I'm a Beauty Editor—This Base Product Is My Secret to Luminous Skin

Is it just me, or is finding the perfect foundation really tricky? Even as a beauty editor, I have always struggled to find a foundation that ticks all the boxes. Some are too heavy, some are too light, some cling to dry patches and some look a little too glowy for my liking. I was about to give up on my search, until one day I came across a serum foundation, and now I've never looked back.

If you're yet to try a serum foundation, let me introduce you to the base product that made me fall in love with makeup all over again. As the name suggests, these products work just like a normal foundation while providing many of the skincare benefits that a serum can give. If your complexion is in need of a little boost this summer, I highly recommend giving one a go.

Below, I've rounded up my favourite serum foundations for you to try. I've even enlisted the help of an expert to answer all of your pressing questions on serum foundations so that you know exactly what to expect from this clever hybrid product. Keep on scrolling to discover your best skin yet…

@nnennaechem taking a selfie with glowing skin

(Image credit: @nnennaechem)

What Is a Serum Foundation?

First things first, what actually is a serum foundation? As described by Emma Tillman, global pro makeup artist at Estee Lauder, "A serum foundation combines the coverage of a foundation with the benefits of a serum." Tillman tells me that not only will you get the coverage you desire, but these foundations can also help to improve the skin's appearance and give a smoother, more hydrated finish. "Serum foundations often offer sheer-to-medium coverage, so they look natural on the skin, as opposed to a heavier full-coverage foundation," she explains. "Most liquid foundations give great coverage but do not care for the skin like a serum foundation would."

Are Serum Foundations Suitable for All Skin Types?

As someone with dry skin, I knew that a serum foundation would be a great choice thanks to the hydrating formula. However, I was keen to know whether these foundations would work for all skin types. "Serum foundations can be used on all skin types," Tillman tells me. "However, skin that is dryer or skin that lacks radiance or hydration will love these foundations as they will sit much smoother on the skin."

@emmahoareau taking a selfie with glowing skin

(Image credit: @emmahoareau)

How to Apply Serum Foundation

So, how can you apply a serum foundation in order to get the best results? "The great thing with a serum foundation is that they are super easy to apply, as the skincare ingredients help them to melt into the skin," explains Tillman. "I often like to use my fingers to smooth them into the skin (just make sure that your hands are freshly washed!) Alternatively, I find a foundation brush works well and can offer a little more coverage. I like to avoid a sponge with these foundations as they can absorb some of the serum and we don’t want to lose the goodness!"

Now that you know everything there is to know about a serum foundation, check out my edit of some of the best formulas on the market.

The Best Serum Foundations to Shop Now

A picture of 3 serum foundations

(Image credit: @gracelindsay__ for Who What Wear UK)

Three of the foundations junior beauty editor Grace Lindsay tested for this roundup.

1. Estee Lauder Futurist SkinTint Serum Foundation

2. L'Oréal Paris True Match Nude Plumping Tinted Serum

3. Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum

4. Ilia Beauty Super Serum Skin Tint

5. Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation

6. MAC Studio Radiance Serum Powered Foundation

7. By Terry Brightening CC Foundation

8. Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation

Grace Lindsay
Junior Beauty Editor

Grace Lindsay is the junior beauty editor at Who What Wear UK. At the age of 18 she decided to train as a makeup artist before going on to study english and media at Goldsmiths University. It was during that time that she explored her love for journalism by interning at a small beauty start-up based in Shoreditch. Since then, she has worked at a number of publications including Marie Claire and Hello!, where her love for all things beauty continued to grow.

As Who What Wear UK's junior beauty editor, she covers everything from the latest hair trends to the stand-out makeup products of the season.