There’s a meme circulating on Instagram right now featuring Rihanna wearing stockings, hot pink shoes and a diamond choker to take out the garbage. The rubbish bag dangling from her wrist is labelled “People who don’t believe in daily SPF.”
For anyone who doubted it, this meme is surely definitive proof that sunscreen is not only necessary, it’s cool.
That said, adding an extra step to your beauty routine can be a hassle – which is why we set out to test the latest tinted sunscreens, which eliminate the need for sunscreen and foundation.
And who better to test it than three women who spend much of their working life outdoors?
We asked a landscape architect, personal trainer and firey-slash-tour-guide to test a range of tinted sunscreens and tell us the products they loved.
The landscape architect: Tanya Wood, 36
“I’m a mum of three little girls – including a newborn – and I spend half of my working week as a landscape architect outside on construction sites, project managing trades and consulting with clients. The other half is spent in formal board meetings and lecturing in front of 100 students at university.
Because of that, I need to be both building and board ready at all times! I usually wear SunSense 50+ sunscreen on my face but this week I tried Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear. On first use, I thought it had a really nice consistency, it didn’t go shiny and it applied really easily. Tick, tick, tick!
It gave me enough coverage and a real glow, and I felt as though I could wear it on its own without foundation or powder if I needed to. In one day, I wore it to the school drop off, the gym, a construction site, an executive meeting then home and it didn’t smudge or make me oily. I did wear make-up overtop for the meetings, but it held well.
For me, this was the perfect mix of foundation and sunscreen in one. Because it’s so light, you could get away with rubbing it on and running out the door without any other products. It’s all in one!”
The volunteer firey and Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb Guide: Edwina Illman, 41
Tested: Ella Bache Superfluid Great SPF50 ($55)
“I would describe myself as an outdoorsy person. I’ve been a tour guide at the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb for over 20 years and a member of the Heathcote fire brigade for six years. I gave up on wearing make-up to work a long time ago because it just comes off (and I could never find the right shade at the local chemist to suit my skin tone). I usually just wear whatever tub of SPF is in the office at work and that’s it.
For me, the Ella Bache tinted sunscreen in dark beige has been a game-changer. Initially I had my doubts and I didn’t think it would last too long out in the elements on top of the bridge, but I was wrong. The colour suited me perfectly, it wasn’t oily, and it was easy to apply with just my fingers.
I gave it a good stress test: I wore it to work on the most humid day in Sydney and was worried it would rub off on the collar of my uniform. I was surprised – and pretty impressed – that most of it stayed on. After that, I tested it in a structural fire stimulation session where I had to wear a mask, lots of layers and protective gear. When I took my mask off, hardly any of the product had come off. Lastly, I wore it to my outdoor bootcamp class, which I followed with a swim, and it stayed on even after jumping in the ocean. I couldn’t believe it.
I would recommend this product to anyone who spends time outside – especially those who struggle with colour matching their skin tone.”
The personal trainer: Courtney Eppinger, 35, of The Upbeat
“I moved to Australia from Canada in 2015 and became a personal trainer a couple of years ago after working in retail. Now I spend my mornings down at Bondi Beach doing squats with heavy weights while watching the surfers and the sunrise.
Growing up in such a cold climate, I don’t ever recall wearing sunscreen. Here, if I don’t wear sunscreen, I get burnt within 10 minutes. I carry it with me in my backpack everywhere. I’d rather be a pasty Canadian girl than burnt to a crisp.
Sunscreen is always the first step in my beauty routine and I usually wear it with a little bit of bronzer, blush and mascara. For this road test, I tried out the Dermalogica Primer and Tinted Sunscreen – and I’m obsessed.
The Primer was stunning and the perfect thing to put on before a little bit of bronzer. It wasn’t sticky or thick and even when I was sweating at work, it didn’t feel like it was running off my face. Likewise, the tinted sunscreen was a nice light cover, and the medium shade matched my skin tone really well.
As a personal trainer who spends a lot of time outdoors, moving around and sweating, I need my beauty products to be lightweight and hardworking. After a full day of workouts (and walks with my Cavoodle, Jake), the Dermalogica products weren’t melting off me like others I’ve used.
By the end of the day, I still looked pretty fresh, especially with the Primer that kept everything on beautifully. I’ve already recommended the brand to a couple of my friends and I’m a convert.”
Photographer: Sarah Adamson
Photographer’s assistant: Seok-Ho Yoon
Hair and make-up: Charlotte Niketic
Beauty editor: Lucy Adams