Best skincare that doubles as makeup

From bronzing drops to lip oils, is it possible to replace your entire makeup bag with skincare products?

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No makeup-makeup has been a top beauty trend backstage at fashion week in the last few seasons, shown at the likes of Nensi Dojaka, Erdem and Ulla Johnson - but this summer, our favourite TikTok creators are taking it to the next level.

For 2023, the motive is to ditch your base products entirely and swap them out for skincare. We’re talking drops, serums and gels that promise a natural radiance and accentuate your features when you’ve not got the time or energy. But do these complexion-enhancing formulations really double as makeup?

Searches for the term #makeupskincare are growing daily, already boasting 22.8M views already on the video-sharing platform, so we decided to put it to the test.

The latest cult makeup promises an array of skincare benefits where brands are launching do-it-all hybrid products that you can apply before drinks with friends and not feel guilty if you inevitably forget to take it off before bed. From tinted moisturisers to colour-correcting creams, these products are the ultimate lazy girl hack for blurring imperfections and leaving a fresh-faced finish.

This will come welcomed by those that find traditional makeup stresses out their skin, instead switching out these potentially heavy and pore-clogging formulations for weightless alternatives that have been infused with complexion-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and are packed with antioxidants that will protect against external aggressors. Good skincare is always the first step before you apply concealer or foundation, so this cuts out the middleman with the creativity of makeup yet the nourishment of skincare.

It can be hard to determine which products will provide a worthy glow, and which are best left on your bathroom shelf. That’s where we come in. We’ve rounded up the products that hold the benefits of skincare with the instant results of makeup. Sleep-proof makeup? Sign us up.

See below

Best skincare that doubles as makeup at a glance:

Dr Jart CICAPAIR Tiger Grass Colour Correcting Treatment

Dr Jart

Best for: a foundation and concealer dupe

The CICAPAIR Tiger Grass Colour Correcting Treatment from Korean skincare label Dr Jart is a magical green cream that transforms into a neutral hue as it adapts to the skin’s natural colour. It works to conceal redness and mimics the smoothing effect of a concealer without settling and clogging pores.

The Tiger Grass Camo Drops also deserve your attention and boast SPF35.

Buy now£37, John Lewis

ILIA C Beyond - Tinted Serum SPF30


Best for: luminous skin

Starring brightening vitamin C as the main ingredient, this is a skin-makeup hybrid that gives a megawatt glow. You can wear it alone, or you can layer it up with makeup, the choice is very much yours but it is made up of encapsulated active ingredients that once applied onto the skin, brings the radiance, smoothing and protective properties of the powerhouse trio that is L-Ascorbic Acid (a pure form of vitamin C), niacinamide for minimising the appearance of pores and evening out skin tone and zinc oxide giving SPF30 for shielding against UV rays as well as pollution and blue light.

Buy now£68, Sephora

Westman Atelier Skin Activator

Westman Atelier

Best for: minimising pores and fine lines

Gucci Westman may have only founded her eponymous makeup brand in 2018, but it has since earned official cult status, solving everyday concerns with easy to use and creamy textures. Westman Atelier has expanded its offering to include skincare, a first for the brand and following five years of research and development.

The Skin Activator is a serum with restorative, corrective and protecting properties. It injects moisture into the skin’s barrier to make it feel hydrating, dewy and soothed, while minimising the appearance of pores and fine lines. There’s antioxidant-rich ingredients that shield against further damage. The product has a smart specialised delivery system that mimics what is found naturally for better absorption.

Buy now£138, Liberty

Saie Slip Tint Dewy Tinted Moisturizer


Best for: a dewy finish

SPF: Yes - SPF 35

Size: 40ml

Shades: 14

If you haven’t heard of the brand Saie, let this be your official introduction. This tinted moisturiser is unforgettable. It contains hyaluronic acid and SPF 35 as well as a dash of liquorice with impressive brightening benefits. This ingredient also helps to protect skin from discolouration and pigmentation after sun exposure and when combined with anti-inflammatory aloe vera, it moisturises and delivers antioxidants. Last but not least, pansy flower soothes irritation and argan oil will ensure that dryness never shows.

