There's something about the arrival of summer that always has me wanting to toss out my full-coverage foundations and opt for lighter products. But as a girl who's going through some major hormonal breakouts, I felt a little clueless about what my best options were with regards to creating a dewy skin look, so this week I've been busy trying out tinted moisturisers to see how they really measure up.
And it turns out I'm not alone in my intrigue. "In regards to customer interest, searches for full coverage foundation have dropped by 7% since the beginning of the year, while tinted moisturiser searches have lifted by 14%," a representative for Cult Beauty told me. In fact, Kosas (a newly launched sheer-foundation brand on the site) has upwards of 1500 visits per day. Clearly, people are into its lighter coverage.
Before we get started, I have to say that of all my beauty try-ons, tinted moisturiser has definitely been the category where it's been trickier to find a genuinely good one. Everyone's expectations differ, so, for you, it might be easier, but I want something that provides dewiness and glow from the moisturiser but still has pigment and coverage from the tint.
I found that many of the options on the market fell firmly in the moisturiser camp and made the barest amount of difference to the actual appearance of my skin. However, of all the tinted moisturisers I've tried (and there have been a lot), I managed to find six that I'd genuinely recommend and actually buy myself. Keep scrolling to shop the best tinted moisturisers (in my opinion).
My acne-prone skin was eternally grateful to this Nars tinted moisturiser for not only being noncomedogenic (so it doesn't clog pores), but also for being fragrance-free and dermatologically tested. This had a decent amount of coverage and had plenty of glow without looking oily. No, it won't completely diminish blemishes and under-eye darkness, but I was happy with the way it evened out my skin tone. Plus it has SPF 30, so it doubles up as your daily sun protection too.
It's no secret that I love BareMinerals, and its foundations are amongst my favourites. However, I'd never tried the cult tinted moisturiser, despite it being raved about by beauty editors and fashion girls. It was definitely more lightweight than I was expecting, but I was impressed with how smooth and bright my skin looked after applying it. For a fresh-faced makeup look on a relaxed weekend, it's ideal.
This is a new launch from one of my favourite Scandi skincare brands Lumene. I had the shade Medium, and although it's sheer and can be blended out, I'd definitely opt for Light next time to feel more like myself. This is probably the most moisturiser-like of all the products in my shortlist, but I'm a real fan of the nourishing gel texture. Although it didn't provide much coverage for spots or under-eye circles, it left my skin looking really fresh and healthy.
A surprise winner for me, because if I'm totally honest, I thought a tinted face oil would be rubbish. How wrong I was. The key is that (after giving it a good shake) the more drops you apply, the more coverage you get. I applied about six drops to my face and loved the finish that it provided. It did a great job of hiding redness, minimising blemishes and brightening under-eyes without the need for additional concealer. Best of all, it felt like I had nothing at all on my skin. A definite keeper.
Beauty editors are obsessed with this cult CC cream, but I've never really got on with either the classic or illuminating versions. This oil-free version, however? Total game changer. The sun protection is a little lower than the other two versions (SPF 40 rather than 50) but still incredibly high compared with other formulations on the market. Of all the tinted moisturisers, this one was closest to providing a foundation-like coverage, and I adored the matte finish. No powder required.
The name might say foundation, but at the launch for this product, I was told by the Revlon team that this was firmly a skincare-foundation hybrid. And that's just another word for a tinted moisturiser, no? It has a really natural finish and protects skin from pollution, so it's great if you live in the city.