The Best Lightweight Foundations You Can Buy Right Now

Our beauty editor, Nicole Saunders, rounds up the best lightweight foundations that you can buy right now.

Disclaimer: full-coverage foundations have never been my go-to – I like to let my skincare to do the talking when it comes to my complexion. So when I’m looking for a new foundation to try out I tend to gravitate towards formulations that not only enhance radiance – you won’t find any matte formulations in this round-up – but are also packed with skincare benefits. Below are my current favourites lightweight foundations that are guaranteed to get your skin glowing in no time at all. 

1. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat All-In-One Glow Foundation ($92)

I tend to have at least two foundations on rotation throughout the week, and YSL’s lightweight Touche Éclat All-In-One Glow foundation is currently in my number one spot. After a morning workout I don’t want to apply anything that weighs my skin down, and this clever formulation always glides on with ease and leaves my skin glowing.

Plus, it’s packed with skincare benefits – such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin E – so it actually keeps skin nourished during the day. It never leaves my skin feeling dry and is comfortable to wear no matter what the season is. Although the price tag is up there for a foundation, a little bit goes a long way and it really does leave skin looking more radiant than before. 

Coming in at a very close second for my daily go-to is Clinique’s Even Better Glow foundation. It’s definitely a formulation with a barely there finish, yet it still provides enough coverage to cover minor imperfections making it easily one of the best lightweight foundations out there at the moment. It’s also packed with luminous pigments which give skin a beautiful radiance and it’s even got vitamin C in it which means it helps improve skin tone over time. 

best lightweight foundations

3. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation ($79)

If I’m in need of a little extra coverage but still want a natural-looking finish that doesn’t hide my complexion, NARS Sheer Glow is what I’ll reach for. It feels as light as a feather once it has been applied and as its name suggests, it leaves skin glowing. It also has buildable coverage and a host of skincare ingredients including vitamin C, turmeric and antioxidants.  

4. Shiseido Synchro Skin Tinted Gel Cream ($70)

This skin-health enhancing formulation from Shiseido might not strictly be a foundation, but when I’m having a great skin day and need just the subtlest hint of coverage this is my hands-down favourite. It’s also one of my summertime travel favourites as it has an SPF30 and gives skin a luminous finish. 

Want to ditch foundation entirely? Here are our tips for getting a flawless complexion without reaching for make-up.

Travel Beauty Tips to Keep Your Skin Glowing

Starting a holiday with dehydrated skin can be a bit of a downer. That’s why we’ve rounded up our favourite travel beauty tips to keep skin healthy while travelling.

While it might seem like sunscreen should be the only beauty product that’s on our mind when we pack our travel beauty bag and head somewhere exotic, it’s not always that straight forward.  Unfortunately, stepping off of a long-haul flight with your skin in tip-top condition is easier said than done and more often than not, we disembark with a parched, unhappy complexion.

Because the circulation system of an aircraft must take in breathable air from outside of the plane, flying can wreak havoc on even the healthiest of skin.  The air outside of a plane at 36,000 feet tends to be extremely dry with a humidity of only 10 to 20 per cent. Compare that to the 40 to 70 per cent humidity most of us are used to, and it’s a recipe for a dehydrated-skin disaster.  

Fortunately, there are some clever travel beauty tips that will keep your skin glowing all flight long, ensuring you arrive at your destination glowing.

Ready for Takeoff

A well-prepared in-flight beauty regimen is only part of the solution; if you want to touch down at your destination with hydrated skin you need to start thinking about your routine before you even get to departure day.  When it comes to travel beauty tups, keeping on top of your usual skincare routine, both day and night is essential but holiday plans are the perfect opportunity to think about your skin health from the inside out.

A well-rounded diet is important in the lead up to a flight. Try to load up with water-retaining vegetables and fruit to plump up the skin from the inside out. Drinking plenty of water, eating whole foods, reducing your salt intake and getting eight hours of sleep should all be top of your pre-holiday beauty prep checklist. A handful of raw nuts each day will also help to boost the healthy oils in your skin.

Travel Beauty Tips

Our favourite in-flight beauty essentials clockwise from top left: Sephora Collection Lip Balm ($11); Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream ($38); Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Chamomile and Lavender ($12 from Mecca); Lancome Advanced Genifique Hydrogel Melting Mask ($42 for one mask); Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask ($210); Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask ($77 from Mecca).


All Aboard

Applying a hydrating face mask a day prior to flying and travelling make-up free will help your skin retain moisture during the flight. Forgo the full-coverage foundation and board your flight with a plane with a clean, fresh face loaded with hydrating products.

But if the thought travelling bare-faced doesn’t appeal, try switching out your go-to make-up for something a little lighter. Try BB creams, brightening concealer, cream blush, water-soluble mascara and a tinted lip gloss. Whatever you do, avoid drying powders at all costs.

Up in the Air

Once you’re on the way, staying well-hydrated throughout the flight is not only good for your general well-being but is great for your skin too. Drink plenty of water, not just when you’re thirsty. A hydrating face mist is also helpful when your skin starts to feel a little dehydrated.

Slathering on an in-flight hydrating face mask is no longer a luxury afforded to those travelling in business class as there are a plethora of individual and sheet masks that are perfect for travel. Sheet masks make for easy disposal with no messy face and hands to clean up.

Once you’re on the ground with well-cared-for, healthy skin, it’s important to keep drinking plenty of water. When you arrive at your destination, refresh skin by cleansing it and applying your hydrating skincare regime including. And don’t forget the sunscreen no matter what season you are in.