The perennial problem of heat and humidity during the Hong Kong summer makes it difficult to step more than a few feet out of the house before your makeup already starts to melt. To help stave off sweat and prevent that oily look on your face, we’ve scouted out six high performance foundations that will keep you looking fresh throughout the most dire summer heat.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

Vegan, cruelty-free brand Hourglass set out to reinvent the luxury cosmetics scene, and it’s certainly made a big impression with its latest super-long-lasting Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation. Its oil-free liquid formula is non-comedogenic, so it doesn’t clog pores. A few seconds after application it dries to a matte finish that stays effortlessly on your skin from morning ‘til night, due to the oil-absorbing cashmere kaolinite clay in the formula, so you can even skip the final setting step. Good news for those with darker skin tones (we know how tough it is in Hong Kong to shop for makeup), the foundation is offered in 22 shades from blanc to ebony.

HK$540 from Lane Crawford, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2110 0168

Givenchy Matissime Velvet Fluid Foundation

A big issue with matte foundations is that it can often strip the skin of its healthy glow, making it appear flat and dry. Givenchy Beauty’s theme of late has been velvet, and its latest liquid foundation uses a new formula inspired by the luxurious texture. The fluid foundation helps to absorb sebum, while also giving you a natural-looking radiance and allowing your skin to breathe. While blemishes and redness are easily swept away with a layer of the foundation, the luminous fluid doesn’t cake up over your skin’s natural contours. Relatively sheer, you can build up the coverage even better by using a beauty blender sponge.

HK$460 from Lane Crawford, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2111 0722

Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation

With rave reviews circulating the blogosphere and beauty industry since last year, this GA foundation is fashioned as the modern day power suit. With the help of the Power Fabric, it’s all about exuding confidence, as the full coverage of this liquid formula blends to a soft, almost undetectable layer that lasts for hours. It leaves your skin with a tiniest hint of a healthy dewy glow, so you can strut into any sunny Hong Kong street (or air-conditioned room) like you own the place. It’s also got SPF 25 PA++ for protecting against harmful rays. 

HK$510 from Armani Beauty, Shop 109, Chater House, 8 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2532 7733

Clé de Peau The Foundation

If you’re in search of a next-level foundation for the most flawless finish, you’ll want to wait for the release on the 26th of June for Clé de Peau’s first ever skincare-infused foundation. With SPF 20 PA++ and available in 12 shades, The Foundation is a gel formula made like a luxury moisturiser, improving hydration and skin firmness the more you use it. Rather than simply covering imperfections, the key word here is blur: absorbing into the skin to diffuse and blur blemishes and pores from within. Instead of a powdery effect, it’s effortlessly dewy and radiant — you’ll be fending off compliments on your healthy skin in no time. The only catch? The eye-watering price tag.

HK$2,300 (27ml) from Harvey Nichols, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2918 9356

YSL Le Compact Encre de Peau (Limited Edition)

Since launching its bestselling, inkwell-style cushion compact last year, many a complexion has benefited from its flawless, featherlight coverage and silky, yet mattifying texture — as well as SPF23 PA++. Nab this limited edition of the compact while you still can, which features a gold glittery case and a pillowy interior. Be sure to pick up a refill (HK$320) too while you’re at it. 

HK$480 from Yves Saint Laurent, Shop 2117, Level 2, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3192 4338

bareMinerals barePRO Performance Wear Powder Foundation

You can count on BareMinerals to deliver an effortless, summer-ready face that looks like you achieved a healthy glow without the help of cosmetics. Its matte “micro-mesh” powder foundation is all about breathability: it’s made up of powders of different sizes that leave microscopic air gaps, meaning you’re not covering up and clogging pores like some conventional foundations can. It’s also a non-acnegenic and non-comedogenic formula made up of 90% vitamins and minerals, so your skin will also benefit in the long run. The 10 shades available are made for Asian skin — focusing on more golden undertones and beachy tan complexions.

HK$300 from Facesss, Ocean Terminal, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2995 3065

Evelyn Lok
Managing Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.