Most of us aren’t covering the nightly news for a living, where the unforgiving lighting practically mandates foundation. For the rest of us, there’s a kinder, gentler way to even out skin tone and hide imperfections without potentially pore-clogging, wrinkle-revealing spackle: tinted moisturizers.
Unlike foundations, tinted moisturizers use a skin-care ingredient base—that is, you’re applying ingredients that actually help your skin. Moisturizer in your makeup is great for skin during the dry months of winter and it’s more breathable in summer.
Many tinted moisturizers contain active ingredients like acne-fighting salicylic acid, skin-calming botanicals, and radiance-boosting minerals. (It’s the absence of finely milled minerals, like mica, in traditional liquid foundations that cause you to look washed out, varnished over, and pancaked.) And you can still use your regular serum or moisturizer under a tinted moisturizer, and dot a concealer over it to hide dark circles, blemishes, or broken capillaries.
So unless your life is conducted in HD, a daily tinted moisturizer covers the bases (and your flaws) while giving your skin a bit more breathability and luminescence. Here are four favorites:
Vapour Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation Made from organic skin-nourishing plant oils and a handful of minerals, it goes on like a moisturizer and turns to a silky finish. It remarkably doesn’t make skin feel tight or dry. Comes in ten shades. $48, www.vapourbeauty.com
Nvey Eco Organic Moisturizing Liquid Foundation A foundation that gives skin a healthy and hydrated look isn’t easily accomplished, but this one, formulated with chamomile and organic calendula, pulls it off. It’s best applied with a brush. $45, www.econveybeauty.com
Suki Tinted Active Because it contains white willow bark (a natural form of salicylic acid) and retinol, this rose-scented moisturizer is also a treatment product for for breakout- or blackhead-prone skin. $45.95, www.sukiskincare.com
Jane Iredale Dream Tint For Cover Girls who want to make the switch to something more natural, this maximum-coverage moisturizer is for you. Dimethicone gives it an elegant (not grainy) feel. It’s best for oily to combination skin, and comes in five shades, two bronzer shades, and a primer. $36, www.dermstore.com —Melisse Gelula
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