I have literally never understood those who identify as "winter people." Despite growing up in New England, where snow days were a dime a dozen, I will never get used to the cold weather and lack of sunlight, and the seasonal depression that comes along with it. While the list of things I hate about winter is pretty much endless, the toll it takes on my complexion tops the list—we're talking dry skin, chapped lips, and a lack of glow so severe it makes me question if something is actually wrong.
Luckily, over the past few years, there's been an influx of glow-boosting products on the market, and the category has grown thanks to TikTok. On January 31, another option enters the ring, the Kosas Glow I.V. Skin Enhancer ($38), and it promises to be like a vitamin drip for your skin. Considering that bringing any semblance of life back to my skin right now is a tall order, I had team Byrdie put it to the test. Ahead, everything you need to know about the launch, plus our honest thoughts.
As the name suggests, the Kosas Glow I.V. Skin Enhancer is inspired by vitamin-rich I.V. drips, and the glow-up they bring to your skin and body. "I love a vitamin drip," Sheena Zadeh-Daly, founder of Kosas, tells Byrdie. "Whenever I’m stressed or just feel like I’m really needing some self-care, it's my go-to treatment for feeling better. After getting them for a while, I noticed that a bonus side effect of these vitamin drips was healthy, glowing skin. I wanted to bottle that same healthy glow in a product packed with nutrients for total skin health." The result? A sheer glowy gel that can be used as a primer, highlighter, or mixed into makeup.
The product was not only created to give your skin a healthy look, but also deliver a dose of nutrients right to your skin. A botanical complex the brand calls Vitaglow-D helps enhance hydration and luminosity, while glutathione helps brighten and fight free radicals. Algae extracts act as natural peptides and amino acids to nourish the skin, and overall, users experience hydrated, brighter skin.
The Glow I.V. doesn't just provide a luminous glow; it's got a slight tint as well. The product is available in 10 shades, from pearly champagne to rich chocolate. Like all Kosas products, it's silicone-free, cruelty-free, sensitive skin safe, and non-acnegenic.
How to Use Kosas Glow I.V.
Products like this can be a little confusing—is it a primer? Tinted moisturizer? Highlighter? The answer is all of the above. Think of it like a choose-your-own-adventure that can be used to add a dewy gleam to your complexion in whatever way you want. "I love how this product is so versatile, so you really can glow how you feel it and customize it to your own preference," says Zadeh-Daly.
However, she suggests three main ways to wear it if you need some inspo. "For an All-Over Glow, Apply Glow I.V. on hydrated skin using fingers or a damp Revealer Dual-Ended Makeup Blender ($14)," she says. You can leave it as-is or top it with a foundation for more coverage.
For what Zadeh-Daly calls a "mix-in glow," she suggests mixing the Glow I.V. with your favorite foundation or moisturizer for a bit of a sheerer all-over glow. Finally, for a targeted glow, apply Revealer Foundation ($42) and Revealer Concealer ($28), then use Glow I.V. for a targeted highlight where the light naturally hits—high points of cheeks, bridge of the nose, cupid's bow, and brow bones."
Eden Stuart, associate editor
"I like this one! Admittedly I wasn't in love with it by itself, though that's more of a personal preference—the formula is lightweight and comfortable, just very bronzy. When I blended it with my tinted moisturizer, I got a nice infusion of glam. I think the next time I wear it, however, I'll stick to the high points of the face since, while subtle, the formula is definitely shimmery in a way that I associate with a conventional highlighter. If you go for the glow in a major way, you'll like wearing it solo."
Madeline Hirsch, news director
"As someone with no problem with shine and no affinity for matte formulas, this product—at least in theory—is right up my alley. Developed to give you that ultra-hydrated, just got back from the gym glow, Kosas’s new complexion product, Glow IV, lives somewhere between a highlighter and tinted serum on the coverage spectrum. The feel is nice and light, and there’s a lot of shimmer if applied on its own, which, TBH, I’m not against. But this formula shines most (literally and figuratively) when mixed with a foundation. Dab a drop into your foundation, and you’ll look just a little extra dewy. Add in a glob, and you’re looking at full-on radiance. If you’re into lighter coverage formulas and looking extremely moisturized, this is a fun (if not always totally necessary) little makeup trick in a bottle."
Jasmine Phillips, social media editor
"I’m really into glowy skin enhancers these days, and I love how the new Glow I.V. from Kosas can be worn a few different ways and places. Whether you use this as a liquid highlighter, all over your face, or on your collarbones (trust me!), you will certainly be glowing all day long. I also like that this product is infused with vitamins that hydrate, brighten, and nourish the skin so I can look good while giving my skin some TLC."
Bella Cacciatore, news editor
"I have some lingering texture from old acne, so I tend to avoid all-over glow products, so I was hesitant to use this one as a primer or mixer—especially when I saw how shimmery it was when I swatched it on my hand. So, I patted it on as a highlighter over foundation on my cheekbones, nose, and inner eye corner. I was happy to see that it was way less glittery on my face, leaving the perfect 'I was born this way' sheen. It's not obvious straight on, but caught the light beautifully, even on a sad grey day. I also have a hunch it would be gorgeous mixed into some body lotion for an all-over glow."
Olivia Hancock, editor
"When I heard about Kosas’ Glow I.V., I was immediately intrigued. I love skincare-makeup hybrid products and loved that this one was loading with hydrating ingredients and formulated to make skin appear more radiant. When I applied the medium rose gold shade, Boost, on bare skin, it left my skin with a beautiful glow that was noticeable even from far away. When mixed with foundation, my makeup definitely looked more vibrant and dewy. Needless to say, this product is a winner in my eyes."