Tinted Moisturizer vs Foundation: Learn How Different They Really Are!

Published Categorized as Makeup Tips

Tinted moisturizer vs foundation: what is the difference? If you’re asking this question, you’re not alone. Many individuals are confused about the difference between tinted moisturizer and foundation and wonder which is the best fit for their needs. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at tinted moisturizers and foundation to see how they are similar and their key differences that may impact which is the right choice for you.

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Table of Contents

DRMTLGY Anti-Aging Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 46. Universal Tint. All-In-One Face Sunscreen and Foundation with Broad Spectrum Protection Against UVA and UVB Rays. 1.7 oz

What Is Tinted Moisturizer?

Let’s start by taking a look at what tinted moisturizers are.  Their name actually does a pretty good job explaining what these beauty and skin care products are.  Tinted moisturizers are designed to moisturize the skin while also providing light coverage and adding just a bit of tint to the skin.

Tinted moisturizers include some makeup pigments, like you’d find in foundation or BB cream), which is why they’re able to tint your skin and provide a bit of coverage.  When you combine this with the moisturizing aspect of a tinted moisturizer, you can see why they’re pretty popular.

Just remember that while tinted moisturizers can provide sheer coverage, they are not a full coverage product.  So, they won’t help with covering up dark spots or blemishes on your face.

What Is Foundation?

Foundations, on the other hand, typically provide more coverage than you can expect to get with a tinted moisturizer.  With this increased coverage, foundation can help blur imperfections and really smooth your face for picture-perfect results.

There are lots of different types of foundation, including those that offer a dewy finish or matte finish.  Foundation comes in different forms too, including powers, liquid, or cream foundation.  Additionally, you’ll find a range of coverage levels with foundation too.

Can You Wear Tinted Moisturizer Instead of Foundation?

Now that you understand the key tinted moisturizer vs foundation differences, you may be wondering whether you can wear tinted moisturizer instead of foundation.  The answer is that you absolutely can, but you’ll want to make sure it will meet your needs.

As you’re deciding whether you want to use tinted moisturizer instead of foundation, think about how much coverage you desire and whether you have any imperfections on your face that you would like to hide.  If you’re OK going with a more natural look, then tinted moisturizer can be a good choice.  However, if you want a full coverage look, sticking with foundation is probably best.

Is Tinted Moisturizer Better Than Foundation?

Neither tinted moisturizer or foundation are necessarily better than the other one.  They each have their own applications and uses.  You may decide that using tinted moisturizer is better in some situations, like an outdoor picnic or pool party, while foundation is better for occasions when you desire full coverage, such as an important job interview or business meeting.

Also, remember that there are different types of foundation.  Let’s take a quick look at how some of them compare to tinted moisturizer:

Foundations vs Tinted Moisturizers: More Differences

Sheer Foundation vs Tinted Moisturizer

While sheer foundations and tinted moisturizers can both provide sheer coverage, a tinted moisturizer will be better at hydrating and nourishing your skin.

Powder Foundation vs Tinted Moisturizer

With powder foundation, you have greater control over the amount of coverage you get.  You can typically apply multiple layers to achieve a full coverage look, or stick to just a few for sheerer coverage.  Tinted moisturizers don’t allow you to choose the level of coverage you’ll get, however they will also hydrate your skin, while powder foundations can be drying.

Liquid Foundation vs Tinted Moisturizer

Most liquid foundations will provide more coverage than tinted moisturizer.  However, they may also make your skin feel a bit stiffer or tighter than a tinted moisturizer will.

Foundation Stick vs Tinted Moisturizer

Foundation sticks provide comparable coverage to liquid foundations, so most will offer greater coverage than a tinted moisturizer.  However, again, a tinted moisturizer will be less likely to leave your skin feeling dried out.

When to Use Tinted Moisturizer vs Foundation

Reach for tinted moisturizer when you only need sheer coverage.  Tinted moisturizer can also be a good choice for those dealing with very dry skin or who just feel like their face needs an extra boost of hydration.

Foundation may be your go-to for occasions when you want to conceal imperfections on your face or want to present a really polished and pristine look.

Really, the best time to choose either tinted moisturizer or foundation is completely up to you, your preferences, and your comfort level!

Tinted Moisturizer and Foundation: A Few of Our Favorites

If you’re looking for a new tinted moisturizer or foundation, check out some of our picks:

Tinted Moisturizers



Is tinted moisturizer better than foundation for mature skin?

Many makeup and beauty experts recommend tinted moisturizers for individuals with mature skin.  They don’t settle into wrinkles like many foundations do, and they can help keep the skin hydrated and healthy.

Is tinted moisturizer considered makeup?

Yes, tinted moisturizers are considered makeup.  They are formulated with makeup pigments to offer the tint and sheer coverage for your skin.  However, they don’t offer the same level of coverage as foundation, or even BB and CC creams.

Making the Decision: Tinted Moisturizer vs Foundation

Now that you’ve learned more about the key differences between tinted moisturizers and foundation, which do you think is right for you?  Remember, you don’t have to pick just one!  You can have a tinted moisturizer and a foundation on hand to use depending on the occasion!

Learn more about tinted moisturizer and foundation on our blog:

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?