Tinted Moisturizers have long been to go-to for the no-makeup makeup look.

With its sheer to medium coverage and high SPF, it's become a makeup staple for women of all ages. We've road tested the newcomer - Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer and the product with a cult following - Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer.


Nars : US$42 for 1.9oz/50 ml

Laura Mercier : US$43 for 1.5oz/44 ml

Coverage, Wear and Finish

Nars : This has medium coverage that’s buildable. It has a creamier consistency leaving your face looking quite dewy and natural. It absorbs into the skin without leaving a white residue or film (from the sunscreen). The color stays true and does not oxidize after mixing with the oils and sweat on your face. After a day’s wear, we found that we needed a bit of a touchup however, worn with a slight dusting of powder, it lasted the day.

Tinted Moisturiser Comparison 1

Photo Left: Laura Mercier in Nude (left). Nars Pure Radiant in Light 2 Alaska (right). Photo Right: Laura Mercier in Nude with slight sheen (left). Nars Pure Radiant in Light 2 Alaska (right).

As a moisturizer, this is oil free which is good for oily/combo skins. It does hydrate the skin more so than the average foundation, but we would consider this more of a hybrid closer to the BB Crème rather than a moisturizer. It has a higher SPF than the Laura Mercier TM.

Laura Mercier : This offers sheer coverage and looks very natural. For those who have scars or pigmentation, you may need to use a bit of concealer. This absorbs quickly into the skin and blends well. It feels lighter than the Nars but does slightly oxidize when exposed to oil and heat. Tested on the back of our hands after an hour, we see a shine come through on the LM side (see pic below).

As a moisturizer, it’s true to its word. It made our skin softer and more hydrated especially throughout the dry office air however, the color did not stay as long as we’d like. For those of us who have combo or oily skin, the LM Tinted Moisturizer comes in an Oil-free version.

WINNER: Nars for the higher SPF, dewy finish and longer staying power.

Shade Selection

Tinted Moisturiser Comparison 1

Left: Laura Mercier with slight pink undertone. Right: Nars with yellow undertone.

Nars : A yellow- based line with 11 Shades. As advised by our makeup artists, yellow-based formulations are more universally flattering and a better match for most skin tones. Having a mix of olive, dark and fair undertones in the office, we were all able to easily find our match.

Laura Mercier : A pink-based line with 15 shades. Most of us were able to get a good match to our skin however, a few of us found it a little harder to match. As it’s very sheer, it’s also more forgivable if you are not wearing your exact shade.


Overall Thoughts

We thought the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer was very good, however the overall best performer was the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. It’s high broad spectrum SPF and oil-free formula gave our skin the illusion of health and radiance. We had a more even complexion whilst still looking natural.