Rejoice, because pale skin problems are a thing of the past
Trying to find foundation as a fair-skinned girl is no easy task (to be honest, looking for the best concealer can feel like an easier option). But fortunately, we’ve tested out shade after shade to bring you the very best foundation for pale skin.
Rest assured that somewhere in these 8 shades is the right foundation for you. First, we recommend this foundation quiz to find the one that’ll suit your skin tone, skin type and preferred finish.
Having the fairest skin of them all can be tricky business when it comes to buying make-up. As a teenager, some of your biggest beauty woes were probably a) that there wasn’t a shade light enough for you as you desperately scoured Boots and Superdrug, b) that free samples with magazines were always far too dark – but lord knows you tried them all anyway, just in case.
And don’t get us started on if you need to borrow foundation in an emergency, because you’ll be hard pushed to find someone who has a shade anywhere near as light as you need. (Having said that, there are a few of us at Marie Claire HQ who have pretty pale skin.)
Having a face that’s a completely different colour to your neck? We’ve been there. Being asked if you’re of Irish descent all the time? Eye-roll. The dreaded foundation line along your jaw line? Pale girls, we get it.
Before applying the best foundation for pale skin, be sure to prep your base by getting your skincare right. Having the best SPF moisturiser in your bath cabinet is, frankly, pale skin 101 – and you need to wear some form of SPF all year round.
Scour our round up to find the right foundation, and then be sure to try them out at the beauty counter before you buy. Because the last thing you need is another foundation that doesn’t quite match your skin, am I right?
Below are the 8 best options in the pale foundation stakes available on the market right now. If you’re looking to save a few quid here o there, make sure to check out our best Black Friday makeup deals, Black Friday beauty deals, M&S Black Friday sale offers and the best MAC makeup deals for bargains.
Bobbi Brown is without doubt one of the best brands for fair skin when it comes to foundation, concealer and corrector. Their lightest shade, Alabaster, has the tiniest hint of pigment (without being too pink or too yellow), while Porcelain and Ivory are also excellent light shades. The formula provides buildable, full coverage that’s enough to hide any blemishes perfectly. It’s a firm favourite on the Marie Claire team.
It’s quite possibly the runniest foundation you’ll ever experience (it’s actually designed to be applied with the warmth of your fingers), but this buildable liquid foundation delivers flawless, velvety coverage. The lightest shade, Siberia, is completely neutral with just the right amount of pigment for your fair skin. Trust us when we say its one of the best pale foundations on the market.
Since its release, the Born This Way foundation has been a firm favourite in beauty obsessed pale skin girls, in yellow-based shade Ivory. But Too Faced have just upped their game even more by releasing two more of their ‘fairest’ shades, Swan (neutral under tones) and Snow (pink undertones). The formula is super creamy, and offers medium coverage with a slightly dewy finish.
In shade 0.5, this foundation is one of the very few our tester has ever found to be slightly too fair for her skin (seriously). It’s excellently light and a super thick and creamy formula, so – as the name suggests – it really will last you all night. Combine with the best primer and build up a couple of layers, and you’ve got a foolproof look that’s guaranteed to stay put until the early hours.
Now, the lightest shade in this particular foundation is very – extremely – pale. If you’ve never managed to find a foundation that’s light enough for you then this could be the winning ticket, but either way we recommend you go and test it out first before buying. Shade 02 is still a pretty fair option, with cool beige undertones. That said, this one makes a great mixer should you need to lighten any foundation that’s slightly too dark, or could be used as your lighter shade for contouring, and so would make a great addition to your beauty toolkit even if it’s too light.
Not only will this foundation light up your face and give you the healthiest glow ever, its lightest shade (Beige 10) is excellent for fairer skin. Medium coverage that’s buildable, it’ll make you looks super healthy. FYI, this one also smells divine.
This foundation stick is a heavier foundation than most, so it delivers excellent coverage. It covers so well in fact, that you’ll probably find you won’t need a separate concealer – maybe just a little under eye brightener – and can use sparingly, so it’ll last you ages. Because it covers and lasts so well, it’s the ideal foundation for a wedding or a party where you know you’ll be photographed a lot (it doesn’t contain any SPF, so you won’t see any reflection back in pictures). Shades Alabaster and Pale Dune are both excellent foundations for pale skin.
MAC’s cult Face and Body is best if you’re fair with a slight warmth to your skin. C1 and N1 are the lightest shades, with the latter being slightly pinker. It’s without doubt one of the best in terms of its buildability, so you’ve got a whole range of coverage to work with here.