7 Foundation Alternatives For A Natural Look

 Not everyone wants to wear foundation for their makeup look. It could be they don’t like the feel of makeup on their skin or they prefer something that looks more natural.

The good news is there are some foundation alternatives out there:
  • Sheer foundations
  • Tinted moisturizers
  • BB Creams
  • CC Creams

black woman holding foundation alternative estee lauder sheer foundation
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All of these foundation alternatives have different benefits and also a few downsides. When it comes to benefits many of them have SPF for sun protection and can help improve your skin with ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

The downside is that many of these foundation alternatives are really hydrating and illuminating meaning they aren’t specially formatted for oily skin. I’ve used a few of them and you don’t get a good matte finish or help with oil control.

However, I think they are still a good alternative for dry winter weather and when you don’t want to put a lot of makeup on but want minimal coverage. Even if you have oily skin.

Sheer foundations

I recently started using a sheer foundation for my light full-face makeup days. For years I thought sheer foundations were the same as tinted moisturizers. They aren't.

Sheer foundations are also referred to as light coverage foundations and skin tints. They provide some minimal coverage of skin imperfections while tinted moisturizers focus on providing hydration vs. providing coverage.

These light-coverage foundations come in liquid and even powder form like their full-coverage counterparts, will have more shade options than tinted moisturizers, and provide a natural look.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Foundation SPF 19 

This is the sheer foundation that I’ve started using. It claims to
  • Be weightless, fresh-feeling matte makeup with lasting, all-day-long wear
  • Provide 12-hour wear
  • Be oil-free and control shine
  • Give anti-pollution protection
  • Be sweat and humidity-resistant
  • Create caking, creasing, or streaking
  • Be for all skin types
  • Not cause breakouts or clog pores (non-acnegenic)

I like that it has SPF in it, even though it’s a low number. Also, it contains antioxidants with Vitamin E to help the skin fight damaging free radicals from blue light emitted by digital devices.

Another thing I like is that depending on where you shop there can be up to 24 shades to choose from with several options for darker skin tones.

I don’t think that it controls shine very well. I find that if I don’t put on a lot of powder to set the foundation I will start to look really shiny pretty quickly. Because of that, I prefer to wear this in cool or cold weather instead of in the summer.

Where to purchase

L'Oreal Paris True Match Hyaluronic Tinted Serum

Drugstore brands have also started to get into the fray with their own sheer foundations and skin tints. L’Oreal is one with this Hyaluronic Tinted Serum from their True Match line.

It claims to instantly make the skin look brighter and more even, and feel hydrated because of the 1% hyaluronic acid it contains. This L’Oreal tinted serum gives the skin a nude, radiant finish with lightweight coverage.

You can find the L'Oreal Paris True Match Hyaluronic Tinted Serum in at least a dozen shades.

Where to purchase

Too Faced Born This Way Healthy Glow SPF 30 Skin Tint Foundation 

I haven’t tried this one yet and probably won’t since I have oily skin and this tint foundation is all about having a healthy glow. My skin already glows since it’s oily.

This tint foundation from Too Faced claims
  • -To have 24-hour wear
  • -To provide SPF 30 protection for healthy, glowing skin.
  • -That it feels weightless on the skin

It comes in 17 shades with several on the darker end of the spectrum. More than I typically see in lighter coverage face makeup.

The key ingredients of this foundation intrigue me. There’s Coconut Water which aids in delicately replenishing skin's moisture levels. There’s also Hyaluronic Acid which is known for helping the skin hold and retain moisture.

Where to purchase

Tinted moisturizer

When it comes to tinted moisturizers they live up to their name. They are moisturizers that provide hydration to the skin and have a little pigment to give the skin a slight tint.

Tinted moisturizers provide really sheer coverage so they won’t cover dark spots or any blemishes.

I like wearing tinted moisturizers in the winter for the extra moisturization they provide. My skin needs that extra moisture less in the summer.

Tarte Maracuja Vegan Tinted Moisturizer

This is a popular tinted moisturizer among the influencers I follow. I’ve never tried it. At that point, I thought it was too watery. Knowing what I know why the consistency wouldn’t be an issue for me anymore.

This Tarte Tinted Moisturizer claims the following benefits
  • Delivers 12-hr hydration & wear
  • A naturally radiant finish that looks and feels like skin
  • Light buildable coverage that helps minimize the appearance of imperfections
  • 12-hour wear and hydration

This tinted moisturizer comes in 19 shades and has some nice ingredients
  • Maracuja oil to deliver firmer, brighter, smoother-looking skin
  • Hyaluronic acid gives the skin moisture and helps with firmness and suppleness
  • Vegan collagen helps hydrate and improve skin firmness
  • Turmeric to reduce redness
  • Aloe helps with soothing and healing the skin plus it has antiseptic properties

Where to purchase

Black Radiance True Complexion Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 

This is the tinted moisturizer I’ve been using. It’s not as watery as other tinted moisturizers like the Tarte one. It’s a bit thicker and can be applied with your hands or a sponge. I prefer to apply it with a sponge like do for my foundations.

The Black Radiance Tinted Moisturizer has SPF providing a level of sun protection to the skin. It’s got hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and it smooths away and blurs lines, blemishes, and other imperfections.

Of the foundation alternatives that I use, this one does the best of color correcting and noticeably evening out my skin tone.

Where to purchase

BB and CC Creams

The CC stands for “color correction” or “color correcting.” They help to color correct the skin evening out dark and red spots and patches. CC creams also provide some sun protection and moisture. They are known to be sunscreen, foundation, and moisturizer all in one.

On the other hand, BB creams tend to be a little heavier than CC creams and tinted moisturizers so they provide more coverage and tend to give a finished look so you don’t feel the need for foundation. The BB stands for “beauty balm,” or “blemish balm.”

Both CC and BB creams usually have limited shade options whether you have a lighter or darker skin tone.

Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream 8-in-1 Skin Perfector

While I said that BB Creams can be heavier than tinted moisturizers, this one is kinda of watery. Since I used this up I haven’t bought it again mainly because I wanted to try other products.

The oil-free Maybelline BB Pure BB Cream
  • Has 2% Salicylic Acid so it helps with acne
  • Is mattifying and gives a matte finish (which is one thing that drew me to it)
  • Helps reduce the look of pores and redness
  • It hydrates
  • It conceals imperfections

There is a very limited number of shades with a total number of 5. The darkest shade isn’t that very dark in my opinion.

Where to purchase

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Full Coverage Color Correcting Foundation with SPF 50+

This brand has several shades with 22 available bucking the limited shade trends for BB and CC creams.

I see so many women gushing about this and how they like to use it for their everyday instead of foundation. I haven’t used it yet but am tempted to add it to my shopping cart whenever it’s on sale.

It’s got hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin E three of my favorite skincare ingredients.

What is interesting is it calls itself a full-coverage CC cream foundation. That indicates that it will help with color correction and camouflaging things like uneven skin tone, acne scars, wrinkles, redness, under-eye circles, and large pores all while moisturizing the skin.

Where to purchase