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How to Wear Foundation with Light or Sheer Coverage

Face Makeup

How to Wear Foundation with Light or Sheer Coverage How to Wear Foundation with Light or Sheer Coverage How to Wear Foundation with Light or Sheer Coverage

We all have our go-to makeup routines, and yours’ likely includes foundation. Maybe you’ve been using the same foundation for years, or maybe you like to try out new face makeup every time your bottle runs out. Either way, we invite you to consider adding a lightweight or sheer coverage foundation to your beauty arsenal. You don’t necessarily need a thick layer of foundation to look your most beautiful. In fact, there are plenty of occasions where you might just want to rock a beauty look that includes foundation with more natural-looking coverage. Here, we’re sharing our best light coverage foundation (aka sheer coverage foundation) options, plus a few tips on applying this type of foundation.


First things first, let’s talk about what light and sheer coverage foundations really are. Simply speaking, they’re foundations that are formulated to provide a thinner layer of coverage on your skin. Whereas a full-coverage foundation promises to cover up blemishes and imperfections on the skin entirely, a sheer or lightweight coverage foundation offers a more natural finish. It might blur your imperfections, but it won’t hide a major breakout or cover up your pretty freckles.

Since these foundations aren’t as heavy on the skin, they’re the perfect choice for many different skin types and occasions. First off, if you have acne-prone or oily skin, you might be inclined to reach for a foundation that will fully cover up any surface-level insecurities. However, a foundation that’s more lightweight or sheer could be better when it comes to avoiding clogged pores. Lightweight and sheer coverage foundations are also great choices for instances where you want a more natural look, such as your everyday makeup look for work. Because they’re so light, they also work well for hot summer days.


When it comes to light and sheer foundations, you can find good options in both liquid and powder forms. Lucky for you, we’ve got both. Take your pick from the options below. 

Our best light coverage, liquid foundation: L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup. This lightweight, liquid foundation works to improve your skin’s clarity while you wear it—how amazing is that? It’s also formulated with SPF 20 and vitamins C and E. With just one application, skin will appear more luminous. With continued use over time, your complexion can become healthier altogether, including improved skin tone and skin clarity. 

Our best light coverage, powder foundation: L'Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Compact Makeup. This compact foundation provides natural-looking coverage with a weightless feel—and without any cakey residue. The ultra-pure formula doesn’t contain any pore-clogging fillers or heavy textures, and with just a few swipes you’ll have sheer coverage you can barely even feel. Plus, it also provides SPF 17 protection.

Our best all-in-one BB cream: L'Oréal Paris Magic by Studio Secrets Skin Beautifier BB Cream. We aren’t saying BB cream is exactly the same as a light foundation, but they are perfect for getting sheer coverage. This multi-tasking BB cream formula delivers four beauty benefits in one easy-to-use cream: it hydrates, corrects, evens, and perfects skin.


Generally speaking, applying a sheer or light coverage foundation will involve the same process as applying a medium or full-coverage foundation. You can use a foundation brush, a makeup blender, or your hands. Of course, if your sheer coverage foundation comes in compact form, you can use the included makeup sponge to apply it. Since the goal of light coverage foundation is to provide just a bit of coverage while maintaining a natural-looking finish, you’ll want to apply a thin, even layer over your entire complexion and down onto your neck. Besides that, here are two other tips and foundation hacks that will make wearing light and sheer coverage foundation even more of a breeze.


Yes, it’s true that you’re going for a natural-looking finish here, but in order to ensure an even application (that will last throughout your day), you’ll still want to prep your skin beforehand. For an added boost of radiance, use a primer that’s formulated to give your skin a glow-factor, such as the L'Oréal Paris Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer or the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Lock Makeup Primer. Conversely, if you tend to have oily skin, use a mattifying primer, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Lock Makeup Primer.


Hey, even though it’s light coverage foundation, you still want it to last as long as possible, right? All we’re saying is that it takes the same amount of time to apply, so you’ll want to make the most of it. To do so, finish off your entire makeup routine with a few spritzes of makeup setting spray, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray. This lightweight mist will help prevent your foundation (and the rest of your makeup) from smudging or wearing away.

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