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How to Get the Coverage Without the Cake | A Guide to Tinted Moisturizers

How to Get the Coverage Without the Cake | A Guide to Tinted Moisturizers

I live in Texas where summer means 100-degree days and 80-degree nights. It’s because of this that I’ve become a connoisseur of tinted moisturizers, BB creams, and CC creams – if it has a tint and some SPF, I’m into it. You don’t need to live in the Deep South to appreciate these formulas, though – any woman who wants a quick morning routine or an easy way to incorporate SPF can benefit from ditching the foundation and using a lighter alternative. To help get you started, I’ve compiled a list of the best tinted moisturizers on the market, ranging from full coverage to lightweight.

Full Coverage

IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+$38

Not only does IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better™ CC+ Cream come with an SPF 50, it’s also infused with an anti-aging serum which has “hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and antioxidants” all of which are ingredients that encourage hydration. The result is a paraben-free formula with coverage so good – you just might ditch your foundation for good.

Medium Coverage

DR. JART+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45$39

With an SPF of 45 the Premium Beauty Balm by Dr. Jart+ not only helps to protect skin, but it helps camouflage imperfections and color correct. Originally crafted in South Korea, Dr. Jart was one of the first to introduce Beauty Balm’s to the western market. If you are looking for a foundation alternative that works on all skin tones and is matte enough to skip powder, then this is the balm for you.

Medium coverage

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 – $45

Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer is a cult favorite that has been gracing the pages of beauty editors for over a decade now – and for good reason. The formula of this tinted moisturizer is very similar to the consistency of foundation – which means you get the benefits of SPF 20 without feeling like you’re wearing sun screen. The result is a tinted moisturizer that isn’t sticky, gives full to medium coverage, and glides onto skin smoothly (regardless of how you choose to apply it.)

Lightweight Coverage

 NYX Cosmetics BB Cream$13

For the fiscally responsible who still want lightweight coverage, there is the BB Cream by NYX Cosmetics. For just $13 dollars NYX offers a mineral BB Cream that rivals its pricier competitors. Although it does not contain SPF, it does have a multipurpose in that in can be used both alone and as a primer underneath mineral makeup. If you’re in need of a hydrating alternative to foundation but don’t want to break the bank, then this is the formula for you.

Dewy and Sheer

Coola Rōsilliance™ Organic BB+ Cream SPF 30$52

If natural and organic products are what you’re into – this is the BB Cream for you. Coola Rōsilliance™ Organic BB+ Cream has an SPF of 30 and boasts that it is “formulated with 70 percent organic ingredients.” Bonus: this BB cream is also hypoallergenic, vegan, and cruelty-free, and get this: its water resistant for up to 80 minutes! Which means that if you live an active lifestyle (or simply live in Texas like me) this will hold up against sweat and long days in the pool.


When you want to wear something but not too much, that’s where these formulas come in. The best part about using a BB Cream, CC Cream, or tinted moisturizer like the ones listed above is that so many of them also come with SPF included – meaning that taking care of your skin isn’t even an extra thought. Combine that with the ease of application and there’s really no reason to not give them a shot. Regardless of your skin type or preference of coverage – I hope that this list makes you reconsider foundation, and I hope it proves that there is a foundation alternative for you.

by Sara Estelle Grayum
Cover Picture Photographed by Lachlan Bailey for Bibbi Brown
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