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Switching From Foundation To Tinted Moisturizer Is The Best Decision I've Made For My Skin

A range of tinted moisturizers and BB creams in every price range. If you're thinking of switching from full-coverage foundations, these are the best tinted moisturizers.

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Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

Hi, my name is Sarah and this is my bare face. I don't like stepping out like this, so for years, I slapped on full-coverage liquid foundation like my life depended on it!!!

Why? To address the ample redness I experience in my cheek areas, stubborn dark spots, and uneven skin texture. TL;DR I just wanna look like a bright, smooth, and spotless (in terms of pimples and scars) cherub!Nothing against being fresh faced, which I do a lot of on the weekends, but it's my personal preference to layer on some coverage simply because it makes me feel much more confident in myself and ready to take on the day!(FYI, I didn't use any filters on any of my selfies — just good 'ol natural light.)
Sarah Han

Why? To address the ample redness I experience in my cheek areas, stubborn dark spots, and uneven skin texture. TL;DR I just wanna look like a bright, smooth, and spotless (in terms of pimples and scars) cherub!

Nothing against being fresh faced, which I do a lot of on the weekends, but it's my personal preference to layer on some coverage simply because it makes me feel much more confident in myself and ready to take on the day!

(FYI, I didn't use any filters on any of my selfies — just good 'ol natural light.)

But for the past half year, I've been transitioning to lighter formulas — specifically, BB creams and tinted moisturizers. What I like most about them are their lighter formulas and the "oh-I-feel-like-my-skin-can-actually-breathe" feelings they give off.

JYP Entertainment / Via youtube.com

They also don't cake as much, and there's almost always a decent amount of SPF — 40 to 50 is my 😍happy place 😍 — built into them. Since I'm experimenting with retinol and vitamin C in my skincare routine, SPF is all the more important!

As with any changes to my beauty routine, my skin had to get used to the different formulations and I tried out a bunch (and a half) to find products that made my skin look and feel the best. At first, my skin felt a lot oilier than usual — but I was able to find BB creams and tinted moisturizers that erred on the side of ~dewy~ and ~fresh~.

(In case you're wondering why I chose this particular GIF, Momo's singing "Put on BB cream, pat pat pat." 🤗)

So, after months of testing, I've found some BB creams and tinted moisturizers that rise above the rest because they provide good coverage that's comparable to light-to-medium foundation, but feel much more lightweight, require minimal blending, give off a bright and radiant finish, and protect my face with high SPFs.

After trying a fair share of Missha skincare products,* I knew I could trust the brand to take care of my skin. Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream is one of my faves for outstanding coverage with a slightly more matte finish — I swear it does a better job at covering everything than some of the foundations I've used.

Sarah Han

Why I love it: I wasn't sure how I'd like this one, but guess what — it's fab! 1000+ Amazon reviews also helped sway me. First of all, I love the bottom pump format — it keeps things easy and clean. It looks a little grey out of the tube, but it oxidizes to a perfect color match after a few minutes. You can definitely ~feel~ this formula — meaning, it feels substantial and slightly on the thicker side against your fingers, so it takes a little more time and effort than the others to completely blend out, but it's totally worth it for the end results — and it also means one pump is enough for my whole face! I seriously look airbrushed from just one layer!

Get it from Amazon for $10 (available in six shades — I wear No. 23 Natural Beige).

*Some of my holy grails include Time Revolution First Treatment Essence and Super Aqua Ultra Water-Full Clear Cream, which I reviewed here.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is an awesome everyday option to throw on during rushed mornings when you can't even function (so, basically, every morning for me!) — it has super light and fast-absorbing coverage, but definitely makes my skin appear brighter and more awake (a true feat).

Sarah Han

Why I love it: This has been a fan fave for years, and a Laura Mercier makeup artist actually shade-matched me for a photoshoot for their Flawless Fusion Foundation, but I ended up liking the tinted moisturizer more. It has almost a ~watery~ texture to it, which makes it a total breeze to spread around and blend out. That being said, I like to dab on extra product on my more stubborn spots, especially on my nose and chin. The other caveat is that it only has SPF 20, so I always make sure to put on a layer of higher SPF beforehand — I like Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence. Still glowy, but not overly so!

