With the temperatures rising, the contents of our make-up bags are undeniably shifting – and a good tinted moisturiser has become the cornerstone of every summer kit.
As we look ahead to a diary of long-awaited reunions, events and holidays, a full face of foundation feels stifling – there is little place for heavy formulas or complex techniques in our newly reduced make-up routines. What’s more, as the lines between skincare and make-up continue to blur, everything on our shrinking shelves must offer multi-faceted benefits: now, a foundation that offers little more than a mask seems old fashioned.
This shift in thinking has opened the floor to a new school of tinted moisturisers: hybrid products that offer pollution shields, sun protection and skin-conditioning benefits alongside a veil of unifying, brightening coverage – not to mention, crucially, skin that still looks like skin.
Here, see the Bazaar team's top tinted moisturisers for a lighter look – and a lighter make-up bag.
The best tinted moisturiser for all skin types and tones
A cult classic, Nars' tinted moisturiser is now available in a wider range of shades. It boasts SPF30 alongside protective antioxidants, and provides significant coverage without caking. An all-round winner.
Victoria Beckham's stellar cell-boosting moisturiser now comes in a tinted version, and it delivers the most beautifully radiant finish. The suits-all bronze pigment is glowy, rather than glittery, so you're left with a unified and luminous complexion.
Even better, Augustinus Bader's revolutionary cell-rejuvenating complex means your skin will look better the more you wear it.
There are several reasons why people rave about this cult hero. Firstly, there's the coverage: high enough to convert even the most loyal foundation users, yet never dry or cakey. Then, there's the wide-reaching shade range. And finally, proper broad-spectrum SPF50 protection: leagues ahead of the token factor usually found in make-up.
Ciaté may be a brand with glitter in its DNA, but it knows exactly what women want to wear right now. The recent addition to its excellent Dewy collection, this skin tint delivers significant coverage (more than most tinted moisturisers) alongside deep hydration and a sublime glow that truly lasts all day. Consider it 'glass' skin in a tube.
One of many brilliant base products from Beauty Pie, this tinted moisturiser is designed with oily and breakout-prone complexions in mind, and hydrates without feeling heavy.
It's sheer enough to keep freckles on show, yet radiant enough to disguise dark circles: the perfect balance.
The cream appears white at first pump, but transforms on application as the encapsulated pigments burst, creating bright, dewy coverage that never settles into fine lines or pores.
This water-based formula is loaded with glycerin to deliver the most dewy, mega-hydrated finish. It's ideal for those no make-up days, and comes with a pleasingly small price tag, too. The pigment will warm your complexion, but coverage is minimal, so pair it with a good concealer.
A recent discovery on the Bazaar beauty team, this brilliant tinted moisturiser is definitely one for those who like a dewy, light-reflecting finish. Feeling more like a moisturiser than make-up, the rich cream melts into skin and leaves behind minimal colour and maximum glow.
A truly luxe option, Chantecaille's tinted moisturiser is boosted with plant-derived antioxidants and moisture-grabbing humectants to keep skin feeling supple all day long. The coverage is just heavy enough to mask redness and dark circles: simply call on a concealer to cover any blemishes, and you'll have mastered that coveted 'no make-up' look.
Shiseido's skin tint is translucent yet satiny, so ideal for anyone who wants light coverage without adding extra shine. The texture is light and almost gel-like, so you'll likely want to layer it over a regular moisturiser. but the even, unified result truly lasts for hours.
Not just for sensitive skin, this one is an all-round winner. The lightweight gel-cream boosts hydration without calling on oils (ideal for the easily congested), while the 20-strong shade range fully hits the mark. There's even SPF30 to keep you protected during the day.
New launches might be arriving at an increasing speed, but this long-loved classic remains one of the best.
Loved for years (and recently repackaged) Laura Mercier's oil-free tinted moisturiser will control shine and oil production while unifying the skin and boosting radiance. It's an effortless, one-and-done choice for easy make-up days.
This is the most luminous and lightweight product in Dolce & Gabbana's complexion portfolio, and it's definitely one to try. The coverage is moderate, and the radiant finish makes skin look bright and glowing. It even contains SPF 30.
If you're after that dewy, just-had-a-facial effect, nothing comes closer than this under-the-radar gem. The balmy formula feels instantly refreshing on skin, but delivers light coverage that'll disguise imperfections and skim over dark circles with ease. Don't rest on the SPF15 (you'll still need a higher-factor facial sunscreen beneath), but when it comes to a glowing finish, this one wins.
Embodying the Glossier philosophy, this light-as-water skin perfector delivers 'you, but better' skin in seconds. Coverage is, of course, minimal, but if you're after hydration as well as a visible glow boost, look no further.