The 15 Best Skin Tints of 2023 for Skin That Looks Like Yours, But Better

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With a weightless feel, soft coverage and dewy texture, skin tints take no makeup-makeup to the next level.

<p>InStyle / Alli Waataja</p>

InStyle / Alli Waataja

The world of complexion products may be a crowded one, but the best skin tints stand out in part because they can do it all. Packed with hydrating ingredients and offering light to medium coverage — not to mention frequent sun protection — these makeup formulas are designed to be the more lightweight, low-maintenance, and natural-looking counterpart to your average foundation. They’re the opposite of a full beat; rather, you can blend them in with your fingers and call it a day.

However, not all skin tints are created equal. Some vary in texture, feeling like a gel-cream, watery serum, or nourishing oil, while others are packed with skincare-minded ingredients like hyaluronic acid for a hydration boost.


Saie Slip Tint Dewy Tinted Moisturizer SPF 35

Best Overall

What We Love: It pairs the minimum-recommended level of SPF with a dewy, lightweight finish.

What We Don’t Love: It can read a little greasy if your skin gets oily throughout the day.

Saie made waves when it debuted this skin tint, which is so good that one InStyle writer counts on it for her everyday look. “I put it on and still looked like me, just a little bit better,” she says. The pros agree with her take, too. “It also has a beautiful, skin-like finish — and it’s also clean,” says celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder, who counts Gemma Chan and Amanda Seyfried among her clients and founded her own makeup line. “It’s one I feel good about wearing every day, and it doesn’t settle into fine lines or wrinkles.”

There’s also its practical nature to consider. “I love the creamy texture, and the packaging is great for travel,” says Tobi Henney, who works with Megan Fox and Ashley Graham. “It also has an extensive shade range for all skin tones.” The downside is that it’s not very buildable — so if you’re looking to turn up your coverage, you may have to reach for a different formula entirely.

Price at time of publish: $36

Shades: 14 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 1.3 oz

Florence by Mills Like a Light Skin Tint

Best Budget

What We Love: The built-in oils offer all-day moisture.

What We Don’t Love: The shade range is very limited, even for a tinted formula.

When Florence by Mills founder and actress Millie Bobby Brown wants to scale back her makeup, she reaches for this tinted moisturizer. It pairs medium coverage with a non-greasy feel — which is kind of a feat, considering it's packed with nourishing, antioxidant-rich botanicals like meadowfoam seed and jojoba oils. And, thanks to those oils, it’s a winner for those with naturally dry skin.

The Like a Light Skin Tint is also pigmented enough to conceal dark spots and blemishes while still lending the effect of naturally dewy, healthy skin. The biggest drawback here is that the shade range is limited, which can make it hard for people with certain undertones to find the right match.

Price at time of publish: $9

Shades: Eight | Finish: Dewy | Size: 1.0 fl oz

Iris & Romeo Best Skin Days Tinted Moisturizer

Best Splurge

What We Love: The creamy texture makes it a cinch to blend easily.

What We Don’t Love: The glass jar isn’t very hygienic.

If the name alone doesn't put a spring in your step, no sweat — the product itself will still do the trick. One of the few skin tints that has a whipped, creamy texture, it hydrates, protects, and brightens skin with a killer combination of mineral-based SPF 30, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. (That said, it won’t sub in for your moisturizer, so that still needs to go underneath.)

But it's still a skin tint, after all, so you'll also get lightweight, buildable coverage to even out skin tone and add a luminous finish. For the best results, try applying this one with (clean) fingers instead of a brush or sponge. The warmth will help it melt into skin for the most natural-looking finish.

Price at time of publish: $48

Shades: 12 | Finish: Natural | Size: 1.2 oz

L'Oréal True Match Nude Hyaluronic Tinted Serum

Best Drugstore

What We Love: Hyaluronic acid hydrates dry skin on the spot, and we love the wide shade range.

What We Don’t Love: The dropper format makes it hard to dispense the right amount, and the formula can be tricky to blend evenly.

Bringing together the best of skincare and makeup, this formula is one part hyaluronic acid serum, one part sheer tint. That hyaluronic acid helps draw water into skin, delivering a mild plumping effect and hydrating it on the spot. Meanwhile, the mineral pigments offer radiant coverage.

Bonus: The lineup of 14 shades is a lot more generous than other options. There's no greasy feel, and you can apply it with either your fingers or a makeup sponge.

However, we found that it can be tricky to blend it in evenly all over the face, and the dropper doesn’t always give you the same amount of product with squeeze, which can make it a little tough to control.