Get it from Sephora for $45 (available in 15 shades — I wear Nude, though I suspect Sand would be an even better match *shrug*).

Innisfree Aqua Fit Cushion is super affordable when it comes to cushions on the market (refills are only $12!) and it imparts such a dewy glow while still providing ample coverage — I'm obsessed!

Sarah Han

Why I love it: I feel like this product also transfers from cushion to puff the best — because nothing annoys me more than product not distributing evenly on my puff. BTW, if my skin looks flawless and spot-free in an iPhone selfie, that's the true mark of success — because my phone emphasizes imperfections a crazy ton, much more than what I see IRL. Korean companies still have a ways to go when it comes to inclusive shade ranges, but Innisfree is doing a good job so far in comparison to some other brands. Baby steps.

Get one from Innisfree for $25, which includes a cushion, puff (I replaced mine with a cute Line Friends puff I got from Seoul), and case. You can buy cushion refills from Innisfree for $12 or Amazon for $14 (available in 16 shades — I wear the shade N23 True Beige).

If I want to look a tad more sunkissed than normal, Winky Lux Tinted Veil Moisturizer does the trick — it smells divine (hello, white tea and pomegranate!), feels barely there (even when I feel like I'm slathering it on), and blurs my skin out to a beautiful dewy finish.

Sarah Han

Why I love it: It looks scarily dark when it comes out of the bottle, but it somehow tones down to my skintone after I rub it in (I just use my fingers for this one), so yes, it does lean a bit more on the ~sunkissed~ side. The formula feels so luxurious and silky, and my skin feels extra hydrated and pampered thanks to vitamins A and E. Did I mention it smells so nice??? (And it doesn't irritate my skin.)

Get it from Winky Lux for $25 (available in five shades: Fair, Light, Medium, Medium Deep, Deep — I wear Medium, though I'm sure Light would also be ok). It's also sold at Nordstrom and Ulta.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Naked SPF 45 Protective Lotion is my go-to for casual weekend errand runs, or even just at-home lounging — because we're still susceptible to UV rays inside!

Sarah Han

Why I love it: It's really just sunscreen with a teensy bit of tint, and I like the "no fuss" nature of it. It doesn't earn top marks for coverage, but that's not the goal — I just want my face to be protected and, I could just be imagining things, but I feel like it diffuses light on my face just a tad, for just a slight bump in evenness and glow from my natural, sans-product face.

For more deets, check out my full review (#8)!

Get it from Sephora for $38.

Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is the priciest one on this list, but gosh darn it, there's some sort of glowy magic in this one — It eliminates ALL redness and mimics the effects of a VSCO filter.

Sarah Han

Why I love it: I feel fancy having this in my bag (even if I just roughly toss it in, along with a mess of other products — heh). The formula really helps cover up any redness while feeling like nothing, which I have to expect from a product with a heavier price tag. Just like the name suggests, I like being able to control the amount of coverage I want — and even if I go over my face multiple times, it still feels as barely noticeable as one layer. It also never becomes cakey throughout the day, which I find becomes a problem around my nose, especially. I've gotten quite a few compliments while wearing this BB — probably because I think it's the best shade match for me out of the bunch.

Get it from Sephora or Amorepacific for $60 (available in five shades — I wear 104 Light/Medium Pink).

Here are all my picks side by side:

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

With this shift, I've also become more comfortable in my own skin and letting my blemishes and spots peek through a bit.

YG Entertainment

I'll always love and wear makeup, but I want to feel just as comfortable without it, too. And if I am a little closer to that goal with as simple of a switch from full-coverage foundation to BB cream and tinted moisturizer, then so be it! Here's to feeling my best, regardless of what's on my face!

While a lot of skin improvement has to do with my commitment to a well-rounded skincare routine and proper makeup removal (double cleansing is life!!), I've definitely noticed less overall breakouts — outside of the normal pre-period windows, of course — and that to me, along with the overall "less clogged" feeling that tinted moisturizers provide, I'm pretty sold1

So, now that I'm done rambling, what are ~your~ favorite BB creams and tinted moisturizers? I'd love to hear all 'bout them! *points to comments section*

Dingo / Via youtube.com