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Tinted Moisturisers, BB and CC Creams: Everything You Need To Know

Tinted Moisturisers, BB and CC Creams: Everything You Need To Know
Team LF
Writer and expert6 years ago
View Team LF's profile

When it comes to the world of face bases, including foundations, tinted moisturisers, BB, CC and even DD creams, it is one of the most confusing makeup categories to get your head around. With so many products, brands, textures and tones to choose from, finding the right shade and finish can be difficult, but we have put together an expert guide to make the process a whole lot easier.

Our in-depth post on the best foundations covers everything you need to know about how to find the perfect foundation match for you, but if you are looking for something a little lighter such as a tinted moisturiser or BB Cream, then read on.

What are Tinted Moisturisers?

A tinted moisturiser is essentially a much more lightweight face base than your regular foundation, which means that they do provide slightly less coverage. As such, if you are going through a bad skin day, a combination of a tinted moisturiser and a good concealer will ensure you still look your best, without needing foundation.

If you are concerned about the level of coverage, making sure to choose the right concealer and apply it correctly will set you in perfect stead to ensure your makeup stays put all day.

Tinted moisturisers also tend to contain a higher percentage of humectants than foundations, meaning that they work harder to keep the skin super hydrated and supple. This makes them a great choice if you have a dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin that needs a little more nourishment.

Remember, you wear your face base for the majority of the day, so choosing the correct one for your skin type is crucial to ensure your skin stays healthy! If you aren't sure on what skin type you have, you can read more about our dry, oily and normal skin guides to help you understand your complexion a bit more.

How to apply

When it comes to applying tinted moisturisers, there is a little more involved than massaging it into your skin. Just like foundation, there are some easy tips and tricks you can do to ensure you get a beautifully flawless complexion.

  1. Always apply moisturiser before your tinted moisturiser. If you have oily skin, opt for oil-free and lightweight moisturisers that will help to mattify your complexion; if you have dry skin, choose a nourishing formula that ensures your base goes on smoothly and doesn't crack.
  2. Always apply an SPF alongside your tinted moisturiser. Just because it says SPF 15 on the bottle, it doesn't mean you don't need extra and protection!
  3. Colour match your base to your jawline and neck. There's nothing worse than stepping out the house looking a different skin tone to your neck, so always match downwards. You can warm up your skin later with bronzer.
  4. Warm up the product in your hands first. Whether you prefer using your fingers, a beauty egg or brushes, one thing is for sure; always warm tinted moisturisers in your hands first and it will spread more easily.
  5. Blend up towards the forehead and out towards the ears. Remember to bring it down your neck too, but working out from the chin up will ensure you get the right product distribution.
  6. Conceal to your heart's content. If you are having a bad skin day, then cover any remaining imperfections with a durable concealer. The new NARS Soft Matte Concealer hides all manner of sins.

Top 5 Tinted Moisturisers

There are a lot of tinted moisturisers to choose from, so selecting the right one for your needs will ensure you get the right coverage and finish.

Unlike foundations, you can rely less on your skin type when choosing tinted moisturisers. As the coverage is a lot lighter, opt for primers that suit your skin type, and tinted moisturisers that suit your desired finish.

1. For Radiance

If your skin feels a little dull, the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser is the ideal base thanks to its brightening properties.

Infused with mineral-rich Seawater, it hydrates and plumps out the skin so that your complexion has a lovely and healthy luminosity to it. It also does contain an SPF 30, but always make sure you wear an added sunscreen if you are heading out on a particularly sunny day.

If you have oily skin, and still want a radiant finish, then apply a mattifying primer before this tinted moisturiser. NARS products always work better when used together, so the Pore and Shine Control Primer works excellently with this face base.

2. For Lightweight Coverage

If you want something very light for days when you want to do a bit of a "skintox", the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue is an ideal makeup companion.

Not only is this tinted moisturiser free from chemical nasties, such as silicones, parabens and fragrance, it feels incredibly light on the skin and provides minimal coverage. It also contains a blend of Marine Botanicals, which keep the skin hydrated long after you first apply it.

If you want the feeling of lightweight coverage, but are having a bad skin day, then follow with a heavy-duty concealer such as the bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Concealer, which will also help to clear up your imperfections  as it covers them.

3. For High Coverage

If you want a lighter textured product that gives a buildable coverage similar to foundation, Chantecaille's Just Skin is a great option.

Not only does this tinted moisturiser give a flawless finish to the skin, it also stays put all day to give you complete peace of mind. The addition of Sodium Hyaluronate keeps skin hydrated so that it feels comfortable and looks perfected.

This tinted moisturiser is perfect for city girls thanks to its Anti Smog Pollution technology, which shields the skin from harmful free radicals that result in damage and cell ageing.

