Naturally: forgo heavy foundation for a summer glow

The right tinted moisturiser adds a warm healthy glow, particularly in spring and early summer

My favourite “summer glow” is the welcome side effect of days spent in the sunny outdoors, preferably along with a pair of hiking boots or a bikini and a respectable sunscreen. Tinted moisturiser is the next best thing.

Tinted moisturisers exist somewhere between foundations and day creams. They don’t cover spots, dark circles or blemishes quite like the former, and they don’t hydrate the skin enough to replace the latter. So why bother?

If you’re someone who wears foundation, tinted moisturiser is a lighter alternative in warmer months. You’ll get minimum coverage, but your skin will breathe easier and your freckles will show – it’s the equivalent of a summer dress for your face.

For those of us who forgo foundation year round – I’ve never been a fan of the stuff – the right tinted moisturiser will add a warm healthy glow. It’s particularly handy in spring and early summer when it’s likely your cheeks haven’t quite yet caught any colour.


Despite what the name suggests, tinted moisturisers are generally not very hydrating, so don’t skip your usual day cream.

After cleansing, apply your day cream, allow it to sink in and then apply the tinted cream on top. Alternatively, you can blend them together – my preferred method. I combine a pea-sized blob of tinted moisturiser with my usual day cream in my palm and then rub it into my face and neck with my fingers.

Unlike foundation, which is supposed to match your skin tone, tinted moisturiser can be bit darker. I find that blending it with day cream helps in controlling the colour and applying evenly. It can go everywhere, even on lips and eyelids. Concealer, powder and any other makeup can be applied on top.

Caudalie’s Radiance Tinted Moisturizer SPF20

(€25.20) is one of my favourites. Founded by husband-and-wife team Mathilde and

Bertrand Thomas

– who developed their skincare line from the grapes grown on their vineyard in Bordeaux – the cult French beauty brand uses natural, environmentally friendly ingredients, and leaves out plenty of the less friendly sort.

Available in Arnotts, Space NK and select pharmacies, it comes in two colours – light and medium – and melts into the skin. The consistency is perfect: not too heavy, not too runny. And I love that it includes just the right amount of sun protection.

Another favourite is Dr Hauschka's Tinted Day Cream (€28.95), a rich, natural cream for a warm, dewy look. Intended to work with your own skin tone, it comes in only one shade. The colour can be as heavy as the texture, so just a drop will do if you're fair.

Ilia's very decent Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturiser SPF20 (€44) is pricier than the others and a little too runny in texture for my taste (perfect when blended with a rich moisturiser), but if you need a wider range of sun-kissed shades to find your ideal match, it's worth checking out.

Ilia is an LA-based prestige brand that couldn’t be further from the granola-and-Birkenstocks stereotype of the all-natural set, offering a beauty range that combines quality organic products with chic contemporary design. Its Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturiser, available through Net-a-Porter, comes in six semi-matte shades.

Just remember that tinted moisturiser isn’t about covering up your skin. Rather it’s about enhancing it with a just-back-from-the-beach glow. It’s meant as barely there make-up – the best kind.