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Tinted Moisturizer vs. BB Cream vs. Foundation: What's the Difference?

Face Makeup

Tinted Moisturizer vs. BB Cream vs. Foundation: What's the Difference? Tinted Moisturizer vs. BB Cream vs. Foundation: What's the Difference? Tinted Moisturizer vs. BB Cream vs. Foundation: What's the Difference?

When it comes to your makeup routine, purchasing new products should be fun. 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. How can you know which to buy if you aren’t sure what the difference is? This problem tends to arise when dealing with foundation, BB cream, and tinted moisturizer, since they all serve similar purposes. But don’t be confused, they aren’t the same! We know, we know, how will you ever determine which one is right for you? Well, it’s actually about to become oh-so-simple. We’re breaking down exactly what each one does, plus, providing our best product picks for each, below. Here’s how guide to tinted moisturizer, BB cream, and foundation.

What Is Tinted Moisturizer?

Tinted moisturizers are basically exactly what they sound like! These hydrating lotions offer just a tint of radiance or sheer coverage. A tinted moisturizer is a good pick on days when you don’t need a ton of coverage but you still want to look put together.

Our Best Tinted Moisturizer

Ready to add a tinted moisturizer to your makeup bag? The L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Luminous Serum Tint Tinted Moisturizer is formulated with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to provide moisture while giving skin a luminous glow. Meant for mature skin, this illuminating tinted moisturizer is non-comedogenic and lightweight, making it a pleasure to wear—alone or under the rest of your makeup. Pick your shade (from five possibilities) and smooth it on in whichever way you please.

What Is BB Cream?

You’ve most definitely heard friends and strangers alike discussing BB cream—and its many benefits—even if you haven’t picked up on what it actually is. But, it’s time to change that. The ever-rising popularity of BB cream doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so you’ll want to be in the loop. The “BB” in BB cream usually stands for beauty balm or blemish balm, and essentially, it’s makeup that has skin care benefits. Those could be anything from SPF to hydration. Basically, they’re total multi-taskers! 

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 BB cream’s your ticket to flawless-looking skin—without foundation. It’s formulated with beautifying beads, encapsulated pigments infused in an ultra-light lotion with antioxidant vitamin E. This 4-in-1 BB cream primes to smooth skin’s texture, corrects skin for an even-looking complexion, hydrates for all-day moisture, and perfects to hide imperfections. It’s available in four shades (fair, light, medium, and dark).

L’Oréal Paris Magic BB Anti-Redness: Have unwanted redness? Hop on the color correcting bandwagon with this green tinted BB cream, which transforms to a universal shade to help reduce the look of redness. This BB cream has four beautifying actions: It helps neutralize the look of redness, corrects skin color for an even-looking complexion, hydrates for long-lasting moisture, and perfects the appearance of your complexion.

L’Oréal Paris Magic BB Anti-Fatigue: Ready to finally look like you’re well-rested? This BB cream is formulated with color-transforming pigments infused in an ultra-light lotion to help revive the look of a tired complexion, correct the look of your skin, hydrate, and perfect.

What Is Foundation?

Chances are, you already know a thing or two about foundation. You may even use it every day. As far as essential makeup basics go, foundation is right up there with concealer and mascara—a.k.a. indispensable. Foundation comes in a multitude of forms, from powder to liquid to cream to compact, but in the end, they all have a similar job. When you smooth on a foundation with a makeup blender, it should cover imperfections and even your skin tone. When you’ve finished blending it in, you’ll be all set with a base that’s ready for the rest of your makeup. Bring on the contour powder and blush. Unlike BB creams, foundations don’t typically offer any skin care benefits. Foundations do provide more coverage than both tinted moisturizers and BB creams.

Our Best Foundations

The same foundation won’t work for everyone, and that’s not an issue. You aren’t obligated to use your friend’s fave, you can find what works for you.

If you want a matte finish…try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation. The long-lasting, oil-free formula has an air-light texture, medium coverage, and offers a demi-matte finish that’s never dull or flat.

If you want a glow…try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Glow Foundation. The long-lasting formula has an air-light texture, medium coverage, and offers a radiant finish that’s never greasy.

If you want full coverage…try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Foundation. The long-lasting formula has a natural finish and can be used to cover everything from breakouts to tattoos.

Have any other beauty questions? We can help with those. Check out our articles answering What Is a Clay Cleanser? and What Is Cushion Compact Foundation?