Ask Jean: Tinted Moisturizer? Foundation? BB? CC? …?

Written by: Jean Godfrey-June


Updated: July 21, 2022


Photo courtesy of Beautycounter

We want to answer your most pressing questions—or, you know, just the things that you’re curious about. Please keep them coming to [email protected] Below, a q for our beauty director, Jean Godfrey-June.

Dear Jean, I’d like my skin to look nice—smooth, even, and fresh, not like I’m wearing makeup—and I need daily sun protection. Do I want a tinted moisturizer? BB cream? CC cream? I know I don’t want traditional foundation, which is too heavy for me, and I know I need more than just moisturizer. What’s the right move? —Stephanie R.

Dear Stephanie, I’ve seen BB creams thicker and pastier than the most grandma-brand foundations, and I’ve seen tinted moisturizers so sheer they might as well be invisible. The problem with all makeup is that whatever “thicker lashes” or “plump” or “sheer” means to you, well—it might mean something entirely different to the people at a cosmetics company.

  1. So, as with finding the perfect-fitting pair of jeans, make room for a certain amount of trial and error—and remember that even when you find the perfect pair of jeans, sometimes, a month later, you’re like, Why did I think these were so perfect?!

    That said, I bet the ultimate airy-textured, pretty, skin-perfecting daily SPF 20 for you is Beautycounter Dew Skin. It makes practically every person look and feel better.

  2. Beautycounter Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage, goop, $
    Beautycounter Dew Skin
    Tinted Moisturizer
    goop, $50

I discovered its miraculous works-for-everyone-ness when I worked at one of our OG goop pop-up shops in San Francisco. I hung out in the beauty area, soaking up the curvy, groovy atmosphere (the space resembled a miniature Guggenheim).

Everybody, it seemed, was looking for tinted moisturizer/foundation/BB/CC advice. But as I took people over to the mirrors, I’m not kidding that 9 times out of 10, Dew Skin turned out to be the perfect match, not just in terms of color but also in terms of texture and coverage level. (There are few things as happy-making as being able to help a person get exactly what they’re looking for; both the finder and the seeker emerge triumphant.)

The many triumphs, of course, convinced me, too. I’d been clinging to a not-clean tinted moisturizer. (True: It was the last conventional product I ever used.) But I started wearing Dew Skin on days when I didn’t have any appointments, dates, or other reasons I had to look good. On every one of those “off” days, someone in the office would invariably exclaim, “Your skin looks amazing today. What is it?”

Since then, I have unsurprisingly worn Dew Skin and only Dew Skin. And I was terrified, recently, to hear it was changing. But the brilliant, flattering-on-every-skin formula hasn’t changed at all. The shade range has gotten more inclusive, and the bottle has become both wildly chic and recyclable. The only thing longtime fans need to know is that you might have moved up a shade: I, for example, was a No. 2, and I’m now a No. 3. What’s great, as always, is that each shade looks beautiful on a remarkably wide range of skin tones, so it’s harder to go wrong than with most tinted moisturizers.

When something makes your skin look this good, you want to optimize. Here’s what I do.

  1. 1.

    I wake up and smooth on this glow-inducing, people-will-notice, miracle-working vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serum.

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum, goop, $125/$112 with subscription
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C +
    Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum
    goop, $125/$112 with subscription
  2. 2.

    As I wait a few minutes for the vitamin C to really go to work, I do this lip mask. As the beloved skin whisperer Jess Bowers says, “Treat your lips right and your entire face looks more youthful.” My friend makes this mask in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and it’s incredibly moisturizing. It sinks in while I get ready, awaiting lip color (which is always my last step).

    Alpyn Beauty Willow & Sweet Agave Plumping Lip Mask, goop, $28
    Alpyn Beauty Willow & Sweet Agave
    Plumping Lip Mask
    goop, $28
  3. 3.

    I smooth in this face oil—it feels and smells so fantastic, it’s kind of hard to believe. And it leaves the best glow.

    Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil goop, $72
  4. 4.

    All makeup artists dab on a bit of eye cream before tinted moisturizer or concealer; this one is amazing—it helps firm and smooth the look of crow’s-feet, lines, puffiness, and dark circles.

    goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One Nourishing Eye Cream, goop, $55/$50 with subscription
    goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One
    Nourishing Eye Cream
    goop, $55/$50 with subscription
  5. 5.

    Now that I’ve got all the glowifying layers in place, I spend 5 to 10 minutes smoothing my face (especially under my eyes) in upward motions with this vibrating T-bar to accomplish two things: It visibly lifts (!), an effect that lasts the entire day. It also helps push all the amazing ingredients from the serum, oil, and eye cream deeper into my skin.

    Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar, goop, $195
    Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar goop, $195


  1. Dew Skin time. I do my whole face to get the SPF benefit and, of course, the amazing-skin benefit.

  2. Beautycounter Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage, goop, $50
    Beautycounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer goop, $50


Using a brush makes all the difference with concealer: Dab the concealer only on the darkness or spot you want to cover, then pat (don’t rub) with your fingers. You’ll think the concealer isn’t blending properly and, suddenly, it will disappear, along with your blemishes and dark circles.

  1. RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up, goop, $36
    RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up goop, $36
  2. Westman Atelier Spot Check Brush, goop, $38
    Westman Atelier Spot Check Brush goop, $38
  1. 8.

    You think liquid eyeliner’s only for a bold, going-out moment, but if you ever find yourself applying many extra coats of mascara, try this: Use this sleek, felt-tipped pen to ink in its blackest black in between your lashes, along the top outer half of your lash line. Sweep away any smudging with a Q-tip and your eyes will look wide-awake all day with only a single coat of mascara.

    ILIA Clean Liquid Liner, goop, $28
    ILIA Clean Liquid Liner goop, $28
  2. 9.

    Made with powerful ingredients typically found in clean hair care, this mascara conditions deeply, so each swipe doubles as a treatment for glossy, healthy, feathery-soft lashes.

    Kosas The Big Clean Mascara, goop, $26
    Kosas The Big Clean
    goop, $26


  1. Last touch: I put on this looks-good-on-practically-everyone lipstick and then, with my fingers, swipe a little of the color from my lips and dab it on my cheekbones. I cannot tell you how many times people have asked me, “Did you get your makeup done?” after I did this one thing.

  2. Kosas Weightless Lip Color, goop, $28
    Kosas Weightless Lip Color goop, $28


  1. Have you ever seen a cuter tube of sunscreen? I put a little dot on the back of one hand, blend with the back of my other hand, and throw the tube in my bag (you never know when you’re going to desperately need sunscreen, and we wash our hands so often that you need it reapplied to the backs of your hands several times a day).

    Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30, goop, $39
    Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating
    Sunscreen SPF 30
    goop, $39
  2. This is my favorite perfume. There’s hibiscus, pomelo, lemon zest, starfruit, mandarin leaves, ginger root, and Virginia cedar, mixed for a pure, bright, breath-of-fresh-air sexiness that I can never get enough of.

    The Maker Libertine Eau de Parfum, goop, $160
    The Maker Libertine Eau
    de Parfum
    goop, $160

More Questions?

Contact the beauty concierge team at [email protected] and they’ll get back to you with answers (good ones).