From makeup and skin care trends like glistening “dolphin skin” to luminous “glass skin,” embracing the radiance of our natural skin is what everyone seems to be after nowadays. And the perfect product for an effortlessly glowy complexion? Tinted moisturizer.
“I love a tinted moisturizer when I am not looking for full coverage, but I still want to elevate beyond bare skin,” shares Dani Kimiko Vincent, a celebrity makeup artist and founder of Kimiko. “Tinted moisturizers brighten and even out the complexion but still allow natural skin to show through.”
Makeup artist Jamie Dorman, who’s worked with stars like Bella Hadid and Anne Hathaway, echoes this sentiment. She opts for tinted moisturizer when she’s pressed for time or when her skin feels dry. It’s a quick and easy way to achieve a fresh, put-together look. Tinted moisturizer can also be a useful product to have in your makeup arsenal during the warmer months, explains Tobi Henney, a professional makeup artist who has worked with celebrities like Megan Fox and Jessica Alba. “It’s a lighter option for a base than using a foundation, and often a perk is that they also include SPF for extra sun protection,” she shares. Though, we have to add: it’s a great idea to be wearing SPF year-round.
Ahead, we consulted six makeup artists on the very best tinted moisturizers they keep in their kits, and reach for time and time again.
Best all around tinted moisturizers
$48 at Ilia
An all-around favorite, this skin tint boasts SPF 40 and “gives a gorgeous dewy finish on the skin,” shares Monika Blunder, a celebrity makeup artist and the founder of Monika Blunder Beauty.“It’s a beautiful light to medium coverage tinted moisturizer with a very hydrating formula, which is ideal if you tend to the drier side,” explains Vincent. But it’s not just great for those with drier skin. Henney adds that it can also be a great option for those with oily skin, since the formulation is oil-free and contains hyaluronic acid. Plus, “it comes in a great range of shades for everyone,” she adds.
$48 at Sephora
Neil Scibelli, celebrity makeup artist and key makeup artist for the New York City Ballet, calls this tinted moisturizer a longtime favorite in the product category — and for good reason. It’s his top pick for those looking for a dewy glow. Blunder agrees, adding that the super natural finish of this on the skin is really beautiful. Vincent notes that your skin will also get loads of hydration thanks to the product’s formulation, which includes macadamia and kukui nut oils.
$15.99 $13.97 at Amazon
This drugstore option is a winner for many of the pros we spoke with. “It’s a must-have if you’re looking for a light coverage sunscreen with SPF 30,” shares celeb makeup artist and owner of Faces By Nydia Makeup Studio, Nydia Figueroa. “It’s lightweight and contains hyaluronic acid,” she explains, which is a must-have for those with dry skin. Adding to its great list of ingredients, Scibelli raves that “the skin care infused formula also contains ceramides for hydration and niacinamide which protects against redness and inflammation.” Our MUAs also love how versatile this product is. “This non-greasy SPF-infused tint features 100% mineral filter sunscreen, with a slight tint that adjusts to each individual skin-tone when blended in,” explains Scibelli. Figueroa adds, “I especially love how it does not leave a white cast, and has a beautiful color range for all skin tones.”
$35 at Saie
This mineral-based tinted moisturizer is super hydrating, shares Vincent. In addition to boasting SPF 35 sun protection, its formulation also includes ingredients your skin will love: hyaluronic acid, pansy flower and licorice root extract — which evens out skin tone. “The coverage is quite sheer and dewy — perfect for a minimal look.” If you’re worried about looking too dewy, Vincent recommends using a powder to set your makeup through the T-zone. Blunder also calls this product one of her favorites, adding that it’s gorgeous on mature skin and younger skin alike, as well as having a fantastic ingredient list.
Best tinted moisturizers with SPF
$46 at Sephora
“This is one of my favorite tinted moisturizers with sunscreen,” shares Scibelli. “It can truly take the place of a foundation, but still has the light feel of a tinted moisturizer.” He notes that it’s “sheer enough to feel light on the skin, but also pigmented enough to really even skin tone and minimize redness.”
From $20 at Supergoop
“I love this for its hydrating effect, pearlescent finish and broad spectrum protection,” shares Dorman. We’re also fans of using this tinted moisturizer as a makeup primer — it’s the perfect base for layering other complexion products over for an instantly radiant look.
$30 at Sephora
“My favorite tinted moisturizers contain broad spectrum sunscreen protection since you want the last liquid product on your face during the day to contain sun protection,” explains Vincent, who adds that layering a product without SPF on top of sunscreen can potentially reduce the efficacy of the sunscreen underneath. “This lightweight tinted mineral sunscreen gives sheer yet buildable coverage and a dewy glow,” shares Vincent. “It is also ideal for sensitive skin, as it’s fragrance-free.”
$35 at Ulta
“I absolutely love this tinted moisturizer,” shares Figueroa. “It gives beautiful natural coverage and is not only a tinted sunscreen but also a foundation, primer, and moisturizer.” It’s a perfect option for those who love the ease of a multi-use product and love a formulation that gives your skin that renewed look, Figueroa adds.
