Beauty’s editorial highway has been dominated by the benefits of high-performance products and ingredients – pH-balanced cleansers, powerhouse serums, potent actives, genius peptides, everything you need, and everything you don’t. Educational content fuelled by the expertise of esteemed skincare professionals, in-the-know beauty editors, and makeup artists, has enlightened consumers about creating, and maintaining a healthy, radiant-looking complexion. The restoration of the crucial skin barrier function, and skin microbiome is no longer a mystery. The conversation has also expanded to embrace transformative makeup products. Hybrid, multi-benefit, Tinted Serums – infused with skin-loving ingredients – are designed to cover, correct, and blur imperfections with a customisable, lightweight, confidence-boosting veil.

“A serum is comprised of a thin-viscosity, lightweight topical solution, known as a vehicle, housing active ingredients that can penetrate the outer layers of the skin to deliver targeted benefits. Typically, serums are deployed to deliver potent, bioactive ingredients to improve the function of the skin. Due to their higher concentration of ingredients, serums tend to provide visible results over a shorter period, explains dermatologist, Dr Cara McDonald (Complete Skincare Specialists, VIC). She believes that Tinted Serums, formulated with efficacious ingredients, can complement a dedicated skincare routine. Her star ingredients include Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Squalane (a more stable form of Squalene), Vitamins C and E, and gentle doses of chemical exfoliants (AHAs and BHAs). “Tinted Serums can contribute to creating and maintaining a healthier-looking complexion, but it’s important to remember that dermatologist-approved, pigment-free serums provide maximum benefits, as they are designed to deliver undiluted active ingredients to the biological target within the skin”, says Dr McDonald.

Skin is in! According to acclaimed makeup artist – Sean Brady – the desire to create a flawless, radiant, but also natural-looking, dewy complexion is currently trending. From a consumer perspective, Tinted Serums are aligned to ‘skincare goals’, and their adaptability + versatility are envisaged as ‘wins’. “They can be applied directly onto prepped skin, or seamlessly blended into a moisturiser to achieve a more ‘breathable’, lightweight, and luminous finish”, says Sean. The ‘blend-and-go’ customisation saves time, and provides a harmonious fusion of desirable coverage, correction, and skincare benefits.


Available in 11 forgiving shades, Clarins Tinted Oleo-Serum is formulated with 98 per cent natural ingredients, including antioxidant-rich Jojoba and Hazelnut Oils, and moisturising Squalane. The addition of Ceramide NP (naturally found in the upper layer of the skin), promotes hydration, elasticity, and assists to strengthen the skin barrier function. The nourishing, fluid formula melts into the skin with a non-greasy finish, and provides customisable coverage. Apply two drops for a natural-looking glow, three to create an even-looking complexion, and four or five to ‘amp-up’ the coverage. Typology Tinted Serum is infused with soothing Aloe Vera, moisturising Glycerin, softening, Olive sourced Squalane, and corn-extracted, anti-ageing Vitamin C, to combat free-radical damage + dark spots, and brighten the complexion. The 99per cent naturally derived formula is non-clogging, fragrance-free, and adheres to the brand’s minimalist (‘less-is-more’) ingredient charter to reduce irritation. For consumers seeking a ‘barely-there’ makeup look, this Parisian Tinted Serum imparts a natural-looking, dewy, radiant, finish.


