10 New & Pale Foundations for Irish + Celtic Skintones: Pictures & Swatches

By Beaut.ie | January 25 2012 | 43 Comments

pale foundations for 2012

About 18 months ago we had a big roundup of foundations that cater to the fair tones sported by many of us lucky enough to still be clinging to this sun-starved, windy, stoney broke rock.

Yay! Lucky us, eh?

pale foundations

Time, as is its wont, has moved on, and with it has come a whole slew of new base. Lots of it isn’t a match for our often see-through ways but brands are catering more and more towards the porcelain-complexioned, so there’s now much more choice out there – across price points too.


Foundations from Sisley, Lancome and Soap & Glory

Here are 10 I’ve tried over the past year or so and found to be a good match for a pale Irish or Celtic skintone.  Obviously I know lots of Irish people have darker skintones or completely different ethnicities; this post is just designed to address the pale bugbear we get so many emails about.

With regards to base tone, some are a little yellower (Giorgio Armani, Sisley and Chanel) and some are pinker/neutral (Avon, Revlon and Max Factor) – if you’re puzzled about how to work out your base tone, check out this really helpful post from Aisling on that very subject.

But all are worth a look for a pale girl who’s looking for a new foundation. Here’s what’s what:

foundation swatches

  • Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Smoothing Firming Foundation in shade 4, €49.50. This is the brand’s latest anti-ageing foundation and moves away from heavy coverage to a lighter veil. It’s really nice – gives a little more than sheer result that blurs past lines and doesn’t settle in them, but covers the bits you need covered. There are nine shades in total
  • Avon Ideal Flawless SPF15, €15.50 in Light Pink. This will hit the catalogue in February and is one of 16 shades of a new longwear base that dovetails into the new trend for foundation that lasts, suits all skintypes and wears with comfort. Compared to others that are launching around the same time from Lancome and Chanel, this isn’t as good on dry skin but the shade range is wide so lots to suit all.  It’s just better for a normal-to-combination skin upwards than a dryer one
  • Diorskin Forever, €44, in shade 020 is one I’ve been using on and off for a while.  This has quite high coverage, a nice soft, semi-matte finish and I like it for night. Combo-to-oily girls who like coverage will find it great for all occasions but for a dry skin it’s not a 24/7, seven days a week base
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere in 10 Beige, €44, is one we’ve already written about and comes in 16 shades, the brand’s biggest ever offering. I really like this one – check the review out here
  • Revlon’s Age Defying with DNA advantage, €19.99, is another we’ve reviewed. 10 Bare Buff is my shade and it’s one of eight on offer. This is a really good pale colour, the coverage is dewy and cushiony, great for a dry and more mature skintype

foundation swatches

  • Sisley’s Skinleya Anti-ageing Lift Foundation, €130, in shade 00 Light Linen. This is yellow toned and there is a very pale pink toned shade available too, 01 Light Opal, which would be a better bet for cool-toned ladies. The big sell with this product is that it is skincare and base rolled into one, hence the price. You also get a genuinely excellent foundation brush with it, which is probably worth a good few quid all on its own. Coverage is very sheer; this is a very delicate product
  • One of the new products from Soap & Glory’s new makeup range, Show Good Face 2-in-1 Skin Energizing Foundation and Primer, €15, comes in six shades. I have The Fairest of Them All here. Does it prime and energize? Hmm – not sure, my skin seems to drink this stuff and I’d say it’s a fairly unremarkable base all told – but more trialling needed before I dismiss it entirely!
  • New this month at Brown Thomas stores (with wider distribution from February) from Lancome is Teint Idole Ultra 24, €35, which comes in 18 shades with lots on offer for us pale-ies.  I’ve got 010 Beige Porcelaine. This is very comparable to the new Chanel foundation, above, except with a more purse-friendly price point, a tad more coverage and possibly a little less kindness to a drier skintype. I like it – not for every day but it’s a very ‘perfecting’ looking base for night, for example
  • Smashbox launched a whole new foundation line, Studio Skin, €39, late last year. Even though this is oil free, meaning it’ll be a good pick for combo types, I found this was ok on dry skin too because it’s got hydrating properties. It gives a satin finish which is flattering and there are some nice pale shades like this one, shade 1.1
  • I love this a lot: it’s Max Factor Xperience Foundation, €19.99, has at least two very pale colours on offer, including one lighter than this one, which is Raw Silk. Read lots more about the base on this post


That’s not all the recent launches for milkbottle types. Also check out:

  1. Tom Ford Traceless Foundation SPF15
  2. Mac Matchmaster Foundation
  3. Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Foundation SPF25 has a porcelain shade that will suit fair skintones
Foundation, Reviews , , , , , , , , , ,

43 Replies to "10 New & Pale Foundations for Irish + Celtic Skintones: Pictures & Swatches"

  • Thatone says:

    Hurrah! Cheers ladies, I’m happy out with MUFE at the mo but it’s v hard to get if you’re not in Dublin.

