After all the hullabaloo about finding a foundation which works on my dry skin in winter, I had an idea: maybe I’m going about it all wrong and should be looking for a good tinted moisturizer (or BB/CC cream).
Despite having weird, ageing skin, it’s still pretty good skin. I don’t need a lot of coverage from a foundation. I have no scarring or hyper-pigmentation to conceal.
The idea of finding a moisturizing foundation seemed like an impossibility. And, according to something I read on Beautypedia, there actually aren’t a lot of them because once you add a lot of moisture to a foundation it starts creasing and accentuating lines and pores, hence the most you’ll get from the majority of foundations is a satin finish.
And so began my research into tinted moisturizer.
(Stupid alert: I bought MAC’s Face and Body Foundation about a year ago. It’s more like a tinted moisturizer and looks very ‘skin-like.’ I’ve only worn it in the summer. I hadn’t considered wearing it this winter. It’s my summer foundation innit?)
BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel Cream
After loads of online research I decided to buy BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream which was described by a lot of people as being closer to a tinted moisturizer than a foundation but with light to medium coverage.
I had some Christmas money so went on a bit of a splurge and also picked up – on a bit of a whim – CoverGirl Advanced Radiance foundation (note: this one has light fragrance which I don’t care for. I usually buy fragrance free products).
Using sponges, I applied BareMinerals to one side of my face and the CoverGirl stuff to the other (after cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen, as is the case with all the products below). The CoverGirl side was easily the smoother, better looking of the two.
BareMinerals bunched up and looked really obvious. It didn’t sit well on my face fuzz either. So I returned it to Sephora in exchange for Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer – a cult favourite.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Laura Mercier offers three versions of this stuff: one for normal skin, an oil-free formula and an illuminating formula for dry skin.
Sephora was out of the illuminating version so I opted for the normal one in the shade Cameo which, it turned out, was too light for me. And they were out of stock of the better colour match – Blush.
Aside from the colour, I really didn’t like this stuff. It felt drying on my face and clung to flaky patches. The marketing claims for this product are full of bullshit. This stuff is supposed to “… hydrate skin and soften fine, dry lines.” Nope. Not even a bit.
During another Sephora visit I compared it to the illumination version which is supposedly designed for dry skin. If anything, the one I bought was more moisturizing which isn’t really saying much!
Again, I returned it. This time I exchanged it for NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer.
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
NARS tinted moisturizer is another cult favourite apparently. It was definitely the best of the three I tried.
But it’s bloody expensive. I felt like a $54 tinted moisturizer should be pretty spectacular, right?
It was okay. Like the others, it still felt a bit drying and not at all moisturizing. But it didn’t stick to my dry bits and looked fairly smooth.
In a last ditch attempt to make this stuff work, I went over it with my MAC Face and Body. To give my face a bit of moisture.
It was in that moment that I felt like a complete idiot.
I had my winter skin solution sitting in front of me the whole time.
I bloody love MAC Face and Body. It definitely isn’t for everyone. It makes me look shiny and glowy <— is that even a word? It offers very sheer coverage. It won’t conceal spots, acne, scars or significant discoloration. It’s very watery and doesn’t come in fancy packaging (a plastic bottle which you need to shake vigorously each time you use it.)
But it’s my absolute #1 foundation for any season. It stops my face feeling tight and wrinkly but it still lets my real skin show through.
It’s also really affordable for a high-end product.
Of course, the NARS stuff got returned and I treated myself to some other Sephora goodies instead.
Note: regular readers will know I do extensive research before I buy something. I watch a ton of YouTube video reviews, read blog reviews, Beautypedia reviews and opinions on MakeupAlley. Interestingly, Beautypedia doesn’t rate MAC Face and Body very highly which just goes to show, you can’t always rely on the opinions of others. Where Beautypedia always excels is in their disclosure of scientific information like revealing a moisturizer contains more alcohol and fragrance than beneficial ingredients.