water, aloe vera, and olive oil.
This product is unique in that it blurs skin imperfections, provides foundation-like coverage, and actually improves the firmness of your visage. Beauty.com reported that a clinical study of this perfector found that those who used the product had a "significant" improvement in skin radiance and firmness for up to 12 weeks after use, as well as smaller-looking pores for up to eight weeks after use.
This BB cream is paraben-free, cruelty-free, and fragrance-free. Not only that, but it's packed with good-for-your skin Vitamins E, B3, and C. It's a multi-tasking product, since it acts as a primer, BB cream, and highlighter to properly illuminate and prep the skin for makeup. Plus, you can't beat the price.
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A Retinol treatment combined with a tinted moisturizer? That's exactly what you'll get with this Neutrogena Skin Enhancer, which works to not only prevent your skin from signs of aging, but also gives you great coverage and moisture. It's like skincare and makeup wrapped up into one.
This lightweight formula applies like a lightweight foundation, but is also packed with tons of vitamins and healthy ingredients like salicylic acid and botanicals. This is perfect if you want to use a product that is simple yet powerful.
If you haven't gotten in on the color correcting trend yet, these simple formulas by Sephora should be perfect for anyone, from a beginner to a pro. You can simply apply the correct "canceling out" shade and blend to stop the appearance of discoloration instead of wearing a foundation.
This moisturizer not only comes in a variety of colors in order to provide a nice, lightweight base for your makeup, but is also fortified with organic water and other natural ingredients in order to be kind to the earth as well as your skin. In fact, this moisturizer is cruelty-free, absent of synthetic fragrances and colors, GMOs, and parabens, and 80 percent of the ingredients are from organic farming practices.
13. Stila Sheer Color Moisturizer
Stila Sheer Color Moisturizer SPF 20, $34, Stila
I'm a huge fan of stila products and this moisturizer is no exception. It's not only pigmented to give you a nice, even complexion, but has ingredients like ginger root extract, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, and chamomile in it to deliver antioxidants to your skin.
We've all probably used self-tanner for our bodies, but what about our faces? This clever product helps deliver a summer glow to your visage while also providing moisture that you can utilize in place of any foundation for a natural-looking, Bahama-worthy complexion.
This moisturizer with SPF delivers a hefty dose of skincare while protecting your face from the sun's rays. The best part? You can buy a sample size of the product for just $1.
Everyone knows that wearing heavy foundation in the height of summer is a recipe for disaster. This year, opt for something lightweight. It'll make your life way easier.
Images: Erin McKelle Fischer (1); Courtesy Brands (15)