Foundation vs. Tinted Moisturizer: Which Is Right for You

Foundation vs. Tinted Moisturizer: Which Is Right for You

Aug 5th 2022

It’s no secret that the options are nearly endless for products to cover, balance, or correct our skin conditions. While it’s usually a good thing to have countless options, it can make choosing products extremely difficult, especially for a makeup beginner. If you’re unsure whether foundation or tinted moisturizer is right for you, follow along to learn more about each.

What Is Tinted Moisturizer?

Tinted moisturizer is a lightweight product that provides minimal coverage. It’s an incredible product that everyone should have in their makeup kit. It’s the perfect option for anyone looking for something a little extra color and hydration on their face.


The most significant advantages of using tinted moisturizer are that it’s exceptionally lightweight and great for a quick application. Firstly, it provides the ultimate “no makeup” makeup look and creates an unbeatable radiance. You should think of tinted moisturizer as your skin but enhanced! Furthermore, you can apply tinted moisturizer on the go, making it an appealing product for busy moms and working women.


If you’re looking for a product to cover your blemishes, redness, and other imperfections, a tinted moisturizer may not be the right option. Unfortunately, it’s also more likely to sweat off or smear in the summer heat due to its lightweight consistency. With that in mind, you won’t get the same coverage level with tinted moisturizer as other products.

How To Use It

Using a tinted moisturizer is incredibly easy, and you can apply it with your hands, a sponge, or a brush. Additionally, it’s an excellent choice for those low-key days when you don’t want to wear a full face of heavy makeup products. Fortunately, tinted moisturizer contains hydrating ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, making it an excellent option for people who struggle with skin dehydration or flakiness.

What Is Foundation?

You’re probably familiar with foundation, but there are still countless options on the market for every skin type and color you can think of. Because the goal of foundation is achieving a flawless complexion, there are options suitable for everyone.

Interestingly, several different foundation formulas exist, including liquid, mineral powder, pressed powder, cream, and sticks. Although this may seem overwhelming, most people stick to one or two formulas that work; the key is figuring out which is best for you.


Foundation has many advantages, but the main benefit is that it provides full coverage. For those looking to cover any redness, breakouts, dark spots, or other imperfections, you can benefit from using foundation in your daily routine. Foundation reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and large pores. You’ll like how much it balances your skin tone and gives you a flawless finish. Although there are many things to love about most foundations, there are always a few disadvantages that may be deal breakers for you.


Full coverage products must match your skin tone as closely as possible; otherwise, your face will appear a completely different color than your neck and chest area. Furthermore, foundation can make your face look dry or cakey if you apply too much. Additionally, foundation can settle into your fine lines or crease around your eyes and mouth.

How To Use It

As previously mentioned, the goal of wearing foundation is to achieve a full coverage makeup look; with that in mind, there are a few things to consider during the application process.

  • You should apply a thin layer of moisturizer or primer before foundation to prevent it from smearing or moving around on your face.
  • Consider applying it in small amounts; you can always use more if you desire more coverage, but it isn’t easy to dial down the cakey appearance once it’s on your face.
  • While you can apply it with your hands, it’s best first to apply it with a brush and then blend it into your skin with a beauty blender.
  • Foundation is the best option to cover extreme redness or tattoos. As with tinted moisturizer, there’s a time and place for foundation to shine.

Other Coverage Options To Consider

While foundation and tinted moisturizer are the most common choices for base makeup, there are a few other options to consider based on your personal skin needs. These options are between tinted moisturizer and foundation, making them a happy medium. Explore the possibilities of BB and CC creams.

BB Cream

BB stands for beauty balm, and BB cream is the perfect product for those who want slightly more coverage than a tinted moisturizer. As a bonus, BB cream works as a moisturizer, primer, and sunscreen, and it looks best when you set it with translucent powder. BB cream leaves you looking natural and dewy, and it’s easy to apply; it doesn’t leave you with the same creases or potential discoloration as foundation since many BB creams adjust to your skin tone.

CC Cream

CC stands for color corrective, and CC cream is the ultimate option for correcting redness, dark spots, or brightening dull skin. If you’re looking for an even skin tone, you’ll love this creamy formula that’s much lighter than foundation. Like BB cream, it’s light enough for everyday wear, but it’s not so heavy that you feel as though your skin can’t breathe.

BB and CC creams are incredible choices if you’re looking for base products with additional skincare benefits. They both provide a medium-level coverage between tinted moisturizer and foundation.

SPF for All

No matter what type of product you choose for your makeup base, SPF is essential. Although many products contain some UV protection, you shouldn’t solely rely on them to protect your face from the sun. With that in mind, you should always apply a thin layer of facial sunscreen underneath your base makeup to provide better protection from UV rays.

Now that you know whether tinted moisturizer or foundation is right for you, you should experiment with different brands and formulas to find a product that fits you. If you need acne-safe skincare and makeup products, many base products are non-comedogenic and provide additional nutrients for your skin. Whether you use the same base product every day or adjust it according to your plans, the most important factor is that you love how it looks and feels on your skin.

Foundation vs. Tinted Moisturizer: Which Is Right for You