Skin Tints/Tinted Moisturizers for Dry Skin (Smashbox Halo Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturizer, Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer, and Mac Studio Radiance Face and Body)

MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body C5, Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer 5W2, and Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer Medium Tan Swatches (Skin Tints)

Now that summer is underway, many of you might be looking to lighten up your makeup so it feels like a good time to talk tinted moisturizers. Whether you are looking for something with less coverage than normal or something that just feels lighter on the skin, there is a product here that would work for you. I’ll be talking you through my experiences with Mac Studio Radiance Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation (C5), Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup SPF 19 (5W2 Rich Caramel), and Smashbox Halo Healthy Glow All-in-One Tinted Moisturizer SPF 25 (medium tan). For context, I have dry, eczema-prone skin so hydration is a huge plus for me as well as how complexion products sit on top of texture/dry patches. For shade reference, two of my best matches are Estee Lauder Double Wear 4W4 Hazel and MAC Studio Fix Fluid C8 and you can see me wearing them by clicking here.

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Mac Studio Radiance Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation (C5), $39**

Mac describes C5 as a peachy beige with a neutral golden undertone for medium skin.

MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body C5 Swatch on Medium Dark Skin (skin tint/tinted moisturizer)
MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body C5

Since I have done a full review of this foundation (you can check that out here), I’m not going to get too in-depth on this one. The formula of Mac Face and Body falls somewhere in between skin tint and a tinted moisturizer in my opinion. As the name suggests it has a sheer to light coverage helping it to fall into that skin tint category. But while it’s not drying, it doesn’t provide enough moisturizing to be categorized as a tinted moisturizer. Keep in mind, that I have dry skin, so this might be different if you have normal or oily skin, however, the radiance it provides just doesn’t feel like a moisturizer in my opinion. This formula does feel lightweight, but it does have a tacky feel that reminds you it is sitting on your skin. Setting it with powder will solve that issue if you don’t like that tacky feeling, but I’d use a glowy powder (E.g. Laura Mercier Candleglow Powder) if you want to stay close to the same finish.

As I mentioned in my original review, Mac Face and Body is just not enough coverage for me personally. I can see how someone with redness or unevenness in overall skin tone would get more benefit out of this formula than I am experiencing. It does even out the tone of my skin and disguises minor spots, but I just want a little more coverage without having to do a lot of spot concealing for my darkest spots. No matter how much building you do, it is still light coverage. I’d advise against trying to build the formula up too much. If you layer it too much it doesn’t completely set/dry down and makes it much less transfer-resistant. Plus you’ll end up wasting product because it will still be a light coverage.

The last thing I want to quickly mention in case you didn’t read my previous review is that the Mac Face and Body foundation really looks like skin. It doesn’t look like you have product sitting on top of the skin and it doesn’t pool in pores or sink into fine lines. It also sits nicely over a textured spot of eczema that I have currently. Again I will warn you against building this up too much because I think that it does start to look more like makeup. However, even when built up, it looks more natural and skin-like than any other foundation I’ve ever tried.

Mac Studio Radiance Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation is $39 and is available at maccosmetics.com and ulta.com.**

Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup SPF 19 (5W2 Rich Caramel), $48**

Estee lauder describes 5W2 Rich Caramel as deep with warm yellow undertones.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long Wear Makeup 5W2 Rich Caramel Swatch Medium Dark Skin (skin tint/tinted moisturizer)
Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer 5W2 Rich Caramel

While the brand is calling the Double Wear Sheer a foundation, I feel like it’s ok to classify it as a skin tint. As promised by Estee lauder, this has sheer to light coverage with a matte finish (but not too matte). I do see something like a glow but it is more of a healthy radiance rather than dewy or wet looking. That radiance does help it look more skin like than a typical foundation, but not quite as undetectable as Mac Face and Body. This formula smooths over pores and texture very nicely which I like a lot, but that diffused look does take away from it looking as natural as something with more glow. I appreciate that it dries down and feels matte and almost like the skin has been powdered. That means I can get away with not setting this and all of my color products still blend nicely over it.

The Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer is a very liquid formula. This keeps it feeling very lightweight on the face, but it can also be messy. A side note about the packaging that annoys me, sometimes the foundation squirts out even if I’m not squeezing the bottle. So just be careful with this one so you don’t end up with foundation stains all over the place. Since the formula is water-based, I would not personally recommend applying this with a sponge. It will eat up nearly all of the product and you’ll get even less coverage. A brush will also soak up some product, but it does work better than a sponge if you don’t like using your hands. I recommend applying the foundation directly to your face first and then blending with the brush for the best result. I prefer applying this with my fingers. It is quick and easy and I find that it gives the most coverage with the least amount of product.

