Since we’re spending the majority of our time indoors, many of us have renounced foundation in favour of lighter coverage. Plus, with the weather *finally* warming up, there couldn’t be a better time to consider the humble tinted moisturizer.
In a world of BB and CC creams, tinted moisturizers are pretty straightforward about what they do: they offer hydration (which you don’t always get from foundations) and lightweight coverage in one convenient tube. “It’s makeup but can also be subbed in for a moisturizer,” explains Sheri Stroh, a Toronto-based makeup artist. “You’re getting skincare benefits, plus a bit of coverage.” BB creams, on the other hand, offer more coverage along with skin-nourishing ingredients, while CC creams focus on colour correction and work to even out redness and dark spots.
Tinted moisturizers can be used in place of your daily moisturizer or layered on after—it all depends on your personal skincare routine and skin type. If your skin is on the drier side, you may find that using a separate moisturizer works best. The best part about this type of product if that it’s easy to apply—skip makeup brushes and sponges and use your fingers, letting their warmth melt the product into your skin. Just make sure your hands are clean before application; diligent hand washing isn’t just good for skin health, but also important due to the risks associated with COVID-19, says Stroh.
The key to a flawless application is to start with a small amount of product and to build up to the coverage you need. Tinted moisturizers don’t do any of the heavy lifting of a foundation, so they won’t work for you if you’re looking for full coverage. That being said, you can still cover that stubborn zit or blemish by reaching for your concealer. Apply tinted moisturizer first to even out your skin, says Stroh, and then go in with your concealer. “It’ll show you exactly where you need it.”
An important caveat about using tinted moisturizers with SPF: “Never rely on a makeup product for sun protection,” advises Stroh. Even though many formulas come with SPF, they’re not an adequate substitute for actual sunscreen. “The actual amount of product you’d need to meet the SPF requirement is way beyond how much tinted moisturizer you’d normally apply.” Apply your sunscreen first, followed by your tinted moisturizer.
Now that you’re up to speed on the many benefits of tinted moisturizers, here are the best picks for every skin type and concern.
Best tinted moisturizers for dry skin
BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, $40, sephora.com
Mineral electrolytes like calcium and magnesium power up this hydrating tinted moisturizer with a gel cream texture that promises not to cling to dry patches. It also packs olive-derived squalane to keep moisture locked in and offers light-to-medium coverage in 16 shades.
Tarte Maracuja Tinted Moisturizer, $38, sephora.com
This vegan formula is your ticket to a natural-looking glow, thanks to maracuja oil (an antioxidant-packed superfruit). It’s also infused with a bevvy of other skin-nourishing ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, collagen, aloe and skin-brightening turmeric.
Best tinted moisturizers for oily skin
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free Natural Skin Perfector, $59, sephora.com
Die-hard tinted moisturizer fans always name-drop Laura Mercier as one of their all-time faves. Now available in 20 shades, the oil-free version features a demi-matte finish that keeps unwanted oil slicks at bay.
Lancôme Skin Feels Good, $50, shoppersdrugmart.ca
This non-comedogenic, oil-free formula hydrates using hyaluronic acid and vegetal glycerin, and also protects skin against environmental pollution with antioxidant-rich moringa tree extract. It gives a fresh-faced finish with none of the greasy aftermath.
Best tinted moisturizers for sensitive skin
This tinted moisturizer was formulated specifically for sensitive and reactive skin types. It contains mineral filter titanium dioxide to protect against UVA and UVB rays and boasts 12 hours of matte coverage.
Best tinted moisturizers for dull skin
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30, $45, sephora.com
Lightweight and dewy, this tinted moisturizer contains SPF and comes in 16 shades. Thanks to vitamin C, it works beyond its immediate skin-perfecting benefits to help skin look brighter over time.
Beautycounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20, $56, beautycounter.com
Perfect for days when you need a soft-focus filter effect but still want your skin’s texture to shine through, this creamy formula contains a skin-brightening cocktail of black currant, peony flower root extract and vitamin C.
Burt’s Bees Goodness Glows Tinted Moisturizer, $17, shoppersdrugmart.ca
This tinted moisturizer conceals redness to create an even skin tone, and it’s packed with glycerin, squalene and sunflower seed oil to keep skin hydrated.