I’m A Beauty Writer, And These Are The Lightweight Foundations I Trust For Summer

I'm a Beauty Writer, and These Are the Only Foundations I Trust for Summer

From budget to luxury, these options give coverage so lightweight you'll forget it's on.
By Lauren Rearick
May 27, 2021 @ 11:46 am
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

On the stickiest of summer days, the last thing I want to worry about is my foundation. Full-coverage foundation is a gift to beauty lovers everywhere, but I struggle with the product in the summer because it feels heavy on my skin and adds to that humid, sweaty sensation. When it gets hot enough to wear swimsuits as regular clothes, that's my cue to swap out my usual foundation for a lighter alternative.

As a beauty writer, I have tried hundreds of foundations, ranging from full-coverage powders to easy-to-apply stick formulas. I often gravitate toward foundations that don't feel like foundations, as I prefer a lighter feel on the face. Plus, despite years of practice, I still struggle with finding an exact shade match, and sheer, lightweight foundations often come in hues intended to work across multiple skin tones, which makes for a much easier match process.

I want my foundation to feel weightless until September, and thankfully, there are creams, tints, and liquid-based products that do just that. From a Glossier staple to a newly released Fenty Beauty complexion product, these foundations will be the only ones I use over the coming months. Find the nine lightweight summer foundations I swear by below. 

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Catrice Clean ID Hydro BB Cream

The first time I tried this BB cream, I fell in love. It was weightless on my skin and gave my face a brighter appearance. The liquid easily blended with my fingers, which saved me time on patting in product.

Shop Now: $10; amazon.com

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Covergirl Smoothers BB Cream

One of the smoothest, lightest foundations I've ever tried, Smoothers BB Cream has become one of my go-tos. I'm already a fan of BB creams and how soft they are, and this Covergirl formula even includes SPF 21. Like me, this Amazon shopper loved the inclusion of SPF and they also wanted to avoid cakey foundation. "It is light, refreshing, good for your skin, and… works great as a tinted moisturizer and sunscreen. I use it every day. I cannot stand a thick foundation, so this is perfect for me and allows versatility."

Shop Now: $7; amazon.com

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Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint

Rihanna continues her streak of creating incredible complexion products with the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint. Resistant to common summer skin woes like sweat and pool water, Eaze Drop goes on super silky and stayed on my skin for the entire day.

Shop Now: $30; fentybeauty.com or sephora.com

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Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint

One of the lightest foundations on this list, the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint went completely unnoticed once applied, and that's a good thing. It gave my skin a dewy, shine-free finish. Just like me, one reviewer preferred the tint to "thicker" foundation, writing, "It looks like skin, it improves the overall tone of my skin and makes my face look brighter."

Shop Now: $26; glossier.com

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Maybelline Dream Fresh Skin Hydrating BB Cream

Meet the BB cream that does it all. A favorite in my makeup bag, Maybelline Dream Fresh Skin has SPF 30 and a formula that gives the slightest hint of coverage. The cream just melts into my skin when applied, and that dewy sheen never disappears throughout the day.

Shop Now:$7; amazon.com

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Morphe 2 Hint Hint Skin Tint

This foundation is so great that I actually use it all year, not just in the summer. Two drops of product cover my entire face, and once it's on, I completely forget I'm even wearing foundation. It plays well as a base for other makeup, too.

Shop Now: $18; ulta.com

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Nudestix Tinted Cover Foundation

This weightless foundation left my skin glowing, even though the foundation itself is barely noticeable once applied - it just melts right in and emits a warm summer radiance. "It's light and comfortable. Sheer coverage but buildable," a Sephora shopper noted in their review. 

Shop Now: $36; sephora.com

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Saie Slip Tint

Of all the options on this list, the Saie Slip Tint has the highest SPF. I gravitate toward its SPF 35 when I know I'll be spending some significant time in the sun. Along with protecting my face, the tint leaves it looking bright and fresh, even when I've been sweating it out.

Shop Now: $32; sephora.com

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The Lip Bar Just A Tint

There is so much to love about this foundation. Along with moisturizing ingredients, including rose water and hyaluronic acid, Just A Tint has SPF 11. I find the formula is easy to blend and covers small, less irritated blemishes. 

Shop Now: $17; target.com