Skincare/makeup hybrids that give coverage while looking after our skin are top of our beauty wish list right now and the latest skin-loving foundation to drop is No7's new Restore & Renew Serum Foundation SPF30 , £19.95. The lightweight base launched this week and is available in 18 shades, promising to plump, brighten and smooth skin.
It joins the likes of Trinny London's BFF Serum , £35, and Bobbi Brown's Intensive Serum Foundation , £51, offering light coverage with serious skincare benefits.
As the name suggests, it sits in the brand's Restore & Renew range, which is designed to tackle the signs of ageing, although our testers are in their twenties and can confirm it works just as well on younger complexions for creating a subtle second-skin look.
In the range, there are 18 shades that, due to the lightweight coverage, can stretch across a variety of skin tones, say No7. It comes as No7 also announced a radical overhaul of its shade offering. Previously none of its ranges offered more than 25 shades. Now the best-selling Stay Perfect long-wear foundation is available in 40 shades, using a new number and undertone coding. It's hoped that other ranges will follow.
What's in No7 Restore & Renew Serum Foundation?
The serum foundation is SPF30 and offers buildable, light to medium coverage, but what's in the formula that gives it its skincare powers?
The ingredients list includes eight skin-supporting heroes, including collagen peptides for lifted, firmer and plumper skin, pro-retinol to support skin renewal for smoother skin, vitamin C to brighten, ceramides to nourish, vitamin E to protect, ginseng to lessen the appearance of fatigue and hibiscus, also for firming.
What's No7 Restore & Renew Serum Foundation like?
GTG contributor Verity Clark, who favours a second-skin, lightweight foundations, put this through its paces on launch day. "It feels silky to apply, blends in really well and it evens out skin tone, but is undetectable on the skin," she says. "I did make me look glowy, but I'd say it's more like a tinted moisturiser than a foundation – not dissimilar to Lumene's Invisible Illumination [Kaunis] Instant Glow Beauty Serum , £27 or the Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation , £51."
In contrast to Verity, GTG's social media and design manager Jemma Thompson normally favours a more full-coverage foundation such as KVD's Good Apple, so was going to take some convincing to add this to her makeup stash.
Jemma wearing No7 Restore & Renew Serum Foundation on the right side of her face
"At first glance, I thought I wouldn’t like No7's Restore & Renew Serum Foundation," she confirms. "I usually find foundation/ serum hybrids don't provide the coverage my blemish-prone oily skin needs. But I was surprised by this. You can see in the image the left side of my face without the foundation and my right side with. I had a very angry red spot you can see just peeping through on my chin and redness around my cheeks and this foundation did a good job at masking it whilst still looking like natural skin."
Shade wise, Jemma and Verity, who have different skin tones, both tried the shade Wheat and found that it was fairly universal "The shades stretch across different tones – it looks good on both of us!" said Verity.
We'll need to test the foundation out for longer than an afternoon to report back on if it plumps and brightens as promised, but both our testers are fans of the medium, lightweight coverage.
How does it compare to other serum foundations?
As Verity mentioned, No7's serum foundation is fairly similar to others on the market, but is much more affordable than most, plus has a more extensive shade range than some others we've tried.
For example, Trinny's BFF Cream comes in at £35 with five shades, while Bobbi Brown's Intensive Serum Foundation costs £51 but does come in 23 shades.
At the more budget end of the spectrum is The Ordinary's Serum Foundation , which is a similar consistency and only £6.40, with 17 shades, but it falls down on the SPF side of things, with just SPF15, compared to No7's SPF30.
Buy No7's new Restore & Renew Serum Foundation SPF30 , £19.95