A Skin Tint Roundup | Kosas Tinted Face Oil, Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint, & Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint

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When it comes to foundations and base products, I certainly have a type. If it’s marketed as lightweight and glowy, I’m there. Recently I’ve picked up the Kosas Tinted Face Oil (ed note: it was recently when I started writing this blogpost in November, whoops), and I wanted to see how it compared to two of my favorite skin tints: the Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint and the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint. All three promise similar things: light coverage that smooths over the skin and leaves a natural, radiant finish.

The first thing I notice is that the Kosas is the runniest of the three, and the Milk Makeup is the thickest (or it seems that way at least because of the packaging. You have to be careful to not let pretty much the whole bottle of the Kosas Tinted Face Oil spill out into your hand, despite it having one of those dropper spouts. The Glossier Skin Tint has a similar delivery system, and it comes out drop by drop.

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Consistency-wise, the Kosas feels like a dry oil and sinks into the skin quickly while leaving the veil of pigment behind with a satin finish. The Milk and Glossier feel more emollient, gliding over the skin as you blend them in and leaving quite a dewy finish. I’ve noticed if my skin is not exfoliated and moisturized properly, the Kosas will show dryness, while the Milk just glides over and hides this. The Glossier is somewhere in between, not totally gliding over dry patches, but not catching on them as much as the Kosas. This is not to say the Kosas is not for dry skin types - it really is, you just have to prep your skin properly.

Over the course of the day, all three fade evenly. I’d say the Glossier lasts the longest on me, followed by Kosas, and then the shortest wear time is Milk. Glossier and Milk remain quite dewy throughout the day without veering into greasy territory (though my skin is on the dry side), and the Kosas gets a little dewier over time - it starts out as a satin finish and ends up being quite glowy by the end of the day. This also never gets greasy on me, and it certainly looks better and better as you wear it. If I find it catching on a few dry patches when I first apply it, I always notice it goes away and looks smooth and even after about an hour of wear.

Despite all having the word “tint” in their names, I find these all have quite different levels of coverage. The Kosas has the highest coverage of the three, although it’s still quite light and allows some imperfections to show through. I’d say it’s a step above typical light coverage - maybe on par with something like the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation. The Milk is next on coverage levels and has about the same as a tinted moisturizer. I think it has similar coverage to the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer or the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue. The Glossier has the least coverage of the three by far - this has just a whisper of coverage, just offering a sheer veil of color to gently even out the skin.

I’ve been asked a lot which is my favorite of these three, and honestly I can’t pick one. I always think I have a favorite and use it constantly, and then I start using one of the other two and fall in love all over again. Right now I’m using the Milk Sunshine Skin Tint almost daily - my skin is majorly dry right now, so this is the most forgiving formula.

If you’re just looking for a lightweight foundation, I don’t think you need all three. I’d go with Kosas if you’re looking for coverage, Milk if you’re looking for a serious glow, and Glossier if you want something to even out your skintone on minimal days.

Which one would you pick?

This post contains affiliate links. Glossier Skin Tint was gifted.

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Glossier Lidstar | Review, Swatches, & Discount

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In case you missed all the hype last night - Glossier's newest product, Lidstar, is here! Lidstars are liquid eyeshadows meant to give a soft, glistening sheen to the eyelids. We're one step closer to being able to do a full face of Glossier, and I am here for it.

I seriously feel like these were made for me - I wear cream/liquid eyeshadows on a daily basis, and the packaging reminiscent of test tubes just warms my little chemist heart. They're lightweight and easy to throw in a makeup bag. Method of application is a typical, slightly fuzzy doe-foot applicator. As always, there is much attention to detail on the packaging, most notably the Glossier pink cap adorned with the signature "G" logo. 

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T-B | Moon, Slip, Fawn, Herb

T-B | Moon, Slip, Fawn, Herb

Packaging aside, the formula is what's really wowing me. These are meant to be a sheer veil of color and shimmer, so they're absolutely perfect for an everyday look. They have a mousse-y, almost whipped formula that feels like practically nothing on the eyelids. Since they're on the sheer side, they're super easy to blend out and layer for a more opaque shade. They do layer really well, building upon itself seamlessly rather than cracking or caking up. I simply swipe some directly onto my eyelids from the doe-foot and blend with my fingers. They're super easy and give an effortless, diffused look. You know those eyeshadows that just add lots of life and light to your whole look? These are it. I just know I'll be reaching for these on a daily basis, especially Moon and Slip, to add some brightness to my eyes and keep myself from looking too tired. 

