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Best tinted moisturiser: Get a healthy and glowing complexion with the best skin tints

Use a tinted moisturiser and pack all your skincare and makeup products into one

Didn’t you hear? Foundation is out and tinted moisturiser is in. Pore-clogging coverages are being ditched in favour of lightweight tints which provide a sheer glow and let your natural skin shine through. That’s right, it’s time to embrace your tan and freckles.

A tinted moisturiser combines a foundation, sun cream and moisturiser all into one handy tube – it’s perfect for using on holiday or if you prefer a natural base. With buildable formulas which allow you to create a custom sheer to medium coverage, it also stops your skin suffocating under layers of product.

Not all tinted moisturisers are alike, however. It pays to pick up a product that will work with your skin type and give your desired finish and coverage. Below you’ll find a buying guide which will help you choose the best tinted moisturiser, as well as a handpicked selection of the top tinted creams.

How to choose the right tinted moisturiser for you

What’s the difference between a BB cream, CC cream and tinted moisturiser?

A BB cream contains optical diffusers which conceal imperfections and add a glow to the skin, while CC creams, or “colour correcting” balms, use more pigment to counteract the red, yellow or purple undertones in the skin. Both are lighter than a foundation yet have more coverage than a tinted moisturiser. Put simply, a tinted moisturiser is a day cream with added pigment and radiance-boosting ingredients.

What finish should you choose?

When choosing a tinted moisturiser you should consider your skin and how your makeup tends to wear throughout the day. Oil-free formulas are a great fit for combination to oily skin types and tinted creams with a dewy, radiant finish are perfect for perking up dull, dry and mature skin types. 

How much should you spend?

Tinted moisturisers command a premium because they combine multiple products in one. There are also fewer tints available on the high street since top skincare and makeup brands have taken the lead. In our opinion, there’s no need to spend over £40 to get a quality tinted moisturiser. Similarly, be wary of cheap creams since most can’t match the finish and shade range of luxury brands.

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The best tinted moisturisers to buy

1. Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser: Best tinted moisturiser for dry skin

Price: £31 (50ml) | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Available in twelve shades, the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser forgoes oils for a gentle formula that’s enriched with natural botanicals and skin soothing ingredients – the result is skin that feels healthy and hydrated. Best applied with a brush (it’s a little messy with fingers), the tint has a smooth texture which applies evenly and feels lightweight on the skin. After a little blending you can build a sheer to light coverage that’s enough to conceal small problem areas and it’s got a high SPF to protect against UVA and UVB rays, which means no sunburn or premature aging.

Our thoughts? Dewy, smooth and well balanced skin – that’s what you can expect from the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser. Claiming to reduce hyperpigmentation and dark spots is a stretch but you can definitely trust the tint to give a polished finish to the skin, especially if you’ve got a dry complexion.

Key info – Shades: 12; Finish: Dewy; Oil-free: Yes; SPF: 30.

2. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser: Best tinted moisturiser for all skin types 

Price: £35 (40ml) | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

It’s not just the shade you need to consider when choosing a tinted moisturiser – the finish is just as important. Match the wrong tinted moisturiser to your skin and you run the risk of a base that’s melted by midday or clung to dry patches. Thankfully, Laura Mercier’s cult classic tinted moisturiser comes in three award-winning formulas: Original, Oil-free and Illuminating.

The Original formula can be worn on all skin types but we’d recommend Oil-Free for combination to oily complexions and Illuminating for dry or dull skin (even though there’s only six shades available). Not only will this nutrient rich product provide SPF 20 protection but it claims to act as a shield to stop pollutants and toxins from damaging the skin. It’s easy to blend, provides a natural veil of colour and adds a boost of hydration. Overall, the tinted moisturiser looks like your skin, only better. Laura Mercier also wins bonus points for expanding its shade range to be more inclusive of all skin tones.

Key info – Shades: 20 (Oil-free), 20 (Original), 6 (Illuminating); Finish: Sheer; Oil-free: Yes; SPF: 30.

3. bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser: Best tinted moisturiser for oily and acne-prone skin

Price: £29 (35ml) | Buy now from Boots

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue combines the best of a BB and CC cream into one lightweight cream. The clean, natural formula id free from the harsh chemicals that can cause breakouts in oily or acne-prone skin types, and the mineral based tint conceals blemishes and corrects redness without clogging pores for a clear and even finish. But what really sets the Complexion Rescue apart is that it rebalances and hydrates oily skin instead of trying to dry it out.

With a buildable gel texture, you can achieve a natural daytime look and then dial up the coverage for a glam finish in the evening. The added SPF 30 sun protection means there’s no need to pile on sun cream, either. You’ll be spoilt for choice with sixteen wearable shades but we’d invest in a quality foundation brush to apply as the fluid is too thin to apply with your fingers.

Key info – Shades: 16; Finish: Sheer to Medium; Oil-free: Yes; SPF: 30.

4. Vita Liberata Beauty Blur Tinted Moisturiser: Best tinted moisturiser for a sun-kissed glow

Price: £32.50 (30ml) | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

Vita Liberata Beauty Blur creates a sun kissed complexion without the UV rays. This sheer tanning tint comes in just three shades so it’s unlikely to match your skin exactly but it can be used as an illuminating base before your makeup or worn solo to brighten your complexion. Using organic ingredients to hydrate and protect your skin, the Beauty Blur cream smooths imperfections and leaves your complexion looking radiant and tanned – like you’ve just stepped off the beach. Enriched with gentle tanning agents, with frequent application the tinted moisturiser will gradually build a natural looking glow.

For a golden tan and conditioned skin the Beauty Blur Tinted Moisturiser is best in class but its formula is the lightest of the bunch, so those that want to conceal blemishes or redness should choose a pigmented tint or layer with underneath another product.

Key info – Shades: 3; Finish: Sheer; Oil-free: No; SPF: No.

Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

5. Garnier BB Cream Original Tinted Moisturiser: Best cheap tinted moisturiser

Price: £9.99 (50ml) | Buy now from Boots

Looking for beauty on a budget? The Garnier BB cream can match the finish of a tint that’s twice its price thanks to a sheer formula packed with skin blurring pigments and radiance-boosting vitamin C. In fact, the fluid feels so thin and weightless on the skin that it’s more like a tinted moisturiser than a pigmented BB cream.

Fair skin tones may need to double up with extra sun cream as it has a relatively low SP, but the benefit is that the product feels weightless on the skin and is easier to blend. Once it sets it gives a glossy, lit-from-within glow to the skin, but we’d advise using a setting powder on areas that tend to get oily throughout the day.

You’re limited to three shades but with a dab of liquid bronzer or a lighter tint you can create a custom colour which matches your skin tone.

Key info – Shades: 3; Finish: Dewy; Oil-free: No; SPF: 15.

Buy now from Boots

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