Serum foundations: What are they and where to shop them

Looking good from the inside out


By Low Sue Mae

Image credits: @kim.a.hyun
Serum foundations: What are they and where to shop them

If you’ve ever wished your makeup would both cover your flaws and clear them up, here’s good news: It can! Here’s why serum foundations should be your new go-to.

With the Clean Girl aesthetic and natural makeup coming en vogue in 2023, lightweight, skin-like formulations have taken centre stage. In general, we’re doing away with full-coverage formulas and ditching the cake face—it’s all about natural-looking glows and minimal coverage. Moreover, we’re putting a focus on skin-caring ingredients and multitasking, hybrid formulas. That’s why serum foundations are the hottest makeup trend on the market right now.

Ahead, we’re delving into what exactly they are, why you need them and where to shop them:


What are serum foundations?

Somewhere between skincare and makeup, serum foundations are complexion products that work to even out your skin tone and blur imperfections with light to medium coverage, all while nourishing and treating your skin with potent actives like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and peptides.


Why do you need a serum foundation?

Foundation is a great product to make your skin appear flawless, but a full face of makeup is not always what’s best for your skin in the long run. Serum foundations offer natural, skin-like coverage without as many drawbacks for your skin.

Serum foundations are formulated to be non-comedogenic (read: they won’t clog your pores), and depending on the formulation, can brighten your skin, smooth texture, and boost hydration levels—even under a full face. If you’re constantly suffering from dry or acne-prone skin, especially, you may want to consider making the switch.


Where to shop our favourite serum foundations

Whether light or full coverage, we’ve got the best picks to kick start your journey towards healthier, more beautiful skin.

Dior Capture Totale Super Potent Serum Foundation (SPF 20/PA++)


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An anti-ageing serum foundation that restores volume, radiance and improves complexion after four weeks of use. The Dior Capture Totale Super Potent Serum Foundation has a soft yet luminous texture that easily blends into the skin and stays in place all day long. This bottle is also enriched with Longoza, a flower with excellent revitalising properties while providing hydration and a plumping effect when used.



M.A.C Studio Radiance Serum-Powered Foundation

Makeup with skincare benefits—meet the M.A.C Studio Radiance Serum-Powered Foundation. The brand launched a foundation that has the best of both worlds, with gorgeous coverage for all skin tones while packed with 33 skincare ingredients for healthier and improved skin texture. The foundation blurs out the appearance of pores, uneven skin tones and dry fine lines, beautifying your skin both inside and out.



Jane Iredale HydroPure Tinted Serum

This tinted serum is formulated with ultra-hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid that plumps, calms and reduces the appearance of fine lines on the skin. The HydroPure Tinted Serum contains encapsulated liposomes that hold pure mineral pigments to make sure that all active ingredients stay at their best conditions before pumping it out of the bottle. This product is available in eight shades, ensuring sheer, glowing coverage for all skin types.



La Prairie Complex Concealer Foundation SPF15


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A caviar-infused cream foundation—you know that it is good just by hearing its name. This bottle of goodness delivers 15 natural-looking shades, combining foundation and concealer with caviar extract. The luxurious foundation offers full coverage to cover dark spots, uneven skin tones and even hides dark under eyes while keeping your skin firm and bouncy.



Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation


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This serum foundation is packed with 26 skincare ingredients including ginseng to brighten and plump your skin while protecting your skin with SPF 40/PA++++. The Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum ensures a smooth finish that sits on the skin beautifully without caking or creasing for up to 12 hours of wear.



Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation (SPF 20/PA+++)

Your skin, but better—this Clinique Serum Foundation is created with an advanced oil-free formula, infused with three potent ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and vitamin C. This product works best for combination and oily skin types, with full and buildable coverage that hydrates and even your skin texture over time.



KVD Beauty Good Apple Full Coverage Transfer Proof Vegan Serum Foundation


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Don’t worry, vegans—we’ve got you covered too! KVD Beauty’s serum foundation is vegan and cruelty-free and has the most inclusive shade range on offer when it comes to serum foundations, with 34 shades available for customers of all skin tones. This is a lightweight yet full-coverage foundation that gives a flawless finish, is transfer-proof and perfect for long wear. Best part? It does not wear off even if you sweat. 



Shiseido Revitalessence Skin Glow Foundation


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This serum foundation provides medium coverage for all skin types and works to improve your complexion after just one week of use. Wake up to brighter, smoother and younger-looking skin with less visible fine lines after removing your makeup. With fermented kefir and niacinamide as the main skincare ingredients of the foundation, the formula also helps blur the appearance of your pores and hydrate the skin for up to 24 hours. 



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