Ace of Base: Sheer Coverage Formulas for the Warmer Months

Love them or loathe them, sheer coverage bases come back on the radar once the summer hits and I find them especially useful when traveling or on holidays, (mainly as a way to avoid getting melty face in the sun).

When teamed with a good concealer (you can see some of our favourites here), the finish you get from a sheer foundation/BB Cream/tinted moisturiser can look just a good as medium/full coverage but with the added advantage of giving skin that bit more room to breathe in the heat. 

Before launching head first into product recommendations, I thought I'd go through a couple of tips that don't require you to start splashing out on a separate or new foundation because lets face it, not everyone will be in the market for a specifically sheer formula.

There are a few ways to manipulate higher coverage formulas into becoming lighter such as:

  • mixing it with your moisturiser  
  • applying a hydrating primer such as Bourjois Happy Light Illuminating primer (€15.99) or Eve Lom Flawless Radiance (€55) beforehand which allows you to buff in the product for a "barely there" finish

Eve Lom Bourjois Collage


  • Another way to change up the consistency of a foundation is to apply it with a sponge such as cult favourite, Beauty Blender (€22) or Real Techniques Miracle Complexion (€7.99).

When used dry, the sponge will give you a fuller coverage but to make it lighter try using a facial spray such as La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water (€4.99 50ml) or a mini spray bottle filled with water to spritz the sponge (rather than saturate it). If you play around with different dampness levels you'll find that it's easy to move between medium/sheer coverage as you wish. This technique also works well to blend out a base if foundation is too heavy/dull looking or has migrated into pores/fine lines. 

Sheer Collage

For those who are in the market for a sheer foundation there are more than a few to choose from including:

  • Bobbi Brown's new Serum Foundation (€49.50)
  • Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion (€49)
  • Shiseido Sheer and Perfect (€35)
  • Purse friendly Olay Touch of Foundation (€11.49)
  • MAC Face & Body (€31.50 50ml) is also a safe bet for the summer months as it provides a sheer, waterproof make-up base, especially when applied using fingers (the warmth of which helps to change the consistency from extremely watery to a more tacky feel, allowing you to build up coverage where needed)

bb cream Collage

And as we often wear lighter coverage formulas during the summer months I'd be remiss if I didn't include some recommendations that contain a decent SPF.

Combination and oily complexions will love Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser SPF20 (€48) as it leaves skin shine free but still feeling feeling fresh. If anti-ageing is your main priority, then L’Occitane Immortelle BB Cream SPF30 (€35) is a good investment giving a beautiful, dewy finish.

And finally, anyone worried about anti-ageing and redness, or whose skin is in need of a little TLC will appreciate Darphin's Instant Multi Benefit Care CC Cream with SPF 35 (€44).  


So tell us, do you swap up your coverage for warmer weather? And what are your favourites?

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