wearing Slip all over my eyelids, Fawn on the outer corners, and Moon on the inner corners

wearing Slip all over my eyelids, Fawn on the outer corners, and Moon on the inner corners

I'll admit I was worried about the longevity. How could something that is so lightweight and looks so dewy possibly be long-lasting, right? Well, these things set down and they really do. not. budge. I constantly am complaining about how oily my eyelids are and how nothing will really last on them more than a few hours without creasing, some products even with primer underneath. I put these to the ultimate test, and they passed with flying colors. I applied them at 7am with no primer, wore them all day through work (where my eyes are constantly watering from the dry air), and then wore them through a kickboxing class. I ended up wearing them for over 12 hours on that first day, and they were still in perfect condition when I washed my face at the end of the day - no creasing or fading, despite rubbing my eyes throughout the day and then getting really sweaty during kickboxing. I've also tried wearing them under other (powder) shadows, and they work really well to prime the eyelids and prevent creasing that way, too.

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Lidstars come in six shades:

  • Moon - a sheer cream base with blueish opalescent glimmer

  • Slip - a sheer baby pink with golden highlights

  • Fawn - a smoky taupe with violet and gold pearl

  • Herb - a smoky green with yellow gold pearl

  • Lily - a sheer lilac with blue and violet pearls

  • Cub - a rose gold with warm shimmer

Of the four I have, my favorite is Fawn - it's exactly my kind of shade. Plus it was the mysterious eyeshadow Beyonce was wearing at the Grammys! But I've already gotten use out of all four, and they're all beautiful. You can bet I've already ordered the remaining two shades by now. Because they all have more sheer bases, they seem like they could be pretty universally-flattering. It allows your natural skintone to show through, so every shade will look different on everyone. I think that's really where Glossier shines - I love how they're able to make makeup products that seem so simple and yet adapt to whoever wears them. You wear the makeup instead of it wearing you.

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Glossier Lidstars are available for $18 each or in a Duo for $30. You can also get 10% off your first Glossier order by shopping through glossier.com/reps/kelsey - I make a commission on orders through my link.

Are you going to be trying the Lidstars?

Glossier Lidstars were sent to me before launch for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

Glossier Solution is Here | First Impressions, Overview, & Discount

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Glossier has been hinting at its latest skincare product for the past few weeks, and now it’s finally here. Meet Solution, Glossier’s new liquid exfoliant. I love how they’re slowly adding to their skincare line, starting with the bare necessities and slowly beefing it up. Solution is their second foray into serious skincare, coming with drug facts on the outer foil packaging like the sunscreen did. This time the product is a blend of acids to treat acne, redness, texture, clogged pores, and uneven tone. It promises to do all this plus give the skin that signature Glossier Glow. The magic behind Solution is the powerful combination of acids. It’s a 10% AHA/BHA/PHA formula, so it really gets down to business treating the skin. I've only had the product for a few days, so this will be an overview, and a full review will come in a few weeks.

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Let's break down the acids included in Solution: AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, are hydrophilic (attracted to water) molecules that work to break down the bonds between skin cells to aid in exfoliation. The most commonly used AHAs are lactic and glycolic acids, both of which are in Solution. They work best to brighten dull skin and aid in reducing dark spots.

BHAs, or beta hydroxy acids, on the other hand, are lipophilic (attracted to oil), so they can penetrate deeper into the pores and clear out debris. This makes them powerful against acne. The most stable is salicylic acid.

PHAs, or poly hydroxy acids, are a new find for me, and they basically behave in a similar fashion to AHAs, but the molecules are larger, meaning they do not penetrate the skin as much. This makes them a great gentler option. They cause less irritation and also work as anti-inflammatories. When used in conjunction with other acids, PHAs increase their efficacy. The PHA used in Solution is gluconolactone, which is a naturally-occurring compound in skin cells.  

In addition to the acids, Solution also contains what Glossier calls an "anti-stress" complex to keep the formula gentle and reduce irritation. This complex refers to a blend of aloe, glycerin, and niacinamide.

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I for one am a huge fan of acids in skincare - I much prefer chemical exfoliation to physical. As I said above, I’ve only been using Solution for a few days, so all I can give for now is my first impression. I've been using it every night right after cleansing by soaking a cotton pad with it (the pump-top packaging makes this so effortless) and sweeping it over my face and neck. The first few nights I used it I felt some mild stinging that went away after a few seconds, but by the fourth night that didn't happen anymore. Already I'm feeling like my skin is getting smoother, but I will update in a few weeks once I've used it more consistently!

As always, you can shop through glossier.com/reps/kelsey for 10% off your first order. If you're a returning customer, you can get free shipping when you order Solution plus Glossier's own cotton rounds (!!) and enter the code SOLUTION at checkout. The cotton rounds are currently backordered and will ship separately after 1/22.

