As a multitasker that occupies the middle ground between moisturizer and foundation, the best tinted moisturizers are the unsung heroes 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. Which ones do the PORTER beauty team rate? Scroll on…
BEST TINTED MOISTURIZER FOR ANTI-AGING Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Tinted Moisturizer SPF30
Paula’s Choice products are first and foremost about effective active ingredients that truly improve the appearance of skin. This tinted moisturizer provides a very light coverage, which is perfect for ‘day off’ makeup, but it will require additional concealer if you have anything significant you want to disguise. The brilliance of this product lies in its potent blend of serious anti-agers, including resveratrol, plus SPF30.
BEST TINTED MOISTURIZER FOR THE OFFICE Chantecaille Just Skin Anti-Smog Tinted Moisturizer SPF15
If you want a product that does just about everything, this is it. You can expect a good level of coverage, plus SPF15 and antioxidants like thyme and butterfly bush extract. It’s a brilliant option for every day at the office as it also contains sodium hyaluronate, which will help your skin to defy the drying effects of air conditioning.
BEST TINTED MOISTURIZER FOR ADAPTING TO YOUR SKIN Omorovicza Complexion Perfector SPF20
This is everything you could want in a great tinted moisturizer. The antioxidant-rich formula protects against the environment and UV rays, while its sheer finish cleverly adapts to your skin tone for the perfect shade match every time. You’ll also find a healthy dose of vitamin C, which will help to even out your skin tone over time, and hyaluronic acid to improve your skin’s hydration reserves.
BEST TINTED MOISTURIZER FOR UV PROTECTION Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation 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, containing brightening vitamin C ester and antioxidants while also protecting skin from UV.
BEST TINTED MOISTURIZER FOR A LITTLE MORE COVERAGE NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint SPF30
A tint for those with oily skin, this oil-free formula leaves skin looking plumped and enriched with vitamins C and E. At first glance the formula appears to be full coverage, but it is 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 TINTED MOISTURIZER 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 TINTED MOISTURIZER 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 TINTED MOISTURIZER 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, 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 TINTED MOISTURIZER 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 face, it releases tan pigments that work with your 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.
The models featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.