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Top Ten Cruelty Free Foundations for Pale Skin

Top Ten Cruelty Free Foundations for Pale Skin

When you’re pale, foundation can sometimes be tricky. Today I’m sharing my top ten cruelty free foundations for pale skin. If you also suffer from discoloration or redness, like I do, you may have issues getting properly matched. I know I’ve been mismatched  many times. For me, I have to match my foundation to my neck / chest, rather than my face, since I have a lot of redness to my face. In addition to the ten best foundations below, I highly recommend picking up a white foundation mixer that you can use to lighten liquid foundations to be a better match to your skintone.

Top Ten Cruelty Free Foundations for Pale Skin

All of the foundations mentioned below are cruelty free and all but one are vegan. For even more vegan foundations, and to see me wearing each foundation, check out my Best Vegan Foundations post. This post contains a mix of press samples and products purchased by me.

Before and After with Cover FX Liquid Foundation in N0
Before you can see  my redness from rosacea. After with Cover FX Liquid Foundation in N0

1. Cover FX Liquid Foundation (vegan)
Right now Cover FX Liquid Foundation in N0 is my perfect foundation. I don’t have to use a white foundation mixer and it matches me perfectly. I often like to use this with Cover FX Illuminating Primer or mix in the Illuminating Primer. I set it with a setting powder. (40 shades available)

2. Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (vegan)
I LOVE the CCD’s! I wish they came in N0. I mix N10 + my white foundation elixir with Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate or Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint for a gorgeous foundation. This is good for all skin types because you can mix it with your favorite skincare products or foundations. (25 shades available)

3. Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation (vegan)
I love a good pressed mineral foundation. When  my skin was oily, I wore powder almost exclusively. I still find it easier to dab on some powder to counter my redness from rosacea and then dash out the door. I have this in N10 and I need to pick it up in N0. It’s  my all time favorite pressed powder because the coverage is so buildable and beautiful. This is recommended for oily skin. (40 shades available)

4. Cover FX Total Cover Cream (vegan)
This is a really nice versatile foundation that can be used as a foundation or a concealer. I have it in N10 and I need to get it in N0. Again, I would set this with a setting powder. This is recommended for all skin types but especially sensitive. (40 shades available)

5. Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation (vegan)
This is a great, demi-matte foundation with buildable coverage. I haven’t worn it in a while but I’m pretty sure I’d have to tweak my shade .5 with a bit of white foundation mixer to get a better match. If you have oily skin, you should use UD’s De-Slick before application. (18 shades available)

6. Urban Decay Naked Skin Powder Foundation (vegan)
This is a really nice powder that you can use on its own for sheer coverage or put it on top of a liquid or BB Cream. Fair Neutral is a pretty nice shade on me. (14 shades)

7. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation (vegan)
This has such a GORGEOUS finish, I have a review coming up with it. The shade Snow is the closest match to me, though i need to mix in my white foundation mixer for a better match. (18 shades available)

8. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Skin Conceal (vegan)
This is a multi-tasking full coverage concealer and foundation. It hydrates and nourishes the skin. The texture is great and I feel like it works well for oily and dry skin. I typically have to mix two shades together. (12 shades)

9. Perfekt Skin Perfection Gel (vegan)
I love this stuff! I have to mix in a drop or two of white to make Luminous match my skin, but it does a great job of evening out my skintone and making me feel like I’m wearing nothing at all. It has a primer consistency. I really want to try their new Perfection Plus version too! (7 shades available)

10. Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Foundation
This is my only non-vegan foundation on the list. I love to use the shade Porcelain and mix it with Cover FX Pressed Mineral foundation to give me a bit of a glow. It’s a paraben free baked mineral formula that has anti-aging ingredients. With different colors swirled together, it helps to color correct the skin. (5 shades available)

Cruelty Free and Vegan Pale Foundation Swatches

Here you can see swatches of my top 10 on my arm. I also wanted to share some of my other favorites that go with foundation.

Best Vegan Primer and Makeup Setting Spray

Cover FX Illuminating Primer (vegan)
This is my all time favorite primer. I wear it under makeup or I mix it in with makeup. I love the subtle glow it gives.

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (vegan)
I love using this to set my makeup. I also use it sprayed on a damp beauty blender or spritzed on my face before I apply a liquid, too. And of course, you can use it to foil eyeshadows as well.

Best Pale Concealers

Now, I have 4 concealers that I tend to reach for. The 3 you see above and NARS Chantilly in the stick (which is hiding somewhere in my makeup room.)

