Iconic product, reimagined
Today's review takes me way back to my pre-blogging era. Some years ago, when beauty market wasn't as saturated and YouTube was every makeup beginner's Mecca, I wandered into gleaming aisles of Saks Fifth Avenue in Union Square (back then I lived in San Francisco) only to get my hands on my very first Laura Mercier item - the iconic Tinted Moisturizer. This product was on everyone's lips and naturally I wanted to know whether the hype was real or not. Fast forward to 2019, we have a reformulated version to talk about. Curious? Then please keep on scrolling.
My Skin: dry, sensitive.
About the Product
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (47 USD; 50 ml/1.7 fl.oz; Made in USA) offers a light coverage and claims to hydrate, nourish and protect your skin from the sun. This product is designed for people with dry, normal and combination skin types. If you have oily skin, you might want to check out the brand's oil-free alternative here.
The new line also features a glowy version called Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating (47 USD; 50 ml/1.7 fl.oz; Made in USA), which is packed with finely-milled pearls.
Packaging: while both have similar looks, unlike the "original" formula (beige tube), the "illuminating" version comes in a pearlized, pink-ish squeeze tube. Personally I am happy that there is no added pump here, which would eventually make it hard to get the last bits of product out. I am also pleased with this simple-yet-chic aesthetic. You can easily fit this product into any bag.
Shades: I like the fact that the new line offers 20 shades (all the way from "Porcelain" to "Mocha"), which in tinted moisturizer terms is a great number. Now, Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating only has 6 shades to choose from, which normally would be something to be up in arms about, but! Considering its borderline liquid highlighter-esque vibe, I do see why there is only one shade per each skin color category.
On a better note - the new Tinted Moisturizer covers a good variety of undertones and given its sheer nature, one shade can be used by several people with similar complexion. I have shades 2C1 Blush and Natural Radiance, which are getting a touch dark for me now that my tan is fading. My original Laura Mercier shade is Cashew (best for light-neutral complexion). Ideally I would go one tone down to 1N2 Vanilla and Bare Radiance.
From my experience, the shades I have do not oxidize, but they do get a hair darker in tone once they are fully dry.
Formula: the product feels creamy to the touch, blending out evenly and with ease. While Tinted Moisturizer is slightly scented, there is no actual perfume element to it; I would describe it as a very faint, yet pleasant skincare type of a scent (which I enjoy). Thankfully it does not irritate the skin. This modernized version does include a number of nourishing ingredients such as: Macadamia-, Kukui Seed Oils and Tamarind Seed Extract (all of which have highly moisturizing, antioxidant properties).
Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating, on the other hand, has a slightly different formula. Aside from Reflective Mica as the key "glowing" component, this product is packed with French Algae and Licorice Extract; both of which should improve your skin's natural radiance over time. Other than that, it does feel exactly the same as Tinted Moisturizer.
Application: the brand suggest applying this product with your hands, but from my experience you can also use synthetic brushes or sponges. Using hands is still the best option, because with sheer coverage like this, you don't really want to waste any of it along the way. Now, there is another question many people ask: "should I apply my regular moisturizer underneath the tinted one?". Abso-Sahara-lutely.
Unless you want to turn yourself into Mr. Burns in no time, never neglect your skincare. Think about Tinted Moisturizer as a nice, additional hydrating layer rather than a sole moisturizer. This is the best case scenario for people with drier skin types, however, if you are more combination - you can add a mattifying primer to areas that might need it (such as T-zone for example). If you ask me, I tend to get a bit of shine on my nose throughout the day, so I make sure to set this product with my HG Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (review here), which gives me the most flawless, skin-like finish.
This formula spreads out like a dream and I find that it does not really like to be layered. Not sure if added SPF has something to do with it, but just like with most chemical sunscreens, if you add more product than your skin can absorb - it might peel in places. To avoid that, use one sheer layer at most and add your favorite concealer to areas that need more coverage. I couldn't recommend the brand's very own Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer (review here) enough.
Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating will elevate your glow game to a whole new level, but! It can easily look a touch too glowy on its own, which is why I would either mix it with the original to add that oomph or add some to the high points of my face instead of an actual highlighter (which is a very eye-deceiving trick I enjoy). Alternative