beauty

Just 7 brilliant tinted moisturisers to try if foundation feels like a lot right now.

Update May 7, 2020:

Right now, applying and wearing a full face of foundation feels like… a lot.

Especially considering many of us haven’t been wearing much makeup at all over the last however months in isolation. Maybe a lick of mascara for a video call. A tinted lip balm, perhaps. But foundation? Nope.

As we slowly and safely move towards returning to work and going outside (in a socially distanced way, of course), the idea of putting on makeup feels a bit spesh. Only, when I went out the other day to work from the office, wearing foundation didn’t appeal to me at all. I’ve gotten used to seeing my face without it, so I turned to a trusty tinted moisturiser for just a hint of glow and coverage.

If you’re feeling the same and are looking for excellent tinted moisturiser and BB cream products to suit all budgets, you’ve found it.

Below, I’ve resurfaced my road test of the best tinted moisturisers out there so you can decide for yourself. Funnily enough, the opening sentence is as relevant now as it was when I wrote it before coronavirus changed everything. Enjoy!

Watch the video below for a makeup artist’s tips for covering dark circles, post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia

Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series is your weekly review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellness. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice. This week, Senior Lifestyle Writer Amy Clark tried seven tinted moisturisers and BB creams.

Maybe it’s just me, but I cannot be effed wearing foundation.

I’ve gone on record and recommended lots of great foundations in the past, but it was winter then. It’s summer now, and I sweat far too much to justify the effort of applying and maintaining a lovely foundation base.

Tinted moisturiser and BB cream, I can get around.

I know you might think they aren’t up to the task of providing the coverage you feel you need, but they’ve grown up. Now, the humble tinted moisturiser and her overachieving cousin, the BB cream, provide some or all of the coverage of a sheer foundation in a lightweight formula you can apply with your eyes closed. (Or, in front of a fan using a small compact mirror.)

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But with so many different products at Mecca, Priceline, Chemist Warehouse and the like, how are you meant to know which is the best BB cream or tinted moisturiser?

From the cult NARS and Laura Mercier tinted moisturisers to a brand new BB gel from Clinique, I road tested seven tinted moisturisers and BB creams over seven days to find out.

Below, you’ll find pictures of each product, as well as what they look like on my face on their own and with the rest of my makeup. All were applied with my fingers (literally, rub a pea-sized amount between your palms and go to town) and were worn over the top of an SPF50+ sunscreen.

1. Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, $49.

Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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What the brand says:

"This weightless gel-cream combines hydrating vegan skincare with broad spectrum SPF 30 and complexion perfecting coverage."

What I thought:

This is the perfect example of a brilliant tinted moisturiser with added SPF that does exactly what it promises.

It’s a lightweight gel that feels more like a base product than a sunscreen - the texture is thin and is easy to rub in. The coverage is sheer, but the finish leaves a flattering, smoothing luminosity. It's also not the cheapest product, but not the most expensive either. Basically, what everyone says about this guy is true.

2. Bourjois Healthy Mix BB Cream, $25.

Bourjois Healthy Mix BB Cream
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Bourjois Healthy Mix BB Cream
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Bourjois Healthy Mix BB Cream
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Bourjois Healthy Mix BB Cream
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

What the brand says:

"This product is hydrating like skincare and covering like a foundation for a natural and fresh complexion."

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What I thought:

This product is what happens when a tinted moisturiser and a foundation make a baby.

The slightly thicker formula offers coverage and evens out your skin tone with a juicy finish, but it only comes in three shades which is crap. Be warned, it has the texture and coverage of a foundation so you need less than you think. I'd even go as far as saying it’s a dupe for the $69 NARS tinted moisturiser (which we'll get to a bit later).

3. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector, $72.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

What the brand says:

"Even out and perfect your skin with this hydrating tinted moisturiser that offers lightweight, dewy coverage."

What I thought:

This is the new and improved version of the cult Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser. At $79, it's bloody pricey but again, it's a premium product that delivers.

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If you’re tossing up between this and Bareminerals, this one feels more like a really hydrating, sheer foundation. The finish is just as luminous, but for me, the Laura Mercier product looks more like ‘skin’.

4. BALI BODY BB Cream SPF15, $29.95.

BALI BODY BB Cream SPF15
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
BALI BODY BB Cream SPF15
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
BALI BODY BB Cream SPF15
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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BALI BODY BB Cream SPF15
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

What the brand says:

"A multitasking beauty cream that combines hydrating skincare benefits to protect, correct and perfect the skin, offering natural coverage while giving a healthy dewy glow."

What I thought:

Out of all the products I tested, this is the one I’d wear while exercising (lol), going to meet a friend for coffee or to work when I know I’ll be at my desk all day.

It applies like a thickish sunscreen WITH a wash of colour, and offers very little coverage but lots of glow. People with dry skin or those who prefer a dewy look will love this product. But you should know, even though it feels sunscreeny, there’s actually not much spf in this product, so always wear it over the top of an SPF 50+.

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5. Clinique Dramatically Different™ Moisturizing BB-gel, $29.

Clinique Dramatically Different™ Moisturizing BB-gel
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Clinique Dramatically Different™ Moisturizing BB-gel
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Clinique Dramatically Different™ Moisturizing BB-gel
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Clinique Dramatically Different™ Moisturizing BB-gel
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

What the brand says:

"This BB-gel with Transforming Tint Release Technology™ delivers 8-hour oil-free hydration and a sheer wash of colour that first appears as a grey hue, then transforms to naturally perfect and unify skin tone."

What I thought:

This product is brand new and I’ve honestly not tried anything like it before!

The outside of the packaging is skin-coloured camo but the actual gel is… grey. It changes colour and ‘adapts’ to your skin tone as you rub it in. It gave my fair skin a slightly orangey tint that settled when it dried down. It also has shimmer! That said, the formula is very thin and I found it took ages to rub in and didn't offer much coverage. I’m also interested to hear from a PoC (person of colour) on how it went for their skin tone.

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6. MECCA MAX Off Duty BB Cream With SPF 15, $20.

MECCA MAX Off Duty BB Cream With SPF 15
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
MECCA MAX Off Duty BB Cream With SPF 15
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
MECCA MAX Off Duty BB Cream With SPF 15
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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MECCA MAX Off Duty BB Cream With SPF 15
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

What the brand says:

"A BB cream with light-medium coverage that applies like a second skin for effortless complexion perfection."

What I thought:

This is very similar to the Bourjois product - does what it says it will at an affordable price. The texture is thicker, the coverage decent and the finish luminous.

It's easy to use, but it only comes in five shades. However, I loved how this product made my face look and the staying power was brilliant.

7. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, $69.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

What the brand says:

"An award-winning tinted moisturiser that hydrates and brightens skin, offering sheer-to-medium coverage and a radiant finish."

What I thought:

I’ll confess, I’ve used this product for years and only stopped after cutting off the top of the tube and scraping out every last drop.

It makes your face look like you’re wearing the loveliest ‘your skin, but better’ foundation while still feeling like a hydrating tinted moisturiser on. It’s what I wear when I need to look done, but not done up.

The final verdict...

Honestly, I loved all of these tinted moistursers and BB creams. But seeing as you're forcing me to choose favourites, they'd be:

This post was originally published in January, 2020. Feature image: Supplied/@theamyclark.

Do you have any favourite tinted moisturiser or BB cream products? Tell us your recommendations in the comments below!

You can catch up on more from our Tried and Tested series here:

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