Rationale #3 The Tinted Serum SPF50+ showcases an entirely unique and innovative Complex of Zinc Fusion Technology. This powerhouse complex of active ingredients delivers advanced solar + environmental protection, filtering damaging UV rays, visible light, and infrared radiation. The ultra-lightweight, protective formula assists to target hyperpigmentation, and is enriched with supporting proteins, to provide additional thermal protection for optimum skin health. The translucent, universal shade is designed to flatter all skin tones with a luminous finish – shake well, and apply in the AM over the face, décolletage, and backs of hands. Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation SPF20 is a medium-to-full coverage serum foundation powered by plumping Hyaluronic Acid, decongesting Salicylic Acid, radiance-boosting Vitamin C, and the brand’s exclusive molecule – UP302 – to minimise the look of dark spots. Available in an impressive spectrum of shades, the weightless, oil-free formula showcases a hydrating, satin-matte finish with SPF20 protection. Available at Mecca, Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF40 is a dermatologist-tested, ‘made for sensitive’ skin tint that delivers light coverage, and is clinically proven to address the concerns of dry, blemish-prone, uneven skin. The non-comedogenic, fragrance-free formula is powered by a blend of firming Hyaluronic Acid, pore refining Niacinamide, moisturising Squalene, and Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, to shield skin from harmful UV rays, blue light, and pollution.


Mecca Max Off Duty Serum Skin Tint is an ultra-light foundation, that blends seamlessly to provide sheer coverage. The silky, liquid formula’s star ingredients include moisturising Glycerin, Niacinamide, Squalene, and Vitamin E to promote hydration, even skin tone, and fortify the skin barrier. Shades? An applause-worthy twenty, that consider all undertones, including neutral, cool, pink, peach, golden, and olive. This sublime, award-winning Serum Skin Tint creates sheer coverage, with a dewy finish. Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum showcases a unique formula comprised of pigment spheres suspended within a skincare base. Upon application, the microencapsulated pigment bursts on contact, and effortlessly blends across the face, to blur imperfections with a luminous finish. The formula’s star ingredients include hydrating Hyaluronic Acid + Squalene to plump and smooth, and Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2 – a powerful, anti-ageing peptide that stimulates skin regeneration, and provides environmental protection. A best-seller at Mecca, this is a ‘go-to’, skin-loving, Tinted Serum for those seeking ultra-sheer coverage, with an unmistakable glow. Trinny London BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum offers low[1]medium, buildable coverage across twelve stretchable shades with a radiant finish. Designed to reenergise the appearance of dull, fatigued skin, the formula includes Hyaluronic Acid, and the brand’s scientifically proven NP-TriOX technology powered by soothing Neurophroline – an active ingredient that works to block the production of Cortisol (the ‘stress hormone’) in our skin. It’s calming properties swiftly reduce inflammation and redness, to promote a radiant, healthy-looking complexion. L’Oréal Paris True Match Tinted Plumping Serum has been reformulated with 1 per cent Micro-Epidermic Hyaluronic Acid, to amplify the penetration of the ingredient’s renowned plumping benefits. An attainable, consumer[1]favourite across the globe, this lightweight Tinted Serum is also enriched with moisturising Glycerin. The10 adaptable, mineral pigmented shades effortlessly melt into the skin, to impart a visibly hydrated, plumped, and flawless finish.


The rise of Tinted Serums represents a welcome shift towards a more inclusive and effortless beauty standard. These new-age, hybrid products offer a bridge between skincare and makeup, empowering consumers to celebrate their unique beauty, and simplify their routines. As the trend continues to gain momentum, the transformative benefits of Tinted Serums are revolutionising the way we approach and appreciate our skin’s natural radiance. Selecting a compatible shade can be challenging. Sean recommends seeking out the expert advice of an in-store makeup consultant, to identify your skin’s undertones, and personal coverage goals. It’s estimated that 90 per cent of ageing results from harmful (cancer[1]causing) UV exposure. Dr McDonald advocates the application of a broad spectrum, SPF50+ sunscreen as the last step prior to applying makeup, including Tinted Serums that integrate SPF protection. Invest in a dermatologist-approved sunscreen, and integrate this skincare ‘essential’ into your daily (year-round) AM routine. It’s time to celebrate the realisation of our skincare goals, and rethink foundation coverage. A natural-looking, flawless makeup look is not only attainable, but it can be achieved in minutes, with a prescribed, skin-loving Tinted Serum. Embrace the benefits, and love the skin you’re in!

This article was first published in the Autumn issue of Retail Beauty.

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