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Here We Glow: A Guide to The Best Sheer Foundations

Gone are the days where the desired end look is slapped on with a trowel in the dark’, and don’t even get me started on concealer lips…

There are many things I miss about my teenage years; fitting into size eight denim ‘mini skirts’ (belts), drinking Blue WKDs without being judged (if this wasn’t frowned upon in the adult world, my drink of choice would absolutely still be the alcopop) and signing in and out of MSN incessantly until the boy I liked fired me a romantic ‘heyyy :P’. Okay, maybe I don’t miss that one so much.  

Of all the things I look back on fondly from those glory daysI can confirm that Dream Matte Mousse is not one of them. Gone are the days where the desired end look is slapped on with a trowel in the dark’, and don’t even get me started on concealer lips. That’s a thought for another day.  

Makeup artists and Insta-models alike are coveting the ‘no makeup, makeup’ look across the globe, inspiring us to let all our perfect imperfections (please sing in the voice of John Legend), shine through. I’ve spent years looking for my foundation soulmate – so I’m sharing the best of the bunch with you.  

Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow

The holy grail of sheer, glowing foundation. Available in 12 shades, it illuminates, smooths, hydrates, minimizes pores and reduces wrinkles – a bold claim, I know. The only foundation I’ve ever received actual compliments on, I’m pretty sure I’ve never strayed from this since someone literally exclaimed – ‘OMG YOU’RE GLOWING!!!’. That is what we like to hear. Perfect for day and night, the lightweight solution offers buildable coverage and never looks cakey, even when you unwittingly apply your seventh layer hours into a sweaty night out (or so I’m told…) 

£39, available at CharlotteTilbury.com

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation

My second favourite on the list, this hydrating formula certainly delivers on the glow front – providing a super natural, skin-like finish. Boasting a selection of 25 shades, each with different undertones, you’re bound to find a perfect match. This is my go-to holiday foundation (it was discovered after a panic buy in duty-free when I realised, I had no darker products) as it’s sheer enough to let your freckles peep through after a day in the sunshine. The added SPF 15 is a bonus too!  

£34.50, available at Bobbibrown.co.uk

MAC Studio Face and Body

A firm favourite of many makeup artists, the MAC Face and Body is a water-based, moisturising formula which glides seamlessly onto the skin for a low to medium coverage, with a choice of 13 shades.Originally a little apprehensive about trying this one (thinking back to the not so natural makeovers I’ve had from MAC over the years) I was pleasantly surprised by its light, satin finish. Despite its name, I’ve never actually tried this anywhere other than my face. I think I’m scarred for life after the ‘Sally Hansen Airbush Legs’ era, where teenage girls like me spent a whole summer (and winter, if they were brave enough) sporting what can only be described as a set of spray-on, orange tights.  

£27, available at maccosmetics.co.uk.

NARS Sheer Glow

Not my favourite, I must admit, but Nars Sheer Glow has built a cult following over the years and a handful of my friends swear by its longlasting, glowy finish. In my experience, this is one of the less sheer of the bunch, perfect for those who might want a little more coverage. With an impressive 40 shades, the formula includes the brand’s Complexion Brightening Forumla and promises to leave skin hydrated, softer and smoother, whilst improving brightness and texture. No, this doesn’t mean you have an excuse to skip your moisturiser.  

£35, available at narscosmetics.co.uk.

Giorgio Armani Lumious Silk

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for a celebrity endorsement. The moment I heard celeb makeup artist Patrick Ta rave about his favourite foundation to use on Kim Kardashian, I knew I had to try it. Unbelievably, I didn’t quite look like the fourth Kardashian sister after my first try, but I did look pretty damn flawless, if I do say so myself. Also available in 40 shades, the super-thin formula allows for seamless blending and really does leave you feeling like a goddess.  

£44, available at ArmaniBeauty.co.uk.

BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation

Is it just me, or is there something really fun about a pipette? Just a couple of drops of this featherweight foundation will give your complexion a luminous, natural glow that enhances the skin, without covering it. With a total of nine flexible shades, this water-infused formula can be easily mixed with moisturiser for those good skin days (don’t worry, they’re pretty non-existent for me, too).  

£32, available at Spacenk.com

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