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Fair Neutral (vegan)
This is what I tend to use under my eyes because it doesn’t crease on me. Love it.

Cover FX Blemish Treatment Primer in N-Xtra Light (vegan)
This is great for around my chin and cheeks where I end up getting zits from rosacea flare ups. It has 1% Salicylic Acid.

Cover FX Cream Concealer in N-Xtra Light (vegan)
This is a good all around concealer.

NARS Concealer in Chantilly
I love this stick concealer.

Cruelty Free Setting Powders

Some liquids and creams really need a good setting powder. Here are some great ones.

NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
I love this stuff and it’s especially great for under the eyes.

Williamspro Zero Powder (vegan)
This Australian born powder is completely matte and it’s easy to just apply a tiny bit and you’re set.

Silk Naturals Illuminating Powder in Flattery (vegan)
This helps to minimize the appearance of pores, set makeup and give you a little glow. It has interference colors- mainly gold, blue and purple, with a hint of pink.

Silk Naturals Illuminating Powder in Close-Up (vegan)
This helps to minimize the appearance of pores, set makeup and give you a little glow. It has interference colors in pink and gold. It’s inspired by MAC Lightscapade.

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Pressed Finishing Powder in Fair
Perfect for setting foundation and adding a hint of color.

Lunatick Cosmetic Labs High Definition Microfinish Pressed Powder (vegan)
In addition to coming in bad ass packaging, this is a pretty awesome setting powder. It blurs imperfections and can be used to mattify a lipstick.

Besame Brightening Violet Powder
This finishing powder can be used to set makeup, add brightness under the eyes or on the cheeks, while still giving you a matte finish.


Cruelty Free White Foundation Mixers

White foundation mixers are a pale girl’s best friend! Seriously, invest in one. You can mix it with liquids, and some creams to get a better match to your skintone. Some foundation lines, like Face Atelier, offer a warm and dark foundation mixer as well as white. And the Body Shop now offers Lightening and Darkening, to help more people get their perfect match.

Life’s Entropy Foundation Elixir in White (vegan)
This is my favorite foundation mixer right now.

Manic Panic Dreamtone in Virgin White (vegan)
I bought this to test out. It’s a white foundation.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops in Lightening (not sure if it’s vegan)
The Body Shop just came out with this and I had to pick it up. Lightening is supposed to lighten and neutralize yellowness. There’s a sister shade, Darkening, that is supposed to darken foundation while keeping natural depth.

Ok, so now I’ve shared my top 10 cruelty free (and almost all vegan) foundations with you. You’ve got my favorite primer, concealers, setting powders and makeup setting spray. Plus, indispensable my white foundation mixers. Now you can go forth and find your perfect foundation mix!

Looking for more? Check out

What are your current cruelty free favorites?

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  • Love your posts on foundations and other products for pale skin! I was wondering if you’ve ever tried the MAC Face & Body foundation and white foundation mixer? Or isn’t it vegan? XX

    • Hi! MAC isn’t cruelty free, they test on animals and sell in China now 🙁 They started doing that in 2012. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t speak to how well it works.

  • As a vegan with very pale skin, but sadly imperfect, skin,. I’d like to tell you how helpful I’ve found your posts about foundation. I discovered Cover FX through you and I’m so glad I did.

  • I have just been diagnosed with rosacea also. I have fair skin and loved seeing all the reviews of the products.

  • I love the look of Lunatik Cosmetic’s packaging; have you ever tried some of their other stuff like eyeshadows?

  • It is always hard for me to pick my shade for foundations. I love how it changed your complexion. Thanks for the great info!!

  • Can you recommend your favorite primer (or whatever you use) to cover the redness? I have dry/sensitive skin and anything I’ve tried ends up cakey. Thanks!

    • I love the Cover FX Illuminating Primer. Nyx Angel Veil is also nice. But I rely on my foundation to cover the redness, so Cover FX Liquid Foundation in N0.

  • Those swatches are so helpful! Born This Way in Snow is darker than I expected, but I might still go for it with a white foundation. Looking forward to your review.

  • I recently picked up some Your Skin but Better CC+ foundation by IT Cosmetics in Fair and it’s another great pale shade with full medium to full coverage. Their Bye Bye Under Eye concealer also works really well and has a nice pale shade. I’d definitely recommend them!

    • I love the It Cosmetics foundations, but the lightest shades are too dark for me now 🙁 I’ve tried their powder foundation, illuminating powder foundation, CC Cream, and their under eye concealer. All are too dark.

