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Moisturizing to Lightweight Foundations: How to Choose the Right Makeup for Each Season

A photo of someone smiling with a lightweight foundation on their face.

It might be easier to think of our skin as stationary and fixed, but the reality is that it tends to fluctuate from season to season. When it comes to makeup, choosing a foundation that accommodates your skin’s needs is essential to achieving a glowing and natural-looking complexion.

For example, in some seasons a lightweight foundation provides the just-right amount of coverage to bring out your glow, while a moisturizing foundation is going to work to boost hydration in colder seasons. Not sure how to choose a foundation for your seasonal needs? From snowflakes to snow cones, we’re covering all the basics of changing your foundation for the seasons.

Spring Makeup

With the doldrums of winter behind us, spring brings a renewed energy for everything from fashion to flowers. And as the calendar flips from February to March, many of us start longing for our long-gone summer glow to return. The easiest way is to incorporate an illuminating foundation into your routine.

One that fits the bill in the IT Cosmetics foundation family is CC+ Nude Glow. It’s the first 90% skincare CC+ for an instant healthy glow + brighter bare skin.

CC+ Nude Glow

  • Lightweight fluid texture
  • Buildable medium coverage
  • Built-in glow serum that visibly brightens (niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, green tea extract)
  • SPF 40 clear sunscreen
  • Imparts a healthy, natural glow
  • 22 shades
  • Suitable for oily, dry, combination, normal, and sensitive skin types

Another way to achieve that illuminating foundation effect is to try a skincare-makeup-hybrid CC cream like CC+ Cream Illumination with SPF 50+. Suitable for normal to dry skin types, this radiance-boosting makeup base creates a luminous finish via micronized light-reflecting pigments. It doesn't make you look glittery or shimmery, either. While glitter was fun for winter’s holiday party looks, this CC cream delivers that subtle “lit from within” goodness.

Summer Makeup

Should I change my foundation in the summer? If you’ve ever wondered whether warmer temps should mean a swap in your foundation, the answer is yes. These months are warm—sometimes downright hot—and can also be pretty humid. Both factors lead to the dreaded phenomenon of melting makeup, which is caused by sweat and heat.

Reaching for a lightweight foundation versus a full coverage option can help nix that melting effect. It also simply feels lighter on your skin, which is way more comfortable whether you’re enjoying a beach holiday in the sun or commuting to work.

Lightweight Foundation

In our opinion, two of the best foundations for summer are CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40 and Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare. Both of these lightweight foundations contain nourishing, skin-loving ingredients. While each formula delivers a hydrating makeup formula, they won’t feel like they’re too much on warmer days.

IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40

Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare

  • Waterlight fluid texture
  • Buildable medium coverage
  • Infused with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, and vitamins E & B5
  • Imparts a natural, radiant finish foundation look
  • 40 shades
  • Suitable for all skin types

Powder Foundation

If you prefer powder over liquid foundation, that’s another excellent option for spring and summer makeup. It’s an especially good choice if you have combination or oily skin since it can help absorb excess oil and keep your skin looking shine-free.

Add a touch of powder foundation over a liquid makeup base for the same effect with a touch more coverage. Our top picks are CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder and Celebration Foundation and Cosmetics Powder.

Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder

  • Talc-free, silky powder
  • Buildable, sheer to full coverage
  • Infused with optical-blurring pigments to help camouflage pores, dark spots, and other imperfections
  • Also formulated with skin-loving hydrolyzed silk, collagen, niacinamide, and peptides
  • skin-softening, flawless effect in just 30 seconds
  • 7 shades
  • Suitable for all skin types, but especially combination and oily

Celebration Foundation and Cosmetics Powder

  • Hydrating powder foundation
  • Highly pigmented, buildable full coverage
  • Infused with anti-aging skincare ingredients including hyaluronic acid, silk, and peptides
  • Imparts a flawless, airbrushed finish
  • 7 shades
  • Suitable for all skin types, but especially combination and oily

Fall Makeup

The early days of fall flip-flop between lingering summer warmth and brisk temps that mean it’s “sweata weatha” and time for the frenzy of seasonal lattes to appear. To compensate for the lack of moisture in the air, it’s best to use moisturizing foundations such as CC creams and fuller coverage options. You can even use illuminating foundations, which have super subtle, light-reflecting pigments that create the illusion of that middle-of-summer radiance we all strive for.

