26 Best tinted moisturisers - Including Margot Robbie's avourite - For a natural, glow-y complexion
When it comes to this side of winter, it's tempting to reach for heavy-duty foundations that offer coverage for a myriad of seasonal skin woes. Yep, we're talking about complexion foes dullness and dryness. But actually, pushing foundations aside in the search for a lighter, glowier face base can have it merits. Enter: the tinted moisturiser. This beauty buy is a multi-tasking wonder that offers a low-maintenance approach to your everyday make-up look, even in the depths of winter.
Recently, sheer formulas have been spiking in popularity according to data from Google Trends. The reason? Their hydration-first, coverage-second ethos means you can quickly blur blemishes, banish dullness or hide unevenness whilst still letting your skin breathe. Think of these as more of a ‘glowdation’, if you will - an ideal solution for dull or dehydrated skin as the colder temps kick in.
Just one more thing. There’s more to look for in a tinted moisturiser than just coverage. Specific ingredients will quell specific skincare concerns, such as niacinamide to reduce pore size, hyaluronic acid to plump and SPF to ward off UV rays. (Not that this means you can scrimp on your actual SPF – you still need it. Soz.)
Need a little help shopping? We tapped up celebrity make-up artist Emily Wood, who reveals how to decipher the world of tinted moisturisers. Plus, we've listed our picks of the best tinted moisturisers for your skin type.
Is BB cream or tinted moisturiser better?
'This depends on what you're after,' reveals Wood.
For those who don't know the difference, a BB (beauty balm) cream is a mix of more ingredients – think: primer, SPF, perhaps anti-ageing elements. A tinted moisturiser tends to offer more in way of coverage and hydration.
Woods says 'I enjoy the balm finish that a BB cream provides. However they do offer a little bit more coverage than a tinted moisturiser.'
Is it better to use tinted moisturiser or foundation?
Most of the time it comes down to preference and whether you like full-coverage foundation or a lighter, more breathable finish. Where a tinted moisturiser can win some extra points though is via the ingredients list, given that the formula feeds your skin with hydration without sitting heavily on your skin.
Is tinted moisturiser good for your skin?
In short, yes. With a skin-first philosophy, tinted moisturisers usually come armed with some of skincare’s most-loved ingredients - think hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide and more. As well as giving your skin a decent moisture source, the sheer coverage also allows your skin to breathe which may help prevent breakouts and clogged pores.
Is tinted moisturiser better than foundation for mature skin?
'This really depends on the person explains' Wood. 'As mature skin can be dryer a tinted moisturiser is better to create a dewy finish, it is lighter on the skin and doesn’t accentuate fine lines which a matte foundation can do,' she adds.
How do I choose a tinted moisturiser?
'You can be a bit more flexible when choosing your tinted moisturiser – shade ranges are usually smaller, but each shade can usually cover a greater range of skin colours due to how lightweight the products tend to be,' explains Wood.
To find your shade, simply swatch a couple of stripes down the side of your face, from just above your jawline down onto your neck.
Which is the best tinted moisturiser?
There are heaps of top-quality tinted moisturisers out there. The best for you is going to depend on your specific skincare goals and skin type.
Scroll on for the WH edit of the one to use, depending on what you're after.
1. Best overall tinted moisturiser
Excelling for long-lasting coverage and brimming with a host of impressive skincare benefits this all-in-one provides all the coverage and hydration you would ever need in one tube. You can use it daily as a tinted moisturiser or as part of a more layered foundation routine.
2. The best tinted moisturiser for mature skin
Created specifically for mature skin types, the formula glides across skin to smooth out any fine (or not so fine) lines. A potent dose of antioxidants helps to stop skin damage in its tracks so that your complexion looks more even and brighter over time.
3. The best tinted moisturiser for a subtle tint
This is about as lightweight as it gets, so is perfect for days when you want to achieve a barely-there, 'more skin, less makeup' look. Basically, it's meant to let your freckles shine through.
4. The best tinted moisturiser for stressed skin
This has become something of a cult product in a really short space of time. The reason? It's packed with a stress-busting ingredient called neurophroline that works to tackle the short and long-term effects of cortisol, a stress hormone that can wreak havoc on your skin. An added dose of hyaluronic acid also provides long-lasting hydration that plumps and smooths for a dewy finish.
5. The best tinted moisturiser for shade range
Plaudits to Rihanna for this one, not only did she nail the shade range (25) so that there is something for everyone, but this compact tube of goodness is humidity and sweat resistant. It also layers perfectly over a primer for a super smooth finish.
6. The best tinted moisturiser for dehydrated skin
Although this is labelled as a foundation, its really lightweight as a little goes a long way. It's perfect for dehydrated skin as it's infused with pre- and probiotics to help the skin's natural defences, meaning free radicals can cause less damage.
7. The best tinted moisturiser for oily skin
Oil-free formulas don’t have to be drying or powdery, as this stellar option aptly illustrates. The light-moderate coverage blurs dark circles and blemishes, but let freckles shine through. We're obsessed.
