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Makeup trends come in waves, and currently, runways, magazines, and influencers alike are embracing natural makeup and the no makeup-makeup look. If you’re hoping to take on the trend at home, a great base is a good tinted moisturizer. It's exactly what it sounds like: A mix of a hydrating cream with a bit of pigment to give you a light to medium coverage. Usually, tinted moisturizers leave you with a dewy, natural glow that layers well with both cream and powder products.
Much like foundations, there are a variety of tinted moisturizers that beauty lovers can take advantage of, depending on what qualities you’re looking for in a formula. Some that are more hydrating while others are made sans oil for acne-prone skin. Many are also formulated with SPF, so you can take perform of your skincare and makeup routines in one step. Below, our recommendations for the top tinted moisturizers.
Best Overall: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
If you’re looking for a tinted moisturizer that can replace your favorite foundation, this is it. It blends out easily with your fingers if you’re looking for light coverage on the go, but you can also build more intense coverage if you use a kabuki brush. A little product goes a long way, so even though the price is equivalent to that of a high-end foundation, you still get a great bang for your buck. Because of its hydrating qualities, you might not even need to apply a regular moisturizer underneath (depending on how oily your skin is). It also color corrects to make your skin tone and texture appear even.
The formula contains sea water to revive your skin while giving it a nice glow, kopara hydrates and helps encourage cell renewal, and vitamin C helps to brighten the skin with continued use. An added bonus: It contains SPF 30, which gives you the sun protection you need without fear of flashback.
Best Budget: Perricone MD Face Finishing & Firming Moisturizer Tint SPF 30
Though the price tag doesn’t look like a bargain, this tinted moisturizer has a great value because of its size. While many tinted moisturizers cap out between 1 fluid ounce and 1.5 fluid ounces, this little jar contains 2 fluid ounces of product. (And a little bit really does go a long way, so you can stretch it out as long as you need.)
This product from Perricone MD is a true tinted moisturizer. It looks and feels like a moisturizer in the jar, but it contains tiny capsules of pigment that adjust to your skin tone as you rub it into your face (the heat from the friction activates the pigments). It has SPF 30 for sun protection, and is deeply hydrating to give your skin a healthy glow. Over time, it also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.The light rose scent isn’t overpowering, but is refreshing upon application.
Best Stick Formula: Nudestix Nudies Tinted Blur Stick
If you love the idea of a tinted moisturizer but don’t like the idea of a mess on your fingers, this is the product for you. The Tinted Blur Stick offers light to medium coverage to help even out skin tone, blur out imperfections, and fill in pores and fine lines. It contains coco and green tea emollients to hydrate and nourish your skin while it’s on your face, so it feels weightless and comfortable. It’s also vegan, oil-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.
Because it’s lightweight, you can layer it easily with any of your other products. Blend it out with your fingers if you’re in a rush, or take your time to press it in with a beauty blender or kabuki brush.
Best Drugstore Option: No7 Dual Action Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
Many reviewers on Target’s website note that this tinted moisturizer from No7 is just as good as high-end products that they have tried. It offers a light coverage and SPF 15 in a hydrating and nourishing formula. It’s advertised as primarily a moisturizer with “a hint of color,” so it’s perfect for no-makeup makeup days, or even as a primer underneath your normal foundation. And because of the light pigments and neutral undertone, you only need to pick between two shades, fair (for fair to medium skin tones) and medium (for medium to deep skin tones).
It contains vitamin C to help brighten the skin over time, and is also hypoallergenic for people with sensitivity. It works for all skin types, including super dry and super oily.
Best For Oily Skin: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer - Oil Free
A common concern about tinted moisturizers is that they aren’t compatible with oilier skin types. Laura Mercier’s oil-free formulation of their signature tinted moisturizer is a welcome change, with over 3,000 five-star reviews on Sephora’s website. Though it’s oil-free, it is still deeply nourishing and hydrating enough to sit on the skin comfortably for long periods of time. It contains vitamins C and E to protect the skin from environmental stressors, and even has SPF 20 for a little bit of sun protection.
Best For Dry Skin: MAC Cosmetics Lightful C + Coral Grass Tinted Cream
Those with dry skin are always in need of products that give them a much-needed glow. This tinted moisturizer from MAC both controls oil and gives dry, dull skin a boost. It has SPF 30 for protection from UVA/UVB rays, and its unique combination of MAC’s Lightful Radiance Booster mixed with coral grass and vitamin C helps reduce the appearance of pores and dark spots.
It is truly an all-in-one formula for dry skin, helping to neutralize dark spots and brightening skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and pores. It plays well with any tool that you use to apply it and layers well with other skincare and makeup products.
Best For Acne-Prone Skin: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer
A common concern about tinted moisturizers is that they’re not suitable for people with extremely oily or acne-prone skin. This option from Tarte is not only oil-free, but it's vegan too, and is lightweight so it won’t clog your pores. The micro-treated mineral pigments help to blur out the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and any uneven textures. It also has SPF 20 to help protect against the elements, and the Amazonian clay and vitamins A, C, and E provide skincare in addition to makeup coverage.
Best For Mature Skin: Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint
This tinted moisturizer from Hourglass is the perfect balance of a thick texture, medium coverage, and maximum radiance to help skin appear more plump, bouncy, and full. Made with hyaluronic acid and pearlescent pigments, it’s ideal for mature skin types that are normal to dry. It has a thick, whipped texture for easy application and buildable coverage, and contains SPF 15 for a little bit of sun protection.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular tinted moisturizers on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 9 different moisturizers overall, screened options from 9 different brands and manufacturers, read over 20 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 8 of the moisturizers themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.