  • Lorrrrrraine says:

    Another recommendation to Revlon’s Colourstay, it’s fab!

  • Daisydaisy says:

    I’ve been wearing Rimmel’s new Wake Me Up for three days now and I think I’m a little bit in love with it…tried the Lancome Idole Teint but I don’t think its for me, much prefer Miracle Teint.

  • Going to try Chanel’s one next I think. Been meaning to try Colourstay for yonks now, must give it a whirl soon!

  • MilkyMoo says:

    Yep I have to recommend Revlon ColorStay too! It’s great that it comes in a version for combination/oily and normal/dry.

    Also, not a new release either, but Laura Mercier does a nice foundation – Silk Creme – in good pale colours. I haven’t tried her other foundations but I imagine they also run pale. Pricy though.

    For reference, I’m about an NC10.

  • Twinkletoes says:

    Dying to try the Chanel Perfection Lumiere, I think that will be my next purchase.

    I’m currently switching between Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and Max Factor Xperience, both good on my pale combo skin.

  • Sinéad says:

    So for a good coverage on dry skin you think Channel is good? I use to live on Armani but want a change. I have shu UEMURA at the mo and love the colour but find I get that tight feeling through the day.

  • ams says:

    Has anyone been in the Georges St Arcade recently – I heard there is someone selling Revlon Colorstay for a tenner – I wonder is it dodge??

  • Sinéad says:

    Chanel of course, my bad ;)

  • Ellie70 says:

    I will be giving the Revlon a whirl next too. Does anyone know if Inglot bases are yellow or pink toned? I got a liquid under eye concealer from them last week and it does seem rather yellow (plus too dark so that is another one to add to my mountain of useless under eye concealers whilst I continue my search for the HG). A list of all the budget brands and whether they are yellow or pink would be fantastic!

  • LauraLou says:

    Ellie- theyre yellow. I used em before and hated them, but try get a sample!

  • Maj says:

    I tried Chanel perfection lumiere in the lightest shade and it was wayyyyyy to dark for me, it went on a little dark but it dries darker/oxidises terribly after a while. For reference i’m a 10 in dior so even lighter than the dior above.

    Is the rimmel wake me up foundation out yet, i haven’t been able to find it?

  • Steph says:

    Any oily skins tried out the new Chanel offering?

    Tried Mac Matchmaster and Pro Long Wear, Bobbi Brown Lasting Finish and while the colour selections were fantastic none really set my world alight.

  • MilkyMoo says:

    Something to note about the new Chanel foundation, Perfection Lumiere: 10 Beige is not necessarily the palest – if you find that colour too dark/yellow, try 12 Beige Rose. I found 10 Beige too dark but for some reason the 12 suited me much better. I know it seems logical that 10 would be paler than 12, but they’re just different tones, not levels of darkness, if you get me!
    Not a foundation for me all the same.

  • MilkyMoo says:

    Just to clarify there – if the shade number ends with ‘0’ it’s beige, and if it ends with ‘2’ it’s beige rose.

  • Laura says:

    Revlon colourstay Is AMAZING! I’m milk bottle white and it’s perfect for me! @ams I get mine there and find it perfect! :)

  • Atkin says:

    I tried the Max Factor foundation and My skin reacted so badly to it that I ended up at the doctor. I didn’t think I had sensitive skin at all until I tried it bit I came out in boils. I wish I knew what ingredient exactly I reacted so badly to. I am usually a slave to my Armani Luminous Silk but thanks to Saras’ tutorials I got a sample of Bourgois’ Healthy Mix foundation. It is miraculous! I’m very very pale in winter with normal/combination skin. Healthy mix stays put all day and is a great dupe for Armani.

  • It’s great to see a good selection of pale foundations.

    I’m currently using ColorStay but I find it a tiny bit yellow toned on me so I add in a small drop of another foundation and it’s perfect.

  • FitznBitz says:

    Great post. Lots of really helpful comments too :)

  • rednailz says:

    I love the way the foundations are swatched in this post!
    I’ve gone back to the Max Factor recently it seems to be agreeing with me much better in winter than in summer, when I thought it was too ‘shiny’

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