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14 best tinted moisturisers for lightweight coverage and skincare benefits

From buildable coverage to sheer and subtle finishes, these skin-blurring formulas are well worth a browse

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Thursday 11 January 2024 17:52 GMT
<p>Nourishing skincare ingredients and SPF protection make these real multi-taskers  </p>

Nourishing skincare ingredients and SPF protection make these real multi-taskers

Our Top Picks

A tinted moisturiser is a great option for anyone who hates the feeling of a full-coverage foundation or wants a natural base for minimal make-up days. Typically, they add a hint of colour and subtle coverage to the skin, delivering a natural, healthy-looking finish.

The type of tinted moisturiser you choose will depend on whether you lean towards a matte or dewy base, not forgetting your desired coverage and skin type. Whether you’re seeking a sheer wash or glowy finish; an ultra-hydrating option or an oil-free formula; your make-up needs can also vary from season to season.

While sun-kissed summer skin might only require a light veil, during drearier months a brightening boost is always welcome. Nourishing skincare ingredients and SPF protection bring a multi-tasking element too.

We’re here to help with our extensive guide to the best tinted moisturisers for every need.

How we tested the best tinted moisturisers

We trialled these tinted moisturisers over several weeks and months, with the list comprising old favourites and new finds. Our tester wore the formulas for long days, with different make-up looks and during hot and cold weather. We looked at texture, application, shade range and coverage type while taking a range of price points into consideration too. Read on for our pick of the best tinted moisturisers in both dewy and matte finishes.

The best tinted moisturisers for 2024 are:

  • Best tinted moisturiser overall – Nars pure radiant tinted moisturiser: £33.30, Lookfantastic.com
  • Best budget buy – Morphe glowstunner hydrating tinted moisturiser SPF30: £14.40, Lookfantastic.com
  • Best dewy finish – Huda Beauty glowish multidew skin tint: £27, Cultbeauty.co.uk
  • Best for skin brightening – Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood flawless filter: £39, Charlottetilbury.com
  • Best for shine control – Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser oil free natural skin perfector: £37, Boots.com
  • Best natural finish – Glossier perfecting skin tint: £26, Glossier.com

Nars pure radiant tinted moisturiser

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
  • Best: Tinted moisturiser overall
  • Size : 50ml
  • Shades: 17
  • SPF: 30
  • Skin type: All

This sheer, silky-soft tinted moisturiser is buildable and adds glowy radiance, while being smoothing too. Because it glides onto skin easily, our tester found a small amount goes a long way which made application speedy as well. We noted that while it feels lightweight to wear, the product offers enough coverage to balance out uneven skin tone and help cover redness or dry skin. Skincare ingredients include vitamin E for conditioning and soothing, and we loved how comfy and weightless it is to wear.

The make-up base offers a dewy finish that made our skin look healthy, while also being a boost on tired days too. As it’s oil-free, the formula doesn’t cause any greasiness or block your pores, and we saw a long-lasting effect which didn’t slide about. Plus, the tinted moisturiser includes SPF30 for year-round sun protection. Even on heavier make-up days we’ve been looking to this lightweight base, as it works well with a bit of extra concealer for more coverage.

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Morphe glowstunner hydrating tinted moisturiser SPF30

Morphe tinted moisturiser.jpg
  • Best: Budget buy
  • Size: 30ml
  • Shades: 15
  • SPF?: 30
  • Skin type: All

This sheer, moisturising base is available in 15 shades and includes UVA and UVB SPF30. The 30ml tube has a pump nozzle which we used to apply product onto our hand, before building it up on the face. The oil-free formula still retains hydrating properties, with the inclusion of hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Lactic acid is also at work here to brighten the skin, something we definitely noticed upon application.

The lightweight base allows your natural skin texture to shine through, and offers a seamless blend without settling into pores. Not overly matte nor super dewy, this formula sits right in the middle, striking the perfect balance between the two. The skin-softening veil stayed in place without any smudging, instead fading gently towards the end of the day. We think the £18 price tag is reasonable, too.

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Huda Beauty glowish multidew skin tint

Huda Beauty glowish multidew skin tint  indybest.jpg
  • Best: For a dewy finish
  • Size: 40ml
  • Shades: 13
  • SPF?: None
  • Skin types: All

This 40ml tube comes in a selection of 13 shades, and the pump release applicator offers clean product distribution. Its fragrance-free rose oil blend offers a glowy finish, with skin-smoothing coverage. The reflective pearl pigments deliver a slightly iridescent finish, adding a gorgeous luminosity to the skin that we couldn’t get enough of. The deeply hydrating formula glides on, leaving the skin feeling quite dewy.

