Best Foundations for Spring and Summer

The warmer months can be a nightmare, as you feel naked without foundation but you can’t stand the thought of wearing a heavy mask in the heat. Tinted moisturisers just don’t offer enough coverage for some of us, but the good news is that there is a whole generation of lighter-than-air, weightless foundations that are perfect for spring or summer. Some give just a little more coverage than tints, whilst others offer full-on cover-all action without leaving you feeling as if you’re wearing a blanket on your face. Here is a selection of the best.


The Dior Nude Skin Air Serum, £33 from House of Fraser, and the L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique Eau De Teint Foundation, £9.99 from Boots, are pretty similar products, although there is a major difference in price. Both seem really fluid when you pour some out, but this makes them slide on really easily and the oils evaporate instantly. These are a great choice if you want a natural look, but won’t offer enough coverage for some. The satiny finish does feel really smooth, however, and you certainly won’t feel like your face is going to crack every time you smile. The Dior serum will always look great in your make-up bag in the ladies’ room at your local club, but Nude Magique is hard to beat when it comes to combining price and performance.

Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, £32 from Asos, is marketed as being oil-free and is surprisingly non-drying and easy to apply. The coverage manages to be quite full whilst still looking natural and, as the name suggests, it does feel really light on the skin. It has a slight glow once applied, perfect for spring and summer, and thanks to its high-pigment formula you don’t need much to even out those slight flaws. It’s supposed to last for up to 16 hours so is a good choice if you have a long day ahead. Whilst it isn’t the cheapest option available, its lasting ability and the fact that you only need to use a small amount make it a good-value choice. The only real problem is that it doesn’t absorb oil, and so if you have greasy patches you may need to wear a translucent powder as well. This may be too much for summer, and so you will need to decide if this is the right choice for you. For oily skin, No7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation, a relative bargain at £14.50 from Boots, is a good light choice, or you could try Clinique Perfectly Real Make-up Foundation, specially formulated for oily combination types of skin, £22.50 and also from

Lancome Miracle Cushion, £29.50 from Boots, offers a view of the make-up future. It looks like a Korean cushion compact – which looks set to be the big thing this autumn, if not before – and the foundation itself is receiving great reviews. You use a sponge to pat on your foundation after pressing into the cushion. Press harder if you want more liquid for a fuller coverage. The great thing about this one is that it makes it simple to build up your coverage gradually and stop short of looking like an over-painted doll. The finish is beautifully velvet and matt, and the formula really does offer a barely-there feel. You can build it up to cover most blemishes, but it isn’t the best product out there for covering really dark circles under your eyes, big blemishes or particularly noticeable colour patches, and so you may need to invest in a good concealer such as the beautifully smooth Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer, available from John Lewis for £21.50. You might also need the concealer if you opt for the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Make-up, £27 from Debenhams, but it could be worth the effort if you want a foundation that makes you feel as if you have had the bare-faced cheek to go out without make-up even when you have undoubtedly had a little help. It’s really easy to blend and is a good choice if you have oily or normal skin.

To save on space, Clinique Beyond Perfecting 2-in-1 Foundation and Concealer, £25 from House of Fraser, is a great multi-purpose product. This is one of the best choices around if you cannot bear the barely-there look but still want a foundation that doesn’t make you feel as though you’ve got a bag of rocks hanging from your cheeks. It is comfortingly thick and does dry quickly, so apply by dotting it around and then blending it in. Don’t try spreading it out from a central point or you’ll end up looking patchy, and that’s not a look anyone wants. If applied right, Beyond Perfecting should give you a lovely even complexion without making you look too made-up. It might be not be the best product if your skin is dry, but oily and combination types will benefit from its moisturising and matt combination, and it really does feel surprisingly light.