  • You know I am in love with the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops I started using NARS Light Reflecting Loose Powder to set it, a while back, the combo is magic.

  • I always love your lists because you give me so many new choices that I hadn’t thought of. If I didn’t have so much left of my Face Atelier Zero I’d get the Body Shop one. I may need to exchange my Too Faced Porcelain for a lighter shade now.

  • As soon as Sephora sets up shop and opens its doors in Melbourne, I am going to try their foundations. I think I am a P10 – but you really have to try a sample for a few days to make sure. Quite often foundations look good on me in the shop and hours later they turn an orangey or brown colour – not flattering at all. So now I collect some samples to use for a few days.
    Thank you for this in-depth list of pale foundations – your bravery at showing your pre-makeup face is awesome – I don’t think I could do that. One side of my face is redder than the other and I find that foundation evens out my skintones. A great selection here and all of them are cruelty free and of great quality.

  • Wow, I’ve tried only five foundations from your list. I’m obsessed with the CCD (thanks again), and love the UD Naked Skin liquid and powder. BTW has the perfect shade for me and looks good, but as the day goes on, it cannot stand up to my oily face as much as the others 🙁

  • I couldn’t find a good color match with BTW – everything was too yellow – so I ended up passing. I stupidly missed my chance to buy a better color match in CCD when ipsy had a 40% off coupon but I’ll be ready next time!

  • Thanks for this post! It’s very helpful. I was really wanting to try out Born This Way, but I’ve read some reviews that say it won’t work well on oily skin. Manic Panic Virgin is great stuff.

    My CF favorites are:

    * BareMinerals Original Foundation SPF 15 in Fair, bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 in Porcelain 01, and Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream in Opal 01.

    *e.l.f. Moisturizing Foundation Stick in Ivory, BB Cream in Fair, and Maximum Coverage Concealer – Oil Free in Porcelain.

    *Becca Radiant Skin Satin Finish in Porcelain.

    *Everyday Minerals, all three formulas (Jojoba, Matte, Semi-Matte), in Fair 0N.

    • The last elf I tried was sooo dark, it was their tinted moisturizer. I’ve heard that BTW can work for both oily and dry, but I can only speak from the dry perspective.

      • E.l.f.’s was too dark for me till they came out with the Ivory and Porcelain shades. The Ivory in the stick is as dark and warm as I can go and still have it look natural. It’s better as a summer shade for me.

  • I am pretty pale (I went to Ulta recently and tried every cruelty-free foundation in the store, and all of them were too dark), but I’ve been successful with NARS Luminous Weightless Foundation in Gobi. Mont Blanc and Siberia would probably work for other pale people with slightly different skin tones than mine.

    • I used to wear NARS Siberia 🙂 It’s a good one. You should definitely invest in one of the white foundation mixers. Also, if you have a Sephora near you, get a sample of the Liquid foundation in N0 and see what you think of it.

  • Hi Courtney, I Just Wanted to Say Thank You for this Post b/c I Too Have Very Fair Skin! Some Brands Do Not Even Have a Shade Light Enough for Me and How Did I Not Know About the White Foundation Mixers? That is Totally What I Need b/c Foundations Generally Turns Orange on Me After Being on My Skin for About 20 Minutes or So, Even Though it Looks as if it Matches Right When I First Put it On! I Also Kind of Like a Fuller Coverage b/c I was Attacked by a Dog a While Back and I Have Some Scars on My Cheek Area! They Aren’t Too Bad but I Notice Them and I Get Self Conscious of Them, Especially if I Don’t Have Any Makeup On! I Really Need a Good Chemical Peel or Emidermabrassion but I am Not Able to Afford it at the Moment! Times Like This is When I Wish I Still Worked at the Spa b/c Me & Some of the Other Estheticians Would Trade Out Services From Time to Time! Anyways, Just Wanted to Tell You I Really Enjoyed This Post and I am Going to Look into the OCC – Skin Conceal Since it is a Fuller Coverage! Thanks My Love, Have a Good Day! – Jana

  • Such a helpful list, thank you! Need to try that Lunaticks Labs powder. My current favourite foundation is the powder foundation by Lucy Minerals. Normally I don’t like powder but this is so creamy, so natural looking and very high coverage! I love it ^.^

  • I’m so dying to try the drops but the people in Sephora never know anything and I’m so hesitant to try and learn on my own. I’m flying to Florida to have you teach me. That’s a tax write off, right?!

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