10 tinted moisturisers to replace your foundation this summer
Warm weather bases for a natural-looking finish
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / September 26 2019
If you’re into the ’no makeup’ makeup look (and really, who isn’t), then your kit should have a tinted moisturiser in it.
While there are a lot of confusing beauty products out there - like a BB cream or a cushion compact - a tinted moisturiser is not one of them. It’s exactly as it sounds: a moisturiser with a tint. Its two top objectives are to nourish skin and even out skin tone.
Especially great in summer when you don’t want to cake on makeup but need a little help evening out your skin tone, tinted moisturisers are designed to enhance the look of your skin, rather than cover it up.
Think: coverage that still lets your freckles shine through.
And we don’t just recommend them for women; given their undetectable coverage, they’re suitable for men, too.
Is your makeup kit missing a really great tinted moisturiser? These are the top tinted moisturisers for nailing those no-foundation days.
#10 / Estée Lauder DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Sheer Tint Release Moisturizer SPF 15
This tinted moisturiser’s breathable, sheer coverage brightens up the look of skin as it nourishes it with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid. The cream actually comes out almost grey-toned with a grainy texture - those beads are actually encapsulated pigment that gently pop upon contact with the skin to release the universal shade that adjusts to suit your skin tone. The result is instantly glowing skin that looks flawless yet makeup-free.
The review: “I like the Estee Lauder Daywear Sheer Tint Release. It has SPF15 in it and it just makes me glow. It is so easy to apply and spread around my face - it never balls up like some tinted moisturiser creams can. It comes out of the tube in a pale cream shade and then adjusts to my own skin to make me perfectly matched with my warmer medium skin tones. It has a light fresh scent and just makes me feel special when I wear it. I feel like it does my skin good too as I wear it, but that could be just a psychological thing because I know it's an Estée Lauder product.” Vanessa, SUPERcrew member
#9 / NIVEA Daily Essentials Tinted Moisturising Day Cream
If you’re after a drugstore tinted moisturiser, this NIVEA one is a winner. That radiant-looking finish is thanks to light-reflecting and colour pigments, as well as vitamin E, which intensely moisturises.
The review: “I bought NIVEA Visage Daily Essentials Tinted Moisturising Day Cream to use as a daily cream to save on foundation and BB creams. I have come to love this simply gem of a cream. The colour is very natural and will suit all skin tones. The cream is not thick or greasy, it is like a hydrating balm with colour. It is excellent for everyday use and my skin was more even and my pores and imperfections were minimised.” Ariane, SUPERcrew member
#8 / Jane Iredale Dream Tint Tinted Moisturiser SPF15
Our pick for mature skin, this mineral tinted moisturiser is packed with anti-ageing ingredients that work to smooth fine lines, improve skin elasticity and soften the look of large pores. It also contains SPF 15 to protect against UVA and UVB sun damage. And, of course, is does all this in addition to providing sheer to medium coverage to even out skin.
The review: “This tinted moisturiser is amazing! It erases all my pores and makes my skin look flawless! The coverage is perfect and the formula is extremely hydrating! Definitely recommend.” Laura, Adore Beauty customer
#7 / Clinique Moisture Surge Sheertint Hydrator SPF25
Ultra-hydrating, offering up to 12 hours of skin moisturisation with the help of hyaluronic acid and activated aloe water, this sheer tint delivers a natural finish. The formula is oil-free and sweat- and humidity-resistant and comes in five shades. It’s also enriched with SPF and antioxidants to protect skin against UV and pollution damage.
The review: “I love using this when I don’t feel like wearing too much makeup but still want a flawless skin look! This is perfection!” Es, Adore Beauty customer
#6 / Pixi H2O SkinTint
Is it a semi-matte finish you’re after? This water-based tinted gel dries down to a healthy, flattering finish that is perfect for those ‘makeup-free’ days. The coverage is light to medium and breathable. The formula contains antioxidant-rich green tea, rose water and lavender to hydrate and soothe, making it ideal for sensitive skin, too.