Solution was sent to me by Glossier, but all opinions are my own. I earn commission on orders through my rep link.


Full Ingredients list: 

Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 0.5%

Inactive Ingredient(s): Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Hydroxide, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Gluconolactone, Propanediol, Ethoxydiglycol, Magnesium Chloride, Glycereth-7 Trimethyl Ether, Niacinamide, Betaine, Inositol, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Phytic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum/Fragrance, PEG-8, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Acetic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide.


The Best Glow-Inducing Masks for Morning

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I know I'm constantly complaining about my skin being a little dull for my liking, but I swear it gets even worse when the weather cools down. I'm no stranger to dehydration and dryness, and they make the dullness even worse. To fix this, I love a good mask that will amp up the glow, and it's even better when they're suitable to use in the morning - they're instantly-gratifying, not too harsh, and will give a glow that lasts all day long.

The Clay One | I've sung praises of the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay over and over, but it really is one of my favorite masks ever. I love how clean and purified clay masks make my skin feel, but normally they strip my skin of all moisture and I end up even duller than before. But not this one - it contains jojoba beads that burst as you wash the mask off, so you not only get a bit of exfoliation from the beads, but also some moisture. This is my favorite to use after a super late night - it instantly makes my skin look a lot more "well rested."

The Honey One | I can already tell this is going to be a godsend on cold mornings - the Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask* is one of my favorites because it gently warms up as you massage it over your skin. It's full of Farmacy's Echinacea GreenEnvy Honey, which has all the purifying and hydrating benefits of honey and is chock full of antioxidants. I love honey masks because they're a bit of a two-in-one - they not only hydrate the skin, but the natural antibacterial properties of honey also keep the skin feeling cleansed and renewed. This gives my skin an insane amount of glow, and it makes it nice and pillowy for makeup application.

The Fifteen Second One | If you're a morning shower person, then you need to try the Blithe Energy Yellow Citrus & Honey Splash Mask. Splash masks are so intriguing to me - basically you're supposed to dilute them with water, either in a big bowl or in the shower, and just splashing it on your face for fifteen seconds will give you results. This yellow version is meant to brighten the skin and exfoliates with lactic acid, and the scent alone will wake you up - it's so lovely and citrus-y! I was skeptical of the fifteen second claims, but it truly makes my skin instantly feel smoother and plumper - I'm converted. 

The Super Quick Peel | I've talked about this sort of recently, but my main go-to in the mornings/if I want to make sure my makeup goes on smoothly is the Pixi Peel & Polish.* It's quite strong and effective, but it doesn't leave my skin red or sensitized. It resurfaces the skin with natural fruit enzymes, lactic acid, cellulose, and sugar extract, and it does it super efficiently in about two minutes. It leaves my skin smooth and really glowing - it's quite the pick-me-up for sure. If I'm in a rush but still need to give my skin a bit of TLC, this is the one I reach for,

The One That's Like a Facial | If you want the results of the Pixi but in a more gentle but less efficient form (that sounds negative, but I just mean it's going to take you more than two minutes), then I'd recommend the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. This goes onto the skin like some kind of marmalade, and it leaves you with baby-soft skin when you wash it off. It doesn't even feel like it's doing anything when it's on my skin, so the results are even more surprising. This gives an instant glow and is the best to use before makeup. I'm most definitely going to be using this the morning of my wedding to prep my skin. It's just beautiful.

The Moisturizing One | I'm pretty sure I can't write a post about my favorite masks without mentioning one of the Glossier ones. The Moisturizing Moon Mask is the first one I turn to when my skin is feeling dehydrated or dry, and it's also great for energizing and depuffing the skin because it's so cooling. It deeply nourishes with sweet almond oil, squalane, and hyaluronic acid, and it also works to brighten with licorice root and lemon fruit extract. My skin just drinks this up, and when I've got a lot of time to just relax, I like to apply a thick layer and just leave it to sink in for a few hours. This is another one that's great before a special occasion because it really plumps up the skin and makes makeup apply like a dream.

Do you ever use masks in the morning? What are your favorites?

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information. This post contains affiliate links.


October Favorites

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When I sat down to write this post, I named it "September Favorites," so you can really tell where my head is. Like I say every month, October went by so quickly! This month's favorites is yet again a mix of new and old favorites - just the way I like it. I haven't been as strict about my spending this month, but I'm going back on my low-buy now to save money for Christmas. So next month's favorites may be more rediscoveries than new products.