CC Creams

The “CC” in CC creams stands for color correcting, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with each IT Cosmetics CC cream formula you choose. Another perk: CC creams go above and beyond a traditional “tinted moisturizer.”

How? Well, these multitasking moisturizing foundations often contain sun protection—an absolute must year-round—and are formulated with skincare ingredients that help your skin look great both immediately and over the long term when used consistently. IT Cosmetics' original CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ is the #1 SPF Foundation in America* for a reason.

CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

  • Creamy, moisturizing foundation texture
  • Buildable full coverage
  • Infused with anti-aging, skin-loving ingredients such as collagen, peptides, niacinamide, and antioxidants
  • SPF 50+ broad-spectrum sunscreen
  • Natural finish
  • 22 shades
  • Suitable for all skin types, but especially normal and dry

You can still use a full coverage, hydrating foundation even if you have oily skin. The key is to use an oil-free formula like CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40. It has all the same key benefits, only it imparts a matte finish that helps keep you shine-free all day.

Winter Makeup

Should I change my foundation in the winter? Should I move somewhere warm? Will it ever stop snowing? These are all valid questions as winter drags on. While we can’t change the weather, we can tell you that swapping your foundation in the winter is a good idea.

By the end of the calendar, most people have changed moisturizers for something richer or cranked up the humidifier. Another seasonal swap is making sure your makeup and skincare are boosting hydration as well. Enter moisturizing foundation. It’s like a tall drink of water for your thirsty skin and provides the just-right coverage you’re looking for.

Devoted to your CC cream? We get it! By no means do you need to shelve your favorite CC cream when the temperature drops. We’re just saying, if you want a full coverage formula that really prioritizes moisture, you have options.

Moisturizing Foundation

The beauty of our Bye Bye Foundation Full Coverage Moisturizer™ with SPF 50+ is that it’s a full-coverage moisturizer that gives you the power to say “bye bye” to traditional foundation. Suitable for all skin types, it also features 7 key fermented ingredients to increase the absorption and help improve the efficacy of your skincare.

Bye Bye Foundation Full Coverage Moisturizer™ with SPF 50+

  • Natural satin finish
  • Proprietary 3D Skin Flex™ Technology provides flexible pure color pigments that float over lines and wrinkles without creasing or cracking
  • SPF 50+ physical sunscreen
  • Available in 12 shades

Makeup wearers (especially those who deal with oily skin) that prefer a full coverage, matte look will find Bye Bye Foundation Oil-Free Matte Full Coverage Moisturizer™ with SPF 50+ to be an ideal fit. This innovative oil-free full coverage moisturizer with SPF 50+ physical sunscreen feels like nothing but covers everything with a beautiful matte finish.

How to Choose a Foundation Shade for Winter, Summer, Spring, or Fall

Now that you have everything you need to know about the best types of foundation for each season, do you know which foundation hue to choose? Discover how to choose a foundation shade with IT Cosmetics’ foundation shade finder.

Armed with the perfect shade, remember to make time for a simple skincare routine before applying your foundation base. While everyone is different, for most people this will include a cleanser, facial serum, eye cream, and moisturizer—all before you apply a drop of makeup. This makeup prep will go a long way in helping you create a gorgeous complexion, plus it can help visibly improve your skin health if you stick to a regimen.

One last note: One of the best things about beauty and makeup is that there really aren’t any hard and fast rules, and it’s a great outlet for personal expression and self-care. The suggestions here are meant to gently steer you in the right direction so you know how to choose a foundation that keeps you glowing and radiant year-round. Above all, pay attention to what your skin needs and follow suit.

*Source: The NPD Group/U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, Makeup Product Sales, January-December 2022.1

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