Primers, face mists, pore strips, lip scrubs, tinted moisturizers—all "controversial" beauty products labeled (by some) as the most despisable or undeserving of your hard-earned paychecks. Some beauty editors, skin experts, and makeup artists flaunt their obsession for the formulas I've listed above, and some practically condemn them as ineffective industry propaganda. In retrospect, this just proves that everyone is different, everyone likes different things, and you should really just try and buy any beauty product you dang well please.
In a previous life—a life I'll dub BTM, before tinted moisturizer—I stubbornly maintained I just wasn't a fan of tinted moisturizers. They pilled, they didn't match my skin, and they never provided me with the pretty wash of lightweight subtle coverage they promised. Eventually, after some peer pressure from a friend and fellow beauty editor, I tried a new formula I was convinced I'd hate but, miraculously, became head-over-heels obsessed with. Turns out, as with literally any product in our saturated beauty universe, it requires some elbow grease to find your perfect formula. Even if the first (or fifth) option might be a fail, it doesn't mean there isn't a glowing new find to be discovered just around the river bend.
Of course, if at all possible, we want to reduce the number of products you have to wade through to reach that destination, so we turned to three of the industry's top makeup artists to share all the best tinted moisturizers they use on themselves or their A-list clientele. Another perk? Tinted moisturizers are one of the best coverage options for those with mature skin. The way tinted moisturizers are formulated makes them less likely to settle into wrinkles or fine lines; they often impart dewy, plumped-up results; and many feature youth-enhancing skin goodies mature skin will gladly lap up.
If you seek higher coverage, a more traditional foundation or an all-encompassing CC cream might be a better choice, but if you have mature skin that doesn't need heavy amounts of coverage, makeup artists say tinted moisturizers are definitely the best strategy for keeping skin fresh, even, and as revitalized as possible. Keep scrolling for nine of the best tinted moisturizers for mature skin, according to makeup artists.
1. Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
Celebrity makeup artist Lisa Aharon lists this best-selling tinted moisturizer as one of her all-time favorites for mature skin. "All of my favorite tinted moisturizers have a smooth finish, variable coverage, and SPF protection. They also have skincare benefits like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, which are my favorite for promoting skin-plumping hydration and brightness."
It's true—this lovely formula from Chantecaille is brimming with goods and features nontoxic minerals and botanical compounds designed to fend off free radicals, smog, and the sun. (All of which can lead to visible, premature signs of aging!)
Editors and makeup artists alike have gone completely gaga for Ilia's newest holy-grail formula. It's one that Aharon prioritizes for mature skin thanks to its flawless finish, but for extra insurance, she recommends enhancing your tinted moisturizer application with a few other key product players.
"Most often, I’ll combine a tinted moisturizer with a concealer since there are often spots on the skin that require a little more coverage, like around the nose and under the eyes," Aharon tells us.
For those who love the look of dewy, plump, and youthful skin, this hydrating sheer formula is another top recommendation from Aharon. Here are a few of her favorite tinted moisturizer application tips:
"Whether you're using your fingertips, a Beautyblender ($20), a sponge, or a brush, be gentle with your skin and minimize pulling. Also, makeup can tend to settle into fine lines throughout the day no matter what you use, but a light powder can help to prevent this!" (Aharon notes adding a primer to your routine might also prove helpful.)
"I love tinted moisturizers for mature skin," notes celebrity makeup artist Tasha Reiko Brown. "While still lending a bit of natural coverage, a tinted moisturizer will also add a lovely layer of hydration which mature, often dry, skin needs. The result is clean, plump, glowing skin with a satin finish, and this kind of product really floats over the skin so it's less likely to settle into fine lines."
Brown names this formula from Bobbi Brown as one of the absolute best for mature skin, sharing that it has enough pigment to help even out the complexion while also adding loads of skin-plumping moisture. She suggests topping it off with the addition of a creamy blush. "The two creamy products really melt together on the face beautifully—work a cream blush into the cheeks on top of tinted moisturizer to provide a believable boost to your skin's natural flush."
Enhance it with: Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks
"This tinted moisturizer from Nars is also a favorite of mine for mature skin," says Brown. She reveals it's a great option for providing a sheer veil of coverage in very specific undertones for a flawless, true-to-skin-tone match. Plus, it has a high SPF of 30 for extra sun protection without a greasy texture.
"Applying with clean hands is best for tinted moisturizers," says Brown. "I suggest using fingers and really massaging the product on like a true moisturizer—the heat from your fingers will melt it into the skin. Massage and press into the face with quick, short strokes, starting in the center of the face and working outward. The center of the face tends to need more coverage, so starting there deposits a bit more product, and then you can gently feather it out."
If you're worried about too much shine, Brown says she always uses a translucent pressed powder compact with tinted moisturizers. The formula will help take the shine down a touch while allowing the skin to breathe and locking down the pigment for durable coverage. Opt for a beauty sponge or brush and just lightly tap your translucent powder on the T-zone to dull any skin glisten you don't want.
Enhance it with: Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
"I love tinted moisturizers for mature skin, especially this formula from YSL," confirms celebrity makeup artist Autumn Moultrie. "It has sunscreen, and it is so lightweight yet provides coverage." If you're a fan of the brand's ultra-famous brightening pen (see below) you'll surely fawn over this complete complexion pick.
Enhance it with: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen
FYI: This tinted moisturizer just might be the most iconic OG formula in the bunch. Moultrie cites it as another favorite, which is no surprise considering it maintains a solid four-star rating on Sephora's website with more than 1000 reviews! It also promises 24 hours of durable skin hydration, which is paramount come summer. (For the dreamiest glowing finish, I personally recommending pre-gaming your face with the brand's equally iconic illuminating primer, which is linked below.)
Enhance it with: Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer
If you're on the hunt for a great tinted moisturizer on the super-clean side of the product spectrum, Moultrie says this top-rated formula from Kosas is another one she routinely recommends for mature skin. It plays host to beautiful ingredients like oils from jojoba, avocado, and raspberry seed and also feels featherlight and satiny on top of your face. As an added bonus, it has a 16-shade color range the brand touts can be worn across 48 different skin tones.
Since this tinted moisturizer yields a more mattified and satin-smooth finish, boost your glow (if you're into that kind of thing) with the brand's new baked bronzer. It's the ultimate PIC.
Enhance it with: Kosas The Sun Show Moisturizing Baked Bronzer
Technically, this affordable option isn't a tinted moisturizer, but thanks to the luminous, veil-like consistency, Moultrie loops it into the same product family. She also shares that it's impeccably lightweight, boasts skin-blurring perks, and as with all of her other favorite tinted moisturizers, she typically will apply with her fingers after adding a hydrating base of moisturizers and serums. She doubles up the two formulas below from IS Clinical right before she goes in with her tinted moisturizer of choice.
Enhance it with: IS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum & IS Clinical Reparative Moisture Emulsion