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Best dewy foundations for a fresh, glowing complexion

Radiant skin? This way...

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26 September 2022

t's not quite so easy to feign that "just back from my latest European getaway" look when the weather's awful and the summer holidays already seem like a distant memory.

And, if you're getting geared up to spend the next few months in the UK, you'll probably already be wondering how to replicate that sun-kissed glow on your face that you've achieved from basking in rays of the warmer season.

While a heavy duty foundation may do the job for a full coverage look, you may want to forgo this in favour of a lightweight, dewy foundation to will look like you’ve just stepped off the plane.

The best dewy foundations will have you looking almost like you're not wearing any foundation at all. Designed to add a subtle yet flawless finish to your face, these foundations are easy to apply yet work hard to add a fresh, hydrated glow. Wear them alone for effortless smooth skin and an even complexion or opt for one that’s a little more buildable for more coverage on those days when you need a little extra confidence.

Some of these foundations even go a little bit further by nourishing your skin with complexion-friendly ingredients like vitamin C and plant extracts. The effect? Skin that seems to not only look more even and hydrated but also feels healthier after a few weeks of wear.

We've rounded up all of the best dewy foundations.

NARS Cosmetics Sheer Glow Foundation


A little goes a long way when it comes to NARS’ Cosmetics Sheer Glow Foundation. This sheer to medium coverage formula is a perpetual award winner and is renowned for its ability to give you magazine cover-ready skin in a matter of seconds.

Available in a huge range of shades, this buildable foundation needs no extra help to give you a magical glow before you leave the house. Apply it lightly for a sheer, dewy look or build it up for more high-powered coverage.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

John Lewis & Partners

Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation is well deserving of its “silk” name. This luxurious feeling foundation applies like a dream, helping to sculpt and brighten your skin, improve its texture and blur any imperfections at the same time. Available in 36 different shades, it’s also formulated with glycerin to provide all-day hydration.

A lightweight foundation that promises a soft, dewy glow, it’s oil-free and impressively lightweight. As well as working great for a day to day foundation, this bottle has won awards in the past for being the perfect bridal foundation - that’s how you know it’s an extra special one.

Huda Beauty GloWish MultiDew Skin Tint


Huda Beauty is renowned for its impressive products which club together to promise radiant, moisture-packed skin and MUA-approved flawlessness. The brand’s GloWish MultiDew Skin Tint is no exception. It’s an easy to apply, gentle formula that gives your skin a little extra glowiness.

Perfect for the ultimate “no makeup” makeup look, the sheer coverage illuminates your face while its light-reflective pearl pigments effortlessly enhance your natural skin. It’s ideal for those who want to wear foundation without feeling like they’ve got an extra layer sat on top of their skin.

YSL Touche Éclat All-In-One-Glow Foundation


Ask your mum, ask your aunty, ask your closest friends: almost everyone knows of and recommends YSL Touche Éclat. This miracle All-In-One-Glow Foundation is one of the most popular products around for a dewy look and offers light, buildable coverage for a natural healthy glow.

This hydrating foundation covers imperfections and gives the skin a long-lasting fresh feeling with an oil-free formula and SPF 23. It’s smooth and creamy on the skin and provides the most beautiful base. The only thing we’d change? The range of shades, which could definitely be more inclusive.

NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Naturally Radiant Foundation


A dewy foundation doesn’t have to cost the earth, as proven by NYX Professional Makeup’s Born to Glow Foundation. This budget-friendly product offers one of the largest range of shades and delivers medium coverage and a naturally radiant finish.

Its vegan formula flatters all complexions, creating a smooth finish and even tone that’s perfect for daily wear. If you’re looking for dewy skin with a little more coverage, this is one of the best options.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15

Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation is perfect for anyone who wants a water-based, oil-free foundation with a natural finish. Designed to look like you’re not wearing foundation whatsoever - while still leaving you with an even skin tone and dewy finish - this popular foundation blends seamlessly onto skin for light-to-medium coverage with a weightless feel.

It’s one of the best for boosting your skin from the inside while looking effortlessly put together from the outside, helping to moisturise, plump and amplify your glow with its light-reflective ingredients.

Clinique Even Better™ Glow Light Reflecting Makeup SPF 15


Clinique is one of the best brands for the understated natural beauty look so it’s no surprise that the Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Makeup is one of the best foundations for just that. This light-reflecting product makes good use of natural ingredients to offer a soft glow no matter how little sleep you got last night.

Its moisturising sheer-to-moderate formula includes SPF 15 as well as Vitamin C, which works its own magic over time to give you an even better natural glow. The subtle luminising pigments do the work for the meantime, though.

Dior Forever Skin Glow Foundation


Dior’s Forever Skin Glow foundation is one of the best all-rounder products for improving your glow from the offset, while working hard underneath to give it a little extra boost of healthiness. Containing extracts of wild pansy for hydration, hibiscus and nasturtium for radiance and iris for its antioxidant properties, it’s a product that looks good while actually doing good.

A top choice for its moisturising properties, this impressive foundation hydrates the skin and visibly improves your complexion almost immediately. Use it for a week and you’ll likely notice your skin is visibly more hydrated and plumped. It’s non-comedogenic and offers SPF20 protection, too.

MAC Studio Radiance Face And Body Radiant Sheer Foundation


While MAC foundations may usually be renowned for their high coverage formulas, the Studio Radiance Face And Body Radiant Sheer Foundation takes a different approach. Like pretty much all the cosmetic label’s products, it’s a top choice for a flawless look but, unlike its other offerings, does so in a way that feels truly weightless.

Providing a sheer buildable veil of coverage with a natural, radiant glow, this ultra-light foundation matches skin tones and blends in almost effortlessly. It’s a top choice for that “just returned from Mykonos” look, even if the furthest you’ve travelled is from Zone 3.

Sisley Phyto-Teint Nude

Space NK

Sisley’s Phyto-Teint Nude provides the best example of that bare skin feeling, while smoothing your complexion and adding a little extra burst of hydration at the same time. While it’s more expensive than many others, a little goes a long way here. It also comes bolstered with a few extra skin-loving ingredients to truly give your skin a treat each day.

Using its hydra booster complex and aqua lock complex, this foundation offers refreshing, skin-plumping hydration while its vita-light complex of kiwi and acerola extracts help to enhance your skin’s vitality for an even more energised and radiant appearance.


For a great, mid-price foundation in a large variety of shades and an impressive formula to match, look no further than NARS Cosmetics Sheer Glow Foundation. This lightweight foundation offers a wonderful glow like no other.