Spend enough time on clean girl beauty TikTok and you too will be ditching high-coverage foundations in favour of skin tints. Tinted serums and moisturisers are indeed the perfect love child: offering the reviving, hydrating benefits of skincare with the perfecting properties of make-up. And after years of mask-wearing, nothing best encapsulates this liberated, ‘all off’ state of mind than skin enhanced by a complexion-reviving tint.
What’s the difference between a skin tint versus a foundation?
Unlike foundations or BB creams which are higher coverage in nature, skin tints incorporate a moisturiser or serum with light, sheer coverage, says Singaporean make-up artist, Kat Zhang. Zhang, known for perfecting the complexions of celebrities like Iman Fandi, describes her make-up style as natural and soft, with a skin-like finish.
“You can layer tinted serum or tinted moisturiser on top of your usual skincare and SPF. However,” Zhang warns, “it does not give much coverage to the skin and will not cover pigmentation and blemishes. Depending on the formulation, it gives a slightly different finish from brand to brand.” Overall, expect a fresh, radiant finish.
When would you use a skin tint?
When it comes to skin tints, it’s about managing expectations. Foundation is still your best bet if you’re after a long-wearing, high-coverage finish that withstands humidity and hours outdoors or under hot studio lights. Consider a skin tint if you’re after a veil of colour to help blur redness and enhance your skin’s natural radiance.
And thanks to their multi-functional formulations, skin tints are perfect “for days when you only need to do the bare minimum,” says Zhang. That includes when you’re heading to the gym, at school drop-off or hopping online for a Zoom meeting. “You don’t need a lot to look fresh and have that ‘Your skin, but better’ glow.
How do I make my skin tint last longer?
Here for a good time and not necessarily a long time unless set with powder, skin tints are perfect for enhancing your ‘every day’ look without making you look too… made up. As skin tints don’t offer the same coverage as foundations, their staying power is simultaneously, reduced.
“Most skin tints are formulated with skincare properties, therefore I would recommend you to give the product a couple of minutes for it to settle down on your skin before layering anything else over it. If your skin is on the oily side, you can lightly powder your T-zone area with a translucent powder. This helps to matt down the skin without adding any extra coverage,” advises Zhang.
Opt for a medium coverage foundation if you need your base to last from am to pm.
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Summer Fridays Sheer Skin Tint
Lending an instant boost to the complexion, this skin tint provides a sheer touch of colour to the face. Its lightweight, buildable and hydrating formula helps to ever-so-gently even the skin tone while reducing the appearance of redness and enlarged pores.
Summer Fridays Sheer Skin Tint, US$44.85, available at Net-a-Porter
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Ultra Violette Daydream Screen SPF50 Tinted Veil
For a next-to-nothing au naturel look, Ultra Violette‘s Daydream Screen’s tinted serum delivers minimal coverage and broadspectrum SPF protection. Wear it solo or layered over your own SPF and enjoy this weightless, buildable tint. Despite coming in 15 shades, the tinted serum further adapts to one’s skin tones and leaves a radiant finish—perfect for those ‘one and done’ product make-up days.
Ultra Violette Daydream Screen SPF50 Tinted Veil, $58, available at Sephora
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Ami Colé Skin-Enhancing Tint
Medium, deep or darker skin tones are in good hands with Ami Colé’s Skin-Enhancing Tint enriched with nourishing baobab seed, hibiscus and pumpkin seed extracts. The black-owned beauty brand creates products for melanin-rich skin, and the tint which comes in six shades revitalises the complexion, offering a soft, glowy finish to the skin.
Ami Colé Skin-Enhancing Tint, US$39.07, available at Net-a-Porter
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Rare Beauty Positive Light Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
It’s easy to not know where you stand with tinted moisturisers at times. While oilier skin types that are more prone to shine may use this as a moisturiser, dry or mature skin types would certainly benefit from serum and additional moisturiser to prime the skin. And as we’re more inclined to reach for sunscreens with an SPF rating of 30 and up, you’ll definitely need to use your broadspectrum before applying this tinted moisturiser as the last step.
The good news is that after setting the groundwork for your base, Positive Light rewards with its skin-blurring properties to reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines. Coming in 24 flexible shades, it offers a smooth, luminous finish every time.
Rare Beauty Positive Light Tinted Moisturizer, $48, available at Sephora
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Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation
A tinted moisturiser with the personality of a foundation, Eaze Drop Skin Tint blurs imperfections with its QuickBlur complex, helping to create a natural, soft filter on the complexion. Fluid in nature, the skin tint can be applied with the fingers or a brush over skincare and offers a buildable light to medium coverage in 25 diverse shades.
Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation, $49, available at Sephora
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Romi Beauty Dream Skin Tint
Having stolen hearts since it made its debut this year, homegrown beauty brand Romi Beauty by Yoyo Cao and Arissa Cheo launched with just one hero product: Dream Skin Tint. The do-it-all tinted moisturiser, serum and sunscreen with SPF 50 protection is loaded with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, pre- and probiotics alongside botanical extracts to make this the perfect skincare and make-up hybrid. We love its highly blendable, buildable feel and bask in its healthy, radiant glow all day long.
Romi Dream Skin Tint, $49, available at Romi Beauty Club