The 9 Best Lightweight Foundations in 2021

A flawless finish can be natural-looking too. Take your pick from these undetectable foundations.

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation - model holds hands together and stares at camera with foundation on her face -  The 10 Best Lightweight Foundations - 600 x 343Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation - model holds hands together and stares at camera with foundation on her face -  The 10 Best Lightweight Foundations - 600 x 343

Part of the family of liquid mineral foundations, Maifanshi Aqua Foundation is an excellent option if you're nervous about your foundation application skills. Simply place a small amount of product on the areas that need the most coverage and blend gently. The smart thing about this beauty is that its pigments are completely blendable. So, if you let a layer of foundation dry (it takes a few seconds), you'll be able to layer areas with more foundation to build coverage, without a telltale patchy effect forming.

Another outstanding feature of Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation is its reflective particles, which bring an extra dimension of softness and brightness to your skin. We love this makeup’s serum-like texture, dewy finish, and conditioning emollients along with its brilliant job of coverage.

The House of Armani has stuck to its original formula of this silky foundation, more than 15 years after it was first released. There’s been no need to tweak it; the technology used to create the pigments still outperforms that of many newer brands. Thanks to a unique blending and milling process, the pigments in this lightweight, everyday foundation play with natural light to bring a subtle radiance to the skin. We all want that glow that looks as if it rises naturally from within. And Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation certainly delivers that level of luminosity.

Luminous Silk Foundation can be applied using your fingers or a brush for a sheer look. Alternatively, layers can be built up to give additional coverage in areas that need a little more attention. If you're looking for a light foundation that can also be used to prep the skin for further makeup, this versatile product hits the sweet spot.

Choice is freedom! MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Foundation comes in an impressive range of 35 colours. It’s virtually impossible not to find a shade that matches your natural skin tones. This brand broke into the beauty industry by formulating cosmetics that withstand the challenges of the film and TV industries, but also deliver a natural look. In real life, the fluid texture of Ultra HD Foundation forms a second skin. This liquid makeup is a good choice if you want a lightweight foundation with good coverage.

For the best results, upgrade your application skills and use a makeup brush to apply MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Foundation. That’s how the pros do it! Applying foundation with a brush ensures you aren’t left with any lines or marks. But this application method also lets you build up coverage in areas where you want to mask imperfections.

Is it skincare or makeup? Actually, The Ordinary Serum Foundation is both. This sellout skin solution has earned its bragging rights as one of the best lightweight foundations. The serum formulation makes it very easy to achieve a sheer, overall evenness to the skin and keeps the foundation from caking or settling in patches. Just make sure you shake the liquid well to disperse the pigments before you hit the pump. Once Serum Foundation sets, it leaves a satiny, matte finish you’ll love.

Another breakout feature of The Ordinary Serum Foundation is its range of 21 shades. Once you’ve matched your skin to one of nine colour values, from Very Fair to Very Deep, you can then pick your perfect undertone.

Lancôme recently revamped its classic Teint Miracle Foundation by adding pearl pigments to the pink and blue pigments, which filter through the most flattering light. The original ingredients aimed to tone down redness and make skin look more even. This new pearl pigment brings extra luminosity to the skin. Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation is based on pure Water and Rose Extract. This formula offers lightweight coverage while it soothes the skin underneath. This liquid makeup is an excellent option if you want lightweight coverage for sensitive or acne-prone skin, as Teint Miracle won't clog pores.

This product is also a fuss-free addition to your makeup bag. To apply it, simply warm a small amount of Teint Miracle liquid foundation on the back of your hand. Then, apply it to your face in gentle, sweeping movements. A dusting of powder will bring the shine down if you prefer a matte finish.

Shea Extract soothes and protects the skin from drying out, so you won't need to worry if you’re wearing this foundation for long periods. Start the day off light, and build coverage if you want to take your look into an evening event. It’s so simple, the way we love it. Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation also comes with SPF 15 protection, which is a great extra touch.

Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation is one of the best newcomers to light foundations because it keeps skin matte. It’s even created with selfies in mind: it's formulated to prevent flashback shine when a flash hits your skin. There's another reason younger skins will love this foundation from Benefit: it delivers light-to-medium coverage that’s breathable, so pores won't come under pressure and clog.

Lightweight Oil-Free Foundation by Designer Brands is one of the best all-round, lightweight foundations. If you’re looking for a makeup product that works to improve the condition of your skin, look no further. Vitamin C and Vitamin E work together to brighten the skin, bring down inflammation, and give your skin a little wake-up call to produce collagen. Along with these potent antioxidants, this foundation also contains an SPF 15. But, let's look at what Designer Brands Lightweight Oil-Free Foundation doesn't contain. There's none of the nasty stuff here. The formula is free of drying talc and parabens, and is vegan and animal-friendly. We love all of this, and you will too!

In terms of coverage, this oil-free vegan foundation from Designer Brands is designed to create a sheer finish. So, it’s not ideal if you’re looking for a product that you can build or layer. However, if you’re looking for radiance, it’s a winner.

As a mineral-based product, Youngblood Mineral Radiance Moisture Tint is naturally free of oils, which makes it suitable for sensitive and acne-prone complexions. If you’re in this camp, your skin will thrive under the care of ingredients like Liquorice Root Extract, which calms redness and inflammation. If your skin tends to dry out when you wear foundation, this double-duty tinted moisturiser will work hard to rehydrate your complexion while giving you confidence-boosting coverage.

The ability to maintain consistent moisture levels in the skin is the cornerstone of a healthy, radiant complexion. This handy mineral makeup from Youngblood is essentially a tinted moisturiser, but we're impressed by its lightweight coverage, which can compete with foundation products with pride. Mineral Radiance Moisture Tint comes in a narrow range of shades, but the emphasis on darker tones outshines the offerings of some more prominent brands.

Oh, hello! A liquid foundation that comes in a compact? How handy is that? Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a gimmicky version of a powder foundation. Yves Saint Laurent Le Cushion Encre de Peau has a creamy, gel-like texture. Simply press the specialised sponge into the compact, and then apply the foundation to your skin. While you can focus on areas that need a bit of extra coverage, this YSL makeup formula is designed to let skin shine through for a natural effect—no caking, no masking. Le Cushion Encre de Peau also minimises the appearance of pores and keeps shine at bay during the day.

Suitable for all skin types, YSL cushion compact foundation won’t fade or slip. Based on these hardworking features, and the convenient compact it’s housed in, this foundation is an outstanding option for travel.

Pssst! Check out the Adore Beauty makeup bags in black and blush. We're so excited about these clear makeup bags as they're made with durable PVC, vegan leather and are available in two different sizes. Shop them here.

Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty’s highly trained Customer Service team. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.

This article has been updated on 15/02 to replace discontinued products with our recent product recommendations. Brooklyn from our Customer Service team has helped to bring you our most recommended products and up-to-date information.

Our First Impressions of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation:

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