If You Hate Foundation, These Natural-Looking Alternatives Will Win You Over

I don't like foundation. Never have, never will. As a beauty editor, it's safe to say my gripes with foundation cause me some issues. Because while I hate the way it makes my skin feel greasy and appear two-dimensional, a huge number of people wear it every single day. And the most confusing part of it all is, I love the way certain formulas look on other people—I just can't stand them on me. If I could have it my way, I'd never wear foundation ever again. However, in the name of research and being a good beauty editor, I've tried virtually every foundation and base product out there.

And while I know my disdain for foundation is particularly extreme, I also know that there are a lot of people out there who share some of my views. The truth is foundation simply doesn't look like natural skin, and I don't think it ever can. I feel confident enough to say this because, as someone who has tried all of the best and most luxurious foundations on the market, I have never found a formula that isn't visible on the skin (or the screen of my phone after I've taken a call). And it is this basic issue that has natural-looking-makeup lovers distancing themselves from foundation.



You see, we foundation haters all share the same makeup ideal: We want fresh, radiant, natural-looking skin that's clear, even in tone and smooth to the eye. Is that really too much to ask?

Well, for the most part, I'll admit that yes, it is. But there are some foundations and bases out there that deliver as close to natural-looking results that can possibly be delivered. I'm talking fast-absorbing formulas with skin-like finishes that don't pool, crease or turn patchy. If you want a subtle veil of coverage that helps even skin out while ensuring it still looks like yours, here are the 16 best natural-looking foundations out there.


(Image credit: @TYLYNNNGUYEN)

1. Summer Fridays Sheer Skin Tint

2. Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Tint

3. Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint

4. Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation

5. Beauty Pie Everyday Great Skin Foundation

6. Kosas BB Burst Gel Cream

7. Westman Atelier Vital Skincare Complexion Drops

8. Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Complexion Touch

9. Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Cream Foundation

10. Dior Forever Natural Nude Foundation

11. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Le Teint Foundation

12. Nars Light Reflecting Foundation

13. Hourglass Ambient Soft Glow Foundation

14. Rose Inc Tinted Serum

15. Nyx Born to Glow Naturally Radiant Foundation

16. Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation

Next Up: I'm a Beauty Editor—This Is My Ultimate List of the Best Foundations

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous.

Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics.

While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best.

When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.