Sheer indulgence: The best light summer make-up to buy now

Skin tints are the answer to your foundation needs in brighter months

Swapping to a sheerer base for summer is a tremendous relief, a bit like pulling a pair of hot, tumescent, and pulsating feet out of a pair of hiking boots that you didn’t properly break in before a very long June walk. By the time the weather warms up each year, I am positively itching to ditch heavier foundations. Not only are they uncomfortable and obvious looking in the heat; they also tend to vacation messily around the face – the cosmetic equivalent of a student holiday to Magaluf. The result is a foundation that looks shiny, claggy and absolutely nothing like skin. It also generally doesn’t play as well with sunscreens that will need to be reapplied over it during the day.

The four bases I’m sharing this week all meet the requirements of a great summer skin product – you can apply them quickly with fingers and they will look great, they wear well in warm weather and direct light and they are non-greasy.

Gone are the basic tinted moisturiser days, when products felt like a latex-textured emollient moisturiser with a dollop of full-coverage foundation squeezed in. Tints are the more modern version – generally water-based and oil-free, they are longer lasting and more technologically sophisticated. There is also a tint for every skin type from oily to dry. Just remember that a tint is and should be at least partially sheer, letting the best of your skin reveal itself. Concealer is for coverage.

Trinny London BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum (€47 at is a joy to apply and wear. Like most of the products from the brand, the focus is on skill-free application with just your hands. It's particularly excellent for dry or mature skin and has a medium buildable coverage, which is more than average for a tint. For those who want the merest whisper of complexion-evening, NYX Bare With Me Luminous Tinted Skin Serum (€13 at Boots) is ideal. It gives the skin radiance and a little bit of coverage but doesn't smother it or make itself a feature. I like this for good skin days and days when I'm enjoying my summer freckles enough to really showcase them.


For lighter coverage that specifically works for dryer skin, try Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream (€33 at Brown Thomas). It combines a really sheer coverage with a hydration boost that keeps skin plump and comfortable. Finally, for an all-rounder that works with most skin types (if you're very oily some powder where you get unwanted shine may be needed), seek no further than Sculpted by Aimee Tint & Glow Skin Enhancer (€25 at This Irish brand has launched several incredibly good products this year, but this one is my favourite. A glowing veil of summery skin in inclusive shades, it just makes everyone look better. You'll still need concealer to cover blemishes, but this base hasn't failed me so far – even on cantankerous skin days.

Product of the Week

Irish perfumer Cloon Keen has launched a new unisex summer citrus scent.

Cloon Keen Bel Etage (€130 at Cloon Keen Galway and Dublin).