How to lighten your foundation (with examples + products)

This is something that can really come in hand if you happen to be unable to find light enough foundations (works for concealers too).

But before I go on, I do want to place a clear warning: mixing your foundation or tinted moisturizer with a *lightener* will also change (dramatically or slightly, for good or bad) the texture, wear and performance of your product. That is because you are mixing 2 different formulas together.

Now, it can be a very good thing (as I will discuss below), but keep in mind you should not expect your original foundation to be like before. It’s like having a cup of water and adding oil and expecting it to be like before; it simply wont.





Illamasqua is a very thick and pigmented cream that has a slight pink undertone. It is white with a pink cast to it. I chose to mix it with Shu Uemura Nobara cream foundation in 584 mainly because: A) the pink undertone in the Illamasqua would bring some coolness to the tone and B) they are both very pigmented, so the lightener will not affect that dramatically on the overall consistency of the product.


Aveda tinted moisturizer in 00 is pretty much white, so I chose to mix it with the Laura Mercier because A) both are tinted moisturizers and I wont lose the overall consistency with the mix. Aveda is beautiful on its own as well 🙂



Armani’s Luminous silk foundation in white (not sure if its still available) is pretty pigmented but very fluid and light. So I chose to mix it with Guerlain’s Ligerie de peau because of the same texture and level of pigmentation. Again, the finish is preserved here (luminous, light yet slightly matte) because both have same finishes.


Mac f&b in white is a staple to me. I use it on its own but also mixed with other foundations. The only problem with this one is its odd consistency once it starts to set: it thickens. In this case, it was a nice thing with both the shu uemura face architect illuminating foundation in 974 and the YSL teint touche eclat in B10. It gave them extra consistency and did not alter that much their finish: since Mac f&b has a lumious finish and very light, yet not oil free, it did blend well with those 2 (that are luminous and not oil free)


Illamasqua’s rich foundation in 105 can be a pain. It is horrible on its own, has a very thick consistency that can set in pores and is very hard to blend. But mixed with Hourglass Illusion TM in shell worked pretty well, as well as with dior capture totale in 010. I especially like the end result with the dior capture. I chose this lightener because both formulas are quite pigmented.


Mac full coverage in white, another staple of mine. And I absolutely love it with Laura Mercier creme smooth foundation in porcelain. Since the mac is so pigmented, you need just the tiniest bit and it will lighten dramatically: this means the texture and consistency will barely change. Laura mercier has a mousse/gel texture to it, and I did not notice any big changes in consistency/blendability when mixed with mac full coverage.


Dermalogica’s treatment foundation in minus was originally to lighten their own foundations. I used it to lighten Kiehls BB cream in fair because both are more ‘treatment’ and have less coverage.


Barry M foundation creme in white is not a personal favorite of mine, but I do like it with mac studio fix fluid (as you can see, I have 2 swatches with the barry m in it, one has more of the mac than barry m, and the other has nearly equal parts, same with the Suqqu foundation).

Anyways, my point here is that one should keep in mind the finish and texture of the lightener with the foundation. If you mix a very matte cream with a very satin liquid foundation…the end result will be nothing like the original foundation. Same if you mix a tinted moisturizer with a very pigmented cream: you will get a way more pigmented end product than if you would use something of lighter consistency and pigmentation.

If I would have to choose 1 product it would be mac full coverage in white: you can pre-mix it with some moisturizer to lighten its consistency and then mix it with a foundation/moisturizer, you can use it straight as it is, you can lighten concealers, you can highlight with it, you can even use it as a base to boost the pigmentation of eyeshadows. It is a product that has a natural finish, so it has more of a leverage to change.

I hope you enjoyed this post and perhaps in the future I will show further combinations.

Thanks for reading!