Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser Oil Free SPF 20 in Sand - review and swatches


You may remember that I tried the Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation a while ago (reviewed here) and didn't think much of that one, and I tried the original Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser SPF 20 in Sand many moons ago (reviewed here) and it didn't have enough coverage for me.

Still, I decided to try this oil-free version because so many people love it and someone online also said it has a little more coverage, and I completely agree with that. Indeed, this oil-free version is exactly my kind of tinted moisturiser - it's just that the colour is nothing like the Sand I bought in the original version so this particular shade doesn't suit me, but at least I can say that the formula is great.

Laura Mercier claims/product details:

  • Laura's award-winning, oil free, demi-matte multi-tasker is the key to a healthy, no-makeup look
  • Lightweight formula helps control oil breakthrough and adds a soft hint of colour that evens and enhances skin without hiding it
  • Use in place of foundation for effortless, sheer, demi-matte coverage and a more even complexion
  • Stays colour-true; wears all day
  • Delivers advanced skin-caring benefits: broad spectrum SPF 20 UVB/UVA sunscreen plus a power-blend of antioxidant vitamins c and e to help protect skin from the damaging effects of the environment
  • RRP $46 USD for 50ml, but do shop around

Light and heavy swatches, direct sunlight:

Indirect sunlight:

Below I've done some comparison swatches so you can see how red the undertone is.

Indirect sunlight:

* L-R: LM Candleglow Foundation in Dusk, LM Tinted Moisturiser Oil Free in Sand, Hourglass Illusion Tint in Warm Ivory, Koh Gen Do Aqua in 213 and Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist in 05

Direct sunlight:

* L-R: LM Candleglow Foundation in Dusk, LM Tinted Moisturiser Oil-Free in Sand, Hourglass Illusion Tint in Warm Ivory, Koh Gen Do Aqua in 213 and Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist in 05


This is a great tinted moisturiser and I would absolutely buy it again in a better shade-match if Laura Mercier hadn't left Australia. As it is, though, it's going to be hard to get my hands on this (unless I want to pay through the teeth on eBay) so I'll have to forget about it for now.

Do note that when I went to buy this, only three shades were left (one very pale, one very dark and this colour in Sand), and I decided to buy this because I thought it would be the same shade as Sand in the original formula - which was a touch too dark but still yellow in undertone, so nothing that a drop of my whitener wouldn't fix - but I wound up with this colour that's basically unusable on my light-medium to medium, yellow-based skin.

Still, I've been using this twice a week for the last six months now (on days when I know I won't be leaving the house), and I've also been mixing some in with my sunscreen every day to give myself a slightly bronzed base below my makeup. Plus I've had this on my Project Pan list for ages, to the point that it's almost finished, so I've definitely given it a good test run.

What I've found is that it's everything I'd hoped the original Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser would be. It has a light to medium coverage (although you can wear less for a sheer coverage if you want to), so it covers just enough to do the job but still looks very natural on the skin.

I also love the slightly radiant finish I get from this, and it's not greasy on me but I wouldn't call it matte (as claimed) either - although that may partly be because I always wear a greasy facial sunscreen underneath it.

It wears reasonably well throughout the day - around six hours before it starts to fade - which is what I'd expect for a tinted moisturiser, and it does wear better if you set it with a powder (most things do). It doesn't sit in pores and it performs reasonably well in the heat too, so although it will fade in extreme heat, it won't lift off my face like some tinted moisturisers can do.

Overall I think this is a great product and I definitely recommend it, although I'd be really careful with colour matches, given my experience. Don't rely on one shade of a Laura Mercier formula matching up with a shade in another, even if they have the same name. And while yes the product is expensive, at least you get 50ml and can often buy it discounted.

Worth trying.

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