The Panel: Lighten up
Generally, there are three key confusions when it comes to tinted moisturiser. One is that we confuse it for a light foundation, wanting it to provide coverage and conceal, when in fact it should be more of a transparent complexion enhancer. Then, we aren't sure if they should provide sufficient moisture -- and some don't -- or if we need to layer extra emollient under them. And last of all, it remains tricky to find paler shades, as if cosmetic companies think because it's summer we want darker skin.
In seeking out the best tinted moisturisers available, we ignored the lighter foundations that are basically summer versions of our winter bases, and focused on products that created a fresh, un-made-up look. We expected our favourites to work well without any other moisturiser under them, and we rejected any range that tended to the bronze. Which meant that many went by the wayside, but these five prevailed. All five breathed life into the complexion, evening out skin tone, but leaving some of the skin's character to come through. And if you can't bear the thought of too much fresh-faced imperfection, then call on a few dabs of concealer. And don't overdo the eyes or lips, or it will just look like you forgot your foundation. Lighten up; you might like it.
Lancome Hydra Zen Teinte, €50.50, Lancome counters nationwide
This product is exactly what it claims to be; a very good moisturiser with a little tint added to it. The moisturiser base is soothing, refreshing and comforting, and the three shades are well suited to most Irish complexions. The tint is very transparent, but nicely glowy without being greasy. "A proper skin booster, because the moisturiser is of such good quality," said a panellist. "I looked freshened up, but not made up."
Best Glow Booster
Dr Hauschka Toned Day Cream, €26.20, selected department stores, health stores and pharmacies nationwide
A thick cream when you first squeeze it out of the tube, and also quite daunting in its one-size-fits-all shade, but stick with it. But, once it settles down, this is super sheer, beautifully moisturising, not at all tanned-looking and flattering for all skin tones and types. "One of those products you want to tell everyone about," a panellist said. "It removed redness and left me with a sort of dewy post-facial complexion."
Best Even Tone
Nivea Visage Q10 Anti Wrinkle Tinted Day Cream, €12.59, available nationwide
Nivea's best-selling anti-aging moisturiser comes in three shades, ranging from pale to warmly brown. One of the slippiest to the touch, though it sinks in very quickly and does all the work of the non-tinted variety. Definitely feels more than the price. "Went on smoothly, didn't feel too heavy or too wet," said one panellist. "My skin felt great and it evened out skin tone nicely."
Best Moistly Matt
Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Tinted Moisturizer, €32, available nationwide
While the mineral content in this product may be to blame for the initial ashiness on application, it also accounts for the matt finish and the product's staying power. Also, once it sinks in, the ashiness turns to a nice light glow. "Very smooth on the skin, and very comfortable," said a panellist. "My fear with tinted moisturiser is always greasiness, and this had none."
Best for Sun Protection
Uriage Tinted Cream, €19.95, pharmacies nationwide
This proved a hit, thanks to the impressively high SPF50, which came with very little of the white cast that often accompanies strong sun protection. A great option for the very pale, as the lightest shade is very light. "Creamy but not cakey," a panellist said, "My skin was softened and showed through, and I liked that the SPF meant I could forget about needing another layer of product in the summer."
Pictured, from top left: Dr Hauschka Toned Day Cream; Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Tinted Moisturizer; Nivea Visage Q10 Anti Wrinkle Tinted Day Cream; Uriage Tinted Cream; Lancome Hydra Zen Teinte
Sunday Indo Life Magazine