5 Barely-There Bases

Long gone are the days when I would blend out my full-coverage foundation and even try to attempt contouring, because my current makeup routine starts with a base that is less foundation and more of a "whisper" of color. As I've gotten more comfortable in my skin (blemishes and all), I find myself gravitating towards the barely-there bases, and luckily there's a ton available nowadays. Sidenote: I don't think barely-there bases are just for people who already have flawless skin - I mean, I have obvious pores, texture, uneven skin tone, blemishes, blackheads, the list goes on, and if it shows, I'm ok with that. And if you have perfect skin and want full-coverage, go for it! And if you're breaking out but prefer a tinted primer, wear that too! Conceal your zit or let it be out there, if you're comfortable in your skin, that's all that matters. Now let's get into the products!

Erborian CC Creme (1.5 oz, $44)*: A radiance-boosting, color-matching CC Creme that claims to help protect and hydrate. It has SPF 25 and comes out in a white cream that has pigments in it which you can see once you start blending it over your skin. It feels a lot like a typical moisturizer, and about three pea-size dots is enough for a thin layer all over my face. If we were judging coverage on a scale of 0-10, this clocks in at 0.25. It's gives more of a soft blur, and the pigment is very subtle.

Pros: This is a very hydrating formula, nothing sinks into my fine lines, and this gives a really nice radiance and even tone for a healthy glow, without hiding any of your skin. I still see redness, I still see pores, but my skin looks dewy and plump and an ever so slightly better version of what it normally is. I also don't notice any glitters in the formula, just a slight shimmer/iridescence? This is my favorite for everyday use, especially since it's so forgiving to my dry skin.

Cons: The shade range offers 2 options - Clair for Fair skin tones, and Regular for Medium to Tan skin tones. Granted this is meant to be a color-matching product so I wouldn't expect a ton of different undertones, but at least provide options for people beyond a tan skin tone, which seems like a huge miss. Even though the pigment is subtle, I imagine that if a deeper skin tone were to use either of these, there'd be an obvious cast. Also, I don't know how this would fare on oilier skin types since it does leave behind such a dewy finish and slightly tacky feel.

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint (1 oz., $26) (note, this was reformulated, but I still have the old formula): "Skin Tint" is the perfect name for this because it really is the slightest bit of tint for your skin. It gives a sheer wash of color to even out your skin tone and provide a dewy finish, while letting your natural skin still shine through. 

Pros: The added tint in this formula offers some slight help managing the redness in certain areas of my face. It's not enough to really cover up the redness at all, but it makes it less obvious. You'll definitely still see your skin through the tint, but it works well on my dry skin and provides a dewy finish without emphasizing my texture.

Cons: Because of the watery formula, I do feel like I squeeze out quite a bit of product for each application. Also, they did just extend their shade range to 5 options, but for a product that actually has tint that shows up on the skin (even if the coverage is slight) I think they could do with extending the range further. I'm also not sure how this works on oilier skin types since it is pretty dewy, but in general this is not a long-wear kinda of formula.

Nudestix Tinted Blur Stick (.22 oz, $30): This twist-up stick offers smoothing and blurring with a soft-matte finish and a cream-to-powder formula. It claims to help with pores, texture, uneven skin tone and blemishes while still looking natural. It can also be a multi-tasker, serving as a base, primer, contour or highlight.

Pros: This has a smooth, slippery feel on the skin and does the best out of the bases in terms of blurring out pores and providing more of a matte look to the skin. The tint is subtle, but it does help slightly reduce the redness in my face, and it's very easy to apply on the go. It feels a lot like a tinted primer, and lots of people use it as that and then go in with foundation. They also offer 10 shade options which is the widest range out the bases I'm chatting about. When I want something super quick as I'm running out the door, this is my first pick.

Cons: This is not cute over dry patches. It catches on the dry skin and just, doesn't blend out very well. Also, you need quite a few swipes to get your whole face, and that's if you just want to do one layer. I'm already tearing through this stick and it's not really a cheap product. PLUS, it's not the most long-wearing product, and in a lot of the marketing they say you can bring it with you to do touch-ups, which means even more product used up. Lastly, this packaging is cute but it's not secure. The cap pops off too easily, and for some reason the entire stick was in the cap at one point and I had to do damage control aka, shoving the stick back into the tube which it now sits in lop-sided.

Vita Liberata Beauty Blur (1.01 oz, $40)*: This claims to blur, tint & prime the skin, and comes in 5 shades. This feels a lot like a tinted moisturizer, applies like one, and stays slightly dewy like one. The texture feels slightly mousse-y, and very lightweight.

Pros: It's fragrance free, alcohol free, and silicone free (among other things they have listed on their site). It's glowy, but not shimmery, and feels very light on the skin. There is a dewy finish to this, the tint is very subtle, and it's easy to spread on with your fingers for quick application. There's not a ton of blur effect to this in comparison to something like the Nudestix, but if you want a hydrated base to prime the skin with, this is a nice option.

Cons: Since there is a visible tint to this, it's another that I'd say would need to expand its range further. The five shades that are available are wide but not deep (does that make sense?). Also, this will make me look more shiny by the end of the day, so keep a powder compact close.

Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow (1.4 oz, $55)*: We're ending on the ultimate glowy skin option. I like to use this as a sheer base, but it can also be used as a highlighter over foundation, or as a glowy primer under foundation. I use it alone, and while there is the slightest hint of color, I find that I reach for this when I want the dewiest, glowiest skin possible.

Pros: This gives you a wonderful radiance to the skin, feels lightweight, is easy to apply, and is multi-purpose. It works well on my dry skin because it's such a liquid-y texture, and I look extra dewy by the end of the day which I actually like (but note for oily skin!). It offers a soft-focus kind of blur, but you can still see all of your skin.

Cons: I wouldn't necessarily call this a con, but others might see it as so - this does have small glitters and shimmers in it, and if you were to look in your car mirror outside you'd notice them. I don't think they're crazy intense, but I know some people aren't into that, especially if they're dealing with lots of texture. Out of the base options, this isn't the best at filling pores or making your skin tone more even, I'd say it's 100% about glowy skin with this, and a slight blurring. Lastly, it is pricier than most, but a little goes a long way.

This summer, I'm reaching for the Nudestix & Erborian CC Creme the most, but the Wonder Glow & Skin Tint are perfect natural, glowy bases when my skin is dull & dry and need a natural dewy look. Do you prefer high, medium, or low coverage kind of bases? Do you have any favorite barely-there bases I didn't mention? Let me know!

*notes gifted items, but all opinions are my own

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