The Best Foundation for Pale Skin: a roundup plus colour swatches
What’s the best foundation for pale skin?
As a pale-skinned redhead who doesn’t tan ever, I find myself on a constant search for the best foundation for pale skin. This can be a harder search than you might expect: with many beauty brands catering mostly to mid-tones, those of us at either end of the scale can find it tough to track down a foundation that won’t just make us look like we haven’t washed for a week.
I’ve tried many different brands in a bid to find the best foundation for pale skin, and the list that follows features just a few of the ones I’ve tried. Needless to say, these are just the products I’ve used myself, so the list is far from exhaustive, and I’m hoping some of you will help add to it by leaving your own suggestions in the comments. Before I start, I’m also just going to go ahead and state the obvious: that not all pale skin is pale is pale in exactly the same way, so what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa.
For reference, I have combination skin which is pale and freckled, with pinkish undertones. In MAC terms, I’ wear NW10, which isn’t quite perfect, but close. Here are a few of the foundations I use, or have used, instead, starting off with my current favourites:
Hands down my favourite drugstore foundation for pale skin: I use this daily, and always re-purchase as soon as it runs out. [Read my review]
Also in the shade ‘Light Porcelain’, this is a full-coverage foundation suitable for pale skin with pink undertones. [Read my review]
This powder-based foundation is so pale it’s almost TOO pale. Almost, I said. It’s also a pretty great foundation, whether used on its on, or over liquid foundation for a full-coverage, flawless kind of look – read my full review of it here.
My review of this wasn’t very positive, unfortunately: personally I think it’s a horrible foundation, but it IS possibly the palest one I’ve found, so it may be suitable for skin types other than my own. [Read my review]
A yellow-based foundation, which is one of the palest I’ve found. This offers medium coverage, but unfortunately didn’t really work out for my skin, despite getting very positive reviews elsewhere. [Read my review]
Undaunted by my previous experience with NARS, I went on to buy their ‘Sheer Glow’ foundation instead, to see if the lighter formula would be better on my skin. And was it? Read my review to find out…
I had really high hopes of this, having loved my previous Bobbi Brown foundation in this shade. Unfortunately, however, this “Alabaster” is much darker than the previous version, and I found it very yellow. It also has a dewy finish which didn’t work well with my skin: I looked like an oil slick every time I wore it! [Read my review]
I was really excited when MAC announced they’d be releasing their popular Studio Fix Foundation in NW10 (and NC10), which is a shade lighter than their previous palest shade. NW15. NW15 was too dark for me, and while NW10 isn’t a perfect match, still being a little darker than I’d like, it’s definitely an improvement, and it makes a good day-to-day foundation. [Read my review]
It took me a long time to get around to reviewing Estee Lauder’s most famous foundation, but when I did, I was pretty impressed. Doublewear is a heavy coverage foundation, which doesn’t look caked-on, and ‘Shell’ is pale enough for even my fair skin. Here’s my review.
More of the best foundation for pale skin…
Super-heavy coverage, which will disguise just about any flaw. RF105 is the pale faced girl’s secret weapon: it’s pure white, so it’s not something you’ll want to use on its own (unless you actually do work as a clown), but it’s ideal for mixing with other foundations to dial down the colour.
Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Foundation in Fair
But enough about me.
I know there are plenty of pale skinned people out there, and I’ve had a lot of suggestions on the best foundation for pale skin from my readers over the year: seriously, the comments on this post (and each of the reviews links above) are WAY more helpful than anything I have to say, so don’t forget to take a look at them, especially if you’re pale in a slightly different way from me. Because, yes, contrary to what so many makeup brands seem to think, not all pale skin is exactly the same: mine, for instance, has pink undertones, and quite a few freckles, but yours may be completely different, although equally pale.
So tell me, then: which are your favourite pale foundations? What’s the best foundation for pale skin?
Related: Why am I so white?