After a few years of nothing but liquid lipsticks, baking , highlighters and holographic powders and creams inspired by unicorns and mermaids, we're finally seeing skincare step into the spotlight. Perhaps Glossier should get credit for starting the movement. When launching in 2014 their motto, "skin first, makeup second," was quite provocative. There wasn't a color cosmetic product to be found on their website (they would come later). Instead, there were cleansers, moisturizers and masks meant to whip skin into shape. Should you care to add makeup to the clean canvas, so be it was the message I received loud and clear.
In 2017, skincare sales grew faster than the overall beauty industry and contributed to nearly half of the growth in the industry, according to the consumer the NPD Group, a market research company whose insights and reports are used by every retailer and buyer out there. With the rise of the Self Care Movement, it isn't surprising we are buying serums, creams and masks en masse. Can one exist without the other, I ask?
Are we living in the Halcyon days of skincare? I don't know. I do know the innovation coming out of many beauty brands is jaw-dropping. In my search to find a lighter way to wear foundation, I came across three products, all of which blur the line between skincare and cosmetics.
Kosås, has long been a favorite natural beauty brand of mine. I met the founder, Sheena Yaitanes, at an event years ago and quickly fell in love with the brand's lipsticks. Sheena is a painter and scientist so she inherently understands color theory and cutting-edge ways to formulate products. When I first read about the Tinted Face Oil my instinct was it wouldn't work with my super-oily skin. I messaged Sheena to ask her opinion and she shared she too has an oiler skin type and assured me the oil in the product balanced the oil in her skin. She also explained the product's dry-touch effect upon application AND let me know it contained oil-absorbing ingredients. I visited my local Credo Beauty and picked up the Tinted Face Oil in Tone 4 Medium With Warm Undertones.
The Tinted Face Oil comes in ten shades; however it is formulated to work on 30 different skin tones. Visit the Kosås product page to see the ten shades and women wearing them, with skin tones ranging from fair to deep with an array of undertones. Undertone is KEY - there can exist a foundation line of 30 shades; however if those shades all have a yellow undertone, they won't work for people with pink, red or green undertones in their skin. It's important to offer a myriad of shades AND undertones. The 10 shades are referred to as "debut" shades on the Kosås website, which leads me to believe there are only more shades to come.
This product is much like a serum foundation; it is important to shake the bottle first and is best applied with clean fingertips. I applied approximately 3 drops and gently patted and pressed the oil into my skin. I then applied another drop around my nose where my redness is most prominent. The formula, as promised, has a dry touch to it. It's not velvety - that conjures up a heaviness that is misleading. Think the thinnest, sheerest cashmere - that's the softness you feel. Immediately skin looks nourished not highlighted or strobed. The glow is subtle and healthy and I was stopped by my co-workers asking what I was doing differently because my skin looked great. Stop and reread the last sentence. They did NOT ask if I was wearing new makeup, they asked what was making my skin look so healthy. As the day wore on, my skin was less oily than normal and while the coverage faded slightly, it lasted about 8 hours. Reminder, I did not use a primer nor did I set the Tinted Face Oil with powder. Pretty impressive.
Let's talk ingredients. The key ingredients in the Tinted Face Oil are gluten, egg, nut, soy and cruelty free. The oil formula is a combination of six active botanical oils that even skin tone and minimize pores: avocado oil, meadowfoam oil, red raspberry oil, jojoba oil, green tea seed oil and rosehip seed oil. Each oil has its own properties that tone, plump, hydrate and brighten skin.
The pigments are really cool. According to the Kosås website, the Tinted Face Oil is made up of three types of mineral pigments in the oil base. The oils absorb quickly into the skin and a sheer to medium layer of self-adjusting color comes to life on the face, not settling into fine lines or pores. There is little to no blending required - the Tinted Face Oil simply becomes one with your skin.
The only negative is there is no sunblock in this product. I have yet to try it with a sheer sunblock underneath but I will do so and report back.
