Beauty Guide

Tinted Moisturiser Guide: What It Is, How To Wear It & Our Top Picks

Our top tips for getting the most out of this wonder product

Tinted Moisturiser Guide: What It Is, How To Wear It & Our Top Picks

tinted moisturiser

Tinted moisturiser is one of our favourite hybrid skincare-makeup products. It has enough moisturising and skincare-focused ingredients to soften and hydrate, and is partnered with a sweeping kiss of colour to brighten, even and enhance.

You might use tinted moisturiser during brighter summer months, or you may have moved on entirely from foundation and taken this lighter-coverage alternative up full time, or perhaps new to it.

Here’s a guide on what it is, how best to apply it & our favourite picks.

What is Tinted Moisturiser

Tinted Moisturiser is as the name suggests, a two-part product. The moisturising component is mostly facial moisturiser, which works to hydrate our skin. Some tinted moisturisers keep it simple; others team the hydrating component with more complex skincare ingredients.

The ‘tint’ part refers to the use of pigments – also used in foundation – which apply colour to our skin. Tinted moisturisers use less pigment, or use softer pearlescent or light-diffusing pigments to blend into skin’s natural complexion.

What’s the Difference Between Tinted Moisturiser & BB Cream?

BB Cream is short for ‘beauty balm’ or ‘blemish balm’. BB Cream tends to be a all-in-one providing correction, hydration, sun protection and more. It’s made up of lots of beneficial skincare ingredients, but generally uses fuller coverage pigmentation than standard tinted moisturiser.

What’s the Difference Between Tinted Moisturiser & Foundation?

The biggest difference between foundation and tinted moisturiser is the level of coverage they offer. Tinted moisturiser focuses on hydration and provides a sweep of colour through the inclusion of softer pigments. Foundation is focused on coverage and essentially becomes a base for other products like concealer, blush and bronzer. 

Coverage in foundation is typically medium to full and although some brands are starting to include beneficial ingredients in foundations, the focus is less about skincare compared to tinted moisturisers.

Common Ingredients Found in Tinted Moisturisers

Apart from moisturiser and pigments, other ingredients now commonly found in tinted moisturizers include:

SPF15–30 – Many tinted moisturisers contain SPF 15 or 30 to help guard skin against sun damage. (For those of us in Australia, we’d still recommend following with an SPF 30-50) 

Facial Oils Oils used in skincare like Marula and Squalane are common additions. Oils lock in moisture and help to brighten our natural skin tone. 

Vitamins C + E – Vitamin C works to brighten and illuminate our skin tone and Vitamin E is a powerful damage-reserving anti-oxidant. 

Hyaluronic Acid – This superhero ingredient holds water up to 1000 times its own weight, and serves to keep your skin hydrated throughout your whole day.

Should I still use regular moisturiser under tinted moisturiser?

Tinted Moisturisers don’t replace non-pigmented moisturisers. The best way to achieve a natural glow from your tinted moisturiser is for your skin to fully absorb it, which a base moisturiser will help with. 

For those with oily or combination skin, look for facial moisturisers that don’t use oil – like Natural Moisturising Factors + HA from The Ordinary.

Should I use primer before or after tinted moisturiser?

Primers are used to create a layer between your skin and makeup, to increase your makeup’s wearability. Whilst it doesn’t hurt, primer isn’t really necessary for tinted moisturiser. As the base of tinted moisturiser is moisturiser, what really matters is having hydrated skin. Using a facial moisturiser before will ensure your skin is hydrated.

How to Apply Tinted Moisturiser

After cleansing and applying serums or facial oils, use a simple, non-oily facial moisturiser on your face and neck to ensure your skin is hydrated and ready for application. 

Although most tinted moisturisers contain SPF, we recommend applying an SPF50 after too. 


  1. Use your fingers to apply tinted moisturiser as the warmth helps it to blend into your skin.
  2. Drop a smaller-than-pea sized amount on the central points – cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. 
  3. Using two fingers, blend the product in. Start from the sides of your nose and move your fingers towards the top of your cheeks. Continue moving down your face, moving your fingers from the middle to the edge. 
  4. Make sure to apply it to your neck too.


For a natural glow go no further than skin prepping! Apply two-parts tinted moisturiser and one part facial moisturiser.

For medium coverage, apply a smallish drop on your cheek, forehead and nose, and blend into your skin and neck. 

For fuller coverage, build up your application amount or mix a little foundation with your tinted moisturiser. 


Concealers, bronzers and blushes all go on now. As a final step, apply a facial spray to help set your products and lock in moisture for the day ahead.

Best Tinted Moisturiser With SPF

Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream SPF 50

IT Cosmetics

A 5-in-1 superstar combining a foundation, concealer, anti-ageing serum, moisturiser and sunscreen all into one, in a petite pump bottle to take with you everywhere.



Tinted Moisturiser SPF50


Think of this as a great sunscreen with the added bonus of a tint. Leave it in your bag when travelling and throughout summer for reapplying throughout the day.



Best Tinted Moisturiser For Dry Skin

Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector

Laura Mercier

This lightweight tinted moisturiser combines glycerine and macadamia oil for 24 hour hydration whilst correcting skin tone and luminous coverage.


50 ml

Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint


If you’re more interested in a foundation–moisturiser combination, this is it. It’s deeply hydrating and provides full coverage.



Best Skincare-Focused Tinted Moisturisers

Protect and Perfect Tinted SPF 15


Available in one shade of tint. Other ingredients only include Argan oil, green tea and SPF15, making this superfood for your skin.


60 ml

Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream


A mineral based SPF 30 tinted moisturiser, coming in 20 shades and loved by all.



Best Drugstore Tinted Moisturisers

Fit Me Tinted Moisturizer


Our go-to for a quick and cheap solution to bright, hydrated skin. Includes Vitamin E and Glycerine.



Protective Tinted Moisturiser


A super affordable tinted moisturiser that nourishes and refreshes your skin whilst providing light coverage to even out our skintone.



Best Fuller-Coverage Tinted Moisturisers

Tinted Moisturiser Skin Balm


Skincare-heavy with ingredients like Vitamin C & E, this skin balm still provides medium coverage.



Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser


Infused with natural botanicals, mineral rich sea water and Kopara (an oil which encourages cell renewal). Using this will help your skin to be naturally brighter and healthier.



Have you tried any of these products?

Let us know if you have, or if you know of an amazing product we’ve missed!

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