Price at time of publish: $20

Shades: 14 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 1 fl oz

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint

Best for Oily Skin

What We Love: It’s as barely-there as a makeup product can get in terms of both coverage and feel.

What We Don’t Love: It can take a long time to dry down, during which it might transfer.

For the sheerest possible option, Glossier’s Skin Tint offers just a touch of stretchy, nearly translucent coverage that subtly even outs skin, but won't otherwise conceal or hide much. That’s a good thing if you’re going for the most natural look and feel possible. Blunder is especially into this formula. “It makes me look dewy and fresh without adding too much coverage or looking like makeup,” she explains. “It’s very skin-like.”

It’s so sheer, however, that while it’s somewhat buildable, you might need to pair it with a concealer to tackle blemishes and dark spots. If you’re game for something that’s as close to your natural skin as possible, then this is a great option.

Price at time of publish: $26

Shades: 12 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 1 fl oz

Yves Saint Laurent Nu Bare Look Tint Hydrating Skin Tint

Best for Dry Skin

What We Love: The buildable formula delivers up to a medium coverage, giving you more flexibility.

What We Don’t Love: The shade range is skewed towards lighter shades, with just a handful of options for deeper skin tones.

The next best thing to bare skin? This skin tint, which not only delivers up to medium coverage (depending on how much you apply), but can also keep skin hydrated for up to 24 hours. That's because it's built like a moisturizer, with two powerful humectants, glycerin and hyaluronic acid, that help attract and trap moisture within skin. It also gives skin a bright, dewy finish that doesn't highlight any texture on your skin. With 20 shades to choose from, you'll have an easier time color-matching than you would with other options.

However, it's so lightweight that if you want it to last all day, you might need to set it with a powder or prep with a primer. The only other downside is that it has a fragrance — so if you're not into scented formulas, that might be a dealbreaker.

Price at time of publish: $44

Shades: 20 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 1 oz

Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

What We Love: The natural sheen won’t highlight any bumps or texture concerns.

What We Don’t Love: It’s gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types.

Skin tints can be a hard sell for those with acne-prone skin since they don't often provide enough coverage to handle both active breakouts and acne scars, but we're happy to say that's not the case here. While it's still more sheer than your average foundation, its light-to-medium coverage can be layered on to hide dark spots and minimize the appearance of large or clogged pores — all without sacrificing the natural finish or feeling cakey.

Part of that magic is white sage extract, which can help nix the appearance of redness, making inflamed blemishes less visible at the source. Plus, "it's hydrating, has medium coverage, and has SPF — my musts," says celebrity makeup artist Andréa Tiller, whose clients include Ariana Debose and Olivia Palermo. "The color range is beautiful and it stays put all day."

And with the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance, you can trust that it’s safe for sensitive skin types, too.

Price at time of publish: $32

Shades: 14 | Finish: Natural | Size: 1 oz.

Summer Fridays Sheer Skin Tint

Best for Combination Skin

What We Love: It lasts all day without creasing or wearing off.

What We Don’t Love: It can feel heavier than other skin tints, which some people might not like.

Combination skin isn't one-size-fits-all — it could involve redness, dry patches, and pores so large, you can see them from a mile away. That's where this skin tint comes in: It works on multiple fronts to address a variety of concerns common with this skin type. Part of its magic is in the tiger grass, a.k.a. centella asiatica, which is known for its redness-reducing abilities.

It also offers a blend of humectants, like hyaluronic acid, and emollients, such as squalane, to draw in and lock down hydration — all without leaving skin looking greasy. The fresh-faced finish is sheer and easy to blend sans creasing or pilling, making it pretty much the perfect formula for someone who wants one product that does it all.

Price at time of publish: $42

Shades: 10 | Finish: Natural | Size: 1 oz

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint With SPF 40

Best with SPF

What We Love: With 30 shade options, it's easy to find the right match.

What We Don’t Love: It’s fragrance-free, but as a result, the smell is not exactly pleasant.

A quick peek at the ingredient list and you might think this is a full-on face serum — think hydrating hyaluronic acid, squalane (key for skin barrier health) and niacinamide (which brightens and soothes). Plus, it has SPF 40, the most of any other skin tint on this list. But it also has just enough pigment to make it a complexion product in its own right, adequately concealing bumps and spots.

That’s earned it a following among both customers and celebrities alike. “I first started using this with Megan Fox when we were working together, as she loves using natural beauty brands,” Henney says. “This is super-sheer, has SPF, and has a beautiful, lightweight coverage that is great for day-to-day wear.”

Price at time of publish: $48

Shades: 30 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 1.0 fl oz

Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint

Best for Glowy Skin

What We Love: The click-pen format makes it easy to pack for travel or touch-ups on the go.

