The best tinted moisturisers suited to each skin type

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Ah, foundation… remember her? Don’t get us wrong, we still love a full face, but TBH our living room setup just doesn’t really call for it.

However, with all the Instagram filter testing we’re keeping busy with (and the fact that your boss could video call at any moment), it’s nice to have something a little more polished than completely bare skin to face the virtual world with. And so, it’s tinted moisturiser’s time to shine.

The base buy that kickstarted the ‘natural skin’ trend that BB and CC creams have since jumped onboard, they’re often confused with the others in their second-skin category – so let’s clear that up.

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What are the differences between CC and BB creams and tinted moisturisers?

CC actually stands for ‘colour correcting’, so these types of formulas are less about coverage, and more about correction – think of them as targeted treatments that work to reduce redness and even out discolouration, rather than ones that act as an actual base.

BB or ‘beauty balm’ creams, however, definitely play within base territory – they’re the closest you’ll get to an actual foundation formula within the ‘no-makeup makeup’ crew.  BB blends usually act as all-in-one style products, able to offer SPF, primer and creamy light to medium coverage in a single hit. They’re generally on the illuminating side of the spectrum, and they’re ideal for those days when you need to get up and go, as they prime, protect and perfect in one speedy streamline step.

But honestly, while we have absolutely nowhere to get up and go at the moment, we’ve been longing for something even lighter – and this is why true tints are taking out the top spot in our WFH routines right now.

So… what’s so great about tinted moisturisers?

Tinted moisturiser is, well, exactly what it sounds like. It’s a moisture-boosting hydrator that takes ‘natural’ a step further than BBs and CCs, designed to offer just enough tint to make you feel alive, without leaving skin feeling (or looking – in a good way) like you’re wearing anything at all.

The magic of tinted moisturisers is that just like classic colourless formulas, different ones are designed with different skin types in mind, to make sure your skin is getting a hit of complexion-concealing hydration that is tailored to its own concerns.

And so, because these formulas aren’t one-size-fits-all, we’ve rounded up our fave finds for every skin type – from brightness boosters to blemish busters, here are our top tints.


Best for dry skin: Clinique

Clinique Moisture Surge™ Sheertint Hydrator SPF25

If moisture and tint are all you’re after, it’s going to be hard to beat this hyaluronic acid-powered hydrator. With activated aloe water and dewy sheer tint packed into the mix, your face will look gloriously fresh and glowy all day.

Best for dull skin: DB Cosmetics

DB Cosmetics Sheer Radiance Tinted Gel Moisturiser

Skin looking a bit drab this week? We feel that. This moisturising tint is loaded with nourishing cocoa and shea butters, plus brightening vitamin C to kick skin’s cell growth and glow into gear real fast.

Best for ageing skin: Tarte

Tarte Maracuja Tinted Hydrator ($46, sephora.com.au)

If fine lines are frustrating you, this ultra-lightweight sheer tint is here to help. Infused with maracuja (a tone and texture evening superfruit) and collagen (which needs no introduction), plump, smooth skin is practically inevitable.

Best for sensitive skin: Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

When your skin sits on the sensitive side, it can be tempting to skip products altogether, but this super sheer wash of coverage contains the skin-soothing dream team of conditioning jojoba oil and calming vitamin E  to mask and reduce redness.

Best for acne-prone skin: Natio

Natio Acne Clear & Cover Tinted Daily Repair Oil Free Moisturiser

Same goes with acne-prone skin, right? Putting anything on can seem scary – but when coverage is called for, take solace in the fact that this tint is formulated with tamanu, corn starch aloe and chamomile, which all work together to balance bacteria, fight blemishes and ease irritation.

Best for oily skin: Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser Oil Free ($74, mecca.com.au)

We all know by now that the whole ‘moisturiser being bad for oily skin’ thing is a myth, so don’t be afraid to give this oil-free option a go. It delivers a dreamy demi-matte hint of tint, while limiting shine and balancing hydration.

Best for combination skin: jane iredale

jane iredale Dream Tint® Tinted Moisturizer

Coverage, no matter how light, can be tricky for anyone with a combination complexion. But, because nobody has the patience to apply different bases to different areas, try this lightweight hydrating tint – it blurs pores in oily areas while also plumping fine lines in dry ones.

Main image credit: @michmilla Do you use a tinted moisturiser? What’s your favourite formula?

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