While the formula is certainly buildable, we found it offered enough coverage from one coat and loved the glowy, healthy-looking finish it gave. A true multi-tasker, the skincare make-up hybrid works equally well mixed with foundation and dabbed sparingly as a highlighter too.

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Erborian super BB cream

Erborian super BB cream indybest.jpg
  • Best: For a matte effect
  • Size: 40ml
  • Shades: 5
  • SPF: 20
  • Skin type: All

This newly launched BB cream serves up the natural look of a tinted moisturiser, with added SPF20. Ingredients include skin balancing niacinamide and moisturising ginseng. There are five shades available, and the tube features cute, illustrated branding and a twist-off lid.

The formula hugs the skin with its silky soft texture, creating a smoothing all-over base. Our tester noticed a small amount of product provides enough medium coverage to even out blemishes, and the matte finish isn’t at all drying. Plus, this is a non-comedogenic option, meaning it won’t block pores if you’re concerned about breakouts.

  1. £41 from Spacenk.com
Prices may vary
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Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood flawless filter

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood flawless filter indybest.jpg
  • Best: For skin brightening
  • Size: 30ml
  • Shades: 11
  • SPF?: None
  • Skin type: All

A cult favourite on TikTok, Charlotte Tilbury’s flawless filter is best described as a glowy tinted moisturiser/primer hybrid. Available in 12 shades, it gives a gently illuminating effect that we found to be smoothing on our complexion. Its glossy consistency adds a noticeable dewiness, leaving skin feeling soft and plump. We found the formula to be easily buildable as well as versatile, and enjoyed it both on bare skin and mixed with our foundation.

We also liked adding it as a skin refresh when our make-up felt flat after hours of wear. If you’re going for a subtle tint, a small amount of product brings balancing brightness. The lightly floral scent and glam gold-topped 30ml bottle add extra appeal too.

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Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser oil free natural skin perfector

Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser oil free natural skin perfector indybest.jpg
  • Best: For shine control
  • Size: 50ml
  • Shades: 20
  • SPF?: 20
  • Skin type: All types

This generous 50ml tube houses an oil-free formula, which is especially useful if you’re wary of products which may slide off the skin or cause excess greasiness. We found the tinted moisturiser created a natural, demi-matte canvas, without being drying or settling into creases. In terms of coverage, it’s lightweight but buildable, which we appreciated.

Skincare benefits include SPF20 and vitamin E, while the formula itself feels soothing and breathable. We were seriously impressed with the longwear of this formula: it stayed put for hours on end without any mid-wear shine appearing. It’s available in 20 shades, too.

  1. £32 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Glossier perfecting skin tint

Glossier perfecting skin tint indybest.jpg
  • Best: For a natural finish
  • Size: 30ml
  • Shades: 12
  • SPF?: None
  • Skin type: All

Although technically a skin tint, this sheer formula has moisturising properties too. There are 12 shades available, each presented in the signature squeezy Glossier bottle. We found the formula to be a light colour wash that feels softening thanks to hydrating ingredients like glycerin.

It doesn’t cling to pores or settle in fine lines, and instead offers a gently balancing veil. A tiny amount spreads quite far over the face, and can be built up without any streakiness. The overall effect is one of a “no make-up” look, which is good if you opt for a subtle, easy-wearing base.

  1. £26 from Glossier.com
Prices may vary
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Chantecaille just skin tinted moisturiser SPF15

Chantecaille just skin tinted moisturiser SPF15 indybest.jpg
  • Best: Luxury buy
  • Size: 50g
  • Shades: 6
  • SPF?: 15
  • Skin type: All

This formula is available in seven shades with three undertones to choose from, called “balanced”, “soft rose” and “golden”. The SPF15 adds some protection, although we layered it with a separate SPF product without any issues. The midweight formula has a velvety texture that feels luxurious and offers a moisturising finish, with light coverage. It was also soothing on our face, which must have been down to its calming ingredients such as chamomile.

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Fenty Beauty eaze drop blurring skin tint

Fenty Beauty eaze drop blurring skin tint  indybest.jpg
  • Best: For buildable coverage
  • Size: 32ml
  • Shades: 25
  • SPF?: No
  • Skin type: All

This squeezy bottle has a hexagonal shape that will stand out in your make-up bag. There are 25 shades to shop in cool, warm, golden, neutral olive, bronze, and yellow undertones. We found the formula stretches across skin well without clinging to pores or creases, and layers seamlessly if you’re looking to build coverage.

A small amount goes a long way, and glides onto the face for quick and easy application. Our complexion felt gently evened out. Although it feels hydrating on skin, the tint doesn’t slip off.

