The Best Tinted Moisturizers for a Natural, Fresh-Faced Glow

Tinted moisturizers are ideal for achieving that no-makeup makeup look.

The Best Tinted Moisturizers for a Natural, Fresh-Faced Glow
Tinted moisturizer is the perfect base. Annie Sheehan for Observer

While there’s a time and a place for a full-coverage foundation as well as the sheerest of concealers, it’s also important to have a middle ground, especially now that the weather is heating up. As temperatures start to rise, you’re going to want to switch up your makeup routine and reach for more lightweight products, because no one wants to have a thick layer of foundation melting off their face by 12 pm. Tinted moisturizers are the perfect solution, as they give a more natural, weightless glow, and are particularly appreciated by those of us that find foundation a bit too cakey and heavy.

Tinted moisturizers are ideal for those days when you still want some coverage, but can’t be bothered to slap on a full face of makeup. Personally, I typically always reach for a tinted moisturizer over a foundation, especially since I have sensitive, reactive skin that doesn’t do too well under layers of product. Aside from covering up blemishes, tinted moisturizers also hydrate, so you can achieve a natural, healthy glow, all while subtly covering up any imperfections.

Subscribe to Observer’s Lifestyle Newsletter

There are also plenty of different tinted moisturizer formulas out there, whether you’re looking for a sheer, barely-there dash of color or if you prefer a higher coverage option. And since tinted moisturizers combine the best of skincare and makeup, you can find one that is tailored to your specific skin concerns.

Spring and summer are all about that fresh, natural, no-makeup makeup look, so even if you’re a diehard foundation lover, consider swapping out your usual formula for a lighter, fresher product this time of year. Below, see the best tinted moisturizers to try now.

  • Saie.

    Saie Slip Tint Tinted Moisturizer

    Saie’s cult-favorite Slip Tint is one of those products that actually is worth the hype. It’s particularly suited to those with dryer skin since it includes powerhouse hydration ingredients like hyaluronic acid. If you’re into matte, stay away, because this gives a serious glow, for the ultimate glazed donut vibe. It also has 100 percent mineral SPF 35, which is a major plus for those that prefer to avoid chemical sunscreens.

    $35, Shop Now
  • Ilia.

    Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

    I could write a short novel about my love for the Ilia Skin Tint, but I’ll refrain and just let you know that it’s my go-to for dewy, light coverage any time of the year, and it’s also the first item I put in my toiletry bag when packing for trips. It’s like a tinted highlighter in a bottle, and leaves you with the most angelic glow. As an added bonus, it also has SPF 40.

    $48, Shop Now
  • EltaMD.

    EltaMD UV Glow Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 36

    This is technically a tinted sunscreen, but it’s so hydrating that if you’re on the oiler side, I’d recommend skipping the moisturizer and just using this glowy, 100 percent mineral SPF. It’s packed with niacinamide, mineral mica and hyaluronic acid, which work together to hydrate, brighten and illuminate your skin.

    $40.50, Shop Now
  • It Cosmetics.

    It Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40

    Think of It Cosmetics’ new CC+ Nude Glow as a tinted moisturizer-light foundation-serum hybrid. The skincare-first formula includes niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and green tea extract, which hydrate and brighten, and it’s a much more lightweight formula than most CC or foundation products out there. And, of course, you know how much we love the inclusion of SPF 40.

    $42, Shop Now
  • Kosas.

    Kosas Tinted Face Oil

    There’s a lot of chatter around Kosas’ very well-received new foundation right now (which we very much agree with), but don’t forget about the brand’s unique tinted face oil. It has moisturizing, reparative and smoothing ingredients and is perfect when you want super sheer, lightweight coverage and a major glow.

    $42, Shop Now
  • Chantecaille.

    Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

    Chantecaille is one of my current absolute favorite beauty brands, and their weightless tinted moisturizer does not disappoint. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s also a fantastic and just plain luxurious product, which is what we all deserve right now! It’s a light coverage option that blends like a dream, plus it’s filled with antioxidants.

    $80, Shop Now
  • Rare Beauty.

    Rare Beauty Positive Light Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen

    For a barely-there dash of color, try Rare Beauty’s new tinted moisturizer, which also has SPF 20.

    $29, Shop Now
  • Tower 28.

    Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation

    Who doesn’t love a multitasking product? Tower 28’s tinted SunnyDays mineral sunscreen is a top choice for anyone with sensitive, reactive skin, and it’s even approved for those who deal with eczema. Even better, it comes in 14 shades, so there won’t be any pesky white cast that’s so common with mineral sunscreen products.

    $30, Shop Now
  • Smashbox.

    Smashbox Halo Healthy Glow All-In-One Tinted Moisturizer SPF 25

    A lot of tinted moisturizers promise they’re the key to getting glass skin, but Smashbox’s Halo Healthy will actually help you get there. It has sheer coverage with a luminescent finish, because as you can tell, dewy donut is where it’s at. It also contains rose extract, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and peptides that hydrate, plump and smooth, and since it’s also a primer, it’s perfect for days when you need your makeup to last, sans any caking or creasing.

    $39, Shop Now
  • Milk Makeup.

    Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30

    Those constantly on the go will surely gravitate towards Milk Makeup’s vegan skin tint, as not only does it leave you with a minimal layer of hydrating coverage, but the petite packing is perfect to just throw in your purse for touch-ups.

    $42, Shop Now
  • Glow
    Charlotte Tilbury.

    Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturizer

    For that elusive, just-got-back-from-vacation, bronzed beauty look, try Charlotte Tilbury’s glowy moisturizer. It’s definitely on the lower-coverage side, but if you’re trying to achieve a sun-kissed, day-at-the-beach aesthetic, it’s perfect.

    $42, Shop Now
  • Chanel.

    Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint

    Many of Chanel’s base products are pretty high coverage, but this gel-like tint is ideal for when you want a light-to-medium, barely-there option.

    $65, Shop Now
  • Cle de Peau.

    Clé de Peau Beauté UV Tinted Protective Cream Tinted SPF 50

    This cream is great for more mature skin, as along with velvety, medium-to-full coverage and SPF. It also has anti-aging ingredients.

    $85, Shop Now
  • Nars.

    Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

    This ultra-creamy tinted moisturizer has long had a dedicated following, and for good reason. It has SPF and is oil-free, which is great for acne-prone skin, but it’s also incredibly hydrating and has a nice blurring effect.

    $45, Shop Now
  • BareMinerals.

    BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Gel Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30

    This clean tinted moisturizer is another good sheer option for sensitive, oily or blemish-prone skin types, thanks to the ultra-lightweight gel-cream formulation. It has a nice dewy finish, promises major hydration thanks to hyaluronic acid, and has mineral-based sun protection.

    $34, Shop Now
  • Laura Mercier.

    Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

    The original Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer was my go-to for years; it was the only formula during my particularly acne-prone late teens that didn’t cause my skin to immediately revolt against me. They’ve reformulated the product since, but people continue to love the new version, which is still an oil-free SPF 20 with lightweight coverage.

    $48, Shop Now
The Best Tinted Moisturizers for a Natural, Fresh-Faced Glow