Primers, face mists, pore strips, lip scrubs, tinted moisturizers—all "controversial" beauty products labeled (by some) as the most despisable or undeserving of your hard-earned paychecks. Some beauty editors, skin experts, and makeup artists flaunt their obsession for the formulas I've listed above, and some practically condemn them as ineffective industry propaganda. In retrospect, this just proves that everyone is different, everyone likes different things, and you should really just try and buy any beauty product you dang well please.
In a previous life—a life I'll dub BTM, before tinted moisturizer—I stubbornly maintained I just wasn't a fan of tinted moisturizers. They pilled, they didn't match my skin, and they never provided me with the pretty wash of lightweight subtle coverage they promised. Eventually, after some peer pressure from a friend and fellow beauty editor, I tried a new formula I was convinced I'd hate but, miraculously, became head-over-heels obsessed with. Turns out, as with literally any product in our saturated beauty universe, it requires some elbow grease to find your perfect formula. Even if the first (or fifth) option might be a fail, it doesn't mean there isn't a glowing new find to be discovered just around the river bend.
Of course, if at all possible, we want to reduce the number of products you have to wade through to reach that destination, so we turned to three of the industry's top makeup artists to share all the best tinted moisturizers they use on themselves or their A-list clientele. Another perk? Tinted moisturizers are one of the best coverage options for those with mature skin. The way tinted moisturizers are formulated makes them less likely to settle into wrinkles or fine lines; they often impart dewy, plumped-up results, and many feature youth-enhancing skin goodies that mature skin will gladly lap up.
If you seek higher coverage, a more traditional foundation or an all-encompassing CC cream might be a better choice, but if you have mature skin that doesn't need heavy amounts of coverage, makeup artists say tinted moisturizers are definitely the best strategy for keeping skin fresh, even, and as revitalized as possible. Keep scrolling for nine of the best tinted moisturizers for mature skin, according to makeup artists.
Overall Best: Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
Celebrity makeup artist Lisa Aharon lists this best-selling tinted moisturizer as one of her all-time favorites for mature skin. "All of my favorite tinted moisturizers have a smooth finish, variable coverage, and SPF protection. They also have skincare benefits like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, which are my favorite for promoting skin-plumping hydration and brightness."
It's true—this lovely formula from Chantecaille is brimming with goods and features nontoxic minerals and botanical compounds designed to fend off free radicals, smog, and the sun. (All of which can lead to visible, premature signs of aging!)
Customer review: "Much more than a tinted moisturizer! It's a whip creamy texture providing dreamy coverage, healthy nutrients, and a youthful glow. This item goes on flawlessly and endures the day effortlessly! I set it with just a kiss of loose powder, and it's game on! Love the look, and people always give compliments on what great skin I have! Sign on for this item as it's a winner!"
Enhance it with: Chantecaille Radiance Elixir
Customer review: "I tried this serum as a sample since I like gel-like finishes. It gave me an amazing result. When you first apply it, you don't see it much through the makeup, but after some time, the healthy, radiant glow starts to be visible. I don't know how it works, but for me, it works wonders."
2. Ilia Beauty Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation
Editors and makeup artists have gone completely gaga for Ilia's newest holy-grail formula. It's one that Aharon prioritizes for mature skin thanks to its flawless finish, but for extra insurance, she recommends enhancing your tinted moisturizer application with a few other key product players.
"Most often, I'll combine a tinted moisturizer with a concealer since there are often spots on the skin that require a little more coverage, like around the nose and under the eyes," Aharon tells us.
Customer review: "[I] absolutely love this serum on my skin! It is super light, very dewy, and makes my skin glow but provides coverage with added SPF. The scent doesn't bother me as it disappears quickly. If you don't want to look overly dewy, just add some translucent powder for the perfect finish without looking overdone. Highly recommend [it] for easy throw-and-go makeup routines."
Enhance it with: Ilia True Skin Serum Concealer
Customer review: "I have never had such an easy experience doing my makeup than I did with this concealer. The application was so smooth. It blends effortlessly, and it isn't heavy on your face whatsoever. I paired this with their Skin Tint, and I didn't have to constantly double back to correct any mishaps. It was the quickest I've ever gotten ready and the best I've looked in a very long time. Extremely happy with this product."
