I Tried The Tinted Oil Foundation Everyone Is Talking About On Instagram

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Updated 11/15/19

Even after working on the internet for the entirety of my adult life, I am still as susceptible to social media influence and hype surrounding a product. When I started seeing influencers singing Kosas' Tinted Oil Foundation ($42) praises regularly on Instagram, I was intrigued. It wasn’t until Nicolette Mason and Grace Atwood, two of my favorite influencers/bloggers, both posted about the foundation that I knew I had to try it, though. As someone who has slowly grown to hate traditional foundations and love oils in the past couple years, I had high hopes for the product (the first I’ve tried from the clean beauty brand)—but I was also realistic. My skin tends to get oily and shiny with any old foundation, so one that was made of oil? I knew there was a huge chance it simply wouldn’t work for me, or if it did, that it would eventually slide right off my face along with the rest of my makeup.

kosas tinted oil foundation
Kosas Tinted Oil Foundation $42
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The brand was nice enough to send me the product and I chose the two lightest shades available (I have very fair skin). The lightest shade worked for me, though I could have gone either way thanks to the foundation’s sheer, yet buildable formula. My first impressions of the product itself only added to my initial skepticism. Since it’s an oil, it’s very important to shake the product repeatedly before use (thankfully for all of us, Kosas made this instruction very clear on the packaging). I instantly had images of oil dripping down my face when trying to apply it. However, when I first put it on my face (I found that it’s easiest just to hold the bottle to my face and put a dab of foundation in each main area of coverage), I was pleasantly surprised. It was light enough to feel like an oil, but didn’t slide around my face at all, even before blending it in.

kosas foundation review
 Olivia Muenter

In an effort to simplify things, I applied the product with only my fingers. Now, fair warning: If you’re anything like me, the very first time you apply the product, you may panic a little bit. It feels very different than any foundation I’ve tried before and immediately I thought, “Nope, this won’t work for me.” But after blending it a little more and building up the coverage where I needed it, I was convinced.

The coverage is very, very subtle, but it’s there—and it adds a dewy, natural-looking glow to all the high points of the face.

olivia muenter
Olivia Muenter

The coverage is very, very subtle, but it’s there—and it adds a dewy, natural-looking glow to all the high points of the face. But most surprising of all? It doesn’t feel greasy at all. In fact, it felt so comfortable on my face that the first time I wore it I totally forgot to use any setting powder whatsoever. I regretted this later that night when my liquid eyeliner had slid all over my eyelid. Since then, I’ve used translucent setting powder in all of the places my makeup usually creases (eyelids, under-eyes, center of the forehead), and the foundation hasn’t budged. 

It’s worth mentioning that the product will sometimes still crease a tiny bit if I am not careful about using the translucent powder on my lids, and it does have a slight tendency to cling to small dry spots on the skin. Other than that, though, I am fully a believer. I wouldn’t wear this foundation for a photoshoot or a big night out where I’ll be wearing heavy eye makeup—and I’m not quite sure how it would hold up in hot weather. But in terms of easy, everyday wear for cooler months, it’s a winner for me. I’ve also gotten more compliments on my skin than ever since wearing it, which is also the sign of a holy grail foundation if you ask me.

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