Buy now£27, Cult Beauty

Youthforia BYO colour-changing blush oils


Best for: colour-changing blush

This innovative blush from beloved K-beauty label Youthforia works with your skin’s natural pH to create a customised shade that is the perfect natural dewy flush. Universally flattering, the 20 plant-based and antioxidant-rich ingredients are put through their paces to be so kind to the skin that you can even sleep in them.

Buy now£23.35, Beauty Bay

Pai Skincare The Impossible Glow Bronzing Drops

Pai Skincare

Best for: sensitive skin-friendly bronzer

With three different shade options, Pai’s Bronzing Drops provides that lit-from-within look with an intense bronzing glow. What sets this product apart from your standard bronzer is that the formula is even suitable for those with sensitive skin. The ingredients boost hydration with hyaluronic acid, sea kelp and vitamin C-rich lemon fruit water to amplify the radiance.

Buy now£18.99, Cult Beauty

Jones Road Miracle Balm – Miami Beach

Jones Road

Best for: subtle shimmer

Cited as the whole reason makeup expert Bobbi Brown began her new makeup and skincare line Jones Road, Miracle Balm is well on its way to becoming a cult classic. The subtly tinted formula has an almost alchemic quality to transform skin, giving complexions a dewy, fresh makeover.

Miami Beach is the latest shade in the line-up, imparting a fresh peach with light gold shimmer onto eyes, lips, cheeks, collarbones - anywhere you want a Golden Hour-style flush. Just lovely.

Buy now£32.40, Jones Road

Honest Beauty Honestly Healthy Lash Serum


Best for: a mascara dupe

The Honest Beauty Honestly Healthy Lash Serum in black goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to using a skincare product as a mascara. Not only does the serum darken and make lashes appear visually longer, but the ingredients nourish them for stronger and fuller lashes over time.

Say goodbye to panda eyes at the end of the day and think feathery, lifted, separated and stronger lashes over time. The brand even claims clinically proven fuller-looking lashes over 12 weeks. Honest Beauty takes a natural approach to its ingredients with castor oil, red clover and plant-derived protein contained within the formula.

Buy now£18.75, Cult Beauty

bareMinerals Strength & Length Serum-Infused Tinted Brow Gel


Best for: brow serum with staying power

This brow gel works double duty as a serum while giving a thicker appearance. The bareMinerals Strength & Length Serum-Infused Tinted Brow Gel is a plant-based product that shapes, defines and promotes visibly fuller brows over time. It comes in a variety of shades.

Buy now£18, Boots

MERIT Beauty Shade Slick Gelées


Best for: juicy lips

Minimalistic makeup label MERIT made a splash on UK soil last month and is already expanding its collection. The Shade Slick Gelées is your first stop for juicy lips. The gloss brings a sheer finish without any of the stickiness typically associated with 90s iterations of this product type. Ingredients like squalane and quinoa seed oil show the brand’s skin-first approach and inject parched pouts with moisture while protecting against external aggressors that can disrupt the barrier function. There are four shades; Jeté, Le Deux, Maraschino and Mapleton which offer a very subtle wash of colour.

Buy now£26, MERIT Beauty

Westman Atelier Vital Pressed Skincare powder

Westman Atelier

Best for: smoothing pores

When you’ve carefully curated your look to be the perfect balance of matte and shine with highlighters, blush and foundation, the last thing you want is to incorporate a powder that will dull all radiance - that’s where Gucci Westman has got you covered.

The legendary makeup artist has formulated the Vital Pressed Skincare powder to enhance the makeup layered below without counteracting the glow. Smoothing pores, evening out tone and incorporating supercharged ingredients like vitamin C and probiotics into your complexion, this powder will become your go-to when you want your look to last.

Buy now£69, Selfridges

Drunk Elephant O-Bloos Rosi Drops

Drunk Elephant

Best for: skin-loving blush

The Drunk Elephant O-Bloos Rosi Drops are a high-performing blush that gives a perfect rosy hue, while also working to support your skin barrier with powerful and natural antioxidants. The cocktail of white tea, grapeseed and cocoa extract provides free-radical-fighting protection and supports the skin barrier. The formula is also buildable and flattering on a range of skin tones.

Buy now£31, Cult Beauty