Glossier You* | You had to guess this would be here, right? This has only been out for about a week, and I had only been trying it a week before that, and yet it's already become a firm favorite. You can read my review for my full thoughts on it, but I just love that it's a subtle, "skinlike" scent that sits close to the skin and isn't heady or overpowering. Usually I like my perfumes to have a bit of rose in them, but this doesn't and I'm still in love. I don't think I've ever gotten more compliments on a fragrance as I have on this.

Jordan Samuel Skin etOILe Facial Oil I also wrote a review on this oil this month, and it's been a daily staple for most of the month. My skin absolutely loves this oil blend - it's become more balanced, even, and radiant this month after consistent use. I use it every night without fail, and sometimes in the morning too. I need to check out the retinol version next!

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NARS Powermatte Lip PigmentsI fell so head over heels in love with these this month. I thought I was over the liquid lipstick trend, but I guess not. These feel so lightweight on the lips like a stain, and although they're quite a flat matte, they don't make my lips shrivel up. I love how easy they are to wear - on an everyday basis, I've been tapping a little onto the center of my lips and blending it out for a more stained effect. Starwoman is now the only red I want to wear forever and ever, and American Woman and Save the Queen are perfect everyday shades. I think I'm getting Walk This Way from my sister soon, too, so there's no end in sight for this obsession. You can check out my review for swatches of the three shades I have, too.

Pixi Glow TonicThis is a rediscovery this month. After using The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid Toner for awhile, I just really missed the Pixi Glow Tonic. It's so much more pleasing to use, and I think it has much better effects on my skin. I've been using it every morning to wake up my skin, and it's been keeping it smooth and (aside from some hormonal breakouts) clear. I'm fully back on the Glow Tonic train, and I won't stray again anytime soon.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder FoundationSpeaking of breakouts, I've been actually wearing foundation this month as opposed to a smattering of concealer. While I'm not happy about the breakouts, I am happy I've rediscovered my love for the Light Wonder Foundation. It gives good coverage for me, and it leaves my skin looking so glowy and healthy. It also seems to smooth over any texture and blur my pores. It lasts throughout the day on me, and it looks beautiful both on its own or mixed with other products like the Glossier Skin Tint.

What were your favorites in October?

This post contains affiliate links.


Glossier's New Fragrance that Smells Like You

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Glossier has been killing it with their new releases this year, and their latest one pushes them into another new realm of beauty: fragrance. They've just launched their first perfume, Glossier You. As the name suggests, it's meant to be more of an "enhancer" kind of scent, working with your body chemistry to smell like the best version of You. The whole concept fits in so well with Glossier's minimal, "you're beautiful the way you are" message.

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Glossier You is designed to smell the same for pretty much the whole time you're wearing it, meaning it consists mainly of base notes. There's of course some (synthetic) musk in there to mimic that warm, skinlike smell, as well as ambrox and ambrette, giving it a smooth, comfy vibe. It also has top notes of iris and pink pepper for a sparkling and fresh opening that mellows gracefully into the aforementioned musk. It leaves such a "familiar" smell on the skin, like the way I've always wanted to smell. It makes me feel grown up and put-together, even if I've just rolled out of bed. I've been describing it as the way I want my favorite fragrance to smell after I've been wearing it all day - except it smells that way from the get-go. Glossier says, "Please be advised that the formula comes incomplete. You are the first ingredient." I love that. It really does feel like a natural smell. Your skin, but lovelier.

Because it's got a lot of base notes, it lasts quite a long time (on me, anyway - all body chemistries are different!). I can spray it on at 6am and still smell it on my clothes and body when I come home from work at 5pm. It barely changes as the day goes on, too - it just gets slightly muskier as those sharper top notes wear away. It feels like such a natural scent that I've been wearing it everywhere and getting lots of compliments on it. It's not a "what perfume are you wearing?" but a "You smell good!" You wear the perfume, not the other way around.

Lastly, can we just talk about the bottle? It's weighty and glass and fits perfectly into the palm of my hand. I love the thumbprint indent detail - it makes it so easy and pleasing to hold, and it helps convey that "meant for you" feeling. Like, "it fits in my hand perfectly."

I'm seriously into Glossier You - you can order yours through glossier.com/reps/kelsey and get 10% off your first order (or just to support me if it's not!). If you're not into buying fragrances blindly, all orders will come with a sample of You. Glossier You can be shipped to continental US and Canada as well as the UK, and is $60/$75CAD/£45 for 50 mL.

Will you be trying You?

Glossier You was sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. I make a small commission on orders through my rep link, and I direct that money back into my blog. Your orders allow me to try Glossier's new launches, too!