For Spring I'm all about that natural, healthy base during the day without anything overly dewy that's going to leave my t-zone looking shiny! As the temperature heats up and during the evening I pick something a little more matte. It can be hard to find light bases with a matte finish but I have a few in here for you.
Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser | £29.50
Regular readers will know I love this stuff so I won't bleat on too much; I just want to fully summarise my thoughts on it. It's perfect if you want a nice, slightly dewy base but your skin is prone to surface shine. It doesn't look greasy or over the top but just gives the skin a really healthy glow (that's nothing too 'wet'). This looks and feels such light coverage but somehow gives your skin a real radiance (it doesn't contain shimmer) and evens out the skin tone. It's so natural that if you're just wearing this, you could probably be mistaken for not wearing makeup and just having amazing skin. It don't go greasy or wear off my skin; I just make sure to powder my t-zone in warm weather. It's so effortless to apply (Sephora Pro Airbrush #55, naturally!) and the oil-free formula works well for so many different skin types.
This was definitely my #1 base last summer and I'm already starting to reach for it again. For me the shade Golden Medium-Deep is perfect for my Spring/Summer skin tone. It's so lightweight on the skin and never feels like I'm wearing loads of makeup (even in the sweltering heat) but it evens out my skin tone and gives me a surprising amount of coverage. Somehow it doesn't melt into a greasy mess on my skin but it's not drying and doesn't cling in an unflattering way when first applied. I also find I don't break out as much in the sun when I use this and it's so long-wearing. Basically: I love it!
Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint | £30
When this was released I have to admit I ran out and bought it on the first day - such is my belief in the magic of a Nars base! This didn't disappoint me at all because it delivered on the light coverage with a semi-matte finish. The 'velvet' part is definitely true because it isn't completely matte or drying at all; it gives you a lovely, subtle radiance still. The coverage is somewhere between a fuller bb cream and a lighter foundation which makes it perfect for everyday wear. It lasts really nicely on my skin too. I wear St. Moritz in this, which is the same as my shade in the Tinted Moisturiser.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation | £31.50
I absolutely love the finish this gives; it's so natural, glowing and flawless. Think the Nars Tinted Moisuriser but slightly more dewy and with a fuller coverage. The formula is very watery so I do get through it pretty fast. It does take a little more work to apply but once it's on it looks so natural, glowing and skin-like. For me the main downside of this is that when the weather starts to heat up I don't feel like it lasts as well. Although it's fine for now, I probably won't be reaching for it during summer and I make sure to set the t-zone and under my eyes when I wear this to ensure things don't start to move around. If you have dry skin then I totally recommend this as I loved it when my skin was all flaky and awful earlier this year - it lasts much better on dry skin and gives such a healthy, natural look and keeps things hydrated. I wear the shade 4.5 Warm Natural, for reference.
This is sort of similar to the Bobbi Brown but a tiny bit less dewy and with a slightly fuller coverage if you build it up a little (which is much easier with this formula). I also feel like this last much longer as the worst that's ever really happened to me with this is needing to powder my forehead after lunch. It's not matte, it's not dewy; it just gives that 'natural skin' look. I think that's what makes it great for so many different skin types. If you're more of a combination-to-oily skin type and you don't know how to make 'dewy' Spring skin work for you then this is the perfect solution. I set it with a bit of powder as it stays in place without going all slippery and shiny throughout the day. I really love the coverage of this because you can sheer it out to a light-medium finish or build it to a good medium-full look. I tend to apply it lightly then just build it up where I need the extra coverage and where my makeup tends to wear off first. My shade is Y375 - I'd heard quite a lot of people say Y385 for NC40-42 but for me that's too dark, though I think I'll be mixing the two in summer. Y375 is perfect for my current skin tone. The shade range is pretty amazing so you'd be hard-pressed not to find match.
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation | £31
To be honest this is a favourite of mine no matter what the season (except perhaps in the height of summer)! It can be sheered out for a medium coverage or built up to looking pretty full; for a fresh Spring look I tend to go for the former. What I love about this foundation is that it gives me that shine-free satin finish without a hint of dewiness but it still has a 'lit from within' matte glow. So many different skin types seem to love this and it's one you can wear if you have oiler skin and want to get glowing skin without worrying about shine and greasiness or your base disappearing after a few hours. My shade in this is Stromboli.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup | £30
This is my fullest coverage and most matte option for a more evening-appropriate look. I think the original Double Wear (as much as I love it) is something I wear more for a night out and during the colder months. For a while I mixed it with Sheer Glow for summer evenings because my shade in that (3W2 Cashew) is slightly darker and Stromboli is slightly lighter and that stuff is seriously long-wearing for hot summer nights! Then I discovered the perfect solution: Double Wear Light. It delivers on the matte (but not at all drying or flat) finish and being incredibly long-wearing like the original but has a lighter coverage. However I wouldn't really describe it as 'light' apart from in comparison to the original - it's more like a medium-full coverage. The only negative of this is that it's a little 'one-note'; you're only really going to get that one level of coverage out of it so if I was travelling I probably wouldn't take this as my only base. I wear shade intensity 3.5 in this one.