Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer | My Best Light Daytime Base

I have no explanation as to why I’m only blogging about this now.  I guess simply put it’s ‘coz, you know…who hasn’t blogged or heard about Laura Mercier’s iconic Tinted Moisturizer?  Makeup noobs and makeup lovers alike have sung its praises.  I myself have gone through I think 3 or 4 tubes now of the stuff in the last 5-6 years, but this one’s my first oil-free tube and I prefer this variant for our humid climate.  It’s the makeup product of hundreds of models when they’re off duty because of its buildable light coverage, low SPF, and versatile variants (original, oil-free, illuminating/radiance boosting).  It’s what I grab if I’m going on a beach vacay where you don’t want to be scoffed at by others seeing you fuss too much on a holiday.


This is the veritable “What are you wearing…” product because it’s light so people can’t put their finger on what you’ve got on, but they notice you’ve got something that makes you look better than usual.  As a makeup professional when it comes to beauty I’m a strong purveyor of noticeable subtlety.  Lots of  guys actually prefer seeing stuff like this on their girlfriends’  faces rather than a whole shebang of foundation, concealer and powder masking their beloved, right?   This summer you can also take this down your neck and onto your shoulders if you want some light coverage and sun protection (if going to the beach still apply a high spf sunscreen underneath, at least 40).  On either end of the age spectrum it’s great for teens AND mature skin alike because contrary to what others think, mature ladies ought to be wearing less heavy all-over bases and wear light hydrating products to look fresh, they just need to target conceal a few more areas and powder.  Read more to see this work with before and after application photos.

Before I learned how to shade match properly as a makeup artist I picked the shade “Bisque” when I was still using the original formula but I realize now it’s half a shade too dark so I have “Nude”.  The shades of LM are quite neutral and are formulated to universally suit many undertones, I don’t think you’ll find very many quite yellow tints in the range unlike ranges that cater to more ethicities like Bobbi Brown, Shu Uemura, or Shiseido.  Princess Diana’s makeup artist Mary Greenwell shares that it’s best to match foundation not directly on your face nor too low on the neck, the best area she pointed out is the part on your neck beneath the jawline where you can feel your pulse, if the shade disappears when you swatch and blend it’s yours.  I’d allow a few minutes to pass like about 10 to see if the shade oxidizes and gets darker by much.



My new current shade in my oil-free one is “Nude” and that’s the shade you’re seeing in these photos, notice there is no visible shift in color from my face to my neck which means it’s perfect at the moment.  “Nude” is one shade up from “Bisque”, that’s because I haven’t tanned in awhile, but once I do tan this summer I’ll probably drop two shades down to “Sand”.  If you’re planning to go to the beach this summer and want to get this, choose your shade now and buy one or two shades darker…if money were no object I’d get both “Nude” and “Sand” so I could mix in between if needed.


I most of the time prefer foundations that match my yellow undertone with razor precision but in this case I’m quite appreciating the neutrality of the shade “Nude” which knocks back the sallowness of my skin by just enough.  If I’m not mistaken the darker shade “Sand” has a little bit more yellow in it unless they’ve reformulated.  Upon application it feels mildly like sunblock, a little bit sticky or tacky just at first, but after about 10-15 mins it settles and sinks in and makes skin soft (since it is a “moisturizer” remember), and this version, the oil-free one gives a lovely semi-matte finish once it’s been fully absorbed.  You can choose to set it with pressed powder or blot powder.  I prefer a loose setting powder like Laura Mercier’s translucent one just over the T-zone, Muji also do one that’s like half the price. The photos you are seeing here though have no concealer or powder at all.



My new LM Oil-Free (Top) Tinted Moisturizer and my previous LM Original Tinted Moisturizer, practically empty already.

When I want heavier coverage on a summer holiday I opt for my Shiseido Sun Protection foundation which I’ve also reviewed, but otherwise I go with this.  You can toss Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in your bag and apply it with fingers plus if you’ve got clear skin it’s quite simply all you need to boost flawlessness without looking overdone.  If you have oily skin, get the Oil-Free version and you’ll need to set this generously with powder afterwards.  If you have acne-prone skin you’ll need a good full coverage concealer to support cover up.  There’s something quite laid back and utilitarian about a girl putting on product from a tube she pulls out of her bag, something that gently announces “just freshening up with something I need” instead of “I’m primping myself now, don’t disturb me” which is often attached to the whole mirror, compact, and brush scenario…which is why if I do want to do some serious primping, I try to do it in private rather than look unapproachable.  Just in case you didn’t come across the scoop, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge was reportedly spotted buying this exact product (oil-free version) just a few days before the Royal Wedding, yes, her wedding, making this possibly her base of choice for her big day with “Wills” since she did her own makeup.  This costs about Php1650-Php1750 from Rustan’s counters locally, but I got my current Oil-Free one from a StrawberryNET sale.

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  • Issa

    oh, you got me interested on this Julia! I wanna get this 🙂 Btw, Happy New Year to you! 🙂

  • thesa

    oh my! oh my! i think i need to subscribe in your blog. lol. i just sent you a comment on you LM SC and searching thru your page i saw this. i even left a question regarding buying online thru the SAME site you mentioned in the last page. 😀

    now, i’ve sort of made a resolution last year that i won’t be buying any make up this year because i hoarded several lipsticks (by that i mean more than 10) that i may not be able to use up before they expires. but i got this idea fixed in my head that i needed a good foundation or tinted moisturizer and a better concealer. so please tell me that i am not a totally vain lady if i buy both this tinted moisturizer and the LM SC. 🙂

    ahmm may i mention that i am 27 and just started to really experiment on make up last year. 🙂 i was a lipstick and liner girl before that (by lipstick, i mean i use up one tube before buying another.) sigh and last year, i learned how make up addiction can totally blow my salary away. lol

  • thesa

    yikes!!! sigh, i’m so over myself, 2k+ for a 50ml tinted moisturizer! well, its high what do i expect, right? 🙂 ahmm so ms. julia, can you recommend an equally good tinted moisturizer that is ‘drugstore’? any from ELF or cover girl or maybelline, or maxfactor even. im shying away from revlon as it really made me break out bad.

    you mentioned that foundation and full face makeup are best at night and tinted moisturizers like this are more suitable at day time. may i say “thank you”, i’ve been making this mistake sometime now, i use foundation to cover up my blemishes and even when i try to keep it light, my face always turns out to be obviously made up.

    thanks thanks

  • Champ

    I’ve been wanting to ask you since we almost have the same color if this LM in nude is too sheer if I wanted to hide brown spots? My face is generally clean except for the brown spots concentrated on both cheeks though light not dark in color. I bought the Shiseido with SPF and I really like it – of course it has more coverage. But will the LM be like the Shiseido, does not rub on clothes and not flat looking?