The Best Foundations For People Who Don't Really Like Foundation

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skin tints


You know those days when you don't want to apply a full face of makeup but you still feel like your skin could use a little somethin' somethin'? Those are the days you need a skin tint. Or, perhaps you choose to forgo foundation altogether for something lighter, like a tinted moisturizer. If so, then you'll also love the sheer finish of tints.

These formulas give your complexion an even lighter wash of color that blurs the appearance of spots and lines while adding radiance. Plus, they are typically fortified with hydrating, skincare-worthy ingredients (sometimes even SPF). The tried-and-true skin tints below offer something for every skin type, texture preference, and tone imaginable.

skin tints

1 Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint ($26;

If there's one thing Glossier is known for, it's that coveted glowy skin look. One quick route to get it? The brand's skin tint. One of the brand's OG launches, it has since been updated and gotten a wider range of shade. They call it a "sheer skin enhancer" and the tint acts more like a veil than a full-on cover. It doesn't cover imperfections so much as wash them over, blurring and evening skin with hydrating glycerin and brightening diamond powder (ooh la la). Skin is left looking naturally radiant.


2 Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation ($60;

Devotees of the no-makeup makeup look will be happy to learn that Perricone MD has an entire collection devoted to the aesthetic. The foundation is a must-know, with SPF 30 and serious skin care bonafides. (Think plumping neuropeptides and daisy flower extract, which fights hyperpigmentation). This liquid formula gives instantly delivers a uniform tone while delivering active ingredients that improve skin the more you wear it.

Client | Chantecaille

Client | Chantecaille

3 Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer ($74;

Chantecaille's ultralight Just Skin is super-blendable and barely noticeable on the skin. But that's not to say it isn't doing anything. The lightweight tint gives skin a natural-looking boost, and SPF 15 and antioxidants from butterfly bush extract and thyme protect skin.

skin tints

4 Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Skin Tint ($39;

You know your favorite water cream? This skin tint feels just like that, except it also gives skin a wash of a sheer color. It's super easy to apply with your fingers and seamlessly blurs pores and evens skin tone. You may think of Philosophy more for deliciously scented body washes than makeup, but this product might just change your mind.


5 Kosas Tinted Face Oil ($42;

Many a skin care enthusiast swears by face oil for the intensive nourishing benefits. Clean makeup brand Kosas knows this well, and so they harnessed the power of the face oil and made it tinted. Avocado, jojoba, green tea seed, rosehip, red raspberry, and meadowfoam all serve different skin benefits, from moisture-boosting to soothing. It's designed to applied with your fingers, just as you'd apply your regular face oil, and settles in just a couple seconds. The result is a truly undetectable even-toned radiance.


6 L'Oréal Paris Visible Lift Luminous Serum Tint ($15;

As its name implies, this is more like a silky serum than a foundation. Luminous color reflects lights to smooth over the look of fine lines and dark spots while nourishing oils and vitamin E revive radiance for a healthier looking complexion.


7 Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint ($56;

A hydrating take on a more traditional foundation, this creamy formula is chock-full of hyaluronic acid to plump skin and not only prevent any pigment from settling into fine lines, but make them appear filled in, too. Its whipped and creamy texture makes it feel more like a moisturizer.


8 Lancôme Skin Feels Good Hydrating Skin Tint ($35;

This hydrating formula works to even out skin and leaves it radiant, but oil-sensitive skin types needn't shy away, as it's oil-free. The effect is a lightly pigmented, blurring, silky coat of color that blends into skin, leaving it looking naturally luminous. Also nice: SPF 23 and antioxidant moringa seed extract protect.


9 Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer ($47;

Laura Mercier's famed tinted moisturizer got a 2019 glow-up thanks to the addition of hydrating ingredients like macadamia and kukui seed oils. The beloved formula packs SPF 30, goes on as easily as a regular moisturizer with your fingers, and leaves a sheer tint and dewy finish.


10 La Mer The Reparative SkinTint Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($95;

You wouldn't expect La Mer's take on a skin tint not to have serious skin care benefits, would you? This formula maybe be ultra-light, but it doesn't skimp on hardworking ingredients. It's powered by deep-sea red algae to plump and renew the complexion, as well as the brand's proprietary Lime Tea Concentrate, an antioxidant blend. Feeling-wise, it's a gel-like, super-blendable cream that's easy to apply with your fingers.

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