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The Best Lightweight Foundations for Summer

A woman applying foundation to a makeup sponge.
Denis Val/Shutterstock

When temperatures are high, the sun is searing, and the humidity rising, the last thing you want is a face caked in heavy, suffocating makeup. If you’re not ready to go completely barefaced, switch to a lightweight foundation that will work well in steamy, summer weather.

Lightweight foundations offer just the right amount of coverage, without even feeling like it’s sitting on your face. Ideally, it should kind of melt into your skin, without becoming obvious if you get really sweaty.

Below are some of the best lightweight foundations.

Revlon PhotoReady Candid Moisture Glow

We were surprised how much we loved Revlon’s Candid Moisture Glow Foundation. It’s lightweight and feels more like a tinted moisturizer than a foundation. It goes on really smooth and blends well. You’ll feel like nothing is on your face, even though it provides nearly full coverage.

If you’re also looking for a glow, this is a great option. It illuminates without being too sparkly or shiny, and makes your skin look amazing.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow

A bottle of Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation.

At around $60, Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation is more on the luxury side of things, but if you’re willing to spend the money, it’s worth it! This formula gives your skin a natural glow, while Kalanchoe extract and UV filters protect it from harsh environmental aggressors.

It offers medium coverage and smooths out any flaws, while enhancing your complexion. Plus, it’s made with hyaluronic acid, so it feels good on your skin. Fans rave about how light it feels while providing an impressive amount of coverage.

BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting

A bottle of BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation
BECCA Cosmetics

BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation is one of our favorite foundations of all time (and we’ve tried a lot of them). It really does create a beautiful, luminous look on your skin, thanks to the pigments it’s made of that blur and perfect your skin.

It’s very buildable, and a little goes a long way—we like the dropper applicator, which makes it easy to use without wasting any product. It never feels oily or drying—in fact, it barely feels like anything at all.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

We don’t say this lightly: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream is one of our favorite makeup products of all time. Although it’s technically a tinted moisturizer, not a foundation, it works perfectly as one. The formula is lightweight and buildable, so you can get as much coverage as you need.

Once you put it on and blend it, you’ll feels like there’s nothing on your skin. It blends seamlessly and gives your skin a beautiful, summertime glow. It’s really hydrating, too, so your skin will never look dry when you’re wearing it. It also has an SPF of 30, so it doubles as sun protection, as well.

Lancôme Skin Feels Good Hydrating Skin Tint

A tube of Lancôme Skin Feels Good Hydrating Skin Tint.

If you’re searching for the perfect “no makeup with makeup” look, try Lancôme’s Skin Feels Good Hydrating Skin Tint. This very light foundation is super-hydrating—it’s made with moisturizing ingredients, like moringa seed and hyaluronic acid.

It boasts an oil-free formula for smooth skin with a radiant glow, won’t clog pores, and has an SPF of 23 for added sun protection. It’s also really buildable, so adding more will give you even more coverage, making it nicely versatile.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint

You can kind of think of Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint as the more affordable, drugstore version of the Lancôme option above. While not exactly the same, they’re very similar. The Neutrogena formula is made with dry skin in mind. It boosts hydration, while evening out and smoothing your complexion.

Made with a breathable water-gel formula, it feels basically weightless, oil-free, and noncomedogenic, so it’s ideal for sensitive skin. It doesn’t offer full-coverage, but it will still make your skin look lovely.

Smith & Cult Veiled Threat Weightless Micro-Blurring Foundation

A pump bottle of Smith & Cult Veiled Threat Weightless Micro-Blurring Foundation.
Smith & Cult

If you’re searching for a lightweight matte foundation, rather than just a glow, you have to try Smith & Cult’s Veiled Threat Weightless Micro-Blurring Foundation. Another of our personal favorites, it offers excellent coverage with a super-light feel. It also has an illuminating, long-wear, oil-free matte finish that never feels caked or heavy.

Seriously, don’t let the “matte” part fool you: this one is made with aloe vera gel for hydration and chlorophyll for brighter skin. It blurs exactly how you want it to and offers up to 12 hours of wear. On top of that, there are 42 available shades, so you’re bound to find one that works for you.

NARS Radiant Longwear Foundation

A bottle of Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation.

Is full-coverage more your thing? You can get that and a lightweight feel with NARS Radiant Longwear Foundation. This unique formula mimics and fuses with your skin’s natural tone to create a perfect match, although, there are also 34 shades to choose from. It makes skin look radiant and feel fantastic.

It’s also made with a blend of fruit extracts to help smooth your skin’s texture and support its elastic fibers over time. It’s transfer- and sweat-resistant, which is an important detail for those hot summer days. Plus, it just makes skin look great!

Dior Backstage Face and Body

A line of bottles of Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation.

If the summer means more skin is showing, then you might want a makeup product that works for your whole body, not just your face. Enter Dior Backstage Face and Body Makeup: a classic favorite that offers medium, buildable coverage in a wide range of shades.

Although it might look heavy, it’s actually very lightweight. Ideal for sweaty summer days, the formula is waterproof and will last through workout sessions and humidity. It provides a natural look and covers minor imperfections, without ever feeling caked on.

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint

A bottle of ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint.

If any foundation at all seems too heavy for you, but you’re still unwilling to go bare-faced, try ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint. It’s like a skincare and makeup product combined. It offers light coverage that feels like you’re wearing nothing.

With SPF 40, it also offers sun protection and plenty of skincare benefits. Plant-based squalane improves the appearance of elasticity, hyaluronic acid plumps and hydrates your skin, while niacinamide visibly improves texture. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and comes in recyclable packaging, so you can feel good about using it.

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »
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