Real talk: I hate foundation. If I'm being totally honest, I'm not a makeup fan in general, and rarely wear anything beyond a cream blush and a bit of bronzer to avoid that clogged, weighed-down feeling foundation gives me the second I apply it. I've tried it all, from classic liquid foundations (way too heavy) to light, tinted sunscreens and moisturizers (better, but still mostly sticky) and I find that wearing a fresh face feels better than forcing it.
Alas, there are times my complexion needs a little oomph. Nothing over-the-top, but just a smidge more color, more even-ness, or more life. Thankfully, Summer Fridays has just the solution.
Leave it to one of our favorite skin-care brands to jump on the "skin tint" train with a sheer, layer-able serum that's brilliant for barely-there coverage. Summer Fridays Sheer Skin Tint ($42) isn't technically a foundation, but rather a subtly shaded serum even the pickiest makeup wearers (aka, me) will want to put on their faces.
Available in 10 buildable shades:
- Shade 1 – Fair with Neutral Peach Undertones
- Shade 2 – Light with Cool Peach Undertones
- Shade 3 – Light with Golden Undertones
- Shade 4 – Light-Medium with Neutral Olive Undertones
- Shade 5 – Medium with Warm Golden Undertones
- Shade 6 – Medium-Tan with Warm Red Undertones
- Shade 7 – Medium-Deep with Golden Undertones
- Shade 8 – Medium-Deep with Neutral Red Undertones
- Shade 9 – Rich-Deep with Neutral Warm Undertones
- Shade 10 – Rich-Deep with Neutral Undertones
Technically, Sheer Skin Tint isn't actually a foundation. Traditionally, foundation is its own thing entirely: It's usually a thicker, more opaque form of face makeup (can be liquid, powder, or cream) used to even out one's base complexion. Sheer Skin Tint definitely evens out the skin, however, it's exactly what its name suggests—a flexible skin tint that adds a hue to the skin, so you can build color to your minimalist heart's desire.
And while skin tints aren't new (the category has recently grown more and more popular in the "no-makeup makeup" realm with similar products from Saie, Ilia, and Glossier), Summer Fridays' new formulation has become my latest go-to in the quest for a complexion-smoothing product I can actually stand having on my mug. That's largely because it's more skin care than makeup.
The tinted serum is blended with two hero humectants—hyaluronic acid and glycerin—that immediately hydrate the skin and help it retain moisture throughout the day. Compared to regular makeup, it feels healthier and moisturizes my skin the minute I slather it on. Thanks to an extra boost of tiger grass (an antioxidant-rich anti-inflammatory) and a mix of vegan emollients, it feels as good as it looks on your face.
The color is gorgeous, too. Sheer Skin Tint is currently available in 10 flexible hues ranging from fair with peach undertones to rich-deep with neutral undertones. I have Shade 3 (light with golden undertones) and adore how effortlessly it blends into my skin, soothing redness and minimizing pores without looking like something is even on my face in the first place. It's so sheer and sneaky that it makes your skin look more alive—kinda like you just dipped it into a dreamy face cream—and not at all like you're wearing makeup to begin with. You can apply it with your fingers (it's easier this way) or a sponge, but just note that your sponge may soak up some of product. Just make sure to add your favorite SPF under it, since it's not protective against those bright, hot rays.
Otherwise, the tint itself is pretty much perfect, especially for those who don't like wearing makeup. I only wish the bottle was a little bigger—$42 for 30 fl. oz. isn't necessarily cheap. But a few drops go a long way, particularly if you're going for that "barely there" look, so you can definitely get your money's worth. Treat yourself to the least foundation-y foundation you'll ever buy here.
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