The Best Tinted Moisturizers Every Black Woman Should Try
Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Asia Milia Ware
On some days, wearing a full face of makeup with caked-on foundation just isn’t an option. Sometimes there’s nothing like an easy product such as a good tinted moisturizer. I’ll admit, I used to not be a fan of these because of theirsheerness. But with “no makeup” makeup looks being more popular than ever, a full face of makeup every day just isn’t as necessary. Sheer coverage also allows unique features like freckles and birthmarks to come through.
Much like foundations, tinted moisturizers aren’t always created with deeper shades in mind. It can be difficult to find the correct shade that matches Black women’s undertones, blends seamlessly, and has a finish we desire. That’s why I decided to round upthe best tinted moisturizers based on my personal experience and reviews. There are SPF options, melanin-rich options made just for us, others infused with skin-care ingredients, and morethat I’ve tried and tested during my time as a beauty writer.
Ami Colé’s skin tint wasn’t made to cover anything; it was made to enhance melanin skin. Its lightweight texture blends into skin for a hydrating yet rich and glowy finish that lasts all day and gets better with time. Beauty-industry vet Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye has created a brand that has a cult following from Justine Skyeto Beyoncé’s longtime makeup artist, Sir John. Needless to say, it’s well worth the hype.
When you first apply this serum, the shade can seem way off, but once blended, it’s an almost perfect match for even the deepest skin tones. The nondrying formula leaves skin with a light, dewy finish, and it’s packed with plant-based squalane, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, a trio made for hydrated, smooth skin. To top it off, it has a whopping SPF 40, one of the highest I’ve ever seen in a tinted moisturizer.
As with its foundation shades, Fenty just gets it when it comes to making sure all skin tones are seen and included. Its skin tint is no different. The product has a light yet buildable formula that gives you just enough coverage to smooth out the texture of your skin and cover your pores. On combination skin, it can get a little greasy in warmer temperatures, but that’s nothing the brand’s blotting papers can’t fix.
When the Lip Bar ventured into skin care after years of selling only lip products, I knew they would be made with Black women in mind, just like the brand’soriginal products — and I was right. This moisturizing tint not only makes my skin feel nourished, but it’s one of the easiest products to apply because of how smoothly it blends in. A few light glides across the skin and you have all the light coverage you need.
When this landed on the market, I was a bit hesitant to try since luxury brands have a history of not getting shades right, but I was proved wrong. The skin-care–makeup hybrid has a hydrating texture you can feel the second it lands on your skin, and the hydration lasts. Although it comes out a bit light, once it’s blended it instantly improves and smooths the skin for a transparent yet radiant appearance.
There’s a fine line between dewy and greasy when it comes to tinted moisturizers, but this blend of Damascus-rose oil, squalane, and more creates a great balance for a long-lasting, luminous finish. The brand describes it as “second-skin vibes,” and it lives up to that, especially in humid climates.
If you love NARS’s radiant foundation,you’ll love this. The buildable formula barely moves, and while the vitamin-C-infused cream is praised for its brightening qualities, I personally love it for the natural and radiant bronze it gives the complexion, especially darker ones.
Lots of Glossier lovers prefer this skin tint over a foundation because it provides the same even skin tone without all the work of a foundation and concealer. It’s even beloved by those with more mature skin. Reviewers praise the finish as “breathable” and have dubbed it “confidence in a bottle” for the flawless way it balances the skin’s texture while hiding wrinkles and lines. The deeper shades tend to be out of stock, which also proves how well they work.
This moisturizer is so lightweight it’s easy to forget you’re wearing anything at all. It’s great for people with oily-to-combo skin who love a mattifying finish but not being dried out. It has a consistently smooth texture that’s absorbable, and it’s a lifesaver if you have an oily T-zone.
This brand prides itself on having a silky, nonclogging formula, and fans agree. Most reviewers love this serum for its vitamin-packed list of ingredients because it treats their skin concerns while applying a smooth, lightweight, nonoxidizing tint. The brand also offers a personalized test to help you find your best shade, which is always a plus for Black girls who struggle to find the perfect fit.
Reviewers love how this blends onto dry and dehydrated skin because of its hyaluronic-acid-rich formula. It also gives the complexion a natural highlighted appearance without becoming greasy over time.
If you want a skin tint that’s not super-sheer, then you’re probably a Yummy Skin girl.Danessa Myricks wanted to create a product that gave people the reaction of “I love your skin,” not “I love your makeup,” so she created a skin tint that gives the complexion a radiant, skinlike finish. Our shopping editor, Hanna Flanagan, has been loving it, though she says it feels more like a hydrating foundation, as opposed to a skin-care product. So if you love makeup and aren’t ready to fully commit to a foundation, Yummy Skin is the perfect product for you. The shades also start at the deepest complexion and go to the fairest — the deepest being a dark brown made with darker skin tones in mind.
The first time I tried this tint, I was hesitant because I was very tan from a recent vacation. But to my surprise, it blended into my complexion seamlessly and left me with dewy skin. Not only is this tint buildable, but no matter how much I apply, it never feels heavy on my skin, so it’s been perfect for summer.But what sold me most was how long it lasted. The first time I tried it, it lasted me over ten hours. Usually, lightweight tints tend to slowly melt away with sweat throughout the day, but this lasts from the time you leave home to the time you return.
I didn’t know how well this tint would work on darker skin tones because it is formulated with mineral-UV protection, which can often leave an ashy finish on darker complexions, but with the right shades and undertones, it blends into the skin just fine. The squalane in it makes it extra dewy and a bit more rich than most tints I’m used to, making it great for drier skin tones.
This editor-loved tint has everything in one. The medium-coverage tint skews to be more of a foundation with a finish that replicates a lightweight serum with an intense glow.It also color-corrects so it flawlessly covers hyperpigmentation, which is common for darker complexions.