The review: “This is an awesome lightweight and buildable product. I have some pigmentation and acne scarring and this builds to give light/med cover and is easy to blend. Perfect for summer.” Lauren, Adore Beauty customer
#5 / Natio Tinted Moisturiser SPF 50+
Light to medium coverage courtesy of mineral pigments paired with the calming and nourishing properties of vitamin E, jojoba, chamomile and green tea mean you get a lot of bang for your buck from this Australian tinted moisturiser. The high-protection SPF 50+ coverage is just the cherry on top.
The review: “So quick and easy to apply, it is beautifully smooth, lightweight and breathable. My skin feels protected and well covered. Dries quickly, no sticky residue, and very good price!” Georgia, SUPERcrew member
#4 / Mecca Cosmetica Weekend Skin Hydra Skin Tint
The name really says it all: Weekend skin. The kind of carefree coverage and happy glow that comes from chilling out and well, not being at work! Imperfections and discolouration are evened out under a correcting veil of tint, while water provides long-lasting hydration and Peruvian theobroma cocoa seeds shield skin against the harmful effects of blue light.
The review: “The Mecca Cosmetica Weekend Skin Hydra Skin Tint offers just the right amount of coverage to even out skin tone and add radiance without looking like you’re really wearing anything (though bonus points that it’s super easy to build without balling up). It does set quickly, so it’s best applied with fingers and fairly quickly. I know it doesn’t offer SPF, but I’m not too fussed about that – I use SPF 50+ facial sunscreen as part of my skin care routine.” Carli Alman, Beauty Crew’s Editor
#3 / bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser SPF30
The gel-cream texture and oil-free formula make this tinted face moisturiser a winner for oily skin types and hot summer days. It contains mineral pigments that deliver a sheer to medium dewy coverage that evens out the skin tone while feeling weightless on skin. As for the moisturising benefits, mineral electrolytes provide lightweight yet long-lasting hydration, and plant-derived squalene helps nourish and balance oil production.
The review: “This tinted moisturiser is lightweight and super hydrating on my skin and doesn’t feel sticky or tacky after it dries down. It gives a light coverage that covers the minor imperfections and brings added radiance to my face. Also, it comes with SPF 30 which means I don’t need to apply another layer of sunscreen unless I want to.” Helen, SUPERcrew member
#2 / NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
12 shades, 467 five-star reviews on Mecca, and an award-winning formula are just some of the reasons to get on board this cult tinted moisturiser. The healthy radiance the light-reflecting pigments impart onto skin is just what you need on those ‘no makeup’ makeup days, and the hydrating formula that’s packed with mineral-rich sea water and kopara (a form of algae) works to improve your skin with each wear.
The review: “I’ve been buying this product religiously for the past couple years. The perfect lightweight, natural looking coverage. The shades are also so on point and easy to find your winter as well as summer colours.” Cassbrooks7, Mecca customer
#1/ Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Laura Mercier put tinted moisturisers on the map with this product - and its other iterations, like the Oil-Free and Illuminating Natural Skin Perfector. Lightweight, hydrating and skin-smoothing, there’s no better way to explain the coverage than ‘your skin, only better’. It doesn’t conceal your natural skin, it simply evens it out with a sheer, dewy coverage. Sodium Hyaluronate in the formula takes care of delivering rich hydration to the skin.
The reviews: “The best tinted moisturiser for me is Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer because it still gives you substantial coverage, provides moisture and looks natural.” Aneta, SUPERcrew member
“It is such a delicate lotion, feels lightweight and hydrating at the same time. The results? An airbrushed version of my naked skin. I have so much love for this product!” Bella, SUPERcrew member
“Whilst it is exxy, I adore Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturiser in Cameo. It is perfect for my alabaster-hued skin, and it evens out the skin tone without hiding it. It leaves a fresh, natural dewy glow that looks like you are ‘lit from within’.” Jacqui, SUPERcrew member
If you’re looking for a tinted body moisturiser to even out your skin tone from head to toe, try Australian makeup artist Rae Morris’s body makeup hack.
Do you use a tinted moisturiser? What’s your favourite tinted moisturiser? Share your reviews with us below.
Main image credit: @sarasampaio
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.