These all-in-one tinted sunscreens are our go-to makeup for days when we don’t feel like putting on makeup but still need a light coverage and sun protection.
#1 Fresh Peony Brightening UV Shield Sunscreen SPF 50+, $84
This fantastic Fresh face enhancer is souped up with botanical brighteners courtesy of its eponymous flower, and promises to diminish discolouration, instantly and over time. Texture-wise, the souffle-soft consistency makes for supremely comfortable wear in sweltering Singapore, and the universally flattering hint of a tint is terrific on bare skin – on no-makeup makeup days, this base alone should suffice.
Quick note on application: Fingers are fine, but blending with a synthetic brush works best. Please don’t drag the brush across your face as if you’re whitewashing a wall – that’s a surefire way of developing wrinkles! Instead, pump the product onto the back of your non-dominant hand, then take a brush and use stippling motions to buff outwards – “stippling” being fancy vernacular for “dotting”. Use tissue paper to pat away the excess that tends to accumulate in the no-woman’s land between the temples and hairline, and you’re good to go. Ah, perfection!
#2 La Mer The Reparative SkinTint SPF 30 PA+++, $160
La Mer’s lovely lightweight lotion comes crammed with a richly restorative “miracle” broth of soothing sea algae that promises to perfect your pores and slash the severity of fine lines and wrinkles.
Even better, I’ve found that the boost in brilliance from this subtly satiny potion permeates my face with a dewy “day” glow, even in the dead of night – sort of like having a steady stream of sunlight trained on your face 24/7.
Also good to know: In a somewhat surprising twist, I’ve found this exquisite emulsion to boast a delightful degree of sebum-sopping prowess – a smidgen of the spectacularly smooth salve was plenty to sop up gunk and grease throughout the day. Blend like there’s no tomorrow for a breathtakingly beautiful translucent finish! So yes, this really does imbue your skin with a burnished lustre, as if you were made of money (which you probably are, if you’re a La Mer lover.)
#3 Mac Cosmetics Lightful C Tinted Cream SPF 30/PA+++ with Radiance Booster, $62
This tinted tincture is topped up with a heaping helping of vitamin C for a double dose of radiance, and should supply that skin-saving spark you’ll need to ignite your way to a brighter and better complexion.
What I really love about this magical Mac multi-tasker is the incredible incandescence it lends my skin – fabulously flattering if you’re gunning for that glimmering K-Beauty look. Just a dollop or two from the bottle and bam, a beguiling face that’s fantastic for fooling folks into thinking you’ve just had a facial. (I should know, given the number of compliments I get for my cough, flawless complexion.) Get it, stat!
#4 Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solution Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 PA+++, $72
This awesome all-purpose panacea boasts mineral UVA and UVB filters that should sit well with the most sensitive skinned of individuals, and comes amped up with antioxidant actives to fend off free radical damage in your dermis.
As for application, feel feel to skip your usual unguents because this subtly tinted ambrosia alone is hugely hydrating – perfect for off-duty days when you can’t be arsed with a seven-step regime. And while Kiehl’s doesn’t explicitly tout the prowess of its staying power, I’ve found that a dusting of translucent setting powder, sans primer, is all I need for this sunscreen to stay put for a full workday. I’ll repurchase in a heartbeat!
#5 Shiseido Global Suncare UV Protective Liquid Foundation SPF 43/PA+++, $60
Shiseido’s supercharged sunscreen is head and shoulders above the competition. Why? For starters, this futuristic marvel of J-Beauty technology is said to actually amplify its protective powers in contact with water – the exact opposite of its more conventional competitors on the market, which tend to slip off your skin when the going gets soggy and sweaty.
Protective prowess aside, the texture’s incredibly silky and sheer, with a delightfully satiny drydown that’s just dewy enough to read as “real” skin. Coverage-wise, this hybrid foundie flirts on the edge of sheer and medium for almost-nude skin that’s yours, only better – in other words, you stay matte, not flat.
It works hard for its money, too – in my case, a good eight hours of wear that did away with the need for primers plus powders. Worn “naked”, this should imbue your skin with a pretty pink pearlescence that will have even the most jaded of beauty buffs doing a double-take.
#6 Sisley Super Soin Solaire Teinte Tinted Sun Care SPF 30, $190
I’m partial to the posh Parisian perfection of Sisley’s sun-care salves, so this new beauty bauble has it easy from the get-go.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. The multi-tasking marvel hits all of my sweet spots, boasting superb spreading and staying power, not to mention a remarkably respectable SPF 30 rating. (It’s water-resistant too, making this a must-have for a caftan-clad getaway in the Caribbean!) Coverage is subtle but noticeable, too: My skin looks like my own, only better. Selfie-snapping Snow Whites will flip out over the fabulously fine finish, which I find to photograph really well, as if one were emanating light like a Disney princess.
Armed with an arsenal of antioxidant actives like exotic edelweiss extract, this richly restorative sunscreen is also said to soothe stress-induced inflammation, quench parched skin and mitigate melanin production – the sum result of which is skin that’s as pillowy as the petals of the snowy blossom themselves. Talk about flower power, eh.
And because this is Sisley we’re talking about, expect packaging that’s perfectly on point. This sunscreen comes in a beautifully burnished ribboned receptacle that befits its well, prodigious price. (Not going to lie, this is going to make quite the dent in your wallet, but what price beauty, right?) Place this investment piece right on top of your list of go-to products for no-makeup makeup days!
#7 Za Cosmetics True White Ex Perfect Protector SPF50+/PA++++, $16.90
This delightful drugstore darling packs a punch with a potpourri of antioxidant actives to fend off free radicals and diminish discolourations – but what really sets it apart is its potent purifying properties. The J-Beauty brand says that this salve will shield your skin against airborne aggressors think smog and smoke so it should come in most handy indeed during the annual mid-year “highlight” that is our hideous haze.
#8 Skin Inc Pure UV Protect, $72
Perfect for lazy days when you want to roll out of bed, put on one product and head out of the house. The Skin Inc Pure UV Protect is an all-in-one makeup base, sunscreen, moisturiser and anti-ageing cream which essentially shaves off 10 minutes off your beauty routine. Ceramide and marine collagen within the formula hydrates and plumps skin without leaving greasiness behind. .
#9 La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream SPF30 in 4 shades, $320 each
Oil-free and opulent beyond belief, this lovely La Prairie potion is terrific at tamping down shine without sacrificing the sought-after glimmer of “good” skin.
Here’s how it works: This tinted tincture contains a carefully curated patchwork of perfecting pigments that dispels dullness and discolouration while letting just enough light to filter in to give the illusion of beguilingly bare skin.
Indeed, the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream’s lush liquid consistency is very sexy on the skin, and lends just enough colour for me to get by without full-on foundation. Then there are the beautifying benefits courtesy of a cocktail of complexion perfectors and botanical brighteners. I’m blessed with pretty petite pores, so I can’t attest to its minimising prowess, but my cough, less genetically blessed girlfriends swear by this.
Perfect score for packaging too, as is par for the course for La Prairie. The good stuff is ensconced in a fabulous faceted flacon that’s extremely cool and ergonomic to boot. Twist off the top to reveal a nifty pump dispenser that divvies up just the right dose each time. (Press thrice if you’re “kiasu” like me, although a single pump should be plenty for the entire face and neck.)
Blend with the awesome accompanying brush and you’ll get skin boasting the most lovely lit-from-within luminescence. Portable perfection in a purse, if you ask me.
Right, then. Made your choice? Congrats on successfully laying the “foundation” of any makeup and skincare routine.
Text: Eugene Quek / Her World Plus Additional reporting: Arissa Ha