$25 at Ulta
Scibelli calls this tinted moisturizer one of his favorite universally flattering products. “It’s a tinted sunscreen that off-sets any of that white or gray cast that we get from sunscreen,” he explains. “And it’s packed with antioxidants and skin care ingredients that help to shield the skin from the environment as well as refine the appearance of pores.”
Best drugstore tinted moisturizers
$13.49 From $3.50 at Amazon
“I’ve been a longtime fan of this tinted moisturizer,” shares Scibelli, who loves its natural, beautiful coverage. “Although it’s labeled foundation, it has the light consistency of a tinted moisturizer with a great shade range.” He adds that the formulation, which contains coconut milk and aloe, also soothes and hydrates the skin.
$5.59 at Target
Figueroa recommends this product for its multi-purpose use and great shade range. “I love that this product contains hyaluronic acid,” she adds, “which keeps the skin supple and hydrated.”
From $12.60 at Amazon
This lightweight complexion product can be used like a tinted moisturizer that also has buildable coverage, explains Vincent. “I recommend wearing an SPF underneath when using this during the day,” she adds, and loves that it’s fragrance-free — something that isn’t always the case with drugstore products.
From $5.95 at Amazon
“This is lightweight and great for everyday use,” shares Figueroa. She adds that in addition to providing this skin with a great level of hydration, the formulation also includes aloe, which works to “soothe the skin, and has a great smoothing effect as well.”
$9.49 at Amazon
“For someone who’s looking for an easy way to create a flawless glow while protecting skin against the sun, I would recommend this personal favorite of mine,” shares Scibelli. “This light-weight oil-free formula helps to deliver a natural bronzed tint which evenly develops on the skin.” He goes on to share that “in minutes, it hydrates and offers a broad spectrum coverage of SPF 20.” Plus, it “doesn’t streak or transfer after it is applied.”
Best tinted moisturizers for mature skin
$29 at Sephora
“I have been obsessing over this because it contains SPF, gives light to medium coverage and stays put,” raves Figueroa. She adds that it’s super hydrating, which is great for mature skin, and is offered in a broad color range which is “so needed with tinted moisturizers.”
$26 at Glossier
Blunder shares that she always reached for this tinted moisturizer when it comes to mature skin. “It doesn’t settle into fine lines or wrinkles and is such a subtle wash of color,” she says.
$42 at Kosas
This option from Kosas has a “light, buildable coverage and a beautiful diffused finish that gives skin a natural looking finish,” says Vincent. As it doesn’t include any sun protection, she recommends it as a great skin-enhancing option for evening wear. As for application? “This tinted oil works best over clean, moisturized skin,” she explains. “Avoid applying it over products with silicones, as it is an oil-based product and can pill.”
$29 at Sephora
A favorite of Figueroa’s, this tinted moisturizer contains maracuja oil, which — being rich in vitamin C — works to make skin brighter, firmer and more hydrated. “It also has vegan collagen and hyaluronic acid,” she adds, “which is amazing for mature skin.”
$70 $35 at Bloomingdales
This tinted moisturizer “creates a more youthful appearance to the skin and is super hydrating for more mature skin,” shares Henney. “I love the texture of this product and feels beautiful on the skin.”
Best tinted moisturizers for oily skin
$42 at Sephora
Blunder shares that this product and its formulation performs really well on those with oily skin. Her preferred method of applying a tinted moisturizer? A dense synthetic brush. “You can really work it into the skin beautifully that way,” she explains. “I designed our Call Your Buff Brush for products like this specifically.” And while you can use a sponge, Blunder explains that it tends to absorb a lot of the product.
$49 at Sephora
Scibelli shares that this luminous skin tint is a great option for those with oily skin, or even normal to combination skin. “The skin-focused formula offers a natural glow to the skin with a capsulated color formula that comes in a range of shades that both hydrate and even the skin tone,” he explains. “I personally love this one because it leaves a gorgeous satin finish to the skin.”
$39 at Sephora
With a light to medium buildable coverage and SPF 25, Vincent recommends this tinted moisturizer option for those looking for real skin-like finish. “Despite the name, there are no added reflective ingredients like mica in this product,” she shares, so those with more oily skin don’t have to worry about an overly glowy (or shiny) look.
$32 at Fenty Beauty
“This is a great choice for someone who not only has oily skin but also wants a soft blur finish to their skin,” shares Figueroa. “It’s transfer-proof — another thing that’s ideal for oily skin — and is buildable for those who want a little more coverage.”
From $7 at Amazon
“One of my recent favorite tinted moisturizers for oily skin is actually one from the drugstore,” says Scibelli, who shares that he’s really impressed by how full coverage the matte formula of this product is — perfect for those with oily skin. “It also contains niacinamide which will help calm any inflammation and redness, which is great for acne-prone skin.”
$48 at Sephora
A kit favorite of Figueroa’s for years, the oil-free formulation of this tinted moisturizer is ideal for those with oily skin. “It also has a blurred matte finish and contains Vitamin E,” she shares, “which will help protect the skin from sun damage.”
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