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I tested 7 SPF foundations to simplify my getting ready routine

7 SPF Foundation Product Review




Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

On the hunt for light coverage foundation with built-in SPF to keep this Mama’s skin healthy and protected

Having a getting ready routine is so important to make sure you continue to feel refreshed and yourself every single day.  While it’s easy to fall into staying in PJs, hair unbrushed, skin unwashed (and let’s face it, sometimes it needs to be one of those days), I personally need to have at least 5 minutes to myself in the morning to transition from grumpy sleepyhead to productive, positive Mama.  

It used to take me more than 20 minutes to get ready in the morning, and well that just isn’t going to cut it with a baby.  So while I was pregnant I decided I needed to revise my morning routine to simplify it with as few products as possible.  

The goal: less skincare and makeup clutter and faster getting ready routine.

I prioritized my skincare because I knew I’d be wearing less heavy makeup (if any at all).  I also knew I’d continue to be spending more time outside for walks throughout the day because what else is there to do with a baby during a pandemic, and in general I’m getting older which means it's time to crack down on taking even better care of my skin.

How should you layer your skin care, makeup and sunscreen?

I took inventory of all the products I was putting on my face to figure out what could be consolidated.  First was moisturizer, then a sunscreen, then foundation, then setting powder.  So the question was between skin care, makeup and sunscreen what can be ditched or needs to be switched?  

I decided to keep my moisturizer, switch to a light coverage face makeup and ditch the extra sunscreen and setting powder products.  But hold up a second… sunscreen is still very important to avoid sun damage, fine lines and dark spots, and I love the look of matte skin (not a fan of the dewy skin look) so I decided to find a mattifying foundation that had sunscreen built-in.  

Another requirement was I could apply it with my fingers because again looking to minimize products in my makeup bag and make application fast.

How much SPF is enough for your face?

Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with at least SPF 30, which apparently blocks 97 percent of UVB rays.  Know that SPF products don’t add up, meaning your moisturizer with SPF 15 plus your foundation with SPF 15 doesn’t mean you’re wearing SPF 30.  You’re only as protected as the highest SPF product on your face.

One very important thing to note is that SPF only lasts 2 hours after it's applied.  This little quick fix with SPF in your makeup only really helps for the first few hours of your day.  To ensure you are protected throughout the day, throw one of these sunscreen products in the diaper bag or stroller caddy.

Makeup Setting SPF Spray

SPF Translucent Powder

Light coverage makeup options: foundation vs bb cream vs cc cream vs tinted moisturizer…. What are the differences?

There used to be just foundation for face makeup coverage, but now there are an overwhelming amount of makeup product options all sounding essentially the same.  Here is a breakdown of the types of light coverage makeup I considered to achieve that “no makeup makeup” look.  These are listed in order of light to full coverage:

Tinted Moisturizer:  What is sounds like – moisturizer with just a hint of color.  These provide minimal coverage, but perfect for those days you don’t feel like wearing any makeup.

BB Cream:  These are the Korean beauty favorite.  A BB Cream combines moisturizer + primer + sunscreen + other skincare benefits like anti-aging ingredients. They provide anywhere from sheer to medium coverage.  They also tend to leave a Dewy finish, so much so that you may need to set them with a light translucent setting powder.

CC Cream: Similar to a BB cream but instead of the added benefits of skincare as the focus, the goal with this is color correcting.  So if you have redness, discoloration or blemishes, CC Creams aim to even out your skin tone with medium coverage.  You could use this as a light version of under-eye concealer to make it even more multi-purpose.

Foundation: The most coverage of the bunch with medium to full coverage options along with the largest variety of shades to match your skin tone perfectly.  Foundations even out your complexion for that flawless skin look.  They used to be known for looking cakey, but nowadays there are some fantastic lighter, more natural options.

7 SPF Foundations Tested by New Modern Mom
7 SPF Foundations Tested by New Modern Mom

The 7 SPF Light Coverage Foundation Products I Tested

  1. Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30
  2. Clinique Moisture Surge Sheertint Hydrator SPF 25
  3. Dior Forever Foundation SPF 35
  4. Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer SPF 30
  5. Tarte Foundcelear SPF 20
  6. Tarte Amazonian Clay BB tinted moisturizer SPF 20
  7. Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

My pick: Dior Forever Foundation SPF 35

Funny enough the Dior Forever Foundation is what I used prior to having a baby.  The difference is I used to apply it with a sponge which built a thicker application with more coverage on my face.  Now I use my fingers to apply (which actually several makeup experts recommend since the warmth of your hands helps it melt onto your face) and the result is a lighter coverage, and faster application.  I love this for its completely matte finish and the coverage it provides to even out my skin tone.

Runner up: Tarte BB tinted treatment primer SPF 30

Tarte’s BB Tinted Treatment Primer is the definition of a “no makeup makeup” look.  It finishes completely matte, and while it provides just sheer coverage, the amount of color in the tint does really help even out my skin tone.  I use this on my days where I’m just sitting around the house or running quick errands.

Review of the Other Light Coverage Foundation Products

Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20: Provides sheer coverage with some color added to help even out skin tone slightly with a dewy finish.  This is a good alternative to the Tarte BB tinted treatment primer if you prefer a dewy look.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30: The texture of this is a nice cooling gel.  It is super sheer and provides almost no color or coverage.

Clinique Moisture Surge Sheertint Hydrator SPF 25: Probably my least favorite product I tried.  It’s super sheer and feels sticky like you are applying sunscreen to your face.

Tarte Foundcelear SPF 20: The most full coverage of all the options I tried (no surprise since concealer is in the title of it).  It’s pretty thick upon application, but does dry matte. The benefit here is if you are suffering from postpartum acne or Mama dark circles this is a multi-tasking product and heavy enough to cover those blemishes.

Tarte Amazonian Clay BB tinted moisturizer SPF 20: Sheer to medium coverage with a dewy and glowy finish.  Didn’t love the texture, a bit tacky.

Well, I hope this was helpful in determining how you too can simplify your products in the mornings.  I’ll be sharing a post on my complete 5 minute getting ready routine soon!

I tested 7 SPF Foundations to simplify my getting ready routine
I tested 7 SPF Foundations to simplify my getting ready routine

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This post may contain affiliate links including the Amazon Associates Program. When you make purchases through links in this post, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  I only endorse products I believe in.