Let me preface this by saying that I have a very turbulent relationship with foundation. Any product that works to cover up all of the things that make skin look like yours is a big no-no if you ask me. And all too often, I find that so many foundations do just that. They leave skin looking flat, dull and void of life. Given the fact that every single aspect of my beauty routine is dedicated to brining out my inner glow, trying to find the perfect, natural-looking base that works to smooth and blur without totally repainting my complexion has proven tricky over the years. In fact, I’ve tried just about every foundation that’s ever come my way in a bid to find the most glowing, second-skin formula.
It’s safe to say that it’s been a rough ride. Naturally, I have come across a bunch of heavy-duty, mattifying and pore-clogging bases that have made me want to bury them and run far, far away. Mostly, however, the foundations I have tried have been, quite frankly, so-so. These are the sorts of foundations that remain in your makeup bag for many months, but you gradually find yourself reaching for them less and less as you grow tired of trying to find a way to make them work. I discovered that, actually, the majority of foundations fall into this category.
Occasionally though, I come across a foundation so glow-boosting, dewy and healthy-looking that I find myself reaching for it day in and day out. Because yes, glowing but natural-looking foundations are out there; they’re just a little harder to find. Luckily, years of trial and error on my behalf means that you can skip the hassle and just keep scrolling to shop my edit of the most glowing, dewiest foundations around for natural-looking radiance. You can thank me later.
L'Oréal Paris Skin Paradise Tinted Water Cream (£11)
Without a doubt my favourite makeup launch of the year so far, this foundation is summer skin in a tube. It’s juicy, hydrating and jam-packed with natural-looking radiance. It packs some impressive coverage, too. On top of all that, though, it’s also mega affordable. I’m in love.
Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation (£43)
Some say this is the best foundation ever made, and I’m not going to disagree. Luminous Silk is basically the gold standard of glow-giving bases. It’s full-coverage and radiance-boosting without leaving behind even a hint of oily residue.
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat All-In-One Glow (£34)
Much like L’Oréal’s Skin Paradise Tinted Water Cream, this stuff is also formulated with a healthy dose of water for boosted glow. If you’re already a fan of Touche Éclat’s skin-perfecting, luminous finish, this buildable second-skin foundation is bound to be a hit.
Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation (£35)
Another cult classic, this foundation is one of my longest-standing makeup-bag essentials. Unlike so many other luminous foundations, this stuff sticks around, and it requires hardly any powdering. Its slightly fuller coverage makes it my evening go-to.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Foundation (£43)
For a your-skin-but-better coverage, look no further than this super-easy-to-use, easily blendable and buildable foundation. For a super-dewy finish, apply with a damp blending sponge, but if you find yourself in a bit of a rush, it applies like a dream with fingers too.
Zoeva Authentik Skin Foundation (£25)
This stuff is like liquid silk. It blends like butter and delivers the most blurring, but convincing, veil. Infused with rose-hip oil, it’s also super lightweight and skin-loving. On top of all this, it boasts an offering of 44 shades. It’s one of my most-reached-for products in times of need.
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (£34)
Up there with the likes of Luminous Silk, Nars’s Sheer Glow foundation will go down in history as one of the most widely adored beauty products of all time. With a smooth, satin finish that boosts brightness like no other, Sheer Glow is up there with the best of the best.
Nyx Professional Makeup Born to Glow Naturally Radiant Foundation (£10)
It might not be as luxe as so many others on this list, but don’t let that put you off. This affordable foundation is a favourite among beauty editors thanks to its impressive shade range, lightweight but buildable formula and its naturally radiant finish. Trust me when I say this just might be the best £10 you’ll ever spend on a beauty product.
Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Radiance-Perfecting Foundation (£36)
For those with oily skin, like me, you might need some powder for this one because the glow is basically out of this world. The coverage is full, but the formula itself is hydrating and dewy, making it ideal for those with drier skin who are desperate to up the luminosity.
By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Foundation ($54)
Any beauty product that comes jam-packed with water-retaining hyaluronic acid is going to up that glow, and this super-hydrating foundation is no exception. If you prefer a more matte finish but don’t want to sacrifice natural-looking radiance, this one’s worth your time.
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ (£32)
If I had to tally up every single time I’ve applied a different foundation, this one would probably come out on top as my most-used. Branded a CC Cream, this is a foundation in disguise. Sure, it does a stellar job at evening out skin tone and discolouration, but it also does so much more. It’s perfecting, blurring, radiance-boosting and brightening all at once. For such a great (and best-selling) product, it’s seriously disappointing that the shade range is so limited. If you ask me, It Cosmetics could (and should) do a lot better with this one.
The Ordinary Coverage Foundation (£6)
When I first tested this product, I really didn’t get it. The coverage is seriously lightweight and at first appears almost invisible on the skin. However, the more I used it, the more my love for it grew. Sitting somewhere between a skin tint and a foundation, it’s non-oily, semi-matte and subtly perfecting. It’s my secret weapon for no-makeup days.
Revlon Photoready Candid Anti-Pollution Foundation (£10)
Another affordable option. When this stuff launched last year, I wasn’t sold. I like my makeup to feel luxe, and as shallow as it sounds, I didn't love the packaging. But from the minute I swatched it, I was totally head over heels. For days when your complexion is looking a little drab and tired, one layer of this stuff leaves you looking more alive than ever before.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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