I’m a big advocate for embracing your skin and letting it show through whatever products you’ve chosen to use. Because of this, my personal preference is to use a skin tint as my base; something designed to work with and enhance my skin, rather than cover it up. In this post, I’ll be describing the differences between these types of bases and revealing my go-to brands…
For me, a skin tint refers to a product that provides both light coverage and skin benefits, whereas a foundation has medium to full coverage and falls under ‘makeup’ more so than ‘skincare’. As the latter is something more people are familiar with (and makes less of an appearance in my routine), below I’ll be exploring the types of skin tints I have on rotation…
Over time BB creams have been called a few different names but I think the most well known are “Beauty Balm” or “Blemish Balm”. As well as offering skincare properties and some coverage, BB creams can act as a primer, moisturiser, foundation, SPF, skin treatment and concealer, all in one product.
Some BB creams include hyaluronic acid (which helps to hydrate the skin) and antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E) which regenerates the skin, improving its elasticity, texture and appearance. They are almost always non-comedogenic, which means they don’t block pores and result in breakouts.
These creams provide a light, natural finish, enhancing the complexion, leaving it looking even and bright with a healthy glow. It is usually lighter than a foundation and heavier than a tinted moisturiser, making a good middle-ground choice for most to have in their beauty bag!
CC means “colour correcting” or “complexion correcting”. CC creams contain antioxidants – again, great for skin regeneration, and peptides for plumping.
They provide slightly fuller coverage than BB creams and are used to prime and conceal problem skin and colour correct skin tone. These creams help to reduce the appearance of redness and sallowness, improves skin tone and smoothes out your overall complexion. They are lighter in texture than both foundation and BB creams and also less oily so feel lighter on the skin.
These are available as a single product with multiple correcting properties, or individual products to target specific colour problems. For example, a green pigment is anti-redness, apricot pigment is anti-fatigue, white pigment is anti-dark spots, or you can have just the one which appears to be a natural skin colour but has these pigments within.
Tinted moisturisers are the most lightweight of all of the types I’ve mentioned. Despite their sheer coverage, they are capable of covering, concealing and evening out skin tone – just don’t go expecting too much! As the name suggests, this product’s primary function is as a moisturiser, with just a hint of colour as a secondary benefit.
While this probably isn’t for you if you’re looking for full coverage, I would recommend this as a staple for anyone who wants a subtle tint in the summer.
As all of these products often have a limited shade range in comparison to foundations, I tend to blend a few products to create a shade that truly matches my skin tone. I would one day love to see these in as many shades as a brand like Fenty Beauty has!
I often get asked for recommendations and love being able to share these with people. When it comes to which bases I would suggest, sometimes a skin tint or BB cream is the answer, and sometimes only a foundation will do. As I explained above, it’s all down to the coverage you are looking for, the finish (satin/matte/sheer/dewy) and/or the shade range that’s available. All of these factors come down to how you like your skin to look and feel, so below I’ve listed some of my favourite brands for natural skin tints and foundations to help you to find the ones that are best for you…
I love Sasha’s goal: “My main goal in creating our Serum Foundation was to have something that really looks and feels like the best version of your skin. It should be undetectable to the eye, yet still provide good coverage while making your skin look youthful and radiant”.
The serum foundation has a velvet finish, is available in 18 shades, is cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan, contains only 100% natural dyes, and includes some of my favourite ingredients: rosehip oil and marula oil. Ilia also has a Tinted Moisturiser with SPF20 which is available in 5 shades and is 38% organic.
Also natural, cruelty-free and vegan, Inika is a certified organic company. Their BB cream is rich in prickly pear, pomegranate, avocado and jojoba oils which boosts skin health, collagen, and hydration, and gives a radiant effect for softer, fresher-looking skin. Their mineral foundation also contains antioxidants, includes hyaluronic acid and has antibacterial properties.
I’m a big fan of Ere Perez and their use of plant-based ingredients. They care about clean, conscious living, and creating products that make you feel confident in your skin. They have a range of different consistencies for their foundations – Quinoa Water Foundation, Oat Milk Foundation and Calendula Powder Foundation – and each is designed to support the skin; whether that’s healing inflammation, boosting hydration or smoothing the complexion.
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Their Tinted Face Oil is my personal favourite. It provides a layer of self-adjusting colour with a velvety finish, whilst locking in moisture, protecting against free radicals, repairing, hydrating and balancing. As well as being cruelty-free and gluten-free, their products don’t contain parabens, phthalates, alcohol, mineral oil or synthetic fragrance – all of which can be particularly damaging to skin, especially when used repeatedly.
The RMS “Un” Cover-Up Cream Foundation is perfect if you’re looking for fuller coverage and a dewy finish. Available in 16 shades, it’s a nourishing product that is all about giving a radiant appearance. It’s also non-GMO, non-nano, soy-free, gluten-free and cruelty-free.
Probably the most recognisable brand in this list, I completely agree with the principle on which it was founded: “Burt’s Bees believes you’re at your most beautiful when what you put on your body is from nature — after all, what goes on to your body goes into your body”. You may not have thought of this company when considering a new base to buy, but their Goodness Glows Liquid Foundation is equally about moisturising as it is about giving a radiant finish and buildable coverage. There’s no SLS, petrolatum, parabens, phthalates or synthetic fragrances in it either!
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Although their BB Cream is only available in 3 shades meaning it isn’t the most inclusive product, if you do have fair to medium skin, this vegan-friendly formula is antibacterial and contains antioxidants which as mentioned above, do provide multiple benefits to the skin. Some of the ingredients aren’t the best for long-term use, but it is silicone-free and created for older (but still beautiful) skin!
Sappho never use soy, gluten, GMOs, mineral oil, silicone, phthalates, parabens, talc or animal/insect products in their ingredients. I particularly like their CC cream as it leaves a silky finish, is nourishing, contains organic ingredients and cuts down the need for multiple colour correcting products by managing different issues in one.
DO YOU PREFER A SKIN TINT OR FOUNDATION?
I’d love for you to tell me in a comment below!