Let’s be real. Some days I don’t have the time to fuss with brushes and blending in and working with foundation. How I accomplish a quick and polished face in a hurry (which usually happens on a daily basis) is by using tinted moisturizer. With this wonderful invention you get a 2 for 1 deal- moisturize while adding color to your face and evening out skin tone.
Swatches left to right:
Physician's Formula, e.l.f, Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and hydrating primer
My journey to find a great tinted moisturizer began with Physician's Formula Organic wear 100% Natural Origin Tinted Moisturizer. It is priced at $11.95 and available in 4 shades. This product is watery so it instructs you to shake it up before using. This is my least favorite tinted moisturizer because I bought the darkest shade they offered, Natural to Tan, and it still wasn’t a perfect match. It totally gives me a white cast or mask-like appearance since it’s too light in color. Just a tad too ashy even after applying bronzer. With SPF 15 this offers the least sun protection compared to the other tinted moisturizers I will review. The thing that bothers me the most is the smell. I’m guessing that smell is the “Organic Fruit Water” that is added. The packaging is terrible because the tube leaks out product into the inside of the cap. It makes a mess! However, I’m sure this would be a great tinted moisturizer for those of you into natural and organic makeup products. It’s made with 80% certified organic products and is free of parabens; GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms); and synthetic preservatives, fragrances, and colors. The bottom line is it didn’t work for me but it may be different for you.
Swatches sheered out
The next tinted moisturizer I tried was e.l.f. Studio Tinted Moisturizer. I bought mine at Target for $3 (what a bargain!) and there are 7 shades to choose from. It has SPF 20 and is made with aloe, cucumber, and vitamins A, C, and E. I’m in the shade called Almond. I know the swatch looks dark in my picture but the consistency is thin so it sheers out and blends well into the skin. Plus I don’t mind looking a little darker and tan. I genuinely like this product because of the incredibly affordable price. My only complaint is, again, the smell because it distinctly smells like sunscreen lotion. Regardless, I was able to look passed it and continued to use it on a daily basis for the last few months.
Last but not least, my new favorite tinted moisturizer is... Drum roll, please... Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer in Caramel! With 10 different shades you can easily find a match to your skin tone. SPF 20 Laura Mercier offers three varieties in this tinted moisturizer line – the original tinted moisturizer, oil-free, and illuminating. I visited my local Sephora to shamelessly test the different shades and varieties to find the perfect tinted moisturizer. It usually costs $42 but I purchased it during Sephora Friends and Family Sale so I saved a little bit of money.
As you can see I’ve encountered watery tinted moisturizers providing the sheerest of sheer coverage. Granted, the tinted moisturizers I have tried are drug store brands and surely you get what you pay for. I have to say Laura Mercier is popular for a reason and her products are worth every penny. The first thing I noticed about this product was its velvety consistency. It absorbs quickly into the skin and it moisturizes rather than making me feel greasy. I can accomplish sheer coverage or use a little more for extra coverage. It makes it through my eight hour work day but I still need to blot my oily nose a few times during the day. The formula is very lightweight. In fact, I sometimes forget I’m wearing makeup!
The perfect companion to the tinted moisturizer is Laura Mercier’s Hydrating Foundation Primer (priced $30). Her line of primers offers four varieties- the original foundation primer, hydrating, mineral, and oil free. I chose the hydrating formula because I have normal to dry skin and figured I need all the moisture I can get during the cold, brash winter weather. The primer is a gel and it melts into the skin on contact. After application I wait a minute or so for it to dry and set before applying my face makeup. This particular primer helps keep the makeup I put over it stay matte and natural looking all day.
I have been using this tinted moisturizer and primer for more than two weeks. Here is my routine. First, I prime my face with the Hydrating Foundation Primer. Next take a pea-sized amount and dot tinted moisturizer around my face- I make dots on my cheeks, chin, and forehead - and smooth it out with my fingers. I then dust MAC Mineralize Natural Skin Finish all over my face to set and matte my face. Add bronzer and blush and I’m out the door! I kid you not, this takes me less than 5 minutes.
My favorite part about this product is gives me a natural, fresh face and it stays dewy all day. From my before and after pictures you can tell the tinted moisturizer gave me a healthy dose of color, evened out my skin, cancelled out redness, somewhat covered my faint under eye circles, and above all, removed shininess. I will definitely repurchase both primer and tinted moisturizer and I encourage you to try it for yourself. Do you use tinted moisturizer and what brands have you tried out there?