I was scared to try Beauty Counter's Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage, a tinted moisturizer and sunblock hybrid, mostly because the friend who recommended it to me looks like Christie Brinkley (with perfect skin to match). I, on the other hand, still fight the good acne fight even though I am knockin' on 40's door. I pumped it onto the back of my hand and my first impression was it was hydrating and sheer but that it didn't contain nearly enough pigment to disguise redness and acne scars I am interested in hiding form the outside world. But, my friend loved it and Allure magazine loved it (Dew Skin won Allure's Best in Beauty Award in 2015) so I gave it a try.
The formula is extremely easy to apply. After washing and toning skin you may elect to apply a moisturizer first or skip and use Dew Skin as your moisturizer. I applied my daily moisturizer and eye cream and one pump of Dew Skin. I did have to spot conceal some of my scars but because they have a purple undertone, I usually have to color-correct and conceal them if I truly want them...concealed. I applied a powder bronzer and a cream blush over top and went about my day. Yes, I mix powders and creams and have never experienced much of a problem. I spent the day running errands and caught glimpses of my skin in fitting room mirrors throughout the afternoon. I was shocked to see how healthy, radiant and ALIVE my skin looked. Plus, the formula contains sunblock so my skin was protected from the sun. I really could not ask for more!
The story of this product would end her but it does not. I met up with my friend who works in the beauty industry, who knows flawless skin (and is in possession of it!) and her first words were, "Your skin looks so beautiful and glowy!" Once I had her seal of approval I knew this product was a winner.
Let's talk formula. The Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage ($45) contains SPF 20 protection, black currant, peony flower root extract, and vitamin C all of which enhance skin brightness and sodium hyaluronate which help skin look firmer, smoother and help with that plump we lose as we age. The SPF in this product is zinc oxide which is a physical sun shield NOT a chemical sun shield. Why is this important? Well, chemical sunblocks are terrible for the environment. They enter our water sources and are believed to be one of the killers of coral reefs. In fact, Hawaii has banned chemical sunscreens beginning in 2021, so it's important to make sure you are purchasing physical sunblocks (look for zinc oxide ingredients).
Let's talk shades. I will just put it out there - there are only 5 shades. I can only hope there will be more in the future. Currently I am Shade 2 (most people are) and there are two shades that will work on deeper skin tones. I will say there is barely any coverage in the Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage - the focus is more on the healthy glow - so the shades may work on many different shades of skin. Nevertheless, it needed to be acknowledged.
Lastly, let's talk glow because Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage has the market cornered on glowy skin. Let's be clear - I have NO idea how this product make skin look so radiant. There are no visible glitters or reflective pigments and not a hint of chunky shimmer. It's just extremely nourishing and lustrous. I can't explain it but I love it.
Now, this is NOT a sponsored post; however my friend, you know the one who looks like Christie Brinkley? She sells Beauty Counter (so does Goop, so don't be worried this is some sham product line. If Goop and Allure Magazine get behind a brand, so can I). If you're interested in purchasing this or any other Beauty Counter product from an actual human but not a pushy sales associate, contact my friend Erin. I promise you there will be no judgement or pressure. I wouldn't do that to you.
Suntegrity 5 in 1 Natural Moisturizing Sunscreen is a well-loved tinted moisturizer and sunblock hybrid. The thickest of the three products, this formulation provides a true medium coverage and can minimize the appearance of minor scars. This is a product I recommend to foundation wearers looking to wean themselves off traditional foundation or someone looking to eliminate the separate step of applying a sunblock and foundation.
It only takes about 1 to 1.5 pumps for a medium application and is best applied with clean fingertips. I use a primer first; however, if you choose to skip this step, a buffing brush may be necessary to work the product into skin and eliminate it from settling into larger pores. You do not have to buff for long but it is the best way to get flawless coverage. This product does not have built-in glow or radiance. If this is something you desire, you may want to mix it with a drop or two of a liquid illuminator to achieve a that glow. This product is ideal for extremely oily skin types who generate their own natural glow.
The formula contains Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, Algae Extract, Green Tea Extract and Jojoba which plump and hydrate skin - it gives it that youthful volume and texture we're all chasing. It is also vegan and certified cruelty-free. There are only 4 shades, a fact I learned when I recommended it to a friend of mine with a deeper skin tone. I was embarrassed. No, I was mortified because I simply assumed she'd be able to find her shade. Lesson learned here and, again, I hope by writing this here, Suntegrity will read this and begin (or continue) formulation of an inclusive shade range.