Why Skin Tints Are The Perfect Foundation Replacement For Dewy Summer Skin



Over the past six to 12 months – perhaps as part of a greater skinimalism push – skin tints have begun to pop up everywhere. It’s no wonder. These “barely there” products deliver that natural, glowy finish that’s so covetable RN. Buuuut what do they do exactly? And how are they different from tinted moisturizers, alphabet creams, and your regular foundation? For all the answers and some of our fave picks, keep reading.

What Are Skin Tints?

“Skin tints do exactly what they say they’re going to do; they’re a complexion option that simply tints the skin as opposed to completely covering it like a foundation might,” says Myiesha Sewell, makeup artist and Beauty Director for Sephora. “They’re a great option for someone that doesn’t prefer fuller coverage foundations or simply wants a break from them.”

The concept of skin-like coverage and a redirection from heavy-handed makeup isn’t new, but skin tints give you one more lightweight option to add to your beauty toolbelt.

“Skin tints generally have a very sheer texture that leaves an even, dewy finish,” notes makeup artist Jenny Patinkin. “They won’t cover up flaws, but they will even out tone and give a more hydrated looking effect. I like them for days when there aren’t many social or zoom obligations, but I still want to look pulled together.”

How Are Skin Tints Different from Other Makeup?

Though they sound the same, skin tints are actually different from tinted moisturizers and alphabet creams (e.g. BB Cream, CC cream, DD cream).

Sewell explains that tinted moisturizers have a primary goal of moisturizing the skin while offering sheer to medium coverage, so the formula is likely going to feel a bit heavier and deliver more coverage compared to a skin tint.

On the other hand, alphabet creams are meant to bring about some sort of change in the skin – such as clearing blemishes or brightening – while also (almost always) protecting with SPF. Again, alphabet creams are likely going to be heavier on the skin and provide slightly more coverage.

“It can get a bit confusing and situational to choose what’s right for you but focusing on your main concern can point you in the right direction,” advises Sewell. “Figure out if you’re looking for a quick boost to the complexion (skin tint), a moisturizer that does a little more (tinted moisturizer), or a complexion option that’s addressing imperfections as you wear it (alphabet creams).”

The Best Skin Tints to Try

Ready to give this new product category a try? Below are our picks for the best skin tints out there.

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint, $30

Fenty-Beauty-Eaze-Drop-Blurring-Skin-TintSource: Fenty Beauty

Available in 25 shades, Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint, $30, is brand new to the Fenty lineup and one of Sewell’s (and our) favorites. It boasts a natural finish that’s not too dewy and not too matte, and you can also layer it for slightly more coverage depending on your end goal.

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, $26

2-Glossier-Perfecting-Skin-TinSource: Glossier

It makes sense that the brand who proudly pioneered skinimalism was one of the first to offer skin tints. Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint, $26, is available in 12 shades, and smooths imperfections without any sort of cakey feel, and allows the bulk of your natural skin texture to shine through.

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint, $48

Ilia-Super-Serum-Skin-TintSource: Ilia

“This product is very clever in that it gives a beautiful, dewy look but also has an SPF 40 mineral sunscreen, as well as nourishing ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid,” says Patinkin. 

Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint Clean SPF 30, $42

4-Milk-Makeup-Sunshine-Skin-Tint-Clean-SPF30Source: Milk Makeup

Sewell recommends this option for people who have naturally dry skin since it’s packed with lots of skin-nourishing oils that hydrate and boost glow. This one also boasts an SPF 30. (Note: you should always wear a regular SPF underneath your makeup. Think of SPF in makeup as a cherry-on-top sitch.)

Morphe 2 Hint Hint Skin Tint, $17

Source: Morphe

Hint Hint Skin Tint, $17, is such a thin formulation that it comes in a dropper-style bottle. This true fluid texture blurs imperfections, locks in moisture, and boasts ultra-long lasting sheer coverage.

Undone Beauty Unfoundation Light Coverage Glow Tint, $14

6-Undone-Beauty-Unfoundation-Light-Coverage-Glow-TintSource: Undone Beauty

If you’re not familiar with Undone Beauty, let us acquaint you! This makeup brand prioritizes clean, vegan, and cruelty-free formulations – and not a single item is over $20 bucks. The Unfoundation Glow Tint, $14, is made with coconut oil and feels slightly heavier than some of the other tints on this list.

For more makeup tips, check out 19 foundation hacks everyone should know.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.