How to Wear Tinted Moisturizer for Men
When it comes to makeup, there are still a lot of men out there who whole-heartedly refuse to even go there — and plenty that will. That’s fine. That’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to discuss that gray area between full coverage foundation often carried by ladies in your life and the simple step nearly half of American men aged 18 to 59 admitted to using, according to a 2017 Statista survey — face moisturizer. What is that gray area-filling skin care product? Tinted moisturizer.
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If you think there isn’t a difference between traditional makeup foundation and tinted moisturizer, think again. “[Tinted moisturizer] is lightweight in texture, so it provides the essential coverage of makeup that benefits most any man, without looking like he’s wearing makeup,” says celebrity hair stylist and men's groomer, Kristan Serafno. “For beard aficionados, tinted moisturizers leave beard and stubble untouched.”
According to L'Oréal Paris — a top global company that knows a thing or two about makeup — “[Tinted moisturizers] serve double-duty by offering hydration along with just a hint of … sheer coverage. They’re also the lightest option, with the least coverage … [Alternatively] foundation comes in a multitude of forms, from powder to liquid to cream to compact, but in the end, they all have a similar job … Foundations do provide more coverage than … tinted moisturizers, BB creams [and CC creams].” If you want to know the difference between BB and CC creams, L'Oréal has more info on that as well.
How to Use Tinted Moisturizer
“Its resourcefulness provides essential skin care benefits, while reducing the number of products in a man’s routine, which is a good thing,” Serafino explains. “Benefits include hydration, sun protection [if it contains an SPF], anti-aging, all with a subtle dash of tint.”
Serafino lays out just how easy it is to use tinted moisturizer:
Exfoliation is key to using color on skin. Put a scrub balm in the shower [and] twice per week, step in with dry hands, gently rub a penny sized dollop onto a dry face for 30 seconds. Don’t scrub to vigorously … let the product do the work. Leave on for the whole shower and rinse at the end. I recommend Urth Skin Solutions for Men Face Scrub or Triumph & Disaster Rock & Roll Face Scrub.
I’m a huge advocate of using man-specific products when available. In this case, the moisturizing element of the product should be formulated for a man’s skin condition and tone, which is decidedly different than a woman.
With the tinted moisturizer, start with a pea size on fingertips. Rub into bridge of nose and up between eyebrows, spread out along nose, center of cheeks, just below brows and above brows going up onto the forehead. By the time you get to beard/scruff and hairline it should be all buffed in. If you clean shave, you can use a bit more, press with flat hands onto cheeks and jawline where you shave.
Best Tinted Moisturizers for Men
These are Serafino's picks for the best tinted moisturizers for men.
Sisley Paris Tinted Moisturizer
The epitome of luxury skin care, Sisley uses rich, active ingredients to provide long-lasting moisture and minimize the look of fine lines and even blemishes. It has a special mattifying powder that helps prevent your face from looking greasy or shiny.
Lab Series Skincare for Men Instant Filter Moisturizer
Using encapsulated color, this moisturizer comes out looking like most others, but touch activating blurring technology counteracts redness, visibly smooths flaws and improves the look of your overall skin tone. It’s basically designed to save you a step when retouching your selfies.
Boy Chanel Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 25
It may be labeled foundation, but the coverage it provides is pretty on par with the other tinted moisturizers on our list. Pick from one of 12 shades and apply just a little for great effect.
It Cosmetics Anti-Aging Armour Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50+
Developed with plastic surgeons, this helps prevent collagen damage and hyperpigmentation you get from sun exposure. It’s infused with peptides, niacin, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, and ideal for all skin tones.
Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
If you are looking to take your tinted moisturizing to the next level, Laura Mercier would be what you want to use. With 13 shades, it is the most customizable on our list, allowing for a bit more coverage. Plus the oil-free formula is great for guys, since men have been reported to have higher sebum production and larger pore size.
More Great Tinted Moisturizers
Perricone MD Face Finishing & Firming Moisturizer Tint SPF 30
A favorite here at AskMen this 2018 Grooming Award Winner for Best Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen has a universal tint that uses antioxidants and subtle color to deliver benefits that minimize the appearance of imperfections both immediately and over time.
Mënaji Power Hydrator Plus Tinted Face Moisturizer
Unlike a lot of other men’s grooming brands looking to downplay their participation in the color-correcting game, Mënaji owns that it is one of the few men’s brands to give many makeup options for guys. That might be why this tinted moisturizer has a little bit of a thicker consistency, so you don’t need much to have it work its magic.
Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow
Super lightweight and probably the easiest to apply from our list, this tinted moisturizer also used encapsulated color and adjusts to just about any skin shade to both even tone as well as add a touch of color.
Stryx Product 2 Tinted Moisturizer
Offering the impressively designed duo of concealer tool and tinted moisturizer, Stryx set out to design discreet products. The only issue? These look so chic, dudes are going to ask what they are, after which you’ll have to inevitably brag about how cool your “makeup” is … you trendsetter.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector Retinol Treatment SPF 20
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, it’s going to be this Neutrogena tinted moisturizer with retinol. Isn’t retinol a nighttime ingredient? Not exclusively. With regular use, retinol helps correct past damage and when combined with sunscreen, helps prevent further damage. Win-win.
It’s really that easy. Often tinted moisturizers usually come in just a few shades, so if in doubt, ask your partner to chime in on if the color looks natural. Since applying a daily moisturizer is a step a lot of guys are already comfortable with and doing, adding a little bit of tint to the mix just ups the outcome a bit by providing an even tone and smoother appearance.
Regardless of how heavy you are looking to commit to the tinted moisturizing game, there is one out there that lets you use it as daringly or discretely as you’d like. Don’t think of it as make up, think of it as all it is — tinted moisturizer.
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