3. Beautycounter Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage
For those who love the look of dewy, plump, and youthful skin, this hydrating sheer formula is another top recommendation from Aharon. Here are a few of her favorite tinted moisturizer application tips:
"Whether you're using your fingertips, a Beautyblender ($20), a sponge, or a brush, be gentle with your skin and minimize pulling. Also, makeup can tend to settle into fine lines throughout the day no matter what you use, but a light powder can help to prevent this!" (Aharon notes adding a primer to your routine might also prove helpful.)
Customer review: "It's four products in one! I wear it every day, and it gives my skin that dewy finish and youthfulness with a tad of color AND provides me with the sunscreen protection I need. It also lasts a long time, like all Beautycounter products. You don't need much to do the trick!"
Enhance it with: Beautycounter Mattifying Powder
Customer review: "I love the Mattifying Powder! It does exactly what it is supposed to do. It sets my makeup and reduces shine but doesn't settle in wrinkles and emphasizes them. It also doesn't change the color of my makeup, and is very light and natural. Great product!"
4. Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
"I love tinted moisturizers for mature skin," notes celebrity makeup artist Tasha Reiko Brown. "While still lending a bit of natural coverage, a tinted moisturizer will also add a lovely layer of hydration which mature, often dry, skin needs. The result is clean, plump, glowing skin with a satin finish, and this kind of product really floats over the skin, so it's less likely to settle into fine lines."
Brown names this formula from Bobbi Brown as one of the absolute best for mature skin, sharing that it has enough pigment to help even out the complexion while also adding loads of skin-plumping moisture. She suggests topping it off with the addition of a creamy blush. "The two creamy products really melt together on the face beautifully—work a cream blush into the cheeks on top of tinted moisturizer to provide a believable boost to your skin's natural flush."
Customer review: "I do not use makeup daily. I also have very dry skin. This product offers just the right amount of coverage, making my skin look even and nourished. It is very sheer and light but does a great job with the redness. I love the fact that I forgot I had it on!"
Enhance it with: Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks
Customer review: "Switched from powder to cream blush as my post-menopausal skin is very dry. This blush in Pale Pink gives my fair, cool skin a luminous, natural-looking glow. Easy to apply and build coverage without the fear of looking clownish. Looks great on my lips (on top of lip balm) too!"
5. Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
"This tinted moisturizer from Nars is also a favorite of mine for mature skin," says Brown. She reveals it's a great option for providing a sheer veil of coverage in very specific undertones for a flawless, true-to-skin-tone match. Plus, it has a high SPF of 30 for extra sun protection without a greasy texture.
"Applying with clean hands is best for tinted moisturizers," says Brown. "I suggest using fingers and really massaging the product on like a true moisturizer—the heat from your fingers will melt it into the skin. Massage and press into the face with quick, short strokes, starting in the center of the face and working outward. The center of the face tends to need more coverage, so starting there deposits a bit more product, and then you can gently feather it out."
If you're worried about too much shine, Brown says she always uses a translucent pressed powder compact with tinted moisturizers. The formula will help take the shine down a touch while allowing the skin to breathe and locking down the pigment for durable coverage. Opt for a beauty sponge or brush and just lightly tap your translucent powder on the T-zone to dull any skin glisten you don't want.
Customer review: "I wanted something lightweight for the summertime to give my skin an even finish but not something super heavy. This tinted moisturizer was absolutely perfect for that. It gives the perfect amount of coverage for the summer skin to still pull through. It also lasts! I have oily skin, and this lasts without leaving me a greasy mess at the end of the day. I love Nars products as it is, and this product did not disappoint."
Enhance it with: Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
Customer review: "This is an amazing powder. It provides a beautiful glow without glitter. It is a densely set product. I have found the best application device is a quality puff. I rub it on the compact, fold the puff in half and rub it together. Next, I roll the puff on my face. It sets my makeup all day without looking powdery or cakey. Since using it, my friends are asking about my skincare!"
6. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat All-in-One Glow
"I love tinted moisturizers for mature skin, especially this formula from YSL," confirms celebrity makeup artist Autumn Moultrie. "It has sunscreen and is so lightweight yet provides coverage." If you're a fan of the brand's ultra-famous brightening pen (see below), you'll surely fawn over this complete complexion pick.
Customer review: "This product is amazing. If you're looking for something natural looking with coverage that doesn't feel heavy or greasy, this is the product. It feels and looks great on the skin. It doesn't come off when you wipe your hand on your face and has a dewy look on top of it all. Fantastic all the way around."
