A couple of years ago, products touted as “invisible foundations” launched. Hailed as a big innovation, this clear gel was meant to unify, smooth and conceal while remaining imperceptible. Sadly, I thought they were a big disappointment and wrote them off as a bad job.
But I still believe that a multitasking, almost-invisible base able to be smooshed on by anyone of any gender, however inexpert, is potentially very useful. On days both lazy and busy, something that makes one appear a bit more “with it” when there’s neither time nor inclination to wear much else, can make all the difference to one’s mood.
Brands are catching on. Ultra Violette’s new Daydream Screen SPF50 Tinted Veil (£38) is best in class. This fluid is suitable even for non-makeup-wearers and provides high (non-chalky) sun protection and extremely light coverage, about equivalent to a five-denier stocking. I don’t say this lightly, but this is a perfect formula – silky, blendable, natural-looking and so easy to use that a male friend of mine, having never worn makeup in his life, has now added it to his morning routine before work.
If you already have a favourite sunscreen to which you are loyal, stick with it and consider Rose Inc’s Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum (£36), a watery wash of colour that you can barely feel is on. What it lacks in coverage (this won’t “cover” a thing), it compensates with effortlessness and healthful glow. You’d be hard pushed to convince me it’s not inspired by the first of its kind, Chanel’s Les Beiges Eau de Teint (£51), but if you couldn’t find your shade in that, you will here – the Rose Inc version comes in an untypically broad colour range for something so sheer.
If you specifically want a super-light makeup coverage but a rich skincare feel, Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint (£43), may be just the thing. I bought this on a recent trip to the US and although it felt a fraction oily for the humidity of New York, now I’m home and the weather has cooled down, I’m enjoying the extra moisture (coming from hyaluronic acid and squalane, which won’t clog or congest skin).
Or if you’re prepared to go a little more madeup, I stand enthusiastically by the L’Oréal Paris True Match Nude Plumping Tinted Serum (£14.99), I raved about last year. It remains extraordinarily good for the price – and is usually on offer somewhere.