4. For Mattifying the Skin

If you do have oily skin and want a tinted moisturiser that works to balance out your complexion and not enhance your shine, the PÜR Minerals 4-in-1 Tinted Moisturiser works perfectly.

As it's multitasking, it gives you the lightweight feel of a tinted moisturiser, and the coverage of a foundation; blending out all imperfections and excess oil so your skin stays mattified throughout the day.

Its mineral formulation makes it ideal for every skin type, even if you do have particularly sensitive skin. Pop on the Estée Lauder Oil-Control Moisturiser beforehand, which will act as a perfect primer to keep your makeup in tact all day.

5. For Hydration

If you want to wear tinted moisturisers, but want one that will nourish and condition your skin as it covers, it's always best turning to a dermatological brand with a bank of expertise.

The Dermalogica Ultra Sensitive Tint contains a blend of natural botanicals including Green Tea and Grape Seed Extracts that provide the skin with all-day moisturisation, while Vitamins C and E treat the skin, so you can be sure your skin is protected throughout the day.

As it is a one colour fits all, it's always best to keep a pot of moisturiser and bronzing liquid on hand to customise the shade to your natural skin tone.

Tinted Moisturisers vs BB and CC Creams: What's the difference?

You've read all about our in-depth guide to tinted moisturisers, but BB and CC creams also fall into the same category, yet separate themselves with their unique technologies, but is there really a difference?

What is a BB Cream?

Hailing from South Korea and inspired by Asian technologies, a BB cream stands for Blemish or Beauty Balm; meaning that it perfects the skin by smoothing out imperfections and giving your complexion a flawless finish.

1. What does a BB Cream do?

Formulated with soothing and conditioning properties, a BB cream also usually contains ingredients that can fight blemishes and cover all signs of imperfections on the skin. They have the coverage and consistency of a sheer foundation, making them ideal to use when you are having a bad skin day and want to cover up spots without putting on a lot of product.

2. Which is the right one for me?

Unlike tinted moisturisers, BB creams are best chosen for your particular skin type, as they offer more specialised care. You can view some of our favourites here if you are have a specific skin concern you want to target.

  • For normal skin, you can't beat the brand that started the BB trend and pioneered the first BB Cream. Skin 79's Super Triple Balm is the perfect all-rounder as it evens out the skin tone, smooths out imperfections and brightens up any dulling areas.
  • For oily skin, Clinique's Anti Blemish Solutions BB Cream is the ideal choice. It has been specially designed for blemish-prone skin types, and has mattifying properties that control excess shine and oil on the skin's surface so that the likelihood of breakouts is reduced.
  • For dry and dehydrated skin, the Estée Lauder Beauty Benefit Creme will become your new base best friend. Super moisturising, yet surprisingly lightweight on the skin, this BB cream is the ideal choice if you have typical winter skin, or a more mature complexion.

What is a CC Cream?

A little lighter than a BB cream, CC creams are known by many names, including complexion and colour correctors. Essentially, they even out the skin tone a lot more than tinted moisturisers and BB creams by correcting the colour in your tone.

1. What does a CC Cream do?

If you have pigmentation in your skin, acne, scarring or any signs of redness and discolouration, a CC cream will help to mask these problems and give you a perfected and flawless complexion. They even make great primers, as they correct your skin tone before applying tinted moisturisers or foundations, so your finished look is gorgeous.

2. Which is the right one for me?

Like tinted moisturisers, opt for a CC Cream that matches your skin concern you need to combat rather than your skin type. If you are concerned about your particular skin type however, and whether a CC cream will react to it, read our guide on choosing the right one for you.

  • For pigmentation, Payot's CC Cream works wonders to correct and conceal. It's especially ideal for those with acne and imperfection scarring, as well as general signs of pigmentation and discolouration. Plus, the addition of Hyaluronic Acid helps to keep the skin hydrated and healthy as it conceals.
  • For uneven skin tone, the skinChemists Perfect Skin CC Cream is ideal as it helps to transform problem skin into a flawless complexion. It's a great all rounder, making it ideal for any skin type, but if you do notice that your skin looks slightly red, or uneven in any specific areas, this is a great product to use.
  • For dulling skin, the Omorovicza Complexion Corrector is our absolute favourite. Formulated with Ruby Crystal, the CC cream helps to boost the elasticity in your skin so it appears more plumped-up, radiant and incredibly healthy.

If after all this, you want something a little more concealing than tinted moisturisers, BB and CC creams, you can always have a look at our sheer foundations, which will offer a little more coverage without being too heavy on the skin.

You can view the full range of tinted moisturisers, BB creams and CC creams at lookfantastic.

Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.