Beauty: sheer bases

Make Up

'There are alternatives to BB creams that give the same sheer colour, sun protection and minor blemish cover without the dull finish'

Despite my moaning, I recognise that BB creams have answered the calls of many women for a light spring/summer base that doesn't feel like makeup, and can be smeared on in a relatively slapdash manner. But there are alternatives that give the same sheer colour, sun protection and minor blemish cover without the dull finish.

Perricone MD's No Foundation Foundation(£48) is great. Slap it over serum (if oily) or moisturiser (if not) and it evens inconsistent tone, making you look more "done". Stupidly, it ignores dark skins, but Sleek's superb CC range (£8.99) doesn't: it's one of the best colour-correcting creams I've tried, despite being a fraction of the price of many. It gives glow without cakiness, and the shade range is suitably inclusive. Clarins' reformulated HydraQuench tinted moisturizer (£29) also fits the bill. It feels wonderfully moist (even I can skip day cream), but it seems to be pot luck as to whether your shade is covered. Personally, I've opted to spend summer wearing Becca's Luminous Skin Colour(£32) – this Australian brand is back after withdrawing from the UK a few years ago, streamlining to what it does best: natural, lovely-looking skin.

Sali loves: sheer colour

Armani Cheek Fabric Sheer Blush, £32, selfridges.com
Sheer base calls for sheer blush, and this is superb. Powder blusher in very soft, transparent shades that are virtually impossible to apply badly. Incognito – a pale, dusty pink – is my favourite.

Makeup Revolution Eyeshadow in Illuminate, £1, superdrug.com
I'll be talking about this brand a lot in coming months. It is dirt cheap and brilliant. The single eyeshadows are a quid and the natural tones wash over lids for a natural spring look.

Benefit Benebalm, £14.50, benefitcosmetics.co.uk (from June)
Benefit have combined their bestselling sheer liquid stains with moisturising lipbalm for a fast, easy and soft-looking lip tint. Benebalm (red) and Posiebalm (pink) are my favourites.

• Join Sali on Mondays at theguardian.com/fashion.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Sali Hughes, for The Guardian on Saturday 24th May 2014 09.00 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010