Why is it so hard to find the right tinted moisturizer? I was wondering at the end of a tiresome slog to every beauty counter at the mall. I tried them all. Either the texture went on way too thick and dried like spackle, or the texture was okay but the color was way, way off. Who wants to look like orange drywall when you were expecting a light, natural, skin-like finish?

Somehow I had thought tinted moisturizer would be a sheer hydrating lotion with a whisper of color. The stuff I was finding could have been produced by Benjamin Moore.

Hope was fading until I made one last attempt at Laura Mercier at Belk’s. The lovely woman in charge turned me on to Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen. And, finally, there it was.

The coverage is a soft satin. The texture is beautifully smooth and the silkiest I found in my afternoon wanderings. And the color! The color the Belk’s lady selected was a perfect match for my skin shade. Success at long last.

Turns out Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen is listed on the Laura Mercier website as one of their award winners. It has been named Best Tinted Moisturizer on InStyle magazine’s “Best of Beauty” list. Women who need to hide minor flaws and smooth over an uneven skin tone (we’re certainly not talking about me here) are said to love this fragrance-free moisturizer.

Laura Mercier also offers a sister product in her Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. Some reviewers prefer this version because the formula affords broad-spectrum sun protection by including avobenzone. The silicone-enhanced formula contains several antioxidants. It, too, is fragrance free.

Maybe I’ll try that one next. Because I’m definitely coming back to Laura Mercier when the first tube runs out.

You can find Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen as the company’s website and at Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom as well as other department stores.

Her Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 is available at Belk.

Do your best friend a favor and sneakily find out what shade she wears in foundation makeup. Because your best friend deserves this elegant moisturizer for Christmas, and they don’t make it in orange.