face makeup What's the Difference Between Tinted Moisturizer, BB Cream and Foundation?

Consider this your go-to guide for setting these powerhouse products apart.

February 11, 2022
Difference Between Tinted Moisturizer BB Cream And Foundation


Purchasing new products should be a fun part of your makeup routine. The only issue is, it can be hard to know which ones you really want. (Besides the obvious… that you want everything!) It’s especially challenging when you’re trying to decide between a bunch of makeup products that seem similar. This problem especially tends to arise when dealing with tinted moisturizer, BB cream and foundation since they all serve similar purposes. 


But don’t be misconstrued, they aren’t the same. Ahead, we break down exactly what each one does — and provide our tinted moisturizer, BB cream and foundation picks.


When To Use Tinted Moisturizer

Tinted moisturizers are basically exactly what they sound like. They’re moisturizers — with a bit of tint. These lightweight lotions serve double-duty by offering hydration along with just a hint of radiance or sheer coverage. They’re also the lightest option — with the least coverage — for your makeup base.


A tinted moisturizer is a smart pick on days when you don’t need a ton of coverage but still want to look put together. If you’ve heard all the hype about no makeup, makeup looks or skinimalism, you can use a tinted moisturizer to get in on the minimalistic trends.


Our Best Tinted Moisturizer

Need a little pick-me-up for your skin? Here, we share our top pick for you.


L'Oréal Paris Skin Paradise Water Infused Tinted Moisturizer

Thanks to a 70 percent water-infused blend with aloe vera and witch hazel, this tinted moisturizer will give your complexion that coveted luminous glow we all know and love. Suitable for all skin types, the hydrating formula is non-comedogenic and lightweight, making it a pleasure to wear — alone or under your makeup.


When To Use BB Cream

A Korean beauty makeup staple, BB creams (short for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm”) are like tinted moisturizers, only they tend to deliver more coverage. What also makes them great is that they provide a whole lot of skin care benefits, ranging from SPF to hydration. So basically, they’re the ultimate makeup multitaskers. 


If you are having a rough skin day and aren’t sure wearing makeup will do you or your complexion any favors, it’s important to remember that the right makeup can actually be beneficial for your skin. Use a BB cream to provide a bit of coverage while taking care of your complexion. BB creams are also the perfect choice on days when you’re in a rush since they can tackle multiple issues at the same time.


Editor’s tip: BB creams formulated with SPF are a prime pick if you just can’t bear to go makeup-free, regardless of the time of year. Of course, make sure you take additional sun protection measures, like limiting your time in the sun and wearing a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, as well.


Our Best BB Creams

Whether you’re looking to hide redness, fight the look of fatigue, or correct the appearance of your complexion, there’s a BB cream for you.


L’Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

This 4-in-1 BB cream is your ticket to flawless-looking skin. It primes to smooth skin’s texture, corrects skin for an even-looking complexion, hydrates for all-day moisture and hides imperfections.


L’Oréal Paris Magic BB Anti-Redness (For All Skin Tones)

If you have unwanted redness, perhaps it’s time to hop on the color-correcting bandwagon with this green-tinted BB cream. When applied, the Magic BB Anti-Redness transforms to a universal shade to help reduce the look of redness.


L’Oréal Paris Magic BB Anti-Fatigue (For All Skin Types)

Getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done — which is why you need this pick in your life. This ultra-light BB cream is formulated with color-transforming pigments that help revive the look of a tired complexion, even skin tone, and hydrate and perfect it.


When To Use Foundation

As far as essential makeup basics go, foundation is right up there with concealer and mascara — in other words, it’s indispensable. Foundation comes in a multitude of forms, from powder to liquid to cream foundation, but in the end, they all have a similar job. 


When you smooth on this product, it should cover imperfections and even your skin tone. And when you’ve finished applying it, you’ll be all set with a base that’s ready for the rest of your makeup. 


If you need a bit more coverage than a tinted moisturizer or BB cream can provide, foundation will be your friend. Whether it’s a special occasion and you want your skin to look flawless or you simply need to disguise a blemish, foundation has you covered — literally.


Our Best Liquid Foundations

All foundations are not created equal. One formula that may work wonders on your friend’s skin might not work as well on yours. Thankfully, there’s an option for everyone, whether you’re seeking full coverage, a radiant finish or something else.


L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight

For those who want a natural look, pop this bad boy into your makeup bag. This liquid foundation is buildable with a natural finish. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that the formula is extremely long-wearing and resists sweat, water and anything else really.


Editor’s tip: If you’re not totally on board with a liquid foundation and prefer a powder formula, grab the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder.


L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup

Struggling to find your makeup match is an all too common problem. If you can relate, you’ll be interested in this cult-classic liquid foundation, which is available in a wide array of skin matching shades. It’s formulated with a blend of good-for-skin vitamins and SPF, and helps keep skin looking radiant and healthy.


L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

If you need to fend off shine without looking lifeless, this is the matte foundation for you. The long-lasting, oil-free formula has an air-light texture that offers medium coverage and a demi-matte finish that’s never dull or flat.


L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation

For those who are after a glowing, dewy complexion, add this fan-favorite into your arsenal, stat. The long-lasting formula has an ultra-light texture that delivers a radiant finish that never looks greasy. Bonus: It’s also formulated with SPF.


Next: How to Use True Match Tinted Serum as Makeup, According to a Makeup Artist



Edited by: Sophie Dweck, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn