A significant proportion of women (I'll hold my hands up and say I was one of them) follow a "more is more" approach when it comes to skin make-up, and believe their face simply isn't ready for the day without a mask of foundation. So if you are one of these ladies, I am about to convert you to the wonders of tinted moisturiser (TM).
There are an endless number of advantages to wearing TM instead of foundation - they're much quicker to apply, are far more natural looking, give great coverage, are lighter on the skin, are less likely to cause break-outs and, contrary to popular belief, you can still wear TMs with combination/oily skin without looking horribly shiny... if that hasn't sold you, I don't know what will!
I have the curse of combination skin, which meant I had to be extra careful which tinted moisturiser I ended up going for, and after virtually an entire afternoon spent at various department-store beauty counters, I found the holy grail of all TMs ...
Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, £27.00
This TM is fairly new to the market but Nars have got it spot-on - it feels lighter than air on the skin, gives a lovely natural 'glow', has an oil-free formula and smells ever so slightly citrus-ey (yum!). Coverage is buildable, it blends beautifully and unlike many other available TMs, it's free of chemical nasties like fragrances and parabens.
I'm big on staying safe in the sun, and this TM contains SPF30 (most foundations only contain SPF15!).
Nars claim that this product also reduces uneven skin tone and scarring - it's a pretty big statement for a mere TM, and to be perfectly frank, I'm not sure I've experienced this, but I've only been using it for about two weeks so maybe I'd need to be using the product a little longer to see this effect.
If all of that wasn't enough, it comes in 9 shades so caters for ladies of all skin-colours:
1 Finland, 2 Alaska, 3 St. Moritz, 4 Annapurna, 5 Cuba, 6 Malaga, 7 Seychelles, 8 Martinique, 9 Polynesia
I apply this TM with a Benefit foundation brush following my normal Manuka Doctor skin-care routine (if you've not read what I have to say about this range, click here) of cleanser, toner, serum and yes, even moisturiser. Moisturiser is really an optional step when it comes to using TM on oily skin, so it's up to you whether or not you choose to use it. Personally, I think a well moisturised face provides the perfect base to apply this product onto, just make sure your moisturiser is oil-free and it's allowed to sink into your skin for five minutes or so before applying your TM.
After blending, I apply a very light dusting of powder just across the T-zone. I don't like to use powder again after this as it tends to look a little cakey towards the end of the day, so if I get a little shiny, I use blotting papers (more about these babies here). And that's it, long-lasting, natural-looking coverage all day long.
If I've successfully converted you to Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, you can purchase here, but I strongly recommend popping into a store to get a colour-match (have a look where your nearest Nars stockist is).
For girls lucky enough to have normal skin, I've heard great things about Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser. It gives light to medium coverage so doesn't mask cute features like freckles, and contains shimmery particles that give a lovely natural glow. A friend of mine that uses this TM believes it's the equivalent of a good night's sleep in a tube, especially after those heavy nights when you wake up looking and feeling not quite so daisy fresh...!
The reason I didn't purchase it myself is that, generally, shimmering formulas on oily skin is not a good idea - it tends to make already shiny skin look somewhat greasy. So girls with combination/oily skin, I'd steer clear of it!
I should add Laura Mercier also have an oil-free version of their TM which I did road-test, but I much preferred the Nars one as it was much less heavy on the skin, yet still gave better coverage, it contained less chemical nasties than the Laura Mercier formula... And it's £6.00 cheaper!
Photo credit: Nars Cosmetics