Make-up masterclass: how to get a lightweight base

Whether or not you’re jetting off somewhere warm this summer, this time of year calls for a base that feels light on the skin, dewy and holiday fresh. Think your skin, but on a really, really good day. Even better, we want something that’s going to last – with days filled with plans, touching up our base will be the last thing on our list. Not sure where to start? Our latest make-up masterclass is here to teach you how to get that essential lightweight base.

Let’s break it down into three simple steps:


A good primer is a must in any beauty stash. Not only does it help to leave your skin in tip-top condition for applying foundation that’ll withstand a night on the dance floor, it also works to address your skin concerns. For example, if feeling a little dull and dehydrated, look for a hydration-packed primer, like Tarte’s Base Tape Hydrating Primer. Almost a skincare/make-up hybrid, hydrating formulas help your skin to look brighter and dewier, and that’s before you even apply any colour!

If an all-out-glow is calling you, and simple hydration won’t cut it, try something like Laura Geller’s Ethereal Spackle Make-Up Primer, which is blended with subtle rose gold pigments. The added sheen will lift your complexion, encouraging a highlighted look that’ll shine through your foundation.

Oily skin? Don’t worry, the dewy base can still be yours! Some primers combine a mattifying effect on your natural skin while adding illumination, so you can enjoy a sheen exactly where you want it. The Illuminate, Hydrate & Mattify Primer from Gary Cockerill features a double-ended formula for the ultimate control, meaning you can matte out oilier areas, while adding glow to duller patches with the illuminating end.


Primed and ready? Time for the main event – the base. Let’s start with a little definition – what’s the difference between a tinted moisturiser and a foundation? It all comes down to coverage. A tinted moisturiser is just that – a tint, although it will help to even out your skin tone and will offer a small amount of coverage on blemishes. Foundations have more options, ranging from sheer up to full coverage.

When it comes to that holiday-esque, glowing complexion, we do favour lighter foundation and tinted moisturisers. It might seem like you won’t get a flawless finish with something a little sheerer, but remember, a lot of these formulas are buildable. You can add coverage exactly where you need it and top up with concealer if need be. By going lightweight, your natural complexion and added glow will shine through for the ultimate “your skin but better” finish.

On fab skin days, we opt for something like Tarte’s Maracuja Tinted Hydrator or Bobbi Brown’s Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15. While both are very light on the skin, they just add that finishing touch to your natural complexion. A bit of concealer under the eyes, and you’re good to go.

If we want something with a little more coverage, both Bareminerals Complexion Rescue SPF 30 and Bodyography Natural Finish Foundation are thrown into the mix. Neither feels heavy on the skin, but they both offer a good amount of coverage and a naturally radiant finish.

When you think sheer base, powder foundations are probably the last thing on your mind, but think again. If you’re not already acquainted, let us introduce you to two formulas that have reached cult status in our summer skin stash. Laura Geller’s Balance-n-Brighten and Balance-n-Glow Baked Foundations are both beautiful options for lightweight days. Featherlight on the skin, blendable and with no chalky powder finish, you’ll find these compacts in our handbags, in our bathrooms, on our desks, in our cars…


We’ve primed, our base is on, now it’s time to set everything in place. A setting spray is an essential this time of year. Think of it as a multi-tasker in your kit – it’ll help you keep you make-up in place while doubling as a refreshing skin spritz when you need an extra hit of hydration, as well as helping your hours-old make-up to look fresher. This duo from Tarte features a handy size to keep in your handbag, ready for glow top-ups on the go.

You’re ready to go! The real key with using any make-up look is to practice and have fun with it. The more you do it, the easier it’ll become, and you’ll be holding your own make-up masterclass in no time!