Tinted moisturizers are popular for a reason. Sheer and lightweight, they offer a comfortable option between going bare-faced and slathering on foundation, making them ideal for everyday wear whether you’re heading to the office or getting ready to check off your weekend to-do list. Few formulas have stood out more (or withstood the test of time) quite like Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, which debuted in 1996 and has remained a go-to for celebrities and the rest of us ever since.
The tinted moisturizer ‘s star-studded fan base includes Ashley Graham who swears by it in the summer. Margot Robbie counts on it for everyday use, and Bella Thorne appreciates its lightweight coverage for her acne-prone skin.
It’s easy to see why everyone loves it. It offers just the right amount of sheer, dewy coverage without the careful application of full-coverage foundation. It’s the ultimate in no-makeup makeup, the popular trend in which your natural complexion shines through.
And that was just the old version. Now, there’s a new and improved Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer formula, which takes the skin care benefits of the original and turns them up a notch. First, potentially hazardous ingredients like parabens (a group of common preservatives that science suggests may disrupt hormones and irritate skin) have been taken out entirely. The sun protection, which was SPF 20, is now at SPF 30, which is the minimum amount recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology. And the moisturizing power is even better than the original. With moisturizing oils, such as kukui nut oil, it’s even more hydrating and nourishing for skin. Win-win and, dare we say it, win.
What’s been the biggest game-changer for me personally, though, is the newly expanded range of shades. I’m biracial, and my skin tone skews tan with yellow undertones. Historically, I’ve found it impossible to find a true match to my skin tone without spending an hour swatching colors and trying to find something that looks passable, but not perfect. With this new tinted moisturizer, I’m simply Tawny — and it blends seamlessly into my skin without my having to go mad scientist on it with other products.
Another great feature is its easy blendability. Those moisturizing oils make it simple to blend with your hands, and Mercier herself prefers using the natural warmth of the fingers for the smoothest application instead of a brush or a makeup sponge. But the best part? It’s everything you need in one tube. I have neither the time nor the patience (nor the desire, really) for a long, drawn-out makeup routine, and the ability to slap on my moisturizer-tint-sunscreen in one go is a nonnegotiable to me. I smooth it on after applying my serum in the morning, touch up any dark spots with concealer, and that’s it. That brings up my lone warning: This offers sheer coverage, and if you need something to handle a breakout, you’re going to want to find something else to tide you over until it clears up.
As someone who’s used both, I’m team New Formula — no doubt. While the bump in sun protection and extra hydration are worthwhile upgrades, nothing beats a tinted moisturizer that actually matches my skin tone. Foundation, see you never.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.