As I sat down to write this post it came to my attention that it’s been years since I did any kind of makeup review! Unless you count this Instagram post from 2020, my most recent one was about Zuii Organics back in 2017! 😳 You could say that makeup gets easily overshadowed by my larger interests in skincare and haircare.
It’s not that I don’t wear makeup. Just that, I find writing about it requires more visual effort from me than what I’m comfortable with. And not to sound like I’m bashing myself down… But I don’t find that I have the best physical attributes to showcase makeup. 🙄 But for the sake of it, I’m not gonna let thoughts of “others do it better” stop me. I apologize for not including pictures and swatches of the shades and how they sit on my skin. But it’s just easier for me this way. Anyway, here are three tinted foundations I’ve been using the past two years!
Kosas Tinted Face Oil
This one was gifted to me by a friend in a product swap. If it weren’t for that, I’m not sure I’d purchase this myself. I was eyeing it when it came out, but the mixed reviews had me on the fence. Some love it, some hate it. One person on Instagram described it to me as a love-hate relationship and I couldn’t agree with that statement more.
My first impression was pure hate. It was impossible to apply it without extreme pilling. Not to mention, it’s not as dewy as marketed, drying up and accentuating dry patches. (Note: when I got it it was in the midst of winter) Taking into account its price tag, this was just too bad of a product to be spending that much on! Kosas themselves, and some sources, say to avoid applying it over silicone bases because that’s what’s causing the pilling. However, my experience was quite the opposite, where a silicone-primer did actually help. But overall, it didn’t seem to matter, some creams/serums just pill when you put oil over them, whether they’re silicon-free or not. The main issue is that I did not experience the same severity of pilling with other foundations at the same price point.
The key is to find a good base to apply it on. It took time, but I eventually found a few moisturizers/SPFs that worked well with the Kosas Skin Tint. And when it’s good it’s really good. Suddenly I found myself loving it! Although it’s a tint it is closer to a medium finish than a sheer one; evening out the skin in a good but still natural way. The shades are very flexible. I’m probably a shade #4, but I could still rock the gifted shade in #3.5 without it looking too off. I do hear though that the shades run more warm and yellow, which is fine for me but might not be for everyone.
While I found it to be very expensive for 30ml, I soon realized that you only need like two-three drops of this! I was taking way too much in the beginning. It’s extremely pigmented! The little half-full bottle my friend gifted me ended up lasting me past its expiry date. It’s almost like they could sell half the amount for half the price instead. As, in the end, it started to smell like spoiled oil before I had the chance to even finish it up.
Once I got to the last few drops, I surprised myself by thinking I could see myself repurchasing it. It still has its flaws. While the “face oil” marketing makes you believe you’ll get a dewy finish, the reality is that this dries down to a more powdered radiant finish. In the midst of winter, it turns pretty matte. Making it not ideal for dry skin types and is best suited for the summertime or oily/combination skin. Also, the wear throughout the day does not stay pretty unless manipulated with primer and powder. And I could still argue that something to cost €45 should probably not be this iffy of a product.
Still, this found its way to my liking and I consider it to be worth a try if you know what you’re in for.
BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Foundation Stick
After Kosas I moved on to BareMinerals… I bought this at a time when stick foundations were all the hype. And I was also interested to see how it differed from the original complexion rescue foundation that I reviewed a couple of years ago. I did like that one, but because of the shine, I never went back to it.
The Complexion Rescue foundation stick is hydrating, just like the original. However, perhaps, a little bit too hydrating depending on the moisture in the air. I wasn’t too fond of it in the beginning as it felt a bit heavy and tacky on my skin. But this, I soon discovered, was yet again due to applying way too much. I was watching many youtube makeup gurus at the time, and many of them overdo it in application… While you can build the coverage I find it to be best applied sheer and blended out with your fingers.
This isn’t the foundation to cover up blemishes and I would best describe it as sort of a “tint stick”. It gives a beautiful dewy and radiant finish. But not as shiny as the gel cream I would say, as it tones down an hour after application. I really grew fond of it to the point that I even repurchased it in a summer shade. It’s such a nice everyday foundation that’s easy to apply, blend, and even out the skin tone. Works great during wintertime.
