Why skin tints are glowing in popularity

Move over, CC creams – skin tints are the must-have make-up product of the season. Here’s why sheer is the way to go for the latest fresh-faced look.

There’s growing demand for a more minimalistic approach to beauty, and our desire for barely-there make-up isn’t showing any signs of diminishing.

The latest base product to go viral on BeautyTok, skin tints are lightweight and sheer by nature.

Considered to be halfway between a traditional foundation and a tinted moisturiser, they provide light to medium coverage and are perfect for achieving a fresh-faced aesthetic, letting your natural skin texture shine through.


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The broad appeal of skin tints

“Skin tints have a hold on the beauty industry at the moment,” Sydney-based make-up artist Natasha Pellegrino says.

Natasha was initially put off by the idea of skin tints, thinking that the products would provide limited coverage only.

“I had a specific idea of what factors define a good complexion product, and skin tints intimidated me because they’re not pigmented enough to mask imperfections and insecurities,” she says.

“However, learning to embrace sheer base products has helped to normalise different skin textures and imperfections, which I’m all for.”


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A tool to enhance natural beauty

The popularity of skin tints is part of the sheer make-up renaissance, which is having a huge influence on the beauty industry.

“I think consumers (now) view make-up very differently to even just a few years ago,” Natasha says.

She says base products are no longer considered to be a way to cover flaws, but rather a tool to enhance natural beauty.

“Skin tints are super quick and easy to apply, and people don’t need years of experience to master the application of them,” Natasha says.


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Why less is more in make-up

According to Melbourne make-up artist Dana Vaughan, the sheer make-up movement is all about enhancing our features rather than covering them up.

“I love this movement; I think people are ditching the heavier make-up because there is such an emphasis on enhancing the beauty you already have, rather than covering it up,” Dana says.

The make-up artist believes the pandemic influenced Australians to embrace a more low-maintenance appearance, with many now preferring it over a full-coverage, dramatic look.

“It’s personal preference, but as a make-up artist who’s done and seen it all, I think generally people look better with less,” she says.

“I look back at old photos where I wore a lot of make-up and it’s a bit of a jump scare if I’m honest.”


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Skin tints still offer coverage

While skin tints are mainly associated with a fresh and natural make-up look, it’s not the only way these base products can be utilised.

Underpainting, a make-up technique popularised by US make-up artist Mary Phillips, often involves the use of skin tints.

The practice surged in popularity on BeautyTok because it offers all the benefits of a full-coverage, glamorous look without a cakey, heavy finish.

Rather than starting with your usual base product, apply contour, concealer, liquid blush and highlighter underneath, followed by a sheer base product – such as a skin tint – on top.

During application, lightly buff in the products to allow your natural skin texture to shine through.

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Written by Beauty Editor Charlotte Brundrett