What We Don’t Love: It’s packed with oils, which may be a deal-breaker if you don’t love the texture.

This skin tint uses a blend of botanical face oils (like grapeseed, jojoba, avocado, and mandarin oils) to moisturize skin while you wear it, which is a win-win in our book. It gets other skincare advantages from barrier-fortifying squalane and broad-spectrum SPF 30 — all while being free of silicones and, magically, non-comedogenic, which is ideal for the acne-prone among us.

That oil content is what leaves skin with a particularly radiant finish alongside light coverage, which is also why the portable, pen-like, and air-tight packaging is especially handy. (Read: You might need touch-ups.) It also gets sustainability bonus points, since you can buy refills once you run out.

The biggest drawback? It’s dispensed via a rollerball, which helps prevent leaks but can also be pretty unwieldy to apply.

Price at time of publish: $42

Shades: 14 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 0.54 oz

Hourglass Cosmetics Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint

Best for Mature Skin

What We Love: It’s one of the few skin tints to offer medium to full coverage without adding weight.

What We Don’t Love: It only has SPF 15, so you’ll definitely need to supplement this with a sunscreen that offers a higher SPF.

While it's not a one-to-one swap for a full-coverage foundation, this formula still offers more pigment than its peers, making it ideal if you have more to conceal. You can tell the difference just in the texture, which is an airy cream that's easy to blend. It's also infused with pearlescent pigments, which give skin a soft-focus, radiant finish, as well as the brand's Hyaluronan Complex. The latter harnesses a form of hyaluronic acid that's able to plump deep lines and wrinkles, giving skin a smoother appearance almost instantly.

There’s one big downside with this formula, though — the range of shades is far from inclusive, dropping off at a medium-deep hue. While the sheerness of skin tints makes them more forgiving with color-matching, it’s still a little disappointing, not to mention challenging for those with deeper skin.

Price at time of publish: $56

Shades: 12 | Finish: Natural | Size: 1 oz

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint

Biggest Shade Range

What We Love: It holds up to heat and humidity, making it a great pick for summer.

What We Don’t Love: The coverage can tackle things like redness, but it’s not enough to handle acne and dark spots.

Rihanna challenged the status quo in a big way when she dropped her foundation — which introduced a game-changing 40 diverse shades — so it’s zero surprise that her skin tint takes the same approach. With a robust selection of 25 shades, you'll never get stuck looking like you did your makeup in the wrong lighting.

While the shade range makes the biggest splash, the formula within shouldn't be overlooked, either. The buildable formula blurs skin on the spot — and keeps it that way, thanks to its ability to resist humidity, sweat, and transfer.

However, it doesn’t have enough coverage to tackle concerns like acne, which is worth keeping in mind if you’re dealing with breakouts or textural issues.

Price at time of publish: $35

Shades: 25 | Finish: Natural | Size: 1.08 oz

Caliray Free Dreaming Skin Wellness Diffusing Tint

Best Clean

What We Love: It blends seamlessly to deliver light coverage with a satin finish.

What We Don’t Love: There doesn’t seem to be an option for people with cool undertones.

For a California-girl glow, look no further than Caliray's skin tint; it's the brainchild of Wende Zomnir, the West Coast-based founder of Urban Decay. It feels like nothing on skin, although the formula is jam-packed with antioxidants vitamins C and E, hydrating prickly pear extract, and jojoba oil to add moisture without clogging pores.

While the coverage starts off light, it's intended to be layered to camouflage skin so it appears super-smooth but not cakey. Plus, we love that the bottle can be recycled, which is still a hard find among complexion products. The only caveat is that the shade range is bare bones, and while the coverage is sheer, it can be obvious if you don’t get the right match.

Price at time of publish: $40

Shades: 10 | Finish: Natural | Size: 1.0 oz

Ami Colé Skin-Enhancing Tint

Best for Deep Skin Tones

What We Love: It’s designed specifically for people of color.

What We Don’t Love: With the limited shade selection, it can be tough to figure out the right undertone for your skin.

The six shades of this Black-owned brand were chosen with intention — that is, based on the most common undertones found in melanin-rich skin, making them ideal for those with medium to very deep skin tones. They’ve typically been underserved when it comes to complexion shades, especially in the more edited (to the point of exclusionary) ranges often found in skin tints.

Then, there’s the formula: This skin tint gives you the best of both worlds, delivering medium coverage with antioxidant-rich botanicals, such as baobab seed, hibiscus flower, and pumpkin seed extract. Its thin consistency melts into skin quickly, yet also manages to last a surprising amount of time. The only real drawback is that it doesn’t have sunscreen, so you would need to apply that separately.

