Did you strip back on your make-up this year? The skin-but-better beauty trend is still going strong well into 2023. We want multitasking cosmetics that help our skin texture shine through, imperfections and all, achieving fewer layers and more skincare benefits. It's the era of hybrid make-up products, and they're on every skin minimalist's wish list.
Tinted lip balms, SPF-infused foundations and K-beauty's multi-balm sticks all include skin-friendly ingredients that do a lot more than just add colour. Hybrid make-up is a win-win combination for anyone who wants a natural, everyday look.
Kimia Nourtajalli, a Dubai-based makeup artist and stylist, with 12 years of industry experience in editorial and TV commercials, loves her collection of tinted lip balms. They keep her pout hydrated and "add a little colour and freshness" to her lips anywhere she goes. It's a product of the past that's getting a comeback once again, thanks to Gen Z's shopping habits for minimal beauty.
"Hybrid make-up gives you the best of both worlds. You save time, and, at the same time, protect your skin while enhancing your beauty. Suppose you apply a tinted foundation with SPF and vitamin E. In one application, on clean skin, you're getting the benefits of skincare, sun protection and flawless skin," said Nourtajalli.
Is it all you're going to need in terms of skincare? Our beauty expert says that these multitasking products are "a big help with maintaining our skincare routine", but they shouldn't replace our regimen altogether.
This is especially true for SPF-infused make-up, which offers less protection against sun damage than dedicated sunscreens, our dermatology expert previously told us. Still, it's an excellent way to extend your skincare into cosmetic territory for extra measure. As Nourtajalli puts it, "make-up with skincare is better than nothing".
If you're excited to nourish your skin with make-up that actually helps, dive into our list below. We've picked out Nourtajalli's tried-and-tested favourites, along with trending skincare make-up products. Shop with an Amazon Prime membership to get free, same- or next-day delivery.
1. Best Primer: NYX Professional Makeup Plump Right Back Primer & Serum
A primer in a serum formula might just be the base that doesn't separate your foundation. NYX's Plump Right Back primer serum goes on watery and quickly absorbs into the skin, leaving behind a slightly tacky layer for make-up to stick to, all day long. But that's not all there is to it. The serum is packed with five electrolytes and vitamins to help your skin look its best, including vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, magnesium, potassium and pro-vitamin B5. Reviewers with dry skin rejoice at having found the one for smooth foundation application. It's become their go-to primer for casual and formal events, be it weddings, work or everyday life. They also note how well it pairs with moisturisers.
2. Best Foundation: IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40
Another serum-based make-up product that delivers skin-but-better results is IT Cosmetics' CC+ Nude Glow foundation. Nourtajalli's pick offers a radiant, no-make-up make-up look, with its medium coverage skin tint. It's infused with clear sunscreen of SPF 40, so it adds no white cast to any skin tone. You'll be pleased to know that it boasts a 90 per cent skincare formula, including the sun protection. The serum foundation contains 2% niacinamide to reduce the look of dark spots, hyaluronic acid for 24-hour hydration, and green tea extract to shield the skin against environmental aggressors. Those who prefer little to no make-up in the reviews leave five stars. The serum essentially evens out skin tone with a lightweight layer and a hint of glow - what's not to love? Our one qualm is that it's available in 22 shades only.
3. Best Concealer: Nyx Professional Makeup Bare With Me Concealer Serum
If you'd rather just dab on some concealer instead, check out Nyx's Bare With Me concealer serum. Nourtajalli attests to the 24-hour hydration it delivers with a smooth, non-cakey finish. It's nearly undetectable on the skin, but still offers medium coverage for dark circles, acne, redness and dry patches. The serum does this with a handful of skincare ingredients, like cica and green tea for calming properties, and tremella mushroom, which is a natural source of hyaluronic acid. Reviewers also add that little goes a long way.
4. Best Colour Corrector: Dr Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Colour Correcting Treatment, SPF30
Beauty enthusiasts on TikTok are seen replacing their base make-up with this tiny jar of Dr Jart's Cicapair colour-correcting treatment. A K-beauty staple, the green-tinted cream is designed to instantly alleviate any redness on the face, while evening out the skin tone in the process. Its key ingredient, tiger grass or Centella asiatica (cica), fights off irritation from acne around the nose, under the lips and on the cheeks. It even contains SPF 30 to prevent sun damage. Buyers relay their surprise at the immediate results they get upon application, and it's so effective at brightening their under eyes that they've forgone their foundation and concealer.
5. Best for Lips and Cheeks: Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush, Magic Hour
Lip and cheek multi-use products have been all the rage for a while now. They can arrive in a clear formula for recreating a dewy finish, or come tinted for adding a pop of skin-friendly colour. It's the secret to an effortless, natural look, says Nourtajalli. Our pick is the viral Tower 28 BeachPlease lip and cheek cream blush in a rosy nude shade. The high-pigment blush melts into the skin without clogging pores or irritating sensitive skin, since it's formulated without mineral oils and silicones. Instead, you're getting green tea, mango seed butter, avocado oil, rice bran extract, shea butter and more goodness to give the skin a boost.
6. Best Tinted Lip Balm: Nars Afterglow Lip Balm
Nourtajalli finds Nars' Afterglow lip balm perfect for any day or night look, adding that "it should always be in your make-up bag". It features a blend of antioxidants to protect the lips and a hydrating complex to ensure supple lips all day long. You're gliding on coconut oil, squalane and gardenia tahitensis flower extract, with a hint of sheer colour. It can go over lipstick to add shine as well, and don't hesitate to dab it along the high points of the cheek for a shimmer-free highlight.
7. Best for Eyelashes: Benefit They're Real Tinted Lash Primer, Mink Brown
Swap your mascara with a product that's actually going to condition them in the long run. Benefit's They're Real tinted lash primer is so good at fanning out eyelashes that reviewers wear it on its own, without a mascara on top. Its gel formula is infused with the moisturiser pro-vitamin B5. According to reviewers, it doesn't clump, goes on buttery smooth and comes off just as easily. If you've been looking for a lightweight 'mascara', this is it.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.