6 Lightweight Foundation Alternatives For A Radiant Look

Some days, we don’t feel like putting on foundation. The hassle of touching up throughout the day or worrying about cakey looks can be a turn-off, especially if you live in a tropical climate. But there are many alternatives you can apply to still give your skin a radiant look.

To cover up redness, acne, blemishes, or blur out pores, foundation alternatives such as primers, concealers, and tinted moisturizers are easy to start with. Look for a lighter formula to achieve the no-makeup makeup look – let your skin breathe, bring out your natural beauty. Some of these alternatives may even offer extra hydration throughout the day, helping your skin look softer and smoother.

Whether you want a lighter makeup routine for everyday wear or are looking to save a few precious minutes for your beauty sleep, we’ve got you covered.

1. Primers for color correction and smoother skin texture

A pre-makeup essential, primers are also a fantastic alternative to foundations.

Primers ensure longer-lasting makeup and create an overall smoothing effect. You can expect primers to help even out your skin tone, blur your pores, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, and maintain a matte look.

For those looking to cover up dark spots, rosacea, pigmentation, or redness, color correction primers help to maintain an even skin tone. Our Step 1 Primer Color Corrector neutralizes redness, dullness, greyness, and yellowness for an overall refreshed look.

Remember to apply color theory – choose a green tint to reduce redness, or a yellow tint to counter bluish undereye circles.

Image credit: Laura Loukola

If you’re looking to create a smoother skin texture, our Step 1 Primer Pore Minimizer easily blurs out your pores and minimizes fine lines. Alternatively, you can go with our Step 1 Primer Hydra Booster to instantly add hydration to your skin and improve dry patches, rough texture, tightness, and dullness.

Radiant Base
Smoothing Base
Hydrating Base

2. Skin tints for dewy looks and subtle coverage

Skin tints have one of the lightest makeup formulas and can be less greasy than tinted moisturizers. They’re hydrating and suit people with dry or sensitive skin as they feel like a lightweight serum and leave you with a dewy, radiant finish.

We recommend our Watertone Foundation, a skin tint that comes in many shades and adds hydration that lasts for 24 hours. You can easily achieve light to medium buildable coverage with its water-based formula and minimize imperfections.

Skin-Perfecting Tint

3. Concealers for high coverage

Pro tip: skip the foundation and go straight to makeup concealer.

Whether you’re trying to cover up undereye darkness, redness, or blemishes, concealers give the best coverage as they are thicker in consistency. They’re meant for additional coverage to specific areas and enhance your overall skin tone.

Liquid concealers tend to be thinner and can help you build up to a fuller coverage without looking cakey. Our new HD Skin Concealer has an ultra-buildable coverage that’s especially effective for the undereye area because of its coated pigments that help with color correction.

If you enjoy a more lightweight feel on your skin, then concealer is one of the best foundation alternatives to reach out for.

Undetectable Concealer

4. Tinted moisturizers for hydration and lightweight coverage

If you need coverage without drying out your skin, tinted moisturizer is your go-to. Tinted moisturizers have gained immense popularity in recent years as they combine the benefits of a lightweight foundation and a nourishing moisturizer all at once. The best tinted moisturizers even out your skin tone, blurring imperfections while delivering a healthy dose of hydration.

5. BB and CC creams for coverage

BB creams, short for 'blemish balms’ or ‘beauty balms’, have a hydrating makeup formula that suits dry skin. It often has added SPF protection or brightening properties.

CC creams are color correcting creams, with slightly heavier coverage than BB creams, and suit people with oily or acne-prone skin. They improve the appearance of your skin by neutralizing the color you want to cover up, just like how color correcting primers work. Both BB and CC creams can work in place of foundation, to slightly different effects.

6. Setting sprays for longer-lasting coverage

The secret to prolonging your makeup look is setting sprays. Besides setting a base for your makeup to stick better, it seals in your look so you don’t have to touch up as often. Setting sprays like the Mist & Fix Setting Spray also add a spritz of hydration and revitalization to help brighten your overall complexion.

Alternatively, if you find foundation too thick or heavy, you can mix in setting spray to thin out the formula and help it stay on better for a more lightweight feel throughout the day.

For a more mattified look, our Mist & Fix Matte Spray works well with normal to oily skins and sets your makeup for up to 24 hours.

Hydrating Spray
Shine Control Spray

Don’t be afraid to try foundation alternatives

Foundation works well for smoothing out skin imperfections for a flawless look.

We totally understand if you’re not a fan of how foundation can feel and need some ideas for a solution. That’s where alternatives to foundation makeup can offer a quicker and more straightforward application – requiring less time and effort compared to the meticulous blending and setting often associated with conventional foundation.

Experiment, get creative, and don’t be afraid to change up your routine!