The Complete Guide to Tinted Moisturizers

5 tinted moisturizers on blue background
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When it comes to makeup, face products come in many forms. Most know all about the different foundation types, but tinted moisturizer flies under the radar in the makeup community. While you may have heard the name, most aren’t aware of all the benefits a tinted moisturizer provides.

There is an abundance of different tinted moisturizers out there right now. With all of its excellent benefits, a tinted moisturizer can make a great addition to your makeup collection. Here is our complete guide that explains everything you need to know about them. Plus, we’ve included the best tinted moisturizers on the market today.

What is a tinted moisturizer?

Often, tinted moisturizers and foundations are confused with one another. While a tinted moisturizer can sometimes be considered as a type of foundation, it really is just its own thing. A tinted moisturizer provides pigment as a foundation would. This evens the skin and covers any imperfections.

But, hence its name, it doubles as a moisturizer. Usually, tinted moisturizers also have SPF in their ingredient list. The great thing about this is that it takes steps out of your makeup and skincare routine. So, it will allow you to efficiently get ready in little time.

Since the pigment is very minimal in a tinted moisturizer, it gives low coverage. It is going to give you a natural finish without looking like you have any makeup on. So, a tinted moisturizer might not be the best product for skin with lots of problem areas. But, for those with mostly clear skin, tinted moisturizers are the way to go.

How to choose a tinted moisturizer

Just like foundation, there are tons of different tinted moisturizers out there. Before choosing a tinted moisturizer, there are a few things you want to look out for.

One of the main complaints about tinted moisturizers is that they often aren’t available in a wide range of shades. When choosing a shade, just go with the one that looks closest to your natural skin tone. The great thing about tinted moisturizers is that they blend away very easily. So, you should be able to blend the product into your skin and no obvious shade difference would be noticed. This is due to their ultra-sheer formula.

Another thing to look out for is the ingredients included in the individual product. Most tinted moisturizers already come with SPF in their formula, so we recommend going for one of those. Skin protection is crucial to keeping your skin healthy. Go for products without any unnecessary chemicals like parabens in them. Overall, it is just better to not put those on your skin. Also, if ethics play a role in what makeup you purchase, make sure you are buying products that are cruelty-free.

How to apply tinted moisturizer

Applying a tinted moisturizer isn’t as technical as applying foundation, but the process is similar. To begin, always use a primer before putting any pigment on your face. Primer is going to help create an even base for the pigment to set into. Primer also helps to fill in pores and wrinkles, so the pigment won’t enhance them.

Next, you are going to want to choose your applicator. For tinted moisturizers, common application techniques include brushes, sponges, or just your fingertips. If you are used to applying foundation, choosing a brush or a sponge might feel more natural for you. But, since this is a moisturizer, using your fingertips works just as well.

When applying the product, you are going to want to move in circles. This is going to help seamlessly blend the product into your skin. Also, it prevents any streakiness.

When you are finished applying the product to your face, your first instinct might be to reach for the powder. But don’t! Tinted moisturizers are meant to enhance your natural skin and give you a glowy finish. Using a powder to mattify your face only defeats that purpose.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint

This breathable, ultra-thin formula evens out your skin’s appearance for a dewy finish.

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All of Glossier’s makeup products are meant to appear very natural, and their skin tint is no different. It just gives a wash of color over the skin with a dewy finish. Since the formula is so thin, it is very breathable and comfortable to wear throughout the day. A great thing about this skin tint is that it comes in a wide range of shades for a tinted moisturizer. Also, it is both cruelty-free and vegan. Since it is very low coverage, it doesn’t get the job done for skin with lots of problem areas. Additionally, the scent may be off-putting to some.

Pros:

  • Breathable and comfortable on the skin
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Wide range of shades

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work for skin with problem areas
  • Off-putting scent

Where to buy it: Amazon

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

This lightweight tinted moisturizer helps improve your skin and protect it with SPF30.

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The Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer provides low to medium coverage that illuminates your natural skin’s beauty. Since this is a cream-based product, it provides a little more coverage than the others on this list. For sun protection, this product includes SPF 30. Additionally, this product includes vitamin C which helps with any discoloration. However, some people with very dry skin have experienced even more dryness when using this product. Also, the cream formula makes it more difficult to blend.

Pros:

  • More coverage than other tinted moisturizers
  • Includes SPF 30
  • Includes vitamin C

Cons:

  • Not good for already dry skin
  • Difficult to blend

Where to buy it: Amazon, ULTA

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiant Tinted Facial Moisturizer

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiant Tinted Facial Moisturizer

This oil-free moisturizer has a hint of shimmer that provides flawless coverage all day.

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The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is an underrated tinted moisturizer option. It provides tons of ingredients that help keep your skin healthy and radiant. For example, it comes with vitamins A, C, and E which helps to give you a natural glow. Also, it includes SPF 30 to protect from any sun damage. The formula is very sheer and lightweight, so you’ll feel comfortable wearing it throughout the day. One of the only negative things about this product is that it has that typical sunscreen smell.

Pros:

  • Sheer and lightweight
  • Includes vitamins A, C, and E
  • Includes SPF 30

Cons:

  • Smells like sunscreen

Where to buy it: Amazon

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Tinted Moisturizer

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Tinted Moisturizer

This lightweight tinted moisturizer hydrates your skin and evens your skin tone with natural coverage.

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Physicians Formula is one of the best organic drugstore brands. If you are looking for makeup that has organic ingredients without any unnecessary chemicals, this is for you. So, it is safe to use for people with sensitive skin. Also, all of their products are cruelty-free. Their tinted moisturizer includes SPF 15 to protect your skin from sun damage. The formula is meant to nourish and moisturize your skin, so it is great for people with naturally dry skin. Unfortunately, it does not come in a wide range of shades. Also, the smell of the product is not the greatest.

Pros:

  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Includes SPF 15
  • Cruelty-free

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come in a wide range of shades
  • The scent is not appealing

Where to buy it: Amazon

BalmShelter Silky-Smooth Tinted Moisturizer

BalmShelter Silky-Smooth Tinted Moisturizer

This SPF18 weightless tinted moisturizer helps improve the look of your skin’s tone and texture.

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The BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer by theBalm Cosmetics is a great product for everyday wear. It feels weightless and comfortable on the skin all day long. Like most other tinted moisturizers, it protects against sun damage with SPF 18. Even though the formula is very sheer, you can build it up to medium coverage. Unfortunately, this product is not available in many different shades. Also, it tends to cause dryness. So, if you have naturally dry skin, this is probably not the product for you.

Pros:

  • Comfortable for everyday wear
  • Includes SPF 18
  • Buildable

Cons:

  • Not available in a wide range of shades
  • Not great for dry skin

Where to buy it: Amazon

Final Thoughts

Tinted moisturizers are one of the most underrated beauty products out there. With all of their amazing benefits, they make your makeup routine effortless and efficient. If tinted moisturizer seems like something you could benefit from, we hope our top picks help you make a decision of which to choose. From our list, you truly can’t go wrong with any of them.

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