Price at time of publish: $32

Shades: Six | Finish: Dewy | Size: 1.0 oz

Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint

Best Luxury

What We Love: Its finish looks like your own skin, but if you had a personal lighting crew.

What We Don’t Love: It's not long-wearing.

Let's start with the downsides: This delivers light coverage only, and even if you think you could build it to medium coverage, you'd be wrong. (However, you can layer it underneath foundation.)

It's also not a product known for longevity, so eventually the glow will fade as the day goes on. But that also brings us to the lit-from-within glow, which is hard to match from your average skin tint, and one of the reasons Tiller is a fan.

It has a “light, bare-skin effect,” she says, adding that it’s a standout formula in her kit. “It feels like your skin is drinking water when you apply it, because it's super-hydrating.”

The gel texture is actually composed of micro-droplets, which house the pigment, as well as Microfluidic technology, which supposedly gives you eight hours of hydration (and, as a result, prevents it from ever getting patchy). Also blunting the pain of the cost? It comes with an included brush for application.

Price at time of publish: $70

Shades: Eight | Finish: Natural | Size: 1.0 oz

What to Keep in Mind

Coverage Level

Skin tints tend to range from sheer to medium coverage. While you can occasionally find formulas that offer more, they’re harder to find. Plus, they require a closer shade match since you’re concealing more of your natural skin tone, and that can be hard to find among skin tints, which generally have a more basic range.

Deciding on the desired level of coverage is a matter of personal preference. If you’re comfortable with practically bare skin, then light coverage may do the trick, but if you’re looking to conceal dark spots and blemishes, you may want to opt for more.

Whether the formula can be layered is another factor to consider; this means that applying more will increase the amount of coverage. “I prefer my tint to be very light in coverage — bonus points if it’s buildable,” says Blunder.

Your go-to coverage can also depend on how you plan to use it. Tiller prefers medium coverage so she can thin it out or layer it depending on her goal. This way, “I have more control over the coverage, and it can be versatile,” she says.


Since skin tints are inherently lightweight (or supposed to be), their texture doesn’t vary too much. You’ll either find cream-like formulas or those with the slip and fast-absorbing properties of face serum.

“Try to stick to tints that have almost a serum-like texture and finish,” says Blunder. That way, she says, it reads as skin-like and luminous, which is the best-case scenario when you’re working with a skin tint.


Skin tints offer skincare-minded perks, and it’s absolutely worth factoring these in when you’re shopping for one. For Tiller, hydration is a must and you’ll often find it courtesy of humectants, such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Also common in skin tints are botanical oils, like squalane and jojoba, which moisturize skin as you wear them.

And many formulas now contain broad-spectrum sunscreen, making it “one less thing to think about,” says Tiller. Between the sun protection and the hydration, many skin tints can now replace multiple steps in your beauty routine, making them the ultimate one-and-done formula.

Your Questions, Answered

What is a skin tint?

A skin tint is a lightweight formula that offers a sheer wash of color. “Tints are perfect for low maintenance no-makeup days, making you feel refined without being heavily made up,” says Blunder. While you can wear them on their own, they can also be combined with complexion products. “I love using a tint to blend and soften fuller coverage products — it gives you a super-natural, real, but flawless look,” she says.

How do you apply a skin tint?

There are two ways to apply skin tint: With your brush or with your fingers. The difference in application depends on how much coverage you’re looking for. If you’re looking for no-makeup makeup, the warmth of your fingers will go a long way. “I always use my fingers because I want to really blend the product into my skin for a very seamless, second-skin look,” says Tiller. Just massage it in the same way you would a face serum or oil.

If you’re up for more coverage, however, consider sweeping it over skin using a dense, synthetic brush. That can be helpful if you’re adding additional layers, since you don’t run the risk of inadvertently lifting or disturbing your initial tint.

What's the difference between skin tint and foundation?

A foundation has more coverage than a skin tint. In other words, instead of evening out tone and blurring skin with a sheer layer of pigment to skin, foundations typically contain more pigment in order to hide everything from dark circles to fine lines. They may still offer skincare benefits, depending on the formula — but the look is generally less natural and more perfected.

Why Shop With Us

Deanna Pai is a freelance writer and editor who has been covering beauty, health, and wellness for more than a decade. She collects skin tints for their ability to improve the look of skin without requiring a ton of extra time or effort. For this story, she interviewed three pro makeup artists, including makeup artists Monika Blunder, Andréa Tiller, and Tobi Henney.

Related:The 10 Best Makeup Products with SPF of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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