If you like medium/full coverage at all times, don’t buy a tinted moisturiser. They’re not typically buildable and you will be wasting your money. Instead look for a foundation with a lighter, buildable formula for the summer months like the RMK Liquid Foundation.
If you like sheer/medium coverage, a tinted moisturiser is perfect. In my experience, drugstore versions do little more than than add a sheer veil of colour. If you’re looking for something that’s going to provide a fresh, even coverage, high end is where it’s at. Laura Mercier, Jouer and NARS are all regarded highly for their tinted moisturisers. My personal favourite is the Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint, but the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is also very impressive. For acne-prone skin, La Roche-Posay have brought out a tinted version of Effaclar Duo.
You don’t need to look for oil-free formulas, although these can also work for you with a little extra TLC. Begin with a spritz of hydrating toner and follow with your regular moisturiser. After five – ten minutes, apply a pea-sized amount of tinted moisturiser with your fingers or a damp sponge. If you need to powder, use a small brush, such as the Real Techniques Setting Brush, and gently tap a translucent powder between your eyebrows, around your nose and over your chin. If you feel like you need a little more hydration, use Fix+ or another spritz of hydrating toner.
As a general rule, the oil-free formulas work well with your skin type. You don’t have to abide by this, as long as you’re prepared to do a little t-zone maintenance throughout the day. Begin with a spritz of hydrating toner and dab your regular moisturiser on any dry/flaky patches (for example, I would apply it over any healing blemishes). If you need your makeup to last all day, apply a primer to your t-zone. Next, apply a pea-sized amount of tinted moisturiser with your fingers, a buffing brush or a damp sponge (avoid buffing any flaky patches of skin). At this point, you can choose to blot your t-zone with a tissue to take away excess moisture. Use a small brush to powder the t-zone. If you like, you can finish with a setting spray.
Precision concealing is key to making a tinted moisturiser work. Haphazardly concealing large areas of skin is going to look strange against the ‘your skin but better’ finish. Instead, dot concealer over any blemishes (I’m talking pin point precision) with a tiny brush and blend with a finger or a small, fluffy brush.
Tinted moisturisers tend to feel slightly tacky when first applied. If you’re planning on using a powder blush/bronzer, dust a light layer of translucent powder over your cheeks to ensure hassle free blending.
It’s highly likely that you’re going to need to touch up throughout the day. Pop a powder compact, a few blotting sheets and a concealer in your bag.