Beauty

We put the best tinted moisturisers to the test

They’re the perfect springtime make-up switch-up and – after a year of not wearing as much make-up – the perfect way to achieve a low-key, natural-looking base. So how did the Health & Beauty team get on when trying out tinted moisturisers?
SJ tested Estée Lauder
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SJ tested Estée Lauder

Cakey, heavy foundation is not my bag, so anything that says ‘sheer’ in the description is right up my street. And Estée Lauder DayWear Sheer Tint Release Moisturizer SPF15 ticks lots of boxes. It comes out a slightly grey colour that magically transforms into a light tint that blended in with my skin tone perfectly. It doesn’t say it colour corrects, but it did take away the redness in my skin. It feels super-moisturising and has a broad-spectrum SPF15, so it was everything I need in one go.

Best for… hydrating

Marie tested Fenty Beauty
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Marie tested Fenty Beauty

I wasn’t sure if a tinted moisturiser would suit my skin tone, but Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint blended in perfectly with my complexion – which doesn’t happen often – and felt natural. My skin is quite dry so I applied my usual hydrators underneath, but it still felt a little dry a few hours later. Even so, with a choice of 25 shades, I think this is a pretty special product.

Best for… shade diversity

Micaela tested Urban Decay
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Micaela tested Urban Decay

I have dry skin, so I’m always looking for hydrating products, and Urban Decay Stay Naked Hydromaniac Tinted Glow Hydrator does exactly what it says it does. The coverage is light but can be built up, while still looking very natural. I used shade 30, which matched my skin tone perfectly. It has a very subtle floral scent and the silky-smooth texture instantly sank in, leaving my skin hydrated with a soft finish that lasted all day. It gave me a ‘no-make-up’ make-up look, which I absolutely love!

Best for… staying power

Chris tested Bare Minerals
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Chris tested Bare Minerals

I really like the packaging for the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser SPF30. It’s quite gender-neutral, which made me feel comfortable using it. I was worried the shade was a bit light when I squeezed it out, but as I worked it into my skin (with a make-up sponge), it blended perfectly and gave a glowy effect. The consistency is more watery than other tinted moisturisers I’ve tried and I’d say it gives a light to medium coverage because of that. It’s great that it has SPF30, too.

Best for… ticking a lot of beauty boxes

Georgie tested Clinique
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Georgie tested Clinique

I normally add a few drops of fake tan to my fave moisturiser to get the glow and coverage I need, but now I can just use Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising BB-Gel, as it does both! The texture is really soft and feels hydrating, like a moisturiser, but has the mattifying effect of a gel. It was really easy to apply and gave an immediate hint of colour. It also makes a great base for days when you want to wear a bit more make-up on top, too. My only wish is that it included SPF, but it’s a great quality product.

Best for… low-key make-up days

Amrita tested NARS
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Amrita tested NARS

Pre-Covid, I was a full-on foundation type of girl, but the past year has unlocked a new love for lighter coverage bases, and NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser is spot on. It feels weightless on my skin and blended really well – I applied it with my fingers and then used a brush to buff it in. There are lots of shades to choose from, but I think each one would span a couple of tones either side. I also love that it comes in a handy tube, so I can pop it in my handbag for any touch-ups.

Best for… coverage

Kelly tested L’Oréal Paris
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Kelly tested L’Oréal Paris

The consistency of L’Oréal Paris Skin Paradise Tinted Moisturiser SPF20 was a bit thicker than I expected. It’s more like a CC cream, if you’ve ever used one of those. It felt lovely on my skin, gave really good coverage and left a powdery finish, which I had to make sure I blended in around my eyebrows. It’s great that it has SPF20, as I cycle to and from work, so it’s good to know my skin has some protection, too.

Best for… being a bargain buy

Martina tested No7
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Martina tested No7

I’ve got the double whammy of desert-dry skin and a dread of foundations, as they always end up looking cakey on me and
give an unwelcome shout-out to my wrinkles. A tinted moisturiser seemed the way to go, and to say No7 City Light Tinted Moisturiser was a love match is no exaggeration. As it skimmed over my skin, it left a dewy veneer of colour and a translucent, sheer base, giving me a my-skin-but-better finish. My make-up just glided on and I looked glowy all day.

Best for… wanting a ‘my skin but better’ effect 

Melisa tested Origins
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Melisa tested Origins

The Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Tinted Moisturizer SPF40 has a lovely texture and blended in really easily, creating a glowy effect. I have quite an oily complexion, so I had to mattify my skin by the afternoon to stop it looking too shiny. But it offers good coverage and definitely evened out my skin tone (though, if you have spots, you may need to use extra concealer on top). It comes in just one shade – it starts out white and then blends in – but it suited me quite well and would be great for anyone with a pinky tone.

Best for… low maintenance

Charlotte tested Laura Mercier
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Charlotte tested Laura Mercier

It’s been a while since I’ve worn much make-up – usually a little cover-up and some mascara for Zoom. But this Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser Natural Skin Perfector SPF30 seemed the perfect option to ease my rosacea-prone skin back into the habit – it’s a sunscreen, moisturiser and light coverage in one. It comes in shades to suit all skin tones, and despite needing a generous amount (as recommended for SPF and UV protection), it blended in easily and stayed put. I did need a little extra coverage over my rosacea, but that’s to be expected.

Best for… being a one-shade-suits-all

Caroline tested Smashbox
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Caroline tested Smashbox

I often find tinted moisturisers a bit grainy, but Smashbox Halo Healthy Glow All-In-One Tinted Moisturizer SPF25 has a gorgeous, slightly thicker texture, which was super-easy to blend in with a Beautyblender Original Sponge. It gave me great, foundation-like coverage, while still managing to have the lightness of a moisturiser. And it delivered on the glow factor, too. I was impressed and would buy it again.

Best for… heavier coverage