I Tried The Tinted Oil Foundation Everyone Is Talking About

View photos inside.

olivia muenter

Olivia Muenter

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. So, when I started seeing influencers singing Kosas' Tinted Oil Foundation's praises regularly on Instagram, I was intrigued and knew I had to try it. As someone who has slowly grown to hate traditional foundations and loves oils in the past couple of years, I had high hopes for this almost tinted moisturizer (the first product I’ve tried from the clean beauty brand)—but I was also realistic. Read on for all my detailed thoughts about it.

Pros + Cons:


  • Buildable formula
  • Six active botanical oils
  • Easy to apply


  • Price per ounce is expensive
  • Might crease a tiny bit

The Bottom Line:

Kosas Tinted Face Oil is where makeup meets skincare. Its lightweight and clean formula surprised me with every single drop. 

Kosas Tinted Face Oil

Best for: People who don’t usually wear foundation 

Star Rating: 4.5/5 

Active ingredients: Avocado oil, meadowfoam oil, red raspberry oil, jojoba oil, camellia seed oil, rosehip seed oil, coco-caprylate

Byrdie Clean? Yes

Potential allergens: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Tocopherol

Price: $42

Shade Range: 16

About the brand: Kosas is a clean beauty brand known for cutting-edge formulas for the face, lips, eyes, and cheeks (there's even a natural deodorant in the range). It's available at Sephora and on Kosas.com, as well as select retailers.

Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation
Kosas Tinted Oil Foundation $42.00

About My Skin: Oily and shiny

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. 

Funny thing is that the brand says it's recommended for all types of skin so that's when I also got a little suspicious. As I have very fair skin, I chose the two lightest shades available (they call it Tone 01 and Tone 02). The lightest shade worked for me, though I could have gone either way thanks to the foundation’s sheer, yet buildable formula. 

kosas foundation review
 Olivia Muenter

How to Apply: Shake it and use your fingers

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 so the pigment and oils are blended (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. 

In an effort to simplify things, I applied the product with only my fingers, but you could easily use a brush or a sponge.

Coverage: Light and buildable

The lightweight formula is perfect for people who don't usually wear foundation. But 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 from 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. I could easily build more layers as I wanted a little more coverage with my fingertips.  

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.

The Results: Comfortable

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. 

olivia muenter
Olivia Muenter

Ingredient Quality: Clean and botanical oils

This product is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free, and formulated without mineral oil, talc, silicones, fragrance, parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

The true stars are its six active botanical oils: Avocado oil, meadowfoam oil, red raspberry oil, jojoba oil, camellia seed oil and rosehip seed oil.

The Value: A little expensive

The 1-ounce bottle for $42 might sound expensive, but I do feel this one is going to last a long time.

Similar Products: You have options

Ilia Super Skin Serum Skin Tint SPF40: The same idea to fuse makeup and skincare with a clean formula for the same price range ($46) and almost the same shades. The plus is that Ilia's product has SPF 40.

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint: A more affordable version ($26) of a breathable and dewy finish foundation with the same product size.

Our Verdict: I'm a believer

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. 

Related Stories