In college, anything that can save us some time is a life-savor—which is exactly why I love tinted moisturizer. This magical product provides hydration in tandem with color-correction that makes for lightning-fast application on hurried mornings (which occur pretty much every day). Plus, many contain SPF and are light enough to give you coverage without congesting your skin—all things that are wins in my book. On top of that, there are tons of affordable options for those on a budget (which, let’s be real, is a lot of us). To prove it to you, we asked six students for their favorite drugstore tinted moisturizers and why they love them so much. Keep reading for their affordable picks.
When You Just Need Something Light
The Product: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream
With a water-gel formula, this product gives light coverage sans oil or heavy ingredients. The cream provides blurring and brightening properties to even skin tone, all while protecting your face from sun damage with SPF 30. In search of a simple sheer tint? This hydrating BB cream will do you right.
Why We Love It: “I love the Dream BB cream tinted moisturizer because it feels so light on my skin and still has great coverage. Also, it’s extremely affordable and easy to find at any drugstore.” — Lauren LaPenna, FIDM class of 2018
When Your Skin Is Super Dry
The Product: No7 City Light Tinted Moisturiser
This product has it has SPF to defend from the sun, and it also perfects skin color with a moisture boost, creating a flawless complexion. It leaves your face with a long-lasting hydration that provides a radiant effect.
Why We Love It: “I started using the no7 City Light Tinted Moisturizer at the beginning of the summer because it has a good amount of SPF in the formula and I definitely don’t have enough of that in my life. I was pleasantly surprised, however, that when I tried it, the product worked wonders for my dry, sensitive skin. It’s also super dewy and glowy which is the look I love. I use it every day with a Beauty Blender and have repurchased it many times. I don’t see myself using any other tinted moisturizers anytime soon!” — Molly Smith, Liberty University class of 2020
When You’re Looking For a Multi-Tasker
The Product: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Correct and Cover
In search of something that won’t irritate existing breakouts even more? This formula is designed specifically with acne-prone skin in mind and is made with salicylic acid acne treatment and micro-clear technology to fight spots.
Why We Love It: “I use Neutrogena’s pink grapefruit acne wash, so when I was looking for a makeup, I wanted something cheap, effective, and something that wouldn’t mess with my skin too much. I found the pink grapefruit tinted moisturizer, and I love it for days when I don’t want full coverage but my skin is either dry or breaking out and I need a little something to help.” — Haleigh Pindell, University of Alabama class of 2020
When You Want a Super Natural Look
The Moisturizer: E.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer
Infused with vitamins, aloe, and cucumber, this is a good option for someone looking for light coverage with skin-softening benefits. It also has 20 SPF, which is super important when it comes to protecting your skin.
Why We Love It: “I originally bought the E.l.f. tinted moisturizer as a Nars dupe. The consistency is really nice because it has a decent amount of coverage, but it still looks light and natural. And as a fair-skinned gal, I also really love that it is SPF 20 for sun protection. It’s affordable, works great, and my skin always feels soft. Highly recommend!” — Emily Chiravalloti, University of Alabama class of 2018
When You’re Also Looking for Sun Protection
The Moisturizer: CoverGirl Smoothers BB Cream
This BB cream has a lightweight, natural look that lasts all day long, enhancing your skin’s appearance while protecting from the sun. Plus, it’s super blendable and sheer, giving you the perfect makeup option for a hot day in the sun when you don’t want anything to weigh you down.
Why We Love It: “I was on a trip and left my makeup so I just wanted something [affordable] and lightweight, and I found this. I ended up really liking it! It’s a tinted moisturizer and SPF so I actually will still wear it during the summer when I’m going to beach or going outside walking outside. It served its purpose as something nice and lightweight I can still wear out in the sun.” — Molly Keith, University of Alabama, class of 2019
When You’re in Need of Some Extra Radiance
The Moisturizer: Olay Total Effects CC Cream
Designed for nourishing moisturization and made with SPF 15, this cream can be used alone or under your favorite foundation for the perfect coverage you’re searching for. And with tone-correcting properties to smooth out any uneven skin tone, it gives a nourishing boost of radiance with the benefits of foundation.
Why We Love It: “I’m usually more of a foundation person, but I sometimes wear this by itself, especially in the summer because it has SPF. It’s perfect for a light coverage and protection from the sun!” — Olivia Osborne, Pennsylvania State University class of 2021
Do you have a favorite tinted moisturizer? Share with us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @cfashionista!
Featured photo by @m.aiarose.