My only complaint is that it’s expensive for what you get. Despite not wearing makeup daily, this would last me about 3 months or less. In comparison to the gel cream, that lasted me a year! Another thing is, because of its hydrating formula, it tends to slide and fade during the day if not properly prepped with a primer or finishing powder. Not to mention, if you have oily skin, best to go for the gel cream instead. While I’m not opposed to repurchasing it again despite running through it so quickly. I am a little on the fence more so out of personal issues with the shade range. I’ve used the shades Bamboo and Ginger, however, neither felt like a great match.
Sadly, while I’m writing this it seems like BareMinerals is discontinuing the sales of the foundation stick. So, my review might just be a waste. Apparently, according to a Reddit thread, they are coming out with a concealer this October that will replace this. A bit sad, as I said, I do like this foundation and I know many who do too.
Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint
Saving the best for last? I guess. I never got to try the old formula as the sunshine skin tint didn’t get available in Europe until they came out with the new one with a broader shade range and refillable packaging. So I can’t compare. But I always had this idea that this would be the skin tint of all skin tints for me… Usually, those expectations fall flat once I try out the product. However, this time it truly nailed my predictions!
With that said, when you use the Sunshine Skin Tint for the first time you might be a little disheartened. It looks super dewy and feels a bit tacky/thick on the skin. But as you let it sink in, within 20 minutes those two issues subside and you’re left with a more natural – kind of porcelain skin – finish! This foundation has tiny shimmers in it so the finish will always be luminous.
As the name suggests, it has sheer coverage. But still manages to cover redness, lighten up dark circles, and even out the skin tone quite well. I’ve been using it without concealer, but I’m also someone who’s not into full coverage. I’m honestly the worst at picking out a shade match for me, whether it’s blindly from a picture swatch or in-store. I started off with the shade “light” during winter which turned out to be a bit too light for me. Still, the sheerness does make a shade more versatile so it didn’t look too off but I ended up using it more like a concealer. For summertime, I picked up “sand”, which I think is a better match. However, the luminosity gives a brightening effect making the shade perceived as lighter than what it is. In other words, I feel like I could go a notch darker.
The formula is on the thicker more gripping side which works in its favor. Out of all of these foundations, this holds up the longest! It looks just as good in the morning as it does in the evening without primer and powder. I wouldn’t say it’s water-resistant but does hold quite well on the skin after a swim if you don’t rub it.
Overall, the hype about this product is real and I do find it to live up to its €44 price tag here in Europe. It’s definitely expensive but worth it for me. A tube will last you around 6 months to a year depending on how generously you apply. I find I don’t need much as I usually only apply around the center of my face and then fade it outwards. The only thing I see as a con is the dispenser. The rolling glass ball tends to get stuck and not dispense the product evenly. And I never seem to get a good grip to apply it on my forehead. Otherwise, I do love that the foundation is refillable, which is a function I highly want to support. But I just wish the dispenser would be different.
As for who I’d recommend it for? Mostly all skin types! Oily skin might find it too heavy for summertime if you don’t apply it sheerly. If you want it less glowing, definitely opt for it for wintertime as it’s hydrating but will settle with a more semi-matte finish in cold weather.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moistruizer
I know that the title suggests three products… But I decided to throw in a bonus review seeing as the BareMinerals foundation stick seems to become discontinued. 😅
Prior to this purchase I had tested out the old formula of the iconic tinted moisturizer and loved it. It had such a nice balmy and spreadable texture that melted into your skin. I loved it! However, it contained emu oil making it not very vegan-friendly. With the new formulation, they removed the emu oil and increased the spf, finally making me feel allowed to go back to it.
I decided to purchase the travel size so I could get a good feel for the new formulation. And thank God for that! Because it turned out to be anything like I remembered. I made sure to shake the tube and everything! But whatever that came out did not feel or behave like the balmy texture I once fell in love with. It did not spread as easily, quite the opposite. Despite having a very sheer coverage, it applied patchy with streaks whether I buffed it in with my fingers or brush. Not to mention that it didn’t hold up well throughout the day.
I gave it a few shots, but most of those tries ended up with me washing it off and redoing my face all over again. Yes, it was that bad. It would just not work with my skin. I will consider the possibility of me getting a spoiled product. As I just can’t imagine how or why they’re continuing to sell it if it acts the way I experienced. Either way, the travel size isn’t cheap and I ended up feeling like my money got wasted. And that’s about it.