The past six months have been fraught with changes, among them, the fact that I am writing this from my couch. And while some were expected, like wearing jeans a whole lot less, I never thought I would be the girl who pared down her makeup routine.
I genuinely enjoy wearing makeup—painting my face is often the best part of my day—but foundation is the one thing that feels like a chore. Due to years of acne, slathering on my full-coverage foundation is more of a security blanket. But seven months into working from my apartment, I’m rethinking my approach.
Thanks to a three-month break from makeup, plenty of pandemic nihilism—acne isn’t the end of the world when the world is literally on fire—and fine, some good skin care, I’m starting to feel better in my own skin than I have in the past few years, even if it’s technically “worse.” A key player in this has been Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint, which has proved my long-running theory I’ve been too scared to test: A healthy glow with visible acne will almost always look better than skin smothered by foundation.
I generally distrust anything with “tint” in the name, but after it won for best clean foundation in Glamour‘s Beauty Awards this year, it’s become one of my best quarantine discoveries. It takes about two seconds to apply with my fingers (if I’m feeling bougie, I like to use an Artis brush) and basically blends itself. I would say it offers the coverage of a light foundation, which is more than I find most tints provide. It makes my skin look even and blurs acne, and while it doesn’t cover it up completely, I look damn close to flawless on Zoom. For outside-the-house excursions, I’ll toss on a bit of concealer on any major pimples—which blends seamlessly into the tint’s hydrating texture—but most days the tint is all I need.
Most important, though, it gives me the most beautiful dewy glow that makes me look healthy and alive, even when I feel like a zombie inside. The glow comes from the inclusion of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and plant-based squalane in the formula, which not only gives it a dewy finish to rival most highlighters, but moisturizes and nourishes my skin while I wear it.
Since it’s a skin-care-makeup hybrid and so lightweight, I feel good about wearing it under a mask. I also love that it has SPF 40, so it’s one less thing to worry about before I have my morning coffee.
Even when we return to a world where I wear jeans more than sweatpants and I swap my tinted balm for red lipsticks, my Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint is here to stay. I just hope my dewy new outlook will be too.
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.