Makeup Tips — The Best Alternatives to Foundation


Updated Jun 1, 2021 – Originally Posted: Jan 11, 2019

If you’ve ever gone searching for an alternative to foundation, you’ve probably been told to use a tinted moisturiser or BB cream, but more often than not these embody all of the traits that most people hate in foundation, plus more. Whilst tinted moisturisers can be a great alternative to foundation, they’re often thick, greasy, prone to oxidization, take more work to apply and blend than regular foundation, have poor staying power, and an even worse shade range. Whilst there are some great tinted moisturisers (BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Recovery Gel for example) they’re not necessarily the only option when searching for an alternative to foundation.

Makeup Alternatives to Foundation

This is not a generic list of tinted moisturiser recommendations, but rather a list of skin pick me ups. Moisturisers, creams, primers, and other products that nourish, give a naturally gorgeous glow and the illusion of an even skintone.

Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30

If you’re after the perfect product to moisturise skin, correct redness, AND provide sun protection, look no further than Dr Jart Cicapair. Whether you suffer from redness, sensitive skin, or just want a product that will make skin look great without all the woes of foundation, this product is a total must have. Upon application the product is a slightly thick green cream, but it quickly dissolves into a perfect, universal beige tint which counteracts redness, blurs pimples, and dries down to a skin-like matte finish.  Moisturising and lightweight, the formula has an added bonus of SPF 30, making it the ultimate all-in-one foundation replacement.

MAC Strobe Cream How To

MAC Duo Fibre Brush Strobe Cream Application

MAC Strobe Cream

A cult favourite product and one of
MAC’s most famous,  the MAC Strobe cream is a multi-use product loved by
makeup artists, models, and beauty addicts worldwide. A lightweight
moisturising cream, this is a product that can do wonders for the skin
when worn alone. Available in many different shades of shimmer, this
cream is the perfect pick me up for dull, tired, and lackluster skin.
Best of all the variation of shades can help provide subtle colour
correction to the skin: peach and red; which can help correct
dullness and blue tones in the skin whilst gold can help with
redness. There’s no need to worry about looking shimmery or glittery
either, the shimmer particles are so fine they blend into skin
seamlessly giving an iridescent, subtle glow. It’s a multi-use product
too, use it in place of foundation, as a primer, mixed in with a
foundation, or as a highlighter!

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer

Designed as a primer to be worn underneath foundation, this product is just as beautiful on its own. With a slight champagne yellow tone it helps to subtly counteract redness, blue tones, and dullness in the skin. The addition of light reflecting particles bounce light off the skin helping to diminish and soften the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, and freckles. It looks absolutely beautiful when worn alone, or as a substitute for foundation, for an even more flawless finish try buffing the product into the skin using a full, dense, buffing brush.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

A unique, multi-use product, Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter is a product unlike anything else you’ve ever tried. A light to medium lotion, this “flawless filter” is really like a filter for your skin, blurring everything in sight. The formula has a medium tint (and comes in a multitude of different tints for different skintones) and packed full of the finest, light reflecting micro-particles to exist. When applied as a replacement for foundation is provides a gorgeous glow to the skin which looks natural and picks up light from different angles to give a 3-dimensional look. Best of all the product can also be used a primer for foundation/concealer, as a highlighter after foundation, or mixed in with your moisturiser, foundation, or primer for a subtle glow.

It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Rosy Tone Moisturizer

A new launch from It Cosmetics, the Confidence in a Cream Rosy Tone Moisturizer is perfect for anyone with dull, lackluster, discolored, or aged skin.  Packed full of nourishing, and hydrating ingredients the rich cream gives a luminous glow to the skin whilst also resurfacing and re-texturing. A subtle pink rosy tint helps to enhance the appearance of the skin, brighten, and diminish the appearance of dark spots. It’s perfect as a supplement for foundation and gives skin a gorgeous healthy glow and colour. Side note: also check out the
L’Oreal Perfect Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Moisturizer, they both have similar ingredients and purposes (
both feature Peony Extract and Lipohydroxy Acid

as key ingredients) plus It Cosmetics and L’Oreal have the same parent company, so this is a great drugstore alternative!

Shop This Post:

Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30

MAC Strobe Cream

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Rosy Tone Moisturizer

Also mentioned:

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

L’Oreal Perfect Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Moisturizer

Photography credits: ASOS, @maccosmetics, John Lewis

Story by: Evangeline Sarney

Originally published:

January 11th, 2019. Updated June 1st 2021.

#Makeup #Tips #Alternatives #Foundation

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