8. The best tinted moisturiser for dry skin
Skin in a perpetual state of dehydration? Quench its thirst with dose of hydrating hyaluronic acid that been added to this gel texture. It will quickly banish signs of dry skin and leave behind a sheer, glowy finish.
9. The best tinted moisturiser for hydrating skin
Packed with hyaluronic acid and glycerin, this ultra-hydrating tinted moisturiser gives your skin a fresh and dewy finish for up to 12 hours. Impressive.
10. The best tinted moisturiser for dull skin
This product has cult hero for a reason (and we mean 'cult' – it's said to be favoured by the great and good, from Meghan Markle to Margot Robbie and Rachel Weisz.) Created by make-up artist Laura Mericer, who took into account how undertones affect the shade of a formula, not only does it rev up your glow, it will match your skin tone perfectly.
11. The best tinted moisturiser for sensitive skin
Created with an exclusive ROSACTIV® patent, this BB creams prevents the spread of small blood vessels and calms redness at its source. SPF30 helps to fight off sun damage and pigments help to buff away signs of stressed skin.
12. The best tinted moisturiser with SPF
There's not much we don't love about this glow-giving base. It cleverly combines the benefits of an illuminating serum and hydrating foundation in one and is brimming with coral reef-safe broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen. Dreamy.
13. The best vegan tinted moisturiser
This vegan hero is brimming with peptides for a more refreshed complexion, such as skin-loving collagen and niacinamide to help brighten and even out skin tone. Think of it as a green juice for your complexion.
14. The best oil free tinted moisturiser
With its incredibly smooth texture, this oil-free moisturiser glides on like silk and sets like velvet. Pores and blemishes are blurred into oblivion and yet skin feels as though there is nothing there at all. A summer make-up staple if ever there was one.
15. The best tinted moisturiser for rosacea
This oil-free powerhouse provides an instant concealing effect thanks to it through its unique formulation that boasts redness-reducing ingredients such as α-Bisabolol, Zeolite, Provitamin B5, urea and shea butter.
16. The most hyped tinted moisturiser
Come for the sheer coverage and radiant finish, but stay for the broad-spectrum SPF 50 sun protection. This buzzed-about product is more than just a pretty skin perfector.
17. The best budget tinted moisturiser
With change left over from a tenner, this bargain tinted moisturiser delivers a serious glow thanks to light-reflecting pigments. It works as either super light coverage or can be worn underneath your foundation as an extra layer of hydration.
18. The best tinted moisturiser for acne
This dual-action formula mattifies skin by drying up oily pores and wages war on inflammation, help to treat as well as conceal spots. It also provides 24 hour hydration, keeping pesky flakes at bay.
19. The best tinted moisturiser according to WH's Beauty Editor
'If I could only take one beauty product on a desert island, this would be it,' says Perdita Nouril, WH's Beauty Editor. 'For starters, it totally minimises your routine, which is a blessing for any mum in a rush. As for the results it yields? The texture is so fine, it melts onto skin and is completely undetectable. When wearing it, I’ve been complimented again and again on how great my skin looks with no make-up. Guess the cat’s out the bag now eh?'
20. The best tinted moisturiser with added skincare benefits
Antioxidants are key if you want to keep skin behaving younger than it is, as they are your complexion's first line of defense against environment aggressors. So while this may be on the spenny side, it is formulated with antioxidant-rich green tea and honeysuckle, making it a winner if you want to amp up your skincare routine.
21. The best tinted moisturiser to fight blue light
If you've spent the last 18 months glued to your phone or laptop, then reach for this brilliant blurring skin tint. The weightless, silky texture is infused with Butterfly Bush Flower Extract to help protect against skin-damaging free radicals caused by blue light from screens.
22. The best luxury tinted moisturiser
A hefty price tag means you can expect a lot in return from this tinted moisturiser by La Mer - and a little goes a long way too. First off, there’s the ingredients: the brand’s long-longed sea Miracle Broth and lime tea concentrate both feature to provide skin-soothing benefits and help fight damage from environmental aggressors. The radiance-boosting formula also helps plump fine dry lines, provides SPF protection and delivers a beautiful glow.
23. The best tinted moisturiser for a dewy finish
This tinted moisturiser is a beauty force to be reckoned with. It boasts dew-inducing hydration together with 100% mineral, broad-spectrum sunscreen and sheer, flexible coverage. The finish? Radiant and protected. Win win.
24. The best tinted moisturiser for buildable coverage
Lightweight but super creamy, this hydrating hero give a wash of colour with one swipe but is easily buildable meaning you can layer up where you need.
25. The best tinted moisturiser for skin brightening
A new kid on the block, this tint and glow formula has won a legion of fans for its ability to dial up the brightness on the dullest complexions. From hangovers to late night TV binges, it hides a multitude of sins.
26. The best tinted moisturiser for enlarged pores
This is created by one of the UK's leading derms so you already know you're onto a winner. It blurs pores into oblivion and feels totally weightless, too. Plus it contains spectrum SPF 50 so that all bases are truly covered.
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