Prioritising is a tall task at the best of times, but when you have two minutes to take care of your face from start to finish, it becomes even more difficult.
What takes precedence? A soothing, hydrating serum able to nourish the skin’s health or an evening, smoothing foundation designed to polish the skin’s appearance?
If your answer was ‘both’ but your time restraints refuse to cooperate, take solace in the fact that the beauty industry has at last come up with a true ‘one and done’ style base product. ‘Serum foundations’ are said clever category, specifically formulated to address both the needs of the face you’re presenting to the world and the face you wake up with.
Think of a serum foundation as the more modern answer to a tinted moisturiser. They serve the same practical time-saving purpose while taking the category of skincare/makeup melds to the next level. The serum form allows for more concentrated, efficacious delivery of skincare ingredients while also embracing the ‘second skin’ style finish we favour nowadays.
So if you’re searching for a silky foundation that also comes with a helping of hyaluronic acid, or a mattifying, moisturising multitasker able to simultaneously cloak pores, you’ve come to the right place; here are the top serum foundations to shop.
Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum
One of the original serum foundations to grace shelves, this smoothing semi-matte option makes good on its name’s ‘no makeup makeup’ promise. How? It douses the skin in daisy flower extract (an ingredient able to visibly improve the appearance of both tone and texture), while coating your complexion in believable (and buildable) coverage that does the same.
$90 at MECCA
Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum
Considering it’s the base brainchild of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, it should come as no surprise that this tinted serum is devoted to dewiness. Its formula (which sits on the sheerer side) suspends pigment spheres within a blend of plumping, smoothing sodium hyaluronate and generously hydrating squalane to guarantee a glossy finish.
$73 at MECCA
Dior Capture Totale Foundation Serum
This formula has fine lines atop its ‘to fight’ list, heroing longoza, a precious flower from the Dior gardens that has long been celebrated for its smoothing, plumping properties. Finish wise, expect a medium-coverage cloak of luminosity that (thanks to the aforementioned ingredient inclusion) glosses right over any wrinkles or creases.
$134 at Myer
LYS Beauty Triple Fix Serum Foundation
If your face is feeling particularly parched or reactive, this is the hybrid to try; it features a nourishing concoction of everything from hydrating hyaluronic acid and nourishing avocado oil to Indian ginseng, a herb that protects against skin stress. With all those soothing, moisturising benefits, the customisable coverage (that you can build from sheer to full) is basically just a bonus.
$34 at Sephora
Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation SPF20
Dealing with dullness and discolouration that you want to correct and conceal during the day? This weightless medium to full coverage serum foundation is your winner. It pairs the powers of two acids (luminising, replenishing hyaluronic and balancing, brightening salicylic) with vitamin C to target dark spots and uneven tone, disguising both atop the surface while also addressing them below.
$66 at Sephora
Main image credit: @bobbyeliot