If necessity really is the mother of invention, then can I just say it's about time tinted oils arrived on the scene? Virtually every makeup artist we speak to offers the same advice when it comes to applying foundation: If you want a really airbrushed, flawless finish that looks like second skin, mix your formula of choice with a few drops of face oil. "I like to add oil to foundation because it gives an added boost of emollience to the skin," says New York–based makeup artist Daniel Martin. (And that's not even to mention that doing so keeps your complexion hydrated and bright for hours on end—no cakiness in sight.)
Pros like Martin have been cocktailing these products for years, inspiring editors (and thus our readers) to do the same—yet brands are only just starting to bottle and sell combo products that eliminate the need for all that DIY mixology. Tinted oils, which are essentially pigmented oil emulsions, are poised to make some serious waves in the foundation market—and trust us when we say they could be the best thing that's ever happened to your makeup routine. (And just to get one common myth right out of the way, these formulas sink deeply into your skin to keep your complexion looking hydrated and smooth, never greasy.)
Keep reading for four editor-approved tinted oil formulas that will seriously up your beauty game.
One of the latest additions to Milk Makeup's phenomenal collection, this preservative-free formula boasts an ultra-hydrating base of avocado, mandarin, grapeseed, and olive oils. The addition of SPF 30 and the handy rollerball application are just bonuses.
What can we say? Giorgio Armani really knows how to do foundation. Much like with the cult-status success of the brand's Luminous Silk formula, beauty editors and fans alike are going nuts for Maestro. With 17 shades to choose from—all featuring an impossibly smooth, waterless blend of oil and pigment and SPF 15—it's worth the hype (and every penny).
If you're already a fan of the brand's pure Argan Oil, then you know how incredibly hydrating it is—and you're bound to love this tinted version.
The cool thing about this formula is that it's fortified with anti-aging technology, so it's actually treating your skin as you wear it—you can't really say that for your run-of-the-mill foundation, right? It also contains light-reflecting particles to enhance your glow, and it only requires two or three drops for a decent amount of coverage—meaning you get plenty of bang for your buck. Look out for it in September, when it hits stores everywhere.