11 Breathable Foundations That Won't Slide Off in This Heat

Updated 06/28/18
best summer foundations: woman in sunglasses

It’s warm, it’s sticky, it’s summer, and we are absolutely not moaning, but boy can that temperature rise mess up your makeup. Shiny patches, foundation inching its way towards those eye-squinty creases and flare-ups of flakiness where your skin’s feeling a touch thirsty. Add in a few spots, and it’s just what you want when alfresco drinks and summer weddings beckon.

But are you going to sacrifice your foundation? Hell no. And we wouldn’t ask you to. It’s in times like these that you need some help achieving flawless skin. While the list of alternatives is never ending—BB creams, CC creams, tinted moisturisers—the reality is, if you crave that coverage, foundation is the only way to go.

The breaking news is that you can finally shelve your thicker formulas for a few months because there’s now a long list of lightweight skin-benefiting bases to choose from. Pumped with summer-appropriate additions, alongside hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid to replenish moisture-starved skin, there are SPFs, anti-shine technology and antioxidants that protect skin from dulling pollution and UV rays.

They don’t scrimp on that all-important coverage either. They just have the added bonus of being buildable, so you just apply a touch more as needed, rather than the uniform forehead to décolletage coverage you might be used to. Ready to make the summer switch up? Discover our favourite lightweight summer foundations right here.

best summer foundations: La Mer The Soft Fluid Foundation SPF 20
La Mer The Soft Fluid Foundation SPF 20 $90

With the same Miracle Broth blend found in the brand's cult moisturisers, La Mer's foundation practically feeds the skin as you wear it, so it's not just the top layer of coverage that looks glowy, it's the skin underneath too.

Best summer foundations: The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation
The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation $6

Just adding the word serum in the title will make you want to apply this. Saturating skin with colour and moisture, expect a natural effect that doesn’t fade after a few hours. It also contains an SPF 15 that’s free from chemical sunscreens, which means it won’t clog your pores or cause irritation.

Best summer foundation: Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup SPF 30
Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup SPF 30 $33

The UK’s number one foundation has had a summer makeover. It has the same superb coverage, but the water-infused formula with added mineral gels and hyaluronic acid means you don’t get any heavy dry down like the original. Apply with a brush for guaranteed Insta face. Good SPF game too.

Best summer foundations: MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour
MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour $27

Like a sexy piece of lingerie, this covers all the necessities while letting the best bits shine through. Enhancing your skin’s natural highlights, even if you’re hungover and dehydrated, your skin will say otherwise. It also contains nourishing ingredients that quickly soak in and feed parched patches.

best summer foundations: Laura Geller Quench-n-Tint Hydrating Foundation
Laura Geller Quench-n-Tint Hydrating Foundation $22

You know that buzz you get from your first caffeine hit of the day? This does the same thing for your skin. Containing the coffee extract to revive tired faces, olive oil and marine botanicals boost cell regeneration so you can feel like you’re getting coverage while protecting your skin from ageing at the same time.

Best summer foundations: B.Flawless Matte Foundation
B. Flawless Matte Foundation $10

Specialising in shine control, if an oily T-zone is a concern for you, this will dumb down any sebum-soaked skin and disguise pores with its silica-based blend. Despite its matte finish, the formula is long-lasting, plus it’s not cloying, so your skin still looks like skin.

Best summer foundations: H&M Natural Satin Foundation
H&M Natural Satin Foundation $13

Don’t write off high-street makeup. H&M's is like a lightweight equivalent of MAC’s infamous face and body foundation (and yes, you can use this on both, too). Buildable and breathable, it’s good for rectifying any unevenness after a day in the sun when your décolletage, neck and face don’t quite match up.

Best summer foundations: Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation $9

We liked Rimmel’s foundation the first time round, but now the en vogue vitamin C has been added to brighten, along with peptides that improve skin elasticity and an extra portion of radiance pearls to give skin a 3-D effect. Read: alive and well. It’s also got SPF 15 to tick off your everyday sun protection.

Best summer foundations: 3ina 3-in-1 foundation
3ina 3-in-1 Foundation $16

Balancing out redness and discolouration, even under the eyes, this immediately makes your complexion look better. Not only is it worth a try if you suffer from rosacea or sensitivities when you’re out in the sun, but it promises up to 12-hour wear, so you don’t have to panic about those pink patches reappearing.

Best summer foundations: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation $43

Cushion foundations are probably the best delivery format for a natural finish and the easiest to apply, too. The fact that Chanel’s version is 56% water indicates just how hydrating and dewy this is, but it would be rude not to mention the special antioxidant complex that helps to oxygenate the skin so it can breathe freely despite being covered in foundation.

best summer foundations: Inglot Ever Light Mousse Foundation
Inglot Ever Light Mousse Foundation $20

Whipped and delicate this refreshing foundation feels a bit like putting aftersun on when you’ve returned home from a day in the heat. Packed with emollients, vitamin E and argan oil that deliver a hefty hit of hydration, it ripples across the surface, evening out your skin tone with every brush stroke. A winner for sensitive skin types, too. ■

Now you know what foundation to wear, find out how to apply it properly.

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