Amazing Foundation Alternatives For Summer Perfect Skin (Inc. Benefit, Nars, L’Oreal & Sleek)

Just like you wouldn’t wear a bobble hat in the summer, you don’t want to be wearing thick and heavy bases in the warmer months. My portfolio of BB Creams is expansive and perfect for summer days, but when you want to create a look that’s more composed and suited to a smokey eye, a lightweight foundation is ideal. I’ve long been a fan of Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow, which helps to brighten skin while providing SPF25, alongside 2015’s best premium foundation launch to date: Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. Both of these are perfectly suited for summer as they’re featherlight while offering the coverage I need, but if you can’t justify £30 for a base then I’ve got two affordable high street alternatives that do the job just as well.

PREMIUM: Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow (£26.50)
Available in 9 natural shades, this oil-free formula contains SPF25 and offers serious hydration benefits. The very runny formula applies incredibly easily to skin while helping to brighten the complexion (thanks to its light-diffusing properties;) it’s so comfortable to wear, even on sweaty days when other foundations start to melt. I love that it’s suited to summer but still offers a good amount of coverage, helping to even out tone and refreshen tired looking skin. It’s a staple in my collection for a reason.
DUPE: Sleek Bare Skin Foundation (£8.99)
Although this offers a slightly heavier texture, the finish is almost identical. The lightweight base glides over skin effortlessly, helping to brighten while covering imperfections. It sells itself on the basis of being a ‘bare skin’ base, matching perfectly (there are 12 shades to choose from) and feeling as if you’re not wearing anything at all; although it’s not invisible, it’s incredibly comfortable and lasts all day without caking. A great dupe at a third of the price.

PREMIUM: Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation (£32.00) 
This is a great investment for anyone
wanting great coverage without feeling like they’re wearing a mask; you can achieve results in a single weightless drop. 
It’s oil free and contains exclusive ‘Even Tone Technology’ that
immediately neutralizes redness, dullness and discoloration to leave
your complexion looking practically airbrushed. Although it does cover
the natural contour of my face and definitely requires blush and bronzer
over the top to create definition and tone, the result is really quite natural. Available in 20 shades, this is a definite investment piece – but one that you won’t regret buying. (Read my full review here.)

DUPE: L’Oreal Infalliable Mattifying Foundation (£7.99) 
Offering a lightweight and non-cakey texture, a 24 hour finish (although
show me a woman who genuinely wears her foundation for 24 hours,) and
waterproof qualities, this is one foundation to be reckoned with. It doesn’t feel heavy and a little goes a long way – the texture is
very close to the NARS long-lasting formula, providing a very similar
result on the skin and equal longevity. I can apply this first thing in
the morning and my makeup still looks practically perfect when I remove
it before bed; that’s a hardworking foundation! It doesn’t cake, I get
hardly any movement or oil in my t-zone and I don’t feel like I need to
top-up with powder come the afternoon. (Read my full review here.)

Are you shopping for a new foundation this summer? Would you opt for the premium answer, or the cheaper alternative?

Get involved with Superdrug’s Swap Shop this June: the average Brit could save over £150 a year by swapping from pricy beauty brands to own brand beauty and toiletries!  If you pop into store Superdrug staff will suggest an own brand alternative to your usual product; if you aren’t completely happy with your alternative then Superdrug will offer a 100% money back guarantee with a 25% off voucher for your next own brand purchase!

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  




  1. Tasha Hood
    June 11, 2015 / 2:22 pm

    I love Benefit Hello Flawless, I find it really handy that you can build up the coverage on days when you need a bit more, lovely finish as well.Tasha xxx

  2. Emmys Beauty Cave
    June 11, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    The Sleek one sounds lovely for summer xEmma | Emmys Beauty Cave

  3. Courtney Williamson
    June 11, 2015 / 3:11 pm

    I've never tried a sleek foundation but that sounds great and I love the l'oreal matte foundation.– // x

  4. Emma
    June 11, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    I've been looking to change up my foundation for a while now but I've never managed to find a BB cream that I love so I am excited to try a lighter foundation for the summer months. Would love to be able to afford to invest in the NARS foundation but looks like I'll be trying the L'Oreal one – still excited to see what it will be like though! I love reading your posts, you always give so much detail about a product which is really helpful.

  5. Andrea Godfrey
    June 11, 2015 / 7:12 pm

    I really want to try the Nars one, would you say that it's a full coverage? x

  6. Stephanie
    June 11, 2015 / 8:26 pm

    I'm a huge fan of the LOreal foundation, I wear it everyday at the moment! I'm taking it on holiday as its so reliable! I've never tried the one from Sleek though, I've really not explored the Sleek brand in detail at all!Stephanie xxx

  7. Jasmine Stewart
    June 11, 2015 / 8:51 pm

    I really like the Sleek Bare Skin foundation 🙂 I do actually have the L'Oreal one but I'm still eyeing up the Nars as they do my perfect shade and the colour of the L'Oreal isn't that great on me! xx Jasmine Talks Beauty

  8. Caitlin Crawford
    June 11, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Love this post! I wear Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow almost every day. It's my favourite foundation and it works so well for me. I really want to give the L'Oreal Infalliable Mattifying foundation a go though as the reviews sounds great 🙂 I'll maybe have to try the Sleek one too after reading this. I love Sleek products! Great post.Caitlin | Cosmetics, Cocktails & Cruising xx

  9. Annabel B
    June 11, 2015 / 10:47 pm

    I forgot how much I used to love Benefit Hello Flawless, think I need to dig it out of hiding!Annabel ♥Mascara & Maltesers

  10. The Nerdy Me
    June 12, 2015 / 11:25 am

    I'm really hesitant then it comes to pricey foundation. I am very pale and it's heard to find a good shade for me. Either it's too orangey or too dark. So, spending lots of money on foundation when I don't know for sure if it's the right color and formula, is a no no for me. I try to get mini bottles or testers first to see if it's worth it :)-Leta | The Nerdy Me

  11. Lauren
    June 12, 2015 / 6:00 pm

    I would opt for the cheaper alternative, the Sleek one sounds great! I need to try out more foundations as I only ever stick to one or two! out my Father's Day giveaway!xx

  12. Frankly Flawless -
    June 14, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    Great post, it's always good to know what dupes are out there. I'm always wary of drugstore foundations but only because i find it hard to colour match, i need to invest a bit more time for this as i always hear rave reviews on the drugstore foundations you have mentioned.

  13. Veebz Boo
    June 15, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    I completely agree with your review on the L'Oreal Infalliable Mattifying Foundation! I bought it a couple of weeks ago, but only used it yesterday as I am using quite a few different foundations at the moment. I was amazed at how perfect it made my skin look. It lasted just like you said, without any shine. This is an amazing drugstore foundation, I can't believe it's so cheap either. –

  14. Charlotte
    June 19, 2015 / 10:53 am

    This is great, looking forward to trying some of these out soon!Charlotte

  15. Hayat Beauty
    June 19, 2015 / 4:18 pm

    I completely agree with the Benefit Flawless Oxygen foundation i absolutely swear by it!

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