Enhance it with: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen
Customer review: "This is such an underrated product. I got a free sample of this product years ago and have been purchasing the full-size ever since. I have dark circles under my eyes that are hereditary, and this really brightens them up/makes them less noticeable. It also doesn't clog my pores which I appreciate."
7. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30
FYI: This tinted moisturizer just might be the most iconic OG formula in the bunch. Moultrie cites it as another favorite, which is no surprise considering it maintains a solid four-star rating on Sephora's website with more than 1000 reviews! It also promises 24 hours of durable skin hydration, which is paramount come summer. (For the dreamiest glowing finish, I recommend pre-gaming your face with the brand's equally iconic illuminating primer, which is linked below.)
Customer review: "As somebody who doesn't really like the feel of makeup but still wants a little bit of coverage, this is amazing. I've been using it for the past few months, and I don't think I'll ever switch to another tinted moisturizer. Love the way it makes my skin look and feel."
Enhance it with: Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer
Customer review: "I love this primer. It's very glowing and provides that nice tacky base layer you want for a primer. I use a more natural/semi-matte foundation on top, and it gives me the most perfect balance of glory but not oily throughout the day. Definitely recommend."
8. Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation
If you're on the hunt for a great tinted moisturizer on the super-clean side of the product spectrum, Moultrie says this top-rated formula from Kosas is another one she routinely recommends for mature skin. It plays host to beautiful ingredients like oils from jojoba, avocado, and raspberry seed and also feels featherlight and satiny on top of your face. As an added bonus, it has a 16-shade color range, which the brand says can be worn across 48 different skin tones.
Since this tinted moisturizer yields a more mattified and satin-smooth finish, boost your glow (if you're into that kind of thing) with the brand's new baked bronzer. It's the ultimate PIC.
Customer review: "It has a matte/natural finish. But I wouldn't call it matte, and it's definitely not shiny! It's perfect. It looks like your skin. I wear it day or night, and when going to the gym. It doesn't fade or get blotchy. I love it and will buy it again."
Enhance it with: The Sun Show Glowy Warmth Talc-Free Baked Bronzer
Customer review: "I had the older version of this bronzer for a year before I used it, and when I did I fell in love. Unfortunately, I'm one of those makeup hoarders who never gets through anything but I use this bronzer every time I put on makeup. The new formula is just as great with more shade options. 200% recommend!"
9. L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation With SPF 50
Technically, this affordable option isn't a tinted moisturizer, but thanks to the luminous, veil-like consistency, Moultrie loops it into the same product family. She also shares that it's impeccably lightweight, boasts skin-blurring perks, and as with all of her other favorite tinted moisturizers, she typically will apply with her fingers after adding a hydrating base of moisturizers and serums. She doubles up the two formulas below from IS Clinical right before she goes in with her tinted moisturizer of choice.
Customer review: "The L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation with SPF 50, Ivory is my perfect go to foundation. This wonderful formulation blends flawlessly for daytime wear or an evening out. It has a slight sheen/dewy look which gives the skin a youthful and vibrant appearance."
Enhance it with: IS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum & IS Clinical Reparative Moisture Emulsion
Customer review: "Loved this! I bought the small size to try it out and will be repurchasing in the bigger size. I love it! Hydrating, plumping, makes makeup go on smooth."
Customer review: "I love the IS Clinical line. It’s really effective, and I can always see a difference with the consistent use of the treatment products. I purchased this cream because I’m 36 years old with combination-oily skin and needed an anti-aging cream. This moisturizer is lightweight yet gives effective hydration. Helps to smooth fine lines over time as well. It’s definitely my favorite hydrator during warm weather/summer heat."
10. Saie Slip Tint Dewy Tinted Moisturizer SPF 35 Sunscreen
Lightweight and packed with hydrating ingredients, this tinted moisturizer is like a drink of water for your skin. Plus, it has sunscreen and gives your skin a radiant glow.
Customer review: "It tints, moisturizes, protects from sun, gives skin a healthy look. What more can you ask for? It is smooth and lightweight. I forget it's even there half the time! It stays on, too. It’s not full coverage but is sheer and delivers a healthy glow. A must-have in your routine."
Enhance it with: Saie Dew Blush Liquid Cheek Blush
Customer review: "I'm obsessed with this blush. There are a lot of blushes that I love, but I think this one is my favorite. I love the color. I love the application. I love the way I can build with it. It goes on so easily and is super easy to blend and add more on. It has a great texture and a beautiful natural look."
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.
Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.