As a multitasker that occupies the middle ground between moisturizer and foundation, the best tinted moisturizers are the unsung hero of our makeup bags. But where first-generation formulas did little more than plump complexions and even out tone, more recent innovations contain the kind of protective ingredients you might expect to see in a serum, protecting from UV damage and pollution while still giving skin a flawlessness worthy of an Instagram filter.
BEST FOR UV PROTECTION Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum SPF30
Despite the name, this super-light product is a lot closer to a tinted moisturizer in texture and coverage than a foundation. It’s a very sheer liquid that blends like a dream and slightly mattifies, contains brightening vitamin C Ester and antioxidants while also protecting skin from UV.
BEST FOR A LITTLE MORE COVERAGE NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint SPF30
A tint for those with oily skin, this oil-free tint leaves skin looking plumped and enriched with vitamin C and E. At first glance this tint appears to be full coverage, but it’s deceptively light and buildable, with a velvety finish. It provides enough coverage to disguise redness and blemishes, but still allows freckles to show through. It’s also very long-wearing and doesn’t settle in pores or patches of dry skin as the day goes on.
BEST FOR MATTIFYING OIL Sisley - Paris Tinted Moisturizer with Botanical Extracts
Unlike some mattifying products, this tinted moisturizer doesn’t leave skin looking chalky or feeling parched. It contains a fine mattifying powder that soaks up excess oils, combined with vegetable glycerin and mallow extract to hydrate and create a silky finish. This is a brilliant everyday base, but shades are currently only suitable for paler skins.
BEST FOR POLLUTION PROTECTION Natura Bissé The Cure Sheer Oil-Free Fluid
This product is definitely more skincare than makeup, which explains its potent actives, making it the perfect product for daily use if you live or work in a city. It’s formulated with peptides and hyaluronic acid to keep skin’s moisture levels topped up while protecting it against pollution and UV. Coverage-wise it’s very sheer, so if you have any angry blemishes you’ll need to use some concealer afterwards, and it comes in just one shade that only works for light to medium skin tones.
BEST FOR ILLUMINATING DULL SKIN Edward Bess Ultra Dewy Complexion Perfector
Nothing creates dewier skin than this. It does everything a tinted moisturizer should – imparts a touch of color, evens out skin tone and hydrates – but also creates plenty of luminosity thanks to light-diffusing particles. If you find your skin naturally gets oily throughout the day, you may need to also apply some translucent powder on your T-zone. But if you like glossy skin, you’ll love this.
BEST FOR A BRONZED GLOW Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturizer
Using SPF daily (as we should) often means our faces are a shade or two lighter than the rest of our bodies. Sound familiar? This unisex product is the answer; as you blend the cream into your skin, it releases tan pigments that work with your own skin tone. Plus, it hydrates the skin without making it look oily thanks to its moisture-regulating properties. Don’t forget to blend it down onto your neck to ensure a seamless transition.
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