Tinted moisturizers, BB creams, CC creams… Call them what you like, but they're (typically) pretty interchangeable in terms of formula and are a great product alternative if you're A) looking to give your skin a break from heavier foundations at the moment or B) just happen to prefer lighter, skincare-enhanced formulas. Another perk? The drugstore is secretly overflowing with top-rated formulas that perform just as (or sometimes better!) than some of the pricey, wider-known formulas.
We're all about getting the most bang for your buck without having to sacrifice the finish, durability, or end result of our makeup application. So we took to beauty retailers like Amazon and Ulta, which feature a wide range of both high-end makeup brands and more affordable drugstore labels. Then, we searched for the top-rated, drugstore-priced tinted moisturizer formulas that had similar (if not nearly identical) ingredient recipes as more expensive names. Spoiler: We found quite a few! Below, we're sharing nine of the best drugstore tinted moisturizers to try if you're looking for an expensive-looking finish sans sticker shock. Keep scrolling!
I'll be the first to admit that Laura Mercier is one of my favorite prestige beauty brands, and it also happens to make the most iconic tinted moisturizers in the industry. That said, its matte, oil-free version comes up short compared to Covergirl's drugstore formula on Ulta's website. It boasts a new clean formula, applies and dries to a flattering matte finish, and is $36 less expensive.
If You Love: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer
Despite the fact that both of these tinted moisturizers have great ingredients (like ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid), ColourPop's lesser-known-but-still-fabulous alternative is $14 cheaper and has a 4.4-star average rating on Ulta's website compared to First Aid Beauty's 3.7.
If You Love: Origins Ginzing Energy-Boosting Tinted Moisturizer
If you opt for Burt's Bees fan-favorite drugstore tinted moisturizer instead of Origins' iconic zingy formula, you'll still nab a clean, nontoxic formula, a boost of glow, and lots of antioxidants, but you'll walk away with $27 more dollars in your pocket.
Both of these serum-like tinted moisturizers offer glow-inducing ingredients for a lightweight dewy finish. But if you surf through the reviews and ratings on Amazon, you'll see that the former actually wins out with a higher ratio of five-star ratings and a significantly smaller price tag.
So there are a few differences between these two tinted moisturizers. Nyx's drugstore formula isn't as clean as Juice Beauty's, and it also lacks SPF and the brand's plant stem cell technology. That said, it's vegan, PETA-certified, noncomedogenic, boosted with aloe and cucumber extracts, less expensive, and absolutely teeming with glowing reviews. Plus, it promises an impressive eight hours of hydration and lightweight coverage.
If You Love: Honesty Beauty Clean Corrective Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer
I've been super vocal about how amazing the formulas from Physicians Formula are and how certain staples (like this foundation!) look, feel, and apply like formulas 10 times their price. This drugstore tinted moisturizer from the brand is no different! It has tons of reviews on Amazon and still manages to maintain a solid four-star rating. And similar to Honest Beauty's formula, it's chock-full of clean ingredients (think organic jojoba, sunflower seed, and avocado oils) in addition to a helpful dose of SPF. Honest Beauty's formula also racks in four stars, but it has significantly fewer reviews. (And it's a lot more expensive.)
The main selling point of both of these tinted moisturizers is their stellar anti-aging properties. Both are highly rated (though Neutrogena's actually has more ratings on Amazon, which bumps up its street cred).However, Neutrogena's drugstore-priced formula is especially cool thanks to the fact that it contains holy-grail ingredient retinol alongside SPF, vitamins, and other antioxidants. In other words, it's a powerhouse tinted moisturizer if you have fine lines or wrinkles.
If You Love: Derma E's Tinted Moisturizing BB Cream
This multitasking tinted moisturizer–BB cream hybrid from drugstore-loved brand Maybelline truly does it all. It blurs imperfections, evens out skin tone, brightens, smooths, hydrates, protects with SPF 30, and won't clog pores thanks to the oil-free, noncomedogenic formula. Derma-E's formula touts many of the same benefits, but it will cost you an extra $11 and the reviews aren't quite as stellar.
Fun fact: Garnier actually makes two different versions of this drugstore tinted moisture—this one, which is geared toward oily or combination skin types and another specifically targeted for anti-aging. Both have nearly 2000 reviews on Ulta and solid 3.8-star average ratings. Edging out Lancôme's comparable formula ratings-wise, Garnier's helps cover up any imperfections you're looking to camouflage; delivers oil-free, long-lasting moisture; and has a helpful dose of skin-protecting SPF.