The best foundations for glowing skin
Good news: The search is over
Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / March 11 2020
Glowing skin is ALWAYS in, and while it may all begin with your skin care routine (just take a look here on how to get started with a good skin routine), a little help from a good foundation never goes astray.
However, it can be a tad tricky finding the right one, and some formulas offer more dewy, even results than others. What we want is a foundation that will provide coverage without looking cakey, catch the light without making our face look all shiny and oily, and actually stay on the whole day. Is that too much to ask?
Apparently not. Reddit’s Makeup Addiction subreddit has listed a bunch of tried and tested foundation formulas that meet these stringent criteria – meaning you can enjoy excellent, buildable coverage while still looking totally natural, glowing and happy.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation
This budget-friendly foundation is affordable AND does what it says it will do (just check out the reviews our Review Crew® gave the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation). It’s a super lightweight, hydrating formula that gives skin a healthy – but not over-the-top – natural glow. One of our Review Crew® members said, “I love it! Has medium coverage but is very lightweight, feels like there is nothing on your skin! The colour is a perfect match, which is hard to find sometimes. Blends into the skin so well and leaves the skin with a beautiful glow. It lasts all day and doesn’t go cakey!"
It Cosmetics CC+ Cream Illumination SPF 50+
It Cosmetics CC+ Cream Illumination SPF 50+ is a definite goodie; it received rave reviews from Redditors, who love the smooth, even coverage it provides. Our members are also on board - one Beauty Crew member said, "I love the coverage, it is medium to full and blends beautifully. The fact that this is also illuminating means that you can reduce the number of products as it delivers subtle highlight while it blurs, perfects and protects."
Maybelline New York Fit Me Dewy + Smooth
The easiest way to nab glowing skin is by opting for a hydrating foundation like this one. The lightweight formula is totally blendable, so it gives the most natural, seamless finish. “So great, amazing price, dewy and good coverage. Honestly my favorite foundation,” shared one Redditor. One of our own members agreed, saying, "This foundation is amazing! I've been using it on and off for the past few years, and always seem to come back to it. The finish is a dewy, luminous look that does not cake."
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
What’s a list of glow-worthy foundations without this cult favourite? Its radiant, barely-there natural finish goes undetected and lasts all day. “Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation gets my vote…it stays beautifully dewy all day (previously unheard of with my dehydrated skin), yet isn’t wet to the touch,” said one Reddit user. Whereas one Beauty Crew member said, "This foundation made my skin look and feel flawless. It gives your skin a nice dewy finish and a super healthy glow."
Josie Maran Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation Fluid
Not only does Josie Maran Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation Fluid have the packaging of our dreams (so bright and colourful!), but it also makes even the dullest skin look healthy and happy. “This is the perfect foundation to blend down slight discoloration. I run oily like OP, but I didn't think this exaggerated anything,” wrote one Redditor.
Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Luminizing Fluid Foundation
Unlike other foundations, the Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Luminizing Fluid Foundation promises to enhance a glowing complexion by synchronising with everyone’s individual skin characteristics - whether you have dry skin, oily skin or combination skin. It’s basically tailored foundation in a bottle, and we’re on board.
Tarte Water Foundation
Featuring 20 per cent water to quench dry skin, this is an all-round hydration-boosting, skin-brightening gem. “If you like more watery hydrating foundations, Tarte's Water Foundation is great! Definitely good medium coverage without feeling tacky or thick, and leaves behind a natural dewy finish,” said a Reddit user.
Yves Saint Laurent Beauté Touche Èclat All-In-One Glow Foundation
YSL’s All-In-One Glow was another crowd favourite on the Reddit thread. It delivers medium coverage to hide imperfections while giving the skin a long-lasting fresh glow. Yes, please. "I find the coverage builds up nicely," notes one Reddit user. One Beauty Crew reviewer said, "I have combo skin and it's nice to be glowy without looking sweaty or greasy. Normally this is hard to achieve, but this foundation does a great job!"
Dior Airflash Spray Foundation
Reddit users recommended this Airflash Spray Foundation from Dior – and we can totally understand why! It’s a nifty foundation spray (yes, spray – how exciting!) that’s known for delivering instantly flawless, airbrushed and silky-smooth skin. One Reddit user said, "[It] stays dewy all day without looking oily. It's my go-to summer foundation." Our members particularly love the dewy and natural-looking finish, with one reviewer commenting, "It is sheer, dewy and gorgeous on the skin".
Clinique Even Better Glow
Clinique Even Better Glow instantly improves your skin’s luminosity, AND it also contains a heap of skin-loving ingredients such as vitamin C to help your skin appear more naturally radiant over time.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh
This lightweight foundation is a hydrating powerhouse and perfect for all skin types. The weightless fluid feels silky on the skin and contains SPF and antioxidants to help fight UV rays and pollution. One of our Review Crew® members said, "Absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this foundation! The colour I have (1C0 Shell) is a perfect match for my skin tone. I don't wear much makeup daily, so this was light enough for me to feel comfortable and didn't end up with excess oil around my T-zone and was so smooth to apply." Check what our other reviewers had to say about Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh.
Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation
Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation is a new contender in the liquid foundation market, offering a lot more than just super cute packaging. It’ll provide you with the right amount of coverage while blurring imperfections, giving you the most perfect matte finish for a flawless and radiant complexion.
Natasha Denona Face Glow Foundation
Loved for its brilliant staying power and natural-looking finish, this long-wear foundation will leave your complexion looking smoothed, glowing and dewy. And it received high praise from Reddit. “I'm all about Natasha Denona Face Glow,” wrote one user. “I don't even use a powder with this foundation and I'm always glowing in a just health radiant skin sort of way. Even without setting - I get very little to no transfer, my skin usually looks the same at the end of the day, as it does in the morning when I put on my makeup.” Um, we’re heading straight to Sephora!
MAC Mineralise Moisture SPF15 Foundation
MAC Mineralise Moisture SPF15 Foundation will give you that refreshed and lit-from-within glow, while also covering imperfections, fine lines and creating a more even skin tone.
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation SPF 15
This oil-free, long-wearing formula is a medium-to-full coverage foundation that still leaves your skin looking like skin. It’ll also stay put all day long, meaning no mid-day touch-ups. Win. Many of our reviewers fell in love with the seamless and full-coverage finish of this foundation when we sent it to them to trial. "It gives a flawless finish with high coverage that was long-lasting," said one Review Crew® member. Find out what else our members loved about the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation.
Revlon PhotoReady Candid Glow™ Foundation
Perfect for your everyday makeup look, Revlon PhotoReady Candid Glow™ Foundation is a light-coverage foundation that gives you a hydrating, dewy finish like no other. It’s packed full of moisture-rich ingredients like prickly pear oil, meaning it won’t cling to dry patches or end up looking cakey by 3pm. Oh, and it also contains potent antioxidants that’ll protect your skin against premature ageing and skin damage. Swoon! Want to hear what other people think about this foundation? Check out what our Review Crew® had to say.
Kosas Tinted Oil Foundation
This lightweight, vegan foundation is a skin care and makeup hybrid that offers buildable coverage. Kosas Tinted Oil Foundation is infused with goodies like avocado oil and rosehip oil to leave skin looking smooth, pillow-y and hydrated. A foundation that improves your skin’s health? Yes please.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation
Hydrated skin means glowing skin, and Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation knows where it’s all at. Formulated with moisture-boosting ingredients like grape seed oil and sodium hyaluronate, this is the ticket to a plump, juicy finish and next-level radiance.
Nude by Nature Luminous Sheer Liquid Foundation
With active native Australian ingredients such as Kakadu plum, lilly pilly and quandong, Nude by Nature Luminous Sheer Liquid Foundation is already in our good books. It offers sheer to medium coverage and a light, healthy and luminous finish, without being too overly shiny. Its natural, lightweight coverage makes it perfect for a low-key look.
Zoeva Authentik Skin Natural Luminous Foundation
Enriched with the nourishing power of rosehip oil (a well-known ingredient for boosting your skin’s overall radiance by approximately one thousand), Zoeva Authentik Skin Natural Luminous Foundation works to protect your skin’s natural barrier, while giving you that gorgeous lit-from-within glow.
Designer Brands Hydrating Luminous Foundation
If you have rough patches or dry and dehydrated skin, this is your guy. Designer Brands Hydrating Luminous Foundation has a unique, gel-like consistency that smooths roughness like a moisturiser, while offering medium-to-full-coverage at the same time. It contains a complex of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which improve your skin tone and texture for a beautiful luminous glow.
La Roche-Posay XL BB Cream
While it’s not technically a foundation, La Roche-Posay XL BB Cream amps up your skin’s natural luminosity like an absolute legend – so it would be a crime not to include it in our round-up. Formulated with natural hydrators (like shea butter and thermal spring water), this formula melts into your skin and helps reduce dullness, uneven skin texture and tone, as well as dehydration-induced fine lines in one. Told you it was a superstar.
Napoleon Perdis Advanced Mineral Makeup
Napoleon Perdis Advanced Mineral Makeup is a feather-light, antioxidant-rich foundation that is loaded with light-diffusing elements (read: micronised mineral particles) to bring a subtle, natural radiance to your skin. The oil-free formula is also laced with vitamins A, C and E, to nourish and protect the complexion.
Still looking for 'The One'? If you’re searching for the best foundation to help with acne-prone skin, check out the top 10 formulas that won’t clog, irritate or dry out your skin.
Main image credit: @patrickta
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.