Hair & Beauty

8 of the Best SPF Foundations

By Pip Jarvis
15th Oct 2015

One thing we love about spring: the sun. One thing we don’t love about spring: sunburn. We’re all for amping up the SPF routine as the weather heats up, but one thing we don’t dig so much is the telltale shiny face and extra step in our skincare regimen.

Here at The Urban List, we’re all about making life simple, so we’ve laid our skin on the line to try out some of best SPF makeup prods around. From BB creams to tinted moisturisers, and three-in-one foundations that promise to firm, hydrate, and do your taxes, here’s our pick of the sun-protecting skin saviours that’ll give you great face, while shielding you from those pesky rays.

#1 The Powder

This one is a bit of a rockstar, winning the 2011 Australian Beauty Awards Judges’ Choice. A pigmented mineral powder that comes in four shades, it’s free from chemicals and dyes, and particularly good for sensitive skins. Touting itself as a concealer, sunscreen and foundation in one, it’s a bit different if you’re used to using liquids. You’ll need to purchase their kabuki brush to apply all over in little circular motions. But first you’ll need to apply the pure Base, which absorbs oil and gives a nice even foundation on which to apply, err, your foundation. You can build the level of coverage you like by adding more powder, so it’s pretty hard to go wrong. If the thought of powder reminds you of Gran, don’t fret. The finish is more matte than some, but you’ll still have a nice little glow on.

asap pure Mineral Makeup SPF 15, available from selected beauty clinics, $45

#2 The Oil Obliterator

Sometimes you just want to shout your love for a beauty product from the rooftops. This is one of those times. The ultimate multi-tasker, Big Easy has a cream consistency which melts into the skin nicely, auto-adjusts to your exact shade, then finishes lightweight and smooth like a powder. Meaning there is zero, zip, zilch unwanted shine, just lovely, velvety-looking, sun-protected skin. Amazing for anyone concerned with oil—I took a squiz in the mirror post workout and my skin was still on point. Marry me, you glorious beast.

Benefit Big Easy Complexion Perfector SPF 30, available online, $55

#3 The Lift & Firm

Cult cosmetics house Elizabeth Arden know their stuff when it comes to making us look babein’. They also know we’re suckers for luxury, so this cute little foundation pot comes with a luxe gold lid. But as our mums always told us, it’s what’s inside that counts. Thankfully, what’s inside this pot of gold is a hydrating SPF foundation that lifts and firms thanks to ceramide-plumping technology (#science). Pop this cream foundation on over your regular serum-moisturiser combo for a lovely luminous finish and a medium to full coverage.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lift and Firm Makeup SPF15, available from Myer & David Jones, $65

#4 Stick It To Me

This little guinea pig was a bit hesitant about the idea of a stick foundation, but now I’ve found this amazing product, I’ll be sticking with it (sorry). With a creamy consistency, the roll-on is so, so easy to apply and the results are incred. Picture the smoothest, silkiest finish possible and skin that looks at least 100% more radiant and even. Water resistant for 80 mins, it’s a gym and beach bag essential. 

Shiseido Stick Foundation SPF 30, available at Myer & David Jones, $48

#5 The Dream Cream

With a velvety texture and top points for easy application, this BB cream gives a lovely, radiant finish, without being shiny. Organic kiwi extract, rich in vitamin C, stimulates skin cells, while Katafray extract boosts the skin’s natural hydration process. Which basically means your skin looks healthier than a green smoothie. I tried the lightest shade which was technically darker than my skin but gave it the kind of sun-kissed, all-over glow I’d sell my firstborn for.

Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 25, available at David Jones & Myer, $50

#6 The Glow Getter

If you’re not much of a tinted moisturiser girl, give this one a go as it’s not too sheer. Available in a whopping nine shades, it’s a thicker consistency than most, and a little goes a long way. The antioxidant-enriched, oil-free formula blends easily and gives a lovely glowing, dewy finish. If you want to go more matte, pop some translucent powder on top for all-day complexion perfection.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser Oil Free SPF 20, available online, on sale for $59

#7 The Illuminator

As usual, the MAC makeup game is strong. Less glide-y than some of the BB creams, this glow-getting SPF foundation is more of a traditional skin perfector, in terms of both application and finish. Packed full of goodness like nourishing shea butter and super hydrator hyaluronic acid, it gives a medium level of coverage that lasts for eight hours. 

MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation, available at MAC stores and online, $49

#8 The Light Stuff

If you’re after a super light coverage, this tinted BB’s a winner. Calling itself a serum-moisturiser-primer-foundation-sunscreen in one, ModelCo BB PLUS SPF 30 is available in two shades and glides on like a dream, minimising pores and evening out skin tone. The finish is sheer but satisfyingly matte, so it’s perfect for wearing alone. If the no-makeup look isn’t really your bag, it’s also an excellent primer for under your regular foundation.

ModelCo BB PLUS SPF 30, available online, $22

Getting prepped for summer? Check out 8 of the Best Self Tans. Gotta fake it 'til we make it, Listers!

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