I very rarely go out without some kind of foundation on – while my skin is way clearer these days than it’s been in a long time, I still have loads of redness and uneven skin to cover up (and I just feel more secure with something on). However, in this melty-melty heat, I’ve just not been feeling the more matte and heavy coverage bases for daytime. So, I set out to find a few products that strike the careful balance between shade (hella pale), coverage (enough) and finish – nothing overly oily. Here are my top three picks out of all the more lightweight and less obvious choices on the market.
Urban Decay – Naked Skin One and Done
This is one of those odd products that looks nothing like foundation and seems to provide next to no coverage, but it just does something. I can’t explain it – this seems to blur the skin somewhat without actually covering much (Urban Decay describe this as a “Hybrid Complexion Perfector”). The texture of this is lightweight and easily spreadable, and I prefer to apply it with a sponge and tap bits of it out with my fingers. It provides a subtle glow and feels lovely and soft on the skin (there’s a bunch of skincare ingredients included in the formula, apparently, as well as SPF 20). The product comes in a gunmetal-coloured tube, which has a pump (yay) for easy dispensing and hygiene.
My only grievance with this is the shade range – there’s only six different variations, and each one is intended to cater for about five of the shades from their regular foundation range. Unfortunately, the one that I have (Light) is the fairest option, and still comes up a few shades too orange for me. So, I can only wear this with a white mixer – though be careful, as doing this can change the formula, depending on what you use. Tangerine face aside, this cream really does provide a wonderfully simple and easy base that blends perfectly with cream blushers and highlighters. As long as you’re not looking for extreme lasting power, and you’re not too bothered about high coverage, I’d totally recommend this as an everyday summer (or holiday) foundation alternative.
Rimmel Match Perfection
“Match Perfection” is indeed an appropriate name for this product – this foundation is a far better shade for me than the Urban Decay, and it also has a bit more coverage (being a more conventional foundation product). I first tried this out about four years ago, at the start of uni (before I discovered blush – cue the scary ghost-like photos). While it doesn’t claim to do much, aside from giving a natural finish and providing SPF 20, it’s still a really decent all-round base.
In the summer, I don’t have to use a white mixer with this – “Light Porcelain” is just light enough. It does require a fair amount of blending, however, because of that extra coverage (so you can’t just slap it on in 30 seconds). It holds up better in the heat and sunshine than One and Done, but it doesn’t reach anywhere near the longevity I get from Estee Lauder Double Wear – I have to blot and powder throughout the day, though if you have drier skin this would be ideal. This is just such an easy summer option for me – I can get it on my face in a few minutes, it’s buildable, and I don’t have to worry about looking too orange – definitely way less effort to put in than with Double Wear.
L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion
This one is a throwback to last summer – one of the earliest reviews I posted on here was this cushion foundation from L’Oreal (although cushions are totally old news now). I got through that pretty quickly, largely because cushions don’t carry a huge amount of product, and then decided to move on and try other foundations. Last month, I repurchased this as I remembered it was a solid, lightweight summer foundation option.
What I really love about this is how easy it is to apply – flip open the compact, grab a sponge/brush/whatever, dip in into the cushion and away you go! The lightest shade is a little off for me – the range is pretty bad overall, which sucks – but with some paler concealer and bronzer on the neck it mostly works. It’s also brilliant for travelling, as your compact is unlikely to break or leak on the go, and the mirror inside is not half bad.
As for the coverage and the finish, it’s very natural – probably somewhere between light and medium, but definitely easy to build up. It’s also pretty dewy and fresh-looking, so totally perfect for the summer months – SPF 25 is also included for a little extra protection (always a good thing).
I’m going to Italy next month for about 2 weeks, and I’m completely torn about which one of these to bring with me – I only have a carry-on, so packing light is a must (yikes). All three have major pros – the UD cream is simple and minimal, the Rimmel is reliably good for coverage, and the L’Oreal is just so perfectly convenient. Once I’m away, I’ll be uploading a holiday makeup list/guide – whatever you call it, it’ll be a bunch of pared-down must-haves for going away (including one of these three beauties.
See below for prices and links!
Urban Decay One and Done
- £28 for 40ml – high-end, but a little goes a long way – find it here
Rimmel Match Perfection
- £7.99 for 30ml – solid drugstore pricing – find it here
L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion
- £14.99 for 14.6g – expensive for the drugstore, and you get less product – there’s often ⅓ off on this – find it here