August 23 2014

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Desperately Seeking Tinted Moisturizer


When Prescriptives decided to shutter its doors two years ago, I had two reactions in quick succession: sadness at the loss of the brand I’d been using almost exclusively since teen-dom, then panic about whether I would be able to stockpile enough of its bestsellers to last me for the rest of eternity. Most could be replaced with similar products from other brands, I discovered—except, that is, for my beloved Traceless Skin Responsive Tint. The tinted moisturizer with a slightly illuminating natural coverage that didn’t feel at all makeup-y was, in a word, perfection. I did manage to amass enough to last me until recently, but as I was desperately squeezing the final drop out of the final tube, I decided it was finally time to search for a replacement. Here is the latest group of contenders that are currently in the running.

Chantecaille Just Skin Anti-Smog Tinted Moisturizer

Chantecaille’s formula is packed with botanicals like honeysuckle, edelweiss, and green tea, plus moisturizing sodium hyaluronate. The rich formula feels a bit more like a foundation than a tinted moisturizer, making it a viable option on the occasion when more coverage is needed. It is my hands-down winner in the packaging department, but be warned: Its good looks don’t come cheap.


Physicians Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer

As it’s entirely natural (100 percent of ingredients are from natural origin, and more than 80 percent from organic origin), Physician Formula’s offering is a great idea for those with more reactive skin—i.e. me, at least once a month. Remember to shake the tube first, otherwise the filmy formula tends to separate in an undesirable way. The coverage is lightweight enough for everyday use and absorbs easily. Bonus: It’s a total bargain.


Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint

I count myself a big fan of Liz Earle’s skincare, so when I heard that the British naturalist was branching out into makeup I was understandably excited. Her first product to be available stateside is a tinted moisturizer packed with enough vitamin E, borage, and avocado for a super-creamy consistency. Though it was a little too rich for my summertime needs, once the temperature drops, my prediction is that it will feel just right.

$34, available beginning September 8 at

Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free

Brown’s original Tinted Moisturizer was a runaway hit with the beauty-buying public, and this gel-based version will certainly please the more oily-complected among us. The formula boasts skincare ingredients like collagen-boosting peptides that make it feel like it’s doing more than just camouflaging the skin—always a good thing.


Ahava Mineral Makeup Care Light Foundation

I’m not usually a champion of anything in the mineral makeup category but Ahava’s little (seriously, a bigger tube, please!), antioxidant-loaded option does impress. The smoothing formula feels nourishing and gives you slightly more coverage than the typical tint. Please note: the finish is more matte and less light-reflective, if you’re into that kind of thing.


Aveda Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisturizer

Aveda’s formula is silky to the touch and imparts a really lovely dewy finish to the skin. I’m a fan of its illuminating quality (much like that old Prescriptives favorite), which comes from the tourmaline gemstone on the ingredient list. The only thing I wasn’t as nuts about was the scent; I like an essential-oil blend, just not in my makeup.


Urban Decay Urban Defense Tinted Moisturizer

I really, really loved the super-illuminating quality of Urban Decay’s option; it seemed the most capable of the bunch of imbuing skin with an instant radiance. The gossamer-thin formula goes on very natural, which we appreciate, but it did take a bit more time than we anticipated to fully absorb.


Photo: Courtesy of



  1. pinkabu says:

    I know Prescriptives closed their counters, but the Traceless tint is still for sale on their site – is their website closing as well?

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