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The natural makeup trend and no-makeup makeup look aren't new by any means, but they're still going strong all this time later. We can't say we're surprised—there's a definite time and place for full glam, but sometimes a little tinted moisturizer and a few sweeps of mascara is all it takes to feel put together.
A hybrid between a lightweight foundation and a cream, tinted moisturizer does exactly what it sounds like: It hydrates the skin but also leaves behind pigment for light to medium coverage over imperfections. As you'd expect, there are plenty of different tinted moisturizers out there to choose from—from matte to dewy finishes and even options for combination or acne-prone skin. Many are also formulated with SPF, which is never a bad thing in our book.
Below, our picks of the best tinted moisturizers to buy now.
Best Overall: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
This NARS tinted moisturizer is at the top of our list for a reason: it basically does it all. Formulated with skin-loving ingredients like vitamin C and mineral-rich seawater, this product brightens and hydrates the skin—not to mention provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection—for a flawless finish. Trust.
Best Drugstore: L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion & Makeup Highlighter
L'Oreal's True Match line is a drugstore staple for a reason, and this tinted moisturizer doesn't disappoint either. Its lightweight formula delivers an effortless glow while nourishing the skin, thanks to ingredients like glycerin and shea butter. We also love that it's versatile—you can mix it with your foundation, use it as a primer, or substitute it for your foundation.
Best Budget: Burt's Bees Goodness Glows Tinted Moisturizer
Although there are several clean formulas on this list, this one from Burt's Bees is definitely the most affordable. Formulated without parabens, phthalates, petroleum, or SLS, this lightweight tinted moisturizer nourishes the skin with vitamins and antioxidants while providing a natural, healthy finish.
Best for Dry Skin: Tarte Maracuja Tinted Hydrator
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the human body. It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes. When used in skincare, it acts as a moisture binder, which means that it will attach itself to the water in the cells (while also attracting and holding water from the air) making them plump.
Calling all beauty lovers with dry skin—Tarte's Tinted Hydrator is made just for you. In addition to skin-brightening maracuja oil, its formula contains hyaluronic acid for a burst of hydration while aloe and turmeric root extract soothe any redness. Plus, it's vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.
Best for Oily Skin: Yves Saint Laurent Touché Eclat All-In-One Glow
Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin and oil often found in anti-oxidant blend topicals or moisturizers. It also helps soothe the skin and protects the lipid barrier.
Have oily skin? Reach for YSL's tinted moisturizer. It's oil-free, for starters, but doesn't skimp on skin-friendly benefits, thanks to hydrating hyaluronic acid as well as vitamin E, which helps shield against free radicals to promote a refreshed, youthful complexion. Also, because it's a medium-coverage formula, it's perfect for everyday wear.
Best for Mature Skin: Hourglass Cosmetics Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint
If you have mature skin, stock up on this Hourglass tinted moisturizer, ASAP. The hero of this product, the brand's proprietary Hyaluronan Complex, is an advanced form of hyaluronic acid that smoothes the appearance of wrinkles while plumping and tightening the skin. This product is also SPF 15 (but don't forget your dedicated SPF, too!) and contains the brand's Pearlescent pigments to amp up the radiance factor. The result is a luminous glow at any age.
Best Serum: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
We'll just say it: we're obsessed with ILIA's Super Serum Skin Tint. A skincare-makeup-SPF hybrid, this revolutionary clean serum provides the perfect amount of coverage while nourishing the skin with plant-based squalane, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, as well as mineral SPF protection. Need more convincing? When Byrdie contributing writer Tanya Akim tried this product, it passed her 12-hour wear test with flying colors—in the Los Angeles summer heat, no less! We're sold.
Best Oil: Kosas Cosmetics Tinted Face Oil
When Byrdie contributing writer Olivia Muenter tested this tinted face oil from clean beauty brand Kosas, she a little skeptical but quickly became a convert: "It adds a dewy, natural-looking glow to all the high points of the face," she says. "But most surprising? It doesn’t feel greasy at all ... I’ve also gotten more compliments on my skin than ever since wearing it, which is the sign of a holy grail product if you ask me."
Best Stick: Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint
Milk Makeup is known for its innovative vegan makeup and skincare products, but we venture that its Sunshine Skin Tint is one of the brand's best. Formulated with avocado, mandarin, grapeseed, jojoba, and olive oils, it hydrates and protects the skin for an effortless, dewy finish. Plus, because of its creative packaging, it's super easy to throw in your purse or bag.
Best Gel: Pixi H2O SkinTint
Green tea is a botanical derived from the leaves and buds of the tea plant Camellia sinensis. The active components of green tea are polyphenols (also called catechins) that are believed to benefit the skin due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Refreshing isn't the first word the comes to mind when we think of makeup, necessarily, but this water-based tinted moisturizer is exactly that—and we're all for it. Formulated with skin-loving ingredients like green tea, rose water, and lavender, it has a lightweight cooling feel when applied—and because it's water-resistant, it stays put all day, even during the sweaty summer months. It's also fragrance-free, so it's great for those with sensitive skin.
Best Gel-Cream: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30
Byrdie senior editor Hallie Gould is a big fan of this gel-cream formula, to say the least: "In terms of texture, this product has everything else beat," she raves. "It's whipped (read: feels pillowy) but also cooling and gel-like at the same time ... Plus, it's multitasking, too. Complexion Rescue combines hydrating skincare benefits with the sheer (but buildable, if you so choose) coverage I'd been dreaming of. And it incorporates a mineral-based sunscreen for safe and effective, non-chemical sun protection."
Best Shade Range: Laura Mercier Natural Tinted Moisturizer
This Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer comes in an impressive 20 shades. But that's not the only reason we're on board—its skincare benefits are real, too. Macadamia and kukui oils promote healthy skin function, while tamarind seed extract provides antioxidant protection and vitamins C and E shield against environmental stressors. To top it off, it provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection from the sun's damaging UV rays.
Best Soothing: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
First Aid Beauty is all about sensitive skin-friendly products that don't just solve problems like acne, dry skin, and excess oil—they prevent them, too. The brand's Ultra Repair tinted moisturizer is no exception. Formulated with colloidal oatmeal, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E, this product packs a soothing, nourishing punch. An added bonus? It provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection.
Best Sheer Finish: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint
When Glossier debuted Skin Tint in 2014 as one of its four original product launches, it made waves immediately for delivering ultra-sheer coverage with a dewy finish. Five years later, at the end of 2019, it got an update that we're not mad about, to say the least. Not only did the brand expand the product's shade range (from five to 12), it also updated its pigment treatment for a smoother application. Basically, it's still that perfect-skin-in-a-bottle vibe, just better.
Best Full-Coverage: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Full-Coverage Moisturizer
Many of our favorite tinted moisturizers provide light-to-medium coverage, but if a full-coverage formula is your thing, look no further than this one from IT Cosmetics. It's designed to cover hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and more—all without any cracking or creasing, thanks to the brand's proprietary 3D Skin Flex Technology, which prevents flexible pure color pigments from sinking into fine lines and wrinkles. This product also contains SPF 50 mineral sunscreen, as well as diamond powder for a naturally radiant finish.
Best for Tired Skin: Origins GinZing SPF 40 Energy-Boosting Tinted Moisturizer
It's no secret a cup of coffee is the ultimate (and often necessary) pick-me-up, but according to dermatologists, caffeine can energize the skin, too. For this reason, this Origins tinted moisturizer is our pick for dull, tired skin—it contains coffee and ginseng to promote a refreshed, vibrant complexion.