Despite being thrown under the Double Wear branding, as usual, this is not transfer resistant like the original formula. The brand doesn’t actually claim that this is transfer-resistant, only sweat and humidity resistant. Estee lauder also only claims the Double Wear Sheer to have a 12-hour wear time vs the original Double Wear’s 24-hour wear claim. So if even the brand knows this doesn’t stack up to the original Double Wear, why not just give it a new name? It seems to me that would be better than letting people down when it falls short. I don’t personally have issues with this wearing well, but that isn’t something that I ever have issues with so I don’t know that I’m the best judge for longevity.

I was able to grab this on sale at the CCO (Estee Lauder Cosmetics Company Outlet store) for about $20, so I got the shade 5W2 because 5W1 wasn’t available. I figured it would be ok since I’d likely wear it more in the summer, but 5W2 is still a bit too dark for me even now that I’ve gotten darker. The shade being too dark has helped me discover that this formula mixes easily into other products if you are someone that likes to customize your color and coverage.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup is $48 and is available at esteelauder.com, ulta.com, macys.com, and sephora.com.**

Smashbox Halo Healthy Glow All-in-One Tinted Moisturizer SPF 25 (medium tan), $41**

Smashbox describes medium tan as a medium tan with a neutral undertone, however, Ulta** describes it as tan with golden undertones and I agree with the Ulta description.

Smashbox Halo Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturizer Medium Tan Swatch on Medium Dark Skin (skin tint)
Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer Medium Tan

Surprisingly, the Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer in the shade Medium Tan is a great color match for me. This makes me think that the shades may run dark, so you may want to research both the shade you think you’d be and a shade lighter before making a final decision. The first time I wore this tinted moisturizer I just thought it looked so beautiful and I felt like it just looked like I had good skin. It’s 4 months later now and my opinion hasn’t changed.

As promised by Smashbox, this has more coverage than you’ll be expecting. It is still a light coverage but it gets closer to medium coverage than the Mac and Estee Lauder products. Smashbox also claims that the Halo Tinted moisturizer has natural-looking dewy coverage and I definitely agree. I like the finish better when applied with fingers, but it does well being applied with a brush or sponge. I think it looks shinier when applied with a brush, so that is something to consider. While I think this is skin-like (natural looking), it shows the texture of the skin more than when my face is bare especially if I have any eczema patches. I think that is because it has that extra coverage to it, so you can tell something is on the skin.

As the name suggests, this product is truly a tinted moisturizer. It feels moisturizing even when my skin is at its driest. As such, this formula does remain wet/tacky so for those that don’t like that feeling, it can benefit from being set with powder. It does lose some glow, but it has enough to still shine through as long as the powder is too mattifying. It is possible to blend bronzer, blush, and highlight over this tinted moisturizer without setting it, but it does disturb a tiny bit of the coverage. Since it is a lighter coverage product, I don’t think it looks bad or patchy, but it is something to keep in mind. I wouldn’t recommend applying too much powder over this, use just enough to take away the tacky feeling. When you apply too much powder it makes it look less skin-like and changes what’s special about it. That of course is just my opinion.

This was another CCO (Cosmetics Company Store) find and I paid $17. If you haven’t already checked to see if you have a store near you, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

Smashbox Halo Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturizer is $41 and is available at smashbox.com, ulta.com, sephora.com, and macys.com.**

Mac C5, Estee Lauder 5W2, and Smashbox Medium Tan (Swatches Compared)

MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body C5, Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer 5W2, and Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer Medium Tan Swatches Medium Dark Skin (skin tints)
L to R: MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body C5, Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer 5W2, and Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer Medium Tan

So there you have it. That has been my experience with these skin tints/tinted moisturizers. The Mac Face and Body is the lightest coverage option here, but it is the most skin-like. Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer has a bit more coverage than Mac Face and Body but it is still a light coverage product. The Double Wear Sheer does give a smoothing effect that neither Mac nor Smashbox provides and is the only matte finish of the bunch. Lastly, the Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer has the most glow and coverage of the three, but it is still a light coverage. It is pretty skin-like but the extra coverage that it provides (over Mac and Estee Lauder) does show a little more texture so you can tell a little more that something is sitting on the skin. Hopefully, seeing the three all together puts the amount of glow of the Smashbox Tinted Moisturizer into perspective. If you have any questions, just drop me a comment down below.


Do you change up your foundation for summer? If so, what’s your favorite base product for summer?


If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like down below.  If you’d like to check out more of my content, here are some places to start. 

  • Brands A-Z: Check out this index if you want to know what products I have posted about in the past.
  • MAC Cosmetics:  I likely have some swatches you’ve been searching for if you love Mac as much as I do. 
  • The Wanderlust List:  Join me as I search for alternatives to new releases.

Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  This site receives a minimal commission from participating in the WordAds program and using affiliate links.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

2 thoughts on “Skin Tints/Tinted Moisturizers for Dry Skin (Smashbox Halo Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturizer, Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer, and Mac Studio Radiance Face and Body)

  1. I love the thorough review! I feel like I’ve got a really good understanding of the differences between them. The smashbox really does look super shiny compared to the others!

    Liked by 1 person

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