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Kosas's Tinted Face Oil is one of those timeless launches. Even though it's been around since early 2019 and Allure awarded it a Best of Beauty Award the same year, I'm bringing it back to the center of attention — because it makes my skin look like that TikTok beauty filter (but obviously, more natural). Even though I'm not on the receiving end of blinding, unforgiving camera flashes like actor Rami Malek was when he debuted the face oil on the Golden Globes red carpet, I still want my skin to have a theoretical, awards-show-ready glow. Spoiler alert: Kosas doesn't disappoint.
Here's the breakdown: The Tinted Face Oil is a light-coverage foundation with a barely-there, velvety finish that blends in so beautifully. The formula is comprised of six nourishing oils — avocado, meadowfoam, red raspberry, jojoba, camellia, and rosehip — which makes it feel more like a serum or skin tint, rather than a traditional foundation.
Even when my skin isn't behaving very well, I tend to stay away from heavy foundations because I don't like the feeling of caking on product — especially when it seems to enhance, rather than tone down, preexisting texture.
Kosas Tinted Face Oil
By the way, if you're worried about the plethora of oils, don't be. Cosmetic chemist Laura Lam-Phaure confirms nothing on the ingredient list is comedogenic or pore-clogging. She does, however, warn against using another oil-based product prior — instead, she recommends using a lightweight face moisturizer to "minimize any potential for pore-clogging."
I, for one, heed Lam-Phaure's advice. Since the formula is hydrating as is, I take out a few steps in my skin-care routine — I forgo the essence and swap my gel-cream for a multitasking moisturizing sunscreen since I find it helps prevent that dreaded pilling effect once the face oil goes on.
Of course, another major culprit of pilling comes well before moisturizing. Makeup artist Kirin Bhatty, who loves the Tinted Face Oil's naturally dewy finish and comfortable wearability, emphasizes the importance of having a properly cleansed and exfoliated complexion that's free of dead, dry skin. That way, your base applies smoothly and residue-free.
After giving the bottle a hearty shake (don't skip this step), I like to squeeze a squiggly trail of product directly onto my face and briefly massage it into my skin before going in with my favorite face brush (Merit's No.1 or E.L.F.'s Complexion Duo Brush at the moment). The fluid buffs in seamlessly and never reveals harsh lines, and I'm left looking like a Krispy Kreme donut after it's been glazed on the assembly line.
My bare face (left) and wearing the Tinted Face Oil (right).
Bhatty employs a similar method and uses her fingertips to dot product onto the skin first. She, however, opts for a damp makeup sponge (i.e. a Beautyblender) to "distribute [the formula] in a diffused way" that creates "a gorgeous, glowy finish."
At the moment, I have spotty discoloration on both cheeks from previous bouts of acne and this face oil just glides right over them — hiding every dark speck and hint of redness from dehydration, stress, and who knows what else. From there, I'll sometimes gently sweep some powder across my T-zone and on and around my nose (I don't need my glasses picking up product) to ensure most of my glow stays put. But on most days when I'm just sitting at home working, I'll lightly mist my face and call it a day.
For reference, because I am all but one person, here are all 16 shades Kosas currently offers. (I wear Tone 3.5.)
As far as skin-care-makeup hybrids go, the Tinted Face Oil excels. It's deeply hydrating, provides light but noticeable coverage, and lasts for hours on end without slipping and sliding around (after a mist or powder). The best part is that you barely even notice you're wearing anything at all, which is ideal for summertime wear. It gives me such a glowy base for my everyday look. OK, fine, the rest of my routine varies depending on my mood, but I'll typically layer some bronzer for dimension, fill in my brows (I'm a fan of the Kosas Brow Pop pencils and Air Brow gels), and top it off with mascara and lip tint. Then, I'm ready to get on with my day.
If you're looking for a weightless, easy-to-blend skin tint that's perfect for the warmer months, you can pick up a Tinted Face Oil for yourself at kosas.com or sephora.com for $42.
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