During Sephora’s Summer Bonus Sale, I wrote about several products I wanted to snag while most of the products on the site had slashed prices. High on that list was the newly reformulated Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. I had never tried the original formula (a long-time cult favorite of people like Rachel Weisz and Kim Kardashian West), so the launch of the new formula felt like a solid reason to finally test it out. The main distinctions between the O.G. formula and the 2.0 (which came out this summer and already counts fans such as Meghan Markle and Margot Robbie) are a boost in UV protectant (it went from SPF 20 to 30) and the addition of macadamia and kukui-seed oils, which allegedly have skin replenishing, hydrating properties. Both the original and the new formulas come in two versions: plain, and illuminating (the latter includes crushed pearls for a brightening effect); obviously, as someone committed to making my skin look as much like a light bulb as possible, I purchased the one with the pearls.
Since I first tried this tinted moisturizer, I have recommended it to damn near every person I know. A dime size amount of this product (rubbed all over my skin after my morning skin-care routine) gives the perfect amount of daytime coverage — it takes the edge off of any dark marks, redness, and under-eye bags, and makes my skin look like it has nothing on it at all. It’s also intensely hydrating — it’s the only makeup I’ve ever felt comfortable putting over eczema flare ups; it doesn’t stick or cling to any dry patches (my guess is that this has something to do with those hydrating oils). But what’s really incredible about this product, and the reason I won’t shut up about it, is just how intensely it brightens my complexion, without making my skin look overly sparkly.
Let me finish explaining just how believably radiant this stuff makes me look with an anecdote. A couple of weeks ago, I was coming down with a cold and looked it — major unde-reye bags, greenish, pasty skin, and a big sick-person zit in the center of my chin. After finishing my morning skin-care routine, I squeezed a liberal amount of the tinted moisturizer into my hands and massaged it into my skin with my finger tips (then, yes, dotted a tiny bit of my Ilia Concealer on my chin zit for extra coverage). When I met up with friends shortly after, each one of them independently commented on how good my skin looked. I was beside myself: I knew how my skin had looked when I woke up that morning, and therefore knew my newfound radiance was entirely thanks to the Laura Mercier.
In the weeks following, I noticed a pattern: when I applied the product in the morning, I’d, without fail, get a compliment on my complexion. Needless to say, it is now the first product I put on my face every single day (I treat it as my base makeup, then generally, like I did on my sick day, go in with a touch of concealer on any zits or aggressive dark marks). I should note here: this product isn’t cheap: $47 per tube. But it’s comparable to other foundation prices (the NARS Tinted Moisturizer is $45; Beautycounter’s is $45; It Cosmetics’s is $40), and works better than any other I’ve ever tried. If you, like me, like to look like you have perfectly luminous skin even when you emphatically don’t, I promise you’re going to love this tinted moisturizer.
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