Foundation is a polarizing topic. As with other touchy products like liquid eyeliner and red lipstick, some makeup wearers love it, some can’t stand it, and some fall somewhere in that zone of ambivalence where they could really go either way. I happen to identify with the latter group, as I adore a full face of makeup right down to the perfect foundation, but could just as easily skip that step in my day-to-day regime.
What matters most to me is that any formula I’m wearing, whether all day or for just a couple of hours, needs to feel lightweight on my skin. We’ve all experienced heavy, cakey foundation that might look nice in photos, but is an absolute nightmare to wear. It smudges, it transfers, and sometimes you can actually feel it clogging your pores. (No thank you!)
Even if full coverage is your goal, lightweight formulas can get you there. There are tons of gorgeous, weighless options that deliver impressive pigment and still feel like you’re not even wearing makeup. Ahead, check out our edit of the 16 best lightweight foundations that both makeup artists and editors praise.