  1. £27 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Milk Makeup sunshine skin tint broad spectrum SPF30

Milk Makeup sunshine skin tint broad spectrum SPF30 indybest.jpg
  • Best: For SPF protection
  • Size: 16ml
  • Shades: 14
  • SPF?: 30
  • Skin types: All

This tube features a unique push-up glass rollerball tip. We found this system quite messy, but it does make for speedy use and you can buy refill cartridges too. Available in 14 shades, the formula is vegan-friendly and offers medium coverage, creating a dewy softness on skin and smoothing over blemishes easily.

Moisturising ingredients include avocado and jojoba and you’ll also benefit from broad spectrum SPF30. We’re happy to report the UVA and UVB protection didn’t add any chalkiness either. The formula faded a bit throughout the day, but quick top-ups were easy with this applicator.

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Vita Liberata beauty blur

Vita Liberata beauty blur indybest.jpg
  • Best: For skin smoothing
  • Size: 30ml
  • Shades: 1
  • SPF?: None
  • Skin types: All

This face product from the self-tanning brand comes in a sleek tube with a wand applicator. The creamy tint slides onto skin and feels moisturising, thanks to nourishing ingredients like aloe and shea butter. There are four shades, and the smoothing blend preps the skin well as a base.

The finish is very natural, so if you’re looking for minimum coverage this would be ideal. We particularly enjoyed using this as a primer before layering with other complexion products, but it would look great on bare skin in the summer.

  1. £30 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Kevyn Aucoin stripped nude skin tint

Kevyn Aucoin stripped nude skin tint indybest.jpg
  • Best: For hydration
  • Size: 30ml
  • Shades: 10
  • SPF: None
  • Skin type: All

This lightweight tint instantly smooths the skin and feels ultra hydrating throughout the day, thanks to the inclusion of moisturising powerhouse hyaluronic acid. It delivers a sheer finish without any excess greasiness or shine. The formula feels comfortable to wear and doesn’t settle into fine lines or pores. We were still able to see our skin’s natural texture, but with a gentle layer of coverage balancing out any dryness and uneven tone.

  1. £36 from Spacenk.com
Prices may vary
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It Cosmetics your skin but better CC+ nude glow

nude glow.jpg
  • Best: For skincare ingredients
  • Size: 32ml
  • Shades: 22
  • SPF?: 40
  • Skin type: All

Although it’s technically a CC cream, we’d also use this hydrating It Cosmetics buy as a tinted moisturiser and love the smoothing skin effect created immediately after application. Skincare ingredients include hydration-promoting hyaluronic acid, balancing niacinamide and antioxidant green tea extract, and we’ve found the colour-correcting base helps even out any redness and because of that our tester adds it to the neck and décolleté too.

The glow created is radiant but natural, and the serum component makes our skin feel comforted. It feels moisturising all day long, so we’ve found that counteracts dullness as well. Plus, the broad spectrum buy includes SPF40.

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Mii Cosmetics skin secret cream tint SPF25

Mii Cosmetics skin secret cream tint SPF25.jpg
  • Best: vegan-friendly tinted moisturiser
  • Size: 30ml
  • Shades: 4
  • SPF?: 25
  • Skin type: All

This skin tint initially appears to have the same creamy white colour as a moisturiser, before cleverly adapting to suit your skin tone after application. The vegan-friendly product absorbs quickly, without any excess and creates an impressively lightweight, sheer layer. Because of that it doesn’t slide about and instead we saw a refreshing effect and very subtle, almost invisible, tint with a natural moisturising effect rather than an overt glow or dewiness.

Key ingredients include soothing vitamin E and white tea extract, so it’s ideal for sensitive skin. If you prefer a subtle finish which doesn’t look like make-up, this tinted moisturiser ticks that box.

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Tinted moisturisers FAQs

Is tinted moisturiser better than foundation?

Whether or not a tinted moisturiser can be considered better than a foundation depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. The most pronounced difference is the level of pigment in the product, which helps with colour correction and covering pimples and fine lines. While foundations will typically offer more coverage, tinted moisturisers deliver a more pared-back look and often provide more skincare benefits. So, if you are looking for a more natural, your skin but better finish, then a tinted moisturiser will make a great new addition to your make-up bag.

The verdict: Tinted moisturisers

Our best buy goes to Nars pure radiant tinted moisturiser, for offering smoothing coverage and healthy-looking radiance while being long-wearing too. Meanwhile, Fenty Beauty eaze drop blurring skin tint has an inclusive shade range and it layers seamlessly. Finally, for a hydrating dewy glow, we liked Huda Beauty’s glowish multidew skin tint.

Hydrate and soothe irritable complexions with the best moisturisers for sensitive skin

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