The Internet is good for lots of things, not just looking for photos of boobs and naked celebrities. (Though it is good for that, too!) More specifically, one of its most useful … uses … is crowdsourcing—it’s never been so easy to track down the best iteration of whatever it is that you need.
In this case, that would be tinted moisturizer. There are approximately a million on the market, and they all have words like “BB” and “pearlescent” and “luminosity” on the packaging, which don’t indicate much of anything about how the product actually works, or who should try it, or why it’s better than the many others it’s grouped with in the foundation aisle. The solution? Turn to anonymous reviewers all over the Web, who, unlike beauty brands, have nothing to gain from calling a formula “radiant” and “revitalizing” when it just isn’t.
See: these 8 super-popular tinted moisturizers, all of which have true testaments to their greatness from the nonsponsored (we think) people of Sephora.com, Reddit, and MakeupAlley.
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30 ($29.50)
This relatively new option is pretty much foolproof. It makes even the driest skin look hydrated and dewy, thanks to a skin-care-esque formulation that takes the term tinted moisturizer literally—you'll find squalane, fatty acids from coconut, glycerin, and algae-based botanicals at the very top of the ingredients list. "This product goes on like butter, covers pimples, minimizes lines, pores, and dark circles, and has a luminous glow," a Sephora commenter says.
Dior Hydra Life BB Creme SPF 30 ($60)
Full disclosure: The Pro-Youth Skin Tint formula heralded as the "best ever" on MakeupAlley and Reddit was recently discontinued, but you'll find in its place the very similar Hydra Life BB Creme, which has better SPF coverage, contains less fragrance, and has a soft-focus velvety finish rather than the much dewier effect of its predecessor. It has more coverage, too, and a remarkably lightweight feel. "It provides great coverage, but somehow doesn't even look like you're wearing makeup," says one Sephora reviewer, quite accurately. "It's gotta be some kind of sorcery."
Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint SPF 15 ($55)
With the coverage of a lightweight foundation and an intense hyaluronic "complex" that ensures major moisture for even the driest skin, this one is an all-around winner. It imparts a "plumped" quality that makes fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable, and has a glowy finish that even works on oily skin. "I was getting so sick of wanting coverage without looking cakey and 'made-up,' but this product is just perfect for providing a luminous, perfected, but natural-looking finish," gushes a MakeupAlley reviewer.
Jouer Matte Moisture Tint SPF 15 ($40)
There are two separate Reddit threads that exist for the sole purpose of talking about how good this medium-coverage tinted moisturizer is. (No, really. Go look.) Here's why: It keeps oil at bay without turning dry or chalky and perfectly evens out imperfections, all while delivering a considerable dose of antioxidant-rich vitamins. The one and only con is its slightly limited shade range, so if you love the formula but can't find the right match, contact customer service until they have no choice but to add more colors to the line.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 ($44)
No surprise here: Laura Mercier's iconic formula was one of the first of its kind, and it still holds up as a perennial go-to—an "old standby," as one Sephora commenter phrases it. With light, long-wearing coverage, easy use-your-hands application, and hydrating properties, it's pretty much the epitome of what a tinted moisturizer is meant to do. It also comes in an equally beloved oil-free version.
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 ($44)
There aren't many things that NARS does wrong, and this lightweight, hydrating (but noncomedogenic!) tinted moisturizer is no exception. "It provides really good coverage and a beautiful radiance to the skin," according to a MakeupAlley reviewer. It's also got a great shade range, offering the super pale Finland to the warm, deep Polynesia and everything in between. (See also: its equally incredible matte counterpart, which is a dream for the oily and acne-prone.)
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer SPF 20 ($10.49)
For a drugstore pick, this sheer, oil-free tint cannot be beat. "This stuff is gold," says one MakeupAlley user. Another says, "I started using this stuff over eight years ago. I have tried many different BBs, foundations, mineral powders, etc. and always come back to this." A touch of retinol has a cumulative effect to smooth fine lines and reduce signs of aging over time, and olive and camellia extracts add to its hydrating power.
Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 ($36)
There's nothing not to love about Tarte's multitasking tinted moisturizer: It's lightweight and oil-free, it blends well without clogging pores, it's buildable for extra coverage, and it contains Amazonian clay to keep skin looking fresh and shine-free, along with countless other good-for-skin ingredients for all types of complexions. One Reddit user says, "It works during the summer and worked while I was on Accutane, so it's wide-ranging enough in its capacity to deal with different skin types."